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The Rapture Part 2

Fundamental Eschatology  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  56:37
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1 Thessalonians 4:13–17 KJV 1900
13 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. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 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. 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.
1 Corinthians 15:51–55 KJV 1900
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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The PARTIAL Rapture Theory -

Only "Spiritual" Christians who are "watching" and "waiting" will be included in the Rapture.
Note: Certainly the Scriptures speak of Christ returning for those who look for Him. However, this is simply a designation of the attitude which is expected to be normal for every believer, not a separate condition for being included in the Rapture.

This view actually denies GRACE and the completeness of forgiveness and cleansing through the finished work of Christ on the cross.

In effect, it demands a 7 year Protestant Purgatory to PURIFY the Saved.

This view claims that the Rapture is a reward for faithfulness, although none of the passages on rewards (Rev 2:10; James 1:12; 1 Thess 2:19; Phil 4:1; 1 Cor 9:25; 1 Pet 5:4; 2 Tim 4:8) refers to the Rapture.

Revelation 2:10
Revelation 2:10 KJV 1900
10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
James 1:12
James 1:12 KJV 1900
12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
1 Thessalonians 2:19
1 Thessalonians 2:19 KJV 1900
19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?
Philippians 4:1
Philippians 4:1 KJV 1900
1 Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.

This view claims that the Rapture is a reward for faithfulness, none of the passages on the Rapture (ie. 1 Thess 4:16-17; 1 Cor 15:51-53; Jn 14:3) mention REWARDS.

1 Thessalonians 4:16–17
1 Thessalonians 4:16–17 KJV 1900
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.
1 Corinthians 15:51–53
1 Corinthians 15:51–53 KJV 1900
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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
John 14:3
John 14:3 KJV 1900
3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

This view misunderstands the distinction between Israel and the Church.

It misapplies passages (ie. Lk 21:36) which refer to Israel watching to escape from judgments IN the Tribulation to the church escaping OUT OF the Tribulation.
Luke 21:36
Luke 21:36 KJV 1900
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
The Church is instructed to "watch" for the Rapture, but without any connection to being included in it.

This view would logically demand that the DEAD believers also be divided and only included in the resurrection if they were worthy.

No such requirement is found in Scripture (1 Thess 4:16; 1 Cor 15:52).
1 Thessalonians 4:16
1 Thessalonians 4:16 KJV 1900
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:
1 Corinthians 15:52
1 Corinthians 15:52 KJV 1900
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.

This view is clearly refuted by 1 Corinthians 15:51, where the one word "ALL" devastates the theory.

1 Corinthians 15:51
1 Corinthians 15:51 KJV 1900
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
The carnal members of the Corinthian church (cf. 1 Cor 3:1-4; 5:1-2) were ALL included in this statement.
1 Corinthians 3:1–4
1 Corinthians 3:1–4 KJV 1900
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3 For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4 For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?
1 Corinthians 5:1–2
1 Corinthians 5:1–2 KJV 1900
1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 2 And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you.

The MID -Tribulational Rapture View

- the Rapture takes place at the mid point of the Tribulation, usually seen as corresponding with the 7th trumpet and catching up of the 2 witnesses in Revelation 11.
Note: There are different varieties of this view, but we are addressing it in its most common form.

This view denies the IMMINENCE of the Rapture (the fact that it could take place at any moment) replacing it with the view that the Rapture cannot occur for at least years.

*Note: We will defend the doctrine of Imminence under our discussion of the Pre-Tribulational Rapture View.

This view creates DATE setting of the Rapture.

Scripture gives the exact number days from the beginning of the Tribulation with the signing of the Peace Treaty with Israel until the mid-point of the Tribulation. (cf. Dan 9:27; Mt 24:36; Mk 13:32)
Daniel 9:27
Daniel 9:27 KJV 1900
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
Matthew 24:36
Matthew 24:36 KJV 1900
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Mark 13:32
Mark 13:32 KJV 1900
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.

This view is based on a flawed understanding of the Seal and Trumpet Judgments as not being God's Wrath.

The Mid-Trib. position correctly teaches that the church will be raptured PRIOR, to the outpouring of God's wrath(cf. 1 Thess 1:9-10; 5:9), but they incorrectly teach that ALL WRATH is in the second half of the Tribulation.
1 Thessalonians 1:9–10
1 Thessalonians 1:9–10 KJV 1900
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9
1 Thessalonians 5:9 KJV 1900
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

Since they teach that the 7 Seals and the 7 Trumpets occur in the first 3 1/2 years, they DENY that these judgments are WRATH.

