Saturday, April 2, 2011

What Can We Know About the Rapture?

As part of another article, a discussion arose about the Rapture and its timing.  The purpose of this article is not start debate or condemn any particular belief.  It is merely to examine the Scriptures on this subject for your own personal study time.

From God's word, we can know the following about the rapture:
  • It does not happen in secret, but is announced with the voice of an archangel and the sound of a trumpet. (Matthew 24:29-31; I Corinthians 15:51-52; I Thessalonians 4:16)
  • It happens after a period of tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22, 29-31; Mark 13:24-27; )
  • It occurs after the sun has turned dark, the moon turns to blood, and the stars fall from the sky (Joel 2:10, 31; Isaiah 13:10; Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25-28; Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:12)
  • It occurs at the same time as the coming "day" of the Lord (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; Luke 21:27-28; 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18; II Thessalonians 1:6-10)
As I started to write the article, it was something I had to leave in draft mode for a while because the topic is so expansive that it really takes time to spell out.  However yesterday, Chris White posted a video on this very topic and reviewed most of what I felt led to communicate (and beyond). Chris addresses such things as:
  • What is the "Day of the Lord"? 
  • What are the signs of its coming?
  • What has to happen prior to the Rapture?
  • What is the difference between the "wrath of Satan" and the "wrath of God"?
  • What is the "Doctrine of Imminence" and is it Scriptural?
  • How do the four horsemen of the Apocalypse fit into the timing of the Rapture?
  • Is Matthew 24 only relevant for the Jewish believers? 
  • Who is the one who "restraineth" the revealing of the Anti-Christ in II Thessalonians 2:7?
So, in appreciation to the Lord foremost for always providing, I am posting Chris' video below called "The Prewrath Rapture".  It is primarily a scholarly review of the topic vs. a sermon, but is rather straightforward.  Again, this is not cause fear or discord, but to enable us to do exactly what God says we should.

"But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do." I Thessalonians 5:4-11


  1. I've heard good scholars on both sides. I don't think ANYBODY knows for sure how it's going to go down. Maybe that's the way God wants it. I understand there are two separate scenarios. One for the Jew and one for the Church. That's why it's so confusing. You never know what group is being addressed in any particular passage of scripture. You can drive yourself crazy trying to figure this out. I've heard people from both sides say that they heard directly from the Holy Spirit and the other side is going to hell. I about had enough of this whole debate. Great website! Thanks for the articles and videos.

  2. Hi Lonnie,

    I sure understand not wanting to get caught up in endless strivings and debate. Yet I wouldn't assume that God doesn't want us to know this.

    The Scriptures say specifically that as children of light, this time should not catch us unawares. We are also told to watch and be sober, looking for this time and even its hastening. While it is true that no one knows the exact day and time, Scripture certainly seems to indicate that this is something the church should not be ignorant about.

    I would add that the truth of the matter is not a product of the aptitude of the scholar, but the revelation of God. I believe that the Scripture provides clear guidance in this area and simply would encourage folks to seek the Holy Spirit for truth - as we should do in all areas.

    This matter is not one of salvation, but if God thought enough to repeatedly encourage us to be aware of it, then I am sure you would agree that we should.

    God Bless!

  3. I haven't listened to the video yet but I just wanted to say that I think if people read the passages in the Bible concerning the end of this age they will see that the church will not be taken away before the affliction begins (people are already being tribulated [if that is a word] in other countries. Try telling them that we will be taken out of the way of persecution.

    There are three reasons why Americans don't want to accept this fact:
    1. We have been brainwashed to believe we will be taken out.
    2. We have not been taught by the church leaders to endure any kind of suffering...even for Jesus. We want our "best life now".
    3. We have come to believe that America is the land of the free and that one can do and believe anything one wants...I am not so sure that is true.

  4. Just wanted to share these scriptures to add to the discussion. There seems to me a clear indication that there's a catching away of the pre-tribulation church, and also a subusequent catching away of the tribulation converts.

    Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

    Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also WILL KEEP THEE FROM THE HOUR OF TEMPTATION (to me this is the tribulation), which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    Concerning the trumpet to signal the church; I believe this is Christ's voice, not the trumpet of the angels, which will accompany his return with the raptured church to execute his wrath on all unbelievers, the Day of the Lord. Scripture says, my sheep hear my voice - this is how John described the voice he heard when Jesus spoke to him.

    Rev 1:10-12 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,

    Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: and, What thou seest, write in a book, and send it unto the seven churches which are in Asia; unto Ephesus, and unto Smyrna, and unto Pergamos, and unto Thyatira, and unto Sardis, and unto Philadelphia, and unto Laodicea.

    The trumpet of the angels is for the remaining believers, converted during the tribulation. I agree it won't be a hidden event, all will know what happened, in both rapture events; but, the chronology is pre-tribulation to believers now at the voice of Christ, and post-tribulation following the 7th trumpet of the angel.

    Lastly, the tribulation is known as Jacob's trouble, ans is partly, to my understanding punishment of natural Israel for rejecting the Messiah. We know "all Israel will be saved", those that believe and are appointed to God's grace through faith in Christ. But we gentiles were only given a space of time before natural Israel would be graffed in again. Hence the 144,000 Jewish Missionaries that are called the elect, and sealed against the anti-christ's atttacks. They can't be removed from God. They, actually have a seal which is contrasted to Satan's mark, and preserves them.

    1. Your view is the same dispensational view everyone is already familiar with from all books, tapes, movies, televangelists... it originated with a Roman Catholic Jesuit... and It's just wrong on so many levels.

      Are you familiar with other views? You're probably steeped in The Scoffield, Hal Lindsey and Jack Van Impe View. I hope I don't sound harsh, but so many so called Christians are duped by this PreTrib / Dispensational Jesuit creation.... That God is going to save in 2 ways, one way for the Jews and a second way for the Gentiles. That's what Scoffield and Lindsey and Van Impe and Tim LaHaye and so many Pretribbers teach. 2 Ways to salvation. Heresy.

      Further, Scripture clearly says that the Man of Sin will take his seat in the Temple BEFORE the rapture. Yet, a Jewish Temple hasn't been built and we are more than a generation past the Nation of Israel's birth. The time period of the generation of the Fig Tree is up and no Jewish Temple and no Man of Sin sitting in it... so that Left Behind type interpretation is a wrong interpretation of the Scriptures. Sorry but this is something you don't hear from Lindsey and Van Impe, Left Behind etc. They conveniently gloss over this Scriptural fact. Man of Sin must be sitting in a Jewish Temple before the Rapture to be consistent with their reading of Scripture.

      Another thing Pretribbers ovelook....The Remnant (God's Elect) will be LEFT BEHIND. Remnant means The Remaingin....Being Left Behind is a good thing. Noah was left behind. Lot was left behind. The unsaved were destroyed. The tares will be taken away, just like the flood waters took away the unsaved of Noah's day. The Fire and Brimstone took away the men of Sodom. Read Matthew 24 again. The World will pass away. The Saved will Remain.

      Left Behind the Fictional Novel is Satan's Smokescreen. Many so called Christians believe it and read it more than the Bible. How can the 144,000 jews evangelize a world with no Holy Spirit present? And then, once the jews are converted, why on earth would God want them to take up animal sacrifices again?

      Last point, for over 40 yrs the Pretribbers told us that Russia, China and the United Nations (made of 10 nations) would attack Israel. Well, when the European Union passed 10 nations and after the Soviet Union fell, they slowly changed their teaching. Recently, I heard Pat Robertson say that there are 2 legs on Nebuchadnezzar's Statue and that one leg represents the EU and the other Islam? ridiculous.

      Sorry for rambling but my brother and many people I know are PreTribbers and have no clue otherwise.

  5. Hi Proverbs28nine,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

    Pragmatically, the fact that you have to use terms like "I believe this is...", "to me this is..." and "to my understanding..." shows that there is no clear indication of this in Scripture.

    I'm not criticizing you for sharing your understanding. I'm saying if something is "clearly indicated" then it is not a matter of our understanding, but of "What saith the Lord."

