Of the three established views on the Rapture, pre-, mid- and post-tribulation, only the “pre-wrath rapture” followed by angels gathering the elect from the four winds at Christ’s coming, harmonizes all the Biblical data.
1 Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you,
2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come.
3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, (2 Thess. 2:1-3 NKJ)
As Paul writes concerning the coming of Christ and the rapture which pretribulationalists insist does not occur on the “Day of the Lord”, the “Majority Text” [Robinson-Pierpont; Hodges-Farstad; Orthodox Church; Textus Receptus; Complutensian Polyglot; F35 Pickering] “Day of Christ” reading is “doubtless correct”:
Instead of “Christ” [in 2 Thess. 2:2], some 15% of the Greek manuscripts have ‘Lord’ (as in NIV, NASB, LB, TEV, etc.); the 85% that have “Christ” (including the best line of transmission) are doubtless correct.- Pickering ThM. PhD., Dr. Wilbur. THE SOVEREIGN CREATOR HAS SPOKEN — New Testament Translation with Commentary Second Edition (Kindle Locations 22142). Kindle Edition.
The “coming” [3952 παρουσία parousia] of Christ and “our gathering [rapture] together to Him” occur on the “Day of Christ”, AFTER the “falling away” [646 ἀποστασία apostasia] and Antichrist-Beast “come first”.
Gnostic Hymenaeus and Philetus overthrew the faith of some claiming a “spiritual unseen resurrection-rapture” had past, left everyone behind.
17 And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,
18 who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some. (2 Tim. 2:17-18 NKJ)
False prophets appeared, and with spurious words and epistles supposedly from the apostles, they claimed the Thessalonians were “left behind”, that the “day of Christ” came and left and now only the wrath of God remained. Paul proves their claim is impossible because the Antichrist had not yet appeared (Mt. 24:15, 21-22; 2 Thess. 2:3-4).
So the “resurrection-rapture” (1 Thess. 4:13-18; 5:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:51-54; Rev. 14:12-16; 7:9, 14) cannot happen before the Antichrist persecutes the Church, during the “Great Tribulation” (Matt. 24:15, 21-22; Rev. 13:7). As God has promised the church would not experience His wrath (Rom. 5:9) the rapture occurs before the Bowls of God’s wrath are poured out (Rev. 14:12-20; 15:1-7).
Unlike classic pre-, mid- and post-tribulation schemes that require a seven year long Great Tribulation, its length can be much shorter. The prophet Daniel was told the “great tribulation” consists of an intense period of persecution of the church that will begin 1,290 days after the Daily Sacrifice is taken away, or 30 days after 3 ½ years into the final seven year “week” when the “man of sin” (2 Thess. 2:3-4) “Chancelor Adonikam” began his reign. Then like a “Star Wars Sith lord” he morphs into the Antichrist Beast Emperor “Son of Perdition”, slays God’s two witnesses Moses and Elijah (Rev. 11:3-7).
Then persecution of the church begins, but for 30 days Adonikam solidifies his control over the Empire and sets up his 666 abomination of desolation (Mat. 24:15-21). Then he ramps up the persecution of the Christian Church (Rev. 13:7; 14:12-13). The church is nearly extinguished in a short period of time, that is why it is called the “Great Tribulation” (Mat. 24:21-22; Rev. 7:14). Daniel says this time lasts 1,335-1,290=45 days (Dan. 12:11-12; Mat. 24:30-31; 1 Thess. 4:16-17; Rev. 14:14-15).
As the Emperor Beast he reigns for another 3 ½ years or 42 months (Rev. 13:5). His “war” against the saints is effective. Believers heeding the prophecies flee Israel immediately upon seeing the abomination of desolation set up, flee to the mountains (Mat. 24:16) and the land of Jordan formerly known as the land of Edom, Moab and Ammon (Dan. 11:40-43).
5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.
6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.
7 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. (Rev. 13:5-7 KJV)
This period of intense persecution of Believers lasts for 45 days and then the dead and those remaining alive are raptured:
7 Then I heard the man clothed in linen, who was above the waters of the river, when he held up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever, that it shall be for a time, times, and half a time; and when the power of the holy people has been completely shattered, all these things shall be finished.
8 Although I heard, I did not understand. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?”
9 And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
10 “Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
12 “Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days. (Dan 12:7-12 NKJ)
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (Rev. 14:12-16 KJV)
So the “great crowd” no man can number are raptured AFTER the Great Tribulation, but before the bowls of God’s wrath are poured out. So it is a pre-wrath rapture:
9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands…And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. (Rev. 7:9-14 KJV)
It is confirmed they are in heaven before the bowls are poured out:
1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.
2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints. (Rev. 15:1-3 KJV)
“But wait,” someone will protest, “the great crowd appears before the seventh seal is opened (Rev. 7:9 cp. Rev. 8:1) and they appear “after these things” (Μετὰ τοῦτο Rev. 7:9), all the events listed under the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12-16).