Not only does the description of these judgments make this position absurd, but Scripture specifically states that the Seals and Trumpets are God's WRATH . (Rev 6:16-17; 11:18)

Revelation 6:16–17
Revelation 6:16–17 KJV 1900
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Revelation 11:18
Revelation 11:18 KJV 1900
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
These 2 verses appear at the end of the seal [Rev 6:17] and trumpet [Rev 11: 18] judgments respectively, but are IN the aorist tense, reflecting that the outpouring of wrath has ALREADY occurred.
These two passages are, in effect, summaries of the Seal and Trumpet Judgments and make absolutely clear that these judgments are God's wrath.
This view is based on a flawed Chronology of the Tribulation, placing all of the Seal and Trumpet Judgments in the first 3 1/2 years.
Since the second and third vials are so severe as to make sustained life on earth impossible, they must occur at the very end of the Tribulation.
If the Seals and Trumpets occur during the first 3 1/2 years, (the supposed wrathless half), then all that is left to cover almost the entire period of the second 3 1/2 years (the supposed wrathful half) is the first vial (sores on the followers of the Antichrist).
Yet according to this view, this period is so horrible that the church had to be rescued first. This is nonsensical as the church would not even have been affected by this judgment.

This view leaves the second half of the tribulation without witness as its chronology would have the 144,000 and the 2 Witnesses removed at the mid-point.

This view is based upon a flawed method of interpretation (the ALLEGORICAL approach), having to spiritualize away the severity of the Seals and Trumpets as well as many other passages which contradict Midtribulationalism.

* Note: The Mid-Trib position is held by many who would vehemently deny they have adopted an allegorical approach to the interpretation of Scripture. They do this because the particular passage(s) which may convince them of a Mid-Trib position have not been interpreted allegorically.
However, their very aversion to being accused of a non-literal approach to interpretation should lead them to question their acceptance of this view, for a systematic Mid-Tribulationalism inevitably demands an allegorical approach to interpretation. If they have accepted a literal approach and therefore premillennialism, why now switch to the allegorical approach and mid-tribulationalism.

This view is based on a flawed view of the "LAST trump".

The FOUNDATION of the Midtribulational viewpoint is the argument that the last trump of Revelation 11:15 is identical to the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15:52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16.
Revelation 11:15
Revelation 11:15 KJV 1900
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
This is based on the supposition that the 7 trumpets cannot come after the"last trump" and that the rapture is synonymous with the catching up of the two witnesses in Revelation 11:12.
Revelation 11:12
Revelation 11:12 KJV 1900
12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
This view is contradicted by the simple fact that the 7th trump of Revelation 11:15 is simply NOT the last trumpet of the Bible.
Matthew 24:31 records how that after the end of the Tribulation and AFTER the second coming of Christ, another trumpet will gather the saved survivors of the Tribulation.
Matthew 24:31
Matthew 24:31 KJV 1900
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.
The catching up of the 2 witnesses also cannot be synonymous with the last trump (supposedly the 7th) since it clearly occurs before the 7th trump in connection with the 6th trump.
The catching up of the 2 witnesses cannot be identified with the Rapture because it is followed by an earthquake which frightens an obviously believing remnant on earth who give glory to God.
If this event was the Rapture, there would be no REMNANT left on earth. (Rev 11:13)
Revelation 11:13
Revelation 11:13 KJV 1900
13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.
The meaning of the "last trump" will be discussed later. This view makes much of the fact that the "GREAT Tribulation" refers only to the second half of the years and that believers will escape the Great Tribulation.
It is true that Jesus uses this phrase with this more narrow meaning in Matthew 24:21.
Matthew 24:21
Matthew 24:21 KJV 1900
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.
However, Midtribulationalists claim that this period begins after the 7th trumpet while Revelation 7:14 indicates that the "Great Tribulation' is already well underway between the 6th and 7th seal, before the trumpet judgments even begin.
Revelation 7:14
Revelation 7:14 KJV 1900
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 the Lamb.
The Midtribulational Rapture view is by far a minority position, but it is growing in popularity. Many other arguments, however, could be presented which refute this view.
One variation of this view places the Rapture after the 7th trumpet, disassociating the Rapture from the calling up of the two witnesses. (Rev 11:15).
This position depends entirely on the "last trump” argument. We have seen, however, that the seventh Trump simply is not the ''last trump" of the Bible (Mt 24:31; see above). The announcement which follows the sounding of the seventh trumpet is offered as proof that the Rapture has taken place (Rev 11:15-19).
Revelation 11:15–19
Revelation 11:15–19 KJV 1900
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. 18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.
However, the statement that the kingdoms of the world have become Christ’s and that He will reign forever is not fulfilled in the second half of the Tribulation and it has no connection whatsoever with the Rapture. The reign of Christ is here ANNOUNCED, not initiated.
The announced wrath (Rev 11:18) has been present since chapter six (Rev 6:17). This all seems to indicate that the announced events are simply announced, not occurring at this point.
To understand why this announcement is made at this point, we need to understand that the judgment of the seventh trump is the outpouring of the seven vials.
The vial judgments of this seventh trump stretch over the remainder of the Tribulation and will conclude with the Return of Christ at Armageddon. At this time the Kingdoms of the world do become the Kingdoms of Christ as He initiates His Millennial Reign.
A new variation of this view places the Rapture after the 6th seal, attempting to claim that wrath does not begin until the trumpets. This view likewise is untenable for a variety of reasons, including the failed attempt to prove that the Seals do not include Wrath (cf. Rev 6:16-17).
This view is based upon the mistaken identification of Matthew 24:30-31 as the Rapture, not the 2nd Coming.
This theory wisely drops the "last trump" arguments as untenable (incapable of being defended, as an argument, thesis, etc.; indefensible).(See The PreWrath Rapture of the Church, Rosenthal, 1990)

