End Time Biblical Prophecy Revealed
By Thomas Taylor
Part 5 – The Pre-Wrath Post-Trib Rapture of the Church
The Four Basic Beliefs About The Timing of The Rapture
There are four different beliefs about when the rapture will take place. They are:
1) Pre-Tribulation – which is the belief that Jesus will come BEFORE the 70th week of Daniel, also known as the seven years of Tribulation, to rapture the Church. After the seven years of Tribulation, the Lord will return to the earth in the Second Advent with all His saints in Glory to set up His Kingdom on earth.
2) Mid-Tribulation – which believes that the rapture occurs EXACTLY HALF-WAY in the middle of the 7 years at the 3 ½ year mark. Also, instead of describing the Two Witnesses in Revelation as actual people, they are described as Israel and the Church; after their absence or death, their will be no more witnessing. During the first half of the Tribulation, the Church will experience the Antichrist’s wrath but then be raptured. The last half of the Tribulation will be God’s wrath on those remaining.
3) Post-Tribulation – says that the Church will endure “the entire seven years of tribulation.” The Rapture takes place at the same time as the Second Advent, the Judgment Seat of Christ, and the Marriage Supper of the Lamb which is AFTER the tribulation.
4) Pre-Wrath – the main tribulation is actually only the last half of Daniel’s 70th week = 3 ½ years. That 3 1/2 years is divided between the Antichrist’s wrath, which the Church will endure, and God’s wrath. So somewhere during the last 3 ½ years, before God’s wrath is poured out on mankind, the Church will leave in the Rapture (hence “Pre-Wrath” is talking about before God’s wrath). Exactly which day it occurs they do not know but they do know it is at the sixth seal which has the great signs in the sun and the moon and a great earthquake that shakes the entire earth.
Pre-wrath is close to the belief I hold but not quite. I have what I call a modified Pre-Wrath/Post-Trib position. I believe both Pre-wrath and Post-Trib are true. Pre-wrath is true in the sense that Jesus comes at the Sixth Seal. Post-Trib is true in that Jesus comes at the Seventh Trumpet. The Seventh Trumpet is blown at the end of the Sixth Seal AFTER the Great Tribulation at which time the saints will be raptured. See my chart for a visual version of what I believe the Bible teaches concerning the end time.
Modified Pre-Wrath Post-Trib Rapture of the Church Proven
Each section below are the most famous rapture Scriptures that we will examine one at a time in context. The main Scripture is in the red and the supporting explanation and Scriptures are in the black below it.
1 Thessalonians Chapters 4 and 5
1Th 4:13-18 KJV But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. (15) 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. (16) 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 shall rise first: (17) 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. (18) Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1Th 5:1-11 KJV But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. (2) For yourselves know perfectly that THE DAY OF THE LORD so cometh as a thief in the night. (3) For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. (4) But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. (5) Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. (6) Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. (7) For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. (8) But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. (9) For God hath not appointed us to wrath , but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (10) Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him. (11) Wherefore comfort yourselves together , and edify one another, even as also ye do.
Almost all agree that chapter 4 verses 16-18 are clearly talking about the rapture of the Church when the Lord Jesus will come from Heaven and gather all of His saints from the earth. However, the Bible was not written in chapter and verse so ignore that a new chapter was started and just keep reading. In context, Paul speaks of the rapture, the coming, and the Day of the Lord together like they are one event! Just read it all together. The only thought he interjects on the subject is that, concerning the times and seasons, it will come as a thief in the night. He NEVER changes subjects! He NEVER divided this into two events.
The Day of the Lord (Jesus’s Coming) for “them” (the world) is taught “destruction” but for us he just gets through telling us that we will be raptured; for them it is “wrath” but for us it is “salvation”. There is not one shred of evidence that the rapture and the Day of the Lord (Jesus’ Coming) are completely separate events. If we apply normal Bible hermeneutics here, the context is that the rapture and the Day of the Lord are identical. We are raptured first and the Lord pours out His wrath afterward.
The comfort is that we are not appointed to God’s wrath, NOT that we will avoid man’s persecution. That is truly comforting because God’s wrath far outweighs what the Antichrist will do in persecuting us.
1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 teaches us that the rapture happens, THEN the wrath of God is poured out on the sinners that remain. The two parts, the rapture and the Day of the Lord, are paired together here and are inseparable in this passage. The rapture seems to happen so fast that people do not have time to repent. Then many are destroyed which is why He warns them that it will come suddenly…too suddenly to react. The only questions here, what is the Day of the Lord? and does it start at the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation? If so, then Pre-tribulation doctrine is right. If not, then it is wrong. (I believe that the Day of the Lord does NOT start with the 7 years. But let us see what the Word says.) You can use the next list of verses all talking about the Day of the Lord to find out more about this event.