The objection is unsound, “after this” (μετὰ ταῦτα) refers to events during the vision, not to events that occur on earth:
The mere presence of μετὰ ταῦτα in 18:1 [and 7:9] does not indicate a chronological distinction between the chapters. It only shows that the events revealed to John by the second angel were shown after he had viewed the woman on the beast.”-Dyer, C. H. (1987). The Identity of Babylon in Revelation 17–18, Bibliotheca Sacra, 144, 306–307. [Bracketed reference mine as Dyer includes that text in his proofs]
Dyer cited the occurrences of “after this” in Revelation to prove his point. “Temporal use” Rev. 4:1; 7:1, 9; 15; 18:1; 19:1. “Eschatological Use” Rev. 1:19; 4:1; 9:12; 20:3.
The four references not associated with verbs of perception seem to indicate chronological distinctions between future events. However, those with verbs of perception only indicate the order in which the parts of the vision were viewed by John-Dyer, Ibid.
All true believers on earth are raptured at that time. Although we are given the precise number of days after the start of the end time Seven year “week”, we cannot know the “day or hour” (Mt. 24:36) for a variety of reasons. Symbolic dates may approximate literal time, and Christ introduced “imprecision” because “days were shortened” (Mt. 24:21-22). No doubt hindsight will reveal the timing was “wonderfully precise”.
But many become believers AFTER the rapture. That is why Christ sends His angels to gather these when the “opening” appears in heaven through which He and His Holy Myriads enter our matrix (Rev. 19:11):
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. (Matt. 24:30-31 KJV)
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
3 And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. (Dan. 12:1-4 KJV)
The time when “the daily sacrifice shall be taken away” must be at the beginning of the seven years, not in the middle of the week. The 1290 days and 1335 are different points on the same time line containing also the 1260 days when the Beast rises up breaking covenants scattering the power of the holy people (Dan. 12:7; 9:27).
Some object confusing the “sacrifice (02077 זֶבַח zebach) and the oblation (04503 מִנְחָה minchah) in Daniel 9:27 with the “daily (08548 תָּמִיד tamiyd)” in Daniel 12:11. The “Daily sacrifice” ended with the apostasy of the Church at the beginning of the week, when it received the false Christ.
The “Man of Sin” appears to a “fallen away church” as a false Christ condoner of sin, at midway he morphs into the Beast Son of Destruction Antichrist (Dan. 7:25; 9:27; 12:7) ending all “sacrifice and oblation” worldwide (2 Th. 2:3-4; Rev. 11:7; 13:5).
Is it sound to interpret the “daily sacrifice of the Temple” as figurative of Christian taking up the cross daily and serving Christ?
Yes, that is 100% consistent with the NT applying Temple language to the church (1 Cor. 3:16-17; 6:19; 2 Cor. 6:16; Eph. 2:19-21). Peter identifies the church as a spiritual house “a holy priesthood, to offer up “spiritual sacrifices” (πνευματικὰς θυσίας) acceptable to God” (1 Pet. 2:5). In Hebrews we are admonished to “offer (399 ἀναφέρω anaphero) sacrifice (2378 θυσία thusia)” and that word is used in the Greek Septuagint to offer (399 ἀναφέρω anaphero) the whole burnt offering that in Hebrew is the “daily” (08548 תָּמִיד tamiyd) 1 Ch. 16:40; 23:31; 2 Ch. 2:3; 24:14.
Our sacrifice of praise is to be offered “continually” (1275 διαπαντός) to God. In Hebrews 13:1-17 the ethical exhortations being an expansion of the acceptable duties priests offer God daily (Heb. 12:28 λατρεύωμεν εὐαρέστως τῷ θεῷ).
Christ is our perpetual sacrifice for sin (Heb. 10:11-18), it follows “that the daily sacrifice “shall be taken away” (05493 סוּר cuwr; 868 ἀφίστημι) is taken away by the church’s apostasy when it receives the false Christ man of sin, which occurs at the commencement of the seven years.
Not taking up the cross daily for Christ, doing service to the false Christ, is the apostasy that removes the daily sacrifice of praise and offerings to God and that marks the beginning of the end time week as does the arrival of Moses and Elijah to prophesy in Jerusalem (Rev. 11:3-7)
Some object its unhistorical NT usage define OT meaning, but that is not pertinent to prophecy whose words are “closed up” and “sealed” (Dan. 12:9) until the time of the end arrived (1 Pt. 1:12). Confirming this, the angel said the wise would understand in the end time (Dan. 12:10). Consistent with this, righteous and wise Daniel (Dan. 1:17; 4:9-10, 18; 5:10-12, 14-16) could not understand because he was not in the end time when the unsealed meaning of the words would be known. On this see Words are closed up and sealed
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