Chapter 9 -
What about the Rapture? When will it happen?
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The timing and explanation of what the Rapture is according to scripture.
The rapture is the gathering up of God's people when He returns to get those who
love Him and take them to be with Him in Heaven. There are many different ideas
regarding the Rapture and when it will happen. Many people teach that it will
happen before the final seven years begins. Some teach that it will happen
before the Great Tribulation, somewhere in the middle of the final seven years.
A few teach that the rapture will take place at the end of the tribulation when
Jesus Christ returns at the battle of Armageddon.
Let’s take a look at the scriptures.
This is discussed in more detail below, but let's list the things Jesus says in Matt 24:
Matt 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation,
spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
... 21 then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
... 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened,
and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,
and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And THEN (Mark 13:27) he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather
together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Jesus said, point blank, it would be after the Tribulation, which follows the Abomination of Desolation, that He comes in the clouds with power and glory and gathers His elect.
And Paul, in 2 Thess, shows us that day shall not come (our gathering together unto Him), except the Antichrist be revealed at the
abomination of desolation, where he sits in the temple claiming to be god!
Both of these scriptures are quoted in full below, but I list them here at the start just to point out the both Jesus and Paul give us a
very clear timeline of when we can expect the gathering of the saints (the rapture). It's after the Abomination of Desolation.
Paul gives us an explanation of what the Abomination of Desolation is in 2 Thess (discussed in more detail below), but let's start
with a couple scriptures that show the time of the Abomination of Desolation, and the Tribulation and what happens during that period of time...
Dan 11:31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the
sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall
place the abomination that maketh desolate. 32 And such as do wickedly against
the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their
God shall be strong, and do exploits. 33 And they that understand among the
people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by
captivity, and by spoil, many days.
This scripture is talking about the event that happens at the halfway point of
the final seven years (the Abomination of Desolation). It says; the people that do know their God shall be
strong and do exploits. And they that understand among the people shall instruct
many. This is a very strong indication that we will be here at that event. We
will be strong and we will instruct many. We will be able to help people find
God at the very last! Some of us shall fall during this time. God tells us that
those who die in the service of Christ will be blessed!
Dan 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed
against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the
saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the
The “same horn” is the horn that symbolizes the Antichrist. He will make war
with the saints (us) and prevail against them until the Ancient of days came.
This is Jesus Christ returning at the seventh trumpet at the end of the seven
years. Again, it looks an awful lot like we will be here, and this time right up
to the end.
Dan 7:25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear
out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they
shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Again, we see that he (the Antichrist) will wear out the saints, and that we
shall be given into his hand for 3.5 years, which is the length of time that the
Antichrist will rule the world. This tells us that the saints of God will
definitely be around during the reign of the Antichrist.
Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given
unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of
Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither
his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their
hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest
of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the
Notice that it says, "this is the first resurrection"? This event marks
the beginning of the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ after the
tribulation. If this is the first resurrection, then it's pretty obvious that
there isn't another rapture that happens sometime before this. And, John saw the
souls of them that died for Jesus and did not take the mark of the beast or
worship him. If we aren’t here during the end of the seven years when the mark
of the beast is implemented, there would be no one who would fit this
Rev 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to
overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and
nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are
not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the
He (the Antichrist) will make war with the saints and all that dwell on the
earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life. Those
who know God have their names written in the book of life. Again, looks an awful
lot like we’re here during the reign of the Antichrist.
2 Thess 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 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.
3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come,
except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son
of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God,
or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing
himself that he is God.
That day, the day Christ returns, will not come until after the antichrist is
revealed. This event (the abomination of desolation where the antichrist is
revealed) does not happen until half way through the final seven years.
What is the abomination of Desolation? - Click here to see
1 Cor 15:51 Behold, I shew 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
trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible,
and we shall be changed.
Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall
begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared
to his servants the prophets.
Paul tells us that the dead will be raised and that we will be changed at the
sound of the last trumpet. There isn't anyone who will argue the fact that the
last trumpet, the 7th trumpet, is the battle of Armageddon where Jesus returns
to put down the governments of man and set up His kingdom at the end of the
tribulation. This passage tells us without a doubt that the rapture will
be at the end of the tribulation.
And, notice how Revelation 10 shows us
that the sounding of the Last Trumpet, the 7th Trumpet, ends the Mystery of God?
1 Tim 3:16 Tells us that the mystery is that God was manifest in the flesh! It's
the identity of Jesus that is the mystery of God. So, when Jesus is revealed
as He appears in the sky to gather His saints, the mystery is finished.
1 Thess 4:16 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: 17 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.
The Lord shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the trumpet of God, and
the dead shall rise first and then we that are still alive will be caught up
with them together in the clouds. Is there another trumpet that brings the
rapture? Not that I've ever read in the bible. This, again, is the 7th trumpet.
