By Todd Baker, ZLM Staff Theologian

Q. Many people believe that the Church will be Raptured out, but that’s not true. They must go through the Tribulation to purify the Church. I have been a Believer my whole life and have taught friends about the 7 Feasts using Zola’s booklet The Seven Feasts of Israel. –J.Van S.

A. Thanks for sharing your views—and Zola’s booklet. The Bible uniformly teaches a pre-Tribulation Rapture. Below are some solid reasons why the Church will not go through any part of the Tribulation period as you suppose.

1. The Tribulation Period is signified as the wrath of God upon an ungodly, unbelieving, and unrepentant world.

Luke 21:23 But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.

Revelation 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 6:17 For the great day of His wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

Revelation 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.

Rev. 14:9 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, 14:10 The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb

and again in verse 19:
Rev. 14:19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God.

Rev 15:1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.

Rev 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.

Rev 16:1 And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.

The Church however, does not have this same fate
Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

I Thess 1:10 And to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

I Thess 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.
2. The Tribulation Period is not intended to purify the Church. Only the blood of Christ can wash us clean of the iniquity and sin.

The Tribulation period is referred to as “The Time of Jacob’s trouble,” and God will supernaturally deliver the Jewish people. We must be careful to distinguish between God’s plan for the Church, and His plan for Israel. Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

The Tribulation period is the time of Jacob’s trouble-not the Church’s

It is also commonly referred to as Daniel’s 70th Week. We don’t have enough time and space to discuss Daniel in-depth, but here is the reference for you to do some research on your own. Perhaps at a later date, we will do an article dealing specifically with Daniel’s prophecy.
Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

The 70th Week prophesied in Daniel is a period of seven years. This is perfect harmony with the fact that the Tribulation period is 7 years.
3. The doctrine of Imminence is only maintained with a pre-Trib Rapture

If there is one theme throughout the New Testament, it is that of the imminent return of Christ. Any view that holds that other events (most notably the Tribulation) must precede the Rapture of the Church, violates the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ. We can infer from the writers and writings of the New Testament, that the early believers expected Christ at any time. Here are just a few verses that are crucial to the doctrine of imminence (which is only preserved with a pre-Trib view).

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.
Mark 13:33-37 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.


4. The Tribulation period will be full of signs, and fearful happenings that would alert any astute Christian that the time would be near.

The student of prophecy also is aware that the “abomination of desolation” (which is marked by the antiChrist sitting in the Temple claiming to be God Himself) takes place in the middle of Daniel’s 70th week. It wouldn’t take a mathematician to realize that exactly 3 and one-half years later, Christ will return (bodily) to the Earth, thus destroying the element of imminence. (Side note: Again, the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel and Jesus is beyond the scope of this generic article. There are volumes of studies written about the Tribulation period and should be further studied in-depth.)

5. The restrainer must be removed before the antiChrist can be revealed

II Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. 2:8 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:

This passage is one of the most misunderstood passages in the entire Word of God. We could devote a whole article to just this one passage in II Thessalonians. But briefly, let me just point out a few things. Notice the mystery of iniquity is already at work. John tells us that “there are many antiChrists” and evil has been at work in the world for many years. But the passage in II Thessalonians is not referring to just “an antiChrist” but “THE” antiChrist (referred to as “that Wicked in the above text). I want you to notice something very important here. Notice right now, someone is hindering, restraining, or as the text stated above “letting” (old word for restraining/hindering). This restrainer is none other than the Church full of God’s Holy Spirit power. Right now, the overcoming Church is the salt and light that is keeping this world from becoming an absolute cesspool of debauchery. The antiChrist could not rise to power as long as the Church is on the Earth. I know you might be wondering “how can that be?” … well, let me show you from the Scriptures.

Matthew 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

We know that when the man of sin is revealed, that he will have a government so powerful that the whole world will say “who is able to make war with the beast?” But Jesus has promised that as long as His Church is on the Earth, the government of hell will not prevail against it.
Luke 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

I John 4:3-4 And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antiChrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world.

I hope that you can see from just these few passages, that the Church is indeed restraining the antiChrist. He cannot be “revealed” (II Thess 2:8) until we are taken out.