The POST -Tribulational Rapture View

- The Rapture does not take place until the end of the Tribulation.
It should be pointed out that Posttribulationalism is divided into several major camps, including:Those who believe in a future literal 7 year Tribulation and those who spiritualize away the Tribulation, placing it in the past, present, future or combination of these.
Amillennialists and Premillennialists. Those who deny and those who attempt to accept imminency (by spiritualizing away the Tribulation).
Those who accept and those who deny dispensationalism (although posttribulationalists usually deny dispensationalism (the interpreting of history as a series of divine dispensations), admitting that it supports pretribulationalism).
It is therefore acknowledged that some of these arguments against posttribulationalism do not apply to all varieties of this view, but are arguments in general against the various forms.

This view denies the imminency of the Rapture.

The only way to avoid this is to spiritualize away the tribulation to the point where no one would know that they were even in it.*
Note: Imminency will be defended under our discussion of the Pre-Trib position.

This view denies the distinction between the Rapture and the Second Coming making them essentially one and the same event.

In addition to the distinctions pointed out in our earlier chart which shows that these two events cannot be the same, we can add many other facts.
For example,

The Rapture is associated with a time of PEACE (albeit false), while the Second Coming occurs in the MIDST of the Battle of Armageddon.

Also,

The Rapture comes UNEXPECTANTLY, at a time when people will least expect It.

The Second Coming, however, is specifically predicted to occur in the midst of Armageddon, seven years after the signing of the covenant between Israel and the Antichrist. This can hardly be seen as unexpected.

This view denies the LITERAL method of interpreting the Bible, spiritualizing away most of the prophecies concerning the Tribulation and the passages supporting pretribulationalism.

Just a few of the prophecies which are often spiritualized away are:

The Sheep-Goat Judgment. (Mt 25:31-46)

Matthew 25:31–46
Matthew 25:31–46 KJV 1900
31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: 36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. 37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? 38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? 39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? 40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. 41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: 42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: 43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. 44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? 45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. 46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

The Length of the Tribulation.

The length of the overall Tribulation period and the more intense second half are given in years, months, and days. This hardly seems like something which God did not intend to be taken literally. (Dan 9:24-27; 12:7; Rev 11:2; 13:5: 11:3; 12:6; Dan 8:14)This is especially true in light of the fact that the angel giving this length of time lifted his right hand and swore by Him Who lives forever that this would be the length of time. (Dan 12:7)
Daniel 12:7
Daniel 12:7 KJV 1900
7 And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was upon the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand unto heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.
The often used argument that Jesus said these days would be shortened or else no one would survive (Mt 24:22) cannot be used to contradict these clear prophecies, or else Daniel and John would be false prophets.
Matthew 24:22
Matthew 24:22 KJV 1900
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.
Jesus simply meant that these days would be LIMITED in number to the prophesied amount of time.

Daniel's 70th Week. (Dan 9:24-27)

Daniel 9:24–27
Daniel 9:24–27 KJV 1900
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. 27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
God's many Promises to Israel.

The Judgments of the Tribulation. (Rev 6-19)

This view denies the distinction between tribulation in general and the 7 year Tribulation in particular.

An often used argument is that Christians have never been exempted from tribulation in the past and Pretribulationalists are therefore presumptuous to think that they will be delivered from the Tribulation.
However, Pretribulationalists do not deny that we could go through tribulation. In fact, we are promised that we will (Jn 16:33).
John 16:33
John 16:33 KJV 1900
33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.
We are promised, though, that we will escape the coming wrath of the Seven Year Tribulation (1 Thess 1:9-10).
1 Thessalonians 1:9–10
1 Thessalonians 1:9–10 KJV 1900
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

This view denies the true nature of the Tribulation as a period of the outpouring of God's WRATH. cf. 1 Thess 1:9-10; 5:9) on sin. (Rev 6:17; 11:18;)

Revelation 6:17
Revelation 6:17 KJV 1900
17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Revelation 11:18
Revelation 11:18 KJV 1900
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

This view denies the distinction between ISRAEL and the Church.

and
It confuses God's programs for both and erroneously uses general terms for any believers of any age as proofs that the church will go .. through the Tribulation.
It wrongly teaches that the Church will inherit spiritually all the promises which God made to Israel literally.

