1. This article which follows below
2. Our second article in the form of an email response to common objections to the church-in-tribulation.
3. And this EXCELLENT article by Brian O'Connell with short video and a graph in which the writer was shown the same revelation as ours.
Like many of you, I had read the books, listened to many prophecy teachers, and went along with the general consensus. Our old Pentecostal denomination was dominated by the PRE-TRIB Rapture teachings and later, our Evangelical church was regularly told the Lord was about to take us out of here any moment.
In 1998, for the first time, we prayerfully studied this subject from the scripture without any bias in favor of one position or another. This article is the result of the truth the Lord showed to us through individual prayerful study. Once seen, the truth became simple and obvious. We also have this article about the rapture, the resurrection, and some good questions from a reader. (it will open in a different window from this page)
Most Christians accept the majority opinion simply because of what we hear in our local church, or tradition, or because a popular author or media preacher promotes a teaching. Usually after conversion we naturaly tend to lock in on the teachings of those around us because we love, trust, and listen to our mentors.
This was our common experience and for years we simply went along with what they said without serious questioning and deep, personal study. Accordingly, this article addresses the question for you and me: not whether the church will be caught up (raptured) to be with the Lord but when?
Jesus plainly said He would return. In regard to that we have these positions which are the three most commonly held views of Christ’s return for his saints in Christendom:
1. Pre-tribulation rapture: The Church is removed 7 years before His return, at/or near the beginning of "The time of Jacob's trouble."
2. Middle of the tribulation rapture: The church is removed at the middle of the tribulation before the last three and a half years of God's wrath are poured out on the earth.
3. Post, or after the tribulation rapture. The Lord returns with the dead in Christ and gathers the remaining living saints in the air where Christ is as He returns visibly to the earth with His saints.
(Well, there is a fourth view, sort of. That is the "I don't care, what movie is on tonite?" view. But we won't rock that boat.)
All three views have many proponents.
All three views have what appears to be scriptural support. However, two or three views cannot be correct.
From a purely Biblical point, the word “rapture” is not in scripture as is baptism, repentance, and the death and resurrection of Jesus. Regarding the scriptural terms, “caught up” and “gathering,” the word “rapture” is commonly substituted. So permit me to use the both terms for the when will we be ‘caught up’ to be with the Lord question.
What follows is a series of texts that speak directly to the return of Christ and include important “clues” or details that accompany His return.
These will be our roadmap to Truth.
A Number of Texts Which speak of Christ’s Return:
1) Matthew 24: 29-31, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give light and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shaken. 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. And he shall send his angels with a great trumpet, and they shall gather the elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to another."
2) Acts 1:11 “ye men of Galilee, why stand ye looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was received up from you into heaven shall so come in like manner as ye beheld him going into heaven.” Vs. 8: And when he had said these things, as they were looking, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. (Note: this was the voice of the angel.)
3) Revelation 1:7 "Behold, He cometh with the clouds; and every eye shall see him and they also which pierced him,"
4) II Thess. 1:7 speaks to the troubled Gentile Christians "when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels…
5) II Thess. 2:1. "…The coming of our lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him", 3)let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, 8: And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming
6) Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 and the stars shall be falling from heaven, and the powers that are in the heavens shall be shaken. 26And then shall they see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. 27And then shall he send forth the angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
7) Luke 21:25And there shall be signs in sun and moon and stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, in perplexity for the roaring of the sea and the billows; 26 men fainting for fear, and for expectation of the things which are coming on the world: for the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. 27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads; because your redemption draweth nigh.
8) Jude 14: "and Enoch…prophesied…Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints".
9) Rev. 19:7-21. And I saw the heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and he that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteous he doth judge and make war Verse 14 speaks of "And the armies in heaven followed him
10) Psalms 50:3 Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him.
11) Zech. 14:15 …and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
12) Mt. 24: 27 For as the lightning cometh forth from the east, and is seen even unto the west; so shall be the coming of the Son of man.
13) Mt. 16:27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then shall he render unto every man according to his deeds.
14) Mt. 25:31 But when the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory:
15) looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; -Titus 2:14
16) Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. -John 11:24
17) 2Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
18) Job 14:12 So man lieth down and riseth not: Till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, Nor be roused out of their sleep.