    For example, we don't have to say it's our "understanding" Jesus is God's Son. God specifically says it's so; it is "clearly indicated".

    Consider the context of Luke 21:36:

    "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so THAT DAY come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall IT come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man." Luke 21:34-36

    Jesus says that there is a "day" we should pray to be counted worthy of escaping.

    On this "day" - in spite of ALL the tribulation that has already occurred - there is a new sense of fear for what is about to come (verse 26). It is a "day" when His Second Coming is near (verses 27-28) and when the kingdom of God is near (verse 31).

    The "day" we should pray to escape is the "day of the Lord" which comes like a thief in the night for those who do not believe.

    We are often told to be watchful for this "day" so as to not be caught unawares; it begins when His wrath is poured out (Rev. 6:17).

    In Isaiah 2:12-21 it's described as a day where people will seek refuge in the clefts of the rocks (Rev. 6:12-17).

    In Isaiah 13:6-22 it's described as God destroying sinners in judgment.

    In Joel 2:1-31 it's a day when the sun will darken and the moon turn to blood (Acts 2:20; Rev. 6:12).

    The reference in Rev. 3:10 is to that same time period.

    "But of that DAY and HOUR knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Matthew 24:36

    "WATCH therefore, for ye know neither the DAY nor the HOUR wherein the Son of man cometh." Matthew 25:13

    "But of that DAY and that HOUR knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father." Mark 13:32

    The above verses refer to this time as both a "day" (Luke 21:36) and an "hour" (Rev. 3:10).

    Look in particular at the following:

    "The lord of that servant will come in a DAY when he looketh not for him, and at an HOUR when he is not aware, and will cut him in sunder, and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers." Luke 12:46

    Jesus speaks of a servant of the Lord here who should have been prepared for His coming, but was not. Why not? Because he was overcome with eating, drinking, being drunken, etc. (verse 45). This ties back exactly to Jesus' warning in Luke 21:34-36.

    Because this servant was unprepared, he is caught unawares and does not "escape", but is given the same fate as the unbelievers.

    The promise in Rev. 3:10-11 is that, if we remain faithful and hold fast to what we have, then we will be saved from that "hour"; the "day" of the Lord (Luke 12:46).

    Consider also the following: Matthew 24:42-50; Luke 12:39-40; Revelation 3:3.

    The problem is that there is no Scripture which indicates two raptures.

    If there are two, then why is the first one not recorded? God repeatedly speaks of one - including warning us to be watchful for it. Why doesn't He speak of another?

  6. The tribulation is 7 years long. If the tribulation starts then people will know that the rapture will occur within 7 years (based on your interpretation that the rapture occurs sometime during the tribulation). This would be a heads up that the rapture is coming in the next 7 years.

  7. Hi Anonymous,

    I am sorry, but I don't think I understand your point. Can you clarify?

  8. You stated:

    It happens after a period of tribulation (Matthew 24:21-22, 29-31; Mark 13:24-27; )

    It occurs after the sun has turned dark, the moon turns to blood, and the stars fall from the sky (Joel 2:10, 31; Isaiah 13:10; Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25-28; Acts 2:20; Revelation 6:12)

    I believe these scriptures are referring to events that will take place during the 7 year tribulation. You are stating that the rapture occurs AFTER these events.

    That would conclude that if the 7 year tribulation period begins and the church has not yet been raptured, believers will know that the rapture will happen within the next 7 years.

    But Jesus did say, "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 24:44).

    The only time frame I can think of when we believers would not be expecting Jesus to return would have to be _before_ the tribulation.

    1. It's the opposite.

      So many Pretribbers are NOT EXPECTING to go through the Tribulation.... and the day will come on them unawares. NO WHERE IN SCRIPTURE DOES IT SAY THERE WILL BE A 7 YEAR TRIBULATION. You are interpreting Daniels 70th week that way but it doesn't say it.

      Think about it....if Pretribbers are correct, and the rapture precedes the tribulation and it is indeed a 7 yr tribulation then it would be easy for those people who are left behind to caculate when Christ would return and Judge the World... it would be 7 yrs after the Rapture.... but it can't be right... because that would contradict Scripture No Man Knows.

