The Rapture

Behold, I tell you a secret; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Corinthians 15.51-52).

Introduction

Great controversy and confusion exists in Christendom regarding the doctrine of the Rapture. This unfortunate state is a result of not understanding Pauline theology–a failure of both Biblical neophytes and theological professionals. Much of the failure is simply unbelief–a refusal to believe the straightforward message of the Scripture. This study will examine the Pauline texts with the goal to end the confusion and turn unbelief to faith.

The Word “Rapture” (ἁρπάζω)

The word “rapture” does not occur in our English Bibles. We get the word by way of St. Jerome (c. 347-420 A.D.). In his work of revising the Latin New Testament from the Greek New Testament, he translated the Greek word ἁρπάζω into the Latin “rapiemur.” The Latin verb form is “rapio” and means to be “caught up” or “taken away.” From these Latin words come our English word “rapture.” While Paul used the word ἁρπάζω only once (1 Thessalonians 4.17), he taught the doctrine of the Rapture in other places using other expressions. The Greek word ἁρπάζω means to “seize” or “snatch away.” It is used 13 times in the following verses: Matthew 11.12, 13.19; John 6.15, 10.12, 28-29; Acts 8.39, 23.10; 2 Corinthians 12.2, 12.4; 1 Thessalonians 4.17; Jude 1.23; Revelation 12.5.

What is the Rapture?

To begin to understand the Rapture we must first define it. The Rapture is the resurrection of the Church, the body of Christ. It is part of the great Biblical doctrine of resurrection in which all who have put their trust in the God of the Bible, the Lord Jesus Christ, will receive resurrection bodies and be with the Lord forever. The resurrection of the Church occurs when Christ returns to earth in the clouds for His Body. The Lord meets us in the air because heaven is our destiny and abode. The Church is God’s heavenly people. Contrasted to His return for His body is His return for Israel and the nations. This is His second coming, when He returns to earth (Acts 1.11; Zechariah 14.4). Israel is God’s earthly people who have an earthly destiny (Matthew 6.10). After this advent, God will establish His long-promised kingdom on earth in which Israel will be preeminent among the nations (Deuteronomy 28.1, 13). But the Rapture comprises the largest ingathering of believers in the resurrections unto life. For Paul, the Rapture WAS the return of Christ.

The Key to Understanding the Rapture

Some have stated that the Rapture is wholly Paul and that Jesus never predicted such an event.1  This is correct. The Old Testament prophets and John the Baptist knew nothing of it. Jesus, in His earthly ministry taught nothing about it. Nor did the Twelve. The  resurrected, glorified Lord revealed this truth to Paul alone.

Paul provides us with the key to understand the Rapture in 1 Corinthians 15.51. He wrote the Corinthians,

Behold, I tell you a secret; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed (1 Corinthians 15.51).

Paul wrote that the Rapture was a “secret” (μυστήριον). This is key to understanding the Rapture: it was a secret. The Greek text is “ἰδοὺ μυστήριον ὑμῖν λέγω” and may be  translated, “Look!, I am telling (λέγω, present active indicative) you a secret!” Paul worded his sentence emphatically to get his readers’ attention. He wanted them to understand that he was revealing something new and important.

A μυστήριον is something hidden, a secret. If something is a secret, what does that mean? It means that it is unknown, hidden, and previously unrevealed. What Paul revealed to his audience was an event God had kept hidden. He did not reveal it to His Old Testament prophets, Jesus did not disclose it in His earthly ministry, and the Twelve knew nothing about it. God revealed this secret to Paul alone.2 Had God revealed the resurrection? Yes. Job knew about it (Job 19.26), Jesus taught it (John 5.24-25, 28-29, 11.23), and the common people during Jesus’ time knew about it (John 11.24). The Pharisees taught it (Acts 23.6,8) and the Sadducees rejected it (Matthew 22.23). Paul was not revealing something new when he wrote about resurrection. But the  revelation of the Rapture was new, a secret part of the resurrection.

The Order of Resurrections

Paul liked the resurrection to a harvest, based upon what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 15.20-23. According to Leviticus 23.9-10, 19.9-10, Israel had three harvests: the first fruits, the main harvest, and the harvest of the gleanings and corners of a field left for the poor. Jesus was the first fruits along with some Jewish saints buried around Jerusalem (Matthew 27.51-53). The main harvest is the body of Christ. Last is the harvest of the Old Testament and Tribulation believers. All these resurrections are part of what Jesus called the resurrection unto life (John 5.28-29). The resurrection unto death will occur at the end of the Messianic Kingdom at the Great White Throne judgment (Revelation 20.11-15). At that judgment, Jesus will judge all who have rejected Him and His salvation. Below is an outline of the resurrections.

The Order of the Resurrections Likened to Harvests
I. The Resurrection of Life  (ἀνάστασιν ζωῆς), i.e., the resurrection of all who have put their trust in Christ (John 5.28-29) occurs in 3 separate “harvests.”
A. Harvest of First Fruits (Leviticus 23.9-10)
  1. The resurrection of Christ, the first of the “first fruits” (Psalm 16.10; 1 Corinthians 15.20-23).
  2. The resurrection of additional “first fruits”, i.e., Jewish saints buried around Jerusalem (Matthew 27.51-53).
B. Main HarvestThe resurrection of the Church, the Body of Christ, a.k.a. the Rapture and the Day of Christ (1 Corinthians 15.23, 52-53; 1 Thessalonians 4.14-17; 2 Thessalonians 1.1-6).
C. Harvest of Gleanings and Corners Leviticus 19.9-10)
  1. The resurrection of Old Testament believers (Job 19.25-26; Daniel 12.1-2, 11-13; Isaiah 26.19-21).
  2. The resurrection of Tribulation believers (Revelation 20.4-5).
II. The Resurrection of Condemnation (ἀνάστασιν κρίσεως) involves those who have rejected Christ and His salvation (John 5.28-29) and follows the 1,000 year Messianic reign of Christ (Revelation 20.11-15).

The Rapture Texts

Paul taught the doctrine of the Rapture in several texts. They include the following: 1 Corinthians 15.51-52, 1 Thessalonians 1.9-10, 4.13-18, 5.1-5, 5.9-11, 2 Thessalonians 1.6-10, 2.1-12, Philippians 3.8-11, 21.

Paul’s letter to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15 is the great resurrection chapter of the Bible. Paul taught more about the resurrection in that passage than all other  Biblical  texts combined. Paul made the following points in the passage.

  1. The death and resurrection of Christ is the gospel. Believing it is how one becomes a Christian, that is, how one is saved (1 Corinthians 15.1-4, 5-11).
  2. If no resurrection exists, Christ Himself has not been raised. If this is so, no forgiveness of sin exists (1 Corinthians 15.12-19).
  3. The resurrection occurs in a sequence. Christ was the “first fruits” as in a harvest. All “in Christ” will be resurrected (1 Corinthians 15.20-34).
  4. Two different kinds of bodies exist: earthly and heavenly. A resurrection body is heavenly and eternal (1 Corinthians 35-50).
  5. Not all believers will experience physical death. Some members of the Church,  the body of Christ will receive resurrection bodies while they remain alive. Their earthly bodies will be transformed into heavenly, eternal bodies. This was a secret before Paul (1 Corinthians 15.51-52).
  6. The resurrection of the believer’s body is his ultimate victory over sin and death (1 Corinthians 15.53-58) and constitutes the final phase of salvation. It was made possible by the Lord’s glorious resurrection after his victory over sin and death.

1 Corinthians 15.51-52

51 Behold, I tell you a mystery [secret]; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

From the passage above we learn the following about the Rapture.

  1. The Rapture was a secret (μυστήριον).
  2. All members of the body of Christ (the Church) will not sleep (Paul’s euphemism for death) but all will be changed (ἀλλάσσω–to change from one thing to another). Paul used this word in Romans 1.23 and Galatians 4.20. In Philippians 3.21, Paul used the term μετασχηματίζω to describe this transformation.
  3. The transformation will occur instantaneously, in a “moment” (ἄτομος–“that which cannot be divided” from which we get our word “atom” and in the “twinkling of an eye”–ῥιπή–a throw, stroke, beat, a moment of time).
  4. The event will occur at the last trumpet.3
  5. Just as the resurrection has an order, the Rapture occurs in a sequence. Members of the body of Christ who have died will be raised first and given resurrection bodies. Then, members of the body of Christ who are alive will exchange their earthly bodies for resurrection bodies. Paul’s use of “we” in verse 52 indicated he expected the event to occur in his lifetime.

With regard to the sequence (5 above) Paul wrote the following in 1 Corinthians 15.22-25:

22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming.

A universal truth that exists for the human race is 1) all “in Adam” die and 2) all “in Christ” will be made alive. No hope exists for mankind outside of Christ. All that awaits men and women apart from Christ is death (eternal separation from God). Every human being inherits death from Adam (Genesis 2.17). We obtain life from Christ. In verse 23, Paul explained that the resurrection has an order (τάγμα). The word means something set in a particular arrangement and was used of a body of soldiers. Christ was the first fruits of the resurrection order. Second in order will be the body of Christ, the Church. These are those who have believed Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4), “those who are Christ’s at His coming.” Usually, when Paul spoke of the Lord’s coming he meant the Rapture (Titus 2.13).

1 Thessalonians 1.9-10

For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come.

Most theologians regard Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians as the first letter he wrote. In this letter, Paul revealed he had taught the Thessalonians about the Rapture even though they were new believers. The “wrath” to which Paul referred was future, the prophesied Day of the Lord or Tribulation in which God will pour His wrath upon a Christ-rejecting world. Believers will not go through this horrific period for God rescues (ῥύομαι) them (us) from it. Paul had much to say about this rescue in the following passages.

1 Thessalonians 4.13-18

13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. 15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

In verse 13, Paul comforted his readers regarding believers who had died “are asleep.” Sleep was the language Paul used to describe believers who had died. Paul reiterated the gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) and the hope members of the body of Christ have, that God will bring with Him (Christ) all who have died (verse 14). In verses 15 through 17, Paul gave the sequence of the Rapture. He wrote that his information came by direct revelation from the ascended Christ, “by the word of the Lord” (verse 15). The sequence of events was the following:

  1. Those who are alive when the Lord returns will not precede those who have died. Those who are “asleep” will be raised (given resurrection bodies) first.
  2. The Lord will vacate heaven with a shout (κέλευσμα). The Greek word translated “shout” is a galvanizing command, e.g., “Now!” Concomitant to the Lord’s shout will be the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God. These commands  signal the rising of the dead in Christ (the body of Christ).
  3. Second in resurrection sequence will be believers who are alive. They will be transformed (earthly bodies will be exchanged for heavenly bodies). Both groups will be “caught up”, “seized” “snatched away” (ἁρπάζω) to be forever with the Lord.

Paul told the Thessalonians to comfort one another with these words. The word “comfort” is παρακαλεῖτε, the present, active, imperative of παρακαλέω. Thus, it was an ongoing command. Paul commanded believers to comfort one another with the doctrine of the Rapture. Those who reject the Rapture have refused the Lord’s orders.

1 Thessalonians 5.1-5

Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; for you are all sons of light and sons of day: we are not of night nor of darkness;

Paul had given the Thessalonians a full course on end-time events so that he could write them that they needed no more instruction. Some ask why study or teach prophecy or end-time events. One answer is that Paul did. Another reason is that prophecy comprises about one-fourth of the Word of God and “all Scripture is God-breathed and profitable” (2 Timothy 3.16). Lastly, prophecy provides the believer with the assurance that God knows the end from the beginning and that all is under His control.

You and Them

The Thessalonians knew from Paul about the Day of the Lord (Zephaniah 1.1-18) and that it would come like “a thief in the night.” That day will come unexpectedly. Pay attention to Paul’s words. When he spoke about believers he used the 2nd person pronoun “you.” When he spoke about unbelievers he shifted to third person pronouns “they,” “them,” e.g., “destruction will come upon them,” “they will not escape.” He then returned to the 2nd person, “but you” to tell his readers that the Day of the Lord would not overtake them as a thief, etc. Paul indicated that not only did the Thessalonians know about these events, they would not experience them. The reason they would not experience them was they were members of the body of Christ. They would be removed from the earth when the Lord returned in the air. This is as clear a teaching as anything Paul wrote. It is impossible, if we believe the Scriptures, for members of the body of Christ to go through the Tribulation. This one passage eliminates all possibility of a mid-Tribulation or post-Tribulation Rapture. How anyone can miss this point in light of this text is hard to understand.

1 Thessalonians 5.9-11

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, so that whether we are awake or asleep, we will live together with Him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.

Paul reiterated that believers will not go through the horrors of the Tribulation, He wrote, “God has not destined us for wrath.” The wrath to which he referred was not hell. The context of the passage is the Day of the Lord (Zephaniah 1.1-18), not salvation from sin, death, and hell. Paul taught that believers would not experience the Day of the Lord in which God will pour out his wrath upon the earth. The “salvation” to which Paul referred was salvation from the Day of the Lord. In verse 10, Paul declared that because Christ  died for us, whether we are awake or asleep (alive or dead), we will live together with Him.

2 Thessalonians 1.6-10

For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes to be glorified in His saints on that day, and to be marveled at among all who have believed—for our testimony to you was believed.

In the above passage, Paul encouraged the Thessalonians believers who were undergoing persecution as a result of their faith. He indicated God would afflict those who were persecuting them and “give relief (ἄνεσις) to you who are afflicted.” Paul believed the Lord would return soon–in his lifetime. When that occurred, the Lord would rescue them from the persecution they were undergoing. After this event, God would initiate the Day of the Lord. During that period He will punish all who “do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.”

2 Thessalonians 2.1-12

Now we request you, brethren, with regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, that you not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things? (2 Thessalonians 2.1-5)

These words follow-up Paul’s earlier teaching in 1 Thessalonians. Apparently, false teachers had troubled the Thessalonians by telling them that the persecution they were experiencing was the Day of the Lord. These were the first post-tribulationalists. Paul was quick to crush this teaching. He wrote them to “not be quickly shaken from your composure or be disturbed either by a spirit or a message or a letter as if from us, to the effect that the Day of the Lord has come.” The Day of the Lord was prophesied throughout the Old Testament and Jesus referred to it as the Tribulation (Matthew 24.21-22). Paul admonished them that no matter what they heard or from whom, from a spirit (angel), or some other “message” (λόγος) or letter purportedly from Paul, to pay no attention to it. They were to stick with Paul’s teaching that when the Lord came, He would gather (πισυναγωγή) them to Himself before God poured out His wrath–the Day of the Lord.

