|Go to Part 2|
The topic of the Rapture is a controversial subject in Christian circles. There are five main Rapture views: Pre-Tribulation, Mid-Tribulation, Post-Tribulation, Pre-Wrath, and Multiple Raptures. The Rapture involves the concepts of “changed bodies,” as well as being “caught up” in the air to be with Jesus, from that point forward. Before you continue, you may want to read Corrie ten Boom on the Tribulation and the Rapture and Ruth B. Graham on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Both of them warned believers not to expect to be exempt from tribulation and persecution.
Although there are numerous biblical passages describing or referring to the Rapture event, probably the two most descriptive passages are
A widely-accepted theory is that of the Pre-Tribulation or “Pre-Trib” Rapture. This is based on the belief that the Rapture event (that is, the catching up of all those who maintain a belief in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior) will take place just prior to the final seven years of this age (also referred to as the 70th Week, and often called the “tribulation” period). See “Pre-Trib”: My Prior View.
To help determine the point during the 70th Week at which the initial, primary Rapture event will occur, it first is helpful to determine the points at which other events are known or presumed to occur. Then, this collection of scripturally-sound information becomes a solid foundation on which to build the Pre-Wrath theory—which, I feel, demonstrates the proper timing of the main Rapture. My detailed chart, The 70th Week and Extensions, at the bottom of Part 2, shows my placement of the Pre-Wrath Rapture during the 70th Week.
As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives, His disciples came to Him and asked Him what would be the sign of His Second Coming and of the “end of the age.” Jesus responded with a lengthy series of answers
In the midst of Jesus’ response to His disciples is a very significant statement: “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel...”
Most have considered this “holy place” to be a third temple to be built in Jerusalem before Jesus returns. In most Bible translations, a “temple” is mentioned by Paul in
There has been a great deal of speculation as to what will constitute the “abomination that causes desolation.” Some have suggested that this abomination of desolation could be something taking place in the temple, should one be built, which is revolting to orthodox Jews, such as the setting up of an idol and/or the sacrificing of a pig. However, in case another temple is not constructed, then this idea would seem not to be likely.
Furthermore, there is a past precedent of performing sacrifice and offering with no temple standing. Even before the foundation of the Second Temple had been laid in Jerusalem, burnt offerings were sacrificed on an altar built for this purpose
Now, Daniel pointed out that rebellion, presumably against God and His commands, can cause desolation
So according to
Here is Daniel 9:27 from the Orthodox Jewish Bible:
And he shall confirm brit [covenant] with rabbim [the many] for one heptad [week of seven years]; and in the midst of the heptad he shall cause the zevach [sacrifice] and the minchah [gift offering] to cease, and on the kenaf [wing or overspreading] of the abominations is one making desolate, even until the complete destruction, a destruction that is decreed, shall be poured out upon the Shomem [Desolator, Destroyer]. (Daniel 9:27—OJB).Taken altogether, these three verses may indicate that the Antichrist, himself, is the “abomination” who will “set himself up,” who will be “standing in the holy place,” and who will be the “one making desolate.” That is, this “man of lawlessness”—the “Desolator” or “Destroyer”—may himself be the one who “causes desolation” or “makes desolate” and for whom complete destruction, ultimately, has been decreed (at the Battle of Armageddon). Thus, it may be that Jesus warned those in Judea, in the middle of the 70th Week, that when they see this man standing in the “holy place,” to flee as soon as possible
The “abominations” (Daniel 9:27—OJB) may include the public proclamation, at the “holy place,” by the Antichrist (“the first beast”) that he is “God,” as well as his blasphemy of the true God and the heavenly host
Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also
(1 John 2:22,23).
This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.
(1 John 4:2,3).
Perhaps there also will be an abominable idol erected, similar to the one that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up; the idol honored the king, and a command was given to worship the idol
According to Luke, Jesus noted, “When you see Jerusalem being surrounded by armies, you will know that its desolation is near”
Paul indicated that something or someone was restraining or holding back the “secret power of lawlessness,” the latter which will empower the man of lawlessness (Antichrist) when he ultimately is revealed
If the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, then the idea is that He is working through believers in the world; and after they are raptured (allegedly at the beginning of the 70th Week), the man of lawlessness will be revealed. Yet the Holy Spirit is everywhere. The idea that He could be “removed” from any location (for instance, the world) is an illogical, tenuous notion. Plus, if the Holy Spirit were gone, that would mean that nobody else could receive faith—a gift of the Holy Spirit—during the 70th Week. Therefore, no one else could be saved.