This view denies the completeness of Christ's work on the cross, demanding a 7 year Protestant Purgatory to purify the church.

This view denies the distinction between Biblical LAST TRUMP and thus defies any construction of a reasonable chronology to the end of the Tribulation.

Both the Midtribulational and the Posttribulational views interpret the word "last" in 1 Corinthians 15:52 to mean, "the last which ever will be for all of eternity".
While they assume that this is the only possible interpretation, we constantly use the word "last" in a much more narrow and much less universal, all-encompassing sense.
We constantly speak of things such as "the last strike, " "the last out, " "the last inning, " "last night, " "last week, " "last month, " "last year, " -''the last time, " "at the last minute, " "at the last second, " "the last bell, " "the last class, " etc.
Thus, in normal language, "last" may mean "the last in a series o[ events", "the most recent", "the latest possible opportunity", 'the conclusion of a program, " etc. None of these speak of the "absolute last of all time".

We must allow the CONTEXT, not what we read into a passage, to determine its meaning.

The argument that the "last trump" must be the absolute last trumpet which ever sounds for all eternity forces Posttribulationalists to identify the "last trump" of the Rapture (1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16) with the 7th trumpet (Rev 11:15) and the trumpet which gathers saved Tribulation survivors after the Second Coming (Mt 24:31).
This is absolutely impossible in light of the fact that:
It allows no interval for the 7 VIAL Judgments. These must come after the 7th Trumpet Judgment (for they are poured out by it) and yet before the Second Coming and yet this view makes these two events simultaneous.
It identifies the Rapture with the 7th Trumpet (Rev 11:15)which occurs '12,e,tol'('.... the Second Coming and with the trumpet of Matthew 24:31 which occurs AFTER the Second Coming. (cf. Mt 24:30; 25:31-32) 0,;J/fScripture clear!)'. teaches that Jesus comes FOR His Saints at the Rapture (1 Thess 4:16-17; Jn 14:3; 1 Cor 15:51-52) and WITH His Saints at the Second Coming (Zech 14:5; Jude; 1 Thess 3:13).
1 Thessalonians 3:13
1 Thessalonians 3:13 KJV 1900
13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Posttribulationalist attempt to reconcile this by saying that Jesus comes FOR His Saints, meets them in the air, and then returns to earth WITH them. This places the Rapture FIRST and Christ's Return SECOND, in rapid succession.However, in John 14:1-3, Jesus states that at the Rapture, He will carry His Saints to DWELL in mansions, not back to Earth to the Battle of Armageddon.
Also, the trumpet of Matthew 24:31 occurs AFTER the Second Coming, not before (Mt 24:30).
Matthew 24:30–31
Matthew 24:30–31 KJV 1900
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.
It is inconceivable to think (as the Mid- or Post-Trib position must claim) that no trumpets will ever be sounded either in the Millennium or in Heaven for all Eternity. Certain Old Testament Feasts, such as the Feast of Tabernacles, will be observed in the Millennium (Zech 14:16-19) and these Feasts involve the blowing of trumpets.
Zechariah 14:16–19
Zechariah 14:16–19 KJV 1900
16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations Which came against Jerusalem Shall even go up from year to year To worship the King, the Lord of hosts, And to keep the feast of tabernacles. 17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up Of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem To worship the King, the Lord of hosts, Even upon them shall be no rain. 18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; There shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen That come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles. 19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, And the punishment of all nations That come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.

The meaning of the "last trump".