In verse 3, Paul provided more information about the coming Day of the Lord. He warned them not to let anyone deceive them. Paul wrote that the Day of the Lord would not come unless (ἐὰν μή) “the departure” (ἡ ἀποστασία) came first. The word ἀποστασία means “depart” (cf. Acts 21.21) and in this content is synonymous with the Rapture.4

Paul then reminded his readers that he had already taught them these things (verse 5).

And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. Then that lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord will slay with the breath of His mouth and bring to an end by the appearance of His coming; that is, the one whose coming is in accord with the activity of Satan, with all power and signs and false wonders, 10 and with all the deception of wickedness for those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved. 11 For this reason God will send upon them a deluding influence so that they will believe what is false, 12 in order that they all may be judged who did not believe the truth, but took pleasure in wickedness. 13 But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth. 14 It was for this He called you through our gospel, that you may gain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught, whether by word of mouth or by letter from us. 16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace, 17 comfort and strengthen your hearts in every good work and word (2 Thessalonians 2.6-17).

In the above verses, Paul declared that this “secret of lawlessness” had already begun. As it was at work during Paul’s day it is still now. What did he mean? He meant that Satan, as the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4.4) has a plan to insert his man to rule the world. Satan is not beyond time and his knowledge of the future is limited. He may have someone ready to fulfill his plan in each generation. The one who restrains (ὁ κατέχων) this evil is God the Holy Spirit. The revelation of Satan’s man cannot occur until the Holy Spirit is “taken out of the way” (ἐκ μέσου γένηται). Literally, this phrase reads, “he becomes out of the middle.” Standing in the middle, between Satan’s plan to establish his man into the world and our present world, is God the Holy Spirit. God will remove His restraint when He comes for the body of Christ (the Church) since God the Holy Spirit indwells every believer. When this occurs, Satan will recognize his opportunity and move to promote his man. After seven years, when God’s wrath has run its course, at the end of the Tribulation, the Lord will return (Luke 13.35) and destroy him (Revelation 19.20, 20.10).

In verses 9-16 Paul revealed that this man, empowered by Satan, the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4.3-4), will display Satan’s power by supernatural wonders and deceive the world. The world will be deceived “because they did not receive the love of the truth so as to be saved.” God is fair and allows each person to choose for or against Him. Paul explained that they will not believe the truth because they “took pleasure in wickedness.” Paul ended this passage by reminding them of their salvation and encouraged them to hold to the teachings he had taught them.

Philippians 3.8-11

More than that, I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Paul’s letter to the Philippians is a record of Paul’s joy and celebration of his life in Christ. Written from prison (Philippians 1.7), Paul declared that what he had lost for the sake of Christ was but refuse or garbage (σκύβαλον) compared to his life in Christ. In verse 10, Paul desired to know Christ, the power of His resurrection (ἀνάστασις) and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death (Romans 6.3-8). In verse 11, he declared he wished to attain to the resurrection (ἐξανάστασις) from the dead. What did Paul mean by these statements?

Paul had no doubt he would be resurrected. Even before he put his faith in Jesus he believed in the resurrection: he was a Pharisee. In verse 10, he expressed his desire to experience the power of Christ’s resurrection. By this, Paul meant the power to overcome sin daily and live a Christ-empowered (resurrection empowered) life (Romans 6.3-8, 8.10-23). In verse 11, we find something different. He changed from using ἀνάστασις to ἐξανάστασις. The latter word is a hapax legomenon (transliteration of ἅπαξ λεγόμενον). It is used only here in the Bible. Paul coined this word to express the hope he held dear. Literally, the word means “out resurrection.” Paul formed the word by combining the Greek preposition ἐκ (out) with ἀνάστασις (resurrection). What was the “out resurrection?” The “out resurrection” was that resurrection in which believers who are alive will be taken from the earth to meet the Lord in the air to receive a resurrection body. The “out resurrection” is the Rapture–the “blessed hope” (Titus 2.13).

Philippians 3.20-21

20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; 21 who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself.

Paul concluded chapter 3 by reminding the Philippians that our citizenship (πολίτευμα) is heavenly and await eagerly (ἀπεκδέχομαι) the Lord’s return (Romans 8.23; 1 Corinthians  1.7). When He comes, He will transform us to have immortal, resurrection bodies. The word translated by the NASB as “transform” and KJV “change” is μετασχηματίζω. This word (metaschematization) is similar to the the word metamorphose but emphasizes the process of change rather than its result (e.g., from catapillar to butterfly). When the Lord returns, he will fashion our bodies to enjoy eternity with Him. Now that’s a hope!

Conclusion

  1. The Rapture was a secret God kept hidden until He revealed it to Paul (1 Corinthians 15.51).
  2. Paul coined a new word for the Rapture, ἐξανάστασις “out-resurrection” (Philippians 3.11, the “blessed hope” (Titus 2.13).
  3. The Rapture is a part of the great doctrine of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.20-24, 35-58, 51-53).
  4. The Rapture occurs according to a sequence (1 Corinthians 15.20, 22-23, 51-52; 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18)
  5. Believers who are alive will not experience God’s wrath, the Day of the Lord, i.e., the Tribulation,  but will be delivered from it. When the body of Christ is complete God will remove His Church and refocus His work upon Israel to fulfill His covenants (Romans 5.9; 1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9-10; 2 Thessalonians 2.1-2; Romans 11.25-26).
  6. We are commanded to proclaim the Rapture to comfort one another until the Lord comes (1 Thessalonians 4.18).
  7. The Rapture is a separate event from the Day of the Lord and the return of Christ to the earth (2 Thessalonians 2.2, 10-12, 12; 1 Thessalonians 4.17; Zechariah 14.1-4; Acts 1.11-12). See the author’s study on The Day of Christ.

1  See Farewell to the Rapture by N. T. Wright. Ignorant of Pauline theology, the Bishop of Durham, and others who reject the Rapture, may be likened to Apollos who required instruction from Aquila and Priscilla to understand Paul’s teaching (Acts 18.24-26 cf. Galatians 1.11-12, 2.7-9).
The ascended, glorified Lord revealed many truths to Paul He had not revealed previously. Paul named these revelations “secrets.” God most likely revealed some of these new truths to Paul after his conversion when he was in Arabia (Galatians 1.15-17). Later, Paul most likely received other revelations. Without an understanding of Paul’s “secrets” one cannot understand his theology. Indeed, without this understanding one cannot understand Christianity. See the author’s study on Paul’s Mystery.
This “last trumpet” has nothing to do with the trumpets of the book of Revelation. The trumpets in Revelation signal God’s judgments upon the earth. No hint of judgment exists in Paul’s passage. Indeed, we find the opposite. Paul’s passage deals with the believer’s victory over sin and death and the receipt of a sinless and eternal body. This “last trumpet” (1 Corinthians 15.52) is a “trumpet of God” (1 Thessalonians 4.16) whereas the trumpets in Revelation are angelic trumpets (Revelation 8.2, 6). The “trumpet of God” which Paul described is signals completion of the Church, the body of Christ and Christ coming for it, not judgments (Revelation 8.7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 9.1-13, 14-11.14, 11.15-19).
4 Only Luke and Paul used the noun and verbs ἀποστασία and ἀφίστημι. Paul used ἀποστασία with the definite article “ἡ”–“ἡ ἀποστασία.” Unlike English, a definite article in Greek is unnecessary to make a noun definite. It can be definite without a definite article depending on the context. The definite article was used originally as a weak demonstrative pronoun, i.e., “this,” “that,” “these,” “those.” Its inclusion draws attention to the object. Thus, Paul’s use of the definite article ἡ with ἀποστασία emphasized its identity: “THE departure.” This “departure” was synonymous with ἁρπάζω of 1 Thessalonians 4.17. See the author’s study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians for more information on ἀποστασία.

©2011 Don Samdahl. Anyone is free to reproduce this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold.

Updated December 26, 2011


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202 Responses to The Rapture

  1. Don, I hope you continue to add to these articles for I have profited greatly from them and rate them among the best and most inspiring I have ever read.

  2. pPatrick M. Canonigo says:

    I appreciate your writings as it is well written with scriptures to relate a sound doctrine. Thank you. May our GOD be with you always !

  3. Tammy says:

    Not doubting, but I have always wondered… If “He who is restraining” is the Holy Spirit and thus when He is “removed” from the earth with the “Body of Christ,” how then will people be saved in the tribulation since Scripture clearly teaches that the Holy Spirit is necessary for one to be born again.
    It seems no one is able to biblically answer this question.
    I enjoy your teachings.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Thanks for your comment. Clearly, in one sense the Holy Spirit cannot be “removed” for He is God and God is omnipresent. But in the sense that as He indwells believers, when they go, He goes. I speculate Satan will use this opportunity to insert his man. No believers will be present to oppose him. Since people will be saved in the Tribulation this can only meant the Holy Spirit will be present and active.

      • Ashley Carnes says:

        Thank you for this artice. I once believed we would not be raptured because I thought, if Jesus could not be spared his pain when paying for our sins, why should or would we be spared this. Now I see it is because what he did for us was to end all worry and fear from those who believe in him. What he did for us was the ultimate gift of love, and this is one way that there is no possibility we can understand his love for us. I long for the day I can bow to him, praise him and kiss his feet. There is no greater love I can imagine than this. Praise God!

      • concur: keeping in mind that spirit can mean even the very air we breathe, so to remove same would result in all mankind et cetera
        demise….thus to remove the believers in the big snatch removes the restraint on anti-christ

    • Milan Pakes says:

      Sir, here are some ideas from Ezekiel on when the Holy Spirit makes HIS appearance and why, after the Church is taken. You will need to read Ezekiel 38 & 39 a few times to become familiar with what it actually says concerning Israel and the Holy Spirit and what happens when the Holy Spirit is poured out. Then take notice of these verses found in Ezekiel 39:23-29. For instance, Ezk 39:29. When GOD pours out HIS SPIRIT upon Israel at the end of the Ezk 38 war. I don’t believe any one can prove or show me where GOD has HIS SPIRIT in more than one body of elect or group at a time. At this time, the HOLY SPIRIT is in the Church, the Body of CHRIST, correct? Yes or no? .

      At Ezk 39:22-29 GOD at this time pours HIS SPIRIT upon the WHOLE HOUSE of Israel. The importance of this event is totally ignored by all the prophecy teachers I’ve ever heard.

      But, this event should be 1st in each of their minds & study. GOD can not pour HIS SPIRIT upon Israel as long as the Church is here. Because when HE does, not only the entire world knows what GOD proclaims in Ezk 39:23 but Israel knows also as verse 22 shows that Israel knows that GOD saved them as does the world also.

      How will Israel Know this without the SPIRIT OF GOD REVEALING IT TO THEM? Since Scripture tells us that it is GODS SPIRIT that reveals such to a person or persons. Ezekiel says they will KNOW it was GOD WHO won this war for them.

      Since the Jews & Israel today don’t see this now but they will on that day. So the only logical logic that makes sense is that the Church will be gone by this time since we have the HOLY SPIRIT NOW during this age of Grace. I don’t believe that GOD will rip out the HOLY SPIRIT of the Church to pout HIM out onto Israel.

      But on that day Ezekiel says that Israel will know something about what GOD is doing for them by HIS SPIRIT and this is a big change from the way things have been for the last 2000 years.

      From that day forward Israel will want to worship YHVH. This takes the SPIRIT of GOD to change a heart to want this. At this time also the 144,000 will be given the SEAL of HOLY SPIRIT as Rev tells us.

      Ezk 38 & 39 tell us that Israel will burn weapons for 7 years, the exact time of the Trib time, 7 years, and they will be building their temple at this point in time, once the Arabs are no longer a threat to stop the Building of this Temple. With GOD winning this battle nothing will be in the way of the Temple being built. And since the arabs will no longer be a danger to Israel they will have a free hand in re-building their new Temple.

      Also never looked at by prophecy teachers is the 7 months needed to find & bury the dead. They always blame this on radiation but that makes no sense since there will be dead people all over the earth and GOD makes no mention of them being buried. And radiation will be a problem for the rest of the world where atomic weapons fell during this war.

      It makes more sense to say what they teach when in the Torah it says that during the (any) feast of the LORD, that no dead thing can be above ground. That is a strict LAW that GOD gives.

      So GOD gives the command to bury the dead in 7 months because the next feast, most likely the Passover Feast that could occur at this time in 7 months from the end of the Ezk 38 war, and Israel could construct a temporary Tabernacle like they used for 400 years before the 1st Temple to offer their 1st Sacrifice to GOD and they must have the land cleared of all dead things before that date as they go about constructing the actual Temple.

      That’s why this 7 month time period is mentioned by GOD. GOD would be much more concerned about the dead above ground than HE would about radiation.

      Most likely the Rapture will occur at the start of the Ezk 38 war preparing the people the people of Israel to be blessed by the HOLY SPIRIT at which time also would be a perfect timing for the 144,000 to be indwelt by HIM so they can preach the Gospel as Rev tells us they will be doing.

      This Ezk war could also do allot to hide the Rapture from most people from all the turmoil caused all over the earth by this war in which the US may also be destroyed with atomic weapons from the secret terrorist here and the Russians and or the Koreans who would be helping Russia. I believe hiding the Rapture is important to make sure people believe by Faith & not sight as GOD wants us to believe by according to Scripture.

      I know this is allot to swallow, but if you consider it for a few days and compare the Bible to what I’ve posted, you might find it makes much more sense than most everything else you see.

      Just saying. . . . . . . . . . Thanks and Praise YHWH for HIS mercy.

      ( P.S., The Psalms 83 war will occur prior to the Ezk 38 war preparing GOG to take advantage of the peace Israel will be enjoying after they win the Psalms 83 war. )

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Milan,
        Thank you. The Holy Spirit indwelling believers in the body of Christ is permanent. Nothing indicates He will leave and we nothing to fear as David (Psalm 51.11). Ultimately, the Holy Spirit will indwell all Jews who enter the Messianic Kingdom and it appears this process will begin during the Tribulation. All who enter the kingdom will be believers and all of Israel will have repented to initiate the Lord’s return (Matthew 23.37-39). It seems the Gog/Magog invasion will take place at the beginning of the Tribulation which would allow for burning the military equipment for 7 years. It is also possible the invasion could begin earlier. The Antichrist does not have to appear immediately after the Rapture of the Church. A long time could elapse before his appearance.

