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The Rapture of the Church: The Mid-Trib View of the Rapture Lesson # 14

The Rapture of the Church  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  1:20:48
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The Rapture of the Church: The Mid-Trib View of the Rapture

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The “mid-tribulation” position contends that Christ will remove the church from the earth during the midway point of the Tribulation.
The “mid-tribulation” view will only apply the literal method of interpretation to the last half of Daniel’s Seventieth Week but spiritualize the events of the first half to permit the church to go through the first half.
In this view, the rapture is said to occur in connection with the sounding of the seventh trumpet and the catching up of the two witnesses in Revelation 11.
However, the seventh and final trumpet judgment recorded in Revelation 11:15-19 comes at the end of the Tribulation period and results in the Second Advent of Christ.
The seven trumpets mentioned in Revelation chapters 8 and 9 and 11:15-19 are all related to the nation of Israel during Daniel’s Seventieth Week and have no connection whatsoever to the church.
Connected to this, the “mid-tribulation” view also contends that the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15 and the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 are identical.
Some expositors have tried to associate the “trumpet of God” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and the “last trumpet” in 1 Corinthians 15:52 with the last or seventh trumpet of the Tribulation and with the trumpet of Matthew 24:31.
By doing this, they attempt to put the rapture either in the Tribulation or at its end, when the Lord returns to earth.
In both of these passages, this trumpet is followed by the resurrection of the church, i.e. the rapture.
There are obvious differences that exist between the “trumpet of God” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and the “last trumpet” in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and the last or seventh trumpet of the Tribulation in Revelation 8:7f. and with the “great trumpet” of Matthew 24:31.
The trumpet in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 15:22 should not be equated with Joel 2:1 or with Revelation 8:7f since there are many differences between them.
In 1 Corinthians 15:22 the trumpeter is not stated whereas the trumpet in Matthew 24:31 and the trumpets of Revelation 8 are blown by angels.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 the trumpeter is Christ whereas the trumpet in Joel is a human being, an Israelite.
The purpose of the “great trumpet” in Matthew 24:31 is to have the elect angels gather the living elect on the earth whereas the purpose of 1 Corinthians 15:52 is to gather the living church age believers.
With the blowing of the trumpet in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, Christ Himself and not the elect angels gather living church age believers to Himself whereas in Revelation the purpose of the blowing of the trumpet by angels to execute judgment during the last three and a half years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.
The purpose of the trumpet in Joel 2:1 to assemble Israel and warn them against danger and is an alarm to the nation of Israel that signals that the day of the Lord has begun.
The result of the blowing of the “great trumpet” in Matthew 24:31 results in entrance into the kingdom or millennial kingdom of Christ whereas the result of the blowing of the trumpet in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is the resurrection of church age believers.
The result of the blowing of the trumpet of God in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is also the resurrection of church age believers whereas the result of the blowing of the trumpets by elect angels in Revelation 8 is the execution of judgments during the last three and a half years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.
The result of the blowing of the trumpet in Joel 2 is war and an invasion from an enemy.
Therefore, because of these obvious differences between these trumpets, the trumpets of Revelation 8 and the “great trumpet” in Matthew 24:31 and the trumpet of Joel 2:1 do not take place at the same time as the trumpets mentioned by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
The “last trumpet” of 1 Corinthians 15:52 is thought by some expositors of the Bible to be associated with the trumpet judgments that appear in Revelation 8.
Consequently, they place the rapture at the end of the Tribulation period, i.e. Daniel’s Seventieth Week.
However, a comparison of the differences between the various trumpets mentioned in Revelation 8, Joel 2:1, Matthew 24:31, 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16, indicates quite clearly that the “last trumpet” in 1 Corinthians 15:52 is the very voice of the Lord Jesus Christ calling out the church in resurrection.
The “last trumpet” of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and the “trumpet of God” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 both result in the resurrection of the church and the purpose of both are to gather the church to Christ and they are not blown by elect angels.
Whereas, the trumpet judgments of Revelation 8 and the “great trumpet” in Matthew 24:31 are blown by elect angels and the result of the former is the execution of judgments during the Tribulation whereas the result of the latter is entrance into Christ’s millennial kingdom.