6. We can look at past examples of God removing His people before judgment

II Peter 2:5-9 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;) The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

Here we see the character of God revealed in these two Old Testament examples. Both Noah and Lot were spared from the wrath of God, while the sinful and unbelieving were punished. The LORD definitely wants us to learn from these two examples. These two Old Testament figures are pictures of the end-times fulfillment. Jesus also referenced these two men in His preaching about the last days:
Matthew 24:37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.

Luke 17:26-30 And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.

So we can see that even in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, there are those like Noah and Lot who will find grace in the eyes of the LORD and be spared from the terrible Tribulation period.

7. The Church meets the LORD in the air, not on the Earth

I Thess 4:16 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: 4:17 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.

For those who believe the Church will go through the Tribulation, there is a big problem. When Jesus comes for His Church, He comes to the clouds and stops. When Jesus returns to the Earth (the 2nd Coming, not the Rapture), He will set His feet upon the Mount of Olives to rule and reign forever more:

Zechariah 14:4 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.

Israel (and the remnant of the nations that are alive when Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation) will meet Jesus on the Earth. The Church will meet Him in the air and evermore shall be with Him. Let’s explore this even further by looking at I Thessalonians again, but this time contrasting the pronouns:
I Thessalonians 4:17-5:11 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. 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 5:3 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. 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 5:7 For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 5:8 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. 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

Ok, I know that’s a lot to digest. But I’ve bolded the pronouns so you can clearly see who is being addressed. We (the Church) are in the clouds while they (those left behind) are on the Earth receiving wrath. I don’t think it could be any clearer. I might also add, that the message of the Rapture of the Church brings comfort (note verse 11 above), but the message of pending wrath brings anxiety and stress. It’s hard to comfort someone with the fact that they are about to endure the wrath of God.

8. Some things to notice that are different about the Second Coming and the Rapture (the appearing):

At the Rapture, only those who are looking for Him will see Him :

Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for Him shall He appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

Now contrast that with the Second Coming to the Earth

Rev 1:7 Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him, and they also which pierced Him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.

At the Rapture, Jesus comes FOR His Church :

I Thessalonians: 4:17 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.

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

However, at the Second Coming (after the Tribulation period), Christ comes WITH His saints.

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of His saints.

Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

At the Rapture, the LORD calls His Church up to a wedding/marriage.

Matthew 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.

But at the Second Coming to Earth, He is returning from a wedding.

Luke 12 12:36 And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when He will return from the wedding; that when He cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

When the Lord comes to the Earth bodily (the Second Coming), the Jewish people will have had to flee to the wilderness, and much of the Earth and its population will have been destroyed. (Some believe close to 2/3s of the Earth’s population will be destroyed during the Tribulation). However, the psalms tell us that Christ is coming when Israel (Zion) is being built up.

Psalm 102:16 When the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.

But the most convincing evidence that the New Testament Church will be Raptured prior to the Tribulation …
… can be summed up in Luke 21:36 and Revelation 3:10:
Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Jesus was clearly talking about the horrors of the Tribulation hour that is coming upon the world. The very fact that He instructed us to pray that we may be accounted worthy to escape this tribulation, is evidence enough to me that we most assuredly can escape this terrible time (otherwise that verse makes no sense whatsoever).

Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

This promise was specifically to the church of Philadelphia, but it applies to all that are over-comers by their faith. This “hour of temptation” indicates something much deeper than just the everyday trials of life that we all must endure as good soldiers of Christ. This is a “worldwide” hour of trouble that most assuredly is a reference to the Tribulation period.

20 thoughts on “In Support of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church

  • i want to thank you for your clear explaination of these verses. how can someone not see that the church will not go through the trib? thank you also for your newsletter. caroly

  • [Thanks, Zola Levitt… I, too, would prefer a pretrib rapture but more and more I am finding articles on the internet like this one. Any reactions? BTW, two articles on Google that touch on the “Jewish connection” with the rapture are “Pretrib Rapture Politics” & “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism.”]