    • Launie Martin says:

      In the same sense that the Holy Spirit worked before it was given as the “helper” at Pentecost. Before the helper came down from heaven to indwell believers it still had a role on the earth before that. So, when the Church is removed by rapture, so will the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will act in the same way as it did before the cross; the same way it did during the old testament days with David, Daniel, Isaiah, and so on. This is also why it will be possible to lose one’s salvation during the tribulation period; endure till the end, the five virgins without, etc. The Church is unique in that we have the “helper” inside of us. Hope this helps. God bless you !!!

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Launie,
        Thank you. Remember, however, the Holy Spirit is not an “it.” The Holy Spirit is God, a member of the Godhead, and is properly referenced as “He.”

  4. tTerri says:

    I really enjoy your studies, and they have helped me to understand more of God’s Word. I have a question concerning the “out resurrection”. If it is the rapture, can you please explain the verses following where Paul is writing about attaining it. It seems to me like he is striving for a more glorious resurrection. I know that works do not earn salvation, but they do earn rewards. I don’t think Paul would have to be striving to attain to the rapture. In Phil. 3:14, Paul says he is pressing toward the mark for the prize of the high calling. All this seems to refer back to the “out resurrection.”
    I hope I am making sense to you. I would like your further thoughts on the “out resurrection.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The “out resurrection” is the Rapture. Paul simply hoped that The Lord would come in his lifetime and that he would experience the Rapture. This is the believer’s “blessed hope” (Titus 2.13).

  5. Dan says:

    If Paul had included your explanation of his own words, how would they have comforted his audience ‘who were grieving over those who had fell asleep in death’?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      The comfort Paul spoke of has several aspects: 1) the dead in Christ will be resurrected, i.e., “not grieve as do the rest who have no hope” (1 Thessalonians 4.13); 2) when the Lord returns He will bring the dead in Christ (their souls and spirits) with Him when He returns and they will receive their resurrection bodies (1 Thessalonians 4.14); 3) a nanosecond later, those who are alive will be transformed into resurrection bodies and be reunited with their fellow-members of the body of Christ (1 Thessalonians 4.17).

  6. John says:

    Jesus spoke of gathering His elect in conjunction with the Day of the Lord, as did Paul, and everyone else who commented on the return of Christ. That’s because they occur at the same time. All this happens post trib, the church is removed as Christ is returning and we meet with the Lord and will be with Him for the age.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      John,
      Paul explicitly stated that the Church, the body of Christ, will not experience the Tribulation, the Day of the Lord (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9 and he wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct the false doctrine of post-tribulationism, which was present in the 1st century (2 Thessalonians 2.1-3). The “rapture” was a secret, until the risen, glorified Christ revealed it to Paul (1 Corinthians 15.51). In the former Christ will meet believers in the air. In the latter Christ will meet believers on the earth. Completely different meetings.

      • Nancy Haugen says:

        From what I understand as of today, the Tribulation and the Wrath of God is two different events. All are part of Daniel’s 70th week. We will be raptured just prior to God pouring out His wrath. After checking out the verses more carefully, I agree this is most likely the case.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Nancy,
          The Tribulation and Wrath of God are the same. The Tribulation lasts 7 years (Daniel’s 70th week). The last 3 1/2 years will intensify after the Antichrist stops the sacrifices in the Temple, declares he is God, and kills the 2 witnesses. At this midpoint, Satan will be thrown out of heaven and indwell the Antichrist. Paul made it clear that the Church, the body of Christ, will experience none of this (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9).

    • Michael DeWitt says:

      Jesus Spoke that we would not know the day or the hour and that it would come like a thief in the night. He was speaking to Jews/Believers or those who have been saved by the Kingdom Gospel even Prior to Pauls Gospel about the Rapture. If Pre-Trib Believers were present during the Tribulation then we would know the hour wouldn’t we.

  7. Alice Childs says:

    Please excuse the multiple questions, but some of your teachings are new to me and I really want to understand what you are saying. Here are my questions:
    What will the church be doing after the Rapture? Will that be when the church is undergoing the bema judgment seat in heaven while the Time of Jacob’s trouble is taking place on earth? Is there any mention of the church in Heaven in Revelation and finally, does the church make up the ” armies of Heaven” who are dressed in white robes that return to earth with Jesus at His 2nd coming?
    Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Alice,
      We don’t know what the Church will be doing following the Rapture other than we are told that in the Day of Christ God will judge members of His body regarding works (1 Corinthians 1.8, 3.12-15). The Church is not mentioned in Revelation. Revelation is a Jewish book and during this time God is dealing with Israel and Gentiles, not the Church (1 Corinthians 10.32). Whether the Church makes up the “armies of heaven” I do not know. What we can know is what Paul declared in 1 Corinthians 2.9 and Romans 8.17.

      • Esteban says:

        I understand what you say, and your position that Revelation does not talk about the church, but the text in 1 Thessalonians 4.17 does say that after the rapture, we His church, His body, will be with him forever (after, emphasis implied), and when He returns at the end of the 7 years, to reign for the last day of Hosea (1000 years or the millennium), we should thus return also (somehow in some capacity, army like Alice ponders, or not) even if it is just to be with Him (which we be reward enough).

        Is this contradicted by scripture somewhere? Or am I taking it out of context?

  8. Fady Kodsy says:

    Thank you for sharing this great work, the article is very will presented and is simple to understand for the any reader and it gives a great understating of the rapture.
    God bless you

  9. Renee says:

    Since born again believers who are still alive at the end of the tribulation will enter the Millennium Kingdom in their fleshly bodies I have two questions. Will they who are born again get a glorified body like the rest of us who where risen from the dead and if so when?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Renee,
      We have no specific information on this. Christ was the firstfruits along with others (1 Corinthians 15.20-23; Matthew 27.51-53). Then the main harvest, the Church (1 Corinthians 15.51-53; 1 Thessalonians 4.14-17). Then the gleanings, the OT believers (Daniel 12.1-2; Isaiah 26.19-21) and resurrection of Tribulation believers (Revelation 20.4-5). If I had to guess, believers alive at the end of the Millennium will get new bodies then. All these constitute the “first resurrection.” Lastly is the resurrection of unbelievers who will also receive eternal bodies (John 5.28-29; Revelation 20.11-15).

  10. Theresa says:

    What do you mean when you say, when the boy of Christ is complete?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Theresa,
      At some point God will complete His Church, the body of Christ with those who believe Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4). When the Body is complete, God will remove it (the Rapture). At that time He will renew His prophetic program with Israel. In that program, the gospel of the kingdom will again be preached (Matthew 24.14). At the end of the seven years of Tribulation the Lord will return and set up His kingdom on the earth and fulfill all of His covenant promises He made to Israel.

      • Theresa says:

        Thank you. I stumbled upon your teaching, Thank God and have been learning every day!! My church on Long Island has been teaching on Gods Grace as revealed to Paul for 3 years now. But I learn even more from your writings! Ty

      • Curtis Larson says:

        I did not see a mention of who the members of the Body actually are–those who leave in the rapture.

        I will state what I am taught on that subject. I am taught that salvation (Rom 10:9-10) is the first step in becoming one with God; that relying on the blood of Christ makes us a fit temple to receive the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. The second Phase is to be baptized in the Holy Spirit to make us Born Again, a work of the Spirit as discussed in John 3:3-7. A further refinement is that we be led by the Spirit (Rom 8:14) This makes us Sons of God who will leave in the Rapture.

        I am asking who you teach are the one who leave in the Rapture. I have heard that any whoever named the name of Jesus is raptured. I have heard that only the Baptist Briders (Bride of Christ) will leave in the rapture.

        I think this is important because people could get a false sense of security when the subject is poorly taught. A moment after the rapture they may find themselves still on the earth.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Curtis,
          The Rapture involves the Church, the body of Christ. It is the the Church’s resurrection. Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4.13-18 that all who have believed his gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4), that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead (v.14), will participate in the Rapture. The dead will rise first, then those who are alive will be transformed and meet the Lord in the air.

        • Grace Receiver says:

          Curtis,
          This teaching that you have received….what does it have to say about Col 2:10? Do you think that Paul was implying that we will be complete only once we reach “phase #3”?

  11. Angelina says:

    Hi there and thanks for this text but I am not sure if I understand it as you have put it because I have studied this quite a bit and some things are just not adding up for me. I have a few questions and hope that you can bare with me. I hope you can answer them so that I may be able to understand them a bit better.
    First, I have read that the restrainer is Michael the archangel and it seems as though it fits clearly that it could be him. Have you studied that before and why don’t you think that it could be a possibility?
    Also, how long do you think the Day of the Lord is for? Many have said it is the complete 7 years while others say it is exactly as it states, a DAY only. That in that day is when the church will be raptured because it is before Gods wrath takes place.
    I have studied that the book of revelation is not chronological but more themeatical. If you have a chance you should look into Doug Hamps videos on youtube regarding this topic because it is super interesting and has come up with a good view of how the end will come about.
    Also I wanted to point out Rev 14:1-4 about those first fruits. I believe those are the 144.000 and i think those are the ones that are raptured(redeemed) first.
    Lastly, I had read your article on the Creator and you point out 2 peter 3:10 as the end. Wouldn’t all the verses that talk about the Day of the Lord and the thief in the night relate together? Some seem like they are before and others after.
    By the way do you have an outline of the tribulation, the rapture, when the millenium begins, when it ends, when the judgements are. Just a little confused as to what happens when, like is satan going to be loosed for a little while and then the 7 months or is it years when the earth has to be cleaned up because of all the shedding of blood. I just don’t know how to put them all together. It just doesn’t make sens to me how it sounds as though the millenium will begin with peace and all the animals getting along but yet satan will be let out for a short time it’s pretty confusing. If you can clear any of these points for me it would be great. sorry for the long comment. I appreciate your time and effort in all of your studies.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Angelina,
      Please see my article Understanding the Book of Revelation. You must understand that Revelation has NOTHING in it that concerns the Church, the body of Christ. God has removed the Church before any of the events John witnessed and recorded. The Scriptures are explicitly clear about this. Technically, the Day of the Lord goes from the beginning of the Tribulation (7 years) all the way to the creation of a New Heavens and New Earth, which follows the 1,000 year Messianic kingdom in which Christ reigns upon earth (Zechariah 14.9; see the Lord’s Prayer–“thy kingdom come…on earth”). To understand these things one must realize that all Scripture apart from Paul’s letters (Romans-Philemon) relate to Israel. Only the books written by Paul relate to the Church. All prophecy relates to Israel. No prophecy relates to the Church. If you keep these things separate, confusion will cease. If you do not, the Scriptures are full of contradictions. That is why most of Christendom is so confusion. But God is not the author of confusion.

      • Angelina says:

        Appreciate your response and will be reading your article today. By the way you didn’t respond if you were familiar with Douglas Hamp. He has a couple of videos that I recommend that you watch on youtube One is Millenium: heaven on earth which is in 3 parts I believe and and the other is the final rebellion satan’s assault against the New Jerusalem. Although he doesn’t have it all sorted out as far as some things go, he does bring up such an excellent points throughout the videos. That many have believed the New Jerusalem is after the 1000 year reign but he puts the New Jerusalem during the 1000 year reign. It is quite remarkable and many verses begin to make sense when he lays them out. If you haven’t seen or heard of those videos yet, I would appreciate your feedback on them for they really put a new perspective on things and it seems to fit pretty well. Have a good day.

  12. Kenneth says:

    First, I want to thank you for this website, it is obvious you have put a lot of work into it. For most of my life I was raised in a “Mid-Acts” church, I also attended Grace Bible College in Grand Rapids, Mi. So, I know and agree whole heartily with what you are teaching here. I do have a question though regarding 2 Thessalonians 2, to be specific, verse 3 and 7, “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….For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” I realize that the popular view among both “Acts 2” and “Mid-Acts” dispensationalists is that the “falling away” in verse 3 refers to “an aggressive and climactic revolt against God which will prepare the way for the appearance of the man of sin” to quote Ryrie; and that the “he” in verse 7 refers to the Holy Spirit. I would like your thoughts on another view/interpretation of these two verses.
    First, I have read, and somewhat agree with, the view that the “falling away” in verse 3 could be an improper translation and should actually say “departure.” Granted, I am NO Greek scholar but it has been explained to me that the Greek word used here and its root word , also found in Acts 21:21, can easily be translated as such. Verse 3 is rendered “departure” in the Tyndale Bible. As a result, Paul could be telling the Thessalonians that the Day of the Lord won’t come until the departure “rapture” happens first, which does fit.
    Second, the “he” in verse 7 could be referring to the Body of Christ which Paul does call the “one new man” in Ephesians 2:15. I have always had an issue with the idea that the “he” is referring to the Holy Spirit when it is obvious that He will be at work here on Earth during the Tribulation; i.e. sealing the 144,000, protecting Israel, people will be saved during this time, etc. I could be wrong, but it seems that the restrainer being the Body of Christ makes sense since this current parenthetical dispensation is what is holding back the prophetic time clock. Once the Body of Christ is removed at the rapture, Daniel’s 70th week will be able to begin at some point in the near future. I realize this isn’t that much different that what you said concerning who the “he” is, I just struggle with the idea that it is the Holy Spirit.
    In 2 Thessalonians Paul was giving them, and us, a definite order of events. In verse 3 he could easily be saying that the Day of the Lord cannot happen until the departure/rapture happens first. He then reiterates/repeats this idea in verse 7 by saying that the “he” Body of Christ will be removed (rapture), then “the man of lawlessness will be revealed.” Either way, he is comforting the Thessalonians that no matter what they have heard, the Day of the Lord hadn’t begun yet and couldn’t because they, the Body of Christ, were still here.
    This is only a slight variation on what you said, which leads to the exact same conclusion, but I was wondering what your thoughts on these interpretations are. Thanks in advance for your input.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kenneth,
      Thank you for your kind words. Please read my article 1 and 2 Thessalonians and see if it does not answer your questions.