Matt 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken
of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him
understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let
him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And
woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20
But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of
the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should
be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those
days shall be shortened. 23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is
Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and
false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it
were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. 25 Behold, I have told you
before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go
not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not. 27 For as the
lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also
the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will
the eagles be gathered together. 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those
days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the
stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all
the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the
clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels
with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from
the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Except for the elect’s sake (God’s people) those days shall be shortened.
Immediately after the tribulation… they shall see the Son of man coming in the
clouds of heaven… and he shall send his angels to gather together his elect from
everywhere. Those days shall be shortened for our sake and when Christ returns
at the sound of a trumpet (the seventh trumpet at the end of the tribulation) we
will be gathered to Him! This passage is definitely telling us that it’s
after the tribulation (verses 29 - 31) that we are gathered to the Lord!
The Day of the Lord in Isaiah:
The Day of the Lord in Joel:
The Day of the Lord in Matthew 24:
The day of the Lord comes immediately after the tribulation and will follow the sun, moon and stars darkening... The Sixth Seal, Seventh Trumpet, Seventh Vial, Matt 24 and Ezekiel 38 are
all referring to this same point in time! See Chapter 10 (the next chapter) for more information.
Rev 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any
man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in
his hand, 10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is
poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be
tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the
presence of the Lamb: 11 And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever
and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his
image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. 12 Here is the patience of
the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of
God tells us to be patient and have faith when the mark of the beast is
implemented. Why would we need this warning if we aren’t here?
As much as I’d like to skip the tribulation, we will have to endure it.
Without the Holy Spirit, I imagine it will be impossible. Thank the Lord for His
Spirit that lives within those who follow Him!
John 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because
it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with
you, and shall be in you
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Thank Jesus for not leaving us alone! I think we will need His strength!
Most of the false prophecy doctrine contains at least some partial preterist views, which leads
people to think that all or part of prophecy concerning the Last Day have already
come to pass, but this is easily proven wrong with scripture.
Click here for a Biblical look at the Preterist Views
Who will be left behind?
There is a fictional book series called Left Behind that has become very popular
recently and has even become a movie series. In this series, some of the people
that are left behind realize that they missed the rapture and turn to God. They
begin a crusade called the Tribulation Force to try and win over the other
remaining people. While this is a great story, it is completely fictional and
it will not happen. We know that the rapture will happen at the end of the
final seven years and that it happens at the time of the Second Coming of Jesus
Christ which is at the time of the Battle of Armageddon. Shortly after this, God
sets up His kingdom on earth and removes all earthly governments. There will be
no second chances. When God returns he is not coming for everyone, he will
gather only His church to Him. The dead will rise first and those who are alive
and remain will be changed in the twinkling of an eye from mortal to immortal
and will be caught up to Jesus in the sky. None of those who remain will be part
of the true church. God will then wipe out the armies coming down on Israel at
Armageddon and will unleash His wrath upon the earth. Many, many people will die
during this short period of time. Remember that this is the first resurrection
and that the second resurrection, found in the end of Revelation 20 is the
judgment of those who did not have the Holy Spirit, were not part of the true
church, and did not follow Christ.
We do not want to be left behind!
Who will suffer Great Tribulation?
Another point I have discovered in my studies, is that the Great Tribulation
isn’t going to necessarily be for the “world”, but for the Saints of God. Take a
look at these scriptures:
Luke 17:26 And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days
of the Son of man. 27 They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were
given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood
came, and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot;
they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 29
But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from
heaven, and destroyed them all. 30 Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son
of man is revealed.
Jesus said in Luke above that His day, the day He returns, would be as the days
of Lot and Noah. When destruction came on the world at the flood and at Sodom
and Gomorrah, the only people that had “tribulation” were the men of God. Lot
was persecuted and so was Noah, by the people who did not believe. The wrath of
God was poured out on the other people after God saved His faithful. The world
today is just like it was before the flood and before Sodom and Gomorrah
destruction. The wrath of God will be poured out only after He has saved His
faithful, but the time of trouble called the Great Tribulation will be trouble
for the saints, not the rest of the world. This is discussed in detail in
chapter 10 of this book.
1 Thess 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that
I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so
cometh as a thief in the night. 3 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. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that
day should overtake you as a thief.
The Lord will come as a thief in the night, but only to those in darkness, not
to those who know the Lord. They shall say, “Peace and Safety”, just as the
world was reveling in abandon before the flood and Sodom and Gomorrah. What is
the call of the New World Order? Peace and Safety!
Rev 7:13 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
Those that come out of great tribulation in this passage are the Saints of God.
Wait a minute! Does that mean we will suffer the wrath of God!?
