The Pretribulation Rapture
by David J. Stewart | Listen To Gospel Medley
The Bible clearly teaches that the Rapture occurs BEFORE the Tribulation, and the Tribulation occurs BEFORE the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ from Jerusalem.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 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 be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” —1st Thessalonians 4:13-18
Unpredictable, Pre-Tribulation, Rapture
The strongest evidence in the Bible of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture (that is, the Biblical doctrine that Jesus Christ will return FOR the saints BEFORE the 7-year Tribulation period) is the PROPHESIED ELEMENT OF SURPRISE! Plainly, the Lord Jesus taught that NO MAN KNOWS THE TIME of His return. Matthew 24:44, “Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” Luke 12:40, “Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” Anything other than a Pre-tribulation Rapture (in time of event) totally REMOVES this Biblical element of surprise.
The Bible predicts the Rapture, telling us that it will be unpredictable, imminent, without warning, and will be visible only to THE SAINTS. When Jesus raised up from the dead, 1st Corinthians 15:6 teaches that the Lord appeared bodily to over 500 BRETHREN AT ONCE. The Lord did not appear to any unsaved people after His resurrection. The Lord appeared to Mary Magdalene, His 12 apostles, over 500 disciples at once and others. There is no record of any unsaved person seeing the Lord in His resurrected body.
Likewise, the Lord will only appear to the saints at the Rapture when He comes. The unsaved world, although no doubt they will be adversely affected to some degree by the Rapture, will not see Christ at that time. The world will see Christ 7-years later when He returns to the earth riding on a white horse of judgment at the Second Coming. I have listed 28 differences contrasting the Rapture to the Second Coming; such as the fact that the saints will be GOING UP at the Rapture, but they will be COMING DOWN at the Second Coming.
Granted, the Rapture is a more difficult doctrine in the Bible to discern, simply because it requires a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the chronological order of prophetic events. God created time as a mean of letting His children know what will happen next on His prophetic time line. The Lord calls us His friends, as He clarified in John 15:15, “Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you.” The Lord as our friend is telling us what He is going to do in the future. What an awesome Savior!
There is probably not a more controversial doctrine than the Rapture of the saints in the Bible. First of all, the word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible. Albeit, I believe that the word “Rapture” does NO injustice to the Scriptures. The word “Rapture” means “to be caught away.” Many critics of the Rapture doctrine have stressed this fact over and over. However, the word “Trinity” is not found in the Bible either. Nevertheless, the word “Godhead” most certainly is found in the Bible if you have a non-corrupted Bible. I prefer the word “Godhead” for this simple reason.
Nevertheless, I confidently
believe that the word “Trinity” does NO injustice to the plain
teachings of the Word of God. The word accurately describes the divine
triune nature of God. Howbeit, as I mentioned, I prefer to use the word
“GODHEAD.” Tragically, modern versions of the Bible, such as the damnable
New International Version [NIV or H.I.V.] have removed this word
Godhead completely (as they have the words: trucebreakers, winebibbers,
carnal, slothful, unthankful, effeminate, backbiting, vanity, lasciviousness,
whoredom, devils, fornication, Lucifer, damnation, brimstone, and the bottomless pit,
Calvary, propitiation, bottomless pit, sodomites.
Were Billy Sunday, Moody, Jones, Hutson, Rice and Ironside All Wrong?
May I humbly make the important observation that the greatest men of God of the past 150 years all believed in a PRETRIBULATION RAPTURE! Harry A. Ironside, John R. Rice, Jack Hyles, Bob Jones Sr., Lee Roberson, Oliver B. Greene, R.A. Torrey, Dwight Moody, Lester Roloff, Curtis Hutson, Billy Sunday, W.A. Criswell, Charles C. Ryrie, Raymond Barber and others all concluded and taught a Pretribulation Rapture of the saints!!! Amen! Were they all wrong on the Bible? I think not!
Read what Evangelist Billy Sunday said in his classic sermon, “The Second Coming Of Christ”...
Clearly, Billy Sunday concluded and taught a
Pretribulation Rapture. The Bible very plainly teaches that the TIME of
the Rapture is a carefully guarded secret. Those critics who decry a
“secret Rapture” are criticizing the Lord's very Words, for Jesus clearly
stated in Mark 13:32-33, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no
man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the
Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.”
