The Rapture and the Revelation: Distinguishing Between the Rapture (Church) and Revelation (Israel)

DISTINGUISHING BETWEEN
the RAPTURE for the CHURCH and
the REVELATION for ISRAEL

Dr. Mike Johnston


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 . . . For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming? 
(1 Thessalonians 4:17  1 Thessalonians 2:19)

Firmly established in Old Testament prophecy, is the promise to Israel of the coming King and an earthly Kingdom. “The belief in a Messiah and a Messianic age is so deeply rooted in Jewish tradition that a statement concerning the Messiah became the most famous of Maimonides’s Thirteen Principles of Faith: “And Ma’amin, I believe with a full heart in the coming of the Messiah, and even though he may tarry, I will wait for him on any day that he may come.” In the concentration camps, it is reported that many Jews sang the Ani Ma’amin while walking to the gas chambers.” [Jewish Virtual Library]

Scripture shows us that the Lord Jesus presented Himself as King some two thousand years ago, but was rejected, tried, tortured, executed, then resurrected, and ascended back to heaven with a promise to return: to take His church to heaven (John 14:1-3), which is the mystery of the rapture Paul was shown, and to deliver Israel and establish His Kingdom on earth (Matt. 24:29-51; 25:31-46; Acts 1:9-11) which the prophets often spoke of.

The Second Coming of Christ- so called by the church- is in effect the First Coming of the Messiah from the Jewish perspective. This monumental event also known as the revelation of Jesus Christ, will happen at the close of the tribulation (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 19:11-21) when Jesus: (1) returns with His church to rescue Israel from the armies of Antichrist; (2) reveals Himself as the Messiah; (3) separates the sheep into the kingdom and the goats into everlasting fire (Matt. 25:31-46); (4) establishes the Millennial Kingdom on earth. At the inauguration of the King into His Kingdom, all three of the unconditional Jewish covenants- Abrahamic, Palestinian, Davidic as well as one we haven’t discussed called the New covenant- will be gloriously and simultaneously fulfilled.

The Rapture And the Revelation Are No More The Same Than Israel And The Church Or Mystery And Prophecy

Dispensationalists believe the Word must be interpreted literally whenever possible. This hermeneutic by its nature depends upon studying every word in a verse in its context. One of the chief conundrums of the anti-rapturist position is their refusal to see the marked differences between the rapture and the revelation as they are described. The Rapture relates to the Church (heavenly, mystery), when the dead in Christ shall rise and the living will be translated to meet the Lord in the air (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16-17). It expresses hope and a warm spirit of expectancy (1 Thess. 1:10), all of which should result in a victorious and purified life (1 John 3:2-3). On the other hand, the revelation relates to Israel (earthly, prophecy) and Christ does not deal primarily with the saint but with the sinner.

Paul delineates between the rapture and the revelation in his Thessalonian epistles that sloppy exegesis simply winks at.  Note carefully how each word helps to denote the differences:

Chart 3: Rapture and Revelation in Thessalonians

EARTH

HEAVEN

Prophecy

Mystery

Gospel of the Kingdom

Gospel of Grace

Prophets of Israel

Apostle to the Gentiles (Paul)

Focus on Israel

Focus on the Church

Revelation

with the Church

Rapture

for the Church

For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming (1 Thessalonians 2:19 – compare this with Jude 1:14; Rev. 19:11-14) And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians 1:10 – compare this with Jesus’ promise in John 14:1-3; Luke 21:36; Rev. 3:10)
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming (1 Thessalonians 2:19) 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 (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
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 (2 Thessalonians 1:10) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him (2 Thessalonians 2:1)

Israel and the Church Are Not The Same

We agree with brother Stam, and with Dr. CI Scofield in his Old Scofield Study Bible notes from Eph. 3:6:

That the Gentiles were to be saved was no mystery (Rom_9:24-33); (Rom_10:19-21). The mystery, “hid in God”, was the divine purpose to make of Jew and Gentile a wholly new thing — “the church, which is his Christ’s body,” formed by the baptism with the Holy Spirit, (1Co_12:12); (1Co_12:13), and in which the earthly distinction of Jew and Gentile disappears; (Eph_2:14); (Eph_2:15); (Col_3:10); (Col_3:11). The revelation of this mystery, which was foretold, but not explained, by Christ (Mat_16:18) was committed to Paul. In his writings alone, we find the doctrine, position, walk, and destiny of the church.