      • Kenneth says:

        Funny enough, after I asked my questions I saw your article on 1 & 2 Thessalonians and decided to read it. First, it is very well written, extremely thorough and spot on!!! You did address my questions, especially the one in relation to verse 3, you seem to have also come to the conclusion that the word “departure” fits what Paul is trying to relay; which is that the Day of the Lord cannot come until the rapture happens first. I always felt that the idea of a “falling away” or “apostasy” didn’t quite fit the text, especially since mankind has been doing that all along. A physical “departure” makes a lot more sense in light of what Paul is teaching. Again, I love this sight and look forward to reading all of your articles.

        • William says:

          Don,

          I really appreciate this great study on the doctrine of the Rapture. However I am a little confused. In your study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians you indicate that the Greek word for “falling away” is more correctly translated departure but here you seem to indicate it as a rebellion.

          Thanks,
          William

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            William,
            Thank you. I did the study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians recently and have come to the conclusion that the evidence better supports “departure” rather than “rebellion.” I will correct in the Rapture article.

  13. Vicki says:

    Hello,
    I’d just like to report recent problems accessing your home page and articles. All I see is a lot of gibberish on the entire page. Whenever I type in your website in Google or Yahoo searches I am able to access a few pages, such as this one, but not others. I can’t access the home page by typing in the url at the top of the page. I don’t know if anyone else has reported this to you or not. I did take a screen shot with my cell phone so that you can see for yourself what it is that I see but I don’t have an email address to send it to you. If you’d like me to send it to you, I’d be happy to.

    I’ve been a daily visitor to your site for months now and have been very blessed by the work you have done and by the way you have presented it here. Thank you so much for sharing this with us!

    God bless you,
    Vicki

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vicki,
      Thanks for the heads-up. I think I know what was causing the problem. Please let me know if the weird characters return.

  14. Matt says:

    You wrote “This “last trumpet” signals the completion of the Church, the body of Christ and Christ coming for it.” Yet you do not provide Scripture to back up this assumption. Not only that, but Paul said 1Co 15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. This is quoted from Isaiah 25:8, which is obviously post tribulational. The mystery in I Cor 15 is not a pre trib rapture, it’s the instant changing and glorification of the body. The mystery the Thessalonians were ignorant of was their dead loved ones, not the pre trib rapture. Both I Thess 4 and I Cor 15 are in context of the post trib rapture and day of the Lord. Paul added new revelation about the one coming of Christ, giving us details the OT prophets and the Lord never did. But to assume he is speaking of a pretribulation rapture is just that…..an assumption. http://www.theposttribulationrapture.com

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Matt,
      No Scripture states explicitly that the “last trumpet” is the Rapture. We get there by examining Paul’s other writings. Paul wrote in 2 Thessalonians 2.1-3 to combat the false teaching that the Thessalonians were experiencing the Tribulation. In his first letter he had taught them that this was not a possibility (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Who these false teachers were is unknown. Today, the false teaching comes from those who do not understand Paul. The things he revealed he received from the risen Lord. Jesus had not revealed them in His earthly ministry for all of His teaching concerned Israel, not the Church. The teaching that members of the body of Christ will undergo the Tribulation is contrary to all of Paul’s teaching and his command for believers to encourage one another with the truth of the Pre-tribulational Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4.18). More detailed analysis of this subject is in the study 1 and 2 Thessalonians.

      • Matt says:

        2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 is one of many Scriptures that changed my mind about the rapture. The day of Christ is not at hand as the KJV accurately translates. Our gathering together unto him is not imminent and anyone who believes otherwise is deceived. The antichrist shall come before our rapture so it must be post trib. As far as the wrath is concerned, I totally agree. The wrath of God mentioned in Revelation is after the tribulation (including the bowl judgments which are focused on the wicked and the kingdom of the beast). We will be snatched out before the wrath during the day of Christ. I do understand the teaching of hyperdispensationism very well. My current pastor preaches it. I actually have a great deal of respect for him and the position and agree with parts of it. He is a great preacher and even a better man but he and you are wrong in my opinion. The encouragemt the Thessalonians were to get was about their dead loved ones, not Jesus coming 7 years beforehand. You are assuming a truth from the text that is simply not there.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Matt,
          The best manuscripts support the reading “day of the Lord.” The Day of the Lord is the Tribulation. The Bible reveals only one day of God’s wrath as described by the prophets and declared by the Lord Himself as the Tribulation (Matthew 24). The Pre-Tribulational Rapture is a doctrine so certain and so simple that I am amazed anyone disagrees with it. A Post-Tribulational position has no Scriptures to support it. I am also amazed that so many seemingly want to go through it–especially since Paul explicitly stated we would not! For a Post-Tribulational view to have any support one would have to demonstrate that the wrath of God, the Day of the Lord is not the Tribulation. I find no Scriptures to support such an idea.

          • toddott says:

            Where is it “declared by the Lord” that the tribulation is God’s wrath? Dispensationalists equate wrath, tribulation, temptation, seventieth week and a multitude of other terms, even though the Bible NEVER states or even implies that they are the same. They must, for there is no other way for their unblibical theory to work. In the same way, they must wrongly handle the Word of God, by dividing Scripture into two categories, those for the Church, and those for Israel. And how do they decide which passages are assigned to whom? Again, whatever they need to do to prop up their theory.
            God’s wrath comes after the darkening of the sun, moon and stars, which Jesus says happens AFTER the tribulation.
            The Seals of Revelation are NOT the wrath of God, just because Jesus opens them. He opened them because He is sovereign over all this, including the number of His people who are martyred under the fifth Seal.
            Scripture NEVER teaches that it will be secret. It was called a mystery, NOT a secret. The mystery was that NOT ALL WILL SLEEP. Some will be changed to immortality without dying first.
            Neither did Paul EVER claim the Church would not endure tribulation. And we are not saved from wrath by being raptured, but by being IN CHRIST, as Noah was in the Ark. And no one outside the Ark survives. None. In I Thess 5, it is not wrath vs tribulation, but rather wrath vs salvation. Salvation is not a rescue from tribulation, but a rescue from the Lake of Fire.
            And if Paul commanded believers not to fellowship with those who reject the PreTrib rapture, as you claim, how is it not a salvation issue? Or those who disagree with you not worthy of your fellowship.
            Clearly, it is you who have “refused to believe the straightforward message,” and have resorted to twisting scripture to prove your point. II Thess 3 is not talking about a rapture. Take off your rapture-colored glasses so you can see clearly. The passage has nothing to do with the rapture. If you would read it in context you would see that Paul is talking about those who are “unwilling to work,” and who are “not busy, but are busybodies.” Then he commands them to “settle down and earn the food they eat.” Then he urges them to taken note of anyone who does not obey their instruction, not of those who don’t believe in a PreTrib rapture. Paul never even mentions a tribulation.
            II Thess was not written to correct a believe that the Church would be in the tribulation, something that wouldn’t occur for centuries.
            And the book of Revelation DOES teach that the Church will be in Revelation, UNLESS you reject the plain words of Scripture and resort to “rightly dividing” the word.
            Revelation is an apocalyptic book, full of allusions to and quotations from the Old Testament. That does not mean it not written to, for and about the Church.

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Toddott,
              Apparently, you have not looked up the word μυστήριον. “Mystery” is a transliteration, not a translation. It always means secret. The Tribulation is the Day of the Lord, God’s wrath. The OT spoke of this day many times. It is God’s wrath. Read Psalm 2. That is its first mention. 1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9 state explicitly members of the Church will not experience the Tribulation. 2 Thessalonians 2 states this also. The Church is nowhere in Revelation. How anyone can say it is indicates missing the entire messsage. Revelation is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Israel) and the nations. The Church does not experience God’s wrath.

        • Tay says:

          I agree with you Matt. Pre-trib is not in the scripture. It has to be proof-texted in order to be there. Christ wouldn’t have spoken about the Anti-christ deceiving even the elect if the elect weren’t going to be here.

          • doctrine doctrine says:

            Tay,
            Since Jesus’ audience in Matthew 24 was Jews, not the Church, this passage has nothing to do with our current environment. The Scriptures teach the Rapture was a secret (1 Corinthians 15.51). It is a Pauline doctrine. Jesus did not reveal it in His earthly ministry but revealed it to Paul in His heavenly ministry. Paul explicitly taught the Church will not endure the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Paul also commanded believers not to fellowship with those who reject the Pre-tribulation rapture (2 Thessalonians 3.6, 14-15). While the Pre-Tribulation rapture is not a salvation issue, it is an obedience and fellowship issue.

  15. Dan says:

    Dear Brother,

    I have been studying dispensational teaching and the particular, unique apostleship given to Paul since the early 1980s. I own and have read probably every phamplet and book published by the Berean Bible Society and throughly accept most of this teaching. After accepting the “pre-tribulation” rapture timing for many years too many scriptures just did not allow this particular aspect of “Pauline doctrine” to survive in my understanding.

    I believe that a key issue to the timing of the rapture is the definitions of “tribulation” or the “great tribulation” and the “day of the Lord” and their purposes.

    It should be obvious that the “great tribulation” that Jesus described begins in the middle of “Daniels 70th week” when the “abomination of desolation”occurs. The tribulation is defined as the “time of Jacobs trouble”, it is not the equivalent of the “Day of the Lord” and does not last for the entire 7 years. It is a time of Satan’s wrath upon Israel that God allows for due to their final act of rebellion when they (again) reject the Lord and receive the “man of sin” as their saviour. I would say that this act is “the apostasy” that Paul describes and the act that brings about the revealing of the “Anti-Christ”. This “great tribulation” is God’s sovereign means to bring Israel to repentance and prepare them to receive Jesus at His appearing.

    The Day of the Lord is God’s wrath upon the nations for their attempt to destroy Israel and their refusal to receive the truth of the Gospel. This is the time that the Church will be protected from. This period does not begin until after the great tribulation has run its course. Therefore, the Church, which is His Body will be on the earth during the great tribulation. I would characterize the timing of the rapture as being “pre-wrath”. I do not have a specific timing for the rapture other than it occurs when God is ready to judge the earth so He removes His ambassadors from the earth prior to declaring war. It is also triggered by the need to God to intervene on behalf of Israel before Satan is completely sucessful in his plan.

    The one who is the “restrainer” is Michael the Archangel and Israels protector. He is identified in Daniel as the one who will “stand still” immediately prior to the revealing of the man of lawlessness. It is this removal of God’s protection from Israel that allows Satan to have his way for a time. This also correlates to Satan being cast down to the earth, having great fury because he knows that his time is short.

    Because Paul’s teaching has distinctive aspects does not mean that it cannot be also integrated into God’s broader plan and purposes. Just as in Acts where there was a transition from the Gospel of the Kingdom to the Gospel of Grace, there logically must be a transition in the other direction.

    I do not believe that any of these opinions I have expressed detracts from Paul’s doctrine and that they are consistent both with the Revelation of the Mystery and with Prophesy.

    Blessings in Him!!!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Dan,
      Thank you. Paul explicitly taught in 1 Thessalonians that believers of his gospel would not undergo wrath (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). This is the wrath taught by the prophets, the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians to correct the error that the Church would be in the Tribulation. The 70th week of Daniel is the time of “Jacob’s trouble” and involves Israel and the nations of the earth, not the Church (see 1 Corinthians 10.32). I find no Biblical evidence to support the view that the Church will be in the Tribulation. For example, the book of Revelation contains no evidence the Church is present during this period. Please see my study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians for more detail on this subject.

      • Dan says:

        Yes, absolutely, I do not believe the Church will fall under God’s wrath. This is the definitional issue I am trying to communicate. “The Tribulation” is NOT equal to “God’s wrath”. The Tribulation is a time of testing and when Israel suffers for its rebellion. It is a result of Satan’s wrath and his attempt to destroy God’s plan for the earth through Israel. The timing of God’s wrath is pretty clearly declared in Revelation and it occurs after many of the events described.

        Paul clearly indicates that the Church will see the revealing of the AntiChrist and this clearly occurs in the middle of Daniels 70th week and prior to the Day of the Lord. So the Church will, at least, be present to that point.

        To say that “the Church” is not mentioned in Revelation is an “argument from silence” and can not be conclusive.

        What you have identified as the “snatching away” in 2 Thes 2. is actually “the falling away” which can only refer to an apostasy either of the Church or Israel or both which allows the AntiChrist to rule.

        The comfort Paul offered was not because they were afraid that they had entered “the Tribulation”, but that they were experiencing “the Day of the Lord”, which are not the same thing. When you consider that they are not the same I believe the timing of the rapture will become clear.

        Mercy and Peace in His Holy Name!

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Dan,
          Thank you. This argument has merit only if it can be Scripturally demonstrated that the Tribulation is not God’s wrath. I do not think it can proved that the Church will see the Antichrist revealed. Please see my article 1 and 2 Thessalonians for details on this matter. I think I address all the issues raised in your comment.

          • Tay says:

            Tim McHyde’s book “escape all these things” explains this whole thing the best and most logical I’ve ever heard it explained. He shows the difference with one clear scripture Jesus uses Matthew 24:29

            • doctrine doctrine says:

              Tay,
              The problem with such explanations is they fail to address the fact that the Rapture was a secret taught by Paul alone and that Jesus addressed Jewish believers, not Christians.

              • toddott says:

                Since the Church didn’t begin until Pentecost, then the Gospels have nothing to do with the Church? Is that what you are saying?
                Sorry, but the message of the Kingdom IS the Gospel. The ONLY Gospel. The Gospel was first announced in the Garden, that the Seed of the Woman would crush the head of the serpent. The Gospel was then announced to Abraham, when He was told that the Promised Seed would come from His loins. “Scripture, foreseeing that the Gentiles would be justified by faith, announce the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, In your Seed all nations will be blessed.” The Gospel was then announced to Israel in the Wilderness. Speaking about Israel, the writer of Hebrews says, “For we also have had the Gospel proclaimed to us, just as THEY had, but the message did not profit them, because they did not believe.”
                The Law of Moses was a temporary message, meant to restrain sin, “UNTIL the Seed to whom the promise referred, should come.”
                Jesus came as that Seed, announcing the Gospel, and prior to His death, made a New Covenant with the remnant of believing Israel. The New Covenant is the Gospel of the Kingdom, the Gospel of Grace, the Gospel of Righteousness by Faith, the Gospel of God. Interestingly, Dispensationalist claim that Paul’s Gospel is not taught during the tribulation period, which means the “eternal gospel” which is preached by an angel must not be the Gospel of Grace. Maybe Paul had PreTrib Dispensationalists in mind when he stated that anyone, man or ANGEL, who preaches another Gospel, is accursed. Hmmm, if the Church is raptured before the tribulation, to whom is that angel preaching Paul’s Gospel?
                The Law and the prophets were until John. The Gospel came with Christ, the Seed, and the calling of His disciples, the FOUNDATION of the CHURCH.
                As for the rapture not being taught before Paul because it was a secret, you are mistaken. Your misunderstanding stems from you not understanding that the rapture is part of the RESURRECTION, and happens AFTER it. The resurrection is mentioned throughout the Bible, and is plainly referred to in the Gospel. Jesus calls it the “harvest” at the end of the age, among other things. The rapture is NOT a SECRET. It was a MYSTERY. It was a revelation regarding HOW those living would participate in the resurrection, since they would not yet be dead. “Someone will ask, how are the dead raised…Behold, I show you a MYSTERY. We shall not all sleep, but WE SHALL BE CHANGED…for the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality…”
                And it is not a rapture that happens in the twinkling of an eye. It is the change to mortality. “…we will all be CHANGED – in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye…”
                Another example of wresting scripture out of context and twisting its meaning.