The timing of the Rapture my friend is indeed A BIG SECRET!!! And
again we read in Matthew 24:36, “But of that day and hour knoweth no
man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
Only a Pre-tribulation Rapture Focuses On Jesus Himself
Beware of the shallow psuedo-scholarship of this apostate generation. Remember, the purpose of all Bible prophecy is to testify of Jesus. Revelation 19:10, “...worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” The Rapture is all about the great and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, JESUS CHRIST!!! The Rapture is not about the appearance of the Antichrist, nor is it about the Tribulation, nor is it about God's wrath being poured out upon the wicked world; but rather, the Rapture is all about the return of MY DEAR SAVIOR JESUS!!!
All of these prost-tribulation false
prophets, and pre-wrath heretics are failing to focus on the Lord Jesus
Christ. The entire purpose behind a sudden, unpredictable, return of
Christ is so that each and every believer will live accordingly, on their
toes (so-to-speak), laboring to preach the gospel, walking in the Spirit,
praying and abiding in the Scriptures, watching and waiting for the Lord's
imminent return. Mark 13:36-37, “Lest coming suddenly he find you
sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”
A “Falling Away” Must Happen First
In the following Scriptures, we read the term “a falling away” . . .
The Greek meaning for this phrase is “a departure.” I believe that this term refers to the departure of the Saints. The reason is because the context of the surrounding Scripture passage tells us, “BE NOT SOON SHAKEN IN MIND, OR BE TROUBLED.” What should we not be troubled about? Verse 1 tells us that this issue concerns the “COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.” Now if this Scripture is telling us that the Lord will not return until the world goes into total apostasy, then this passage is not very helpful or comforting, because it would be highly susceptible to speculation. Many people thought during the days of the Roman Empire, when Julius Caesar mercilessly murdered 430,000 German tribesman (see, KILLING JESUS, by Bill O'Reilly) that the end was near. Many people thought World Wars I and II were the end. If however, this Scripture passage is referring to the departure (FALLING AWAY) of the saints, then that is very clear-cut and unmistakable.
Certainly this is not the strongest evidence of the Pre-tribulation Rapture, but it Some people believe that this term refers to a departure from law and order, i.e., anarchy! These are the folks who believe in a Postribulation Rapture. Of course, this is not the PLAIN teaching of the Bible. Although the anarchy theory sounds very plausible, it is not very practical because history is filled with anarchy, rebellion and lawlessness. Dr. Jack Hyles explains this historical fact in his awesome MP3 sermon, WHY THE ANTICHRIST MUST COME SOON!
In addition, I will show you further Scriptures in a moment that overwhelmingly support the departure of the saints prior to the Tribulation Period (i.e., the 7-year time between the Rapture and the millennial reign of Christ from Jerusalem). So, I could just as easily use the term "falling away" (or the departure), but the term "Rapture" DOES justice to the overwhelming amount of Biblical evidence in support of a Rapture of the saints (i.e., when all the saints shall all be caught up together in the clouds to be with Jesus).
Here is an excellent exegesis of the much debated phrase “falling away” from 2nd Thessalonians 2:2 by Dr. Max D. Younce...
Clearly, the “falling away” (verse 2) refers to “our gathering together unto him” (verse 1).
One of the best statements I ever read was the following statement by Dr. John R. Rice, “The best way to interpret the Bible is not to interpret it at all.” I like that. So often people make the MISTAKE of trying to find things in the Bible that God didn't put there. We are commanded to “search the Scriptures” (John 5:39); however, we must not search for what is not there. It is critically important that we apply wisdom when studying the Bible. How do we do this? By taking the Bible at face value unless it says otherwise. The Book of Revelation does entail much symbolism, but the Bible CLEARLY indicates the meaning. Many false doctrines have been constructed by ignorant and unlearned men who are unskilled at dividing the truth...
How do you “rightly divide“ the Word of God? By cross-referencing the Bible, i.e., comparing Scripture with Scripture. Correct Bible exegesis means to compare one truth to another and never take any Scripture outside of the contextual agreement of all the other Scriptures in the Bible as a whole.
As an example: Mark 16:16 says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” Many people (including some preachers) foolishly believe that a person MUST be water baptized to be saved. A quick cross-reference over to 1st Corinthians 1:17 would reveal otherwise. Paul said, “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” In believing we are justified IN GOD'S EYES by faith; but in water baptism we are justified IN THE EYES OF MEN by our works. Likewise, Paul speaks of the ROOT of the believer's faith in Romans, being justified IN GOD'S EYES by faith alone (Romans 4:5-6); whereas James speaks of the FRUIT of the believer's faith, being justified by works IN THE EYES OF MEN (James 2:17-24).
