[This teaching is about] the teaching of the blessed
catching up to Heaven descriptively referred to by Christian
as the "Rapture." The word "Rapture" comes
from the Latin word "rapare" which means to "take
away" or "snatch out." Webster's College Edition
New World Dictionary defines the word "rapture" as
"the state of being carried away with joy, love (or) ecstasy
and a carrying away, or being carried away in body or spirit."
Our scriptural validation for the assurance that one day every
true believer in Jesus Christ (whether among the dead or living)
will be caught up into the heavens to be with their Lord can
be found in Titus 2:13 - 14, 1 Corinthians 15:49 - 54 & 1
Thessalonians 4:14 - 18. Quoting from these passages from God's
Word we read, "Looking for the blessed hope and glorious
appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave
Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity and
purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous for good works..
And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall bear the
image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and
blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption
inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall
not all sleep, but we shall all be changed , In a moment, in
the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: For the trumpet will
sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall
be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and
this mortal must put on immortality.
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.. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which
are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent
them which are asleep. For the Lord Himself shall descend from
heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with
the trump of God: and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then
we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall
we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with
There are essentially 4 common views held as to the timing
of this glorious event. They are each determined by their placement
in time in relationship to the promised final 7 years often referred
to as the Tribulation Period.
Post-Trib. places this event at the close of the seven years.
Pre-Wrath places it shortly after the middle. Mid-Trib. places
it in the middle and Pre-Trib. anticipates the Rapture will happen
before the final seven year countdown begins.
Almost all proponents of these views agree the Tribulation
is very near. Opponents to the Pre-Trib. Rapture view claim that
this teaching instills an attitude of escapism in believers and
that it undermines the need for believers to prepare for the
Tribulation Period. To the contrary, the Pre-Tribulation's reply
is that Scripture, in fact, encourages Christians to anticipate
an escape from the coming days of tribulation, "For it will
come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole
earth. "Watch ye therefore, and pray always that ye may
be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come
to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:35-36).
Whether a tribulaton saint or an unbeliever, according to
Revelation 13:7 any preparation for the Tribulation apart from
salvation in Jesus Christ is futile, "And it was given unto
him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power
was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations."
To try and physically prepare for the Tribulation is uncalled
for in the Scriptures. Jesus stated that the truth of the matter
is that not one soul will be left alive at the end of the Tribulation
if He Himself does not return and stop the horrendous evil and
destruction which will be sweeping the planet (Matthew 24:22)
Another concern expressed by opponents to the Pre-Tribulation
Rapture teaching is that if the Rapture does not take place before
the Tribulation begins, believers will lose their faith. We do
not believe thougtful consideration supports this objection.
To postulate that Bible believers who might witness the awesome
events prophesied in Scripture for the Tribulation Period will
suddenly discard their faith in Jesus Christ at the start of
the Tribulation is irrational.
It is nonsensical to envision a believer saying, "The
Anti-Christ has arrived, the seven year covenant is confirmed,
the Temple is being rebuilt and two prophets have stopped the
rain and are calling down fire from heaven, so I don't believe
the Bible anymore." This idea is unrealistic surmising and
is not taught in God's Word. According to Scripture those who
fall away are only manifested phonies who were never true believers
to begin with, "Little children, it is the last time: and
as ye have heard that antichrist; whereby we know that it is
the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us:
for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued
with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest
that they were not all of us." (1 John 2:18 - 19).
Our view is that since the Tribulation Period has not yet
begun (as it is to be verified by the strengthening of the seven
year covenant prophesied of in Daniel 9:27) and the closeness
of this time is evident by continual attempts to finalize a treaty
with Israel; then the Pre-Trib. Rapture teaching will either
be proven or disproved in the very near future. "And he
shall confirm the covenant with the many for one week: and in
the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation
to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall
make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined
shall be poured upon the desolate." (Daniel 9:27).
We have not met one Christian who is even remotely prepared
to physically survive the Tribulation. Pre-Tribulation opponents
who admit they are unprepared express their hope in the same
so-called escapism they condemn, that is, the return of Christ
to save them.
As far as being prepared spiritually in these last days, the
same saving faith in Jesus Christ that a believer cherishes at
present to carry Him through life's heartaches and to face the
challenges of death, is the same unchangeable faith which will
strengthen a believer through any time of tribulation. A true
believer's strength does not lie in views of the Rapture's timing,
but in their belief in the glorious unyielding promises of their
Redeemer and the indwelling of His Spirit.
