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WHEN WILL THE RAPTURE OCCUR ?
DOES THE BIBLE MAKE IT CLEAR ?
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Question.
Some say we will be Raptured in the middle of the Tribulation, others say at the end of the Tribulation, some say we will be taken BEFORE the Tribulation starts. Surely there is some way we can tell for sure when God is taking His Church out of the earth! Can you give proofs about what you think about this?

ANSWER.
I don’t “think” anything at all of myself. I cannot possible just have a personal opinion about the matter, I have to KNOW what God has said in His Word. There are NOT three ways of interpreting when the Rapture will take place, God is NOT a God who makes confusing and contradictory statements. He has plainly revealed for all to see that the Rapture will take place BEFORE the Tribulation, this is pre-millennial, fundamental doctrine. I will give just a few reasons why this must be. People are rather confused today, they listen to this or that preacher, and do not simply do a proper Bible study on the subject. "... edited out section ..."

Let us look carefully at Scripture then, I do not stand on my own understanding here, not at all, I am a person who grew up with the fundamental Christians, who taught prophesy, and they were sound, old-fashioned Bible-preachers.

1. The Rapture cannot happen Mid-Trib., because the Church Age finishes BEFORE God takes up the Jews in the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, which is the Tribulation. God will not take up the Jews and deal with them in judgement until the Church has gone! The Church Age finishes with the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and those who are alive at that time will also be caught away. (11 Thess: 17,18). We could hardly “comfort” one another with those words if we were going to face unspeakable woes in the Tribulation.

2. God tells us that “scoffers” will come who say where is the promise of His (Christ’s) Coming? II Peter 3:3,4. These “scoffers” are those who deny that Christ’s Coming is imminent,or about to happen any time! These verses about “scoffers” can certainly be applied to the Mid-Trib. and Post-Trib. believers, who do not believe that Christ could come at any time, but are looking to the Tribulation as being the thing which will happen next to the Church. We are not to be “scoffers” as they have become!

3. The Mid-Trib. confusion is utterly refuted by the verse in I Thess. 5:9: “For God hath not appointed us to WRATH...” This word is repeated a number of times in the book of Revelation, it is the word “orge” which is the terrible anger of God against the rebels of the world. God will never take His church through His Wrath, we are His own children. His Wrath is happening all through the Tribulation period, not just the last three and a half years.

4. The Post-Trib belief., that the Rapture will not happen until the end of the Trib., is utterly refuted by I Thess.5:9 and Revelation 3:10.

5. The Tribulation is God declaring WAR on the earth dwellers. The first thing a country does when it declares WAR is to take its ambassadors out and close up the embassy. GOD has His ambassadors of heaven here on earth, that is, all the born-again ones who make up the real church, as soon as He declares WAR God removes those ambassadors, we are those ambassadors (II Cor.5:20).

6. The Second Coming of Christ comes in two stages. He comes to the air or atmosphere of the earth, and calls His Bride the Church home to Himself, this the Rapture. The Tribulation happens, then the Revelation of Christ, for ALL the world to see, the Second Coming in glory and might. People sometimes get these two confused, and merge them into one, and so think the Revelation is the Rapture.

7. Some teachers claim there will be a partial Rapture, with only the “spiritual” members of the Body of Christ going. This false theory is refuted by one little word in I Cor.15:51, where Paul says that “we shall ALL be changed” at the Trump of God. Part of the Body CANNOT be left whilst the other part is taken, it is ONE BODY. Also we are ALL saved by GRACE, not works at all, neither will we be Raptured because of works, which are as filthy rags in God’s sight! It is ALL of GRACE!

8. The trumpet of the angel in the middle of the Tribulation is NOT the same as the Trump of God which summons the Church in the Rapture. We can see this clearly if we read both accounts:

The angel’s trumpet in Revelation 11 is sounded in heaven, and is heard in heaven, it is blown by the angel. The Trump of God in I Thess.4 is sounded in the air and is heard on earth, it is the voice of God which is like a mighty Trumpet. The angel’s trumpet in Revelation 11 brings great Tribulation on the earth, but the Trump of God which proclaims the Rapture is vastly different. It is a call to all believers to WORSHIP, and brings glory for the Church, not judgement and terror for the earth!

The Trump of God declares to the heavenly angels that they should prepare to BATTLE, because the Bride of Christ is going to be taken through the very atmosphere where Satan still holds sway, and he and his hordes will do anything to stop the Church’s departure.

There are teachers who confuse the Bible’s teaching on II Thess.2:7. This passage declares:

There are those who misunderstand this statement, which sound scholars have shown is the Holy Spirit. Comments recently from the Texe Marrs organisation, on audio tape, have said that the Rapture cannot happen before the Tribulation because there are multitudes saved in the Trib. If the Holy Spirit is taken out of the earth BEFORE the Tribulation, “he who letteth”, then how could anyone be convicted of sin and judgement by the Holy Spirit in the Trib. and thus be saved? This preacher then imagined that this is proof that the Rapture must happen at the end of the Tribulation, and the Church must suffer through the Trib.

The above ideas are not at all Scriptural in reality! We must always remember that the Holy Spirit is GOD, the Third Person of the Trinity. As God, the Holy Spirit is Omnipresent, that is He is always everywhere, and always has been. We live and move and have our being in the Holy Spirit of God, as the book of Acts shows. Read the first chapters of Revelation, the Holy Spirit is the LIFE, the Creator, the ever-present One, who is GOD. If the Holy Spirit was entirely removed at any period of history, everything living would die, for He is LIFE!

The Holy Spirit could NEVER be entirely removed from the earth, all would die immediately if He was removed absolutely!

What is removed at the Rapture is the Holy Spirit IN THE CHURCH, for the Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon the Prophets and Priests of the Lord, but He never reImagesed forever, as He does in the New Testament. ALL believers in Christ, in the New Testament, in the Church Age, have the Holy Spirit resident within, and He will never leave us (John 14:16).

When the Church is Raptured, the Omnipresent Holy Spirit of course is everywhere on the earth as He always was and is, and will convict of sin when necessary in the Tribulation period of seven years. But the Holy Spirit in the CHURCH is the “he who letteth” of II Thess.2:7, and when the Church goes, the resident Spirit will go too!

We will finish this study on a call to WORSHIP which comes with the Trump of God, at the Rapture. We, the Bride of Christ, have a glorious future ahead of us, and great undeserved honour in Christ Jesus our Saviour and Lord and Bridegroom.

In Numbers 10:1-3 we read:

This is a type of the Trump of God sounded at the Rapture.

In regard to the Rapture, ONE Trump of God, Numbers 10:4 is highly significant:

At the Rapture of the Church only ONE trumpet is sounded, in God’s sight we ALL, each and every one, occupy a place of utmost importance in Christ, for we are all “head princes” in God’s sight! This is why there is but ONE TRUMPET call. How should we live until then? Titus 2:12,13 tells us:

Wendy Howard...editor of Despatch
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 Despatch Vol.9:4 December, 1997.
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