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Author Purpose and Timing of the Rapture
njfish17
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1 Thessalonians 4:13-5:4

For one to understand the purpose of the rapture, one must take into consideration the timing of the rapture. The purpose of this paper is to examine those verses which relate to the rapture of the church and thus ascertain the purpose of the rapture. The writer of this paper will attempt to prove that the rapture of the church is a rescue of those saints that are still alive at the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thus the rapture is an event that includes all Christians that are still alive at that time. This paper will demonstrate only those concepts that can be derived from direct passages of scripture. The first concept related to the purpose of the rapture is that the Day of the Lord begins at some point after the abomination of desolation.

1 Thessalonians 2:2-3 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Paul makes it clear that the Day of the Lord will not come until the apostasy and the man of lawlessness is revealed. Briefly, “apostasy” or “falling away” is the Greek word “apostasia” which means defection, revolt, forsake, or depart. When other passages of scripture are taken into consideration this can mean none other than a departure of the faith. The apostasy is a specific event that occurs in connection with the reign of Antichrist.

Matthew 24:9-12 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

In fact Luke 18:8 says:
I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

The passages declaring the timing of the Day of the Lord will continue:
Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

Acts 2:20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

Revelation 6:12-17 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

It is clear from the cited passages that the Day of the Lord occurs after the sign in the sun, moon, and stars. Therefore one must determine when this sign in the heavens occurs. From Revelation 6 it is noted that this sign occurs at the sixth seal. However, one can determine a more accurate time frame of this sign from Matthew 24:

Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Now that it has been determined that the Day of the Lord occurs after the sign in the sun, moon, and stars, which is immediately after the tribulation of those days, one must understand what is meant by the tribulation of those days. It must also be realized that the Day of the Lord is not limited to Christ’s appearing at Armageddon. This fact will be discussed later. According to 1 Thessalonians the Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night while they are saying peace and safety. This “sudden destruction” contains the trumpets and vials of Revelation. There will certainly not be peace and safety for those dwelling on the earth during the trumpet and bowl judgments so the arrival of the Day of the Lord must occur before the judgment of the trumpets and vials . The extent of the Day of the Lord will be further addressed later; however, the concept of the tribulation of those days will now be examined.


Matthew 24:15-21 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand ) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

One can see from the above passage that the tribulation begins immediately after the abomination of desolation. This position is confirmed by Revelation 12 and Daniel 12:

Revelation 12:6-9,12-13,17 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred [and] threescore days. And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Therefore rejoice, [ye] heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child]. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

It is clear that the tribulation begins at the midpoint of the 7 year period of time also known as Daniel’s seventieth week. This 7 year period of time will not be referred to as the tribulation so as to not cause confusion since it is plainly stated in scripture that the tribulation begins at the midpoint of the “week”. Nowhere in scripture is the 70th week referred to as the tribulation. It is the opinion of this writer that “the tribulation of those days” is a time of persecution by the Antichrist towards those who do not accept his system: Jews and Christians; however, the control of Antichrist will bring some travail upon the earth noted in the six seals of Revelation 6. It is necessary to restate at this point that those who accept the system of Antichrist will be saying peace and safety up until Christ appears in the clouds to pour out His judgment and wrath.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Revelation 12:17 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man [child]. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Matthew 24:9-10 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

Daniel 7:21-22 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

Daniel 7:25 And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Revelation 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

Revelation 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

Revelation 14:12 Here is the patience of the saints: here [are] they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.

Revelation 15:2-3 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints.

Revelation 6:9-11 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled.

Now that it has been shown that the tribulation, which occurs immediately after the abomination of desolation, is a time of persecution against the Jews and Christians who do not accept the system of the Antichrist, the writer will attempt to prove that the rapture occurs at the same time that Jesus appears in the clouds to unleash judgment and wrath. It has been sufficiently proven that Christ appears in the clouds after the sign in the sun, moon, and stars.