Therefore, the “mid-tribulation” view that the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15 and the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 are identical is erroneous.
Also, the “mid-tribulation” view holds that the rapture is described in Revelation 11 by contending that the “two-witnesses” are symbolic of a “larger company of witnesses” that they represent two groups, the dead and the living at the rapture.
They interpret the cloud as representing the Lord’s presence and that the great voice is the shout of 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and this interpretation is totally devoid of exegesis and is an argument from analogy.
The two witnesses are spoken of in Revelation 11 as individuals and not as symbolic representatives of the church.
These two witnesses are called “two olive trees,” which means that they are associated with Israel since in the Old Testament the olive tree represented Israel, which would refute the “mid-tribulation” view that the two witnesses are symbolic of the church (See Hosea 14:6; Romans 11:17, 24).
The problem with the “mid-tribulation” position is that it denies the distinction between Israel and the church in the sense that it places the church in the first half of the seventieth week, which was decreed for Daniel’s people the Jews according to Daniel 9:24.
The church is nowhere mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks and in particular the Seventieth Week.
The phrase “your people” indicates that the prophecy deals specifically with the history of the nation of Israel and the city of Jerusalem and not with world history or church history.
The “mid-tribulation” position also denies the doctrine of the immanency of the rapture in that they apply to the church all the signs that were designed to warn Israel of Christ’s Second Advent.
It also denies the doctrine that the church age is a “mystery” dispensation meaning it was not known to Old Testament prophets in that it has the church age overlap with God’s program for Israel detailed in Daniel’s Seventy Weeks (cf. Ephesians 3:8-9).
The “mid-tribulation” view argues that God promises the church tribulation and therefore can expect to experience the first half of the Tribulation period.
However, the term “tribulation” can be used in a “technical” way referring to a specific period in the future and a “non-technical” way meaning it is not used with reference to a specific period of time in the future.
The term “tribulation” is used in relation to the church in a “non-technical” way in John 16:33, Romans 5:3, 8:35, 12:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:6 and Revelation 1:9, 2:9-10, whereas it is used in “technical” way in Matthew 24:9, 21, 29, Mark 13:19, 24 and Revelation 7:8, 14 where it is used with reference to the Tribulation period.
God does not want the Christian to believe in the “mid-tribulation” position because it denies the distinction between Israel and the church in the sense that it places the church in the first half of the seventieth week, which was decreed for Daniel’s people the Jews according to Daniel 9:24.
God does not want the Christian to believe in the “mid-tribulation” view because it denies the doctrine of the immanency of the rapture in that they apply to the church all the signs that were designed to warn Israel of Christ’s Second Advent.
He wants you to know that the rapture is imminent because it serves as motivation to live our lives in a manner worthy of the Lord (1 John 3:1-3).
The “mid-tribulation” view argues that God promises the church tribulation and therefore can expect to experience the first half of the Tribulation period.
However, the term “tribulation” can be used in a “technical” way referring to a specific period in the future and a “non-technical” way meaning it is not used with reference to a specific period of time in the future.
The term “tribulation” is used in relation to the church in a “non-technical” way in John 16:33, Romans 5:3, 8:35, 12:12, 1 Thessalonians 1:6 and Revelation 1:9, 2:9-10, whereas it is used in “technical” way in Matthew 24:9, 21, 29, Mark 13:19, 24 and Revelation 7:8, 14 where it is used with reference to the Tribulation period.
It is also important for every Christian that he or she understands the pre-tribulation view of the rapture is the correct view because it is God’s will and God wants His children to know His will.
Also, it is important for every Christian that he or she understands that they will not go through the tribulation period because it is in the Word of God and Christians in 2 Peter 3:18 are commanded to grow in the grace and “knowledge” of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Word of God is His mind and thinking.
Lastly, it is important for every Christian that he or she understands that the mid-tribulation view of the rapture is incorrect in order to minister to fellow Christians who have been misled by such teaching and instruct them in the correct doctrine.
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