John 4:2 says that Jesus didn't water baptize anyone; but His disciples did instead. If baptism were required by God for salvation, do you think Jesus and the Apostle Paul would have left it to someone else? There is no Biblical record of the woman at the well getting water baptized in John chapter 4, nor did Jesus ever tell her to go get water baptized.
The Apostle Paul clearly said that Jesus did NOT send him to baptize anyone. No one in the Old Testament was ever water baptized. The repentant thief on the cross wasn't water baptized. Clearly, water baptism is NOT essential to salvation as some false churches errantly require today. Do you now see the importance of cross-referencing the Bible? I could show you dozens and dozens of such examples of false doctrines which result from failure to compare Scripture with Scripture. So, never base a doctrine upon a a single Scripture passage without taking into consideration the entire scope of the Scriptures. Ask the Holy Spirit of God to guide you...
Let the Holy Spirit be your guide, and He'll lead you around the minefields of heresy. Of course, you CANNOT have the Holy Spirit to guide you unless you are a born-again believer. If you have never accepted Christ as your personal Saviour, then please do so now. You need HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS!
Having laid the groundwork, I would like to share with you some thoughts concerning the Rapture. There's so much garbage (i.e., doctrinal heresy) on the internet today. I am saddened that America's churches have been so lax in this needy area of preaching the truth in cyberspace. Far more people are surfing the internet than attending church these days, and you can't blame them in view of the apostate condition of Christianity today. Jesus said that the unsaved in His generation were wiser than the saved, “...for the children of this world are in their generation wiser than the children of light” (Luke 16:8). And so it is today. Let us be diligent as believers in these Last Days—to contend for the Biblical faith, to stand against the evils of our time, to walk with Jesus and to aggressively go soulwinning to get people saved.
Read what Evangelist Billy Sunday said in his classic sermon, “The Second Coming Of Christ”...
Clearly, Billy Sunday concluded and taught a
The Rapture and Christ's Second Coming Cannot Happen Together
Pastor Steve Anderson in Arizona is by far the biggest critic of the Biblical pretribulation Rapture. Also, Dr. Kent Hovind has recently changed his beliefs, now denying the pretribulation Rapture which he previously believed for 38-years. Pastor Anderson teaches a postribulation Rapture in his film titled, “AFTER THE TRIBULATION”; but then flip flops in his sequel titled “THE BOOK OF REVELATION,” now teaching that the Rapture occurs 75-days after the Abomination Of Desolation (half way, or 3 1/2 years through the Tribulation). This latter view is commonly called the “PRE-WRATH” Rapture. This is the same heresy that Dr. Roland Rasmussen believed and taught.
I greatly admire investigative author and Christian, Mark Dice, and I highly recommend his cool videos exposing the Illuminati; BUT, Mark foolishly denies the pretribulation Rapture and you need to be aware of this. It appears that Radio host Alex Jones, Pastor Steve Anderson and others in their circle of friends are all hellbent on destroying the Biblical doctrine of the pretribulation Rapture. Jesus plainly said that His return would be a surprise and without warning. Only a pretribulation Rapture (i.e., the imminent return of Christ at any moment) supports the Biblical element of surprise.
The Pre-Wrath view teaches that the saints will go through the events of the beginning of the Tribulation, but will then be raptured before God pours out His wrath upon the earth in THE GREAT TRIBULATION (the last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation). May I say, there is NOTHING in the Bible which supports anything other than a Pretribulation Rapture! Why? Simply because only a Pretribulation Rapture permits the element of surprise, which the Lord plainly taught, which I covered at the beginning of this article.
I heard Alex Jones and Steve Anderson say today on the February 1, 2013 Alex Jones Show that they aren't denying the Rapture. They sincerely think that the Rapture will occur AFTER the Tribulation period. And as I mentioned, then Steve Anderson changed his view, now claiming a Pre-Wrath view. The Bible disagrees with both views!
Clearly, the Rapture cannot happen at the same time as the Second Coming, because it wouldn't make any sense. Why would the saints be taken up (Rapture) at the same time that the saints are coming down (Second Coming)?