It should be noted firstly that the appearance of Christ is as a thief in the night and is at an unknown day and hour:

Matthew 24:36,39 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

1 Thessalonians 5:2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Even though we do not know the day or hour, Jesus did tell us to look for specific events:

Matthew 24:33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors.

“These things” include the abomination of desolation mentioned in verse 15.

The rapture occurs at the time that Jesus appears in the clouds, which is at the same time that the Day of the Lord begins.

Matthew 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Notice this “gathering of the elect” occurs after the tribulation and when Jesus comes with the clouds. Also notice how similar this passage is with the “rapture passage”.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

It should also be noted immediately following the sign in the sun, moon, and stars of the sixth seal is when John sees the great multitude in heaven that has come out of the great tribulation:


Revelation 7:9,14 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

It has already been shown that the tribulation begins at the midpoint of the 70th week. Matthew 24:22 also reveals to us that the tribulation is cut short for the sake of the elect, otherwise no flesh would survive. There would not be anybody to rapture if this great tribulation is not cut short. It has also been shown that Jesus appears in the clouds after the tribulation. John tells us of a 200 million man army in Revelation 9:16, so this great multitude must be substantially larger than this number of 200 million. The point this author is making is that there is no other explanation of this great multitude than those who have just met Christ in the clouds, including the dead in Christ and the raptured church.

This writer would now like to point out that two passages written by Paul associate the rapture with the Day of the Lord. In the opinion of this writer, it is irrational to read the next two passages and not associate the rapture with the Day of the Lord. It must be remembered that Paul is writing the church of the Thessalonians and they are understanding Paul in the context of the tribulation they are currently facing (1Thess. 1:6, 3:7).

1Thessalonians 4:16-5:4, 5:9, 5:23 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief…. For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, …. And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul is encouraging the Thessalonians in the tribulation they are facing. He is telling them to comfort one another with these words of reassurance that even though they have loved ones who are dying for their faith, Jesus will appear and the dead in Christ will rise and then those that remain will be caught up with them in the clouds. There is no doubt that Paul is associating the rapture with the Day of the Lord.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day shall not come], except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Again Paul is associating the rapture with the Day of the Lord. Paul is telling them that the Day of the Lord, focus on the rapture, has not occurred because these two events must occur first. When one also takes Matthew 24 and 1 Thessalonians 4-5 into consideration this statement by Paul makes complete sense. Both this passage above and Matthew 24 plainly state that the “falling away” (love of most grow cold) and the man of sin being revealed (abomination of desolation) must occur before the coming of Christ with the clouds-Day of the Lord.

It is now appropriate to dismiss the assumption that the second coming of Christ, when the rapture occurs and the Day of the Lord begins, is at Armageddon, spoken of at Revelation 19. The Greek word for “coming” is “parousia” and this word indicates a presence. The second coming of Christ is not limited to a single event. Just as the first coming of Christ included many events from the birth to ascension, so the second coming includes numerous events. This writer will now contrast the glorious appearing of Jesus with the event in Revelation 19.

Compare Matthew 24 AND Revelation 19 appearing
Unknown day and hour
Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Gathered to make war with Him
Revelation 19: And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
Coming with the clouds
Matthew 24:30And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Riding a white horse
Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him [was] called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.
Gathers His own unto Himself (Rapture)
Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Comes with His armies for war
Revelation 19:14 And the armies [which were] in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.


If the second coming of Christ were at Armegeddon then one would know the day; however, if the glorious appearing of Christ is sometime during the second half of the 70th week of Daniel then one would know the season but not the day or hour. The glorious appearing separates the tribulation from the judgment and wrath of God ( Day of the Lord). According to Daniel 12:7 we know from the abomination of desolation until the end is three and one-half years; therefore, the end is at a known time. One must also remember that the Day of the Lord comes at a time when they are saying peace and safety, so the Day of the Lord cannot be limited to the event at Armageddon due to the trumpet and vial judgments that precede. The Day of the Lord will be recognized as coming due to the presence of Jesus in the clouds. See sixth seal of Revelation 6. Though His appearing will be at an unknown day and hour, Jesus did state that one could know the season.