Since the word "last" attached to the phrase, "last trump" clearly cannot refer to the absolute last trump which will ever occur for all eternity, to what does it refer?The following have all been suggested.
The conclusion of the Church Age, Pentecost writes,
"The word last may signify that which concludes a program, but is not necessarily the last that will ever exist." (Things to Come, p. 189)
* Note: By way of illustration that in school settings, we often refer to "first hour" and "last hour" with no qualifying statements, not referring to the first or last hours which will ever occur in all time, but simply to the first or last hour of a single period of time, in this, case, a school day.
Thiessen quotes Ellicott,
"... This salpigo (trumpet) the Apostle here terms eschate (last)... as connected with the close of this aion (age)... "
Thiessen concludes,
"... there is no ground for identifying the 'trump' in 1 Car 15:52 with the seventh trumpet... " (Will the Church Pass through the Tribulation?, pp. 55-56)
The signal for the people of God to _ _,_)/1-=e----'v---'e,..=-- out. Both Jewish (cf. Num 10) and Roman tradition called for a series of calls or trumpets for the congregation to assemble to be followed by the "last trump" which was the signal to set the assembly in motion.1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 follows this pattern with two calls (the Lord's shout and the voice of the archangel) followed by the last trump.
English quotes Armerding,
"The last trump would signify that the whole congregation was finally on the move... It will be, the nature of an alarm, which is the very word used in Numbers 16:5,6 in connection with the 'journeying of the camps. ' The quickening and assembling already accomplished [the former by the voice of the Lord, and the latter by the voice of the archangel - I Thess 4:16]... there is only, one more thing necessary to set all in motion. It is the last trump' ... the final note struck on that momentous occasion. " (Rethinking the Rapture, p. 109) The "Last Trumpet" of our - Church Age.
Many scholars point out that the "salpigo" was a war trumpet.
The Jews sounded one trumpet to prepare for battle, another to signal the attack, and still others as the trumpet of pursuit, of ambush, and of the slain in battle.
The last trumpet signaled the end of their battles and the command to reassemble before their Captain or King and then be sent home. The Jews called these "the trumpets of return" and actually wrote "The Gathering of God" on these "last trumpets " of war. Paul and his Jewish readers may well have had this familiar Jewish imagery in mind when he wrote of "the last trump" which will end our battles, reassemble us before our great Captain and King, and gather us to our God and our heavenly home.
The "Last Trump" of the Feast of TRUMPETS This annual Jewish Feast was celebrated with a series of short trumpet blasts concluding with a long trumpet blast called the "tekzah gedolah ", "the great trump" or "the last trump". The Jews connected this with the Resurrection of the Dead.
In 1 Corinthians, Paul is comparing Christ's works with the Jewish Feasts of Leviticus 23.
First Feast: Passover - Christ's Death. (1 Cor 5:6-8)
Second Feast: Firstfruits - Christ's Resurrection. (1 Cor 15:20-24)
Third Feast: Weeks - Pentecost. (Acts 2)
Fourth Feast: Trumpets - The Rapture.(1 Cor 15:50-58)
* Note: Notice the continued flow of Prophetic Events pictured by the Feasts of Israel.
Fifth Feast: Atonement - The Tribulation [both times of the affliction of Israel's soul followed by national atonement].
Sixth Feast: Tabernacles - The Millennium.
* Note: Notice the flow of events in chronological order and the Pre-Tribulational implications from the Feasts of Israel.
The "Last Trump" of as compared with the Trump of God. The subject of 1 Corinthians 15 (which contains the passage about the last trump) is the Resurrection. Throughout the chapter, Paul has been contrasting death and the resurrected life. He has contrasted the first Adam who brought death and the last Adam Who brought life. (1 Cor 15:21-22,45-49), He now mentions "the last trump" (1 Cor 15:52), which, in light of the context, should be understood as a contrast with a first trump and as somehow fitting with the contrast between death and life.
To find this first trump, we need to understand that the "last trump" is "the trump of God "(1 Thess 4:16).
Where is the first "trump of God" found?
Answer: At Mt. Sinai at the giving of the "LAW" &,,._,_l (Ex 19:10-20).
a] This is, in fact, the first trumpet sounded in Scripture.
b] There are many Biblical trumpets sounded by, men and angels, but this is a trumpet of an entirely different nature, a trumpet of God.
c] While some attempt to equate the last trump with the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11, the seven trumpet judgments are trumpets of Angels, not of God.
Does this tie together with Paul's theme of contrasting death with life?
Answer:
1 Corinthians 15:56 KJV 1900
56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
“In I Corinthians 15:56 Paul declared that sin causes death and that the strength of death-causing sin was the Law that God gave to Israel at Mt. Sinai.” (Showers, Maranatha, Our Lord Come!, p. 263 Emphasis Added)

At the first trump of God:

God descended from Heaven.
He sounded a trumpet.
To gather His people on the ground.
To forbid anyone from approaching His glory.
To forbid anyone from approaching His presence.
He gave the Law and began the ministration of death.
By contrast, at
The Last Trump of God:
God [Jesus] will descend from Heaven.
He will sound a trumpet.
To gather His people in the air.
To share His glory.
To invite them into His presence.
To remove the curse of death.
Note how this contrast is described by the book of Hebrews:
Hebrews 12:18–24 KJV 1900
18 For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, 19 And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more: 20 (For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: 21 And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:) 22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, 23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, 24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

This view also creates date setting of the Rapture as the exact number of days from the signing of the Covenant with Israel until the end of the Tribulation is given in Scripture. (cf. Mt 24:36; Mk 13:32;Dan 9:24-27; 12:7; Rev 11:2; 13:5; 11:3; 12:6; Dan 8:14)

The PRE -Tribulational Rapture

- The Rapture will take place prior to the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation.
Note: This is what I believe to be the correct Biblical position - Yates.
This view preserves the Eight truths denied by Posttribulationalism (some of which are also denied by Midtribulationalism).