The Pre-Wrath view presents a different set of theological contradictions, removing the element of surprise completely. So why would Jesus command us all to WATCH (Mark 13:39)?
The Separating of the Tares from the Wheat
Please note that the following passage of Scripture is often misinterpreted. The Bible in this passage is NOT talking about the Rapture; but rather, the separation of the tares (unsaved) from the wheat (saved) at Christ's Second Coming...
Again, the preceding Bible passage is NOT speaking about the Rapture of the saints; but rather, the separating of the tares from the wheat at the Second Coming of Christ. This truth is evidenced by verses 38-39, likening these unsaved people (tares) with the unsaved who perished in Noah's time. Verse 42 does not refer to Christians by use of the words “your Lord.” Jesus is the Lord of all humanity. Philippians 2:9-11 teaches that every human being will ultimately bow their knee and confess with their tongue that Jesus is Lord, then God will cast the unbelieving into the Lake of Fire forever.
Note that in my early years as a believer that I used to believe that the “two men in the field” and the “two women grinding at the mill” referred to the Rapture. I believed this simply because that is what I had always been taught in Sunday School and church. However, it is now clear to me that the tares (unsaved) are removed and not the wheat (saved). Matthew 13:40 confirms that the tares are the unsaved being removed from the earth, and not the righteous (wheat). Matthew 13:40, “As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.”
Clearly this is a completely different and separate event than the Rapture, when the saints are removed instead. It would be silly to conclude that BOTH events happen at the Second Coming of Christ (that is, at the same time). It makes much more sense that the Rapture will happen BEFORE the 7-year Tribulation, and then the separation of the tares from the wheat will happen AFTER the Tribulation.
Now here's my point and the PROOF of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture: If the Rapture happens AFTER the 7-year Tribulation period, then the tares will be taken at the same time as the Rapture of the saints, which makes absolutely no sense. If God Raptures the saints at the time of His Second Coming (i.e., a Post-Tribulation Rapture), then what would be the purpose of separating the tares from the wheat? The Bible plainly teaches that the separating of the tares from the wheat is NOT the Rapture. The Rapture is when the saints are “CAUGHT UP” (1st Thessalonians 4:17). In sharp contrast, at the onset of Christ's Millennial reign, God is going to separate the wicked (tares) from the wheat (righteous)...
God is going to remove the wicked! Clearly this passage of Scripture does NOT refer to the Rapture. So why would God Rapture the righteous and then separate the wicked tares from the righteous wheat all at the same time as the Second Coming of Christ? How could this even be possible? So if the Rapture follows the Tribulation, then God would have to remove the righteous and the wicked, so there'd be NO ONE LEFT! Remember the film series called, “LEFT BEHIND?” Well what would be the purpose of Rapturing the saints and leaving the wicked behind if Christ is simultaneously returning to set up His Kingdom? If you think this through, it is so obvious that a Post-Tribulation Rapture is impossible, ridiculous and totally unbiblical. Honestly, the Post-Tribulation crowd are comical and woefully ignorant of the Bible.
Now a Pre-Tribulation Rapture makes perfect
sense, because the unsaved wicked are left behind at the Rapture to suffer
through the 7-year Tribulation which follows. That makes sense! That's
what the Bible teaches! Alex Jones said on his February 1, 2013 show that
“I know deception from the truth... anybody who has discernment would be
freaking out over this” (i.e., a Pre-Tribulation Rapture). If you logic
through the facts that I just gave you from the Bible, you can only
conclude a Pre-Tribulation Rapture. The tares will be separated from the
wheat at the END of the 7-year Tribulation when the Lord returns at the
Second Coming. After the Battle Of Armageddon the tares will be separated
from the wheat. The wheat (righteous) left behind are those people who
will be saved during the Tribulation period. They will enter into the
millennial Kingdom when Christ shall reign from Jerusalem over the entire
Saints Receive A Body Fashioned Like Unto The Lord's
All Christians will be changed at the Rapture (1st Corinthians 15:52). Our sinful earthly bodies will be changed into incorruptible, eternal bodies. What a day that will be! No more neck pain from my herniated disks! We will be changed in less than a second...
The next great prophetic event on God's calendar is the blessed Rapture of the saints from the earth. 1st Corinthians 15:52, “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. Philippians 3:20-21, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”
The following Verse is one of my favorites in the whole Bible...