    Christ’s return is NOT imminent !

    by Bruce Rockwell

    (Pretrib rapturists claim that Christ’s return is imminent, that is, capable of occurring at any moment. Theologian and pastor Norman MacPherson, in his excellent book “Triumph Through Tribulation,” offers proof that the Bible has never taught an any-moment return of Christ. Here are the points brought out and discussed at length by MacPherson:)

    1. Great Commission fulfillment implies a long period of time.
    2. Seed growth in Matthew 13 is a time-consuming process.
    3. Paul expected death, not rapture, in II Timothy 4:6-8.
    4. Jesus predicted Peter’s martyrdom in John 21:18-19.
    5. Matthew 24 teaches that signs must come first.
    6. Many passages speak of a large interval between Christ’s ascension and return: Jewish dispersion into “all nations” (Luke 21); “man travelling into a far country,” “after a long time the lord of those servants cometh” (Matthew 25).
    7. Apostasy of last days takes time to develop.
    8. Bridegroom tarried in parable of virgins.
    9. Pastoral epistles teach Church’s continuing ministry, which involves time.
    10. Paul says Christ’s coming is not imminent (II Thessalonians 2:1-3), for apostasy and Antichrist must come first.
    11. View of seven phases of church history (seven churches of Revelation) involves big lapse of time and imminence difficulties for pre-tribs; could Christ have come before the last phase?
    12. Exhortations to watch and be ready are tied to what pre-trib teachers regard as the second stage (which is necessarily non-imminent) in Matthew 24 and 25, I Corinthians 1:7, Colossians 3:4, I Thessalonians 3:13, II Thessalonians 1:7-10, I Peter 1:13 and 4:13, and I John 2:28.

    (How can an “imminent” return of Christ have a greater practical effect on us than the indwelling of the Holy Spirit already has, or should have, on us? For more on pretrib beliefs and history, Google “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.”)

  • Thank You Stewart,

    Using KJV:

    Matthew 24:3
    3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the END OF THE WORLD?

    A very important verse after this question, in fact the very next verse, is:
    Matthew 24:4
    4 And Yeshua answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

    Scoot over to 24:15
    15 When ye therefore shall see the Abomination of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whosoever readeth, let him understand:)

    As we know, Muslims control the temple mount in Jerusalem. I’ve heard that Jews are forbidden to go on top of it? Is this correct? Or is it they cannot read scripture on the top? Whichever the case may be is of none importance. The greater importance is that a regime hell-bent on the destruction of Israel controls the very resting place of the house of YHWH which has been defiled in the past, is currently being defiled and will continue to be defiled until the end. However the events are played out in the future, no one knows except YHWH which will lead up to the Abomination of Desolation. The temple will be rebuilt and daily sacrifices will be re-instated on the temple mount. The Anti-christ will then be calling fire from the sky. Yes, this will be the very image, the very man whom will bring his mark to the world using YHWH’s holy place to dupe the nations. If you read Matthew 24 in its entirety you will know what to do, what signs to look for and how to withstand this, the Great Abomination. Yeshua alludes to this, does he not? Read the book of Daniel folks.

    Scoot over to 24:21-22
    21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor shall ever be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should NO FLESH BE SAVED: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

    What we see here is not the rapture of the elect – pre-tribulation, but the elect WHO SURVIVES the tribulation. Everyone will be wiped clean, due to violence, enslavement, war and prison for not accepting the mark. It is the shortening of days for their sake. They are still here dealing with the end times and the Abomination of Desolation paired with the hour of temptation. I believe the hour of temptation will be when the mark is available to the world as a supposed “remedy” to all the terrible things that will be occurring throughout as we have been told by the Messiah the end times trib is the greatest the world shall ever see. The anti-christ who is calling fire from heaven will wow the people on Earth, allowing them to believe he is the Messiah, which he is not. Read Daniel. Read Revelation. He makes no mention of anyone or anything being raptured out. Everyone will suffer equally, especially when the mark is enstated as a requirement to survive. But it will be more than survival. The mark also shows the willingness of people to bow to a false prophet completely. YHWH will preserve His elect accordingly during these trials.

    Scoot over to verse 24:29-31
    29 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.

    … it comes…..

    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.

    Folks what Luke 21:36 is alluding to, as stated above for a “pre-trib” interpretation:
    36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.

    If you are accounted worthy to escape the tribulation and make it to the point AFTER it ends during the darkening of the Earth as stated in Matt 24:29 you will be considered part of the elect. Part of the 144,000. These will be the only who see the coming of the Son of man. Luke 21:36 is not stating whatsoever that you are guaranteed a pre-trib rapture. This is a man-made teaching that doesn’t exist in scripture, period. The Luke verse is just one example. Don’t take my word for it, search these things out for yourself within scripture, as it is your duty to be a watchman as commanded by YHWH to His people forever. Refusing to study His word carefully is what is rampant within our world at present, has been in the past, and will continue to be until the end.