  9. Hi Anonymous,

    OK, I think I understand now.

    First, these are not my words regarding what will happen before the rapture and the day of the Lord, but the words of God. I am not making this stuff up. :-)

    Also, knowing that something will occur "within the next 7 years" is not the same thing as knowing the "day" and "hour" when it will occur.

    God repeatedly tells us to be aware, to watch, to be sober, etc. so that this day does not catch us unawares (Mathew 24:42-44, 25:13; Mark 13:33-36; Luke 12:40, 21:36; I Thessalonians 5:4-6; II Peter 3:14). This is why Jesus gave them signs to look for regarding to know when this time is upon us (Matthew 24:3).

    Lastly, it is a big mistake to think that this is supposed occur when believers do not expect it. The Scriptures never portray the rapture in this way for. It is only the unbeliever who is caught by surprise. Contrarily, believers are told to be ready so that this time does not catch us unawares.

    "But YE, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." I Thessalonians 5:4

    "And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:28

    Following Jesus' advise regarding what signs to look for in the approach of that great day does not contradict the fact that no man still knows the exact day or hour.

  10. Wow, this is so cool... I just discovered your site tonight (and am about to start watching some of the "Know your Enemy" videos, they look fantastic...) and immidiately I was wondering if you were familiar with Chris White. A couple minutes later, I'm perusing through older posts and here this is! He really did a great job on this one, and so many of his videos are really valuable...

    Looking forward to looking through more of the stuff you have posted and talk about. (I actually found you through that blog that was making fun of you for suggesting that Beyonce is demon-possessed...) Kind of awesome that most of the people who left comments actually were in support of you (it's pretty encouraging to realize that there are a fair amount of Christians out there who see what's really going on...)

    ...and, just to throw in my two cents on the whole "rapture" thing...

    I basically came to the exact same conclusion as the one presented in Chris's video, but simply because I finally opened the Word and read what it has to say... II Thessalonians 2 really made it sort of a "done deal" for me, and elminated a lot of the confusion...

    Anyhow, looking forward to interacting with you all in the future...

    Peace, D

  11. LDM,
    I applaud the congenial tone you've struck on what is IMO the most divisive eschatological topic for the church, but let's face it, Jesus himself was not one to muddy the waters theologically or otherwise(Matt. 12:30) so when we take a stand on the harpazo we should be prepared to defend it and not defer to another person's position.
    Keeping that in mind, I was surprised to find you give such a shaky exegesis for Luke 21:36. In context, the Lord is certainly referring to the Second Coming (Luke 21:27), but also refers to an escape (Gr.= "flee out" from "any/every/all") in v. 35 - a reference that clearly distinguishes between the two, for (here)the parousia/coming is distinctly in contrast to the ekpheugō/escape.

    Your response to Proverbs28nine only addresses "the day" -- which appears to reference the time of His coming --- but does not at all support or refer to "the escape". And here Christ is clearly teaching an escape or fleeing out; one doesn't need to be a scholar to put this into context.

    You also seem to indicate God's wrath "begins" in Rev. 6, but the church (not trib believers, but the ekklesia age)isn't mentioned again after Rev. 4. The day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night, not as any wrath from satan or otherwise. Why does the Lord describe His coming in the same way as His word describes the beginning of "that day"? Because it is at the same time.

    For all of the "controversy" over the rapture, as believers one can whittle the argument down to two verses: John 14:1-4 (A) and Luke 21:36 (B).

    He promises to come and receive us to himself where he has prepared a place for us and where he is also(A), and He promises an escape from all - not pre or post anything, but all/any - of these things that are coming upon the earth (B). If A and B are both true (and I presume you believe they are) then A must precede or concur with B.

    Any true rapture position must ultimately confront these words from Jesus Christ himself.

    Thanks for your ministry and God bless.


  12. Hi Ian,

    The details about the "day of the Lord" does address the timing of the rapture because that "day" includes the rapture and the Second Coming.

    Rev. 6:12-13 speaks of the sun darkening, moon becoming as blood, and stars falling from the sky. Rev. 6:17 and Acts 2:20 tell us that this is the beginning of the day of the Lord. In Rev. 7:9, a "great multitude" appears whom we are told are those who have "come out of" great tribulation.