                • doctrine doctrine says:

                  Toddott,
                  The Church did not begin with Pentecost. It began with Paul. See my article, Paul: Chief of Sinners? The gospel of the kingdom was to Israel. Jesus did not have a ministry to Jews nor did Peter (Galatians 2.7-9). Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles (Romans 11.13). Paul’s gospel that Christ died for our sins and rose from the dead and by believing it one is saved (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) was unknown until the risen Lord revealed it to Paul. Peter and the Twelve did not proclaim it until after Acts 15, see the article, The Great Hinge.

  16. matt c says:

    Actually you yourself would agree that the vast majority of texts aside from the Paulinian ones are post tribulational. There will be a post trib rapture of the saints. The burden of proof is for pre tribbers to prove why there will be one before the tribulation. By the way, I don’t want to go through it. I would prefer to believe exactly as you do but my conscience would then accuse me. The arguments for imminence and God’s wrath are weak in my opinion. There simply is not one Scripture that emphatically says that Christ will return before his return to the earth after the tribulation. That in itself is a mystery. BTW, I apologize if I seem rude in my writing. I am probably way too passionate about this subject since it has caused me to resign as Pastor of a Baptist church because of it. I do respect your opinion, and do enjoy reading the articles on your site. May Christ’s love overpower our pride and prejudice.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Matt,
      The main point is that we do have Paul. If we didn’t I would agree with you. No one taught the Rapture before Paul. Paul declared it was a “secret” (1 Corinthians 15.51-52). Paul taught the Pre-Tribulational Rapture in 1 Thessalonians (the main doctrinal thrust of the letter) and followed it with 2 Thessalonians to correct the error that believers would experience the Tribulation. I have yet to find anyone who can sustain an argument using Pauline texts to show believers will go through the Tribulation. No need to apologize. I have a thick skin. Beyond this I understand your passion as a fellow-believer.

      • matt c says:

        I do agree that if a pre trib rapture is correct, Paul was the only one who taught it. And you would have to be firmly Paulinian in a your dispensational viewpoint if you believed it. Thanks for your response.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Matt,
          Thanks. If words mean anything, Paul was the only one who taught the Rapture. Paul’s language, “ἰδού, μυστήριον ὑμῖν λέγω” can mean but one thing. The Rapture was a secret before Paul. A cannot be non-A. We also have no Biblical evidence anyone taught it but Paul. It is not found in the writings of any other apostle.

  17. nigel says:

    You say “The Rapture is the resurrection of the Church, the body of Christ”
    No. The word rapture is not in the original text however the word “rapture” comes from the Latin word rapturo, which is a translation of the Greek verb “caught up” that’s found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. G726 ἁρπάζω harpazo (har-pad’-zo) v. So it’s reasonable for one to accept the word rapture to mean the same as caught up or the catching up.

    Also in connection with catching up (rature) we find the words parousia meaning, His coming in connection with apokalupsis, or revelation, (1 Cor 1:7, 2Tim. 4:1-8, Heb 9:28, Titus 2:13-15) Harpadzo meaning “caught up” (1 Thess 4:17)
    Episunagoge meaning our gathering together ( Matt 24:29-31, 2Thess2:1, Heb 10:25)
    And the word epiphaneia meaning appearing (1Tim 6:14; 2Tim 1:10; 2Tim 4:1; 2Tim 4:8; Titus 2:13) Also used in connection with brightness, as in 2Thess 2:8.

    2thess2:1 tells us that there is one coming but 2 events happen at that coming.

    In John 11:24 we see the word resurrection used G386 ἀνάστασις anastasis (an-as’-tas-is) n.1. a standing up again2. (literally) a resurrection from death
    1Cor 15:20-23 says “But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”

    We can see by the evidence of scripture that although these event happen together at the coming of the Lord, they are in fact two differing things.

    Yours

    Nigel

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Nigel,
      The event Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15.51-53 is the same event he described in 1 Thessalonians 4.13-17. The Church, the body of Christ, both the dead and the living, will receive resurrection bodies at Christ’s coming. At the Rapture the Church is resurrected.

  18. Joe says:

    Dear Doctrine,

    Please elaborate on what you think happens between the Rapture and the beginning of the 7 year tribulation. …ex. Why it may take as many as 30 years? What would transpire during those years? Obviously there is a reason some believe such a gap is possible. …How would the unbelievers left behind not realize what had happened and become believers?…but would they be Grace believers or Kingdom believers? Wouldn’t the HS be taken with the Church? How would this fit with Daniel’s 490 years. thank you, Joe

  19. Joe says:

    Yes, thank you.

    That is something I have never seen before.

    Would the period between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation be considered part of the ‘times of the gentiles’? Certainly not the Church age. But there are only 7 years left in Daniel’s 70 Weeks. Where am I going wrong here?

    Thank you, Joe

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      The Messiah was “cut off” after 69 weeks but the clock contiued for Israel from 30 to 70 A.D. The OT did not account for an interruption of 2,000 years for the Church Age. I would say any time between the Rapture and the advent of the Antichrist would be on Israel’s clock.

  20. Cora says:

    In the light of the Rapture how would you interpret or link Luke 21:36?
    Thanks.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Cora,
      1) Jesus spoke these words to Jews, not the Church, whereas Paul wrote to the Church, the body of Christ. 2) The subject Jesus spoke of was the Tribulation. 3) Jesus’ warning was cautionary about being aware of the times, most especially the deceit of the Antichrist. This warning fits with Jesus’ comments of Matthew 24, especially Matthew 24.24 and his words to the seven assemblies in Revelation 2-3 about “overcoming.”

  21. Cora says:

    Thanks for your answer Don, but how will it be possible for the Jews to escape the Tribulation?
    Thanks.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Cora,
      Survival in the tribulation will be nearly impossible (Matthew 24.22). According to Zechariah 13.8-9 some Jews will survive.

      • Cora says:

        With respect but Luke 21:36 speak of “escape” and not “survive”. In other words it will be possible for the people Jesus addresses to escape all these things.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Cora,
          The word “escape” is ἐκφεύγω which means to “escape by flight,” “to flee” and refers to what Jesus said in Luke 21.21. The mountains will provide a safe haven where the Jews will be able to survive.

  22. Joe says:

    Just a couple of general questions:
    The Church is taken at the Rapture. Most of the details of the Rapture and tribulation and all the things that occur during those 7 years are in the New Testament (Matthew 24 and 25 and the book of Revelation). What group of people will read the new testament after the Rapture? the Jews won’t…they don’t accept the NT. The church won’t….the Church won’t be here. Why all the details when few (who need it) will read it and even fewer will understand? Seems most of the preaching is done by the 144K.

    Will/can nonbelievers before the Rapture (but knew how to be saved) be saved after the Rapture?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      The 144,000 will certainly use the NT and point their audiences to it. I do not think we can be dogmatic that unbelievers who have reject the gospel of grace cannot be saved in the Tribulation. Some teach this is what 2 Thessalonians 2.10-12 means but I think it is more general: all who believe the lie (you can be God) and worship the Beast will perish.

      • Joe says:

        Interesting that 144000 Jewish men will use the New Testament….Will the Holy Spirit work the same during the Trib. as in the Old Testament…(rarely, coming and going as needed)….not indwelling believers?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Joe,
          The 144,000 will preach the gospel of the kingdom (Matthew 24.14). Since Pentecost, the Holy Spirit indwells all believers.

  23. Joe says:

    Doesn’t the Tribulation default back to the law? ….temple worship etc. Did the HS permanently indwell believers in the OT?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      The Jews will be under the Law but since Pentecost the Holy Spirit indwells all believers. Before Pentecost, in the OT He did not (cf. Psalm 51.11).

  24. jim says:

    Don,

    It is a true blessing that God is using you with this website and Les Feldick with his ministry. Dispensational biblical teaching today is becoming more and more rare to find as well as in the church today.
    I do have a question about the rapture. Les Feldick has said that when the rapture happens it may go to a extent not noticed because true believers are becoming more and more of a minority in today’s world which I agree. The question I have is I believe children will be raptured and that will certainly create, it would seem, quite a event worldwide especially children from unbelievers being raptured.
    Yours thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Jim,
      Thank you for your kind words. It’s hard to know what impact the event will have or what explanations will be offered. We are now witnessing increasing manipulation of the media and the media being accomplices of the powers that be. We also do not know how long it will be before the Beast is revealed following the Rapture. I deal with this question in the article When Will the Lord Return?

      • Chuck says:

        Hi Don,

        First of all…excellent article and hats off to you for fielding the many questions from the skeptics, I know first hand how tiring it can be to stand firm on Pauline doctrine.

        About the rapture event, and these are just my own thoughts on the matter, but consider this. At times, when God spoke, take Mt Sinai for example, the earth shook, there was thunder and such. What do you think might happen to the planet if God gave a “shout”?!!

        Also, when Jesus gave up the ghost, the tombs of many were opened. Will the grave sites of “the dead in Christ” be opened up at the rapture as well? If so, what would that do to the landscape? Then, will countless billions of persons, all of them having superhuman bodies simply pass through objects, or will the objects and structures standing in between us and our destiny be destroyed as we ascend into the heavens? The house we live in, the car we drive and even if we are in the basement of a skyscraper…one way or another, were are going through it.

        I can’t help but wonder what utter devastation a scenario such as this might leave behind in it’s wake. If the rapture is simply viewed to be a global cataclysmic event, there would be no reason to wonder where all the Christians went. They would be viewed as casualties of the event and non Christian nations would experience very little of this effect.

        Could the rise of the 10 nations be the rebuilding of a global society after the rapture? Is the reason why the United States, the largest Christian nation in history is not mentioned in bible prophesy because of all the Christians who live here are gone and those who died before us came out of their graves and together we wrecked the place when we left?

        I realize this is all speculation, but I do believe in a pre-trib rapture for all the reasons you stated in your article and subsequent post responses.

        Again…great job!

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Chuck,
          Thank you. We have no Biblical indicators of global calamity attending the Rapture. It seems believers will just disappear. I take it that resurrected believers will have no impact on physical structures as Jesus in His resurrected body passed through walls without damaging them. I doubt the Rapture will have a significant impact on society. I don’t think there are that many Christians alive (think of Elijah–7,000 out of 7 million). Also, it will be explained away or suppressed by the mass media. We see this daily.

  25. KJ says:

    At another site, they state Romans 11:25 (summarization)
    That the Rapture is not Date specific but number specific; meaning there is a set number of people (known only by God) that make of the Body of Christ and once that number has been reached the Rapture will occur.
    Have you heard of this theory before? Do you think it is scripturally sound?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      KJ,
      Paul used the word πλήρωμα to indicate completeness. When the Church, the body of Christ is complete, He will remove it. At some point some believer will complete it. So yes, I think this is sound.

      • becky says:

        Hi Don, I never thought about it until now, but i dont see where it says the rapture will occur after the fullness of the Gentiles. Would Eph 1:10 cover this?

  26. vic says:

    surely the old testament saints will raise with the church
    they with out us cannot be made perfect (Hebrews) Whose they old testament believers like Abraham Sarah,Noah Enoch Abel etc.
    those who sleep in Christ includes old testament saints who by faith look forward to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus
    The Church and the Patriarchs will receive they rewards at the same time.
    agreeds .
    Rev 20 writes of tribulation saints not old testament saints

  27. becky says:

    Hi Don,
    I was reading John 14 and verse 4 reminded me of I Thess 4:17. It was an immediate and clear connection that I dont believe i have made before. Obviously, they didn’t have a clue what He was speaking of, but this is not a “kingdom on earth” statement. Your thoughts…..

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Becky,
      The Lord’s words in John 14 cannot refer to the Rapture because Paul declared the Rapture was a secret (1 Corinthians 15.51). We can’t have something revealed and unrevealed. Israel’s hope was earthly. They looked for the establishment of the kingdom of God on earth (Matthew 6.10; Matthew 19.28). Jesus had the regathering of Israel in mind (Matthew 24.27,31), not the Rapture. He told them He was going to prepare a place for them and return (to earth) and receive them (John 14.3) and rule on the earth (Isaiah 9.6-7). Jewish believers will reign with Him kings and priests (Exodus 19.5-6; Revelation 5.10).

      • Becky says:

        One more question. What is it that He is going to prepare?

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Becky,
          One can only assume that the Lord preparation of a place was related to their destiny to rule the 12 tribes (Matthew 19.28).

          • Rob Klein says:

            Don,

            My comment is in response to Becky’s question – “What is it that He is going to prepare?” (I go to prepare a place for you…). Christ would be going to prepare the New Jerusalem, as detailed in Rev. 21:1-2, 10-27, that would eventually be placed on the New Earth, populated with/by Israel. I agree with you that the Church – the Body of Christ is not in view here in John 14.

            • Becky says:

              Thanks, Rob. After I received Don’s answer, I studied out further on my own and found exactly what you share. Makes sense. Thanks again.