    Folks, here we see a definite separation between the end times tribulation and the coming of the Son of man. THEN the process of the Earth’s restoration will begin and peace shall regin. AFTER the tribulation, AFTER the sun and moon fall from the sky as stated in verse 29. Folks, since this is not as of yet, why is it that we are telling each other that Yeshua can return tomorrow? It is sheer hypocrisy and cowardice. We all must endure until the end. Please folks, read Matthew 24 with a keen eye. Why will most everyone on this Earth, including “believers”, be swallowed up during the end times? Because we are allowing ourselves to preach doctrines that do not exist thus paving the way to in-action by people who are waiting to be lifted up to heaven. I’m sorry to tell you, this will not be. We must be ready to endure.

    The verses offered in this “Levitt extra” shed zero light on the issue, period. Those verses used, some simply state in greater detail the finer points of the coming of the Son of man which occurs AFTER the great tribulation. The sings have never changed, will not change, nor can be changed. I haven’t seen this teaching in the Levitt Letter until the August 2011 issue with Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum. My heart was shattered when I read his article. I enjoy the Levitt for its great analysis on Israeli events and True lessons from scripture. Not the lessons employed by those who participate in the doctrines of men. Come on Levitt. Shema Yisrael!

  • This particular “Levitt Extra” doesn’t need to make the website, let alone a printed work. I came to Levitt for wisdom and knowledge. I left the church due to the doctrines of men which preached the imminent return of Yeshua as being in 15 minutes, tomorrow…or…”anytime, anywhere He can return.” Yes, His return is imminent, only after YHWH’s precepts have been fulfilled for the Earth and the people within the Earth on His timeline and His alone. Keep in mind folks that indeed we do not know the HOUR nor the DAY. Guess what? We have been given the SIGNS. Watch ye therefore for the SIGNS. Noah watched for the SIGNS and was prepared for the HOUR and DAY which he knew not. Because he listened to the commandments and precepts of YHWH he was ready when he saw the SIGNS of the flood because he was a watchman of the Almighty. Let us not forget that the Most High is the Author, the Writer of our faith and in full patient control of the second coming of His beloved. We must not forget that we shall in no way add or take away ANY of His precepts and statutes. We must not lead ANY of our brethren on the wrong path. Has Levitt always taught this teaching? If so, there are plenty more upright publications and ministries to choose from. For any of you who may be interested in Truth, check out Michael Rood. Google him. He lives in Israel, and runs a brilliant ministry based on the word of YHWH. I have heard of the departure of Jeff Seif. I am currently getting caught up on his Psalms of Ascent. Great stuff indeed, I’ve been enjoying it. How is it then, that men like he (Jeff) move on to other things from what WAS seemingly a trustworthy ministry? I think I have found my answer. If we are Hebrew by flesh or spirit we must hearken only to the precepts of YHWH and none else. Anyone who tries to separate Jews from the Church are clearly involved in replacement theology. Men like these (Baker) who are in charge of the scripture and theology, for others’ benefit, will most certainly not be a part of the elect even though their swelled understanding has persuaded them otherwise. I’m interested in listening, following, and being a part of the remnant of Jacob. Not the remnant of E’sau. That’s all I wanted to say about this posting of pre-trib nonsense. Shalom O Israel. Dwellest thou in wholeness not division. Dwellest thou in the shadow of His mighty hand not the hand of men.

  • Stewart, I’m not an expert in these things, but have seen the arguments of those that fight so hard against it.

    Pre-trib teaches that the rapture can happen at any time. There is NO event tying the rapture to the tribulation period (though it will most likely happen close to the start of the tribulation) and no event must precede the rapture. Christ does not return at the rapture; we go to Him and meet Him in the clouds. Then, at the end of the tribulation, we return with Christ at the Second Coming. This is what Zola taught. There is no “secret” coming of Christ. He returns once and it will be VERY public.

    You will notice that the arguments against pre-trib often confuse (often purposely) the second coming with the rapture. Re-read those 12 points with that in mind. They all seem to assume Christ returning at rapture time, which is not what pre-trib teaches.

