will be caught up together
them in the clouds,
meet the Master
Caught Up! A Description
The Rapture. The Scriptural Doctrine
How can we be sure that we will be
included in the Rapture,
and not left behind?
A Partial Rapture?
When will the Church be caught up ?
BEFORE, MIDDLE or AFTER ?
15 main reasons why the Church will
be caught up BEFORE the Tribulation
transliteration of the Hebrew letters of the sacred Name of the Almighty God
Name is used 6855 times in the Hebrew Bible. It is currently pronounced as
Yahweh or Yahwah. During the past few centuries it was inaccurately rendered
as Jehovah or Yehowah.
meaning of Yahweh is “The Eternal One.”
is the original Hebrew Name of Jesus. It is also often written as Yeshua, or
Yahshua. The meaning of Y’shua is, “Yahweh is Salvation.”
The Christ) means “The Anointed One.” It comes from the Hebrew words
is the fulfilment of the Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament.
Christians recognise Y’shua (Jesus) as the Messiah.
in this book are from the Clear Preferred Version (CPV), a clear,
compared teaching version by Don Stanton. It employs modern English, and
uses the original Names of YHWH and Y’shua. Words in italics are not in the
original, but are supplied to complete or to amplify the English
CPV is not complete, but scriptures used in most of our recent publications
are from the CPV.
CAUGHT UP !
FACE was pale and anguished as she entered the pilot’s cabin of the 747.
“Captain,” she blurted. “They are
We have searched the whole plane thoroughly. Hostess Nirmala, and the old
man - both have completely disappeared.”
“Impossible! It's impossible for anyone to disappear from a plane unless a
door or a panel has blown off!” the pilot retorted. “You’ve been drinking.”
have not been drinking!” Asha fumed. “And the old man’s wife is hysterical.”
check the whole plane again!"
* * *
Stephen and Paula watched their television - the news was being read by a
familiar reader. “The Middle East peace process has seen a major
breakthrough today as Dr. .....
sentence was cut short. Stephen stared at the screen ... the announcer’s
seat suddenly appeared empty. He had vanished. “Where is he?” someone in the
studio called out. Then some commotion followed.
Stephen sat upright. “Paula, what gives?” he exclaimed. There was no answer.
He glanced in his wife’s direction. “Paula ... where are you?”
* * *
waited impatiently for his ticket. The attendant had accepted his money. The
queue behind Raju became agitated. “What’s holding us up?” they demanded.
shrugged angrily. “The fellow was there a couple of minutes ago. He seems to
* * *
the car!” Sheila shrieked. “Krishan, stop the car!”
“What’s wrong?” Krishan asked, pulling to a halt.
“Where’s Shanta? She’s not here. She’s gone!”
“What!” Krishan gasped, and slammed on the brakes.
that? The doors are still locked!”
* * *
police sergeant rushed into his superior’s room.
the prisoner has escaped.”
“What!” the officer exclaimed, jumping up, “Which one?”
dacoit - the one who has become religious over the last few weeks.”
has he escaped?”
a mystery, sir. His prison cell is still locked.”
must be an accomplice. Alert the force!”
* * *
wept as she caught sight of the coffin at the side of the grave. It carried
the body of her father. He had been a godly church elder.
brother took her arm as they drew near to the front. The service was brief
and the minister concluded with condolences to the bereaved family and
friends. As he closed, he invited those who wished, to have a last look at
the body of the departed loved one.
lid of the casket was removed. The minister stared with alarm, into an empty
box - there were only a few clothes in it.
* * *
7 p.m. when Grace reached home from work, “Mother,” she called, “I’m home.”
There was no answer. Grace could smell something burning. She followed her
nose to the kitchen. Smoke was belching forth from a pot on the stove.
“Mother,” she cried loudly. “Where are you?”
was no answer!
* * *
Rajender rushed into the Rai’s house. Bena was looking worried as she met
him at the door. “Oh, Rajender!” she gasped, “I thought you were James ...
he’s very late. Have you seen him?”
haven’t, Bena. But I was wondering if my wife was down here?”
Rajender. I saw Esther this afternoon. She was going home to cook something
special for you tonight!”
* * *
turned the radio on. “Must listen to the news,” he said to himself. “You
don’t know what may happen these days.”
is All-India Radio. The News; read by Loti Ratnam. Mysterious events have
taken place this afternoon. Reports from many cities of India tell of the
mysterious disappearance of people from all over the country. There has been
an alarming number of accidents, and it is believed that the accidents have
been caused mostly by the disappearance of drivers from cars and other
vehicles... ... a note just handed to me says;
‘Reports of missing people have been received from many other countries.
There have been sightings of Unidentified Flying Objects in a number of
places, and this has given rise to speculation that an invasion of flying
saucers may have kidnapped many unfortunate people. Investigation is under
way, and reports will be given regularly over these stations. People are
urged to remain calm, and to notify a local police reporting room in cases
of missing relatives’.”
shudder went through Kurian. As soon as the news report was finished, he
switched off the radio. He grabbed his phone and dialled his parents’ STD
number. He breathed heavily into the mouthpiece, wishing it would answer.
But it didn’t.
God,” he sighed. “It
Mohanty was out of breath as she pushed her weight against the door bell at
Pastor Jonathan Masih’s residence. She waited impatiently for a few seconds,
and then pushed the bell again. After what seemed an age, the door slowly
opened, and Pastor Masih smiled at her.
thank God, Pastor! You’re still here! I .... I was afraid ... that
have gone too.”
No, no, my dear ... gone where?”
“Pastor, haven’t you heard the news?”
No. I’ve been working diligently all day on my message on the new world
“Pastor ... there’s thousands of people missing.”
true. It’s on the T.V. ... I thought it might have been the ... the... what
do they call it? The Rap...?”
Rapture? Haw, haw,” the pastor laughed. “Haw, haw. See, Mrs. Mohanty,
still here. How would God leave us behind? Haw, haw, haw.”
where could they have gone?”
must be some explanation. Don’t worry too much.”
awful. I was so afraid ... Where is Mrs. Masih?”
don’t know. She hasn’t come home yet ... She’s never this late though ...
she must have been delayed somewhere ...”
p.m., Rajender Singh was near to collapse because of anxiety, and pacing the
house, and the street. There was no sign of Esther. Asha, his daughter,
filled with fear, had raced off to find her boyfriend, leaving Rajender
kept tuned to the TV. Every news report was worse than the one before.
pm the newsreader’s voice was animated. “This has been a day of tragedies,”
he said. “Not only have tens of thousands of people disappeared from all
around the globe, but a great number of accidents have occurred. The roads
of some cities are littered with wrecked vehicles; and yet, the strange
thing is that many of the cars have been found empty. Several plane crashes,
and a number of train accidents have occurred.
Prime Minister has called for calm, so that we may face this emergency.
one good news of the day,” the reader continued, “is that there has been a
breakthrough in the Middle East peace process. In Geneva, Dr. Arttur Xerxes
has been acclaimed for his role in bringing about a treaty that has been
signed by Israel and most of the Arab nations.
leaders of Europe, the United States, Russia, as well as the United Nations
have pledged to back the Middle East peace treaty which will last for an
initial seven years. The Secretary-General of the United Nations has
applauded Dr Arttur Xerxes, and says the treaty would guarantee peace in
West Asia, and the world. This is the beginnning of a New World Order.
Xerxes has been heralded as the Foremost Planetary Citizen, and he will
address the United Nations in just under one hour from now. Direct
broadcasts may be heard over this network, at 12 o’clock tonight.”
normal radio and TV programs were cancelled, and All-India Radio and all TV
channels continued the commentary on the events of the day.
orgy of violence had broken out in many cities, and a pall of anxiety was
pervading homes everywhere. The streets were filled, even late in the night,
with cars and other vehicles rushing to and fro, as people tried to check up
on their relatives. The reckless panic of many people has led to countless
multiple pileups on the highways. It was as if a new, crazed force had
suddenly been “unleashed” in the world.
about 11:30, Rajender Singh’s phone rang, He jumped at it. It was his son,
ringing from Brussels.
he said, “I’ve been trying for hours to get you. Communications are jammed
everywhere. Be sure to listen to the UN broadcast tonight ... Dr. Xerxes.
He’s revealed at last, I believe he’s Maitreya, the Christ. The new order is
beginning ... Tell Mum to listen also!”
was a break in the conversation. Rajender was silent.
Rajiv called, “Are you there?”
she not well?”
don’t know ... disappeared.”
“What!” Rajiv exclaimed. “Can’t be! No! No! Dad, we warned her about
becoming involved with those Bible preachers! Anyway, don’t be too anxious!
Dr. Xerxes will announce...”
phone was suddenly cut off. Rajender sank into his chair, and buried his
head in his hands.
“What’s happening?” he cried. He felt dizzy - then he heard a rushing noise
sweep through the house. His chair began to shake. The lights went out. The
whole room began to shudder. For some 15 seconds it lasted. Rajender clung
to his chair in sheer terror. He could not even pull himself up.
“Earthquake” he groaned.
Rajender staggered out into the street. People from neighbour’s homes were
huddled in groups, jabbering with shock and fear. Down the street, one group
neighbour identified Rajender in the eerie darkness.
your family, Rajender? Anyone hurt?”
There was only me in the house.”
about your wife?”
don’t know where she is.”
didn’t come home?”
... I’m scared she is one of those who have disappeared.”
be, Rajender! Things like that don’t happen to ordinary folk like us ...
She’ll come back, for sure. Don’t think the worst.”
your family okay, Devendra?”
but maybe we had better go up the street in case any help is needed.”
“Sorry,” Rajender said. “I haven’t got the strength.”
before he could find a place to sit, a strange noise zoomed towards them,
and the whole street began to shake. People began screaming, as buildings
started to collapse.
