Clearing Up Some Misunderstandings about the Pre-Trib Rapture
I find it very interesting that those "prophets" we have critiqued on this site, who are proposing Post-Trib, Pre-Wrath, and Partial Rapture, are usually also those who are teaching members of the Church (composed of believers) that they must be further purified and refined during the Trib before they will qualify for the Rapture.
This exposes a serious misunderstanding of God's Grace where it concerns the Church, and his plan for Israel vs the Church, and also his purpose for the Tribulation, which is to judge unbelievers and unrepentant Israel, not believers.
The Mystery / The Rapture
Some have claimed that 1 Cor 15:50 is not referring to the Rapture because the word for Rapture in the Greek (Harpazo) is not found in this verse. However, the “mystery” being referred to in 1 Cor 15:50 is the Rapture because it was never taught to the Jews. Even Christ never mentioned it to his Disciples because they didn’t even believe that he had to be crucified. The "Church" was never mentioned either, for the same reason.
If Israel had accepted Christ as their Messiah then the Jews would have gone right into their earthly Kingdom promised to the Jewish Fathers. However, when they rejected and crucified their own Messiah, then Christ sent the Gospel to the Gentiles through Paul. Paul is the only one who teaches on the Mystery (Rapture).
The Resurrection of the Saints
The whole Chapter of 1 Cor 15 is about the Resurrection
- 1. Christ is resurrected (as the first fruits)
- 2. The Church is Raptured (resurrected)
- 3. The 7 year Tribulation occurs
- 4. Christ’s 2nd advent at the End of the Trib.
- 5. The whole world is Judged and Old Testament saints are resurrected
- 6. Old Testament saint are resurrected and survivors of the Trib enter the promised earthly kingdom for 1,000 years (the Millennium)
- 7. Satan is thrown into the lake of fire and death is “swallowed up in victory” when all believers enter Eternity.
A chart showing a timeline of endtime events:
The Last Trumpet
The Last Trumpet mentioned in 1 Cor 15:52 is not referring to the 7th Trumpet in Revelation as some claim, because the events in Revelation provide a time line for the event and the Rapture has always been imminent throughout history.
The "Last Trumpet" phrase was used during the Exodus and other events in the Old Testament, as a warning that it was time to “move out” and that gives a perfect explanation for the use of this term.
Death Swallowed up in Victory
Some claim that Paul quoting Isaiah 25:8 re "death swallowed up in victory" in 1 Cor 15:51,52 means the rapture doesn't occur until after Judgment day. However, Isaiah 25:8 refers to Old Testament believers, and all those not included in the Church age being resurrected (not the Rapture).
The resurrection of the Old Testament believers occurs when Christ returns in judgment at the end of the Great Tribulation. Christ himself defeated death at his resurrection, and the Rapture of the Church will do the same and then the Old Testament saints. However, death still occurs during the millennium so it's not until Eternity when death will be finally swallowed up in victory.
The Apostasy vs The Departure
There is another verse that clearly teaches a Pre-Trib Rapture: 2 Thess 2:3 The Greek word "apostasia" is usually translated "apostasy" or "falling away" however it can also be translated "departure" (as it was for the first 7 English translations of the Bible.
The latin Vulgate in 400 AD used "discessio" which means departure). See Liddell and Scott's Greek Lexicon which defines apostasia as (1) revolt and then (2) departure or disappearance and thus it can mean "to remove spatially".
In 2 Thess 2:3 the definite article "THE" is in front of "apostasia" so it's a singular one-time event that hadn't occured at that time. The Thessalonian church were patiently expecting it. Paul repeatedly talked about the Rapture in 1 Thess and never mentioned apostasy of the Church.
Apostasy had already infiltrated the Church by the First Century, and we still have apostasy today, so the definite article can't be referring to apostasy of the Church. It has to refer to a specific event that hasn't happened yet, even now, as the AntiChrist hasn't been revealed yet.
Therefore this word translated as "apostasy" doesn't fit the context of this passage. It means "departure" of the Church, as in the Rapture, i.e., the Tribulation can't occur until after the Rapture. This is why the Church is never mentioned again after Revelation chapter 4.
Mid-Trib, Post-Trib or any other but Pre-Trib Rapture
The tribulation lasts 7 years according to Daniel 9:24-27. It is divided in two parts with the later half being the Great Trib. The tribulation is never mentioned as a time of testing for the Christians but it is called the Time of Jacob's Trouble - a time of testing for Israel. Therefore the Rapture occurs before the Beginning of the Trib, not Mid-Trib.
Only Paul Taught on the Rapture
Some claim that Jesus taught on the Rapture and refer to John 14:1-3 as proof. Jesus told his disciples that he was leaving to go prepare a place for them in John 14:1-3, but they didn’t even understand that he had to die and rise again, “and they understood none of these things, and this saying was hidden from them and they did not comprehend the things that were said." (Luke 31-34).
So, he never explained the Rapture to them for that reason. So when the Jews rejected their Messiah, Jesus sent Paul to be the Apostle to the Gentiles. Paul is the only one who taught on the Rapture.
Also see a lot of poems written on the endtimes and also the Rapture on Endtime Poetry
Other Articles on the Pre-Trib Rapture
- This article gives the Top 5 Reasons why Matthew 24 cannot be talking about the Rapture
- An article on the PreTrib Rapture called Caught Up by Wayne Smith. Are you being confused by false prophets, leaving you with doubts about the rapture, judgement, and resurrection? Hopefully this article will provide some answers.
- Thomas Ice has several articles written on the Pre-Trib Rapture such as, Necessity of an Interval between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming and Examining an Ancient Pre-Trib Rapture Statement.
- Why I Believe the Pre-Tribulation Rapture by Alan Yusko explains how the 7 year Trib prophecied by Daniel is for Isreal, not the Church; who the Restrainer is, who is holding back the Anti-Christ; why the Wrath of God is not to be poured out on the Church; how the other Rapture positions must ignore all scriptures on the imminency; and how the other Rapture views can't explain who will populate the Millennium after Christ Returns or allow time for the Bema Seat Judgment of Christians, the Marriage of the Lamb or the Marriage Supper. Also check out other Rapture articles on the same site.
- If you're interested in discussions on the Rapture and other prophecy related topics then check out the Rapture Forums.
- A world Of information about Biblical Prophecy including the rapture can be found at Prophecy Central.
- Alan Horvath has a very good video explaining the difference between the 1st and 2nd Resurrection (the first being for believers and the 2nd for unbelievers) and delves into the scriptures to explain each. He also translates the scriptures from the Aramaic/Hebrew using the ancient meaning of the letters of each word to clarify the meaning of the passage and shows where some modern translations have been misinterpreted.
- A Critique of J. Preston Eby's Looking for His Appearing where his anti-Trinitarian and anti-Rapture, anti-2nd Coming and anti-a whole lot more is exposed.
- An article discussing Are Infants Going to Heaven and in the Rapture?
© 2004 - updated 11-29-19