I hold a different view altogether about “the restrainer.” Jesus indicated that, following the abomination that causes desolation (at the midpoint of the 70th Week), “there will be great distress [or great tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again”
The archangel Michael always has been the special protective “prince” of Daniel’s people, Israel
Michael, in the midst or middle of the 70th Week, will oust Satan and his angels from heaven (where they now have access, accusing saints before God day and night), hurling them down to the earth
After mentioning the abomination that causes desolation, recall that Jesus added, “For then there will be great distress [or great tribulation], unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again”
I leave open the possibility, however, that all seven seals will be opened after the onset of the Great Tribulation, during the the second half of the 70th Week. It may be that John’s vision of the rider on the white horse—“a conqueror bent on conquest”—who is seen after the First Seal is opened
In any case, just prior to the onset of the Great Tribulation, Satan and his angels will be expelled permanently from heaven
Through the Antichrist, Satan will carry out his wrath upon the earth during the Great Tribulation. When the Antichrist is revealed
During the Great Tribulation, as much as a quarter of the world will be killed, or maybe a quarter of the world’s area will be affected by death from several causes
There is only one other place in the New Testament where the term “great tribulation” is seen, and that is in
However, “Great Tribulation” is an applicable name for the period beginning at the onset of the final 3½ years of this age. Jesus indicated that those days of great distress (or great tribulation) will be “cut short,” for the sake of the elect
Jesus referred to the “great distress” or “great tribulation,” which will begin in the “midst” or “middle” of the 70th Week. Then he described that at some point thereafter, there will be an extremely eerie time “immediately after the distress of those days” when the sun and moon will be darkened, the stars will seem to be falling from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken
Another Old Testament prophet, Isaiah, described these same cosmic disturbances and shaking of the earth
Another self-evident axiom is that Jesus’ description of the cosmic disturbances, as well as everyone’s observation of it
There are those (such as many who embrace the “Pre-Tribulation” and “Post-Tribulation” Rapture views) who believe that the events of the Sixth Seal
Immediately after the distress [or tribulation] of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shakenThe word “distress,” in some versions of the Bible, is translated “tribulation.” For many, “tribulation” is another name for the entire 70th Week (final 7-year period). Yet, there is nothing at all in the Bible assigning or equating the term “tribulation” with the 70th Week. The only portion of the 70th Week which aptly can be called a period of “great tribulation” is the period following the setting up of the abomination that causes desolation, which will occur at the beginning of the final 3½ years.
At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the otherThis is a description of the Rapture event. The spirits/souls of those who previously have left their bodies, in death, will be gathered from wherever they are in heaven to be united with their new glorified, resurrected bodies. “The elect” who still are alive will be changed into glorified forms, joining those who have been resurrected to be caught up in the air to meet the Lord in the clouds.
The Rapture is the first phase in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, and it will not be a “silent, hushed” phenomenon, as many in the “Pre-Trib” camp suppose. The people of the world will “see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30b). John gives us added information, in the Book of Revelation, as to what will happen when the nations of the world see Jesus, coming in the clouds on His throne:
Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!”People in all of the nations will see the “face of Him who sits on the throne” as He appears in the clouds. The unsaved will be terrified; they will cry out to the elements of God’s creation (mountains and rocks), rather than to God Himself, to shield them from the glorious, radiant face of Jesus. In essence, their “goddess” Mother Earth will not be able to protect them from the imminent wrath of the Lamb.
At about the same time, saved believers will be caught up to be with Jesus in the clouds. This same multitude of raptured believers will be seen standing in front of Jesus, seated on the same throne, soon thereafter in heaven
This is what Paul described, in quoting Hosea, about the victory associated with the Rapture:
Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?The first part applies to the saved dead, over whom death has had a “victory”; but this victory will be destroyed when they are resurrected at the Rapture. The second part applies to the saved living at the Rapture, who never will experience the “sting” of death at all.
(1 Corinthians 15:55).
On the other hand, those who, up to that point, will have failed to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, will be “left behind” to be subjected to the wrath of God that soon will come upon the earth:
For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”The “great day of their wrath” is a direct reference to the initial segment (the “day of vengeance” described in the next section) of the “Day of the Lord” period.
Commonly, but I believe inappropriately, the entire 70th Week is referred to as the Day of the Lord. Many will equate this entire period as a time of God’s wrath and vengeance. On the contrary, most of this 7-year period will consist of an increase in natural disasters and cataclysms, a surge in man’s inhumanity toward man and an escalation in Satan’s wrath upon mankind, particularly upon those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus
I have shown that, starting in the middle of the 70th Week, the following events—as a sequence of five axioms used as foundational blocks in demonstrating the timing of the Pre-Wrath Rapture event—will occur in chronological order, as follows:
The opening portion of the Day of the Lord—the “day of vengeance”—following the Pre-Wrath Rapture of believers, should last about a year
In ancient Israel, a man who was recently married would not be sent to war at that time; rather, he was to stay at home and bring happiness to his wife for a year
The apostle Peter, quoting the prophet Joel
In Paul’s day, some of the Thessalonians had been given deceptive information, indicating that the “day of the Lord”—with which Paul associated “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered [raptured] to him”
It would seem that the man who will be the Antichrist will be a primary supporter of the prophesied covenant, involving Israel, that will commence the 70th Week. It also seems likely that, initially, his “face” to the world will be one of honesty, integrity, and sincerity. However, it may be that this man’s traits and attributes will not be what people expect, and his outward person may be unpredictable.