To further our dispensational studies, here are some obvious differences between Israel and the church not made by Anti-PreTrib rapturists that need to be considered. As you study these, please do so using our Biblically sound hermeneutic of earth, heaven; prophecy, mystery; Israel, church:

1.      Israel (earth) and the church (mystery) are not the same![i]

  • Israel exists from prophecy, focused on earth. The church from a mystery, focused on heaven.
  • To lump Israel and the church together without the distinction of salvation, is to give Israel the ability to bypass the cross (John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom 1:16; 10:12).
  • Israel has a Jewish ethnicity only: (Jer 31:36); the church is universal composed of Jews and Gentiles (Acts 14:1; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph 2:14-18)
  • Israel is a land (earth): (Gen. 13:15); the church is a body (heavenly) (Rom 12:4-8; Eph. 2:6).
  • Israel is the focus of end time events (prophecy); the church (mystery) isn’t even mentioned (Zech 12-14; Rev. 6-19).
  • Israel looks forward to a future kingdom on earth: (Jer 23:5; 33:21; Zech 12:8); the church has the kingdom within it and waits for Christ to take us to be with Him in heaven (Luke 17:21; John 14:1-3).
  • Israel isn’t saved yet: (Rom 10:1; 11:26-27); the church has been redeemed by the blood of the Lamb (Eph 1:7; Rom 10:9-10,13)
  • The elect will be in the tribulation and gathered together on earth immediately following. Elect, like saint, is not a technical term for the church only. God’s people of all ages including angels have been referred to as saints (Deut 33:2-3) and elect. (Angels- 1 Tim 5:21; Israel- Isa 45:4)
  • The Bride of Christ and the Wife of Jehovah: Only the church, however is the bride of Christ, the Lamb’s wife (Rev 21:2,9; 22:17); while Israel is the wife of God (Isa 54:5-6; Jer 3:1,20; Ezek 16:29-32)

2.     The Tribulation is prophesied as the Time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) Trouble on earth, not the Church! (Jer. 30:5-7; Dan 9:24-27)  

  • It will be seven years long- (Dan 9:27; Rev 11:2-3; 12:6; 13:5)
  • The origin is Old Testament Jewish prophetic, the focus is earth culminating in a Jewish Kingdom.
  • It is also severe punishment of sin and the ungodly- (Isa 26:20-21; Joel; Rev 6-19; 14:7)
  • It is a time of God’s wrath[ii]– (Rev. 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:9-10,19; 15:1, etc)
  • It will be worldwide- (Dan. 7:23; Matt. 24:21-22; Rev 13:3,8,14-18)
  • Only 144,000 will be sealed and protected during this time- (Rev 7:3-4; 9:4)
  • Israel, not the church, will be given a place of refuge in the wilderness- (Rev 12:1-6)
  • It will re-establish God’s covenant with Israel- (Deut 4:30-31)
  • This is the dispensation of grace. Grace is mentioned in Revelation two times only (Rev. 1:4; 22:21); never during the tribulation; another indication that the seven tribulation years revert back to the dispensation of the Law.
  • There aren’t any verses that clearly place the church here at this dreadful time, or even give a reason why the Lord would want His redeemed bride here!

3.     Christ Promised to Keep Believers From the Hour of Tribulation not in it! (Rev 3:10)

Here’s His promise: 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 (Revelation 3:10). Anti-PreTrib rapturists, desperate to protect an eroding dogma have made another baleful blunder by insinuating the Lord’s promise was simply to protect us during Jacob’s trouble not remove us from it. However, if you read about the tribulation horrors under the Beast of Revelation, most people die either by God’s wrath, or through beheading of antichrist forces (Rev. 6:9-11; 7:9-10; Rev. 20:4). So how can this possibly be misconstrued as keeping us safe through the tribulation?

