The Pre-trib Rapture 101

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The Pre-trib Rapture 101

Postby Jericho on Fri Feb 05, 2021 3:49 pm

Where does the concept of the rapture come from?
The word “rapture” is not in the Bible but is based upon the catching away (harpazō) in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazō) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” The Greek word “harpazō” is translated as “rapturo” in the Latin Bible. This is where we get the word “rapture” in English.

What is the pre-trib rapture and its origins?
The pre-trib rapture is the belief that in the latter days believers on earth will be taken up to heaven prior to the tribulation and God’s wrath is poured-out. It’s said the pre-trib rapture is new. However, in reality, all rapture doctrines are fairly modern. Elements of every rapture position can be found in early Christian writings, however, they didn’t have a codified rapture doctrine and eschatology wasn’t their primary focus. However, the concept of imminency, a crucial feature of pre-tribulationism, can be found in many apostolic writings including Clement of Rome, Ignatius of Antioch, The Didache, The Epistle of Barnabas, and The Shepherd of Hermas.

There is a simple reason for the “newness” of the rapture doctrines and it comes down to availability and literacy. Throughout much of Church history, people didn’t have access to bibles or the ability to read it themselves. There were periods where the common people weren’t allowed to read the bible or translate it into other languages. After the advent of the printing press in the 15th century, availability and illiteracy slowly began to change. Once people were able to read and study the bible for themselves is when the various rapture doctrines began to emerge.

Early elements of the pre-trib rapture can be found in the writings of Pseudo-Ephraim, written sometime between the 4th to 8th centuries. The modern pre-trib doctrine started to became fleshed out during the late 17th century by Morgan Edwards. Eighty-six years later John Darby coalesced his ideas about the pre-trib rapture from 1827 to 1828.

Contrary to popular belief, Darby did not get his ideas from a woman named Margaret MacDonald. MacDonald claimed to have had a vision of the end-times around 1830, three years after Darby codified his ideas about the rapture. MacDonald’s vision is more akin to a post-trib rapture rather than a pre-trib rapture. MacDonald said, “The trial of the Church is from Antichrist… This is the fiery trial which is to try us. - It will be for the purging and purifying of the real members of the body of Jesus." Darby was said to have regarded MacDonald’s vision as demonic and not of God. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_ ... sionary%29

Why is there a rapture?
It’s no coincidence that Jesus’ first recorded miracle was turning water into wine at a Jewish wedding. To understand the rapture you must first understand the Galilean wedding ceremony. Jesus and his disciples were Galileans. He spent the majority of his time around other Galileans and would have spoken to them according to the customs and culture of their day. Galileans had many of their own unique customs and traditions even among other Jews.

A Galilean wedding would begin with a written covenant for marriage. The groom would then offer a cup of wine to his betrothed. When the bride-to-be accepted the cup of wine it began a year-long process to prepare for the wedding. The groom would publicly declare: “You are now consecrated to me by the laws of Moses, and I will not drink of this cup again until I drink it anew with you in my father’s house.” This mirrors what Jesus told His disciples during the Last Supper (Luk 22:18). Jesus was making His own new-covenant of marriage with His bride, the Church.

The groom would not be reunited with his bride-to-be again until the day of the marriage ceremony. The bride-to-be would occupy until he returned by assembling a wedding dress and gathering various other items for the wedding. The groom would spend that time building a new room on to his father’s house and purchasing or crafting household items to go in it. In much the same way, Jesus told his disciples that His Father’s house has many rooms and he was going to prepare a place for them and that He would return for them (Jhn 14:2-3). Jesus also told them He was going to the Father in a little while and they won't see him anymore, but they would see him again (Jhn 16:16).

The exact day of the wedding was determined not by the groom, but by the groom’s father. Neither the bride, groom, nor anyone else knew the exact day until it actually happened. Likewise, Jesus told His followers that no one will know the day or the hour, not even the angels, but only His Father (Mat 24:36). Since the bride didn’t know when her groom would come for her, she had to be ready at all times.

When the time finally came the father would wake up his son In the middle of the night and tell him to go get his bride, like a thief in the night. To always be prepared the bride would sleep in her wedding garments and have her lamp filled with oil. The shofar would be blown to wake the bride and guests. Only those who were prepared would be invited to the wedding. At long last, the bride and groom would become reunited.

The bride would be lifted up and carried away on a litter, known to the Galileans as “flying the bride to the father’s house”. The bride, groom, and guests would enter the father’s house to feast and celebrate for seven straight days. Likewise, there will be a marriage supper of the Lamb for Jesus and His Bride, the Church (Rev 19:9). Those who were not invited to the wedding were shut-out and barred from entering. In conclusion, the rapture follows the pattern of the Galilean wedding ceremony. Therefore, we are raptured because the Church is the bride of Christ and He is taking us to be with Him.

There is a secondary function of the rapture and it’s based upon 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”. God never judges the wicked along with the righteous, otherwise, it wouldn’t be just. Therefore, He has to first separate the righteous from the wicked. There are several instances in the bible where this can be demonstrated:

*The Israelites living in Goshen were separated from the rest of Egypt during the ten plagues (Exd 18, 19).
*Lot and his family were removed from Sodom prior to God’s judgment, and God would have spared Sodom if just ten righteous were found in the city (Gen 18).
*Noah and his family were spared God’s judgment when He destroyed the whole world by water (Gen 6).