No one will ever ruin our day again. No more insults, no more gossip, no more bullies, no more mean people, no more rude remarks, no more jealous coworkers. Amen! Let's face it, many people are cold-hearted and insensitive, especially towards tender-hearted people. Tender-hearted people don't mix well with Cold-hearted people. Jesus foretold in Matthew 24:12 of the days when many people would become cold-hearted because of iniquity (Greek, "injustice"). We see this much today. With all the blatant crimes being committed by the U.S. government—the illegal war in Iraq, the theft of trillions-of-dollars of taxpayer money, our nations borders deliberately being unguarded, a Communist president, et cetera—many Americans have become angry, tired and thin-skinned. It's a rat-race in America.
Here is an easy way to remember the rapture as taught by the faithful man of God, Dr. Jack Hyles:
I've never heard it said any simpler than that. Jesus will come again at the Rapture FOR His own (i.e., for all the Saints throughout history). The dead in Christ shall be raised first and then Christians who are alive will be changed. Personally, I do not believe that the entire Rapture will occur in less than a second. I believe that the Bible is teaching that we as INDIVIDUALS will be changed in less than a second. The trumpet, voice of the archangel, raising of the dead first, and then the living, may be a significantly longer time. Howbeit, we know that we WILL BE CHANGED in the twinkling of an eye.
Jude 1:14 says, "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints." The Lord will return with tens-of-thousands of His saints at the Second Coming. This event occurs 7-years AFTER the Rapture of the Saints. In order for us to return WITH the Lord, we have to first be WITH the Lord. This is further evidence of a Pretribulation Rapture.
Again, an easy way to remember this is:
Clearly, we will be with the Lord when he returns at the Second Coming.
It is clear from the following passage of Scripture that the Lord is returning FOR His saints at the Rapture...
In contrast, the Lord will be
returning WITH His own at the end of the Tribulation period, to
reign from Jerusalem as King over the earth (Isaiah 24:23; Micah
4:7). 2nd Thessalonians 2:3 clearly states that there must first
come... "a falling away" before the Antichrist will be revealed. I
believe these words, "a falling away," refer to the Rapture when the
Saints are "caught away" from the earth. If we accept the Word
of God at face value, I cannot see how anyone can conclude anything but
a Pretribulation Rapture.
Imminent Return Of Christ Intended To Keep Believers On Their Toes
The whole purpose of the Bible not announcing WHEN the Lord will return is to maintain the element of surprise. Luke 12:37 and 39-40 “Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching ... And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” In total disregard for the imminent and sudden return of Jesus Christ, Pastor Steve Anderson foolishly states...
To say that Jesus' return is not imminent is heresy. To say that Jesus cannot return immediately and suddenly without warning is to totally contradict the Bible. The whole idea behind “secrecy” is to keep believers on our toes. Anderson plainly rebukes the idea of a “secret Rapture,” but this is the plain and bold teaching of the Word of God. Mark 13:32, “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Could the Bible be any plainer? After the Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 9:27 and 12:11 - the event when the Antichrist claims to be God from the temple in Jerusalem) it will be exact 3 1/2 years until Christ's Second Coming. Yet, Jesus said that NO MAN KNOWETH when He shall return, which plainly indicates the Rapture...
This clearly CANNOT refer to Christ's Second Coming because the TIMING of these events can easily be known. If the Lord cannot return at any time at the Rapture as Brother Anderson teaches, then what would be the purpose to “WATCH?” Obviously, there would be no reason nor motivation to watch. If all the horrific events of the Tribulation must happen first, then it will be quite clear to Christians who are watching WHEN the Lord will return.
Here are some helpful words from the great man of God, author of over 200 books and mighty evangelist, Dr. John R. Rice (1895-1980) concerning the PRETRIBULATION Rapture...
THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION
Read the Book of Revelation and all the horrible things which are going to happen during the 7-Year Tribulation (Revelation Chapters 6-13). One can only come to the logical conclusion that such events WOULD be a definite giveaway concerning the time when the Lord is going to return. Daniel prophesied concerned an event known as THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION... "And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days" (Daniel 9:27 and 12:11; see also Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14).
The Bible teaches that 3 1/2 years of time will follow this blasphemous act by the Antichrist, which means that everyone who understood the Bible would know EXACTLY when Jesus Christ would return. This goes 100% contrary to the plain statement of Jesus in Mark 13:33, "Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is." This is strong evidence in support of a Pretribulation Rapture.