19) 1Cor 15:51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not 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.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption
43 it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body)
20) 1Thess. 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also that are fallen asleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
21) verse 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we that are alive, that are left unto the coming of the Lord, shall in no wise precede them that are fallen asleep.
22) 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;
23) :17 then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
24) 2 Thessalonians 1:10 - When he shall come to be glorified in his saints
25) 1Cor. 15: 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (resurrection)
:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; AFTERWARDS they that are Christ`s, at his coming.
Using these passages for our roadmap, let us extract the obvious signs that accompany the rapture:
- There is resurrection (dead raised FIRST). #’s 1, 6, 18, 19, 20, 22, 25. (It is VERY important to note even the “pre-trib” rapture position includes the passage from 1Cor. 15:51 which includes the resurrection.)
- There are “clouds”: #’s 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 23.
- There is a trump: #’s 1, 19, 22
- He appears visibly: #’s 1,2,3,4,5,6, 7, 8, 12, 15
- He descends with a shout: 22
- There is a voice of an archangel: 2,,22
- There are angels present: 1,2,6,13, 14, 16, 22
- He comes in glory: 1, 6, 7,13, 14, 15, 19, 24
- He gathers saints as He returns: 1, 5, 6, 23
- He brings saints with Him: 8, 9, 11, 20, 23, 24
- The heavens shaken and pass away: 6,7, 17, 18
- There is a remnant who are alive on earth: 1, 2, 6, 7, 19, 21, 23
The two passages quoted most often in support of a pre-trib position are 1Cor. 15:51 and 1Thess. 4:16-17 in the previous list.
We realize there are other pre-trib scriptures alluded to, but these two passages are the “backbone” for the pre-trib view. In those two passages which speak of the catching up into the air of believing Christians, the “rapture”, we note these signs:
- From 1Cor 15: A last trumpet, the dead raised (resurrection), believers changed.
- From 1Thess. 4:14-17, the Lord descends from heaven with a shout, the trump of God, the dead raised, voice of the archangel, and clouds.
Again, carefully note the above signs that accompany the belief in the pre-trib rapture.
Now, let’s compare those signs with the ones in the description Jesus gave His disciples in Mat. 24: 29-31:
29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall 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 on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send forth 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.
How simple it is. Jesus said clearly, “AFTER the tribulation of those days…”
His elect would see: Clouds, hear a great trumpet, the elect gathered from heaven and earth, and SEE Him coming back.
By the way, FIFTEEN other passages identify the church as the "elect".
(Rom. 8:33, 11:5/7 , Col. 3:12, 2Tim. 2:10, Titus 1:1, 1Pet. 1:2, 1Peter 2:6, 2Jn 1.1/13, etc.)
You see, when we put together numerous passages which describe the same event, we get a more panoramic view of when and how Christ returns and when we are caught up (whether alive or “asleep”).
Not to be over simplistic, we see the important detail of the mention of "clouds."
In Rev. 1:7 it says he returns "with the clouds", Jesus said in Matthew 24:30 he comes in "the clouds of heaven."
And the pre-trib rapture faction refers to the I Thess.4:17 text which says "then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up (rapture) together with them in the clouds…" as a pre-trib rapture verse.
Those clouds are at least partly identified as the host of heavenly witnesses: Heb. 12: ...we are compassed about by so great a cloud of witnesses..", the righteous saints being clothed in billowing fine linen.
These are "the dead in Christ", then the surviving remnant meet "together with them in the clouds".
If there is a pre or mid trib rapture, then:
- the trump sounds twice, the clouds appear with Him twice,
- the dead are raised twice,
- the voice of the archangel is heard twice,
- and the “elect” are caught up twice.
-Yet Christ is NOT seen, then later the exact same signs occurring when He IS seen.
When you examine some of the other passages such as 2Thess. 1:7 which was written AFTER the rapture passage in 1Thess. 4:17, it further refutes the pre-trib position.
1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels
2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him; (NOTE the scriptural order here).
Here we see the clues Jesus revealed from heaven, MIGHTY angels, coming of the Lord, a gathering unto him.
Notice, the Lord is revealed (seen), angels, AND we are “gathered” (raptured) unto Him. “Revealed” means “disclosure, manifestation, coming, be revealed. This is an exact match to numerous verses which also describe His VISIBLE return
Revelation 1:7 - Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him
Mat. 24: 30 ….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.
