XXXXXXX, you have asked me to Email you biblical proof that the rapture will be before the tribulation starts. I will tell you below what I believe the Bible says on this subject. Be aware that there are many who will disagree with me. They and you may believe whatever you wish. But, as you well know, just because it is believed does not make it true. When you ask man, you can receive any kind of answer. The truth will always be had from God Himself, for God never lies.
For myself, I believe that the rapture (the great catching away to meet Jesus in the air) will be before the tribulation period, and I believe the Bible documents this. Therefore I offer the following, but you must also be aware that the antichrist brings a false peace to the earth, therefor, the earth will have yet another world war before the tribulation starts. This war could last for years or could last only for days or hours. This is an unknown. You can not wait until this war to make yourself ready. Remember the parable of the 10 virgins. First, being virgins, they were pure. Second, they were all looking for the immanent return of the Bridegroom (Jesus Christ). Those who were not looking for Him to come at that time were just not there and so were totally left behind. Third, even of those who were looking for the immediate return, half had not make themselves ready to meet the bridegroom and so were not able to enter into the wedding chamber. (the rapture of the Bride to the wedding with Jesus Christ.)
That the rapture can come at any time is absolutely true. That we will in fact see this new war is in no way certain in our lives, for Jesus will come as a thief in the night. Jesus may call us to judgement before it happens. I am convinced that by the signs given in the Bible that this is the last generation of man on the earth before Jesus returns. What we are given, is what is in the Bible, and the signs that are occurring now, which confirm what the Bible says, so that we may know that the time is at hand, just as Jesus said, but only the Father knows the exact time.
This is the belief that the rapture will happen before the great tribulation. This will cause many non Christians, including the 144,000 Jews to put faith in Jesus Christ and become the martyrs of the tribulation period. This belief is based on:
(1.) Revelation 1:19, The things that will be hereafter (chapter 4 - 22). The Word "church" is not mentioned again after Revelation 3:22 until the marriage supper of the Lamb in chapter 19. This is after all the judgments have been poured out. According to pre-tribbers, the church is not mentioned because the church has been raptured away.
(2.) Revelation 2:7; 2:11; 2:17; 2:29; 3:6; 3:13; 3:22; all speaks of the Spirit. "He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches:" The Spirit does not speak to God's chosen ones again until Revelation 22:17. The next reference in Revelation to man hearing, is in Revelation 13:9 "If any man have an ear, let him hear.", Note that the Spirit is no longer mentioned. By this we see that man no longer has the Spirit to help him to hear God's Word, because the Spirit is no longer on the earth, man must hear the word on his own. Note that once the Spirit has been given to some one, we are told, that the Spirit will never leave us. (Hebrew 13:5) Therefore, when the Spirit leaves the Earth, so will every Christian, else the statement that he will never leave us would be a lie.
Hebrews 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
(3.) 2 Thessalonians shows us that the antichrist will not be revealed until the Holy Spirit is taken out of the way. The Holy Spirit is holding Satan and all of his satanic agents in check, that is, they are limited in what they can do until the Holy Spirit leaves the earth with the Christians. Then Satan will have free rein upon the people of the earth.
The antichrist (described in Revelation chapter 13) will be revealed at the start of the Tribulation period for he will bring a false peace upon the earth. Revelation chapter 6, the first seal opened will be the antichrist being revealed, who will conquer the earth by peaceful means.(shown by having a bow but no arrows, and the words "and he went forth conquering and to conquer". A crown shows that he will become a ruler. The white horse indicates that he will be looked upon as the [False] christ.) As the false christ, he will have a head wound that will kill him, but he will rise again and the world will accept him as the christ.
The world will be in a world war and the antichrist will gain control over the earth and force the peace upon the nations. It is at this time that the antichrist will sign a seven year peace treaty with Israel, which he will break three and a half years later. See Daniel 9:27.
Daniel 9:27 "And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the over spreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate."
This will be the last week of years (7 years) of Daniel's vision of the 70 weeks of years.
(4.) And in 2 Thessalonians we are told that "he who letteth (This is the Holy Spirit) will let, until he be taken out of the way. (Taken off of the earth) And then shall the Wicked (the antichrist) be revealed. This is clear, the antichrist will not be revealed until God turns this world over to Satan to do what ever Satan wants to do. No restrictions. We have seen above that the antichrist will be revealed at the start of the tribulation period when he brings peace to the world.
2 Thessalonians 2:7-9
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
(5.) And in 1 Thessalonians, We are told that God has not appointed those of us to wrath who obtains salvation through Jesus Christ. All of the tribulation period is the pouring out upon the earth the wrath of God, Even if it appears at the start to be peace, it is not. For just as when a woman starts to travail in birth, the travail has started even though there are momentary periods without pain, once started it will not stop until total destruction falls upon man.
1 Thessalonians 5:3-10
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 (alive) or sleep (have died), we should live together with him.
Verse four tells us that if we are true followers of Jesus Christ that the tribulation will not come on us by suprise, as it will for all others. There will be many who sit in the church pews that are going to be very, very suprised when these events happen, because, like in the time of Noah, they think that what they see of life here on the earth will continue this way forever. I know, yes, they say they know that he (Jesus) is coming ....SOMEDAY, but not just yet.
