When will the Resurrection a.k.a Rapture take place?

We are living in unprecedented times. I truly believe we are the generation that will see the events that are described in the book of Revelation. I know some have been taught that the “Church will be raptured before that Tribulation begins”, and when I was growing up this is what I was taught too. I honestly don’t believe that the scriptures point to this as being a Truth though. When our church started studying the Jewish roots of Christianity and learning about the Jewish Feasts, Adonai showed us how this teaching was incorrect and lead us into believing in the Post-Tribulation rapture. I must say I do not believe we are going to be here for God’s wrath though. Now those that believe in Pre-Trib please don’t stop reading, please hear me out! It concerns me that so many are taught this theology because I am afraid that believers are being mislead into not looking for signs of the end times. I am afraid that they have been lulled to sleep and are going to freak out when they find themselves in the middle of the chaos of the Tribulation and having to make a decision on taking the Mark of the Beast. I have heard many Pre-Tribers say that they are surprised they haven’t been raptured yet. I am concerned that Pre-Tribers will be a part of the great Apostasy, yelling at their former pastors for lying to them, and turning their backs on their faith. In Fact the Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching is a new one, it has only been taught around the last 200 years, the Apostles that wrote the New Testament and the early believers, believed in a Post Tribulation Rapture.

I know that a lot of of believers say there is no 7 year Tribulation. Which is somewhat true. The Bible calls the last 3.5 years of a 7 year period “The Great Tribulation”. The misunderstanding about a seven-year tribulation comes from Daniel 9:27, which speaks of a covenant that will be confirmed for seven years. This is also called Daniel’s 70 week which I discuss in my blog on Rosh Hashanah. This 7 year period is also called a Shemitah cycle. I personally call it the 7 year Tribulation because the first 3.5 years are going to be turbulent in themselves, causing massive amounts of death to believers and nonbelievers alike, but won’t be anywhere near as bad as the last 3.5 years. 

I also know some don’t believe in even calling it a “Rapture” because that is a Latin term that isn’t even in the Bible. The Greek term “Harpazo” is used and in the book of Revelation it is called the 1st Resurrection. The 1stResurrection is when Jesus/Yeshua 2nd coming happens on the clouds of heaven taking with him those who believe in Yeshua/Jesus. The 2nd Resurrection is when those non believers are brought to the throne of judgment and thrown into the lake of fire. Another thing pointed out in these verses is that those that are part of the 1stResurrection do not worship the beast and have not received the mark of the beast. Now the Beast does not show up until the middle of the Tribulation, and the mark shortly after. If Pre-Tribulation were true, then we wouldn’t even be around for this. Lets look at the scriptures…

Revelation 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

11 Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. The earth and the heavens fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. 13 The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. 14 Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. 15 Anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

Now lets look at other scriptures that point to Post Tribulation. 

1 Corinthians 15:51-52  Look, I will tell you a secret — not all of us will die! But we will all be changed! 52 It will take but a moment, the blink of an eye, at the final shofar. For the shofar will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever, and we too will be changed.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 When we say this, we base it on the Lord’s own word: we who remain alive when the Lord comes will certainly not take precedence over those who have died. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a rousing cry, with a call from one of the ruling angels, and with God’s shofar; those who died united with the Messiah will be the first to rise; 17 then we who are left still alive will be caught up with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and thus we will always be with the Lord. 18 So encourage each other with these words.

Matthew 24:29-31 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: 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.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.

As you can see the Scripture in Matthew plainly states “Immediately after the Tribulation” I have also underlined references to the sounding of trumpets (shofar), the Jews have always believed that the Messiah will come on Rosh Hashanah, it is also called the Feast of Trumpets. 

2 Thessalonians clearly states that the Ant-Messiah will not be revealed before the 1st Resurrection.  

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Revelation 11 says that the 2 witnesses will prophesy for 42 months or 1,260 days = 3.5 years, the first half of Tribulation. Then the Anti-Messiah (A.K.A. Beast) will rise out of the Abyss to kill them, this is at the Mid-Tribulation point.

Revelation 11:1-7 I was given a reed like a measuring rod and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, with its worshipers. But exclude the outer court; do not measure it, because it has been given to the Gentiles. They will trample on the holy city for 42 months. And I will appoint my two witnesses, and they will prophesy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.” They are “the two olive trees” and the two lampstands, and “they stand before the Lord of the earth.” If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from their mouths and devours their enemies. This is how anyone who wants to harm them must die. They have power to shut up the heavens so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they want. Now when they have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them, and overpower and kill them.

Now let’s look at Revelation 20 again. The saints who were killed during the mark of the Beast period, will be part of the 1 Resurrection. Since we know that the Beast doesn’t come onto the scene until the Mid-Trib, we see that the Beast period is the last 3.5 years of the Tribulation. 

Revelation 20:4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy are those who share in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

In Revelation 13 describes the last 3.5 years of the Tribulation. The Anti-Messiah makes war against saints who are from all kindreds, tongues, and nations. That does not describe Jews-only, but it also calls for patient endurance and faithfulness of God’s people. If Pre-Trib rapture were true then why would we need to be faithful to endure?

Revelation 13:5-10 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.

Whoever has ears, let them hear.

“If anyone is to go into captivity,
    into captivity they will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
    with the sword they will be killed.”

This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people

In Revelation 7 it describes a multitude standing before the throne, these believers are those that have come out of the Great Tribulation. 

Revelation 7:9-14 After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands. And they cried out in a loud voice:

“Salvation belongs to our God,

who sits on the throne,
and to the Lamb.

”All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying:

“Amen!

Praise and glory
and wisdom and thanks and honor
and power and strength
be to our God for ever and ever.
Amen!”

Then one of the elders asked me, “These in white robes—who are they, and where did they come from?”I answered, “Sir, you know.”And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

A warning is given in Revelation 16:15. It’s the final, last minute warning: “Behold, I come as a thief.” But notice the context. The following verse is the Battle of Armageddon – the 7th Vial. Why would God be issuing a warning that He will be coming as a thief right up until Armageddon, if He came as a thief seven years prior to this? The answer is, of course, He wouldn’t.

Revelation 16:15-16 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”16 Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

I know many prophecy students are thinking about the Scripture in 1 Thessalonians “The Lord will come as a thief in the night” Lets look at those scriptures, because most don’t include the scriptures that follow (underlined). I also stated earlier that I believed we would not go through the Wrath. This is one scripture stating this, but there are many others.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 Now, brothers and sisters, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape.

But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all children of the light and children of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be awake and sober. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet. For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. 10 He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. 11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Believers shouldn’t be surprised! Christians shouldn’t believe that they will “escape” with a Pre-Trib rapture, which puts them to sleep, they aren’t looking for the signs and aren’t studying the scriptures that God has clearly written out for us, to warn us what is to come, what we will be enduring. So that we can tell other people to warn them and help them come to salvation.

There are so many other scriptures. I challenge you to be a Berean! Who are the Bereans? They were residents of the city of Berea in Macedonia. Paul and Silas preached to them during Paul’s 2nd missionary journey. The Bereans examined what they heard by comparing it to the scriptures. The fact that they honestly listened and conducted further personal research led many Bereans to faith in Jesus as the Messiah. I repeat, I challenge you to be a Berean, don’t just believe what I have stated, but go and dig into the scriptures yourselves.

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