Matthew 24:32-33 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors.

However, one does know based on Revelation 9:5 that the Day of the Lord judgments last at least five months. Therefore, since one does not know the length of the tribulation or the length of the judgment and wrath of God then one does not know the day or hour of Christ’s appearing. One does know that the tribulation and the Day of the Lord judgments equal 3.5 years. So the tribulation could last 3 years and the Day of the Lord judgments half a year; One does not know thus the unknown day and hour. However, when we see “these things”, including abomination of desolation and tribulation, then look up for our redemption is near.

The Day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night and is sudden destruction upon those who have been enjoying peace and safety under the umbrella of the Antichrist. Passages will now be presented that describe the Day of the Lord. The purpose includes the fact that the Lord will avenge His own.

Luke 18:7-8 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?


2 Thessalonians 1:4-10

Isaiah 13:6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD [is] at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.

Ezekiel 30:3 For the day [is] near, even the day of the LORD [is] near, a cloudy day; it shall be the time of the heathen.

Joel 1:45Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD [is] at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Zephaniah 1:14-18 The great day of the LORD [is] near, [it is] near, and hasteth greatly, [even] the voice of the day of the LORD: the mighty man shall cry there bitterly. That day [is] a day of wrath, a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of the trumpet and alarm against the fenced cities, and against the high towers. And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD'S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

It is clear that the Day of the Lord is that time in which the Lord will pour out His wrath upon those that dwell on the earth. It has been established that the Day of the Lord arrives with the appearing of Jesus with the clouds and occurs after the sign in the sun, moon, and stars and is at the sixth seal of Revelation 6. With this information it is now possible to know what the Day of the Lord encompasses. After John sees the sealing of the 144,000 and the saints in heaven, including the raptured church, the seventh seal is opened. The opening of the seventh seal involves silence in heaven for half an hour. This writer refers to this event as “the calm before the storm.” The judgment and wrath of God thus proceeds through the trumpets and vials. Remember that the wrath of God is not said to have come until the opening of the sixth seal.

Revelation 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

The question is now probably raised in the minds of many about the seals. Are these not the judgment of God? It is very clear that the wrath of God does not come until the sixth seal when the sign in the sun, moon, and stars occur. Also it is clearly stated during the fifth seal that they should wait a little longer before they will be avenged. There are various views on the seals; however, this writer will provide an interpretation that lines up with the rest of scripture.

Revelation 6:2 And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer.

First seal- The beginning of the 70th week when the covenant is confirmed with many by the Antichrist.

Revelation 6:4 And there went out another horse [that was] red: and [power] was given to him that sat thereon to take peace from the earth, and that they should kill one another: and there was given unto him a great sword.

Second seal- This is at the midpoint of the week when the covenant is broken. It is necessary to point out that in the Greek the definite article “the” is included and is therefore necessary in the translation. The peace is taken from the earth at the midpoint of the 70th week.

Revelation 6:5 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

Third seal- This is the economic control of the Antichrist.

Revelation 6:8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Fourth seal- Due to the control of the Antichrist, death, whether directly or indirectly, is a consequence of his control.

Revelation 6:9-11 And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they [were], should be fulfilled.

Fifth seal- these are the martyrs that die at the hands of the Antichrist.

Revelation 6:12-13 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.

Sixth seal- The signal for the arrival of the Day of the Lord, when Christ appears with the clouds and every eye will see Him.

Revelation 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

Now that the timing of the rapture has been determined it is now quite easy to establish the purpose of the rapture. Those who are in Christ are not appointed unto judgment, whether that judgment be the Day of the Lord or the lake of fire. Quite simply, the rapture is the rescue of those saints, that have survived the tribulation, from the judgment of God, the Day of the Lord judgments. So the rapture includes all living Christians.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Matthew 10:21-23 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against [their] parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all [men] for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.

