Tribulation and the Rapture
There is a bit of confusion and misunderstandings regarding the position of the believers towards the Tribulation period and the Rapture. Individuals change and have changed their position from one extreme to the other. And each view seems to find verses that support their chosen view.
So why so much confusion? God is not the Author of confusion, so obviously the fault of all this must reside within the understanding(s) many have.
All those that know of the Rapture know in their heart that it truly doesn't matter if it is pre-trib, mid-trib, or post-trib Rapture, as long as they are prepared as the five virgins with their lamps trimmed to meet the bridegroom in the air.
Matthew 25:1-13 Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 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.
It also doesn't matter if an individual doesn't believe in the Rapture. It is more important that an individual does know they truly belong to the LORD God.
If an individual is alive and does truly belong to the LORD at the time of the Rapture, their Spirit and Soul will become taken in the Rapture. Trust me, they will not be kicking and screaming to be put back on the earth.
If you don't truly know the LORD Personally, then He knows you not, as He told the lazy virgins that just didn't take that extra step to make their calling and election sure. Many will be left behind to suffer Great Tribulation of the Millennium with the rest of the world.
Matthew 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:
Ephesians 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
1 Thessalonians 2:12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
Individuals have been taught for years that there will be seven (7) years of Great Tribulation, peace on earth for 1000 years (the Millennium) with Christ's reign upon this planet earth. Both of these understandings are in error, and possibly why there is so much confusion as to when the Rapture will take place.
We pray many will be blessed with understanding as we go on to explain.
First we must understand that tribulation begins at the Cross for Children of God, as soon as they come into faith to become Sons of God. Tribulation does escalate (labor pains- tribulation) for those Children of God as the Time of the Gentiles does come to a close with the taking place of the Rapture. Jesus told Children of God that "In the world ye shall have tribulation".
Luke 21:24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
Matthew 13:21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Romans 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
2 Corinthians 1:4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.
2 Corinthians 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you: I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.
1 Thessalonians 3:4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.
Revelation 1:9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Isaiah 26:17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.
John 16:33 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.
Daniel foretells of seven (7) weeks, and sixty-two (62) weeks for the building of Christ's Church.
Daniel 9:24-27 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. 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: 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. 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.Christ's (Messiah the Prince) ministry did fulfill three and a half (3½) years of the seven (7) year period told by Daniel. Jesus Christ was cut off (crucified) in the middle of the week causing sacrificing and oblation to cease.
The Messiah (Jesus Christ) did confirm the covenant with many for a week.
Exodus 34:28 And he was there with the LORD forty days and forty nights; he did neither eat bread, nor drink water. And he wrote upon the tables the words of the covenant, the ten commandments.
Isaiah 24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance, broken the everlasting covenant.
Daniel 9:27 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.
Hebrews 13:20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
GOD's Set Standard and Covenant of Good and Righteousness, the Ten Commandments, was not being taught to the Chosen People by their religious leaders, which meant the world (Gentiles) would not come to know the importance of GOD's Law of Good and Righteousness that does overcome sin. Instead of the Chosen People being taught to overcome sin by utilizing the Law of Good and Righteousness, the Ten Commandments, they were being mislead to believe they should continually sacrifice for their sin, and many times for the same sin over and over again, which caused their sin to be remembered. They had made a covenant with death, and served the LORD with their sin. They had become no different than the heathens (gentiles) in the world. Christians are making the same mistakes, rather than learning from the mistakes of the Jews.
Isaiah 49:22 Thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I will lift up mine hand to the Gentiles, and set up my standard to the people: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.
Jeremiah 4:6 Set up the standard toward Zion: retire, stay not: for I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.
Jeremiah 33:18 Neither shall the priests the Levites want a man before me to offer burnt offerings, and to kindle meat offerings, and to do sacrifice continually.
Ezekiel 21:24 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Because ye have made your iniquity to be remembered (through sacrifice), in that your transgressions are discovered, so that in all your doings your sins do appear; because, I say, that ye are come to remembrance, ye shall be taken with the hand.
Hebrews 10:3 But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
Isaiah 28:15 Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves:
Isaiah 43:24 Thou hast bought me no sweet cane with money, neither hast thou filled me with the fat of thy sacrifices: but thou hast made me to serve with thy sins, thou hast wearied me with thine iniquities.
Jesus Christ started His ministry when he was about thirty years of age... around 26 AD.