    We are saved in that "day" (I Cor. 5:5); we must be found blameless in that "day" (I Cor. 1:8); God is continuing to work on us up until that "day" (Phil. 1:6); We must remain sincere and without offense until that "day" (Phil. 1:10); It is a time of rejoicing for the saints in that "day" (Phil. 2:16).

    Why? Because this is the time when our redemption has come - which is why we are to "look up" (Luke 21:28).

    Clearly the church does not escape "all" that Jesus references in Luke Chap. 12 because the church is still around in His discussion of the earthquakes, famines, pestilences, betrayals, and martyrdom mentioned through verse 19. So, it is important that we remain true to the context of what Jesus says we will escape.

    What the church "escapes" is "all" that will happen on that "day" when God's wrath begins to be poured out (Luke 21:34).

    "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." Matthew 24:29-31

  13. This continuing theme of the rapture happening at the arrival of the day of the Lord is continued in I Thessalonians where Chapter 4 addresses the rapture and then is immediately followed up in Chapter 5 with a discussion on the "day of the Lord" (I Thess. 5:2). This is why we are to "comfort ourselves" (I Thess. 4:18) with the knowledge of the rapture, for it occurs before God's wrath is poured out.

    Lastly, while I have no doubt that the sun darkening and the moon turning to blood will physically happen, it has also been said that these could be metaphors for the rapture. The light of Christ being removed from the earth (sun darkening) as the Body who reflects His light are martyred and removed (moon turned to blood).

    1. I really like your comment. The Sun represents the Gospel in the Scriptures and the Moon the Law.... I mean, is ther a lady wearing the Sun and Standing on the Moon travailing in childbirth? It is clearly metaphorical.

  14. Is it possible that people misunderstand the events in Revelation because they believe them to be in sequential order? It is my understanding that events in the book are not written in the exact order that they will occur.

    1. I agree. In Genesis, God repeats himself... for example He tells of the 6 days of Creation then retells it. Exodus, Leviticus are repeats, Kings and Chronicles are repeats, The Prophets repeat the same themes, THe four Gospels repeat themselves. It is true.... Revelation is basically repeating the themes of ChurCh History / Tribulation / Rapture over and over... from chapter to chapter.

  15. Hi Anonymous,

    I definitely think that there is much room for confusion in Revelation due to the type of language used. Yet the clearest texts about the Rapture is outside of that book. I referenced Revelation simply because it lays out the end time events and can provide much insight when aligned with other texts. We can directly correlate Jesus' description of this time in Matthew 24 to Revelation, we can see what happens leading up to the rapture and the day of the Lord.

  16. Thanks for your reply.

    You said "Rev. 6:12-13 speaks of the sun darkening, moon becoming as blood, and stars falling from the sky" - so is this apocalyptic and earth-shaking scene the "coming as a thief" that Jesus speaks of Rev. 16:15? Seems like an inept metaphor for the Lord to use if that's what he meant. Remember, he tells us that just as in the days of Noah and Lot, people will be buying and selling, marrying and given in marriage in "that day" of his coming. Clearly this cannot describe the same time as the heavens departing like a scroll, but stands in direct contrast to that scene.

    Paul in 2 Thess. says "that day" can't come unless he who "holds/keeps/restrains/withholds" is taken out of the way. I presume White's video gives an alternate theory about who "he" is, but if there were any question as to who he is, there's little doubt Paul would have missed the chance to explain. Throughout all his epistles, Paul consistently refers to the church indwelt by the Holy Spirit as the body of Christ. This is not a mystery to be solved.

    2 Thess. tells us once the body is taken out, THEN can that wicked one revealed, but not until then. And for that matter not until Daniel's 70th week commences: for there was no church in Daniel's 69 "weeks" , and there won't be one in the last week either. Tribulation believers, yes, but no ekklesia.