Matthew 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

1 Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

2 Corinthians 1:10 Who delivered us from so great a death, and doth deliver: in whom we trust that he will yet deliver [us];

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

In summation:

The 70th week of Daniel begins when a covenant is confirmed with many by the Antichrist. The next 3.5 years will be a time of relative peace and will result in lulling many to sleep (Matthew 24:38). At the midpoint of the week the Antichrist shows himself to be God, the abomination of desolation (Matthew 24:15), which kicks off the tribulation (Matthew 24:21). The great tribulation includes the great apostasy, which is the result of the persecution, signs and wonders, and the lulling to sleep from the “peace and safety”. The tribulation is cut short for the sake of the elect (Matthew 24:22) and at some point after the tribulation the Son of man comes with the clouds (Matthew 24:29-31) to rescue the saints from the Day of the Lord-trumpets and vials.

Though there are many issues that this paper does not address since it is not the purpose of this paper to address all eschatological issues, it is in the interest of this writer to provide a brief overview of the identity of the restrainer spoken of by Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:6-7. The restrainer cannot be the church since the church is never referred to as a “he”. The Holy Spirit is never called a restrainer or one who restrains and salvation would not be possible with the dismissal of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the common assumption is that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit in the church. To say “he” is the Holy Spirit within the church is stretching the issue when a much more scriptural identity can be made of the restrainer.

Daniel 10:21 But I will shew thee that which is noted in the scripture of truth: and [there is] none that holdeth with me in these things, but Michael your prince.

Daniel 12:1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation [even] to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.

It is the opinion of this writer that Michael the archangel is the restrainer spoken of in 2 Thessalonians 2. One must realize that the context of the issue regarding the restrainer in 2 Thess. regards Israel and the temple. Michael is called the prince of Israel in the above passage; It is also known that Michael and his angels cast Satan and his angels to the earth right before the midpoint of the week according to Revelation 19. In Daniel 12:1 after the statement “at that time Michael will stand up” it states that there will be a time of trouble such as never was. This statement makes no sense if “stand up” is referred to as protecting; however, when one knows the Hebrew word being used for “stand up” the passage is understood. The word is “amad” and can mean to stand still, cease, or stop. When Revelation 12 is considered it is the likely event that Michael will cast Satan down to the earth and at this time Michael will cease protecting Israel; Satan, knowing his time is short, will have his last attempt at destroying the people of God.

A word of warning is now warranted. It is the opinion of this writer that well-intentioned teachings are serving to further the complacency of a large number of Christians who will “fall away” when the tribulation begins.

Matthew 13:20-21 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

It is also necessary to state at this point that it is the view of this author that those “who have kept the word of My perseverance” will be kept from the hour of trial.

Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

At this time this writer holds to the belief that this “hour of temptation” refers to the great tribulation and that God will protect “these” people during this time; however, the “hour of temptation” that tries “them that dwell on the earth” could very well refer to the Day of the Lord. It is not necessary to believe that this “protection” refers to the rapture. The Greek word for “keep” is “tereo” and it means to attend to carefully, take care of, to guard, to observe,… This word tereo refers to a “keeping” or “protecting” through something, not “taking away from”. However, it seems that a majority of the body of Christ today falls short of being included among the church at Philadelphia.

Luke 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?



james
      grande prairie


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Dear njfish17
I would have to disagree with your paper. What you put forward is a complete missunderstanding of the word. I would hold to the A-Mill view. Your view is a very narrow view of the Bible. I will post on tbnis topic a little latter.

[This message has been edited by james (edited 08-30-2004).]

[This message has been edited by james (edited 08-30-2004).]