The fact is [as previously discussed] to keep from is what is intended here and it is different than to protect in- GRK: ek. Used 917 times in NT, only once (Gal 3:8) is it translated through. Interestingly, this is the same word the Holy Spirit chose for Second Thessalonians where Paul discusses the Antichrist and the restraining force holding him at bay: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out (ek) of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7). This seems to coincide- much to the dismay of Anti-PreTrib rapturists- with our being taken away in the mystery rapture.

4.     Christians Are Not Appointed To Wrath, but Salvation! (Rom 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9) 

  • Wrath is reserved for the ungodly who store it up unto that day- (Rom 1:18; 2:5)
  • The Tribulation is a time of judgment against wickedness and Christ rejecters. Christ was judged and punished on our behalf (Rom 5:18; 2 Cor. 5:21) and now we will never come under condemnation (Jn 5:24).
  • The Tribulation is a time of God’s vengeance (2 Thess. 1:6-8)
  • The Word of God correlates marriage and the church beautifully (Eph 5:22-33); The Church is the Bride of Christ. Picture if you will a man marrying his sweetheart, and just before the wedding night where they consummate their vows, he drops her off in the midst of a bloody, godless jihad with the promise, “Prove your love for me, honey, and I’ll be back for you in seven years.” Anti-PreTrib rapturists force this unnatural act of sadism on the part of the Saviour.

5.     The Restrainer (Holy Spirit) Will Be Taken out of the Way (2 Thess. 2:7; same Greek ek in Rev. 3:10)

This means only that one aspect of His ministry will cease, that of restraint of sin in the world.[iii] After the Rapture pictured in Revelation 4:1, we see the Seven lamps blazing, which represents the perfection of the Holy Spirit already in Heaven. The lampstands containing the lamps are the Seven churches (Rev 1:12,20), which would indicate to all but Anti-PreTrib rapturists the church is in Heaven.[iv]

6.     We are commanded to look for Christ, which is imminent and could happen at any moment, not Tribulation, signs, Antichrist, or anything else- (Titus 2:13)                                                                           

Christ will rescue us from the coming wrath- (1 Thess. 1:10). This deliverance constitutes our present, imminent, blessed hope- (Titus 2:13). The imminent, pretribulation rapture was taught[v] by the early church- (James 5:7-8). Paul never said the church would be part of the tribulation or else he would have taught them how to prepare for it and how to recognize Antichrist and reject his mark. Never a word!

7.      Glorified Bodies Cannot Reproduce, Or Die As Evidenced In The Millennium- (Rev 20:1-7)

The rapture will transform mortal bodies into immortal bodies- (1 Cor. 15:51-56). Children will be born and they will die- (Isa 65:20-25). Glorified saints will rule with Christ- (1 Cor. 6:2; 2 Tim 2:12; Rev 5:10; 20:4)

Chart 4: Rapture and Revelation Resurrections

EARTH

HEAVEN

Prophecy

Mystery

Gospel of the Kingdom

Gospel of Grace

Prophets of Israel

Apostle to the Gentiles (Paul)

Focus on Israel

Focus on the Church

Revelation

with the Church

Rapture

for the Church

(to deliver Israel from Antichrist enemies and establish the Millennial kingdom)

(to deliver the church from the tribulation and bring her to

Christ in Heaven- John 14:1-3)

Trumpet of angels (Mt 24:31)

Trumpet of God (1 Thess. 4:16; Rev 4:1)

Gathering together on earth (Mt 24:31; 25:32-33; Mk 13:27)

Catching up (1 Thess. 4:17)

He sends His angels to gather the elect (Mt 24:31; Mt 25:31-32)

The Lord personally gathers His Church (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:15-17)

All who survive the tribulation (Mt 25:31-33)

Only the saved (1 Thess. 4:14)

Trumpet without voice (Mt 24:31)

Voice of the archangel (1 Thess. 4:16)

To the earth (Zech 14:4)

In the air (1 Thess. 4:17)

Both sheep and goats are gathered (Mt 25:31-33)