Imminent Return

- the perpetual expectancy of Christ's any moment return to rapture His saints.
One argument often used against Pretribulationalism is the argument that it was not invented until the 1800's. While this is true of fully developed systematic pretribulationalism, it is also true of any form of fully developed systematic Midtribulationalism or Posttribulationalism, which were both developed even later.
It is true that elements of Posttribulationalism, such as the failure to distinguish between the Rapture and the Second Coming, have dominated in much of Church History. This was primarily the result of the reign of amillennialism and the allegorical approach to interpreting prophecy. Once the literal approach was applied, premillennialism and pretribulationalism came in domination almost instantly.
However, the central tenant of Pretribulationalism, the doctrine of imminency, can be clearly demonstrated as the view of both the Early Church and the Scriptures. Clearly Pretribulational statements have now been found in the writings of the Early Church.
Imminence was the view of the Early Church.
Clement's 1st Epistle to the Corinthians (AD 95):
"... Soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scriptures also bear witness, saying 'Speedily will He come and will not tarry'; and 'The Lord shall suddenly come... '.. .Let us every hour expect the kingdom of God.. .because we know not the day of the Lord's appearing."
The Didache (AD 120):
"Watch... Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ye ready, for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh."
Cyprian (AD 250):
"It were a self-contradicting... thing for us, who pray that the kingdom of God may quickly come, to be looking for a long life here below."
Imminence is the view of Scripture.

1] We are commanded to be:

Waiting for Jesus. (1 Cor 1:7; 4:5; 1 Thess 1:10)

1 Corinthians 1:7 KJV 1900
7 So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:
1 Corinthians 4:5 KJV 1900
5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
1 Thessalonians 1:10 KJV 1900
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

Watching for Jesus. (Mt 24:42; 1 Thess 5:6)

Matthew 24:42 KJV 1900
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
1 Thessalonians 5:6 KJV 1900
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

Ready for Jesus. (Mt 24:44; Lk 12:35-40)

Matthew 24:44 KJV 1900
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
Luke 12:35–40 KJV 1900
35 Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; 36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. 37 Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. 38 And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. 39 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. 40 Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.

Looking for Jesus. (Phil 3:20; Titus 2:13; Heb 9:28)

Philippians 3:20 KJV 1900
20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
Titus 2:13 KJV 1900
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
Hebrews 9:28 KJV 1900
28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
* Note:
No one expectantly WAITS, WATCHES, or LOOKS for someone who they know won't come for 3 1/2 or 7 years.