This is the moment to put your complete trust in the Risen
Savior Jesus Christ who died for the sins of the world and by
His blood has purshased eternal life for all who believe in Him.
Go to your Prayer of Salvation
which describes your condition and helps you correct it right
then and there.
There are 4 basic views of the timing of the removal of the
Church from the earth. This event described in 1 Thessalonians
4:14-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:48-55 is commonly referred to by
believers as the "Rapture."
Some believe the Rapture will take place before the start
of the prophesied final seven year Tribulation Period revealed
in Daniel 9:27, these believers are known as Pre-Tribulationists.
Others believe it will happen at some time during the Tribulation
Period. These believers hold to positions called Mid-Trib or
Then lastly is the position that the catching up of believers
will not take place until the close of the Tribulation as Christ
is descending to the earth to destroy the wicked, this is known
Until proven otherwise by the Church entering the final seven
year Tribulation Period, we at "Rapture Watch" believe
it is scriptural to devote our faith to the expectancy inherent
in the Pre-Tribulation position. To ignore the significant corroboration
the Scriptures present for this teaching of the imminency of
the Blessed Hope is unwise in our opinion and casts an unwarranted
shadow of fear regarding the Lord's plan for His Church during
the approaching time of tribulation and wrath.
One commonly used argument against the Pre-Trib position originates
from the Rapture Scripture found in 1 Corinthians 15:52. The
Scripture reads, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead
shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
"PreTrib opponents say this "last trump" must
be the same on that the seventh Angel blows during the latter
part of the Tribulation Period as is recorded in Revelation 10:7
since this is the last trumpet mentioned as being blown in the
Book of Revelation.
Inexplicably, Pre-Trib opponents discount any significance
to the fact that the "angelic" seventh trumpet of Revelation
10:7 is not the last supernatural trumpet which will ever be
blown. Isaiah 27:13 describes what will take place after Jesus
Christ has returned to the earth. The time frame presented is
after the Tribulation has concluded and Christ has begun His
It is during this time that a supernatural trumpet will be
heard throughout the lands. Quoting we read, "And it shall
come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown,
and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of
Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship
the Lord in the Holy Mount at Jerusalem."
The Scripture, along with Zechariah 9:14 which tells of the
Lord blowing another trumpet at His return, provide substantial
clarification regarding the timing of the Rapture. First it verifies
that the Last Trumpet spoken of at the Rapture in 1 Thessalonian
4:16 is a uniquely designated trumpet appointed for the Church
and refutes the Mid-Trib teachings that there are no other trumpets
blown after the angelic tribulation trumpet of Revelation 10:7.
This is conclusive by the trumpets of Zechariah 9 & Isaiah
27 being blown at the close and after the Tribulaton -
thus after the angelic seventh trumpet of Revelation 10:7.
With loving respect for our fellow believers in Christ who
adhere to the Post-Trib Rapture theory, Isaiah 27:13 & Zechariah
9:14 also adequately narrows the field of debate as to the timing
of the Rapture by eliminating the Post-Trib position. This is
shown by the Isaiah 27:13 statement about the people who "were
ready to perish."
The mention of the fact that these people were about to perish
verifies that they will be mortals. The central question of importance
is, who are these mortals?
According to Post-Trib adherents, when Jesus Christ returns
with His saints (see Revelation 19:14 & Jude 1:14-15) they
believe the Church will have been caught up to join the Lord
for warfare as He is descending from Heaven to do battle at Armageddon.
Their belief is that there is no time allowance for any reunion
or celebration between the Church and the Lord, but are changed
into their glorious celesstial bodies while enroute to the bloodiest
war in history. For a brief moment the Lord's trumpet blast prophesied
of in Zechariah 9:14 would appear to support this.
Here the problem arises with the unknown mortals of Isaiah
27:12 - 13. We kow already by Isaiah that these mortals who were
ready to perish are believers in the Lord because they are going
up to Jerusalem during the Millennium to worship Him. So our
first revelation from Scripture is that these people living during
the earthly rule of Christ are mortal believers who for some
reason were not caught up to meet Christ and glorified with immortal
bodies at His coming.
Secondly, if these people had been unbelievers at Christ's
coming with His Saints, according to Revelation 13:7 - 8 they
would have had to be destroyed as followers of the Anti-Christ.