  28. terri says:

    The tribulation will start when the Antichrist &False Prophet create the 7 yr peace covenant between Israel & the Palestinians, with Jerusalem not decided on but temporarily shared. The first 42 months (3 1/2 yrs) Israel will have a false peace while the Antichrist establishes his one world government & one world religion. Christians &Jews will be beheaded & martyred much like now but to an even greater extent. When the Antichrist enters the rebuilt temple at the 3 1/2 yr midpoint & claims he is God, the Lords “WRATH” will begin! But first the earth will be harvested (raptured)of all believers that meet the King of Kings in the clouds because we believers are not meant for God’s wrath. Satan thru the Antichrist &False Prophet will persecute & kill as many of Gods followers as possible, including the 2 old testament witnesses that will rise again after laying in the streets of Jerusalem for 3 1/2 days & will be taken up to heaven in their spiritual bodies. I think people confuse the tribulation of the Antichrist with Gods “wrath” which we are not meant for. However, it’s entirely 2 separate entities. The bible is clear that we will see the Antichrist “for he must first be revealed,” this man of lawlessness. I have no desire to see him or his sidekick. It would be wonderful to escape into heaven on the day of the signing of the peace treaty, but that’s not what the Bible states. Many will be persecuted & under the heavenly altar they will ask how much longer before retribution & justice is served. Our loving God doesn’t want to lose any of his children to Satan. God said that when the earth was ripe for harvesting we would rise in the air in our spiritual bodies to meet Jesus in the clouds. And then His WRATH against the evildoers will begin. With a breath, the sea of all the nations armies surrounding His Jerusalem & His chosen people will die. Those that are still alive & have become Christians will be transfigured into their spiritual young & healthy bodies and will reign with Jesus for a thousand yrs. Satan & his minions will be locked up in Hell where they belong. So there you have it. Altho the 7 yr agreement hasnt been signed yet we clearly are in the Tribulation. Just ask the 21 Coptic Christians that recently were beheaded or the people of Napal dead or clinging to life after the major earthquake. If you haven’t surrendered your heart to Jesus for dying on the cross for your sins & being resurrected on the third day I strongly advise you to do so. The way things are happening in this world you don’t want to lose your only chance for heaven. Eternity is a long time to spend in Hell. It must be a horrendous place as Jesus warned against it throughout the Bible. All you have to do is sincerely thank Jesus, out loud , for dying on the cross as a sacrifice so all your sins would be forgiven. Past, present & future. Wow, if He is willing to die for us what do we have to lose by surrendering our hearts to him for a few minutes? He is standing at your door waiting. Open it, talk to Him, & experience peace like never before.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Terri,
      The Scriptures reveal the Church, the body of Christ, will be gone before the 7 year period begins. That is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30.7). The 7 years are part of Israel’s timetable, not the Church’s. The tribulation lasts 7 years and Paul wrote we are not appointed to wrath (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). The Scriptures state the Rapture occurs before the advent of the Antichrist. No member of the body of Christ will be present during any part of the Tribulation. Please see my article, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, especially the section, “Examination of Ἀποστασία.”

  29. becky says:

    Hi Don, I really appreciate what you said under the “last trumpet” notation that,
    ‘The trumpets in Revelation signal God’s judgments upon the earth. No hint of judgment exists in Paul’s passage.’ This is an important statement for me.
    When Paul made the statement, “the last trump,” he didn’t explain what that meant. I know people have related this to something from the OT, but I’m just wondering if “last trump” meant something different to the Corinthians. Like something that they were familiar with before they were saved. thanks…..

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Becky,
      We just don’t have enough information to know what this trumpet is. Whatever it is, it signals the completion of the Church, the body of Christ.

      • becky says:

        Don, do you ever read the books that are outside of the bible, i.e., the book of Enoch, etc? I haven’t but wondering if the rapture is addressed in any of them. thanks so much.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Becky,
          I have read some of Enoch as I was doing a study on Genesis 6. The rapture was a secret (1 Corinthians 15.51). No one knew of it before Paul.

  30. Joe American says:

    Dear Doctrine,
    With all due respect and as much meekness as I can muster, you are in error.
    While your spiritual insight into the truth of the Rapture is correct, it’s source seems to be from the Satanic corrupted Bible versions.
    The NASB, NKJB, ESV, NIV!, Amplified, the Message, and all the rest of “modern bibles” from the Luciferians Westcott and Hort, have added to , taken away and twisted the Word of God.
    Rev 22:18-19
    18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:
    19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”This is Very Serious to God…”
    Doing this is Extremely important to our Adversary the Devil.In his first appearance in the Bible, Gen 3:1, his AGENDA for the Word……………..”yea hath God said?”
    Doubt toward the Truth-Word.
    Math 4:
    It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
    Notice, “Every Word”.
    God has given the whole world in English…His Word…by the Holy Spirit.God has Kept His Word…God has Preserved His Word.Not the LIE of “original manuscripts”. God is fully capable of preserving His Word without needing the “original manuscripts” Non-Sense…..
    The Adversary says, “And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.”
    Notice 2 things, the Devil Always try’s to instill Doubt in the truth-the Word-Always.He also Left out a verse, “to keep thee in all thy ways.”Psalm 91:11
    I say all this to show by the Spirit of Truth that your use of the Day of the Lord in 2 Thess 2:2 is in error.The Word of God-KJB AV 1611, says the Day of Christ.
    The Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ are 2 completely different things.The day of Christ is the Blessed Hope is the Catching away is the Rapture.
    The Day of the Lord is as a thief in the night and will come with the Wrath of God.
    It is Very important to the Adversary to confuse the body of Christ about the Rapture and the Word of God.
    Seek the Holy Spirit from a humble,meek and contrite heart to “test” my words and the truth..
    Throw away those Satanic “modern bibles”. Their true author is the Devil.
    Be blessed in Jesus mighty name!:)

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      Only the autographs were God-breathed. The KJV is a very fine translation but it is a translation. It was not God-breathed. It contains some errors. For example, 2 Thessalonians 2.2 should read, “day of the Lord.” Romans 8.1 is another example. It should read, “Therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus.” The rest of the verse in the KJV, “who walk not after the flesh” was pulled from verse 4 and added by a scribe to verse one. We have great accuracy in the translations but none are perfect. Transmission and copying errors occurred throughout the years. Recognition of this is part of being a diligent student of the Scriptures.

      • Tommy says:

        Doc.
        I agree with Joe.I believe God hovered over his word through out the seven translations from Hebrew, to Aramaic, Greek, Syriac, Latin, German and finally English. The KJV has seven editions not revisions, 1611,1613,1617,1629,1638,1743 and 1769 the one we use today, perfect and complete.Some of us still like to use the one that has stood the test of time, the only one translated from the antioch manuscripts not the corrupt ones from Egypt that Westcott and Hort used. I believe Acts ch.6;5,8,9,and 10 and ch.18; 24-26 defend the antioch text over the sinaticus and vaticanus which all other versions are taken from today.Opponents of the King James Bible have called Bible believers, “cultists,” “Ruckmanites” and a few
        other choice names. What we are actually witnessing is the “No Perfect Bible Controversy.”
        Why do I say this?
        If tomorrow all of the King James Bible advocates stood up and said, “We are changing our ways.
        We no longer believe the King James Bible is perfect. In fact, we agree 100% with our former opponents
        that the King James Bible is riddled with errors.” there would be a massive “Amen!”
        But! then, right after we made that statement we said, “The reason we no longer believe the King
        James Bible is the perfect word of God is because we now believe the New International Version is the
        perfect word of God.”
        As soon as our anti-King James opponents heard that, they would rend their cloths, cast dust in the
        air and cry, “They’re still crazy!” Overnight all the anti-King James Bible critics would become anti-New
        International Version critics.
        Why would this happen? Because their opposition isn’t to the concept that the King James Bible is
        the perfect word of God. Their opposition is actually to the concept that there is a perfect Bible anywhere
        on the planet. They don’t simply hate the King James Bible, that’s not it at all. What they hate is the thought
        that there is a perfect Bible anywhere, no matter which version it might be.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Tommy,
          The doctrine of inspiration is that only the autographs were God-breathed. God has providentially preserved enough copies to allow us to assemble an accurate Bible. Small points may be argued and disagreed with but none of these affect doctrine. When there are textual variants and disagreements they can be resolved by comparing Scripture with Scripture. God has provided enough internal check or witnesses to ensure a reliable Bible.

      • Thomas Daniells says:

        Hadn’t commented in awhile Doc ,but your wrong. We believe in a God who is able to preserve his word,every jot and tittle but that is beside the point.You say the falling away is the rapture,so lets put the meaning of apostasy as “Rapture” into the above verses, and tell me if it makes sense, for ease of reading lets change the following:
        Gathering unto Him – Rapture
        Day of Christ – Rapture
        Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, AND THE RAPTURE
        That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the RAPTURE HAS OCCURRED
        Let no man deceive you by any means for THE RAPTURE SHALL not come , except there come a RAPTURE first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition
        How can the rapture not come, until the rapture comes first….
        its nonsense………….apostasy cannot mean Rapture.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Thomas,
          Not so fast. The text reads, Now we beseech you brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and [even] our gathering together with Him, that you be not soon shaken in mind or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of the Lord is at hand [present]. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the Tribulation, Day of the Lord] shall not come, except the Rapture come first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition. Paul wrote 2 Thessalonians for one primary purpose: to correct the false teaching that the Thessalonians’ persecution was the Day of the Lord, the Tribulation. Paul had taught them they would not experience that day (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). See my study on 1 and 2 Thessalonians for an analysis of ἀποστασία.

  31. Vanessa says:

    Hi Don,
    I hope I will explain myself properly in order to put forward this question. The Rapture happens. We do not have any biblical verses to support a Gap between the Rapture and the Tribulation. But. The Holy Spirit of God is the only Person with sufficient (supernatural) power to do this restraining. Through Christians, He works in society to hold back the swelling tide of lawless. At some point, though, He will be removed (Restrainer) from the earth, allowing rampant sin to run wild. This can only happen when the Church—all true believers in Jesus Christ—is removed. This then does not allow for a Gap as the word says2 Th 2:3 let no man beguile you in any wise: for it will not be,except the falling away come first, (RAPTURE) and the man of sin be revealed,(HOW LONG A PERIOD WILL THIS BE I WONDER AFTER THE RAPTURE) the son of perdition, 4 he that opposeth and exalteth himself against all that is called God or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, setting himself forth as God. 5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?Then if there is a gap I wonder what dispensation will that be. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vanessa,
      Impossible to know. We know there was a transitional time in Acts, particularly from Paul’s conversion, or more precisely from his receiving the gospel of the grace of God and other secrets, until the Council of Jerusalem. Theoretically, it was possible for Israel to repent until the destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem. But the die had been cast at the stoning of Stephen–it wasn’t going to happen. We are given no information about how long a period will exist between the Rapture and the ascent of the Antichrist. We do not know how soon there will be believers again. It is an astonishing thought that for a period of time, no believers will exist on earth. The churches will have lots of people but no believers.

  32. Vanessa says:

    Wow that thought is really scary in many ways to think that there wont be any believers on earth for that time. Thank you for the reply.

  33. Vanessa says:

    Hi Don, Paul was saved under the Kingdom Gospel so does this mean he wont be raptured with the Body. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vanessa,
      Yes, Paul was saved under the kingdom gospel but he will be raptured. That gospel was all that was known but Paul laid the foundation for the Church, the body of Christ (1 Timothy 1.15-16; 1 Corinthians 3.10-11). Also, Paul stated he looked forward to it (Philippians 3.10-11) and included himself “we” in his dissertation to the Thessalonians (1 Thessalonians 5.6-9).

  34. Elaine says:

    Hi Don,
    Sorry if you have already answered this question somewhere else on your site but I was wondering if you had any thoughts about the connection of the Last Trumpet on the Jewish Feast of Trumpets and the Last Trump that Paul was referring to at the time of the translation of the body of Christ? Do you think it is the same trumpet? I very much respect your viewpoint and opinion.
    Thank you for your article – brilliant as always!
    Elaine

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Elaine,
      No relation. Israel and the Church are separate programs. God removes the Church so He can renew His program with Israel. The trumpet that announces the Lord’s return for His Church relates to the Church. The Jewish Feast of Trumpets, the trumpets of Revelation, relate to Israel. Unless we keep these two programs separate we run into all kinds of conflicts and contradictions.

      • Elaine says:

        Hi Don,
        Yes, I agree that the church and Israel are two separate programs, I came to this conclusion after I had read all your articles which makes this abundantly clear. There has been a lot of speculation about the rapture occurring in the last few days as it has been the Feast of Trumpets and I was interested to hear your view.
        Very kind of you to respond – much appreciated, thank you.
        Elaine

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Elaine,
          Thank you. If people would simply believe that when Paul writes that something was a secret that it was a secret and keep the programs separate about 95% of the problems would disappear. The reason we have all the contrary views, denominations, churches, etc. is for this simple reason.

  35. Vanessa says:

    Hello Don, I am busy reading the Parable of the fig tree again. In luke 21 verse 29 it says and all the other trees. Is this in reference to Israel being formed as a nation as well as all the other countries. The parable also says this generation shall not pass away until all these things happen. What generation is this? The ones who saw Israel being formed or the ones that will see wars and rumours of wars. Thank you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vanessa,
      Had Israel repented, “this generation” would have referred to the present generation. Since they wouldn’t it refers to a future generation who will. See the article, How “Near” is the Day of the Lord.

  36. Greg Wilson says:

    Excellent overview Don: I believe the second order of the resurrection/rapture will be concluded on the Feast of Pentecost (Feast of Conclusion) the second harvest feast, in a future year. We have been given a deposit against the final payment, the deposit of the Holy Spirit, against the concluding payment, the redemption of the body at the resurrection/rapture of the dead and living in Christ. That which began on Pentecost will be completed on Pentecost at the closing of the Age of the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. As the Age of Law/Instruction began on Passover in Egypt, it too ended on Passover with the slaying of the Lamb of God for the remission of sins, once for all.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Greg,
      Thank you. I don’t quite follow your logic since the resurrection has nothing to do with the giving of the Holy Spirit. Pentecost occurred 50 days after the Lord’s resurrection (on the Feast of First Fruits).

  37. Kathy says:

    Hi Don,
    Thank you again for all the great work on this site. I noticed several people were saying mid or post trib. I also had struggled with these things but one day I prayed for understanding and I found in 1Thessalonians Ch. 5:2-3 and as it states,
    Since the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night, how could one not be expecting it during the mid or post? When the world is going thru awful things,
    It has to be pre-tribe. I agree with Don

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kathy,
      The mid/post-tribulation position has no Scriptural support. Paul explicitly stated the Church is not appointed to wrath, i.e., the Tribulation which last 7 years (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9 cf. Romans 5.9).