Only saints are gathered (1 Thess. 4:14-17)

Signs abound (Mt 24; Mk 13:24; Acts 2:17-21)

No signs (Titus 2:13; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-5:3)

A horrible time where all tribes mourn (Joel 2; Rev 1:7)

A blessed hope and comfort (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:18; Titus 2:13

All who are alive at this time on earth (Mt 24:26; Rev 19:11-16)

Them which sleep, we which are alive (1 Thess. 4:15-17; 1 Cor. 15:51)

No mention of resurrection of church saints, only tribulation saints (Mt 24-25; Rev 20:4)

Resurrection of dead church saints (1 Cor. 15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:16)

Comes on a horse (Rev 19:11-16)

Comes on His own (1 Thess. 4:16)

The elect are on earth (Mt 24-25)

The Church[vi] is in Heaven[vii] (Rev 1:12;20 cp. 4:1-5; 19:7-9)

Sheep and goat judgment[viii] (Mt 25:31-33)

Judgment Seat of Christ (Rom 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10)

Gathered from four winds (Mk 13:27)

Gathered unto the Lord (1 Thess. 4:17)

Separation of mortal people for entrance into the Kingdom (Mt 25:31-36)

Translation of saints into immortality (1 Cor. 15:51-53)

Christ returns with His saints (Zech 12:5; 1 Thess. 2:19; 3:13; Jude 14-15)

Christ returns for His saints (1 Thess. 4:16)

A well known fact[ix]

Called a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51)

Leaves them on the earth (Mt 25:31-34; Rev 20:6-7)

Takes us to Heavenly mansions (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)

Israel and Gentiles are judged according to works (Mt 25:31-46)

Church judged for rewards

(1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10)

Not a friendly encounter (2 Thess. 1:7-8; Jude 14-15; Rev 19:11-21)

Meet [x] the Lord on friendly terms (1 Thess. 4:17)

Dilemmas of the Other Rapture Positions

There are several things that many Anti-PreTrib rapturists and posttribbers would like to dismiss from the debate. Below please find a few that they cannot Scripturally defend against; remember I said Scripturally, not emotionally.