The events prophesied to
occur in the 7-year Tribulation period are extremely SPECIFIC. Yet,
the Bible plainly states repeatedly that the Lord will return as a “thief
in the night” (1st Thessalonians 5:2).
A Post-Tribulation Or Mid-Tribulation Rapture is Illogical
The Bible clearly teaches that there will be a judgment for all believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ (2nd Corinthians 5:10). The Bible also teaches that there will be the Marriage Supper of the Lamb for all believers (Revelation 19:9). If the Rapture isn't going to happen until DURING or AFTER the Tribulation, then when do these events occur?
A Post-Tribulation Rapture theory creates a serious dilemma in that there will be no time for the Judgment Seat of Christ nor the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. It is logical that the Rapture must occur BEFORE the Tribulation; and the Tribulation must occur BEFORE the Millennial reign of Christ from Jerusalem.
What about a “Split Rapture”?
Though I greatly admire him, Pastor J. Vernon McGee believed in a “split rapture.” Pastor McGee was a Presbyterian minister for many decades, faithfully serving the Lord. Nevertheless, there is no such teaching of a “split rapture” found in the Bible. Pastor McGee taught that ONLY the New Testament saints would be raptured at the beginning of the Tribulation, and then the Old Testament saints would be raptured after the Tribulation.
Again, I find no such teaching in the Bible. We are taught in 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18 that the “dead in Christ” would be raised first. Well, the Old Testament saints are all dead (except Enoch and Elijah who apparently never died a physical death). They will more than likely be the two prophets slain in Revelation. Hebrews 9:27 declares that all men must die... "It is appointed unto men once to die."
Thus, Old Testament saints will be raised up at the Rapture when Jesus returns FOR His own before the Tribulation. There is no reason to believe that Old Testament saints will be raised up at a different resurrection than New Testament saints. Revelation 20:6 plainly states... “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power...” The FIRST resurrection is for all believers. The SECOND resurrection is only for the unsaved, the wicked (Revelation 20:11-15).
There is nothing Biblical about a split-rapture theory.
The following Scripture speaks of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ...
This will be at the Second Coming when Jesus returns WITH His saints and angels to fight the Battle of Armageddon in the valley of Megiddo (in Palestine). This is in sharp contrast to all the other Scriptures about the trumpet, the voice of the archangel, being changed in the twinkling of an eye and meeting in the clouds. Clearly we are looking at two separate events here; namely, the Rapture versus the Second Coming. A Postribulation position places BOTH events as happening simultaneously. This is illogical.
If the Postribulation theory holds true, then the Judgment Seat of Christ, Marriage Supper of the Lamb, Battle of Armageddon, Judgment of the Nations, and other prophecies would all have to occur simultaneously, which makes no sense at all. Why would believers be Raptured into the clouds to meet with the Lord just to turn around and come right back to the earth? It makes much more sense to accept the Bible as literal, and conclude that the Rapture of the Church will occur 7-years prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ to the earth.
At the Second Coming Jesus will return to put down the Antichrist, judge the nations, and then establish His Millennial Kingdom to reign upon the earth for 1,000 years. What a time that will be!!! It is clear to me, and I think to any honest Bible student, that the events surrounding the Rapture versus the Second Coming are so distinct and varied that it would be impossible to conclude anything other than a Pretribulation Rapture.
According to 2nd Thessalonians 2:6-9, the Antichrist will not be revealed until the Church (i.e., the light of this world; Matthew 5:14, "Ye are the light of the world...") is removed...
Although there is controversy as to what the words "he who now letteth will let" means, I think the obvious interpretation is clear. In Matthew 5:14 Jesus plainly taught that believers are "the light of the world." Jesus is the Light (John 8:12) and it is Christ in our heart that shines in this dark and dreary world of sin and hate. Without Christians preaching the Word and fighting against sin, this world would quickly plunder into unimaginable wickedness. In order for the Antichrist to complete his New World Order, i.e., a Global Godless Totalitarian Communist Police State, led by Satan himself, the Church must be removed from the world.
At the Rapture, the Body of Christ (i.e., the Church) will be "caught away" from this world. At that time, the Antichrist will have NO OPPOSITION from people like me with websites exposing Satanism and every other form of debauchery. When the Church is gone, the Devil is going to have a heyday. Christians are a monkey-wrench for the New World Order. We really mess things up for them. We will never accept homosexuality, same-sex marriage, abortion, microchip implants, Communism, witchcraft, et cetera. We will not accept the Devil.