* * *
Delhi, Kurian hunched over the TV. The news coming through told of tragedy
after tragedy. And yet, interspersed amongst the tragic reports, there was
the lauding of the 7-year peace treaty, and “the hope” that Dr. Arttur
Xerxes presented to the world.
news of the major earthquake which struck Bombay that night brought terror
into Kurian’s heart. His parents were living there - but he had not been
able to contact them, although he had kept calling. Where were they? Had
they been hurt or killed in the earthquake? Or had they also disappeared
with so many others?
feared the dread possibility that the Great Tribulation was beginning. He
had heard about it since childhood. His parents had warned him of it, and
had urged him to be ready for the coming of the Lord. And more recently,
after it was announced that “Lord Maitreya” was “the Christ,” and was soon
to be revealed on radio and television worldwide, Kurian’s parents had
written to him again, warning of the coming Antichrist.
question in Kurian’s mind was, “Is Dr. Arttur Whatever-his-name-is, the
Antichrist, who would become a ruthless world dictator?”
had always kept telling himself, and his parents, that it was all
supposition. Nothing of the sort would happen.
now Kurian was intent on hearing the midnight broad-cast. He was one of the
several billion people all around the world who were tuned in to hear and
see Dr. Xerxes. The message was being instantly translated into hundreds of
languages. In India the broadcast would be heard in all main languages.
dot of midnight, the radio and television announced:
is the United Nations, broadcasting to all nations. Ladies and Gentlemen;
the Secretary-General, Mr Koshi Haman:
“Fellow Citizens of Planet Earth. It has been a most momentous day in the
history of our Planet. It has been one of both tragedy and triumph. While an
alarming number of calamities have been striking the world, a new spirit of
confidence has been created through the tremendous breakthrough in the
Middle East peace process. We, the planetary citizens of the world are now
at a stage - for the first time in human history - where we can truly call
each other, “brothers.” We are now able to march forward together and to
create a truly durable and benevolent new world order. This glorious
prospect has become possible through the divine qualities, the spiritual
intelligence, and the dynamic leadership of one great man of destiny.
“For centuries, the world has awaited such a man. Today
we welcome him, we acclaim him, for it is his presence in our midst that has
saved the world from a nuclear holocaust. And we believe he will also save
us from our many other troubles. Fellow-citizens, I present to you, Dr.
Television cameras zoomed in on the man who had so
suddenly come into prominence. Dr. Xerxes stood
the United Nations General Assembly.
“Citizens of Planet Earth,” he said, “I greet you in the
name of Peace. You are brothers and fellow-citizens of a great civilization
- one that will truly become far greater in the days ahead. In view of the
power invested in me - a servant of the Most High, and a servant of all
humanity, I assure you that the time has arrived for man to drink of the
waters of Aquarius, and to experience life abundant - a life of peace, joy,
equality, and security. Together, we can build a new world where war is a
thing of the past, where exploitation is unnecessary, where children do not
starve, and where the natural resources of the planet are not squandered
selfishly, and where the beauties of our planet are experienced and enjoyed
the powers of darkness have thrown their weight against the new order,
seeking to create a spirit of fear and confusion. But such powers, I assure
you, will be defeated. Knowing they have already been condemned, they have
attempted to assert themselves in a final resistance to the new world that
you and I are called to create.
offer my sincere, brotherly condolences to all who have been bereaved this
day. I pray to God that His peace will surround you. And I ask you not to
give up hope, and not to be afraid. The powers that are working against us
will be destroyed by the superior power that is residing in every one of
Kurian’s eyes were glued to the TV as Dr. Xerxes continued his message,
promising hope, solutions, and a new world. His words appealed to Kurian,
who sat mesmerised by the charismatic personality of this illuminated “man.”
could this man be the Antichrist?” Kurian asked himself. “Antichrist will be
evil, according to what they say. But this man is ... he’s ... too good.”
“For the mystery of iniquity
and lawlessness is already at work; but He who now restrains will do so
until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be
revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to
an end by the glory of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in
accord with the activity of Satan, with great power and with all kinds of
counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders and with all the deception of
wickedness among those who are perishing, because they would not receive the
love of the truth that could have saved them.” (2 Thessalonians 2:7-10)
Scripture quotations in this
book are from the Clear Preferred Version.
MUCH AS I would love to continue writing the above story, I must now turn to
the Word of God and show you the facts that have caused me to write an
“introduction” in the form of a novel.
people will no doubt accuse me of writing
But this coming event is not
like these described are going to happen before long. Millions of people
to disappear. Tragedies
to strike the earth; and a world dictator, who at first will seem to be a
revealed after the Messiah catches His people up to the Father’s House.
world will wonder at the man who is revealed on TV, and they will
begin to worship him. It’s all scheduled to take place, and it could be very
soon. The Great Tribulation is imminent, and that means the Rapture also is
Man of Sin, whether he be “Lord Maitreya,” or whether he be some other
as-yet-unrevealed Antichrist, is undoubtedly working at this very minute
behind the scenes, preparing for his worldwide reign of terror.
people do not believe there will be a Rapture. For example, the late Herbert
W Armstrong, the founder of the Plain Truth magazine, scoffed at the
idea of anyone being caught up in the clouds. The Christadelphians, J.W.’s,
and Mormons don’t believe in the Rapture. In fact, I don’t know of any false
cult which holds to this blessed hope. And sadly there are also many
Christians who don’t believe in the Rapture.
course, the Rapture is such a miraculous event that only a believer with
faith in God’s Word will believe it can take place, quite literally, as the
are not concerned with what the denialists believe. We are concerned about
use the Bible to support their own theories. They are skilled in twisting or
bypassing important verses, and in explaining away Scriptures that don’t fit
in with their own interpretations. And of course, any of us could do the
same thing if we were not careful.
we must do is to examine the many Scriptures on the subject of the Rapture
and the Return of Christ. We may check the Hebrew and Greek Scriptures, and
the literal translation of the words. We should scrutinize the verses and
see whether they are to be taken literally or figuratively. And we must be
prepared to accept what the Bible clearly reveals.
is not found in the English Bible. But this word is a very suitable word to
describe the rapturous catching up of believers to meet the Lord in the air.
the word “Millennium” is not written in the Bible - but the 1000-year reign
of Christ is very clearly taught. So it is with the Rapture.
word Rapture comes from the Latin word rapere, which is found
in the expression “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
of my readers may be sharpening their swords already to have a duel with me
on the question of when the Rapture takes place. But I ask these beloved
readers to sheath their swords for a few minutes. That question I will
attend to shortly, but first, I want to establish the fact that
be a Rapture,
that this is not some new doctrine, or a product of the imagination, or
simply wishful thinking.
SPECIFIC PROPHECIES OF
most clear Scriptural passage of the Rapture is in this chapter where the
apostle Paul explains what happens to the “dead in Christ” . . .
“But we do not want you to be
uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep - those who have died in
Christ - or to grieve as do the rest who have no hope.
“For since we believe that
Y’shua died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with
Y’shua, those who have fallen asleep in Him. For this we declare to you by
the Master’s own word, that we, the living, who remain until the coming of
the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep.
“For the Master Himself will
descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with
the trumpet call of God. Then the dead in Christ - those who died
in union with the Messiah - shall rise first.
“Then we, the living
believers who remain, will simultaneously be caught up together
with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air. And so we will be
with the Master for ever.
Therefore comfort and encourage
one another with these words.”
17 is clear, isn’t it? We shall be caught up in the clouds!
haw, haw,” laughs Rev. Jonathan Masih. But his laughing doesn’t change a
thing. It only proves he has an unbelieving heart.
Reader, I’m not asking you to believe a theory. I’m asking you to believe
that the Word of God is true, and that 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 is a very
time ago I had a discussion with a pastor of a main-line church, and he
maintained that being “caught up” was nothing more than progress in
Scripture wanted to speak about spiritual progress and maturity, it would
use straight words, as it does in
It would not need to use the express-ion “in the clouds ... in the air.”
besides, it is clear the Rapture takes place at the same time as the
resurrection of true believers in Christ who have already died . It would be
a case of gross falsification if we tried to make the verse read like this -
“and the dead in Christ shall progress first, then we who are alive and
remain shall progress to spiritual heights with them.”
may say the verse is referring only to jubilation at the coming of the Lord.
The person who explains away such an important verse in such a manner,
evidently does not
believe in the Rapture.
is absolutely no reason why this verse should be regarded as symbolic. The
teaching is not a dream or vision. It is not a parable, or an analogy. It is
straightforward teaching; and it was given by the Apostle Paul as there was
confusion in the early Thessalonian church about the resurrection and the
coming of the Master for His people.
where clear teaching was called for, it would have been most un-Paul-like to
confuse the issue by using ambiguous terms.
apostle Paul was always concerned and careful to explain his subject in a
clear manner. And if it was not clear
will be possible for believers to be caught up unto the clouds (without
suffocating), Paul would also make this clear - as He has done in his first
letter to the Corinthians, chapter 15.
chapter deals with death and the resurrection. Paul speaks about earthly
bodies, and heavenly bodies, explaining how the earthly body we have, will
one day be raised up as an imperishable, spiritual body. (See
apostle explains that not all believers are going to die, but all believers
will have transformed bodies. Read the passage - and notice again, this is a
passage of explicit teaching. There’s nothing symbolic, analogical or
parabolic about it. So we are obliged to take the truth of these words
literally, just as they are written.
“Listen! I tell you a mystery,
a secret truth; we will not all fall asleep, (that is - die); but
we will all be changed, transformed - in a flash, in the twinkling of
an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, the dead
will be raised incorruptible and imperishable, and we, also, will be
changed - transformed.
“For this corruptible, the
perishable part of us, must put on incorruption, and this
mortal part of us - that is capable of dying, must put on
immortality. But when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this
mortal has put on immortality, then the word that has been written will be
fulfilled, ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory’.” [Isaiah 25:8]
this passage is teaching about the coming of the Messiah for His people
becomes very clear when we compare it with 1 Thessalonians 4 - the
trumpet, the catching up, and the resurrection of believers.
instantly-transformed bodies of believers enables them to be caught up,
literally, into the clouds, to meet the Master.
may now ask, “And what then? How long are you going to be in the clouds?
Surely you can’t expect us to believe you are going to be sitting around on
cushions of clouds, playing harps for ever - like the ancient mythical gods
I’m not asking you to believe myths. In John 14, our Master Himself explains
what will happen. And please notice again, this Scripture is not a parable.
Y’shua is giving straightforward teaching, and is giving believers a
“Let not your heart be
troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s House are
many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you, for I am
going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a
place for you, I will come back again and receive you to Myself, so that you
also may be where I am.” (John
people have taught that the coming of the Master takes place when a believer
dies - that the Saviour meets the spirit of a believer as it leaves the body
and rises to the spiritual realm.
this is not what Jesus is talking about here. He is talking about a literal
going, and about a literal coming again to receive His people to Himself.
And in between the going and the coming, He would prepare a place for His
people in the Father’s House.
cults deny that the Messiah is preparing a place
for His people. They say the Father’s House is on earth only. They refer to
the Master’s words - when He spoke of the temple as “My Father’s House” - to
help prove that the Father’s House is upon earth.
this is an example of what I mean about twisting of words. The Herodian
temple was not a place of many mansions. Nor can we say that the Lord
Himself will build a multi-complex “Father’s House” on earth.
said, “In My Father’s House
many mansions.” It was already a fact - in heaven.
place He was yet to prepare, was a palace for His Bride which is made
up of true believers who have been saved out of both Jewish and
Gentile nations during this almost-2,000 year dispensation. And that place
is more than a single building; it is a tremendous city.
place is clearly in the heavens - in the spiritual realm.
speaks of the living hope a believer has ...