Luke 3:23 And Jesus himself began to be about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, which was the son of Heli,Jesus attended at least three annual Feasts of Passover through the course of His ministry.
John 2:13 And the Jews' passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,Just based on that information, Jesus's ministry lasted three (3) years.
John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
John 6:4 And the passover, a feast of the Jews, was nigh.
John 11:55-57 And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.
John 19:14 And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King!
Add to that the 40 days between Jesus's resurrection and His ascension, and we have an idea of the length of Jesus's earthly ministry.
Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:From His baptism to His ascension, the late summer of 26 to the spring of 30, we have approximately three and a half (3½) years.
Jesus was crucified (cut off) in the middle of the week spoken of by Daniel, which leaves three and a half (3½) years yet to be fulfilled.
Daniel 9:26 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.
We can then sight the Two Witnesses will prophesy for three and a half (3½) years. We believe this will be the final three and a half (3½) years of the seven (7) weeks spoken of by Daniel.
Revelation 11:3 And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.We also know the Two Witnesses will take part in the first resurrection (dead shall rise first) and Rapture, because "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". And "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds".
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Revelation 11:12 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.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 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.
We know immediately after the tribulation of those days, then shall appear the sign of the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory!
Matthew 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Matthew 24:29-30 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 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.
Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
Those days (3½ years) prior to the Rapture become so wicked, the number of those days also do become shortened, or no flesh will be saved.
Matthew 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
"The dragon was wroth with the woman (Christianity), and went to make war with the remnant of her seed (Christians), which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ."
Revelation 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
Revelation 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.
Revelation 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.
Revelation 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.
Revelation 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
As in the days of Noah, so shall it be when the Lord comes to take His Church (Bride) off the planet to safety. They will be eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, going on with their day to day life not seeing the times, nor the hour.
Matthew 24:37-39 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.The Lord will come as a thief in the night, taking many loved ones.
Matthew 24:50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.
Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
The Lord Jesus Christ does gather-up, and take His Sons of God off the planet to safety before all hell (so to speak) breaks loose upon the planet. He does take them to the place He has prepared for them!
Matthew 24:31 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 Spirit and Soul of the little ones (babies, toddlers, young children) will be taken.
Matthew 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Matthew 24:41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
Matthew 24:19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!Many will come to believe that an epidemic has taken place with the many dead bodies around the planet being left behind at the time of the Rapture (first Resurrection). As it was when the LORD Visited earth in the Physical Form of Jesus Christ, once again, mankind will not sight the Day of the Lord. What has become known as the Rapture (Day of the Lord) will instead become explained away when it does take place.
Amos 8:3 And the songs of the temple shall be howlings in that day, saith the Lord GOD: there shall be many dead bodies in every place; they shall cast them forth with silence.
Matthew 24:28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
With the taking place of the Rapture, the Holy Ghost does leave the planet to be one with the Sons of God that were Raptured. He will have fulfilled His mission during this period of Grace (time of Gentiles).
Genesis 6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
Shortly after the Rapture, some that were left behind will call on the Spirit of the Lord for spiritual guidance, but the Holy Ghost will no longer be here to answer.
Proverbs 1:25-31 But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you. Then shall they call upon me, but I will not answer; they shall seek me early, but they shall not find me: For that they hated knowledge, and did not choose the fear of the LORD: They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof. Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
The Lord Jesus said, "In my Father's house (universe) are many mansions (planets): if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you (New Planet). And if I go and prepare a place for you (New Earth), I will come again, and receive you unto myself (Rapture); that where I am, there ye may be also."
A place "wherein dwelleth righteousness"! A place where no sin whatsoever exists!
John 14:2-3 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. 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.
Isaiah 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.
Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.
2 Peter 3:13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Daniel 7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.
Deuteronomy 10:14 Behold, the heaven and the heaven of heavens is the LORD'S thy God, the earth also, with all that therein is.The Sons of God taken in the Rapture reign and live with Christ upon the New Earth for a thousand years!
Nehemiah 9:6 Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.
Hebrews 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Hebrews 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
Revelation 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."And so shall we ever (always) be with the Lord" at the place He went to prepare... the New Earth!
Revelation 20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
1 Thessalonians 4:17 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.One day with the Lord (marriage supper) is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day upon this planet!
2 Peter 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.
The first heaven and the first earth will eventually pass away; and there will be no more sea (people). Mankind of earth should/can look to Mars to sight earth's future! No GOD, no life!
Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.