  38. Kathy says:

    Don, I agree totally with pre-trib but my sister is scared and believes in pre-wrath. Do you know of any scriptures that I can show her that the 7 years are wrath and not just the last 31/2. I have tried to explain to her about Daniels 70th week, also the difference between church and Israel but nothing is working. Do you know of any verses that show the 70th week of Daniel as wrath? God Bless

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Kathy,
      Well, if you’re scared, I say, you definitely want to be pre-trib! I think it is nearly impossible to convince someone of this truth if they cannot see the 70 weeks relate to Israel. The Bible states this is the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30.7). Jesus addressed Jews in Matthew 24, not Gentiles, not the Church. Daniel was told, “Seventy weeks have been decreed for your people and your holy city” (Daniel 9.24). “Your people” referred to Jews. The context of all these verses regards Israel. The Church did not exist in Daniel’s day, nor in Jesus’ day. Why would Jesus give His disciples prophesy about the Church when they knew nothing of it? This would have only confused them more. If such evidence is insufficient, one can only pray. If your sister wants the truth, it will be given to her.

  39. Curt says:

    We know according to Matthews gospel account, that (after) Jesus rose from the dead the third day, we have the bodies of many saints that also came out of their graves and appeared to many in the holy city.

    My questions are these: What happened to these saints after they appeared to those in the holy city? And what kind of bodies do you think they had? Did they have bodies like resurrected Lazarus or bodies like resurrected Jesus? The Bible doesn’t mention anything of them ascending to Heaven. It seems as if they remained on earth, because they only appeared to others in the holy city. What is your take on this scriptural account?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Curt,
      They had resurrection bodies and presumably went to heaven (Hebrews 9.27). They were part of the firstfruits of resurrection (1 Corinthians 15.20) and a preview of the OT saints who will be resurrected after the Tribulation (Daniel 12.9-13).

  40. Tommy says:

    Doc
    Strongs defines the falling away as , defection or apostasy from something. How in the world do you come up with departure to heaven from these two words when Paul is clearly talking about the faith?

  41. Donna Crosby says:

    Thank you so much for your teaching. My mind has been opened to understanding. I do have a question, however. Will Messianic Jews who believe Christ as their King go also in the rature? Are they also considered a part of the body of Christ? It is not clear to me if Jewish believers in Christ as Messiah also adhere to Paul’s gospel of grace by faith. Do they understand His blood as their redeption and forgiveness through His blood as the means of having been cleansed from sin? I can see how messianic Jewish believers may be ignorant of the blood of the Lamb consisting of their sin atonement. Is this the case?

    Thank you,

    Donna

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Donna,
      Thank you. Anyone who believes Paul’s gospel (1 Corinthians 15.1-4) is a member of the Church, the body of Christ, and will participate in the Rapture. Apart from Paul’s gospel there is no salvation in this age.

  42. KJ says:

    This might sound like a weird question, but a saw a movie awhile back about the rapture and how they spun it was a bit different than the traditional outlook.

    In some movies about the rapture (I know it is just movies) they depict the body of Christ – disappearing with maybe leaving their clothes, glasses, hearing aids …. All behind….

    The movie I recently saw, depicts the rapture as removing the spirit of the body of Christ; with the physical bodies remaining as “dead”.

    I know this is all hypothetical about the “how it (rapture) will occur” – but do you have an educated guess which scenario would most likely occur?

    1) Physical Bodies Disappear (leaving Clothes, jewelry)
    2) Physical bodies being left (as dead)
    3) Neither scenario

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      KJ,
      Certainly not 2. Living, mortal bodies will be transformed (1 Corinthians 15.51-52). Whether clothing will be left is unknown. Seems a bit tacky.

  43. Ever faithful to Christ says:

    I believe that we, Christ’s bride, will not have to undergo the sufferings of the tribulation. We are His believers, we have already accepted Him, and given our lives to Him. We have a loving, and merciful God. We are not the ones who need cleansing. We will be raptured before the tribulation, and will go with Him to Heaven, and will then come back with Him after the Tribulation, for the thousand year reign of Christ on earth. And before He raptures us, His beloved, God will offer the wicked, and those who rebel against, him, the chance to repent, and accept Him, by means of the chastisement of the three days of darkness. During this chastisement, before the rapture, God will keep us, His people, safe. He has promised us this. At a certain point, after this, God will rapture, us, and spare His believers from the tribulation. God is merciful! Come quickly Lord Jesus!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ever faithful to Christ,
      Thank you. Where do you get the three days of darkness and chastisement before the Rapture? How do you know we will reign with Christ on earth? The Church is the Body of Christ, not the Bride. Please see my article, The Bride of Christ.

    • joseph kuzara says:

      wrong, you will if still alive during the time of the two witnesses will go through more suffering, just like we are going through suffering now just read the books of peter that we are to endure suffering not shy away from it.the tribulation period of Daniel and Revelations is not Gods Wrath, go to the Greek to see that tribulation and Gods wrath are two consitently diffetent words. Gods Wrath is after the Great Tribulation when the sign of Jesus appears. Jesus says immediately after the tribulation of those days (which is the suffering you want to avoid by a false rapture) is when Jesus will return without sin towards the Elect of both Jew and Gentile but wrath for those who loved not the truth. and only after Jesus ressurrects the dead in Christ at the Last Day will then the rapture of both those whom resurrected and those whom were alive to see Jesus in the clouds be caught up together to the sky to then prepare to enter the Millinial Kingdom.

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Joseph,
        The rapture was a secret until Paul (1 Corinthians 15.51). Jesus did not reveal it in His earthly ministry and Peter did not write about it. It was a Pauline doctrine. Paul wrote the Thessalonians they would not suffer in the Tribulation (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). He addressed this matter again in 2 Thessalonians 2 because false teachers were telling the Thessalonian believers they were in the Tribulation. The Tribulation concerns Israel and Gentiles, not the Church. Trust the Scriptures.

  44. Ever faithful to Christ says:

    Dear Doctrine, Not every answer can be explained to you by another human being- when it comes to spiritual things- or things of faith. For if I go on to explain why I believe these things, it will most likely result in others trying to disprove or contest what I have stated. I don’t believe that this is what God wants. God doesn’t want us Christians arguing in these end times, He wants us united in the body of Christ. For many years the Lord has been showing me that we are indeed in the end times. I strongly believe this. If the things I say are true, then the Lord Himself will show you- just as He showed me. Seek the Lord to show you the truth. He is the one who has the truth, and all of the answers. God bless you, as you do so. Ever faithful to Christ

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ever faithful to Christ,
      All doctrine must be based upon Scripture. Apart from this, teachings are unreliable, houses on sand.

  45. mark says:

    Don, thank you for the article and the time it must have taken to write it! I have a question and a comment. Who are the nations mentioned in the beginning of the article with Israel, are they the same as mentioned in Zech 8.22, if not please explain the difference between the two. Now a quick comment…..prophecy is extremely important, it’s actually all we have to look forward to. However, comparatively speaking, we are given little insight on things to come with more questions than answers. We are given small “glimpses” of what heaven and eternity with our Lord and Saviour will be like, which again leaves us with more questions than answers. God in his in infinite wisdom has told us what He thinks we need to know about Creation, the Flood, Old Testament historical facts, Christ’s earthly ministry and his miracles. The person who reads, studies and earnestly seeks God can’t help but come up with many questions that our FINITE minds can’t answer (in Mat22.41-46 Christ even shut up the Pharisees, Rom 11.33 helps me a lot too). BUT…..the Apostle Paul, who wrote half the NT was used by God to make our salvation: the belief in Christ’s death burial and resurrection perfectly clear. THE GOSPEL (1cor15.1-4) is mentioned in one form or another in every one of Paul’s books (3 times in 1 verse in Gal 2.16!). There can be no misunderstanding in what God declares important above all else….His death, burial and resurrection, period! Again, the OT is very interesting and Prophecy gives us hope, but God’s plan for our salvation is found only in Romans through Philemon, I believe this is what God wants us to dwell on and talk to others about (2 Cor.5.18-21)….Thank you for your ministry.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Mark,
      The nations are those mentioned in the Scriptures and will also include modern nations. Basically, they are the whole Gentile world. Thanks for your comment. You are right. We only see a glimpse of God’s plan and glory.

  46. mark says:

    Don
    Do you give any kind of lectures, seminars, speaking engagements etc….?

  47. Ever faithful to Christ says:

    Dear Doctrine, I saw where you brought up St. Jerome, and how he used the word rapture, ( to support your belief in a pre trib rapture), and yet THIS is not from the scriptures. So how can you say that what I refer, to, is sinking my house on sinking sand? I believe that what the Lord has shown me, or has revealed to me, by His dear Holy Spirit is ALSO valid. The Lord said, Himself, in His holy scriptures, that in the end times He would provide dreams, and visions to His people. He wouldn’t have said that, if He didn’t know that at least SOME of those dreams and visions would be valid, and would come from God. The prophets of old delivered God’s word through prophetic word. We are God’s people in this age, too, and if God chooses to speak a prophetic word, or words, that come from Him, through one or more of His holy people, today, He can do that, too. God is the authority on these things, not yourself. Be careful that Satan does not trip you up. You do not know everything. It is God who knows EVERYTHING. You do not have all the answers. GOD has all of the answers. My last message, you did not even print, and this one you will most likely not print, because it appears that you want to be TOTALLY in control. But just a reminder, my dear brother in Christ, that God is the one who is TOTALLY in control. His blog, or website, is far bigger than yours. God bless you. Ever faithful to Christ.
    .

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Ever faithful to Christ,
      God said he would give visions and dreams to his people. To whom did He promise this? Not the Church. He made this promise to Jews. You seem to be under the impression your ideas are equal or superior to the Scriptures. That is my problem with your comment. God does not communicate through visions and dreams any longer. He communicates through His word. You write I want to be in control. No, the Scriptures are the control, not your dreams. One of the reasons for confusion in the Church is because too many people claim God had told them something and these things are contrary to the Word of God. This is not the Holy Spirit for He never goes against the Scriptures. The Scriptures are the test for truth. As for the Rapture the word “rapture” is unneeded to support the truth of it. Paul wrote about in several places and used the word ἁρπάζω “snatch away.” Stay with the Scriptures and you’ll be fine. Stay particularly with Paul for he is the apostle of the Gentiles, to us.

  48. Joe says:

    I admit I have not read the essay above and I appologize if the information is there.

    My question….Who are those in white linen in Chapter 19 of Revelation? There are two mentions…one at the wedding (maybe the Bride and maybe guests?) and then those at the return with Christ. I have always thought these were either angels or the Church.

    I ask because in Titus 2 vs 13 Paul says were are to be ‘looking’ for the Blessed Hope. This vs , to me, suggests those on earth are to be looking. (Rapture). If those in ‘white linen’ represent the Church then that must be the Second Coming.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      The wife is Israel. Believing Israel, saints, are attired in white. Revelation deals with Israel and gentile nations, not the Church.

  49. Joe says:

    Just to make sure……the ones on the horses WITH Christ are Jewish people saved outside of the Church age (gospel of the Kingdom believers–both before Paul and during the Tribulation)? and Church Age believers (Gospel of Grace) who were raptured earlier are somewhere (but not riding the horses)? Where are the Church age believers at this point (Rev. 19)?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joe,
      John wrote to believers of his day saved under the gospel of the kingdom and, looking forward, those who will be saved under the gospel of the kingdom after the Rapture (Matthew 24.14). His writings did not address Church, body of Christ, issues since the Church will not exist in the Tribulation. The Church will be in heaven with the Lord and will observe what is going on but is not addressed because it is outside of God’s prophetic program.

      • Dawn Sobczak says:

        Revelation tells us Christ comes back with a great army;
        Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. (Note fine linen)

        I tend to think that this army could very likely be these in Ezekiel 37:9, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live. 10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

        And I believe these are those resurrected of “The whole House of Israel”
        Ezekiel 37:11
        11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts. 12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

        This is how it seems to me.

  50. uzziel says:

    Sir, am just quite interested with your statement, “When the Body of Christ is complete…” Is this something to do with the replacement of the number of fallen angels that Revelation 12:4 mentioned “…third part of the stars of heaven?”

  51. uzziel says:

    Don, can you explain what will exactly happen to that “change” from corruptible to incorruptible body?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Uzziel,
      No. God can transform matter. Believers will metamorphose from mortal to immortal like worms to butterflies. Supernature is a higher plane of reality than nature. God has provided the natural world as a primer for the supernatural world.

      • uzziel says:

        I just throw this Q to you because of what 1 Corinthians 15:50 says. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. Therefore, during rapture we will leave this earthly and corruptible body and the unbelievers will take care of the dead bodies as they are going to notice it.

        But, Matt. 28:6; Mark 16:6; Luke 24:6 declares that the body of Jesus was not found when He was risen. This is also the truth that I am holding on that during the rapture there will be no evidence of our bodies like of Jesus.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Uzziel,
          There will not be dead bodies. God will transform our bodies. Even the graves will not have bodies. The caskets will be empty!

  52. uzziel says:

    Don,
    What will be the scenario in heaven after rapture for you?

  53. uzziel says:

    Don,
    If we can find no information on what`s gonna to us believers after rapture, then what are we gonna do during 7 years before Christ` return for Israel? And, where and when that giving and receiving of rewards takes place as what 1 Corinthians 3:14 declares? “If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.”

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Uzziel,
      I just don’t know–the Scriptures are silent as to our activities after the Rapture. But you make a good point about judgment of works in 1 Corinthians 3. That must happen after the Rapture and we will be assigned rewards and responsibilities. Paul wrote, “the day will declare it” which is certainly the Day of Christ. Just a point–the Scripture do not indicate the Tribulation will begin immediately following the Rapture. It may take place years later. See my article, When Will the Lord Return? for thoughts on this.

      • Grace Receiver says:

        Speaking of a gap of time between the rapture and the tribulation, it seems as if there may also be one between the 1000 years and the eternal state. Satan is released after 1000 years, but there’s really no specification of time after that. Any thoughts? (Or did I miss this topic in one of your articles?)

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Grace Receiver,
          That’s true. The Scriptures do not indicate how much time will elapse after the 1,000 years and before God creates the new heavens and new earth.