    Your model suggests that scripture has a definitive starting point for wrath, or that the time of Jacob's trouble is solely the "wrath" of satan. But this idea is to be found nowhere in scripture EXCEPT after he's cast out of heaven knowing he only has but a short time (Rev. 12:12) which again muddies your handling of chronology in Revelation, since that is when the most horrific judgments come upon the earth - not from the enemy but from the Sovereign of the universe. It's this inconsistency that is probably the biggest flaw in the so-called pre-wrath position.

    And that of course, is without a word on Jesus' promise to come again and receive us to himself in John 14. I thought we were using the whole of scripture! :)

    1. You said "the body" will be raptured based on 2 Thess. It doesn't say that. Neither does Daniel (to which it is referring). It says.....HE , HE , HE , HE , HE (not "the body" as you say, or those, or SHE... since the Church is referred to as SHE). It is HE who restrains will let until HE will be taken out of the way.... He is THE HOLY SPIRIT .

      Saying that the 2 Thess. verse is speaking of the Church being raptured is not the only interpretation... as Pre Tribbers think theirs is the only interpretation.... There have been many more historical interpretations of that verse before Jesuit Rivera and Spritist Scoffield arrived at that conclusion. Please... Please.... stop relying on LaHaye, Scoffield, Van Impe, Lindsey and read your Bible. Also, please look into what the Reformers taught just to educate yourself.

  17. Hi Ian,

    Perhaps you misunderstood me. I am simply pointing you to what the Scriptures say on the matter.

    "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come." Joel 2:31

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

    "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... For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" Revelation 6:12, 17

    The Scripture is clear that before the day of the Lord comes, these events in the sun and moon will happen.

    Further, Scripture is also clear that the Church of Jesus Christ is still on earth when these events in the sun and moon happen.

    "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...And when these things begin to come to pass, then LOOK UP, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." Luke 21:25, 28

    Jesus doesn't say, "And when these things begin to come to pass, you would have already escaped, but those on the earth should look up because their redemption draws nigh." LOL

    The people who are to "look up" are the very same ones to whom He has been speaking to in the whole Chapter, His Church.

    "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 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." Matthew 24:29, 31

    People may want to believe that these are tribulation converts, but that is an imagined contrivance which is in no way supported in the text. And this is truly quite an AMAZING omission. WHY? Because Jesus spends quite some time outlying numerous events that will occur towards the end of time, BUT He is quick to say, "The time is not yet nigh." So, sometime between "Nope, not yet" and "Look up your redemption draws nigh" there is a secret rapture which Jesus NEVER mentions or adresses. In fact, He completely ignores the fate of His church during this time? Astounding...and quite honestly, simply not true. Jesus never mentions a previous rapture - even though He starts by discussing events when the church is still on earth.

    The ones who Jesus comes to gather with Him AFTER the sun has darkened and the moon turned to blood are His elect. As you say, it is very important to consider the whole of Scripture if we sincerely desire His truths.

  18. And yes, it will come just like in the days of Noah where people will be marrying and giving in marriage, etc.

    However, please note that the only ones surprised by the flood were those outside of Noah's family. This day did not come to him as a "theif in the night" and neither will it come to the Church as such...although we still do not know the day nor the hour. Before the judgment of God came forth, God secured His people...amd He will do the same for us again, before His judgments start to be poured out on the earth (Rev. 6). believe that the Bride of Christ is given a masculine identity in II Thess. 2:7? So, before the Church could be raptured, God has to make the Bride male? :-) Whereas God has previously likened the "Body" of Christ to a "wife" (Ephesians 5:23), now God says that this same Body, this same wife is a man? But then, after the rapture when the male-Bride gets to Heaven, he becomes a Bride/Wife again (Rev. 18:23, 21:2,9; 22:17)? I don't even want to consider the implications that presents for God's relationship with the Church. You should know brother that the Scriptures refer to both the Church, the Bride, and the Body as feminine in character.

    "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready." Rev. 19:7

    "And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife." Rev. 21:9

    Certainly the stretch to which one must go to try and assert this as the rapture of the Bride is apparent even to you.

    While I will not attempt to tell you how to understand what I have written, at the same time, I cannot account for assumptions you draw from them beyond what is said. Suffice it to say that what you suggest is my "model" I have never stated.