Doctrine of Prophecy

* Note:
If the Tribulation, even the first half, preceded the Rapture, we would be looking for the Antichrist instead of Christ.
Christ is said to be:"At hand". (Phil 4:5)
Standing at the door. (James 5:9)
Coming "as a thief in the night". (1 Thess 5:2)
Coming in an hour that ye think not. (Mt 24:44; Lk 12:35-40)
His coming is said to be continually drawing nigh (James 5:7-8)
Jesus is repeatedly said to be coming "quickly" (Rev 3:11; 22:7,12,20).
This either meant that Jesus was coming soon (in the first centuries of the Church) and was a false prophecy.
It means His arrival is continually imminent!
The church is promised to escape WRATH (Rom 5:9; 1 Thess 1:9-10; 5:9)
Romans 5:9 KJV 1900
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
1 Thessalonians 1:9–10 KJV 1900
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 KJV 1900
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
and therefore
We cannot enter the TRIBULATION which is "the great day of His wrath" (Rev 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:10,19; 15:1,7;16:1,19; 19:15).
Revelation 6:16–17 KJV 1900
16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?
Revelation 11:18 KJV 1900
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
Revelation 14:10 KJV 1900
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:
• No passage in the Old or New Testament concerning the Tribulation ever mentions the C,,k1,,1.,r:c,&
For example, the Church is never mentioned in Revelation 4-18.
Though the Church is mentioned19 times in Revelation 1-3, it disappears from earth after Revelation 4:1, where John is told to "come up hither" (a probable picture of the Rapture) for the entire Tribulation period.
The Church does not reappear until the Second Coming in Revelation 19.
Adding to this argument, the Church is pictured in Heaven in Revelation 4 and 5.
The Church is promised deliverance
Revelation 3:10 KJV 1900
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
"from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth." (Rev 3:10)
When Christ comes to receive His Church, He takes them to
heaven, not back to earth as in posttribulationalism. (Jn:1-3)
2 Thessalonians 2:6–8 KJV 1900
6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. 7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
The Holy Spirit as the - “restrainer" ("He who letteth") must be removed before the ANTICHRIST: can be revealed. (2 Thess 2:6-8)
The Spirit cannot be removed unless the Church is also removed at the same time, since the Spirit and New Testament believers are sealed together permanently (Jn 14:16; Eph 4:30; 1:13).
John 14:16 KJV 1900
16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Ephesians 4:30 KJV 1900
30 And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
Ephesians 1:13 KJV 1900
13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,
The Antichrist is identified on the first day of the Tribulation by the signing of a 7 year peace treaty with Israel (Dan 9:27)
Daniel 9:27 KJV 1900
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
...The Rapture and Removal therefore must occur before the first day of the 7 year Tribulation.
Much confusion has resulted from misunderstanding the Removal of the Spirit at the Rapture.
Since people are saved during the Tribulation and since no one can be saved without the conviction of the Spirit, some conclude that the Rapture cannot occur until the Tribulation has ended.
This misunderstands the Removal of the Spirit, Who as omnipresent God, is still on Earth after the Rapture.
The Spirit is removed at the Rapture in the same sense that He came on PENTECOST His New Testament ministry and His Restraining ministry end.
His Old Testament type ministry begins again as He turns from the Removed Church back to the Jews.
People were saved in the Old Testament and will likewise be saved after the Rapture as the Spirit accompanies the preached word.
An interval between the Rapture and Second Coming is necessary for the following events to occur: Judgment Seat of Christ.
a) The 24 elders have already been crowned by Revelation 4:4.
Revelation 4:4 KJV 1900
4 And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold.
Since the crowning of believers occurs at the Judgment Seat after the Rapture and since Revelation 4:4 occurs at the very beginning of the Tribulation, the Rapture must occur before the Tribulation begins.
The martyrs of Revelation 6:9-11 have already been robed. These robes are the righteousness of the saints (Rev 19:8) which are bestowed at the Judgment Seat (as opposed to the righteousness of Christ bestowed at salvation) and believers are apparently judged at death after this time.
Since these believers are robed by the 5th Seal, the Rapture must have occurred prior to this time. The believers who return to earth with Christ at the Second Coming are also said to have been robed. (Rev 19:8)
The Marriage Feast of the Lamb.
This event has already occurred by the Second Coming as indicated by [the Greek tense used in] Revelation 19:7.
Revelation 19:7 KJV 1900
7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
"His wife [not His bride] hath made herself ready" and "the marriage of the Lamb is come [a completed past event]." (Rev 19:7)
If the Rapture occurred at the end of the Tribulation, there would be no one left to enter the Millennium in Physical Bodies, for all believers would have been raptured and glorified (1 Cor 15:51-52)
1 Corinthians 15:51–52 KJV 1900
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.
and no unbelievers are allowed to enter the kingdom (Jn 3:3,5).
John 3:3 KJV 1900
3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John 3:5 KJV 1900
5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Yet Scripture indicates an earth fully populated by saved survivors of the Tribulation and their children all in earthly physical bodies.
Even if unbelievers were allowed to enter the Kingdom (which they are not), it is absolutely inconceivable that Only unbelievers would enter the Millennium.
The J \A.di::l tv'-t-,{I\., dividing the saved and the lost at the end of tribubulation (the Sheep-Goat Judgment of the Gentiles and the Judgment of the Jews - Matt 25) which cast the lost into Hell and send the saved into the Kingdom could not occur if all the saved had been raptured.
The phrase, "a falling away" in 2 Thessalonians 2:3,
2 Thessalonians 2:3 KJV 1900
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;
if translated literally, reads "the - 0 c- tiV'& " and could be an explicit statement that rapture must occur before the Tribulation begins and the Antichrist is revealed.
* Note: This interpretation in no way lessens the teaching that there will be a great final apostasy, for this is explicitly stated and described elsewhere in Scripture. The only question is which of these two Scriptural events is referred to in this passage.
The Promise of the Rapture would hardly be a COMFORT” (1 Thess 4:18) to believers
1 Thessalonians 4:18 KJV 1900
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
or a "blessed hope" (Titus 2:13)
Titus 2:13 KJV 1900
13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
if we had to suffer through the tribulation first.
Many other arguments in favor of a Pretribulational Rapture could be offered.
In fact, Dwight Pentecost lists 28 in his monumental work, Things to Come and John Walvoord lists 50 in The Rapture Question.

The Purpose of the Rapture.

