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5. RAPTURE : Pre, Mid or Post Tribulation ? Or Pre Wrath ?

23 Mar

RAPTURE is an end time event that is very long-awaited by the children of God who realize that His time was so near i.e when God will fulfill all the remaining prophecies in the Bible, before God destroys all the evil in this world, and before God build and reign in His Millennial Kingdom. Since it is still a prophecy, therefore many of us, His children, are trying to interprete of when the time will be. Three kinds of interpretations (doctrine) which generally believe among God’s children are:

  1. PRE – TRIBULATION, a rapture which will happen before the Great Tribulation, and by all means, we will not experience the reign of Antichrist over the world.
  2. MID – TRIBULATION, a rapture which will happen in the middle of Great Tribulation, and before the Antichrist begin. Means, we will experience part of the Great Tribulation.
  3. POST – TRIBULATION, a rapture which will happen right after the Great Tribulation and Antichrist’s reign. Means us, whether we like it or not, will have to go through all of it.

And not so long ago, a new interpretation has been “found” which is :

  • PRE – WRATH, rapture will take place right before the cup of God’s wrath is being spilled to the Antichrist and his cronies.

As believers only – no Theological background at all, we have been confused by that varieties of doctrines! Which one is true actually? If we want to be “good and safe”, of course we would choose to embrace Pre – Tribulation. But this is not a matter of preferences because our preference will not save us. But we have to seek His righteousness that really saves us! The fact is, most of Pentecostal Churches embraced pre-tribulation. The same which I have believed for so many years, without any curiousity to know about which word of God being their basis for that doctrine.

Until the month of July 2007, Rev. Danny Soepangat came to our church and conveys apologies to all the congregation, because for the last 13 years he had taught about the end of times would be a Pre – Tribulation, when the truth in fact turns out to be POST – Tribulation!!! So since he realized about his false teaching, he went around to all churches that have invited him previously, both in Indonesia and abroad to rectify his mistake, and to make the truth spread even faster, he has opened a website (www.akhir-zaman.com) which explains that the Rapture is actually POST – Tribulation, complete with all the latest information about the fulfillment of the signs of end times, for example, where it was and is an earthquake or the eruption of the mountain or comets will fall or next diseases that are rampant throughout the world. No kidding, everything has been prepared by His servant for us to keep ready at all times. Praise the Lord!

The truth about POST – tribulation has made most of the children of God to feel restless and uneasy, because it means we all can’t help it – like it or not we must go through the reign of antichrist! And it is terrible, especially for the children of God who had watched the movie illustrations of the End Times! Again, is it really POST Tribulation??

Let us surrender our mind and intelligence, once again, to God, so we would not get misled by the doctrines. But before we begin, we should pay attention on the logical principles of Rev. Danny’s as follows:

  • If Jesus came down to earth, and born as a man, and then return to heaven (ascension), and He will return to earth the same ways as when He lifted up, as said on:

Acts 1:9-11 (New International Version)

9After he said this, he was taken up before their very eyes, and a cloud hid him from their sight.

10They were looking intently up into the sky as he was going, when suddenly two men dressed in white stood beside them.

11“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.”

So, logically, JESUS is the only person in this universe who knows exactly the way He will come back to earth. So He is the RIGHT PERSON for us to ask…

  • That’s why, the base of our study about the end times MUST BE STARTED based on JESUS’s OWN PREACHING about the end times, NOT based on the propechies of the apostles, or even church’s doctrines. Because the result will be absolutely different and might misled us.

1 Corinthians 3:11 (New International Version)

11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already lay, which is Jesus Christ.

The prophecies of the Prophets and the Letters of the Apostles were supposed to be only supplementary explanations of Jesus’s Sermon. Means we must start from Matthew 24 or Mark 13, about Lord Jesus’s preaching to his disciples on the Mount of Olives. Read the full chapters of  Matthew 24 and Mark 13 and find a KEY about the RAPTURE, according to Jesus’ own words !

Now let our digging begins.

Matthew 24:15-16 (New International Version)

15“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—

16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

So, now we will read what was said by the prophet Daniel, because it’s the Lord Jesus himself who has told us!

Daniel 9:27 (New International Version)

27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven’. In the middle of the ‘seven’, he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.

The prophet Daniel said that there will be 7 years of tribulation which will begin when the Israel made peace with a nation that eventually turned out to be antichrist later. After it, the Temple of God will be rebuilt and eventually Antichrist will occupy the temple and betray the agreement with the nation of Israel, and declared himself as the Lord in the mid of 7-year period.