    I may have used a joking tone in addressing your comments about the II Thess. 2:7 text, however, it is truly a very serious matter when we start to pervert the word in order to hold to our doctrines. I would caution you to really ask God about the position you have presented here, if for no other matter than to not cause dishonor to God.

  19. Latter Days Ministry,

    What are you thoughts concerning those who claim they know the exact day of the second coming? There is a group that believes that Jesus will return on May 21, 2011 and they are adamant about their believes. They claim that they have scriptures to back it up. Do you think that it is possible for them to know the exact day?

    1. I am one of those who proclaimed the May 21 message and we indeed have many verses to back us up. We are not monolithic and did not all agree to the fine details ...but what we did teach (and many of still do believe ) is that May 21 2011 was an important date... JUDGMENT day.

      The commenter below says, that we were/are wasting our time searching the Scriptures, that is his opinion ... and he bases it only on one scripture "of that day and hour knoweth no man". There are other verses that apparently contradict his understanding of the No Man Knows verse... which he is ignoring. A Wise Man discerneth both Time and Judgment is just one.

      We May 21 ers are very devout, frugal people. We are zealous evangelists and We certainly were not trying to deceive or merchandise the Gospel. No one MADE MONEY off the message. In fact, our families and friends and strangers have maligned us. I've even had rocks thrown at me.

      Just some things to think about: Adam and Eve died the day they ate the forbidden fruit? think about it.

      Nineveh was overthrown 40 days after Jonah preached? think about it.

      Israel was cursed when Jesus cursed the FIg Tree? think about it.

      All of these Judgments most certainly played out the way God wanted them to but you couldn't SEE them with your physical eyes.

      We "May 21ers" sincerely (not deceptively) believe that God does reveal information to His Elect in His Own Good Time. Just one example is the plan of Salvation. Abraham had no clear understanding of Jesus . We adhere strictly to the Bible, but we do believe in Progressive Revelation...not through newspapers. We compare Spiritual with Spiritual... scripture with scripture and hope GOd will guide us.

      We also believe that there is Hidden Manna within the Scriptures ... seals that will be unsealed when God gets ready. The Geneologies of Gen5 & 11 along with information elsewhere in the Bible show that God does indeed have a Timeline within Scripture that leads to the end times. Daniel was told this. We know that KNOWLEDGE will increase.

      Someone previously stated on here that there is knowledge that Jesus warns His Own to not be Ignorant of. Well, we sincerely believe that the date of May 21, 2011 was an important date insofar as Judgment began on that date and all of those GOd intended to Save were saved. Like Noah, who was a preacher of righteousness we were commanded to proclaim it. God gave Noah a 7 day warning. We believe we (the world) were given a 7,000 year warning to get in the Ark (get saved).

      Anyway, if you're truly interested, that is some of what we believe in a nutshell.

      We're still out here. Just like in Acts 16, Paul and Silas sang a song AT MIDNIGHT and then there was a great earthquake. We're still here.

  20. Hi Anonymous,

    Jesus has given us signs to look out for so that we are prepared and not caught unawares, but no man knows the day or the hour, but the Father (Matthew 24:36, Mark 13:32).

    So people who spend time trying to determine the exact time this is going to occur are at best wasting their time, and at worst trying to deceive.

    Our relationship with the Lord as His Bride mirrors very closely the old Jewish rites of marriage. So, there are reasons why only the Father knows, which I talk about briefly here: Covenant Responsibilities

  21. you must understand who the elect are, they are the Jews, the chosen ones............


  22. The elect are those whom God has called and chosen.

  23. In light of all the foolishness about "rapture dates:, I wanted to address one more point about this timing.

    There was an earlier contention above that the rapture of the church is what is referenced in II Thessalonians 2:7. Although I showed that this is wrong because the Body of Christ, the Church, the Bride are never referred in masculine identity, the Scripture itself proves that such a contention is in error.

    II Thessalonians Chapter 2 starts with Paul telling the church what has to happen before the rapture or what he calls our gathering together with Christ (verse 1). The entire purpose of this portion of the letter is to reassure them that the rapture has not happened yet and cannot happen until two things occur.