During the marriage supper of the Lamb there is tribulation on earth. It should be noted that there is a distinction between tribulation that comes from the world and tribulation that comes from God. God will pour out His wrath and judgment on a Christ-rejecting world in order to transition to His millennial kingdom. It’s a process that serves to further sift the wheat from the chaff as God separates those who are for Him and those who are against Him.

There’s much debate exactly when God’s wrath is poured out if that wrath is from God, Satan, or mankind. However, God can use anyone as a form of His judgment. We’ve seen this when God used the Assyrians as judgment against Israel, and the Babylonians as judgment against Judah. They were later in turn judged for their own wickedness. The destruction of Israel and Judah could be classified as man’s wrath but it was still God who was doing the judging.

Likewise, God can use demonic principalities to accomplish His will. In Revelation 9:1-12 a star is “given” a key to the bottomless pit to release locusts (demonic entities) to torment the wicked for five months. It’s not clear who this star is, however only Jesus holds the keys to the gates of hell (Rev 1:8). Therefore, it’s God who is using these demonic entities as a form of judgment against mankind. This too can be classified as Satan’s wrath, but ultimately it’s God that’s doing it.

When is the rapture?
The exact timing of the rapture is hidden from us and known only by the Father. However, we can determine which events it must precede. In 2Th 2:1-12 Paul specifically says the son of perdition (anti-Christ) cannot be revealed until the Restrainer is removed. The spirit of the anti-Christ has been at work for thousands of years, but the Restrainer is preventing it from culminating in the appearance of The anti-Christ.

There are several views on who or what the Restrainer is, but the two most likely candidates are the Church and the Holy Spirit. Rather the Restrainer is the Church or the Holy Spirit it implies that believers must be removed (raptured) before the appearance of the anti-Christ. If the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, then Holy Spirit resides in us and God would not remove the Holy Spirit without taking us too.

The anti-Christ is revealed after the first seal is opened (Rev 6:1-2). Some have confused the rider on the white horse as Jesus the Messiah. However, the rider is a false messiah, also known as the anti-Christ. The anti-Christ will come as a man of peace but in reality is a man of war. To further confirm this, there are clear parallels between the Olivet discourse and the seals being opened. The first seal can be paralleled with Jesus saying, “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, “I am the Christ,” and will deceive many (Matthew 24:4,5)”. See here for a complete comparison viewtopic.php?f=13&t=66579&p=561831&hilit=Olivet+discourse#p561831

Moreover, in Revelation 13:7, the antiChrist was given power to make war against the saints and overcome them. However, Jesus said "I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it." (Matt 16:18). If the saints were part of the Church the the antiChrist would prevail against it, in contradiction to what Jesus said (More than likely the saints are post-rapture believers.)

Therefore, it is concluded that the pre-trib rapture must occur sometime BEFORE the first seal is opened in Revelation 6:2 and the appearance of the antiChrist. The pre-trib rapture will likely occur in Rev 4:1 when a voice is heard saying “Come up here…” There may or may not be an interim period between the rapture and the revealing of the antiChrist. The appearance of the antiChrist will begin a period characterized as tribulation for 3-1/2 years followed by the Great Tribulation or Jacob’s Trouble for another 3-1/2 years in which the antiChrist will reign. After this period God will establish His Millennial Kingdom on earth for one thousand years. After the Millennial Kingdom, there will be a new heaven and a new earth that will be free from the taint of sin and corruption. Contrary to popular belief the world will never end but it will be drastically changed for the better.
Last edited by Jericho on Sun Mar 21, 2021 9:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: The Pre-trib Rapture 101

Postby Mark F on Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:46 am

Yup
Mark

All Scripture from NKJV

Edited for a friend.
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Re: The Pre-trib Rapture 101

Postby Ready1 on Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:00 am

Don't know where that came from, (did you write it Jericho?) but I agree, as well. :grin:
Just observing.

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Re: The Pre-trib Rapture 101

Postby Jericho on Sun Feb 07, 2021 6:26 pm

Ready1 wrote:Don't know where that came from, (did you write it Jericho?) but I agree, as well. :grin:


Yes, I wrote it. Thanks for reading.
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Re: The Pre-trib Rapture 101

Postby mark s on Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:20 am

Jericho wrote:
Ready1 wrote:Don't know where that came from, (did you write it Jericho?) but I agree, as well. :grin:


Yes, I wrote it. Thanks for reading.


Hi Jericho,

Thank you for posting that!

This part . . .

There is a secondary function of the rapture and it’s based upon 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ”. God never judges the wicked along with the righteous, otherwise, it wouldn’t be just. Therefore, He has to first separate the righteous from the wicked. There are several instances in the bible where this can be demonstrated:


This makes me think of the places where the Revelation speaks of "those who dwell upon the earth", Like in the letter to Philadelphia, the time of testing that will come upon those who dwell upon the earth, something like that. We're not 'earth-dwellers', we've been seated in the heavenlies. This time is not there to test us.

Much love!
ειπεν αυτη ο ιησους εγω ειμι η αναστασις και η ζωη ο πιστευων εις εμε καν αποθανη ζησεται
. . . saying to her Jesus, I AM the resurrection and the life, the one believing into Me even dying shall live . . .
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Re: The Pre-trib Rapture 101

Postby Resurrection Torchlight on Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:31 am

Thanks for sharing your insights Jericho.

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