  1. If the church[xi] must be here for the tribulation in order to prove ourselves worthy, then it stands to reason that our salvation wasn’t completed at Calvary.
  2. Why do the judgments of Revelation, which they maintain are intended to purify the church, appear to do just the opposite to people (Rev 16:8-9)?
  3. If Paul had taught the Thessalonian Church that they were to go through the tribulation, why did they become so frantic when they had been told they were in it (2 Thess. 2:2)?[xii]
  4. Why is the Greek word ekklesia [xiii] mentioned 19 times in the first three chapters of Revelation, and never again until the 22nd Chapter?
  5. If the church were to be here during the tribulation, what was the purpose of Paul changing the use of pronouns from we in (1 Thess. 4:13-17) [xiv],  to  they, them, and others (1 Thess. 5:3-7)?
  6. Posttribbers agree that Rev 3:10 is intended for the tribulation church, meaning He would protect us through it. If the tribulation is intended to perfect us as they tell us, then why would the Lord even attempt to shield us from it (Rev 3:10)? This is inconsistent.
  7. If the rapture and the revelation are the same, how does the church get to Heaven prior to returning with Christ at His revelation (1 Thess. 2:19; Jude 14; Rev 19:11)?
  8. Anti-PreTrib rapturists tell us that since the blessed hope is after the tribulation, we are to be looking forward with great hope, for Antichrist and the horrors of the tribulation. Then, if we survive martyrdom, we’ll experience the rapture. Therefore comfort one another with these words!
  9. If the church is to be here for the tribulation, why does God only select and seal 144,000 Jews [xv] for protection (Rev 7:1-8; 9:4 [xvi]; 14:1)?
  10. Anti-PreTrib rapturists agree that the rapture raises both sleeping and living Christians in new immortal bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). How did the Elders get their bodies when they appeared in Heaven prior to the tribulation (Rev 4:1-5)?
  11. The crown of righteousness (2 Tim 4:8) is a special reward given to all who long for His appearing. If the rapture is not PreTrib, wouldn’t the persecution make virtually everyone eager for His appearing?
  12. Why do the writings of Paul focus upon the obedient walk of the Christian on earth, yet not one word is provided for their behavior during the trials and horrors of tribulation? He never even mentioned refusing the mark of the beast (Rev 13:18) which meant missing eternal life (14:9-12). Is this mere coincidence or oversight on Paul’s part?
  13. If the church is here, why is Israel protected in the tribulation, but not the bride (Rev 12:13-17)? Remember the posttrib use of Rev 3:10.
  14. If we are here during the tribulation and receive our transformed, immortal bodies at a posttrib rapture with everybody else who has survived the holocaust, who will populate the millennial earth?[xvii]
  15. Why is the term “mystery” used to describe the rapture resurrection, when the 2nd coming and the future resurrection were clearly taught in prophetic Scripture?
  16. How can the saints of the 2nd coming meet[xviii] the Lord in the air to be taken directly to the Father’s House (Jn 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:17) while at the same time returning with Christ to the earth (1 Thess. 2:19)?
  17. If the church is to be here battling the forces of evil during the tribulation, where are the Scripture(s) that teach that?[xix]
  18. How can you place the church here during the tribulation, which is a time of the wrath of the Lamb and of God (6:16-17), when we have been delivered from wrath (Rom 5:9) and have not been appointed to wrath (1 Thess. 5:9)?
  19. If every living saint is to be raptured up at the 2nd coming, why would the Lord Jesus need to have a sheep and goat judgment to divide His people (Matt 25:31-33)?
  20. Post-trib Anti-PreTrib rapturists stand alone in their belief of just one coming. While attempting to place the last trump of the rapture (1 Cor. 15:51) with the seventh trumpet in Revelation (Rev 11:15), they fail to explain that the 7th trumpet is blown before the end of the tribulation, before the seven bowl judgments (Rev 16), and way before the revelation of Christ that they claim they’re part of (Rev 19:11). All other positions would agree that while posttribbers are zealous in their attempt to use this trumpet in their favor, it actually stands as a bold witness against their erroneous interpretations.
  21. If the rapture is at the end of the tribulation, what is the purpose of the saints leaving the earth at all to meet the Lord in the air (1 Thess. 4:17)?
  22. If the rapture is posttrib, why did Paul encourage the Thessalonians to comfort one another rather than insisting they begin stockpiling food, clothing, and water, in preparation for possible martyrdom like McKeever and other post-tribbers do? Does McKeever know something Paul didn’t? Hmmm!
  23. If there is only one coming of Christ, how can 1 Thess. 2:19 and Jude 1:14 be harmonized with 1 Cor. 15:51-53 and 1 Thess. 4:13-18? How can we come with Him when He comes for us?
  24. If the posttrib rapture position is scriptural, why then do the passages that should have included it remain silent (Mt 24; Rev 19)? Not one word about a transformation of saints, catching up in the air, going to be with Christ at the Father’s home. Not one word!
  25. How can the church which is said to be permanently seated in the heavenlies in Christ (Eph 2:6; Phil 3:20; Col. 3:1-3) possibly be on earth experiencing the wrath of God’s judgment?

The Rapture in Types and Shadows

Ecclesiastes tells us the future is hidden in the past (Ecc. 1:9-10). This is certainly true when it comes to the rapture.

  1. Enoch is a type of the rapture. He prophesied about the second coming of the Lord with millions of His saints (Jude 1:14). The Scripture says: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. (Gen. 5:24). This will be exactly how it happens at the rapture as millions of Christians mysteriously disappear when Christ comes for His bride.
  2. The ascension (Acts 1:11) sets the pattern for His promised return (John 14:2-3). Christ left the earth in the presence of His disciples, not seen by His enemies. He will return in like manner for His church (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18), then with His church (1 Thess. 2:19).
  3. A thief in the night. The tribulation is a wrathful time, full of signs (Matt 24). A thief comes without advanced notice. The true church will not be overtaken by this (1 Thess. 5:1-6).
  4. The Seven Feasts: (Lev 23)

a)     The Feast of Passover (Ex 12:1-28, 43-49)- Christ is our Passover (Jn 1:29) speaks of a finished redemption at Calvary. The theme is the covenant relationship with God.