The world follows Satan because they are
his children. But we as Christians are a peculiar bunch,
zealous about good works, and follow only the LORD JESUS CHRIST. We are a big obstacle for the
Order. The true Church is like a fierce pitbull guarding watch
against lies, evil and the Devil. God is going to remove us from the world
as part of His divine sovereign plan, so the Tribulation can happen,
when Israel will be purged in preparation to receive her King and the
inhabitants of the earth will be judged for their wickedness.
Further Evidence of a Pretribulation Rapture
God will NOT allow the Church to go through the Tribulation Period. It will be a time of atrocities as the world has never known! God wouldn't destroy the wicked in Noah's day until Noah and his family were all safely aboard the ark. Not one drop of rain fell until Noah and his family were on the ark, and God had shut the door. Afterwards, the rains fell and the wicked were utterly destroyed. The same is true of Lot and his family. Although Lot was a backslidden believer, he was nevertheless a “just” man, that is, a righteous man (2nd Peter 2:7,8).
We read in Genesis 19:22, “Haste thee, escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come thither.” These words were spoken by the angel whom God had sent to reign down fire and brimstone upon Sodom and Gomorrah. No judgment could fall upon Sodom, until Lot and his family were removed. Likewise, the Church will be Translated (Raptured) away from this sin-cursed world before the Tribulation.
The "word of my patience" in Revelation 3:10 is the Word of God. Here we have God's promise that because we have kept HIS WORD concerning salvation, i.e., because we have OBEYED the Gospel, He will keep us "from the hour of temptation" (i.e., the Tribulation Period). This seven-year period of tribulation is referred to in the Old Testament as The Time of Jacob's Trouble in Jeremiah 30:7-11...
It will be when the Church is removed from the earth (i.e., after the Rapture) that God will again recognize the nation Israel in a special covenant relationship with Himself. During the Great Tribulation, a remnant out of Israel will repent and turn to their Messiah. They will become His witnesses (Revelation 7:3-8). Thus, the time of Jacob's trouble will cause many Israelites to turn to the God of the Bible. We read in Matthew 24:14 concerning the Tribulation Period, "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come."
We read in
Revelation 7:4 who the 144,000 are going to be ... "And I heard the number
of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four
thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel." The
144,000 will be Jewish soulwinners! These are the preachers spoken of in
Matthew 24:14. They will win multitudes of lost sinners to the Lord
(Revelation 7:9). As a result, many of them will be martyred (Revelation
THE END OF DAYS
The first 3 1/2 years of the tribulation are going to be a time of peace, when the False Prophet and the Antichrist will greatly influence the masses using signs and lying wonders (2nd Thessalonians 2:9). 2nd Thessalonians 2:10 tells us that the masses of the earth will eagerly follow the Antichrist because they loved not the truth that they might be saved... "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved." The world will worship the Beast, the wicked Devil himself, just as they do innumerable Rock stars today. The Antichrist will very likely be a musical Rock star prior to his ascension to power.
As mentioned earlier, halfway through the Tribulation Period the Antichrist will commit what the Bible terms "The Abomination of Desolation" (Matthew 24:15). The Antichrist will claim to be god and require worship from his followers. At this point will begin what the Bible terms, GREAT TRIBULATION... "For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be" (Matthew 24:21).
The last 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation will be a time of woe that this world has never known... "Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it" (Jeremiah 30:7). A meteorite will strike the earth... "And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter [poison]" (Revelation 8:11). One-third of all forests and crops will burn (Revelation 8:7). The oceans and rivers will be turned to blood (Revelation 8:8; 16:4).
The waters will be poisoned, the forests will be burned, bloodthirsty creatures from Hell (perhaps genetic mutants; Revelation 9:1-11) will torment mankind... "And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months" (Revelation 9:10). The blood from war will flow up to the horse's bridles (Revelation 14:20). Billions of people will be killed. This is what will happen in the Great Tribulation. Woe unto them!
I've shared a little prophecy with you here. If you really want to learn more about this subject, go online and buy the book "Bible Prophecy" by Oliver B. Greene. It is a masterpiece.
Don't ever let anyone shake your faith in the simple and plain teachings of the Bible. God said what He meant and meant what He said. The Bible teaches a Pretribulation Rapture.
BEWARE “After The Tribulation” Film HERESY!