Orates
      Columbia South Carolina


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There is only one way to prove who is right on this most contentious issue. Pre-Tribulation Rapturists believe that true Christians will be Raptured before the last 7 years of this age they call the Tribulation Period. Mid-Tribbers believe it happens in the middle of the 7 years, and Post-Tribbers believe it is at the end of the 7 years. Most Pre-Millennialists believe that the last 7 years begins with the signing of a 7 Year Peace Treaty between Israel and the Arabs and ends with Jesus's return to earth. If the Treaty is signed and Christians are still standing here on earth- then it can't be a "Pre" Trib Rapture. If they are still here after 3 1/2 years, then it is not a "Mid" Trib Rapture, and if they are still here when Jesus Returns, then even the "Post" Tribbers will be found wrong and the Amillennialists will be proven right (God Forbid!). I personally believe the Rapture will not happen to every Christian at all (most Christians will have been persecuted to death by the Antichrist for not taking the Mark). The only believers left alive just before Jesus returns are the Jewish believers hiding in the wilderness in Israel. They will be the ones Raptured just before the last day of this age- the Day of God's Wrath. But we will have to wait and see who is right on this one.
Bruce Woodford
      Norwich, Ontario, Canada


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Hi Orates,
I would respectfully disagree with you. We need not wait until the events prophesied actually take place to know what scripture clearly teaches on the timing of the catching up of the saints to meet the Lord in the air! All we need to do is let scripture SAY exactly what it SAYS AND BELIEVE IT!

All scriptural doctrines are simply stated in the very words of scripture.
Since the "7 year tribulation period" is never once found in the Bible it is not a scriptural doctrine!
Since the "pre-tribulation rapture" is never found in scripture, it is not a scriptural doctrine!
Since the "mid-tribulation rapture" is never found in scripture, it is not a scriptural doctrine!

The only scripturally stated doctrine of the timing of the coming of the Lord, the gathering of the elect, the catching up of the saints to meet the Lord in the air is that these events take place AFTER THE TRIBULATION, AT THE LAST TRUMP, WHEN THE LORD IS REVEALED FROM HEAVEN WITH HIS MIGHTY ANGELS TAKING VENGEANCE...ETC.

For the scriptural statements on which the scriptural doctrine of the post-tribulation rapture are solidly based, one can read the following scripture passages:

Scripture very definitely sets forth the timing of the event when "the elect are gathered from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven". The timing of that event in the very words of scripture is found in Matt.24:29-31and Mark 13:24-27.

According to Romans 8:19-23, I Cor.15:51-54, and I Thess.4:13-18, the event when the saints are caught up is also the time when the bodies of the saints, who have died and those who remain alive, will be redeemed, i.e. made immortal and incorruptible. Luke 21:28 clearly sets the timing of that event AFTER the events of the tribulation.

I Cor.15 sets the timing of that event at "the last trump". As there is a series of 7 trumpets sounded during the course of the tribulation, the "last trump" must follow those 7 or it would not be the last trump!

Furthermore since living saints do not get any rest from trouble UNTIL they are caught up to meet the Lord, II Thess.1:4-10 very clearly sets the timing of that rest! It is "when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God and that
obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ..."

And finally, the theory that when saints are caught up to meet the Lord in the air, the Lord takes a "U-Turn" in the air and all go to heaven for 7 years before the Lord comes to the earth and the saints come with him...is NEVER FOUND IN THE BIBLE!

This is made perfectly clear by the scriptural statements found in Acts 1:9-11 (the Lord's ascension) and Zech.14:1-5 (the Lord's return) which, according to Acts 1 is in the very same manner as His ascension.
-Just as He ascended from earth to heaven, He will descend all the way from heaven to earth.
-Just as He was observed ascending into a cloud, He will be observed descending from the clouds.
-Just as He ascended from the Mount of Olives, He will descend upon the Mount of Olives. (It is AS HE IS DESCENDING, that we will be caught up to meet him in the air and then come with Him to earth as Zech.14 teaches.)

I trust that the following statements of scripture will help many to see that the post tribulation rapture is the only view which is actually taught in scripture! (I challenge anyone who believes the pre-trib or mid-trib doctrines to list any scriptural statments which actually teach their doctrines!

In Christ,
Bruce Woodford

Zech.14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

Matt.24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

Luke 21:16 And ye shall be betrayed both by parents, and brethren, and kinsfolks, and friends; and some of you shall they cause to be put to death.
17 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake.
18 But there shall not an hair of your head perish.
19 In your patience possess ye your souls.
20 And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21 Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22 For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24 And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

Acts 1:9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.
10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;
11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.