    Part of the viciousness of the attacks and debates about this is because may religions, such as Catholicism, teach against it, so believers in those systems feel they must defend their religion against pre-trib beliefs they are taught are wrong. It’s usually hard to have an intellectual debate with such people.

  • “Pre-trib teaches that the rapture can happen at any time. There is NO event tying the rapture to the tribulation period (though it will most likely happen close to the start of the tribulation) and no event must precede the rapture.”

    Yeah, you (and “the pagan church”) wish it’ll most likely happen at the start of the tribulation. Unfortunately it will not. Get used to it. Teach your children correctly. Try and supply a definite argument for the case, sir. We all must wait until the man of sin is revealed (II Thess 2:3) so don’t be deceived, brethren. Greg, you and others who preach a pre-trib are part of the falling away from the Holy Spirit. A pre-trib doctrine is almost always paired with additional false teachings i.e. not keeping the Sabbath Holy. Not keeping the feasts of the Lord. Allowing LGBT to hold positions of authority. Mixing pagan and Hebrew traditions. Thinking that Sunday is the 7th day of the week. (look at your calendar again and research what Saturday means..then count to seven.) The traditions of men have snowballed into something that YHWH doesn’t represent and never will represent. Being saved through Yeshua means turning back from your misunderstanding, to the Light of understanding and knowledge. Try it.

  • A good example of how discussions about this quickly degrade into name-calling. For some reason, those against pre-trib often think tribulation timing is a salvation-issue, and then it’s a slippery-slope into paganism, from their view. Bizarre. Clearly, other agendas are at play here.

  • Sir,

    Salvation is a process. The process of receiving Light, digesting it and living it is a life-long process that has nothing to do with the end times tribulation as you just posted here. I don’t know where you’re getting that notion from, but not from anything I have written, I can assure you.

    But, the timing of the Son of man is written. The process that must ensue chronologically based on the precepts of YHWH is written. Who will survive, is written. Who won’t survive, is written. My agenda must be then, to discuss that what is written, is in fact truth, and what isn’t written is not truth. Therefore the doctrine of pre-trib is not truth – what a shocker! My agenda is against the teachings of men, who in all of their wise, have added and subtracted from Torah. When this happens it leads to doctrines that do not exist in scripture.

    What’s your agenda?

  • [Thanks, Todd. Just wondering if you have ever read the following internet item. Was spotted not long ago.]


    Have you heard of the eccentric, 182-year-old British theory coloring the politics of American evangelicals and Christian Zionists?
    Journalist/historian Dave MacPherson (known as the “Pretrib Rapture Answerman” and the “Rush Limbaugh of the Rapture”) has spent more than 40 years focusing on the origin and spread of what is known as the apocalyptic “pretribulation rapture” – a secret, invisible coming of Christ that whisks all “true Christians” to Heaven several years before the Second Coming in order to exempt them from having to be on earth during the Antichrist’s reign (the “tribulation”) revealed in the Book of Revelation.
    Although promoters of this endtime evacuation from earth constantly repeat their slogan that “it’s imminent and always has been” (which critics view more as a sales pitch than a scriptural statement), it was unknown in all official theology and organized religion before 1830.
    And MacPherson’s research also reveals how hostile the pretrib rapture view has been to other faiths:
    It is anti-Islam. TV preacher John Hagee has been advocating “a pre-emptive military strike against Iran.” (Google “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism.”)
    It is anti-Jewish. MacPherson’s book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books etc.) exposes hypocritical anti-Jewishness in even the theory’s foundation.
    It is anti-Catholic. Hal Lindsey and C. I. Scofield are two of many leaders who claim that the final Antichrist will be a Roman Catholic. (Google “Pretrib Hypocrisy.”)
    It is anti-Protestant. For this reason no major Protestant denomination has ever adopted this escapist view.
    Despite the above, MacPherson proves that the “glue” that holds constantly in-fighting evangelicals together long enough to be victorious voting blocs in elections is the same “fly away” view. He notes that Jerry Falwell, when giving political speeches just before an election, would unfailingly state: “We believe in the pretribulational rapture!”
    In addition to “The Rapture Plot” (available also at any library through inter-library loan), MacPherson’s many internet articles include “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “X-Raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” (pervasive plagiarism, changing of early “rapture” documents in order to falsely credit John Darby with this view, etc.!).
    This Johnny-come-lately view, which prophecy authors Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye can thank for their record-breaking bestsellers, raises millions of dollars for political agendas. Only when scholars of all faiths begin to look deeply at it and widely air its “dirty linen” will it cease to be a power. It is the one theological view no one needs!
    With apologies to Winston Churchill – never has so much deception been foisted on so many by so few!