To make it clearer, we can divide the Tribulation phase into 2 parts i.e. the first 3 ½ years (Period of Troubles) and the rest, the second 3 ½ years which commonly known as the Great Tribulation Period, or Antichrist period, where God will let the Antichrist reign.

Daniel 12:7 (Amplified Bible)

7And I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right and his left hand toward the heavens and swore by Him Who lives forever that it shall be for a time, times, and a half a time [or three and one-half years]; and when they have made an end of shattering and crushing the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.

Note, the prophet Daniel also explains that there will be a 3 ½-year period II (from 7 years of tribulation) which will be given to Antichrist before the wrath of God is poured out to him and his followers, and then the Lord Jesus will return for the second time to the earth (Second Coming) in the battle of Armageddon, to destroy them.

Now let’s go back to the preaching of Jesus, in the book of Mark.

Mark 13:19-20 (= Matthew 24:21-22) – (New International Version)

19because those will be days of distress unequaled from the beginning, when God created the world, until now—and never to be equaled again.

20If the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would survive. But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them.

So based on the above verses, according to Jesus, we have to pass the Great Tribulation! But God will shorten the time, for us! We’ll see how it is compared with the Gospel of Matthew:

Matthew 24:29-31 (New International Version)

29Immediately after the distress of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.”

30“At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.

31And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

It is even clearer! Immediately after the distress of those days that will be shortened for us by God by rapturing us, will only happen Immediately after the distress of those days. So, it is clear that RAPTURE  will not be at Pre-Tribulation!  Now we read further from what the Apostles said :

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 (New International Version)

1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers,

2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the day of the Lord has already come.

3Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for (that day will not come) until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.

4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

We should have noticed that, the Apostle Paul had already warned us that before the “day” of rapture, should occurs first the rebellion and the man of lawlessness being revealed, the man doomed to destruction. That man of lawlessness is also known as “the abomination that causes desolation” in Matthew 24: 15 and in Daniel 9: 27 or a “liar” in 1 John 2:22 or ANTICHRIST which will be revealed only later in the mid of 7-year tribulation period !

So Rapture will NOT be also at MID – Tribulation, though!

Revelation 10:7 (New International Version)

7But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.”

WHAT MYSTERY OF GOD?

Please note carefully the following verses :

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (New International Version)

51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—

52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 (New International Version)

9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

  • Based on Dan.9:27 and Dan.12:7, it is clear that Antichrist will be given 3 ½ years by God to rule, which began from mid-period until the completion of the 7 year tribulation period.
  • In the book of Revelations, it is explained, that along the 7 years period of the Great Tribulation there will be:
  1. 7  Seals which will be opened by the Lord Jesus Himself (Seals means distresses that will happen on earth); then
  2. 7  Trumpets which will be blown by the Angels  (Trumpets blowing means the terrible natural disasters that will happen on earth);
  3. 7 vials of God’s Wrath that will be poured out to the Antichrist and His Followers.

Then in 1Tes.5:9, the Apostle Paul also affirms that our Lord did not appoint us to suffer wrath that will be poured out to Antichrist at the end of his given power (7 vials of wrath of God / WRATH), i.e. at the end of the 7 year tribulation and that we shall be raptured to the clouds at the time of the seventh Trumpets is being rung, means shortly before the vials of God’s wrath being poured out one by one to the earth, to antichrist and all his followers, to all those who have BIOCHIP “666” sign on their forehead or at the back of his right hand, to end the given 3 ½-year reign of Antichrist.

Revelation 11:15-19 (New International Version)

The Seventh Trumpet

15The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.”

16And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God,

17saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.

18The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and greatand for destroying those who destroy the earth.

19Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm.

So that THE MYSTERY OF GOD means THAT RAPTURE WILL BE HAPPENED AT THE LAST TRUMPET SOUND (note the blue, underlined letters), AND JUST RIGHT BEFORE THE VIALS OF GOD’S WRATH (note the red letters) BEING POURED OUT TO ANTICHRIST.

Clearly proved, that Rapture will only be occurred in “POST – Tribulation” stage (after the Antichrist) or at the tip end of the seven years tribulation period or more to the point if we call it as “PRE – WRATH” (Before the vials of Wrath)!