“... an inheritance which can
never perish, be corrupted or fade away, that is kept safe
in heaven for you.” (1
Hebrews speaks of the heavenly city which God has prepared also for Old
“But as it was, they desired
and yearned for a better country, that is a heavenly one.
Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a
city for them.” (Hebrews
Revelation 21 tells of the heavenly city ...
“prepared as a bride adorned
for her husband.” (Revelation
“One of the seven angels who
had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues, came and said to me,
‘Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.’
“Then in the Spirit he conveyed
me away to a great and high mountain, and showed me the Holy City,
Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, having the Sh’khinah
glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very precious jewel, like jasper,
clear as crystal.” (Revelation 21:9-11)
spite of these verses, and other passages such as Revelation 7:9-17 where
believers are seen around the Throne in heaven, some say there is no
Rapture, and that the gathering of believers to Christ is a gathering on
House referred to is the Jerusalem temple, then we would have to presume the
Lord will come on a very cloudy day, when the mountains of Jerusalem will be
engulfed with low clouds, and that all believers will somehow be brought
received by the Master in the clouds. And presumably they would then live in
the mansion which the Master must either bring with Him, or which somehow
must be set in place on those mountains.
such an interpretation would simply be a clumsy attempt to explain away the
Rapture. And why should we do that?
all who love and believe in Y’shua the Messiah -Jesus Christ - hold to His
precious promise - “the blessed hope.”
The Master is preparing a place for His people in heaven.
He is coming to receive us unto Himself.
He will transform our bodies, and catch us up into
the clouds, and take us to the Father’s House.
“For the grace of God that
brings salvation has appeared to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness
and worldly passions, and to live sensible (self-controlled), upright
and godly lives in this present age, awaiting and looking for
the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour,
Y’shua the Messiah; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from
all lawlessness (all wickedness), and purify for Himself a people who
are uniquely His own; people zealous to do good
How Can We Be Sure
will be included in
the Rapture and not left behind?
one thing to
provision that YHWH the Almighty has made for our deliverance from this
doomed world, but it is another thing to be
have the firm assurance that we, as individuals,
part in the deliverance.
people have a vague hope that they will somehow be counted “good enough” for
God to save them. They reason that if they are “as good as the next person,”
God won’t do anything unjust, but He will be merciful to them, and therefore
they have nothing to worry about.
that is wishful thinking. A person may be as good as the average person -
may even be better than average - but that is no ground for his salvation.
it’s true, God will
anything unjust; but on this fact alone, many people - the majority of
people - can rest assured that they will have
in the kingdom of God - for God
has declared He will not accept a sinner unless he comes through the Messiah
- God’s Anointed One. The sinner can only be forgiven on the basis of the
shed blood - the saving work - of Y’shua the Lamb of God.
Speaking of the heavenly city, the Word of God says:
“... nothing that defiles or
profanes, nor anyone who practices abominations and falsehood, shall
ever come into it, but only those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s
Book of Life.”
notice, my reader, those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life
Lamb” is referring to Y’shua, Jesus, for He is the Lamb that was slain to
provide the basis for the Almighty to forgive our sins. The prophet, John
the Baptist pointed to Y’shua the Messiah, and said,
“Look! The Lamb of God,
who takes away the sin of
the world!” (John 1:29)
Jesus the Messiah came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). He came
“to give His life a ransom for many.”
The Wages of Sin is Death
first it may seem terrible that God should insist on a sacrifice in order
for Him to forgive sinners. But if you consider it carefully, you will see
that it is God’s justice, love and mercy that demanded the sacrifice. God is
the Holy One, and He cannot tolerate sin. God is LIGHT and He cannot
compromise with darkness in any form. Therefore God has declared:
“The wages of sin is death.”
“The soul that sins shall die.”
result of sin, however, is not merely physical death. The ultimate result is
the eternal expulsion of all
sinners from the Presence of God. They are expelled into the distant
recesses of eternal darkness - far away from the Light of God.
every one of us would experience that terrible doom, (for “all have
sinned”), if a way of forgiveness, of acquittal, of transformation from
darkness to light, was not found. But God’s love said:
find a way, I will have mercy, I will save man from his iniquities.’
Romans 9:15; Ezekiel 36:29; Matthew 1:21)
question is, HOW could Yahweh El Shaddai, the Almighty God, be
merciful and yet still be righteous in His responsibility as Ruler of the
Universe? How could it be possible? God can not simply say, “Oh let’s
forget it! The past is past!”
My reader, don’t think for a second that sin is a little thing that can be
overlooked. If it were a white spot on a white garment it might be a
different story. But sin is a
on a white garment.
not talking about ‘white sins,’ for there is no such thing as a ‘white sin,’
even though some people talk about white lies. Shall we also talk about
white corruption, white hatred, white adultery, white murder, and so on?
people believe in
But God is not impressed with our self-improvement programs!
wants to do a thorough job of washing the
“Come now, let us reason
together, says YHWH. Though your sins are like scarlet, they will be as
white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they will be like
wool.” (Isaiah 1:18)
the love of YHWH found a way, both to forgive men their sins, and to cleanse
them from every dark spot.
“... the blood of Y’shua, His
Son, cleanses us from all sin.” (1 John 1:7)
‘blood of Y’shua’ refers to the sacrifice of the Son of God and His work
accomplished on the cross - the sacrifice that made atonement possible.
“For this reason it was
essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order to
become a merciful and faithful high priest in things related to God, to make
propitiation for the sins of the people.” (Hebrews
(Propitiation = atonement or expiation - to deal with sin, to fulfil the
righteous judgment of God against sin, to acquit sinners and to reconcile
them to the holy God. This is all made possible through the sacrifice and
shed blood of the spotless “Lamb of God” - Y’shua Himself became our
God declares to all the world:
“The free gift of God
is eternal life in the
Messiah, Y’shua our Master.” (Romans 6:23)
“in the Messiah, Y’shua”?
is the Lamb, the Sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world. Apart from
the Messiah, God’s Anointed One, there is no forgiveness.
no other good enough,
to pay the price of sin.
He only could unlock the gates
of Heaven and let us in.
The Death Penalty Paid
Messiah takes away sin, not physically carrying it and dumping it somewhere.
Metaphorically - in picture language - He does that, as in Micah
“You will cast all their sins
into the depths of the sea.”
our Saviour takes away the sins of His people by paying the penalty for
those sins Himself. As we read in several Scriptures:
“But He was pierced through for
He was bruised for our
iniquities; the punishment that brought us
peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are
All of us like sheep have gone
Each of us has turned to his
own way, but YHWH has caused the
iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
As a result of the anguish of
He will see it and be
By His knowledge the Righteous
My Servant, will justify many, as He will bear their
“For when we were still weak,
the Messiah at the right time died for the ungodly ... but God demonstrates
His own love for us, in that while we were still sinners, the Messiah died
for us.” (Romans 5:6,8)
“For indeed the Messiah died
for sins once for all, the Righteous on behalf of the unrighteous, so
that He might bring us to God. He was put to death in the body, but
was brought to life by the Spirit.” (1 Peter 3:18)
Anointed One, the Messiah, paid the penalty for our sins, and not for ours
only, but for those of the whole world (I
- by suffering death - even the death on a cross (Phil.
Y’shua hung on the cross bearing the sins of the world, not only did the sun
hide its face, but the most incredible thing happened; the Light of the
World Him-self, became engulfed with darkness, for ...
“He became sin for us.” (2 Corinthians 5:21)
Furthermore, Heaven closed its “windows” so that God the Father might not
look upon this darkness. And so the Son of God cried out,
“My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me.” (Matthew
already knew the answer, and it was agony for Him. But He cried out those
words so that you and I might understand the truth of what was happening.
The Son of God/Son of Man, in those dark hours, was separated from the
Light. He could have cried out in other words, such as, “My God, why have
You expelled Me from the Light?”
suffering the wages of the sin of the world - death; not physical death
only, but an unbearable separation from the Light.
the prophet Jonah, who was swallowed up by the black hole of the whale’s
belly, the Messiah was swallowed up by darkness - He suffered the darkness
of “hell” on the cross.
Death Was Conquered
the wonderful truth is that the Light conquered the darkness; the Light rose
from the grave and expelled the sin for which He had suffered, into “the
depths of the sea.” (Micah
depths of the sea” is another synonym or expression for the “black
darkness,” that spiritual “black hole” that draws all evil into itself and
hides it from the Light.
having become our Substitute, and having died on the cross for our sins, the
Saviour now offers us a pardon. He offers us eternal life - as a free gift.
When we accept His pardon, He writes our names in the Lamb’s Book of Life
and reconciles us to the Father.
“For all the fulness of YHWH
the Eternal One was pleased to dwell in Him, and through Him to
reconcile all things to Himself, whether things on earth or things in
heaven; through Him, I say, having made peace through the blood He
shed on His cross .” (Colossians 1:19-20)
God is reconciling this rebellious planet to Himself - but if the world
needs to be purged, then He will do that too, in order to reconcile His
creation to Himself.
notice this verse says, “things on earth or things in heaven.” It does
“and things in hell.” No! Hell and its occupants cannot, and will not, be
reconciled to God.
is for those who are still “dark” - those who have not been reconciled to
God. It’s too late for people in Hell to cry out, “We’ve changed our
bit like a person who jumps from a 50-storey building, and as he reaches the
25th storey, shouts, “I’ve changed my mind.” It’s too late!
The Light Draws or Expels
people believe in universal reconciliation - that is, the idea that
eventually everything, even Hell, will be reconciled to God. But darkness
and light cannot be reconciled. Neither will God compromise, and accept
areas of grey-ness, or an eerie twilight, in His kingdom. In fact He could
Jesus the Messiah is “The
Light of the world.”
is the Light that makes us “light”; He’s the One who draws us to the very
Centre of everything - the One who “dwells in unapproachable light.” (1
the Eternal One lives in the Light, but He Himself
Light - such a powerful light that we can’t imagine.
say a candle gives light; or we might say a fluorescent tube gives a good
light. Compare that though, with an atomic blast! God is not an electric
bulb, nor even a thermonuclear reaction. He is the very Source of light -
His brightness is so unapproachable, that any speck of darkness must be
automatically expelled from it.
some of my unsaved friends, and maybe even some of my readers too, think
they will stand before God one day, covered with their filthy, sinful rags,
and argue with Him, and tell Him what they think of His justice, if they are
not given a place in the Kingdom of Light.
you ever come to your home at night and put the light on, and saw a
cockroach scamper away? Sure! Did you ever say, “Hey Cockroach, come into
the light. Don’t hide there in the dark.” No? And a sinner whose sins have
been not forgiven will flee from the Presence of God. He will cry, “Let me
get out of here!”