  • Jason, when you throw in phrases like “the pagan church” and going on about the counting of days, then you reveal that your issue is not just with pre-trib. That’s what I meant by you having an additional agenda.

    Toby, that “internet item” is total garbage from top to bottom. I would disregard it. You see the type of irrational rage that rapture timing discussions generate? And it seems to be directed one way.

    There are lots of honest articles out there that look at different rapture timing theories honestly. Locate some that don’t contain insulting rhetoric.

  • These are full of confusion purposely placed here.We know who is the author of confusion…….don’t we?? That one spiteful guy reminds me of a near kin who finds any excuse to go off like a half cocked pistol..

  • It is so obvious that those who disagree with the position that we will escape the Tribulation via meeting the Lord in the air and heading with Him from there to the Wedding Feast, have either never considered the scripture references given or never read the article at all. This is the most clear, beautiful teaching on this subject I have ever read and drops the pieces of the puzzle I have previously failed to put in place, right where they fit – and they slide in perfectly. Thank you so much, Todd Baker, for taking the time to patiently explain this, scripturally, to those of us who need to have this spelled out to us. I have always been confused about who would be left to inhabit the earth at the coming of Christ if the rapture didn’t occur until immediately before his return to the Mount of Olives. He says everyone with the mark of the beast will be killed, so if all who are saved, which would include the 144,000 Jews of the 12 tribes of Israel, were caught up to be with Him just before His return to Jerusalem, there would be no one left to enjoy His millennial reign as King and Priest over all the earth!
    Also, I would add three additional ‘types’ or ‘shadows’ of a ‘rapture’ or catching away into heaven of living people, that occur in the scriptures. The first example of someone being taken into the air alive by God is Elijah in 2 Kings 2: 11, 12 which says, “…there appeared a chariot of fire and horses of fire which separated the two of them. And Elijah went up by a whirlwind to heaven. Elisha saw it and cried out, “My father, my father, the chariots of Israel and its horsemen! And he saw Elijah no more.” The second reference is to the two witnesses in Revelation 11: 11, 12 which says, “…and they heard a great voice from heaven saying to them, “Come up here.” Then they went up into heaven in the cloud, and their enemies watched them.” The third is of Jesus Christ of whom it is told in Mark 16:19, “So then when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.”

  • I meant to add that in Acts 1:2-11, the account of the ascension of Jesus Christ is given in more detail. In Acts 1:9, it says “…He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.” So, Elijah was raptured in a whirlwind, while the two witnesses and Jesus were raptured in clouds. Why then, is it so difficult to believe that Christ will in the same way rapture His bride away unto Himself on their Wedding Day? And if His bride is to meet the Lord in the air at all, it must be before the 144,000 Jews of the 12 Tribes of Israel are chosen and sealed as explained in Revelation 7: 3-8. It is also of interest to note how in the very next verse, Revelation 7:9, we see the arrival to heaven of martyred saints arriving directly “from the great tribulation.” These saints have either died or have been killed, having experienced death, and have not been taken alive up to heaven in clouds, whirlwinds or via any other method, so they cannot be the subjects of a mid-trib or close-to-the-end of the tribulation rapture.
    P.S. Please do not ever take this question and answer teaching down from your website. It is SO instructional and vitally needed as is evidenced by the strange views expressed in the comments following it by those who obviously did not bother to read it before they began their harsh, unloving, rant-style ‘responses’. That they had no idea what they were responding to is made apparent by their failure to even begin to discuss the brilliant, concise points made by Todd Baker, employing multiple scripture references to confirm each of his assertions. Thanks again for this wonderful answer, so rightly handling the Word of Truth!

  • [Hi ZL Ministries. Saw this nugget on the net. Also check out “Pretrib Rapture: A Staged Event” on Google.]