The great tribulation is the wrath of Satan, not the wrath of God. The
wrath of God is the Vials (Rev 15:1 and Rev 16:1)
And, God specifically tells us that we will not suffer the wrath (of God) to
1 Thess 1:10 ...Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
Rom 5:8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet
sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood,
we shall be saved from wrath through him.
1 Thess 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ
One thing to note is that the first
Vial (Revelation 16:2) states that the mark of the Beast has already been
implemented. This is a great point on the timing since we can know from this
scripture that none of the Vials are poured out until after the mark of the
Beast in the later part of the final seven years. We also know that some of the
Seals and some of the Trumpets have already come to pass. This is another point
that helps us to understand that the timing of the Rapture is at the end of the reign of the Antichrist.
The devil will be cast to earth having great wrath for 3.5 years, the last half
of the final week of years. This 3.5 years will be the great tribulation.
It will be Satans wrath as he knows his time is very short. (Revelation 12)
Please see Chapters 8 and 10 (the previous chapter and the chapter following
this one) for more information on this.
If you're still uncertain, please take a look at the following list
comparing scriptures where God returns:
Daniel 2, 7, 8, 11, 12
2:34-35 – The last world dominating power is the iron mingled with clay and will
be in power when Jesus returns.
7:8-12 – The four kings will be on the earth when Jesus returns.
8:25 – The Antichrist will cause craft to prosper, by peace will destroy many of
Gods people, will stand up to Christ when He returns, but shall be broken
11:21 through 12:1 – The antichrist will establish himself but shall come to his
end, and at that time there will be a time of trouble such as never was, and at
that time the people of God will be delivered.
2 Thess 2:1-8
The coming of the Lord and our gathering to Him will not come until the
Antichrist is revealed by the Abomination of Desolation.
The Lord will consume him with a word.
His coming will be bright.
He comes with clouds.
Every eye shall see him.
Marriage supper of the Lamb.
Battle of Armageddon.
Jesus treads the wine press of the wrath of God as depicted also in Rev 14:20.
The Antichrist and the False Prophet are cast into the lake of fire.
Mount of Olives will cleave in half.
Lord will come with all saints.
All nations gathered against Jerusalem (Battle of Armageddon).
The Lord shall fight against the nations (Battle of Armageddon).
The Lord shall roar out of Zion.
Harvest is ripe, day of Lord at hand.
Wrath of God, great shaking or earthquake, etc.
All nations gathered in valley of Jehoshaphat to war (Battle of Armageddon).
Ez 38 - 39
Verses 38:15-16; The Lord will bring the nations against Israel as a cloud to
cover the land (Battle of Armageddon).
This is the day of the Lord.
Wrath of God, great shaking or earthquake, etc.
All of these scriptures tell us the same things:
When the Lord returns it will be as the lighting flashes across the sky. It will
be with a shout, with the sound of the trumpet, with power and glory. Every eye
shall see Him.
It will be a surprise to the world as the Antichrist is ruling a one world
government and proclaiming peace and safety, then the Lord will come.
When He comes, the saints will be gathered to Him in the air, in the clouds.
Then we will see the wrath of God poured out on the world.
Then He will descend on the nations gathered against Israel and will wipe them
out and destroy the Antichrist.
When He touches down on the Mount of Olives, there will be an earthquake bigger
than the world has ever seen.
He will set up His kingdom and put down the leading nations and destroy Islam,
the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the last ruling one world government that the
Antichrist is using to rule the world (the iron mingled with clay of Daniel 2).
Jesus said He would raise up His people on the Last Day in John 6. Is there more than one Last Day?
Martha also, in John 11:24, said the resurrection would be at "the last day". Again, is there more than one Last Day?
Paul said it would be at the last trump in 1 Cor 15. Is there more than one last trump?
John, in Rev 20, says the "rest of the dead" lived not again until after the 1000 years, and that those that were beheaded for Christ were part of the first resurrection. This is specifically speaking of those who "had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands". The people who died during the tribulation were raised at the first resurrection. Is there somehow another first resurrection prior to the first one?
Matt 24:29-31 says it's immediately after the tribulation that the saints are gathered.
Rev 1 tells us that when Jesus comes in the clouds every eye shall see Him. There won't be any secret rapture. Every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him and ALL of the earth will wail because of Him. This is the event that finishes they Mystery of God. When Jesus is revealed at His second coming, they Mystery of God is finished because Jesus is the mystery that the world does not understand but will at that time realize. (1 Tim 3:16 and Revelation 10:7)
2 Thess tells us that the day of the Lord will not be until after the Antichrist is revealed. This event when the Antichrist is revealed will not be until the Abomination of Desolation in the middle of the last 7 years.
It is done... Rev 21:6, Rev 16:17, Ez 39:8
When the Lord returns, every eye shall see Him, and the plan of God for this age
will be done.
More information on The Last Day - Click here to see