God will have to pin the unforgiven sinner down long enough for him to hear
the verdict! “Unforgiven!” I don’t think unsaved sinners will be pleading
with God to save them at the
They will be screaming, and seeking to get away from the Light.
God did not CREATE Hell !
don’t think of hell as a place God created for the purpose of casting
rebellious people there.
course, all things created, have been created by God. But there is no verse
that says God
He did create heaven and earth.
Master said that hell was
the devil and his angels.
cannot say that God created Las Vegas and its gambling casinos. We cannot
say that God created communism, or the drug problem. God did not create
alcohol, or any other form or evil. We read,
“And God saw all that He had
made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis
believe it is not quite right to say, “God
In the past I myself have wrongly said, “Yes, God made hell.” But as the
Bible does not say that, I believe there is another explanation - hell came
into being by the expulsion of darkness from the Light.
think of hell as a kind of “black hole,” like the mysterious black holes
that we now know exist in space - black holes which are described by
scientists as “non-objects,” and as “celestial vacuum-cleaners that suck up
anything that comes across their paths. Anything that enters a black hole,
even an object a thousand times bigger than the earth, simply disappears
into the bottomless “hole.”
blackness of hell exists because all that is dark and evil has been expelled
from the Light - from the Almighty. At the same time, hell absorbs no light.
I imagine, began as a single speak of blackness - the pride in Lucifer’s
heart, and that speck has been gathering dust ever since, until today it is
a hell of immense proportions.
“Hell has enlarged herself.”
live in hell would be to discover the vastness of that “black hole,” and
view it from the kingdom of light, hell is a far distant black hole that is
being continuously expelled by its very nature, further and further away
from the Light.
black hole is like a fiery comet that is propelled away from a sun into the
vast dark reaches of the universe. Hell is like a wandering and burning
star, “for whom the black darkness has been reserved for ever.” (Jude 13).
It burns continuously because of the friction generated by the intense speed
of its expulsion from the Light. It flees for ever, but never reaches a
will be too late for any passenger on that fiery comet plunging into the
bottomless black hole of “outer darkness,” to cry, “I want to go back.” And
even if it were possible to get out of the black hole, the sinners who did
so, unforgiven as they are, and saturated with darkness, would be
automatically expelled from the Light and plunged back into the black hole.
is a solemn warning for “men who love darkness rather than light.”
expulsion has already begun!
yet, while they still live on earth and have a mind to make a right
decision, there is hope.
They can be saved,
their love for darkness can be replaced with a love for Light, through the
grace of YHWH the Almighty.
You Can Become Light!
only hope, the only way to escape the expulsion on account of being “dark”
(an unforgiven sinner), is to have one’s sins removed, to have the penalty
lifted, and to be made “light.” And this
happen! This is what God promises to do for us, and in us, if we turn to
said to the believers in Ephesus:
“For once you were darkness,
but now you are light in the Master; walk as children of
is it that makes the Ephesian believers so special that they can be called
they were not more special than you or I. But they were
grace through faith.
gift of God
They did not try to prove themselves worthy of it. They simply believed God;
they had faith in the Messiah, and their faith was counted for
righteousness. They then became “light” - not
because Jesus Christ shed His blood to cleanse them.
they were “light,” and were not in danger of being expelled by the light of
God. Light does not expel light; rather, light draws the light. Paul
explains in another place:
“For it is God who said,
‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ who has shone in our hearts for the
enlightening of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Y’shua the
Messiah.” (2 Corinthians
that happened to you, my dear reader? If not, I want you to know that
God is calling you to come out of darkness, into His light!
Peter also says:
“... that you may proclaim the
excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvellous
light.” (1 Peter 2:9)
Imagine for a moment, at the Rapture, when our glorious Master comes for His
own, that an unforgiven sinner was also caught up to the clouds. He would
be almost blinded. He would feel as if he was being drawn into the sun. It
would be a terrible fate - being drawn into un-approachable Light, while he
is still “dark.”
for the believer, it is light being drawn by light, and light to light. Oh
essential thing in all the world, is to have your sins forgiven, and to be
“light in the Master”!
How Can You Have Your Sins Forgiven?
by trying to pay for them.
by having an argument with God about them.
by continuing in them.
by promising to try to do better.
by endless remorse and tears.
by praying to idols, to saints, or to Mary.
by enlisting others to help you get sins removed.
simply trusting Y’shua (Jesus) as your own personal Saviour.
Scripture emphasizes that forgiveness is through faith in the Messiah.
“Of Him (Y’shua) all the
prophets bear witness that through His Name, every one who
believes in Him has received forgiveness of sins.” (Acts
“Therefore let it be known to
you, brethren, that through this One forgiveness of sins is proclaimed to
you, and through Him everyone who believes is declared righteous - justified
from all things, from which you could not be justified through the Law of
“... and you shall call His
name Y’shua (which means, YHWH is Salvation), for He will save His
people from their sins.” (Matthew
He delivered us from the power and dominion of darkness, and
transferred us into the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have
redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Colossians 1:13-14)
David knew the forgiveness that is available to sinners; and he experienced
“I acknowledged my sin to You,
and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions
to YHWH’; and You, yes, You forgave the iniquity of my sin.” (Psalm 32:5)
you, my reader, yes you also can know this forgiveness if you come, just as
you are, to the Heavenly Father, confessing you are a sinner who needs to be
saved, and believing in Y’shua, receiving Him as your own personal Saviour.
your need is for salvation, my friend, why don’t you come to the Almighty,
wherever you are, right now. Get on your knees before Him, (or if you are
disabled, just bow your head) and pray in words like the decision prayer on
the next page:
I come to You just as I am - a
sinner, and confess that I have sinned against others, I have sinned against
myself, and most of all, I have sinned against You.
I realize I am in darkness, O
God, and that I am in great danger of being expelled from Your Presence for
ever. I know I deserve to be cast out, but I believe You can and will save
I believe, Y’shua, Lord Jesus,
that You are the Saviour of the world. I believe You died for me and that
You rose again to be my Saviour and Master. I trust You for the forgiveness
of my sins. I believe You are the Light, and I ask You to shine into my
heart, right now, and drive out the darkness, and make me “light in the
Saviour, I give myself to You,
and by Your grace, will follow You from this day on. Please come into my
life and make me a new person; make me Your true disciple. Fill me with Your
Holy Spirit, and set me free from my sinful habits.
I trust You, Master, to keep me
in Your hands until You come again to receive me to Yourself.
Thank You Father for hearing my
prayer. Thank You Master for taking my sins away. Thank You for coming into
my heart, and for saving me this day.
Thank You, my Father. Amen.
........................................... Date .............
have prayed to the Heavenly Father, and received Y’shua as your Saviour
today, would you also drop me a line, that I might rejoice with you, and
pray for you.
Bro. Don Stanton,
Maranatha Revival Crusade at one of the MRC addresses.
A FEW INSTRUCTIONS
believer, new child of God, here are a few instructions aimed at helping you
grow in your new spiritual life:
Bible. Let it be your daily food.
Heavenly Father, and walk in fellowship with Y’shua your Master, regularly.
Develop your prayer life, and learn to worship your Heavenly Master.
Tell others about your Saviour.
and take a public stand for your Master.
Have regular fellowship
other believers, and be established in a Bible-believing fellowship group
eyes on your Saviour. Put Him first in your life, and always seek to be
obedient to His Word.
common fear, which is encouraged by shallow or faulty teaching, is that some
believers may not be caught up in the Rapture (or may not be accepted into
heaven should they die before the Rapture), if they are not “up to the
mark.” Some believers live in great fear as they imagine they may not be
good enough to be included in the saved.
fear is based on the idea that salvation, although paid for at the cross,
and although it is a gift which is received through simple faith, really
depends on our own performance in the long run. But that is a false concept!
by the mercy of God that we are saved - by
through faith, as Paul so clearly declares:
“But when the kindness and the
love of God our Saviour toward mankind appeared, He saved us, not because of
righteous works that we have done, but because of His mercy. He saved us
through the washing of regeneration (the new birth), and through
the renewing power by the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out upon us
abundantly through Y’shua the Messiah our Saviour, so that, having been
justified by His grace, we should become heirs having the hope of
eternal life.” (Titus
is good enough to receive salvation. And no amount of “holy living” is going
to qualify a person to enter Heaven. Our qualification is Y’shua, and His
righteousness. If we are
- the Messiah, we are in the Light, and we are
to be received into the Father’s House.
there is no question of a partial rapture. There’s no question of the
Bridegroom leaving part of His bride behind. The Bride is made up of all
true born again believers - those who belong to Him. They are His body. They
worthy by His grace.
the Body, the Bride, must be complete. There will be no missing legs or
arms; not even an eye lash!
work of making us spiritually mature and perfect is a different matter. That
continues right throughout our lives. It is completed when we reach
eternity, when we are like our Master.
process is called
The word means the process of “being set apart”
and “being set apart”
It includes our reaching towards maturity, learning godliness, and our
preparation for higher, eternal service.
believers make good progress in holy living; others make less progress. All
of us are somewhere between 1% and 99% in personal holiness. But it is not
the degree of progress we make that saves us. It is the work of Y’shua the
Lamb of God, at Calvary.
“For once you were darkness,
but now you are light in the Master; walk as children of
must not confuse the work of
which we are made “light,”
with the work of
which we are made “bright.”
coming to Calvary, the believer is counted as “light,” and he then begins
his new life
His “corners” are gradually “ground off” as sanctification works deeper in
other hand, an unbeliever, although he may improve his exterior, remains
“dark,” and outside the Kingdom of Light. He becomes, in fact, more and
more like the devil, and will want to flee from the Light of the eternal
sketch below , I trust, will help to make this more clear.
Click on Chart to Enlarge
When will the Church
be Caught up
IS a question that is being asked frequently today - and that’s not
surprising, for it is evident the Tribulation is going to commence soon.
Multiplying signs are pointing to the imminent 7-year climax of the age.