    How can the “rapture” be “imminent”? Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven (He’s now there with the Father) “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the too-hot-to-handle Acts 3:21!) Since Jesus can’t even leave heaven before the tribulation ends (Acts 2:34,35 echo this), the rapture therefore can’t take place before the end of the trib! (The same Acts verses were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the posttrib end of “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which is Israel’s posttrib resurrection!)
    Many are unaware that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into a separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which the mass of evangelical scholars rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!).
    Other Google articles on the 182-year-old pretrib rapture view include “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Scholar Wannabes,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “X-Raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Thieves’ Marketing,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” and “Christ’s return is NOT imminent!” – all by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books).

    • Naomi — I wonder what happened in the 1830s to lead the arguers for a pre-Tribulation Rapture down their heretical path. Possibly an event like the one in 1492 that led the Round Earth heretics to adopt their novel view and begin to counter the long-held teachings of the Flat Earth tradition — the height of desperation!

  • {Howdy, ZLM. Found this little morsel on the web. Any reaction to it?)

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving in Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

  • The Living Word of Almighty God has nothing to do with the lie of the pre-tribulation rapture. When these liars finally understand what an abomination it is and the desolation that is has caused they will weep and they will mourn. It is s stinking trench full of twice dead men’s bones and denies the fulfillment of Jesus Christ coming to His own and keeps His children from coming to Him and it keeps them from taking up their cross and dying in Him and from loving His Word and His Name in them. It is a lie because it makes Christians, arrogant, complacent and proud and denies the final of victory of Jesus Christ over death and the Revelation of His Testimony and His Name. They are complacent because they love their own life, they think they do not need anything and they fear death and the fruit they long for will be taken from them. They are proud because they do not think they need to be humble and they despise holiness, love and unity, righteousness and purity and the Word of God made perfect in them. They sniff contemptuously at the gift of God and His sacred bread and dance around this shrine completely naked in their pride and they sacrifice their own children to it because it is an idol of their name and their number. They are arrogant because they believe they will be given and receive what they do not ask for and they will find what they do not seek and they will enter where they refuse to go. In their arrogance they believe the narrow door is a walk down the aisle and that is all they need and that the Way is as wide as the sea and that they do need to be blameless when He comes because what they teach is antichrist because it denies Christ coming in the flesh in them, the Firstfruit of why we came to Him in the first place. They have overcome nothing, they trample the Holy City of Truth and they refuse to enter in the Temple and give God the Holiest place in them. They know nothing and their horses are flesh and not Spirit. Jesus Christ does not know them and they do not know Him. They are a rejected branch that is about to be cut-off and thrown into the flames if they do not repent and stop spreading lies in the Name of Jesus Christ. I tell you the Truth, God’s wrath burns against these prophets of fortune and their worthless words. They say, then let God be the judge, but Jesus Christ says, if they knew the truth they would understand that those who overcome and are willing to endure patiently until the end will judge them because God has entrusted all judgment to His Son, even Christ in us who is the first and the last. Jesus Christ is my authority to judge and He has put a sword of justice in my mouth to rebuke them and throw them out. Yes they always quote the same few scriptures they stole from the image of the roof of God’s house, but they have cut themselves off from everything else including the Israel of God, so they will die and suffer intensely in their sin and on that day Jesus will say to them, I never knew you, throw this man out. The souls of those deceived by this lie cry out for justice against these wicked men. I do not understand why these men are not terrified for adding to the Revelation of Jesus Christ and taking away from it in direct defiance of the command of God, but they will be. I tell you this in love and in truth, do not lose your prize because of what some man taught you. Eat the unleavened bread of life, the Word of God and pray to God to show you the Truth today even now.

  • Eric — I read your run-on sentence above and urge you to breathe slowly — in and out — four times to calm yourself down.

    Your arguments and accusations kind of go in a circle and make me wonder if you understand the ongoing discussion regarding Jesus’ return — the Second Coming. Greg’s comments above show a reasoned explanation of the Rapture and the Second Coming as two separate events. Understanding or predicting the timing of these events does NOT affect our salvation, which comes only through the death and resurrection of Jesus/Yeshua.

    Jesus told us that we would not be able to know ahead of time when He would return (Rev 16:15). It is rather presumptuous of us to try and figure it out anyway, but it is an interesting discussion that can generate a greater understanding of God’s promises — that is, until someone starts name-calling and questioning the salvation of others. Please don’t be that person, Eric.

  • Dear friend in Christ ,
    I believe that the rapture occurs before the seven year tribulation . I would listen to your kind sggestions if any .
    India ,



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