Presumably, this man will be an advocate of peace, probably in favor of Israel making land-for-peace concessions to the Palestinians. He ultimately will become a well-known and popular figure; and he evidently will rise to the zenith of power, amidst great turmoil and disorder, maybe even disasters and cataclysms, worldwide. At some point, his “beastly” qualities will be seen by the the world.
Paul noted that this “man of lawlessness” will be “revealed”
This man will display his true character and temperament, will begin to behave as a “beast,” will utter blasphemies against God and will make war against the saints of God. He will oppress them for “a time, times and half a time”—that is, one year plus two years plus half a year (1 + 2 + ½ = 3½). This will be the final 3½ years
The latter half (3½ years) of the 70th Week will begin with the Great Tribulation period, which will be “cut short,” according to Jesus, “for the sake of the elect” because, otherwise, “no one would survive”
The “day of vengeance” will commence with the opening of the Seventh Seal, initiating the seven Trumpet Judgments. The prophet Isaiah wrote, “For the LORD has a day of vengeance, a year of retribution, to uphold Zion’s cause”
Isaiah also wrote, “For the day of vengeance was in my heart, and the year of my redemption has come” (Isaiah 63:4). Here, the “day of vengeance” is equated to “the year of my redemption”—that is, the year during which God will take vengeance on unbelievers and during which believers will be redeemed, via the Pre-wrath Rapture.
Similar to this is another passage by Isaiah: “...to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God...” (Isaiah 61:2). In effect, this equates to a year of God’s vengeance taken upon most of the world, while the Lord’s favor will been given to believers, just prior to its beginning, at the Rapture. The “day of vengeance” will be the initial brief period (a year) of the overall Day of the Lord, which will encompass the Millennium, lasting a thousand years.
Much of God’s vengeance and wrath, during the “day of vengeance,” will be in response to slain believers’ having cried out to God during the persecution of the Fourth and Fifth Seals. He will avenge their blood, which will have been shed upon the earth, by judging mankind:
When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”
Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by. See, the LORD is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins. The earth will disclose the blood shed upon her; she will conceal her slain no longer
They have given the dead bodies of your servants as food to the birds of the air, the flesh of your saints to the beasts of the earth. ... Pour out your wrath on the nations that do not acknowledge you, on the kingdoms that do not call on your name ... Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Before our eyes, make known among the nations that you avenge the outpoured blood of your servants
Jesus’ specific answer to His disciples’ inquiry about His future coming was that the nations would “see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory,” at which time angels will gather His elect to be with Him
Many who embrace the idea of either a “Pre-Tribulation” or a “Post-Tribulation” Rapture event feel that the incidents described in
Jesus compared the first phase of His next (second) coming to the time of Noah and the ark
Jesus used the Hebrew word airo to indicate how the flood “took away” the lost people in Noah’s time; whereas, He used the word paralambano to describe how the saved people in the future will be “taken.” While airo implies to “take up” or to “take away” (with a negative connotation), paralambano means to “take alongside” (in a positive context, occurring also in
Thus, it seems evident that the multitude comprising the elect, taken at the initial appearance or coming of the Son of Man in the clouds
There are many who have embraced the idea of a “Mid-Tribulation” Rapture, believing that it will take place in the midst or middle of the 70th Week, just prior to the beginning of the Great Tribulation. The idea is that the Great Tribulation is a period of supernatural wrath upon the earth, and that Christians will be protected from it.
Although I believe that God’s wrath will not be imminent until after the opening of the Sixth Seal, and will not begin until after the opening of the Seventh Seal (probably a year prior to the end of the 70th Week), it is true that Satan’s fury, rage, and wrath
In Jesus’ parable of the ten virgins
Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil [desire to obey] from beaten olives [tribulation] for the lamp [commandment], that a light [the law] may be kept burning regularly [go forth continually]Pertaining to the wise and foolish virgins, perhaps the following apply:
It may be that the five wise virgins, who have the “oil” of the Holy Spirit, are those who have recognized and acknowledged the importance of the five books of the Torah or God’s Law (Genesis through Deuteronomy)—in particular, the Book of the Covenant
Also, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom”
Jesus said that He was the fulfillment of the Law or Torah
If so, when the Bridegroom comes, maybe the foolish virgins will be left behind. They will be told to go buy their “oil”—that is, to go learn about and pay attention to the Torah, especially the Book of the Covenant
Maybe the “son” in
The Philadelphian Church
If there is a Mid-Tribulation Rapture, I would see it much like how a so-called “Pre-Tribulation” Rapture is described: as a silent event, with no signs preceding it, like a “thief in the night”
Another possibility is that some believers who have seen a “firstfruits” rapture of a group of their peers—perhaps on the Feast of Firstfruits, a barley harvest of “first grain”
|Go to Part 2|
|Summary of Commentaries|
|Who Is God?|
| The Rapture
|The Final Battles||The Beasts||The Creation|
|God’s Covenant: with Israel or the Church?|
|My Beliefs and Faith|
|Bible Question Emails
and Ted’s Responses
|The Holy Bible
(a novel by Ted)
of the Human Eye
Comments or questions? Email Me.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®
Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.®
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.