Undoubtedly “the Man of Sin” is active behind the scenes today, waiting for
event that will signal the beginning of the Day of the LORD.
the Tribulation will be an unprecedented period of tragedy, terror and
tyranny - the worst time of trouble ever to come upon the world, believers
concerned to know whether they are right in looking for the Rapture before
the Tribulation begins. For if the Rapture is not before the Tribulation,
then believers will need to prepare for the worst. They will need to plan
for a hiding place - unless they simply resolve to accept torture and to put
their heads on a guillotine.
right in watching for the signposts, and getting excited at the prospect of
being caught up at any moment? Are we right in hastening unto the coming
of the Master, and expecting His call at any moment? Or should we be looking
for the revealing of the “Man of Sin.” Should we be fortifying ourselves for
the things that must take place, and for a final fiery trial of believers as
Satan unleashes the greatest period of persecution the world or the saints
have, or will ever, know?
time of the Rapture is a question that has been debated, and duelled over
for a long time. Arguments and counter-arguments, anti-counter-arguments,
and counter-anti-counter-arguments have been propounded by scholars and
non-scholars, by students of prophecy, by Professors of Philosophy, by
Bachelors of Artistry, Masters of Magniloquence, (lofty expressions) and
Doctors of Diaereses (dots and tittles). It has been a free-for-all.
are issues involved which have caused great confusion.
main reason why there are various opposing views is the difference in
Biblical interpretation about Israel and the church; about the nature of the
Tribulation; about who the saints in the Tribulation are; about persecution,
and whether the Tribulation is the wrath of God or the wrath of Satan; about
whether the Rapture is indeed imminent; about when the Man of Sin will be
revealed, and about whether the coming of the Master is in one or two
Another reason, of course, is the fact that the vast subject of prophecy
provides much scope for people to form their own private opinions and
“scheme of events.”
it comes to prophecy, the common man is often left wondering if anyone can
be sure of anything. One may ask, “Why hasn’t God shown us more clearly, so
we are not left in doubt?” Some imagine that prophecy is so unclear that it
is better to leave it alone.
reader, we need not be afraid of the subject. But let us remember it is
Satan who loves to create confusion, and thereby to rob believers of the joy
of the Blessed Hope.
believe the Rapture is imminent, and that it will take
place before the Man of Sin is revealed - before the Tribulation.
not ask any reader to accept what I say simply because I say it. But I do
ask my readers to pray and ask the Spirit of God to reveal whether what we
teach is true or false. I do ask you to pray and ask the Father whether we
are right in expecting the Saviour's return at any moment before the
Tribulation, or whether we should be expecting to see the Antichrist, and
thus should be preparing for the “hour of trial.”
Several things we should keep in mind, are ...
has not written the Bible like a University text book. The Bible is a series
of messages, revealing the truth in multiple ways, and giving answers to
every type of need, for people everywhere, in all generations.
Bible has been written for people who will be raptured before the
Tribulation, but it has been written also for people in the Tribulation, as
well as for people in the Millennium.
(Isaiah 40:8. 1 Peter 1:25)
conclusion on the timing of the Rapture is not based on a “proof text.” The
truth must be based on systematic in-context exegesis (explanation and
interpretation) of Scripture.
While recognizing that symbolical language is used in parts of prophetic
revelation, we should take the main body of the prophetic Scriptures quite
literally, just as we take other Scriptural subjects. A “spiritualized”
approach can lead to quite fanciful and very false interpretations.
general rule is that when the Scriptures make plain sense, there is no need
to seek any other sense. When symbols are used, an interpretation should be
sought within the canon of Scripture itself.
Reasons Why the Church Will be
Caught up BEFORE the Tribulation
first is, because Y’shua, Jesus the Messiah Himself, promised the church ...
from the Trial
“Because you have kept the word
of My perseverance, I also will keep you out of (Gr. ek
- out of) the hour of trial which is about to come upon the whole world,
to try those who live on the earth. I am coming quickly.”
consistent this verse is with the blessed hope - the Master’s promise to
come again and receive His people to Himself. (John
may ask, “How can we say this promise is for all the churches, and not only
for the Philadelphian church?”
seven messages given in chapter 2 and 3 of Revelation are undoubtedly for
all churches throughout this 1970+-year period. Whenever the message is
needed, then it should be heeded. This is why each message ends with the
words, “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the
message was given to meet a very particular need in each of the churches
named, but each message also comes to us today - to meet us in our
Book of Romans was written for our teaching, not only for the Romans. And
the promises given in Thessalonians are given for our sake also, and not
merely for the first century Thessalonians. Likewise with the seven letters.
message to Philadelphia the Master speaks about the worldwide trial - not a
trial only for that assembly in the ancient city of Asia minor. It is clear
the Lord intends this promise for believers who are in fear of the
world-wide Tribulation, of which He warned in
some will say, “why do you take the promise of keeping in 3:10, and not take
the promise of 2:10: “Be faithful until death, and I will give you a crown
take that promise also! And believers in many parts of the world are holding
to this promise at this very moment. Other promises are given in these seven
messages also; but there are two references that are specifically referring
to the Tribulation -
Rev. 3:10 and
first promises “keeping from” or “out of” the trial; the second promises
tribulation for false Christianity:
“I will cast her (Jezebel) upon
a bed of sickness, and those who commit adultery with her into great
tribulation, unless they repent to her deeds.” (Revelation 2:22)
Master has given Jezebel time to repent (verse
but she does not want to repent. She is therefore to be cast into great
tribulation. Those who are involved in an apostate system, but
given the promise that they will
cast into Tribulation. The keeping from the Great Tribulation is thus
offered to those who do repent.
the counter-argument says that God will keep His people
Tribulation, not out of it.
doubt Y'shua will sustain, in miraculous ways, the great number of believers
who are saved in the first half of the Tribulation and who will be living on
earth during that time.
the promise of the Master to His Bride is not that He will keep us in the
hour of trial.
the promise is not that He will keep us from
believers have plenty of trials and persecutions at the present time - but
that He will keep us from
- the period of the trial.
Some argue that the preposition used in Rev. 3:10 is
“from.” But the Greek word used is ek, which means "out of." It is
literally, “I will keep you
the hour of trial.”
Another verse that promises deliverance, is given at the end of the Lord’s
prophecy on the tribulation upheavals.
“But keep on the alert at all
times, praying that you may be accounted worthy to escape all these things
that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:36)
the Lord doesn’t say, “pray that you will be worthy,” but “be
We could never expect to escape because of our own worthiness; but if we are
in Christ, then we are
worthy, because we have been justified through faith, on the basis of His
we have such comforting promises given by our Master, our Bridegroom, we are
not wrong in expecting to escape the Great Tribulation.
Tribulation were only persecution of the saints, then we would not expect to
be kept out of it, because Y’shua said that in this world we
persecuted. But the Tribulation is nothing less than ...
The Wrath of God
main purpose of the Tribulation is judgment for the world. The Great
Tribulation is the climax of man’s 6000+-year dispensation upon earth.
During that time, mankind has been in rebellion against the Almighty. While
many have responded to God’s voice, and have been saved and blessed, the
majority of the world has habitually gone its own way. Now time is up! It is
time for God to settle the score! It is time to purge the earth!
yet, even in the Tribulation, God is willing to save. That period is also
called “the Day of Jacob’s Trouble,” because it is a time when YHWH will
smelt the hardened nation of Israel, and turn its people to Y’shua the
Messiah. This smelting will prepare them for His Kingdom.
Several promises given to the church assure us that we will be saved from
the wrath of God; including the following:
“For God has not destined us to
suffer His wrath, but to receive salvation through our Master, Y’shua
the Messiah.” (1
context Paul is speaking about the coming of the Messiah, and “the Day of
YHWH” - the day of darkness.
“Much more then, having now
been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through
Him.” (Romans 5:9)
“... you turned to God from
idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from
heaven, whom He raised from the dead - Y’shua, the One delivering us from
the wrath that is coming.”
(1 Thess. 1:9-10)
“The Lord knows how to rescue
the godly out of temptation and trials, and how to keep the
unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment.” (2
may reason that these verses refer to the future wrath - the lake of fire.
But if we cannot believe these promises regarding deliverance from all wrath
of God, then how can we accept that He will indeed keep us even from the
lake of fire?
will argue that the Tribulation is not the wrath of God, but it is the wrath
of Satan against believers. That period is indeed a time of increased
demonic activity, and of intense persecution. But it’s much more; it’s the
period of the wrath of God, as is seen in many passages describing the
Isaiah 13:6-13, Zephaniah 1:14-18).
“Surely the day is coming,
burning like a furnace; and all the arrogant and every evildoer will be
chaff; and the day that is coming will set them ablaze, says YHWH of Hosts,
so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” (Malachi 4:1)
Revelation also is so definite that it is God’s wrath coming upon the whole
“They called to the mountains
and to the rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the Presence of Him (the
Almighty) who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb;
for the great day of His wrath has come; and who is able to stand
(before it)?’” (Revelation
judgments under the 6th
seal are, the sun turning to blackness, and the moon to blood; the stars
falling to the earth, and a great earthquake. We cannot say these things are
the wrath of Satan. Rather, it is clearly written, it's the wrath of the
Lamb. It's the Great Day of His Wrath.
Knowing that the Saviour has taken our sins away completely and that He has
set us free from condemnation, the promises above are very precious indeed.
If we are true believers, they give us much assurance, for we know that what
He has promised, He will definitely fulfil.
third reason why the church will not go into the Tribulation but will be
caught up prior to that time, is because the Scriptures present the coming
of the Lord as ...
An Imminent Hope
Imminent means, “impending” or “something that could happen at any moment.”
The return of the Bridegroom has always been an imminent expectation of
believers right down through the church age.
Master’s promise to return to receive His people, in John 14, implies a
constant imminent possibility, for in the absence of any indication of the
actual time of the event, we are left expecting it at any time.
“And if I go and prepare a
place for you, I will come back again and receive you to Myself, so that you
also may be where I am.” (John
Rapture is to take place only at the end of the Tribulation, as
Post-Tribulationists teach, then we could not say that the Master may come
at any time. But it is not merely the Pre-Tribulationists who say the
Master may return at any tick of the clock; Y’shua Himself, in teaching
about readiness, said He may return at any time.
“You too, be ready; for the Son
of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Luke
Matthew 24, the Master teaches about His return in great glory at the end of
the Tribulation, and about the gathering of the “elect” (believing Israel)
to the land and the Kingdom. Then in the parable of the Fig Tree, Y’shua
says that He is near, right at the door! But no-one knows the day or the
hour of His return. Many will be taken away in judgment, others will be left
to enter the kingdom.
concluding that section of the prophecy, the Master exhorts His people to be
faithful and ready.
“Therefore be on the alert, for
you do not know which day your Master is coming . . . for this reason you
also be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think
He will.” (Matthew
else could these disciples believe except that the Master could return at
nearness and imminent possibility of the Master’s return is taught by
James, John, Peter and Paul.
“Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Master is near.”
“Abide and continue in Him, so that when He appears, we may have
confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” (1
Again John says:
“... when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him just as He
is. And every one who has this hope fixed on Him, purifies himself, just as
He is pure.” (1
Rapture is presented as a purifying hope. And it becomes a purifying hope,
more and more, as our expectation of the imminent return increases.
John had said, “Look! After the Tribulation we shall see Him, therefore
comfort one another with these words,” we might possibly respond by saying,
“I hope the Master doesn't come very soon. I hope I die at least seven years
before He comes.”
sure, if the church, the Bride of the Lamb, was to go through the Great
Tribulation, the loving Bridegroom would not hold back the information.