What Is The Day of The Lord According To Scripture?
Scriptures on The Day of the Lord:
• the LORD of hosts mustereth the host of the battle…Isa 13:6
• it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty…Isa 13:6 (Is the entire tribulation of Daniel’s 70th week from God? No, it is evident that the antichrist will have a time of wrath and destruction against God’s chosen people during the Great Tribulation. The devil, the antichrist, and the false prophet do not work for God.)
• every man’s heart shall melt…Isa 13:7
• they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them..Isa 13:8
• they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth…Isa 13:8
• they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames…Isa 13:8
• cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate…Isa 13:9
• he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it…Isa 13:9
• THE SIGN: For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine…Isa 13:10
• I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity…Isa 13:11
• I will make a man more precious than fine gold…Isa 13:12
• THE EARTH-QUAKE: Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place… Isa 13:13
• the day of the LORD’S vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of Zion…Isa 34:8
• as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come….Joe 1:15
• A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness…Joe 2:2
• And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army…Joe 2:11
• THE EARTH-QUAKE: The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble…Joe 2:10
• THE SIGN: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining…Joe 2:10
• The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen, so shall they run…Joe 2:4
• And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke…Joe 2:30
• THE SIGN: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, BEFORE the great and the terrible day of the LORD come…Joe 2:31 (*emphasis mine)
• Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision [valley of Jehoshaphat; see verse 2]…Joe 3:14
• THE SIGN: The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining…Joe 3:15
• The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem…Joe 3:16
• THE EARTH-QUAKE : and the heavens and the earth shall shake…Joe 3:16
• I will utterly consume all things from off the land, saith the LORD…Zep 1:2
• The great day of the LORD is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly…Zep 1:14
• That day is a day of wrath , a day of trouble and distress, a day of wasteness and desolation, a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness… Zep 1:15
• For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity …Zech 14:2
• Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle…Zech 14:3
• And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south…Zech 14:4
• and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee …Zech 14:5
• And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke…Acts 2:19
• THE SIGN: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come… Acts 2:20
• For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night…I Thess 5:2
• But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night…2 Pet 3:10
• the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat…2 Pet 3:12
Notice that the signs and the earthquake are the exact same event as mentioned at the sixth seal!:
When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood,
(Rev 6:12 ESV)
After the sixth seal is when the wrath of Jesus/God is poured out:
Rev 6:16-17 ESV calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who is seated on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, (17) for the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”
The sixth seal, all agree, does not happen at the beginning of the seven years; it happens some time into the Great Tribulation. Therefore, the Rapture/Day of the Lord happens during the last half of Daniel’s seventieth week but we do not know exactly when. Christians will have to endure the persecution of the Antichrist. Don’t be deceived – be prepared!
So what does the Scriptures teach us about the Day of The Lord? The Day of the Lord does NOT IN ANY POSSIBLE WAY start at the beginning of the 7 year “tribulation” period. The Day of the Lord starts with Him coming, first rapturing His people, then annihilating the heathen immediately and completely around Jerusalem. This happens at the end of the 7 years. It ends when He sets down on the Mount of Olives. He sets down after the last 7 vials of God’s wrath are poured out.
If the pre-wrath conclusion about 1 Thess 4 & 5 is right, then the rapture happens (very quickly) then this destruction begins immediately afterward. Paul describes the entire thing as one event called “The Day of the Lord.” The Day of the Lord consists of the seventh seal, which IS the seventh trumpet, which consists of the seven vials.
Mat 24:29-31 KJV Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (30) And THEN shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (31) And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Capitalization added by me for emphasis.)
First, the sign(s) will happen in the heavens then there will be an earthquake. Next, Jesus will come and all will see Him. Then He gathers us in the rapture. (YES THIS IS A VERY CLEAR RAPTURE SCRIPTURE AND DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU OTHERWISE. YOU WOULD HAVE TO DO HERMENEUTICAL BACKFLIPS TO BELIEVE THIS SCRIPTURE IS NOT TALKING ABOUT THE RAPTURE.)
All of the above Scriptures either talk about rapture, the wrath of God known as The Day of The Lord, or both together. They are ONE event. The first Scriptures in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5, shows that the rapture and the Day of the Lord are the same event. I’ll also be examining all the other major rapture Scriptures below.
The question is when is the rapture? So many ideas exist on that question that it may be easier to answer the question, “When is the Day of the Lord?” When we find the answer to that, we’ll know that the rapture happened right before Jesus pours out His wrath in the Day of the Lord according to the Scriptures we just read. For God has not appointed His people to wrath:
1Th 5:9 ESV For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,
However, the Scriptures are very clear we cannot know the day or hour but we should be close to understanding the season it occurs.
Cont’d on the next page…