    • Vanessa says:

      Uzziel, I have enjoyed your questions as well as Dons answers. It aides me in studying further and each morning as I awake I open up on Dons site and read all the comments with a hot cup of coffee my beloved husbands makes for me. I read them to him and we have lengthy discussions. We too have talked about what happens to us over the 7 or more years after we are raptured. We fantasise what may be as the word does not tell us. I think we are in for a big surprise. Eyes not seen ears not heard what the Lord has in store for us. Take care.

      • doctrine doctrine says:

        Vanessa,
        What a great beginning to the day–speaking of the wonderful things of the Lord. Good job, Vernon! Grace and peace.

      • uzziel says:

        Vanessa,
        Thanks and I appreciate that “studying” u said. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” But 2 Peter 3:18 also says, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.”

        Keep runnin` the race. God Bless you.

  54. One of the clearest scriptures to me is found in Philippians ch 3 v 13 forgetting those things which are behind I press toward the mark of the high calling [the upward or out calling] of God in Christ Jesus. He then goes on to explain the result of that call v20-21 our citizenship is in heaven from whence wee look for the Saviour our Lord Jesus Christ who will change our vile [bodies of humiliation] bodies and fashion them like His body of glory”
    I do have a question regarding 1Thess 4 What is the difference between the statements
    “those that sleep in Jesus ” and the “dead in Christ”

  55. Joe says:

    Just a note to distinguish between the Rapture and the Second coming. .1 Cor. 15:51. “I show you a mystery”. When was the return of the Lord to the Mt of Olives ever a New Testament mystery?

  56. Becky says:

    I’ve believed in a Rapture story all my life, one version or another; either an apostasy or an “abduction” – I say abduction because that’s the word that comes to mind when I hear the word ‘Rapture’; so when I read your article today on The Rapture, it would seem that a lot hinges on the proper translation of the word “apostasia” . . . so I revisited 2Thes 2:3 and looked up the Greek number 646 for “apostasia” (as well as various related numbers) and learned the following: apostasia is defined as standing, revolt, rebellion, separation, divorce, apostasy, defection, insurrection, sedition, etc., but it is not defined as depart or departure – the Greek number 868 – from which 646 is derived based on HELPS Word-studies: 646 apostasía (from 868 /aphístēmi, “leave, depart,” which is derived from 575 /apó, “away from” and 2476 /histémi, “stand”) – properly, departure (implying desertion); apostasy – literally, “a leaving, from a previous standing.” It would makes sense if 2Thes 2:3 reflected the Greek number 868 but it reflects 646.

    I also checked the Vulgate and was surprised to find ‘apostasia’ was translated in Latin as “discessio” (not “rapiemur”). Discessio is defined as withdrawal or dispersal which sounds more like the ‘diaspora’ rather than a mysterious abduction.

    Also, 646 apostasia is translated as “forsake” in Acts 21:21 why is it translated as “departure” in 2 Thes 2:3? [Forsake means abandon (someone or something).
    synonyms: abandon, desert, leave, leave high and dry, turn one’s back on, cast aside, break (up) with; jilt, strand, leave stranded, leave in the lurch, throw over; informal walk out on, run out on, dump, ditch, renounce or give up (something valued or pleasant). renounce, relinquish, dispense with, disclaim, disown, disavow, discard, wash one’s hands of; give up, drop, jettison, do away with, ax; informal ditch, scrap, scrub, junk; formal forswear. ] These words are more synonymous with a scattering, than a gathering.

    It seems “apostasia” is being translated to fit preconceived ideas, one way or the other, depending on what one believes or is taught. I’m not convinced that ‘apostasia’ really describes the mystery event (Rapture) based on either the Greek or Latin translations but I am convinced that Jesus is coming and the corruptible will be raised incorruptible.

    Don, thank you for your devotion to the Holy Scriptures and for ministering to the body. May the Lord richly bless you.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Becky,
      See my article, mini-commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonanians. I deal with the word ἀποστασία in some detail. Grace and peace.

      • Becky says:

        Thanks Don,

        I read your “mini” commentary on 1 and 2 Thessalonians. I learned a lot but I’m a bit confused. The Strong’s number used for “apostasia” is 646 (meaning to forsake) and “departure” which is Strong’s number 868 and is defined as (the) departure from the faith, which doesn’t compare to harpazo Strong’s number 726, defined as ‘to seize’ by force (by force?); and although “apostasia” in Jerome’s Latin Vulgate (circa 400 A.D.) translated ἀποστασία with “discessio,” which is Armenian for “departure,” in Latin discessio means withdrawal, dispersal, separation, division so don’t understand how you reach your conclusion(s).

        Granted, these words may not align with Paul’s warning to not be deceived and that the Day of the Lord hadn’t happened yet, but then the signs provided (the Rapture and Son of Perdition revealed) wouldn’t necessarily have to align, would they?

        Also, were Gentiles aware of the Jews belief in a resurrection? If not, wouldn’t it have been a mystery to them?

        I guess I can see how it all might seem to fit but I’m still not wholly convinced that ‘apostasia and harpazo’ were originally used to describe “the Rapture” . . . I’m no scholar, it’s just an opinion I’ve formed after 40+ years of personal bible studies.

        In the meantime, I do believe in Jesus’ resurrection and that he is coming back for his Church and that this corruptible must be raised incorruptible and that the Church was not appointed to wrath.

        Blessings

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Becky,
          The primary way to determine the meaning of words is by context. When I did the study, I rethought the matter and came to the conclusion a strong case existed given the context and how ἀποστασία and its associated verb were used to mean departure, i.e., rapture. The primary problem Paul had to address was to correct the teaching that the tribulation of the Thessalonians was the Day of the Lord. So he had to tell them that was not possible for the Rapture would take place before that day (1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9). Some Gentiles knew about resurrection but probably not many. When Paul taught on Mars Hill, the philosophers did not seem aware of it. It was antithetical to their thinking. They may have believed in the immortality of the soul but immortality of the body was not a teaching of Greek philosophy.

  57. Faith says:

    Thank you Doctrine for these encouraging words and I thank God for the truth of His Word. I am among few who still believe in a rapture; many believers in Jesus are swayed by other teachings like post-trib, mid-trib, ect. and are very fearful and depressed. Sometimes this gets me down and I start to doubt my own beliefs in this regard, but reading Scripture and reading this article really helped me again to get back to what Paul said and solidify my hope. Paul talks about the church as being a mystery and the rapture is a mystery because it is something that the world cannot comprehend- it seems foolish to the world. Believing in the rapture frees the Christian to get along with the work of Christ and not be burdened with a heavy albatross, such as a Tribulation. It frees us from living in a world of fear and worry.

  58. Joshua says:

    Thank you Doc, for the elaboration in the article and the responses to various questions raised in the discourse. I am labouring with one question, when you say that the rapture was a secret only revealed to Paul and you discount Jesus Christ’s discussion of the same, I find some difficulty, especially that Jesus was addressing Jews in 24 especially verses 36-51, and the discussion of the parables of Matthew 25. Could you please shade some more light on the link between Jesus’ teachings and Paul’s revealed secret of 1 Corinthians 15:51? Do you mean to say that the teachings of Jesus apply mostly to the Jews?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Joshua,
      Jesus’ earthly ministry only involved Jews. Jesus came to fulfill the prophetic program (Romans 15.8) which began with the Abrahamic covenant (Genesis 12.1-3). He came to present Himself to the Jews as the Messiah. He had no ministry to Gentiles (couple of exceptions). The Abrahamic covenant began a new program in which all Gentile blessing was to come through Israel. The OT contains no prophecy or revelation of the Church (Jew and Gentile equal in Christ). The Lord’s return of which He spoke in Matthew 24 is part of the Day of the Lord, which primarily involves God’s judgment of earth. The Lord’s return for His church involves no wrath and was not revealed in the OT/Gospels. It was new. See my articles, The Day of Christ and Theology of the Old Testament. Pretty much all Pauline doctrine was new. For specifics, see my article, Paul’s “Mystery”.

  59. Bobbi says:

    I think I found the answer in 1,2Thessalonians article. So it is to be used in the verb form because of the definite article before it…correct?

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Bobbi,
      Take a look again at the chart where I deal with ἀποστασία and ἀφίστημι and the points underneath. See point #2 especially.

      • Bobbi says:

        Ok, thank you. If I May be so bold as to ask, how does one know when to go back to the root of Greek words? Although Paul isnt speaking of false teaching I would have just thought “the apostasty”. Although the other fits much more in context. One has to go through three roots to get to departure.
        So before the man of sin (who is later resurrected as the son of perdition) is revealed, the Body will be taken?
        Just fyi the chart of these two words usage in the 1&2Thessalonians lesson… the first scripture should read 2Thessalonians 2:2, am sure because I’m studying that one.
        Thanks for the help Don. God Bless.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Bobbi,
          Thanks for the correction. Going “back to the root” is only marginally useful in doing word study. It can be “interesting” but can lead to a false conclusion. The real way to determine what words means is to see how they are used in context by a particular writer, in a particular time, circumstance, etc. Yes, it is doubtful any member of the Church will know who the Beast is. The Church will be gone.

  60. Vanessa says:

    Good Morning Don, Thought you may enjoy this read. http://nopretrib.com/an-open-letter-to-thomas-ice-and-the-pre-trib-research-center/
    It is freighting to see how the Christians fight amongst themselves on the issue of the Rapture when Paul said in 2 Timothy 2 verse 14. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers And another “The Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach … those who oppose him … in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth.” 2 Timothy 2:24-25 Take care.

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Vanessa,
      It is unprofitable to argue about foolish things but the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is a sound doctrine. Those who oppose it apparently have not read Paul’s letters since he explicitly taught that believers would not experience the Tribulation. The Pre-Tribulational Rapture is our “blessed hope” and Paul commanded believers to comfort one another with this hope (1 Thessalonians 4.18). Those who oppose a PTR are disobedient Christians.

      • Bobbi says:

        It is interesting that Ice decided to not have the debate in this article. As it is also one of the mysteries which means it has to be revealed by the Lord. Meanwhile “the just shall live by faith”. Habakkuk 2:4, Hebrews 10:38, Romans 1:17. It is so fun to get to see the mysteries. I pray that all who will come, will get to see the mysteries… in Jesus name, Amen.
        Nice to see you Vanessa. Thank you for the article.

        • doctrine doctrine says:

          Bobbi,
          The battle line is not the Rapture but recognizing that Paul was the apostle of the Gentiles, that the Church and Israel have different programs, and that God began a new program with Paul. Those who argue against the Rapture confuse Israel’s prophetic program with the revelation the risen Lord gave Paul. Those who argue against the Rapture force Christ’s second coming and the Rapture to be one event. That is an impossible and unscriptural task. If one can see the difference between God’s prophetic program and His Church program, the Rapture is easy.

          • Bobbi says:

            I completely agree the ‘rapture’ is our Blessed Hope!
            I must have not been clear as was my worry.
            I was stuck for a minute. What I was working on was settling in my own mind whether the apostasy was a departure or a turning away from faith. But I have for two days been praying and studying the koine greek for myself lol, which is no simple task. After all of it I have to say in the context of the passage, the event of the rapture or departure makes the scripture flow perfectly. Either way, He is coming for us . But I am understanding it better.
            I know your intelligent and a scholar, and a wonderful teacher of truth. Sometimes I just have to work through the text myself, until the truth settles.
            Thank you.

  61. Vanessa says:

    Hello Don and Bobbi, Indeed the matter of the rapture HAS to be seen and understood through the different dispensations. When listenin to sermons on the rapture by any given person who does not rightly divide it becomes very confusing. And might I add what a blessing it is now for us to see this making studying the word so much easier. Bobbi nice to see.

  62. Joe says:

    Should Christians study/learn anything that follows the rapture? Other than the gospel and the functions of the Church what is the Christian supposed to be concerned with? How would the “Christian” book industry exist without the earthly post rapture/pre-Kingdom events?

  63. Joe says:

    Many believe the people who believe in the rapture are really confusing the rapture with the second coming. Here’s a point that leads me to believe the rapture and the second coming are separate events. Is the second coming a mystery? No, the Lord’s return is referred to in many places in the bible. The second coming is certainly not a mystery/secret. So why does Paul call what he’s talking about a mystery/secret?…answer: because Paul introduced it. It’s a Church thing. Just as The Body of Christ is a Pauline introduction/revelation. ….just my 2 cents worth.

    Behold, I tell you a secret; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed (1 Corinthians 15.51-52).

  64. Tracy says:

    Hello Don,

    I’d like to make a point about what people call ‘the tribulation’. Most believe it entails a particular period of time being the final 7 years which are Daniel’s 70th Week. I don’t see anywhere in scripture that actually uses the term ‘THE tribulation’ and gives it a defined space of time. There is ‘ great tribulation’ which we know occurs the last 3 1/2 years and seems to be triggered by the appearance of the abomination of desolation in the holy place. (Matt 24:15-21). I believe this is what the bible refers to as ‘the time of Jacob’s trouble’.

    All throughout scripture we see warnings about ‘tribulation’. In John 16:33 Jesus said this to His disciples “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

    I believe the term ‘tribulation’ is not limited to a small period of time at the end of the age that we have commonly been taught to be 7 years but instead is simply what the Body of Christ would suffer from it’s inception through to the end of the age. Tribulation has always been part of the life of believers in this world.

    So, just to sum up what I am saying and to be clear….

    The word ‘tribulation’ seems to simply be used to express the troubles believers would go through as long we are part of the world. The determiner ‘the’ is never used in conjunction with the word tribulation and thus does not qualify a particular time period. On the other hand, scripture does seem to limit the ‘great tribulation’ to a defined period of time.

    Hope this makes sense. Let me know your thoughts. Blessings!

    • doctrine doctrine says:

      Tracy,
      Jesus warned of a special time that the earth would suffer immense tribulation, far beyond anything previously experienced. Believers have always had tribulation but this period is something entirely different. The prophets referred to this time as the Day of the Lord. It will come upon Israel and the nations, not the Church. Members of the body of Christ will not experience the Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, the period of time the Lord spoke of in Matthew 24. Paul made this explicitly clear in 1 Thessalonians 1.10, 5.9. This period of time fits with the 70th week of Daniel and in Matthew 24.29, Jesus spoke of “the tribulation.” Greek does not require a definite article for the noun to be definite. Greek has no indefinite article like English (a, an).

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