Master did tell the church at Smyrna. “You will have tribulation ten days.” (Rev.
And that church did experience severe persecution.
also warned us believers that the world will hate and persecute us. He never
covered up this fact in an effort to keep us from worrying about coming
It's a Blessed Hope (Expectation)
warned that we will suffer with Christ
But he certainly does not warn us that we must endure the Tribulation.
Rather he says;
“... live sensible
(self-controlled), upright and godly lives in this present age,
awaiting and looking for the blessed hope - the glorious
appearing of our great God and Saviour, Y’shua the Messiah.”(Titus
says that believers had turned to God,
for His Son from Heaven.”
He also says:
“Let us not sleep as others do,
but let us be alert and sober . . . For God has not destined us to suffer
His wrath, but to receive salvation through our Master, Y’shua
the Messiah.” (1 Thessalonians 5:6,9)
context of the passage (1
Thes. 4:13 to 5:11),
it is clear that Paul was speaking about the Rapture. Again in 1
Corinthians 1:7 and Philippians 3:2-21,
Paul speaks of
the return of the Master.
Peter says: “YHWH is not slow
concerning His promise ... but is patient toward you ... what kind of people
ought you to be, in holy and godly behaviour as you look forward to
and earnestly desire the Day of God.” (2 Peter 3:9, 11-12)
does not say anything anywhere to suggest the Lord won’t come until after
the Tribulation. But He does say that in the last days there will be
Peter 3 3:3-4)
is no verse that says, “Get ready for the Tribulation.”
world we will have tribulation
that is, persecutions, trials and troubles. Peter said:
“You have been distressed by
various trials, that the proving of your faith . . . may be found to
result in praise, glory and honour at the revelation of Y’shua the
is nothing about the Tribulation period in this passage. “Various trials”
are not the Great Tribulation.
Trials, we all know, are a part of the believer’s life, so that we might
reach on to maturity. But if someone says the church must go through the
Great Tribulation so that it might be purified during that time, then we
must ask, what about the church that is already in heaven - the greater part
of the church? These believers have escaped the Tribulation, so why should
the end-time believers of the church not also escape it ?
is no verse in Scripture to say exactly when
take place. But there are verses to say exactly when the Master will be
His angels - that is, at the very end of the Tribulation.
say the Rapture will take place at the time the Beast and the False Prophet
are destroyed. (Rev.
say the Rapture must take place on that day, is to say the Lord can’t come
any day before then. But as you look into Revelation 19, there is no hint of
a Rapture associated with that Revealing. The counter-argument says that
there is a Resurrection at least mentioned in Rev. 20:4, which occurs after
the Battle of Armageddon. True, it is a resurrection; and it is very clear
resurrected ones are:
“Then I saw thrones, and
sitting on them were those to whom authority to judge was given. And I
saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their
testimony for Y’shua and because of the Word of God - these had not
worshipped the beast or his image and had not received his mark upon
their foreheads or upon their hands. They came to life and reigned with the
Messiah for the thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4)
is the resurrection of martyred believers from the Tribulation. There is
nothing to suggest that these resurrection believers are caught up in the
clouds to meet the Lord. And there is certainly no mention of living saints
caught up at the same time. So the Rapture is not implied in that passage.
Furthermore, this resurrection happens
battle of Armageddon, and after the Lord’s revealing - not during the
Master’s return in glory.
Rapture is set for the middle of the Tribulation, the people living at that
time would be able to know exactly the day of the Lord’s coming - they would
simply calculate 3 ½ years from the start of the 7-year covenant.
the Rapture is scheduled for the end of the 7 years, then it would simply be
a matter of counting 7 years (2520 days) from the revealing of the man of
sin and the start of the covenant.
post- or mid-Trib Rapture then, does away with the imminent expectation of
the Lord’s call. But Y’shua said:
“You too, be ready; for the Son
of Man is coming at an hour when you do not expect Him.” (Luke
let us consider...
The Dispensational Aspect
enemies of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture try to brand dispensationalism as the
hallmark of prophetic apostasy. But that is as unfair as it is false.
Dispensational teaching is consistent with God’s revelation to us, and we
cannot ignore it if we would “rightly divide the Word.”
Dispensationalism is the teaching that there are a number of different ages
in human history, such as the age of Innocence (before the Fall), the
Antediluvian age (before the Flood); and that God has worked in various ways
in each age, or dispensation. There is, however, a continuity line running
right through the ages.
there are extreme forms of dispensationalism, just as there are extreme
forms of every doctrine - which are false. Certainly it is wrong to
compartmentalize every portion of Scripture, and make it apply to one age
only. We cannot say that only some sections of Scripture are relevant to us
in our time. But we can say that certain portions were intended,
for specific times.
Word may be applied differently, according to the stage of God’s dealing
with His people, although basic principles are unchanged.
extreme example; do we allow our child to play alongside the cobra’s hole
because the Scripture says the child shall play by the hole of a cobra (and
not be harmed)?
That passage is clearly referring to the Millennial kingdom - the Age of
Glory that has yet to come. There is, no doubt, also a spiritual application
of this verse for this present age.
has led His people, step by step. As greater light has been given, greater
responsibility and maturity has been expected. In the age of law, men got
away with polygamy (having more than one wife.) And sometimes we wonder why,
for it is very clear that God will not tolerate that in
Why? Because we are under a
law said, “An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” And even though that
law might appeal to our carnal sense of righteousness, we know that we are
now under a higher law - the law of the Spirit of life and love in Christ
plan of Salvation is one main theme running through all the ages. But surely
it is clear that although sacrifice was required in all ages after the Fall,
the requirements have not been the same in all ages. The patriarchs,
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not have the full sacrificial system as was
introduced during the Dispensation of Law. Nor are we, in this present age,
required to fulfil that sacrificial system. We have the perfect Sacrifice,
the Lamb of God who was slain once for all.
is indeed a very real difference between the age before the cross (the
Dispensation of Law) and the present age, (the Dispensation of Grace.)
difference must be admitted, otherwise, while confessing we believe in the
unity of the Bible, we would be confused as to just what applies to the
Calvary brought an end to the Old Covenant. We are now under a New Covenant.
The Aaronic priesthood and the Mosaic system, including animal sacrifices,
were done away with. What remains of the Law, and what has been carried over
into the New Covenant, is, of course, the principles and precepts of God.
does not mean that the Old Testament is irrelevant for the church; and it
does not mean that the New Testament will be obsolete for the people living
in the Millennium. God’s revelation has been progressive down through the
ages, and it abides for ever.
(1 Peter 1:25)
Old Testament is preserved as a major part of the Scriptures, and it formed
a foundation for the further revelations given in the New Testament.
Old and New Testament have important messages for people living in the
Tribulation, as well as for us. Take for example,
which speaks of Tribulation conditions. Although it has instruction for us
at present, the prophecy is primarily for the Jews living at that time.
context itself makes this clear. Luke
on the other hand, which tells us to look up “when these things
take place,” is no doubt a promise of coming redemption for believers at the
end of the church age.
need to keep in mind that there are three distinct groups - the Jews, the
Greeks (Gentiles), and to the Church of God (1
and that the LORD works out His purposes for each, in His own way and time.
The Tribulation is not part of
the Age of Grace
we carefully study the period of the Tribulation, we see that this is not a
part of “the Age of Grace” - the Age of the Church. It is neither a part of,
nor a conclusion of, the present dispensation in which the Master is
gathering out of all nations a people to comprise His Bride and Body.
Tribulation rather, is the long-delayed period of seven years that concludes
the "70 weeks" (490 years) that has been allotted for the nation of Israel.
It is called
the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
the period when God once more calls His covenant nation to repentance,
causing them to embrace their long-rejected Messiah. He will thus deliver
them from the bondage under the Law which has had them shackled for so many
Law was necessary, of course, as a “schoolmaster” to teach them the ways of
God, and to bring them, in due time, to Christ.)
rejected the freedom and salvation that is in Y’shua the Messiah, when they
said, “Away with Him.” But God, who is rich in mercy, did not annihilate
that nation as He did with some, such as the Amalekites. Rather, He
planned, in “the fullness of time,” when “the times of the gentiles” would
be fulfilled, to bring Israel to the Fountain where “sins are washed away.”
until the fulfilment of the Times of the Gentiles, Israel would wander in
the wilderness - for a second time. The first desert journey was in the
Sinai - for 40 years. Israel’s second wilderness experience - in a very dry
“wilderness of bones,” is one that has lasted for 1,900 years.
the great majority of the people of Israel today - both those in the land
and those amongst the nations, are still in that spiritual wilderness.
now, as the church is nearing completion, God is calling His ancient people
“to enter the land” - not only the land of Israel, but “the life of promise”
as described by Ezekiel:
“And I will put My Spirit
within you, and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own
land. Then you will know that I, YHWH, have spoken and done it,’ declares
YHWH.” (Ezekiel 37:14)
Great Tribulation is the period in which God will purge Israel, and bring
“one third” through the fire. (Zech.
same time, the Tribulation is “the trial to come upon the whole world.”
(Rev. 3:10). Indeed, it is nothing less than the wrath of God coming upon
this rebellious generation.
(Revelation 6:15-17). But
the Tribulation is not a purgatory for the Body of the Messiah.
The “70 WEEKS” of Daniel
explain why the Tribulation is part of a completely different dispensation
to the church age.
Daniel’s prophecy, chapter 9:24-27, it is clearly revealed that “70 weeks”
are allotted to Israel and the holy city, to make atonement for sin, to
bring in everlasting righteousness, and to anoint the most holy place. This
prophecy will be completely fulfilled when Messiah begins to reign.
“70 weeks” are weeks of years, not weeks of days; i.e., each week is seven
literal years. The first 69 “weeks” (483 years) started from the decree to
rebuild the city of Jerusalem, which was given by the Medo-Persian ruler,
Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. It ended with the triumphant entry of the Messiah
into Jerusalem, a few days before He was “cut off” - that is, crucified.
remaining “one week” (seven years), was
fulfilled after the 69th week. And
never been fulfilled.
The 70th week has been
put on hold
this 1970+-year period, while God is calling out of all nations, a people
for His Name - a Bride for His Son.
the Bride, which is also called the “Body of the Messiah,” is complete, the
Bridegroom will take this body of believers to the Father’s House. God will
then take up His specific program with Israel once more - during the 70th
week. Thereafter He will bring in ever-lasting righteousness.
reason why God has suspended the 70th week, and “stopped the clock” as far
as Israel is concerned, is because;
Israel has not been ready to receive the Messiah.