Speaking of this man of sin and his followers we read, "And
it was given unto him to make war with the [tribulation] saints,
and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds,
and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth
shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of
life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
Revelation 19:20,21 states without reservation that the Anti-Christ
and all his followers are destroyed at Christ's coming. John
3:18 makes this situation of unbelievers at Christ's coming quite
The conclusion is logical and inescapable. Since there are
mortal believers left alive during Christ's reign who were not
glorified at Christ's coming they cannot be members of the entity
known as the Church and no Rapture of the Church will take place
at the close of the Tribulation Period. The saint-filled Church
which is seen returning with Christ at His coming at Armageddon
in Revelation 19 could only have been Raptured some time earlier
then the Post-Trib teaching proposes.
As to who the mortal Millennium believers are who were about
to perish, these are those who became believers after
the Rapture took place and the resurrected Old Testament saints.
These are the Tribulation saints which had to survive the murderous
pursuit of the Anti-Christ described in Revelation 13:7 and the
Old Testament saints who were promised an earthly inheritance.
That is why they are not Raptured and glorified at Christ's coming.
The Rapture had already taken place. These are the same surviving
and resurrected believers who repopulate the planet under Christ's
reign as is revealed to us in such passages as Zechariah 8:3
Additional scriptural proof for this prophetic summary is
abundant. The initial gathering together of all the wicked for
destruction at Christ's coming with His Saints can be verified
by the scriptural passages found in Matthew 13:30, 38 - 42 &
49 - 50 & 24:38 - 41. Then the subsequent preserving and
gathering together of the remaining mortal believers with a trumpet
after His return is taught in Matthew 24:22 & 29 - 31.
It is worthwhile for prophecy students to more thoroughly
explore Zechariah 9:14 where we are told of the one other time
than 1 Corinthians 15:22 when God will blow His trumpet. As we
have shared, the time of this trumpet blast is at the close of
the Great Tribulation. Chapters 9 & 10 of Zechariah read
in context fully disqualifies the idea that this is the trumpet
of the Rapture because believers are not changed into glorified
beings, but instead are anointed upon the earth as great warriors.
They do not return with the Lord from Heaven, but are aided
from Heaven. Clearly these are mortal believers who, after the
Lord returns, will thrive as mortals in the land of Israel. Zechariah
10:8 - 10 further reveals that these are the same mortals who
in Isaiah 27:13 were about the perish in the lands of Assyria
The passage in Zechariah 9:14 prophesies that the day of this
trumpet blast is the same day of the Lord's return. If any juncture
in all of history there should be a Post-Trib Rapture of the
living this should have been it, but there is none. The unbelievers
are gathered and destroyed while the believers remain mortals
on the earth to fight conquer, regather, thrive and reproduce.
The last trumpet of 1 Corinthian 15:52 had to have taken place
at some point earlier in time. If not, then it would be impossible
to find any mortals left to repopulate the millennial earth;
everyone would have been immortalized or destroyed at Christ's
return at Armageddon.
Revelation 11:15 & 12:10 reveal that the trumpet blast
of Revelation 10:7 declares the end of Satan's position of authority
over the earth from the heavens.
In conclusion, the Scriptures offer no support in any manner
to the teaching that the trumpet of the seventh Angel in Revelation
10:7 is the same as the trumpet of God blown at the Rapture in
1 Thessalonians 4 & 1 Corinthians 15. It is simply presented
as the last of seven angelic trumpets blown in a sequence as
God releases His wrath upon a Christ-rejected world, just as
there have been and will be other heavenly trumpet blasts to
signal the end (or beginning) of some other eventful occasion.
The only question which remains critical at this point is,
are you ready for the Last Trump which will signal the close
of the Church Age and the glorification and gathering together
of the body of Christ? Be sure right now by putting your faith
in Jesus Christ who paid the full penalty for the sins of the
world by shedding His own precious blood at the cross. Your trust
in Him alone for your salvation can assure your receipt of this
blessed atonement, "For the Lord Himself will descend from
heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with
the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then
we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with
them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall
we ever be with the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
- If you would like some free information which more thoroughly
explains how and why Jesus Christ paid the full penalty for the
sins of the world please write and ask for
- "God's Plan for Salvation."
- Rapture Watch
- PO Box 3113
- Colorado Springs, CO 80934