b)     The Feast of Unleavened Bread (Ex 12:15-20; 13:3-10)- Unleavened bread is a type of Christ, and the true church.

c)      The Feast of Firstfruits (Lev 23:9-14)- Firstfruits is a type of the bodily resurrection of Christ (1 Cor. 15:20-23) and therefore a guarantee of a future resurrection of all believers.

d)     The Feast of Pentecost (weeks) (Lev 23:15-22; Num 28:26-31)- The outpouring of the Holy Spirit where He formed the Church.

e)      The Feast of Trumpets (Lev 23:23-25; Num 10:10; 29:1-6)- Pictures the rapture of Christ’s church.

f)       The Feast of Atonement (Lev 16; 23:26-32; Num 29:7-11)- Time when Israel mourned and atoned for her sins. Looks forward to a future time of repentance by Israel, through purging of sin in the tribulation.

g)     The Feast of Tabernacles (Lev 23:33-43; Num 29:12-38; Deut 16:13-17)- Foreshadows the kingdom rest of Israel during the Millennium.

  1. A voice like a trumpet took John to Heaven at the rapture (1 Cor. 15:52; 1 Thess. 4:16; Rev. 4:1).
  2. Jewish weddings perfectly picture this.

a)     The son leaves the father’s house to purchase his bride (just like Christ did)

b)     The contract is negotiated by the Bridegroom (redeemed by His precious blood)

c)      The son returns to build the bridal chamber. When complete, the father

  1. will send the son for his bride. (Son does not know day or hour)

d)     The son returns to the bride and meets her outside her home (he never touches earth)

e)      The bride and her party meet the bridegroom and return with him (Rapture)

f)       They spend one week in hiding, consummating the marriage (tribulation)

g)     After the week, the bride is presented to the public (2nd coming)

h)     We’re ambassadors for Christ (2 Cor. 5:20). The tribulation is a time of God’s declaration of war on the world. Ambassadors are always called home prior to the declaration of war.

Lot, although corrupted by the world (like the church is), was removed prior to the judgment of God upon Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:15-24; 2 Pet. 2:6-8).


[i] Origen was the first to become discouraged with prophecy and turn from the literal method of interpreting Scripture. He corrupted Christian theology in Rome by replacing the Jews as God’s chosen people with Gentile Christianity. –JR Church, Prophecy in the News, April 1995, p. 28.

[ii] However you slice the Rapture pie, the church has not been saved or appointed unto wrath (Rom 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9). Posttribbers have to ignore a lot of Scripture in order to place the church in the tribulation period!

[iii] The Bible & Future Events, Leon Wood, Zondervan, p.71-72

[iv] This correlates perfectly with the parable of the virgins in Matt 25 who came out with their lamps (Greek, lampas). The final two appearances of this word are found in Rev 4 and Rev 8:10.

[v] From JR Church’s Prophecy in the News, April 1995, p.27-28: Two ancient sources, the Shepherd of Hermes (AD 110) and two books by Ephraim the Syrian (AD 376) which were recently translated into English) prove the apostolic authority of the pretrib rapture. Although it could be argued that these sources aren’t to be regarded as Scripture, it also could be argued that neither are the authorities freely quoted by the mid, pre-wrath, partial and post-trib camp (Gundry, Ladd, MacPherson, etc).

[vi] From chapter 4 through chapter 18, no mention of the church or bride is made. This is not coincidental, considering the church is mentioned some 19 times in the first three chapters! The reason? The church is not on the earth at this time. Posttribbers make light of this, while continuing to ignore it!

[vii] If there had not been a rapture prior to this time, how did the bride get to Heaven?

[viii] If the Lord must separate His sheep from the goats, what is the purpose of the catching up of His saints in 1 Thess. 4?