Master must call out a people for His Name - the Bride - out of all the
nations, so that she might take her place alongside the King when He reigns
over the whole restored world. After the Bride is complete. Israel will be
saved, purified and prepared to become the centre of the world, and a
blessing to all the earth.
teaching of the 70 weeks of Daniel is very important to our understanding of
the Tribulation and God’s dealings. Indeed, it is from Daniel’s prophecy
that we know the Tribulation lasts for seven lunar years. (7 x 360 days).
The Book of Revelation does not specifically say how long the Tribulation
lasts, but it does speak of 1,260 days (the witness of the two prophets - ch
11); 1,260 days (the nourishment of the woman - ch. 12); and 42 months (the
reign of the beast - ch. 13.)
ignored Daniel’s prophecy, we would not know if the Tribulation will be 3½
years, 7 years, or 10½ years.
we accept and place significance on Daniel’s prophecy, we must accept the
fact that there
long 1,970+ years parenthesis between the 69th
and the 70th
Parenthesis means brackets ( ). A parenthetical period is a period that is
inserted into another period, but which, although it may form a part of the
whole program, is itself a separate period altogether.
illustrate the church age in brackets like this:
A-millennialists do not accept our interpretation for the 70th week at all.
They claim the 70th week was fulfilled immediately after the 69th week,
without a break - 3½ years after Calvary.
timing of the Rapture - Before, in the Middle, or After the Tribulation -
does not concern A-millennialists as they completely reject a 7-year
Tribulation at the end of the age.
70th week has still to be fulfilled, it is clear that the church age must be
a parenthetical period. Otherwise there would be no justification for a
delayed 70th week.
not logical for the 70th week to be part of the parenthesis, while being
part of the overall period!
might have brackets within brackets, but we cannot have a period in the
parenthesis and outside at the same time. This is the diagram that would be
drawn by the Mid-Trib. and the Post-Trib. views.
put the church in the Tribulation, then you may as well put Daniel’s
prophecy into the archives.
dispensational aspect, and particularly the prophecy of the “70 weeks”
supports, and demands, that the Bride of Christ be removed from the scene
before the 70th week.
next reason why I believe the Rapture will take place before the seven years
is because of the . . .
Total lack of evidence
to prove the Church is on earth
during the Tribulation
are emphatic that the church
through the Tribulation because the book of Revelation speaks of
saints on the earth during
the 7 years. A Post-tribulation-ist says, “that proves the church is in the
doesn’t! We affirm that there are saints on earth during the seven years,
but we emphatically deny that they are members of the church. They are, in
fact, a body called Tribulation Saints - people who will come to Y’shua and
be saved in the
of the Tribulation. (Revelation 16:9 & 11 suggests that
repents in the
Post-tribulationists often reject the teaching that Israel, the church, and
the Tribulation saints are different bodies. They claim, like
A-millennialists, that the church is “spiritual Israel.” But we reply,
“No! Spiritual Israel is the believing part of the nation of Israel.”
true that we believers are called the children of Abraham. We are his seed
by faith, not by physical descent - unless we are Hebrews. Remember, even
Abraham was not a part of “spiritual Israel!” He died even before Israel was
church is part of the Household of God, even as spiritual Israel is, but
that does not make us Israelites. (My brother and I belong to one household,
but that does not mean that my brother and I are one body, does it?)
who maintain that the church is not a new body, but is a continuation of the
spiritual Israel, like to cite “the church in the wilderness”
But this is a shallow argument. The word ‘church’ (ekklesia in Greek)
simply means ‘assembly.’
was indeed an “assembly in the wilderness,” but there's no way it can be
called “the church, the Bride of the Lamb.” Messiah’s church was still
future. In Matthew 16:18, Y'shua said, “Upon this rock I
My church.” This new Body was begun at Pentecost.
Ephesians 2:12-16 shows that
is a new
body composed of both Jews and Gentiles. It was previously a mystery but it
is now revealed - a new body, a Bride, a special companion for the Son of
God; a mystical body composed of believers from Pentecost to the Rapture; a
people with a heavenly calling, who belong to a heavenly city - the New
Jerusalem - in the Father’s House.
believers from this present age share that heavenly calling with us. But
Israel, as a nation, is one with an earthly inheritance - a kingdom that is
to come in the renewed world. Israel is destined to be a blessing in the
midst of the earth.
Bride of Christ shares in the Millennial reign, of course, but not as a
nation on earth. Her place is in the palace of the King; it is the New
Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven, and is positioned above the earth.
people ask, “How can people be saved if the church is taken away?”
God who saves, not the church! He will pour out His Spirit (Joel
He will also send two witnesses to prophesy in Jerusalem (Rev.
He will raise up and seal 144,000 Messianic Jews in that period. (Rev.
They will be Spirit-filled evangelists like the apostles. There will also be
millions of Bibles available after the Bride has been caught up. For a short
time, before the Bible-burning begins, the Scriptures will fall into the
hands of those left behind, and people who are anxious to know what has
happened, will read them, and many will believe, and be saved.
The Church is in Heaven
during the Tribulation
first five chapters of Revelation the church is mentioned many times. In
chapters 2 and 3 we see the seven progressive stages of the church on earth;
but then, in chapters 4 & 5, we see the redeemed in heaven.
“And around the throne were
twenty-four thrones; and on the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting,
clothed in white garments; and they had crowns of gold on their heads . . .
and they sang a new song: ‘You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open
its seals, for You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood out
of every tribe, language, people and nation. You have made us kings and
priests to our God, and we will reign over the earth’.” (Revelation 4:4, 5:9-10)
has been a lot of debate about the identity of the 24 elders - some
insisting that they are angelic elders rather than redeemed, glorified human
elders. But the fact that they are sitting on thrones, with crowns upon
their heads, indicates that they are elders of the universal church, for we
read: “We shall also reign with Him.” (2
Paul says, referring to the church ...
“The saints shall judge the
world,” “and if the world is judged by you ...” (1 Corinthians 6:2)
Master earlier told His disciples,
“You will sit on thrones
judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” (Matthew 19:28)
would certainly call the twelve apostles, elders, wouldn’t we? And it may
be that Y’shua has chosen 12 other elders to judge the gentile nations.
fact that they are already crowned, also indicates that the Judgment Seat of
Christ (where the church is evaluated, and given rewards - crowns) has
already taken place. And as the Bride - the church - is one body, we would
expect the members to be judged at one and the same time.
also, seven times in Revelation 2 & 3 (before the Rapture), we read, “He who
has an ear, let him hear what the spirit says
But in Revelation 13:9, during the Tribulation, and we read, “If anyone has
an ear, let him hear.”
Revelation chapters 6 to 19 - the Tribulation period - there is no mention
whatever of the Bride on earth.
chapter 19, (before the Revealing of Christ), the completed Bride is seen
prepared and already glorified - in fine linen, bright and clean. It is
written, “the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.” (v.8)
fine linen here is not referring to the imputed righteousness of Christ with
which we are already clothed, but in this context, it is the tested,
spiritual works of the believers - the gold, silver and precious stones that
have passed through the fire of the Judgment Seat, and that have proven
Marriage of the Lamb will be held
resurrection of the Tribulation martyrs of Rev. 20:4, which indicates the
Church and the Tribulation believers are two separate bodies. So this
passage adds to the evidence that the Bride is caught up to heaven before
the Tribulation. Certainly she is in heaven before the Lord returns to earth
at Armageddon which is at the end of the Tribulation.
Contrast: the Rapture and the Return
Post-Tribulationists say the Rapture and the Return to earth are one and the
same event, and that it takes place at the end of the Tribulation. We do not
believe this is possible, because of major differences between the two
Rapture and the Return are both part of the Second Coming of Christ, true!
But they can be satisfactorily explained, only by describing them as two
stages. Notice the differences on the next page:
the Tribulation the Lord
meets the saints in the air.
After the Tribulation the
Lord descends to Mt Olivet; surviving remnant are gathered
before Him on earth.
living saints are caught up without dying.
is no catching up to the sky.
saints (the Church) go to the
Father’s House with the Master.
The Tribulation saints are are ushered into the kingdom on earth.
judgment of the world
The judgment is concluded.
Rapture is imminent.
The Return, predictably, follows the reign of the Beast.
Rapture is a ‘mystery’ - not
revealed in the O.T.
The Return was revealed by several OT prophets.
Rapture concerns only the saved.
The Return concerns
both saved and unsaved.
Restrainer is taken out of
the midst; which allows
the conspiracy of Satan
The conspiracy of Satan is destroyed.
goes forth with great
wrath to destroy.
Satan is bound.
Rapture is an exclusive promise to the church.
The Return is promise for Israel.
A public revealing.
Believers taken to heaven,
instantly, invisibly, in the twinkling of an eye.
Unbelievers sent to Hades to await the final Judgment and Lake of
revealed to church. Rom 8:18
Christ revealed to the world with the church. 1 Thess 3:13
The elect of Israel gathered.
Believers transformed. Phil 3:21
Creation restored. Acts 4:21
will notice that these two events are always dealt with separately. The
translation of saints is never mentioned in any passage dealing with the
return after the Tribulation. And neither is the return to earth mentioned
in the passages dealing with the
Rapture. (John 14:1-3. I Thess.
4:14-17, I Cor. 15:50-57)
may argue that the Rapture is pictured in
but this passage is dealing with the Messiah’s Revealing when He returns to
earth to establish the Kingdom.
“... and they will see the SON
OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY (Dan 7:13) with power and great glory. And
He will send His angels with a loud trumpet call and they will gather
together His elect (His chosen people) from the four winds, even from
one end of the heavens to the other.” (Matthew
verses may fit the interpretation of A-millennialists who believe the return
of the Master completes God’s program for the world with a general
resurrection, and the destruction of the planet. But as A-millennialists do
not believe in a future kingdom on earth, nor in the seven-year Tribulation,
their arguments and views do not arise in our present discussion on the
timing of the Rapture in relation to the Tribulation.
above verses mention the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds, the trumpet
sound, and the gathering of God’s elect, which, at first may appear to be
the Rapture. But it's not so! It is a different event.
this passage there is no catching up of the saints, and there’s no going to
the Father’s House. Neither is there a resurrection mentioned, but there is
a tremendous gathering which is accomplished by the angels.
Rapture, however, the angels are not called upon to gather the church. There
is simply the voice of the arch-angel. 1
says the Lord comes with the trumpet. In 1 Cor.
it says the last trumpet will sound. But there is no reference to angels
gathering the believers.
difference is that the Rapture before the Tribulation catches the church up
to the clouds and to the Father’s House; but the Return of Christ to earth
after the Tribulation, gathers His saved Tribulation people into the
Millennial kingdom. It is most presumptuous to say these are one and the
say the word “elect” in Matt.
proves this is the church that is gathered after the Tribulation. Not so!