To make us clearer, we can draw a diagram as follow :

Now, let’s trace back for the confirmation of the POST – Tribulation or PRE – WRATH from a different approach, i.e. through other verses. In Matthew 24: 29, 22 and Mark13:20 above we have found that the Rapture will happen “Immediately after the distress of those days” or “But for the sake of the elect, whom he has chosen, he has shortened them”.

So now our question is: HOW short is the time will be??

Matthew 24:15-16 (New International Version)

15“So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand—

16then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

Revelation 12:6 (New International Version)

6The woman fled into the desert to a place prepared for her by God, where she might be taken care of for 1,260 days.

Revelation 12:14 (New International Version)

14The woman was given the two wings of a great eagle, so that she might fly to the place prepared for her in the desert, where she would be taken care of for a time, times and half a time, out of the serpent’s reach.

Please aware, the word “woman” is symbolizing Israel, as His Bride!

1260  days is exactly the same as (1 year + 2 years + ½ year) or =  3½  years X  360  days of the year of Israel/Jewish (different from our typical 365 days) = 1260 days

So what’s that means???

Maybe there will be some complaining that the verses I quoted above (Mat.24: 22, Mrk.13: 20, Rev.12: 6.14)

should applies to the people of Israel only, not to us, children of God, His Church. Do not be misled! Book of Romans chapter 11 discuss about Israel, His chosen nation and us, other nations that obtain His grace, the opportunity given by God to be His chosen people as well, due to stiffnecked people of Israel that would not repent – even though we are not really the people of Israel in flesh !

Although we also have the opportunity to be God’s chosen people because of our faith in Him, but that does not mean that we should feel more meaningful than the people of Israel that we might be raptured before the people of Israel, His chosen. The following paragraph is an excerpt from the book of Romans 11, which describes Jesus as the True Original Olive Tree, The people of Israel as “the original branches of Him” while us, the Gentiles as “wild shoots” that are grafted to the Original Olive Tree due to the stiffnecked of Israel.

Romans 11:17-22 (New International Version)

17If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,

18do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.

19You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.”

20Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.

21For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.

Well, if the original people of Israel (the original branches) must wait to pass 3 ½ years of Antichrist, is it logically right if we get raptured earlier???  Apostle Paul warned us  for NOT GETTING ARROGANT, NOT FEELING HOLIER THAN THE ISRAELITES so that we may feel worthier to be raptured before the Israelites ! Even the Apostle Paul has reminded us that:

Acts 14:22 (Amplified Bible)

22Establishing and strengthening the souls and the hearts of the disciples, urging and warning and encouraging them to stand firm in the faith, and [telling them] that it is through many hardships and tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.

Our next question is, if God had told them (the Israelites) to run unto the mountains, where should we go then…..? Now that I can not answer yet, because I have not found the verse yet, but  one day God will reveal, just in His time. Do not ever forget this verse:

Deuteronomy 29:29 (New International Version)

29 The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.

One other important question now is, how long that we have still before the day of His Rapture come ?  No  one  knows !!!

Matthew 24:36 (New International Version)

The Day and Hour Unknown

36“No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[a] but only the Father.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (New International Version)

1Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you,

2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.

3While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief.

5You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness.

6So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.

7For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night.

8But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.

9For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.

10He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.

11Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

So in conclusion, what important for us now (after we knew the fact THAT WE SHALL THROUGH THE 7 YEARS TRIBULATION before we experience Rapture) is PREPARING OURSELVES with SELF CORRECTION TO BE CONTINUOUSLY ADJUSTED OURSELVES TO HIS STANDARD! We must become like the 5 wise girls who kept their lamps burning when the bridegroom come !  Then we consider also the fulfillment of the signs that already stated in the Bible (Rev.6 – Rev.11, regarding the 7th Seal and the 7th Trumpets), you can also monitor the up to date situation on the progress of the fulfillment of these signs from www.akhirzaman.com.

Psalm 90:12 (New International Version)

12 Teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.

Jesus Bless You

(deborahtheshofar.wordpress.com)

 
1 Comment

Posted by on March 23, 2010 in English version

 

One response to “5. RAPTURE : Pre, Mid or Post Tribulation ? Or Pre Wrath ?

  1. Irv

    July 15, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    PRETRIB RAPTURE STEALTH !

    Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
    Many don’t know that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!). Google “Walvoord Melts Ice” for more on this.
    Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).

    [Hello, Shofar, I spied the foregoing on web. Reactions, anyone?]

     

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