For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.
(1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)
The apostle Paul’s first epistle was his letter to the church at Thessalonica. What was the first subject he wrote about? The rapture of the church. If we Christians hold certain events of scripture as “cornerstones” of our faith such as the birth of Jesus, the crucifixion, the resurrection…then the rapture is most certainly on that list. Yet it still remains one of, if not, the most controversial subject matter of all of The Bible. It’s created large chasms between brothers and sisters of our faith. Why? Many of us disagree on when the rapture of the church will take place or there are some who simply just don’t believe in the rapture at all. First I would like to start by saying whether you believe in a pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or a post-tribulation rapture it does not hold any weight on your salvation. This is not a salvation dependent issue. That being said, here’s why I believe in a pre-tribulation rapture.
First ask yourself this…does it make any sense for a groom to unleash absolute terror on his bride before the wedding? During the betrothal period of a Hebrew union the bride and groom would separate for around a year and no one would know the time or hour the groom would return to take his bride. The only person who would know would be the grooms’ father because he would decide when the time was right. Does this ring a bell? The soon to be bride was to stay pure and presentable to her groom at all times just in case he would return. Somehow during this betrothal period I find it very difficult to believe the groom would allow ultimate terror and wrath to come upon his future bride. After the groom and bride were reunited and married they would then go into the house the groom built in his father’s house and lock themselves away for 7 days. Then immediately after the 7 day period there would be a massive wedding ceremony and feast. We are in the “betrothal period” of our eventual “wedding” with our groom Jesus Christ. Yes, there have been extremely horrendous times within this “betrothal period” but all of these past atrocities will pale in comparison to what is ahead during the tribulation.
“For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now–and never to be equaled again” (Matthew 24:21)
The tribulation period will be the most tumultuous time in the history of this planet, and once it’s over there will never be such a tumultuous period of time like it ever again. In other words nothing that has happened in our past will come close to how terrible it will be. Let’s begin by first understanding why the tribulation period is 7 years and not 3.5 years like some would like to believe. Again, in order to uncover a sequence you must first flip through 66 books written out of sequence. Just as a great number of commentaries on the tribulation period and the rapture begin with Daniel’s 70th week prophecy, mine will not be any different. Daniel’s 70th week prophecy is the “rosetta stone” when attempting to understand the length of the tribulation and the length of the reign of the Antichrist.
“Seventy ‘weeks’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘weeks,’ and sixty-two ‘weeks.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘weeks’; the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘week.’ In the middle of the ‘week’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” (Daniel 9:24-27)
As you can see there is certainly a lot of information packed within this passage, so let’s break it down. Seventy weeks. The Biblical Hebrew word for “weeks” that was used by Daniel was “shavuim”. This word translates to “a period of time multiplied by seven”. So we know now the Seventy weeks literally means “seventy sevens” which equates to 490. Now this 490 can mean days or it can mean years. In this case God intended it to mean 490 years. How do we know? Let’s look at the next portion of the passage specifically From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘weeks,’ and sixty-two ‘weeks.’ When did a decree go out to rebuild the city of Jerusalem? Well, we would have to look to The Book of Nehemiah for this. In Nehemiah (2:5-6, 17, 18) the Persian king Artaxerxes gives the decree to rebuild Jerusalem. The date was March 5th 444 B.C. The last portion of the piece of the passage above states “seven ‘weeks,’ and sixty-two ‘weeks’. Remember, a ‘week’ is a period of seven years. Do the simple math and it’s 69 weeks, and then apply Daniel’s mathematical cipher. So now if “Seventy weeks” is 490 years then 69 weeks is 483 years. Next comes the extreme math portion that for the sake of time I will not bog you down with, but to summarize you will need to know what the Hebrew calendar year is and what a “nisan” is in relation to the 360 day Hebrew year. Ultimately this equation computes to 173,855 days. Using this calculation you will end up at March 30th 33 A.D. This is the day our Lord and Savior revealed himself to the world by riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. Christ was then crucified that preceding Friday. We celebrate Easter every year on a different date because of a mixture of the Gregorian calendar, the council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. and the first full moon of the spring equinox. Confusing isn’t it?
Now that we have established that a “week” is in fact a 7 year period in Daniel’s prophetic message then we can connect the last portion of Daniel’s prophetic warning.
“He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘week.’ In the middle of the ‘week’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”
This portion specifically refers to the Antichrist and how long he will reign. It appears the son of perdition will sign some form of peace treaty with Israel.
“I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder,“Come!” I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest”. (Revelation 6:1-2)
This is the first of the seven seals or the first events of the tribulation period. The rider on the white horse is supposed to resemble a savior. He resembles an illusion of “diplomacy” and “peace”. He also comes with a bow. Meaning he comes as a great conquerer. Then the world gives him a crown or “makes a treaty” with him that elevates him to an extreme position of power, because he has ushered in a period of peace. Now let’s go back to Daniel’s prophecy where he states “He will confirm a covenant with many for one week…” One week is a 7 year period so we now know the tribulation period is 7 years. How do we know the aforementioned events in Revelation are the beginning of the tribulation, because the “in the middle of the week” abomination of desolation Daniel foretells of in his prophecy is depicted later in The Book of Revelation.