The word “elect” (Heb. bachir; Gk eklektos) means “chosen.” In
one place the Lord Jesus Himself is called the elect
(1 Peter 2:6).
In another, the elect refers to angels (1
In other places the elect refers to the church, or to certain individuals;
and it also refers to the saved ones from the Tribulation.
Another argument that comes up from the
passage, is “the trumpet argument.” In 1 Cor.
read of the Resurrection and Rapture, at the sound of the
According to the trumpet argument, Matthew 24:30-31 proves that the Rapture
is not before the Tribulation.
are also mid-Tribulationists (those who believe the Rapture takes place in
the middle of the seven years), who insist that the seventh trumpet of
Revelation 11:15 is the
post-tribulationists also maintain the last trump is the 7th trumpet, but
they say that this seventh trumpet sounds at the end of the Tribulation.
presumptuous to identify the trumpets like that. The seven trumpets of
Revelation are trumpets of judgment, whereas the “last trump” of 1
is a trump of summons.
last trump that Paul speaks of, is the summons or call to the church - the
trumpet sound of God. The seven trumpets of Revelation on the other hand are
trumpets given to angels - to announce God’s wrath.
studying the details of the seventh trumpet in Rev.
we read nothing of a rapture or resurrection. But we read only of an
anticipation of the kingdom of God. But more important, the seventh trumpet
certainly does not end the tribulation - there are still seven bowls of
wrath to be poured out upon earth, including the battle of Armageddon.
last trump is the last summons of a particular event. Throughout the church
age, trumpets have been sounded, heralding the coming of the Lord.
the Messiah’s people are sounding trumpet warnings, but the
trump is the summons, the call - “Arise Beloved - and come away.”
Ironside has explained the familiar military expression of the last trumpet.
“When a Roman camp was about to be broken up, whether in the middle of the
night or in the day, a trumpet sounded. The first blast meant, 'Strike tents
and prepare to depart.' The second meant, 'Fall into line,' and when what
was called 'the last trump' sounded, it meant, 'March'.”
"trumpet arguments" can be a very noise exchange, and if guns were used
instead of trumpets, I guess most of the prophecy teachers would be looking
forward to the Resurrection, rather than the Rapture.
The Order of Events
scheduled order of events for the church requires a time period between the
Rapture and the Revealing. The following order is essential so that the
Bride can be glorified, and revealed as the Wife of the Lamb, when He is
revealed in glory.
“When the Messiah, who is our
life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:4)
The Bema Seat
Evaluation - the Judgment Seat of Christ).
the believers’ lives are evaluated. The “gold, silver and precious stones”
represent that which is truly spiritual in their lives. The believer’s
carnality - the “wood, hay and straw” - is purged by fire so that he stands
perfected in Christ, and glorified.
“And whom He predestined, these
He also called; and whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He
justified, these He also glorified.” (Romans
The Marriage of the Lamb and the Bride
Bride, having passed through the Bema Seat, is now in a perfect condition to
be presented to the Messiah as His glorified wife. All taint has been
removed. All tears are wiped away. (Rev
Not a blot, or spot, or tear remains to mar her glory.
“Bright and clean fine linen
was given to her to wear; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the
set-apart people of God.” (Revelation
Marriage then takes place, and the status of the Bride is changed from
“Betrothed” to “Married.”
The Revealing in Glory
Bride is revealed, not as the Messiah’s betrothed, but as His glorified wife
during the revealing of the King of Kings. (Rev
21:9-11. Col. 3:4)
Pre-tribulation rapture allows the Master to receive the remnant of His
Bride from on earth, unite them with the ‘dead in Christ,” take them to the
Father’s House, evaluate, reward and array them in glorious dress, and
formally present them to Himself; and, after the marriage, to manifest them
with Himself in glory at His return - when “every eye will see Him.”
Post-tribulation rapture which sees the Rapture and the Revealing as the one
and same event, does not allow time for the Bema Seat and Marriage of the
it is replied that the Bema Seat and the Marriage takes place in the skies
immediately after the Rapture, then that argument itself implies there are
two stages in the second coming. (But Post-tribulationists ardently reject
any idea of two stages.)
serious fault in the Post-tribulation view is that it leaves believers
expecting death and resurrection, and not the hope of the Rapture, for very
few will escape martyrdom in the Tribulation.
“He (the Beast) was
given power to make war with the set-apart people of God (the Tribulation
followers of Y’shua), and to overcome them.” (Revelation 13:7)
Tribulation saints, definitely have the specific promise of resurrection
(Rev. 20:4). But the church has the specific promise of being caught up
without dying. (1
JUDGMENT OF THE NATIONS
Another important point. In
Matthew 25:31-46 we
read of the judgment of the nations after the Master returns to the earth.
The surviving people, both sheep and goats - saved and unsaved - are brought
before Him, and are then separated.
the Rapture took place at the end of the seven years, that itself would be
a separation, so that there would then be no need to divide sheep from goats
- for only goats would have been left behind (unless you insist on a partial
Matthew 25 also indicates that the sheep and goats are still in their
natural bodies. How is it that the sheep are still in that condition if the
Rapture has just taken place?
the sheep here are Tribulation saints, not the church.
SUBJECTS WHO REPOPULATE EARTH
Another problem with the Post-tribulation view is that it does not leave any
believers on earth to inherit the kingdom. If all believers are caught up
and glorified after the Tribulation, who would be the subjects in the
kingdom on earth?
the goats (unbelievers) will be cast into outer darkness. And the glorified
believers will not repopulate the earth, for they now have the spiritual
bodies that do not procreate physical children. Clearly the destination of
the Church is the Heavenly City. (John
14:1-3. Rev 21)
heavenly Jerusalem is “the palace” from which the Messiah, with the Bride at
His side, rules over the millennial kingdom.
believers (the sheep) who enter the kingdom
are Tribulation believers, not the church.
course, Post-Tribulationists may bring up various counter arguments, and we
might keep on countering counters, like barristers in a court of law, until
it comes to a stage where one is dueling over the box and not over the
The Tribulation is NOT a type
of Purgatory for the Church
people imagine the church should go into the Tribulation because it has
become worldly, or lukewarm, and therefore it should be purged or cleansed
during the seven years. No so! This would be making the Tribulation a type
why should the final generation of the church be singled out for purging in
the Tribulation? And why should
believers be consigned to that purging?
Y’shua, the Lamb of God, has already made purification of sins - He has
already purged His people by His atoning blood.
church stands justified through faith in the Saviour, on the basis of the
precious shed blood of the Lamb. There is no condemnation to those who are
in Christ Jesus.
time of testing by fire of the works of believers is at the Judgment Seat of
Christ - not in the Tribulation.
The Restrainer must take the Church
Before the Man of Sin is Revealed
has been a lot of debate on the passage in 2 Thessalonians 2, which speaks
of the coming of Y’shua our Master, the Day of the LORD,
and the subsequent revealing of the Man of Sin.
“And you know what is
restraining him (the Man of Sin) now, so that he may be revealed at
the proper time. For the mystery of iniquity and lawlessness is already at
work; but He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way (or
out of the midst). And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Master
will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the glory of
His coming.” (2
identify the Restrainer as the Holy Spirit, for He is the only One who
restrains the evil plan of Satan. And He does that largely through the
presence of the church in the world. Believers are called “the salt of the
have tried to identify the Restrainer as the Roman Emperor, or the Roman
Empire. In that case, the Man of Sin should have been revealed when they
say that the Restrainer is the present order, or government, which will be
violently thrown down by the new world order. But which present government
or ruler could be truly called, “The Restrainer”?
the Holy Spirit who is certainly holding back the conspiracy of Satan; and
He will continue to do so until He is taken out of the midst. The Holy
Spirit is omnipresent, but He can certainly withdraw His restraining
how could the Holy Spirit withdraw His Presence, or His influence, from the
church that He permanently indwells as the Temple of God? He must take the
Holy Spirit is like Eliazer in the story of Isaac, who escorts the Bride to
the heir, who is waiting on the outskirts of his city.
(Genesis 15:2, 24:1-67).
Y’shua is waiting in the sky as the Holy Spirit escorts the Bride to the
Heir of all things, on the portals of Heaven
Undoubtedly the Holy Spirit is the Restrainer in 2
and this is further evidence that confirms the Pre-tribulation Rapture.
argue that the Rapture can’t take place before the Tribulation because
says the Rapture will not take place unless the Man of Sin is revealed. But
what the passage says.
prophecy makes it clear that the
Day of the
LORD (the Tribulation)
not take place unless the Man of Sin in revealed. And verses 6-8 are saying,
the Man of Sin will not be revealed until the Restrainer is taken out of the
midst. So the order of events is ...
of the Man of Sin
The Day of
question is, “Is there an interval between the Rapture and the Day of
possibly. There was an interval between the end of the 69th week of Daniel
(9:27), and the commencement of the church age at Pentecost - about 54 days.
So it is possible there could be some days in between the Rapture and the
time Antichrist is revealed.
possible, however, that the Man of Sin will be revealed immediately after
the Rapture. The revealing of the Man of Sin takes place with the signing of
the 7-year treaty. And the Tribulation, (the 70th week of Daniel) begins
from the date the treaty actually comes into force.
Old Testament Types
Testament types confirm the Pre-tribulation Rapture. Y’shua the Messiah
said, ‘As the days of Noah,’ and ‘as the days of Lot,’ so shall the coming
of the Son of Man be.
the man of God who was caught up to heaven before the flood, is a picture of
the church which will be taken away before the Tribulation.
his family, are a type of Israel which is preserved through the time of
his two daughters, who were caught away from Sodom before the fire fell, are
a type of the church who will be caught up before this world burns in the
AMBASSADORS MUST BE WITHDRAWN
“We are ambassadors for
Christ.” (2 Corinthians
born again believers have become citizens of Heaven, and are ambassadors for
the King of Glory.
a war or a pending major disaster, a country’s ambassadors must be recalled
to their own country.
Pre-tribulation Rapture teaching is based on a literal interpretation of
Scripture. In fact, this is the only view which allows a literal
interpretation of all OT and NT passages on the Tribulation.
not based on natural desires to escape suffering and the terrible time of
wrath, but rather, it is based on the principle of sound interpretation of
the Word of God.
Pre-tribulation Rapture, we believe, harmonizes the relevant passages,
without strained arguments. It does not confuse the Church with Israel and
the nations, and God’s dealings with each of them.
recognizes the differences between the chastening of the LORD,
and the wrath of God; the age of grace, and the 70th week; the provision for
exemption for the Bride, and the preservation of saints in the Tribulation.
not claim that we have produced faultless “arguments,” but we do believe
that this is a consistent and balanced interpretation, that gives God the
glory, and that presents the Rapture as the imminent and . . .
is both purifying, and a
constant comfort for all who eagerly await
the Messiah is coming soon!