Acts 1:9-11 ….while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven
Titus 2: 13 looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
How can “the Blessed Hope” come for the church and every eye NOT see him? Why would Paul say “looking” if it is an invisible event?
The disciples SAW Him go UP into the clouds into heaven and the angel said He would return the same way, only the order and direction would be reversed. In order for there to be a pre or mid trib rapture, He must return twice, once invisibly for the church, then again for the rest of the world to see, but the same signs accompany both times so it is impossible.
II. The Resurrection and the Rapture
There is more firm evidence for the timing of the catching up (rapture) when you note closely the all-important timing of the resurrection which is mentioned in all the pre-trib and post trib scriptures. Just as there are clues that are associated with the rapture, likewise there are clues given which are associated with the resurrection.
Resurrection means, "rising from the dead" according to Strongs.
Some Scriptures that speak of the resurrection:
Job 14:12 So man lieth down and riseth not: Till the heavens be no more, they shall not awake, Nor be roused out of their sleep.
John 11:24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
1Cor. 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.
Rev.20:4… I saw the souls of them that had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as worshipped not the beast, neither his image, and received not the mark upon their forehead and upon their hand; and they lived, and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5: The rest of the dead lived not until the thousand years should be finished. This is the first resurrection.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: over these the second death hath no power;
Now we have here several passages including one from the “pre-trib” position (1Cor. 15:51-54), but we also have the important “resurrection” feature.
Notice in Job 14:12 the timing is when “…the heavens shall be no more”.
Let’s compare what the apostle Peter wrote in 2Peter 3:10-12
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall be dissolved with fervent heat, and the earth and the works that are therein shall be burned up. 11 Seeing that these things are thus all to be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy living and godliness, 12 looking for and earnestly desiring the coming of the day of God, by reason of which the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
(Back in verse 4 which precedes this, Peter mentions: “...Where is the promise of his coming?”)
Again, we summarize 2Peter “the promise of His coming” with the “heavens shall pass”, “dissolved”, Job the “heavens shall be no more”, “the first resurrection”, and the “coming of the Lord”.
If there is a pre or mid-trib rapture, then there is no earth or sky (heavens) during the tribulation, and the righteous martyrs and dead that perish in Christ during the tribulation cannot be partakers of the first resurrection in which the righteous dead are raised!
There are numerous verses which speak of the Day of Christ, Day of the Lord, and the promise of Christ’s return.
Notice in 2Thess. 2:1-8 the order:
1) Now we beseech you, brethren, touching the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him;
2) to the end that ye be not quickly shaken from your mind, nor yet be troubled, either by spirit, or by word, or by epistle as from us, as that the day of the Lord is just at hand;
3) let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be, except the falling away come first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition,
4 he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God.
5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
6 And now ye know that which restraineth, to the end that he may be revealed in his own season.
7 For the mystery of lawlessness doth already work: only there is one that restraineth now, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall be revealed the lawless one, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of his mouth, and bring to nought by the manifestation of his coming
Believers are admonished to have the patience to wait for the coming of the Lord:
James 5:8 "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh". Draweth nigh means simply: continuing to get closer to the time of his return.
Luke 12:37 "Blessed are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh, shall find watching."
John 14:3 “I will come again and receive you unto myself that where I am, ye may be also.”
WHERE WILL BELIEVERS BE?
Luke 21 is a straightforward declaration of WHERE believers will be at the time of his return:
:27 and they shall see the Son of Man coming
(Rev. 1:8 "he cometh with the clouds and every eye shall see him) in power and great glory
Back to Luke 21:28 And when these things come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh!" These are the same words used in James 5:8.
WHERE are the believers in that scripture?
His words match those which were written to the Thessalonians, II Peter 3, I Cor. 15, Jude, and Revelation, all of which were written to the churches.
Where are the living believers in I Thessalonians 1:10 and 4:
– On earth waiting for Jesus to come from heaven at his return!
So we read the Lord will return and that there will be a people of God looking for Him to return. In the body of Christ there is "neither Jew nor gentile" but the body of Christ is one body. -Eph. 2:16.