To Secure the Saints before the outpouring of God's Wrath. (Rom 5:9; 1 Thess 1:9-10; 5:9)
Romans 5:9 KJV 1900
9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
1 Thessalonians 1:9–10 KJV 1900
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; 10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 KJV 1900
9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
2. To _ _._/Zg,,"""""w=-"-a"'"rd. ::;_:::
3. To -,vl.-e-V'-0(2'lliess:'/) the Church. (1 Cor 3:8-14; 2 Cor 5:10) the Spirit of God as the Restrainer of evil.
1 Corinthians 3:8–14 KJV 1900
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. 10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 13 Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. 14 If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
2 Corinthians 5:10 KJV 1900
10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
During this present age, the Holy Spirit has been acting as a divine dam, holding back the great flood waters of evil in this world. At the Rapture of the saints, this blessed influence will be removed. This will allow two things to take place:📷 21) The unhindered Evil presence of the _ ,A,---'-i.+,--'---·----='ch ..:.:r,_'---=st-'-' whowill now rise to world domination.2) The unrestrained Evil practice of all mankind.What unthinkable horrors must await those left behind after the fullness of evil is manifested on Earth. If the world has seen the genocidal tyrannies of Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot, the murderous insanity of Charles Manson and Ted Bundy, and the twisted perversions of the homosexual movement with the Restrainer active, what horrors will this world see when His restraining work on sin is completely removed at the Rapture? Truly it will be like the days of Noah when the hearts of men were upon evil continually!The Mystery of the Rapture.In 1 Corinthians 15:51, Paul declares, "Behold, I show you a mystery... " What is this great secret of the Savior?Suppose you began reading the Bible at Genesis 1 and read through1 Corintliians 14 and then stopped. You would have already learned many great lessons about Creation, Sin, Morality, Christ, Calvary, theResurrection, Heaven, and Hell. But you would be forced to conclude that the only way for a Christian to get to Heaven was by the path of physical death.You would know of two wonderful exceptions, Enoch (Gen 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:11). But for all others it would be clear that the only way to Glory was the Grave! But now the great mystery is revealed. The secret is out. Millions ofChristians living on Earth will never 7) I& ! This glorious truth that millions of Christians will never face death en route to heaven is a fact unrevealed in the Old Testament, but now made known unto us."Behold, I show you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed... " (1 Cor 15:51)The Trumpet of the Rapture. (1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16; Rev 4:1).In addition to what we have already shared, the "trumpet of God" signifies the following:To the Angels - It is a Call to Battle. (cf. Num 10:9)To Believers.An Alarm. (cf. Num 10:5-7)A Call to Assemble. (cf. Num 10:2-4)A Call to Move Out. (cf. Num 10:2)A Call to Worship. (cf. Num 10:10)The Old Testament Foreshadowing of the Rapture.Enoch - removed ie-h:>re- the Flood Judgment. (Gen 5:24)Lot - removed 1:fcft?,'€.,, the Fire Judgment. (Gen 19:22-24)Enoch and Elijah - translated without death.The Challenge of the Rapture. In light of this event, the believer should:Attend CJw.rcb Faithfully. (Heb 10:22-25)"Let us draw near with a true hean... Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering ... And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselvestogether, as the manner of some is; but exhoning one another: and so muchthe more, as ye see the tfay approaching. " (Heb 10:22-25, emphasis added)Note that we are to attend both regularly and faithfully, not missing services weekly and not dropping out of Church ever, because Jesus is coming soon!We are commanded to come with sincere hearts of worship, both holding fast to our own faith and serving as an active participant in ministering to, exhorting, and encouraging others to love and live for Christ.Partake of the Lord's Supper - with the Rapture in mind. (1 Cor 11:26)"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till He come." (1 Cor 11:26, emphasis added) 📷 Love believers and all men. (1 Thess 3:12-13)"And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another...to the end that He may stablish your hearts... at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints. " (1 Thess 3:12-13)Be patient, persevere, and establish our heart. (James 5:8)"Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts; for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." (James 5:8)5. Live a 0e-00;mJ-e.d Life. (1 Jn 3:2-3; 2:28; Titus 2:12-13)I"... We know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself. " (1 Jn 3:2-3) . . ·"... Abide in Him, that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming." (1 Jn 2:28)".. .Denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ. " (Titus 2:11-12) 📷 📷 "Therefore judge nothing be ore the time, until the Lord come, Who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts; and tfien shall every man have his praise of God. "(1 Cor 4:5)Preach the Word. (2 Tim 4:1-2; 1 Pet 5:2,4)"I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom; preach the word.. . " (1 Tim 4:1-2)"Feed the flock of God... and when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory... " (1 Pet 5:2,4)Comfort the Bereaved. (1 Thess 4:16-18)"For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven... and... we shall be caught up... wherefore comfort one another with these words. " (1 Thess 4:16-18)9. kJ lf-he,,sS . (Jude 1:21-23)"... Looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ... of some havecompassion... and others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire... "(Jude 1:21-23)Be Focused on the Eternal. (Col 3:1-4)".. .Seek those things which are above... Set your affection on things above... When Christ... shall appear, then shall ye also appear with Him in glory." (Col 3:1-4) The Effect of the Rapture.Mass Destruction, Confusion, Collapse, Panic and Terror. (Lk 21:25-26)What will be the reaction of a sin-sick society when millions of people suddenly disappear? How much confusion, panic, chaos, rioting, and terror will come from the sudden and mysterious disappearance of millions of men, women, and children? Economies, governments, and civil order will collapse.Mass 1:>ellAS-l't}t, - as the world believes the lies of the Antichnsl(2 'lliess 2:11)Mass Depravity with the removal of all restraint on evil. (2 Thess 2:6-7)