Romans 8:19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.


I Cor.15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

I Thess.4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

II Thess.1:3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is meet, because that your faith groweth exceedingly, and the charity of every one of you all toward each other aboundeth;
4 So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
5 Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

k_dianel
      Florida


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The bible clearly states that God will keep us from the hour that is coming upon the world to try it. Rev. 3:11 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth. This does not sound like every Christian is going to be slaughtered by the antichrist to me. God can not lie and He has promised to keep those who have kept the word of His patience.

I don't always understand how the end is going to happen, quite frankly, I don't think any of us do even those who claim too. But I do know one thing and that is He has promised to keep certain people from this trying hour.

Kim

Bruce Woodford
      Norwich, Ontario, Canada


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Hi Kim,

Yes, Rev.3:10 does speak of saints being kept from the hour that will try the whole earth. But an hour is a very short span of time, much shorter than 1260 days of great tribulation.

I don't think anyone has claimed that every Christian on earth will be slaughtered by the antichrist. Scripture does teach that there will be those who are "alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord" (I Thess.4:13-18)

But scripture does very clearly place the gathering of God's elect from heaven and earth at the sound of the last trumpet AFTER THE TRIBULATION. Matt 24:29-31 and Mark 13:24-27.

Our rest from trouble is only promised to us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God etc. II Thess.1:4-10 That event does NOT precede, but rather follows AFTER the tribulation.

The manner in which we are spared from that "hour" is by way of our being caught up to meet the Lord in the air as He is coming down bringing judgment and wrath upon the unbelieving world.

Sripture never once speaks of us being taken off to heaven 7 years before the Lord's coming in judgment.

Does this help regarding the purpose and timing of the rapture?

A brother in Christ,
Bruce

k_dianel
      Florida


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Bruce,

I don't really think when the bible used that word "hour" in that verse it was using it to refer to a period of time, but rather referring to the whole time of this trying that is going to come upon the world. Sometimes we just have to use common sense and just look at it for what it is saying.

That verse is saying that He will keep those who have kept the word of His patience from the time that is coming upon the world to try it.

It is really very simple, if Jesus said something it ALWAYS came to pass. If He has promised something, it will happen exactly as He promises it will. He has promised to keep those who have kept the word of His patience from the hour of this world's trial. There is an hour (time) coming that is going to try this world and it is pretty plain to me that there are going to be certain people who will be kept from that. I don't know how the mechanics of it are going to work but God can not lie. He will do what He said He will do.

You can get all involved in trying to figure the timing of it all out. Me, I know I'm not smart enought to do that. Maybe someday I will see it all more clearly if there is even anything more clear to see. I think I see pretty clearly now.

We go around trying to figure out God and we can't do that. I ran into this in the issue of speaking in tongues. A person doesn't have to nail that doctrine down to a T, all we really have to do is go on loving God and He will in time make what He wants us to understand clear and we will see the truth eventually.

But it says He will keep those who "keep the word of His patience" from the hour (time) that is coming upon the world to try it. I don't need trying, the world does. I've had my time of trying here now, the world has refused that time of trying now so it will have it within time.

I would think a more beneficial discussion would be what does it mean to "keep the word of His patience". But everyone seems so interested in what they have to suffer and what they don't that they are totally missing the point of this all.

Those who are living right and really doing what they are suppose to be doing ARE given this promise of being kept. Maybe those who aren't doing this are just running around, like they do with incorrect church doctrines to just pacify themselves and their fears. Or either they delight to see people tormented, one of the two.

I serve a God who has promised that I will be kept from the hour of this time coming upon the world. Just that plain and simple.

Kim

Paidion



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Why presume that being "kept from the hour of testing" refers to a pre-trib rapture?

The Israelites in Egypt were kept from the hour of testing which the Egyptians endured. The plagues didn't touch them. Their first-born were not slain. etc. It wasn't necessary for God to snatch up all of the Israelites out of Egypt in order to keep the from that hour of testing.

   

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