Sorry, but a pre-trib rapture won't fit unless you willfully choose to ignore the details of these passages and wrestle with them in order to get the believers evacuated out of here prior to the times of trouble and wrestle the last trump to the beginning of the tribulation. That is the equivalent of saying Christ comes back and raptures the church, but he doesn't come ALL the way back until he really comes back at the end.
What the scriptures are harmoniously saying is simply the Lord will return from heaven with a shout, with the trump of God. He is VISIBLY returning and we which are alive and remain will be caught up to be with the raised up dead in Christ, joining him in the clouds after being gathered by angels from the ends of the earth and heaven, and returning with Him to defeat the armies of the world in a glorious display of his power, majesty, and redemption! This takes place after the scriptural requirements are fulfilled.
Scriptural Pre-requisites to Christ's VISIBLE Return
1. The man of sin being revealed, the 7 years time of Jacob's trouble (the seventieth week of Daniel 9:24-27.)
2. The prince that shall come confirms a covenant for 1 week (seven years), and in the midst of that week (of 7 years) causes the oblation and sacrifice to cease. II Thess. Chapter 2.
3. There must be oblations and sacrifices being offered. (The Church is doing this now).
4. There must be a return and gathering of Jews to Palestine. (In process now.)
5. There must be a peace covenant between Israel and the new world order.
6. There must be antichrist sitting in the temple. (The church is the temple).
7. The Gospel must be preached into the whole world.
8. The times of the gentiles must be fulfilled.
9. The vials, bowls, seals, and trumpet judgements must occur
10. The mark of the beast.
11. The sun darkened and the moon not give its light.
12. The nations gathered for the battle of Armageddon.
13. The prophecies of Daniel unsealed.
14. The "abomination of Desolation" spoken of by Daniel is manifested.
III Pre-Trib Rapture points and rebuttals:
1. "Noah “floated above” God’s judgement": As a type, he survived by grace through the waters. This is an example of God preserving His people on planet earth during a time of judgment. Noah is a perfect type of the 7 year tribulation, plus 1 year of wrath, followed by his return to earth with a load of saved beasts, as Peter saw in Acts 10.
2."God wouldn’t let His bride get all mangled and brutalized!" It is already too late for the brutalized, crucified Christians of Communist China, the Sudan, Somalia , and most Moslem countries. There are in this century more martyrs for Christ in our time than ALL OF HISTORY COMBINED. Historicaly, God has brought a righteous remnant out though the refining fires of persecution.
3. Rev. 3:10 “I will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world… “Keep” means: to guard from loss/injury, keeping the eye upon, to note, or fulfill a command, hold fast preserve”. Did God preserve Noah in the ark, Daniel in the lions den, the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace in this way? Did He remove them out of the situation or did they go through the fire? The “hour” is scripturally different from the “seven days”-“seven times” time frame.
4. The "last trump" of I Cor. 15:52 really means the last trump in a series of trumps meaning to break camp. When you resort to this kind of scripture wrestling, ANYTHING can be added or mis-taught from scripture. It is a violation of scripture to "add to or take away from" God's Word, and this kind of reasoning is weak at best.
The "Last Trump" in the pre-trib evacuation will then be followed by the 7th angel trump in Revelation 11:15/18, so the last trump is not the "last trump" any more? Huh?? The last trump of Rev. 11:15 announces the return of Jesus Christ and His taking possession of the kingdoms of the earth- this fits perfect with I Cor 15:52 "last trump" referencing the return of Jesus Christ.
5. He will come secretly for the church like a thief in the night, that is, a non-visible secret return for his church a period of time before his visible return like a thief in the night to a predominant God-rejecting world.
A. This requires two returnings; one visible and one invisible. Yet there is NO scripture for two returnings.
B. He comes as a thief for the sleeping, un-watching, not for those who watch and pray:
1Thess 5: 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night .
1Thess. 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief: 6 so then let us not sleep, as do the rest, but let us watch and be sober.
6. Some say the 70th week of Daniel, the tribulation, is reserved for the Jew, "thy people", or natural Israel. There are other articles on this site which prove that "Daniel's people" are the remnant of spiritual Israel which is the church: "Even so there is at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace". Rom. 11:5 That Paul was referring to those of natural Israel who became part of the body of Christ is shown when he quoted Isaiah in Rom. 9:27 "...though the number of the children of Israel be of the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved." "At this present time" and "saved" can only mean those remnant Jews who were born again and became part of Christs body, the church.