And In Luke 21:36, Jesus promises that some will be found worthy to escape all these things. What things is Jesus talking about? Jesus is speaking about all of the things He spoke about in Matthew 24:4-26 and Luke 21:4-19. This is all the things that will occur during the tribulation. The worthy ones are the living saints occupying the earth just prior to these things coming to pass.
Revelation 4:4, There is mention of 24 elders sitting on 24 thrones. Many Pre- tribbers believe these 24 elders represents all of the believers, who are in heaven before the wrath of God has been poured out. The pre-Tribbers believe that they are there because the church has been raptured out between chapters 3 and 4. In Daniel 7:9, Daniel sees the 24 thrones set up but there is no one sitting on them at that time.
(6.) In Daniel 9:20-27 The prophecy of Daniel's 70 weeks of years (490 years), told us that from a given date, the Jews would have 70 weeks of years (490 years) under Jewish or Mosaic Law before The Christ would come back to earth in power. It was given that there would be 69 weeks of years (483 years) from that given date until Jesus Christ would enter into Jerusalem as king. This did happen exactly 69 weeks of years (483 years) from the starting date. Jesus entered into Jerusalem on the back of an ass as king. (see Daniel's vision / prophecy calculations at http://www.barr-family.com/godsword/daniel.htm ). Each point prophecided within the 70 weeks of years happened in the exact timing specified. So why didn't Christ return exactly 7 years after his entry into Jerusalem? It is because God suddenly said "Time Out, Here is revealed a mystery, Salvation by Grace, salvation by believing in Jesus Christ instead of by the Law. Nothing of this was revealed until this moment, that is why a mystery. And while we are under salvation by Grace through Jesus Christ, the Law has been set aside, temporarily, until the time of Grace has been fulfilled (come to an end). When the time of Grace ends, the Jews will go back under Mosaic Law for seven more Years, then will Jesus Christ return in Power to claim His throne just as was prophecided by Daniel's 70 week prophecy (and Others)
(7.) It must be noted here that during this time of Salvation by Grace and belief in Jesus Christ, that everyone in the world, including the Jews must accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and God or else have eternal damnation. We can see in the bible that from the time of Moses, before Christ, and while Christ lived on earth, that the only salvation was by totally obeying the Mosaic Law. (Jesus Himself obeyed the Mosaic Law until He died), That is, the whole world had to worship God through the Mosaic Law, and there was no salvation outside of the Law during that time. During the seven years left for the Jews to live under Mosaic Law, (The tribulation period, also known as the time of Jacobs troubles) the entire world will again have to embrace the Mosaic Law as the only way to salvation. (the exception is to be martyred for refusing the mark of the Beast or to be martyred for refusing to worship the Image of the Beast.)(Even during this time of tribulation, any Jew who accepts the mark of the Beast or worships the image of the Beast will be dammed to hell).
Just as you can not have two ways to reach God at the same time, you can not have both Christianity (Salvation through Jesus Christ) and Mosaic Law (Salvation through the Law) in effect at the same time. To have both in effect as a way to salvation is to make God a liar when he said that during this time of Grace that the only way to salvation is through Jesus Christ, that if you rejected Jesus Christ, that you also were rejecting Him, The Father.
Therefore, in order for the Jews to be able to again live under the Law as promised in Daniel's 70 Week of Years prophecy, there can not be any Christians. If there can not be any Christians, then the Christians will be taken off of this earth (Raptured off of the Earth ) so that the whole earth can again go under Mosaic Law with sacrifices in a new temple..
There are those who believe that the Rapture will be in the middle of the tribulation period (at the 3 1/2 year point) They say that it is improper to link the Great Tribulation to Daniel's 70th week. That the first 3 1/2 years will be peace and safety. The second three and one half years will be when desolation occurs, so this is when we will be raptured out, just as the desolation begins. This ignores the fact stated above that the Jews have 7 more years to live under Mosaic Law. It is a deliberate refusal to accept Daniel's vision as is stated in the Bible.
There are also those who insist that Christians will not be raptured off of the earth until the end of the Tribulation period. That God will protect His Christians from harm. They quote many scriptures which sound good if you ignore parts of scripture, but again, they refuse to accept Daniel's vision as true.
These are the reasons that I believe that the Bible is telling us that we will be raptured, taken off the earth, just before the tribulation period starts.
I would say to you -- Read God's word and go directly to God and ask Him for the truth. For any man, including myself, can lead you wrong. But it does not matter if we will be raptured off of the earth before, in the middle, or at the end, of the tribulation period, as long as you are ready to go when, and if, called by Jesus to meet Him in the air. Remember the 10 Virgins parable. And also remember this, if you are not ready to meet Jesus Christ for judgement right now, if you were to die this instant, then you don't need to worry about when the rapture will take place, because you won't be there for the rapture anyway. And if you are ready to meet Jesus Christ right now, if you were to die this instant, it doesn't matter when the rapture will take place because you are going to be raptured off of this earth whenever it happens.
I guess the point I am trying to make is that it is a point that is not worth arguing over.
May God Lead you into all Truth of His Word.
Rev. Jack Barr
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