[ix] This is important. The resurrection was clearly taught in the Hebrew culture (Jn 11:24), likewise Christ’s 2nd coming was also taught (Zech 14:3-5; Jude 14). The rapture, or catching away of the church, however, was a mystery that the Lord Himself introduced in John 14:2-3, and further revealed to Paul as a blessed hope (Titus 2:13).

[x] The word meet here is the Greek ap-an’tay-sis, and means a friendly encounter. However, the revelation is a time when God takes vengeance upon His enemies (2 Thess. 1:7-8; Rev 19:11-21).

[xi] It is a mutually agreed upon fact that there will be a church present during the tribulation, but it will be the professing, idolatrous whore who rides the beast, not the spotless, blood bought bride of Christ!

[xii] Actually they should have been rejoicing that Christ would be coming in seven years for them!

[xiii] English Bible translation is church.

[xiv] If posttribbers would only let the Bible speak for itself the debate would end. This was no coincidence that the Holy Spirit placed the rapture before the Day of the Lord in this passage.

[xv] Those who refuse to allow the Bible to speak for itself have spiritualized these Jews and making them the church. However great care is given by the Holy Spirit to tell us the very tribes these men came from. Further, there are no more distinction between Jews and Gentiles in the church (1 Cor 12:12-13; Eph 2:11-18). Note earlier in our study regarding the difference between Israel and the Church

[xvi] This is undeniably the wrath of God and the Lamb (Rev 6:16-17).

[xvii]Children will be born during this prosperous time (Isa 65:22-23; Zech 8:5).

[xviii] The Greek word is ap-an’tay-sis, which means a friendly encounter. Stanton says the cognate verb, ap-an’tah-o is used seven times, none of which continued on with Christ or the person, but were sent elsewhere. Posttribbers tell us that it’s use in the NT describes those meeting someone returning with them in the direction they were originally headed, thereby proving that we indeed meet Christ in the air, but immediately return with Him to earth (like a yo-yo). In Matt 25, the bridegroom returned for his bride and she went with him back in the opposite direction to his father’s house. Acts 28:15 the brothers met Paul’s party and traveled with them to Rome. Again the study of the evidence proves that a sand foundation is most difficult to build on.

[xix] Gerald Stanton says even Ladd can’t produce any such verses. p. 310

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One Response to The Rapture and the Revelation: Distinguishing Between the Rapture (Church) and Revelation (Israel)

  1. Thanks for writing. I wish you could have comprehended the thesis of the article, but apparently your indoctrination in the antiPreTrib camp would not allow for it. I used to be in your camp, so I know how that works- it’s stifling!

    With all due respect, I noticed from beginning to end, your answer was predicated upon the anti-PreTrib narrative with little respect to the material I presented. This I believe is provable by your final point #7:

    You wrote: “7. If the rapture and the revelation are the same ??? I’m not understanding your terminology here and the statement isn’t clear.”

    Friend, the terminology of “rapture and revelation” is the premise for the entire article. The dichotomy is simple: Prophecy for Israel, focusing on an earthly kingdom; and mystery for the church, focusing on a Heavenly citizenship. Understand that and you have the basis for understanding why the rapture and the revelation CANNOT BE THE SAME EVENT!

    However, if your preconceived eschatology won’t allow you to understand this simple division- and my post-trib background tells me this may well be the case- we don’t have a basis for discussion.

    Please go back over the article material above. Also, may I suggest reading the material at this blog: http://pmicenter.wordpress.com/

    Please study material found under the drop down Titles: Things that are Different and Prophecy and Mystery.

    One more thing. If you are really interested in an honest and honorable discourse where “iron sharpeneth iron” (Prov. 27:17) I’d delight in having it. On the other hand, if you are merely a shill for the anti-PreTrib antagonists who “roam the woods looking for fights” evidenced by endless belligerent bickering bathed in demeaning disrespect, I’m not interested.

    Shalom,
    Dr. Mike 2 Tim 2:2

    PS: BTW, I’m 65 years old and have studied this issue since 1975. Condescending remarks and suppositions regarding my considerations which you glibly parted with, are unkind, unwarranted, and unchristian. Discuss the position on the rapture and leave the ad-hominems to yourself.

    Fair enough?

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