7. God will take the church out and turn back to the Jew.
The great weakness of this position is that it attempts to re-divide the body of Christ in order to evacuate the church. The truth is, "in Christ" there is NO division, no distinction between Jew or gentile, the body is "ONE" in Christ.
Ephesians 213:22 says there is "one body," Romans 11 says we are grafted into the same tree
Rev. 7:9 speaks of those saved "of all nations, kindreds, people, and tongues" which are obviously tribulation saints on earth during the time of tribulation. How can we say then at the rapture God turns back to the Jew when there are unquestionably mixed Jew/gentile saints on earth after the supposed pre-trib rapture evacuation?
In other words, the dispensational pre-trib rapture view removes the Jew-gentile church in order for God to turn back to the Jew, then God turns right around during the tribulation and starts saving gentiles after He turns back to the Jew!
8. Jesus doesn't come back all the way, he just comes back near enough to evacuate the Christians before the 7 (or last 3.5) years.
If He does this, it still must take place with: A. The last trump, B. Clouds of heaven. C. A sudden disappearance of believers. D. a secret, invisible, "glorious" appearing to the church at the rapture in the clouds.
Yet, the angel who spoke to the disciples said plainly in Acts 1:11 "this same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven shall so come in the like manner as ye have seen him go!"
So the disciples who saw him go again are specifically told Jesus would be seen at his return, even to the same location on Mt.Olivet! The angel did not mention a pre-trib rapture prior to his return however.
9. The church is not mentioned in Revelation after chapter 4 when John was told to “come up hither” until Christ’s return in Revelation 19.
WHAT do we find mentioned?
By using the argument "the church" is not mentioned, we conveniently by-pass the words "saints" and "slain souls" which are mentioned. The prophet Daniel said the beast would "make war with the saints and overcome them". John said in Rev. 12:11 "they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto death."
The context is set in the events during the tribulation judgements. Rev.13:7 says "it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them…"
Wait, were not we told the saints had already been raptured in chapter 4 according to the pre-trib rapture folks that can't find the church from chapter 5 to chapter 19?
In many of the epistles, Paul addresses the saints which are in Rome, Ephesus, Corinth, etc.
But the pre-mid trib rapturists have to change the word “saints” into something different in order to support the position of no church saints on earth during the Tribulation.
In addition, Paul wrote of another man “caught up” into heaven and given visions exactly like what John wrote: “It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven …” -2Cor. 1:3
Also in Rev. 11:12, there is mention of the martyred witnesses being resurrected and caught up to heaven in a cloud in harmony with all the other passages that speak to both the timing of the resurrection and the mention of the "clouds". This takes place after three and a half days which is the second half of the 7 years of the tribulation.
One final note is regarding the word and purpose of the "tribulation":
"Tribulation is defined as " PRESSURE, AFFLICTION, PERSECUTION, TROUBLE"
The church has never been given an exemption from "pressure, affliction, persecution, and trouble". In fact, the opposite is true, we are CALLED to go through tribulation:
"In the world ye shall have tribulation Jesus said in Jn 16:33
"and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. Acts 14:22
"And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; Rom. 5:3
In many other articles on this site you will find reasons God has to separate, cleanse, and purify His chosen ones. He declares He will have a church "without spot or wrinkle".
"And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb."
I have tried to honestly present this in a non-offensive and understandable format so anyone can read and study for themselves the verses for these precepts. Print out the verses on paper for yourself and compare them! If God's people are going to be around for troubled times, we need to be walking in the light of that fact and prepare spiritually and physically.
Many Christians will realize they have bought into a false hope. Jesus said about that day, (Mt. 24:10) “then many shall be offended, and shall betray one another”. Why? Could it be because when they were not evacuated like the feel-good assurances of the Left-Behinds and local preacher said?"
There are a very large number of pre-trib evacuation proponents in many denominations, unfortunately, statements are made across air waves and pulpits without serious challenge and general consensus (meaning general or widespread agreement) takes over. Sweet, kind and sincere people still are misled every day in Christianity by all manner of sweet, kind, and sincere leaders. But Jesus said "if the blind be leaders of the blind, they will both fall into the ditch."
May God grant you the grace to search the matter out by a prayerful re-examination of the scriptures which speak of Christ's return and our gathering unto him