    The two things which must happen before we are gathered together with Christ are: 1) A falling away from the faith, and 2) the man of sin is revealed.

    The man of sin is not revealed until verse 8. Therefore, the removing of what stands in the way of this removal cannot be the Church. Paul is quite clear that the rapture will not happen until after this man is revealed (verse 1).

    "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." II Thessalonians 2:3

    People need to be prepared. The saints of God will go through tribulation, persecution, martyrdom, etc. There is no such thing as a rapture which takes the Church away from such things. The first saints were not raptured from such events and neither shall we be.

    This is not news to those parts of the Body in the world who presently endure persecutions. It is only a hard thing to understand for those who have been able to practice Christianity freely. Yet, even this will change as the words of truth become increasingly censored, even in such places where there may have been freedom before.

    I suggest that all get sober and get ready. Don't be lulled to sleep with lies and deceived. Seek God for His truths in this area and be strengthened to stand in the midst of arduous conditions. Redeem the times.

    "Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is." Ephesians 5:14-17

    1. You can call May 21 foolishness.... But, that date is mentioned in scripture. It isn't a date pulled out of a anyone's imaginations... or fictional novels.....maybe you didn't take the time to look into the Bible to see where it is found... so I can understand you thinking it's foolish. Please remember, God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.

      You're probably are stuck on that one verse... No Man Knows.

    2. Hello Anonymous,

      I am assuming that the number of anonymous postings done on 11/17 were all by the same person due to proximity of post timing. This is clearly an important topic for you and I thank you for sharing your thoughts.

      The "day" to which no man knows (not even Jesus) is a reference primarily to the day of His return (Matt. 24:36). Now, as stated above, I do believe that the rapture is connected with that day. There are things which God says we can know; and things which He says we cannot know. So while I agree that we should not be caught unawares (as says the Scriptures), it is foolish to attempt to predict what God says He will not allow us to know.

      Those who promoted May 21st did not do so as a day when "something spiritual" would happen in regards to Jesus' return, but as the day when the rapture would occur. That has proven wrong. When prophecies fail, we must be careful not to spiritualize them in order to hold on to them as still being somehow accurate. If we are not humble and honest in admitting our error, then how can God ever deliver us from that which caused the delusion? In such cases we run the risk of being further deceived and led farther away from the truth.

      I do not believe that the door to the ark has been sealed yet (i.e. everyone who will be saved has been saved), but I do believe that the church age is winding up. Clearly, when God is finished dealing with the church, He turns His attention to back to Israel (Matt. 24:32).

      God does use the foolishness of the world to confound the wise. However, God Himself is not foolish. If He says will cannot know this day, then we will not know this day until it happens.

  24. I just finished listening to a commentary about the rapture. The teacher equated the rapture to the the events preceding the flood. He said that the world was broken down into 3 categories: those who didn't believe, those who believed, and Enoch who didn't die but was translated (raptured). He said that Paul classified the world into 3 categories: Gentiles, Jews, and the Church. So we can surmise that there are the sinners who will endure the tribulation, remnant Jews who will be kept through the tribulation, and the Church who will be taken out of the tribulation.

    Is Enoch a symbol of the church?

  25. Hi Anonymous,

    Any analogies or symbolism given in Scripture must have a basis in Scripture. Otherwise, we can say that things are representative of whatever we want.

    Enoch was translated because of his faith or belief (Heb. 11:5). There is no separation between his being a believer and his being translated.

    Paul may have classified the world in 3 groupings, but never was salvation grouped in such a manner. One is either saved or such case, Jew and Gentile unbelievers would be in the same boat. The Jews who do not believe in in Christ are not "believers".

    Lastly, we know that Noah (who was not a Jew) was a righteous man - which is why he was saved. If the assumption is that those who believe will be spared, then why wasn't Noah translated like Enoch?

    There is simplicity in the word of God when we let Scripture define Scripture. As in the video above, the Scriptures are clear that Christians will indeed go through tribulation. There is not one text which says we shall be spared (although we are promised to be spared from God's wrath).


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