In the name of accuracy I am not going to deep dive into the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70 because this event is linked to what is called “Preterism” which is the teaching that most of Biblical prophecy culminated during this time period including the coming of “The Antichrist”, Caesar Nero, whom this viewpoint connects to the number 666, but when truly understanding the numerical system of the time you can in fact connect any name to 666. The simple truth of the matter is the number 666 in The Bible is used to reference a future “person” who will come in the same “spirit” as Caesar Nero. It also believes the tribulation occurred during this period as well. This viewpoint, in my humble opinion, is one of the origins of “replacement theology” as its followers view God rejecting Israel as His people and installing the Church as His people. I am completely closed to this “interpretation” of scripture but I do understand how one can see the scriptures in this manner. The devil and the demonic realm are very real, and he knows scripture front to back. He can twist and pervert the truth to make it feel very true and make a lot of sense by “connecting the dots”, but in the end just like the son of perdition it comes as a package of enlightenment and freedom that is an illusion. It is true Daniel does foretell of the coming destruction of the Temple in A.D 70 in his 70th week prophecy, but his prophecy is what is called a “parallel prophecy” or “double reference prophecy” where, on the surface, the prophecy looks like one but in reality is two. There are quite a few “parallel prophecies” in The Bible. In any case, after much investigation into this lie I’ve come to the conclusion when truly stacked up against scripture this viewpoint absolutely disintegrates. I also discount the view that a pre-tribulation rapture or even the concept of the rapture itself originated with John Nelson Darby in 1830 or Margaret MacDonald in the early 1800’s. Again this is an attempt of the “evil one” to suppress the truth. In fact some of the early church fathers wrote about a pre or mid-tribulation rapture. An example, Irenaeus of Lyons, France (130 A.D – 202 A.D) studied under Polycarp who was the student of John the apostle. Irenaeus writes in his treatment “Against Heresies” while calling out the cults that were heavily on the rise in his day: “And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly “caught up” from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.” For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption”. It’s completely clear he writes about being removed sometime during the tribulation. He even uses the same term Paul uses in 1 Thessalonians… “caught up”. He doesn’t necessarily say it’s before the 7 year period but he does point out being removed at least before the last 3.5 years (mid tribulation rapture). He continues on from there to state the church will face the Antichrist for a time which, yes, it would make sense if he believed in a mid- tribulation rapture for the Antichrist displays his power for 3.5 years, but then comes into “full power” in the latter 3.5 years. There will be those who get saved from the very beginning of the tribulation all the way to the end and they are referred to in scripture as “Tribulation Saints”. These “Tribulation Saints” are a mixture of 144,000 Jewish men and a “multitude”of Gentiles detailed in Revelation 7. In the end there is an incredible amount of early Christian literature that details either a pre or mid tribulation rapture. However once the Eastern Orthodox movement came into existence a post tribulation viewpoint came about as a form of political control to keep its followers “afraid” of the tribulation period to rely heavily on its church leaders who were employed by “the powers that be”under the rule of the Roman emperor Constantine. The Roman Empire during this time period even makes owning a Bible illegal to the commoner… “control”. The preceding movements followed in the same vein…Roman Catholicism and ultimately Catholicism which today out of all the world religions contains the most followers on the planet. Once the great reformer Martin Luther comes along and separates church from state many of those who “break free” take this post tribulation rapture viewpoint with them. Possibly because Martin Luther himself ignored the subject entirely. In the end no work of man made literature will compare to the truth that resides within Gods holy word. Caesar Nero was not the Antichrist and the tribulation did not happen during the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70. “Seventy ‘weeks’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place…” Take note of the portion of Daniel’s prophecy specifically where he writes to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. Jesus brought the “opportunity” of everlasting righteousness to the world with His death and resurrection, but this is completed in full in His second coming. To seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place. Has vision and prophecy been sealed? No, therefore Daniel’s warning in his prophecy of the Antichrist and the tribulation are a future event. Daniel uses 70 weeks (490 years) as a “marker” so you and I can understand the decree to rebuild Jerusalem, when Christ would be revealed and crucified, and the length of the tribulation period. So there is indeed a “gap” period between the 69th week and the 70th week of Daniel’s prophecy.
Let’s get down to the real subject at hand and that is when the rapture of the church takes place. Let’s start with the passage above where the first event of the 7 year tribulation period starts with The Antichrist signing a treaty with Israel. It’s clear the passage from Revelation (6:1-2) details this coming of The Antichrist and the treaty. In the preceding chapters of The Book of Revelation that detail all of the events of the 7 year tribulation period ending in chapter 19 there is not a single mention of the church. Why, because we are no longer terrestrial. In fact in chapter 19, before the second coming of Christ, the Church is depicted having already been in heaven.
“Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.” (Revelation 19:7-9)
We, the bride, in this passage are being rewarded… “And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” This portion of the passage directly refers to the Bema Seat of Judgement or “reward” seat of judgement where every member of the body of Christ who is raptured will have to make an account for everything that has happened in his or her lifetime. The Bible is clear that this is not a judgment of condemnation but a judgement to determine which crowns of reward Jesus will appoint us based on the works we did as a result of our faith. We will be rewarded for the good deeds we did and the bad we did, which was not of Christ, will be thrown into a fire. There is a White Thrown Judgement for unbelievers that happens separately from the Bema Seat of Judgement at a separate time. Take this as a warning! This is most definitely a judgment of condemnation, a “judicial” judgement and you most definitely DO NOT want to participate in it. I will cover The Bema Seat of Judgement vs The Great White Throne Judgement in a future post. Furthermore, in Revelation 4, there are “24 elders” depicted in heaven ready for Christ to open the scroll with the seven seals. This is, without doubt, before the tribulation period.
“And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads.” (Revelation 4:3-4)
These “24 elders” are clearly men so therefore they are clearly members of the church. Also, take note to what they are wearing on their heads. Crowns! Think back to earlier when I described The Bema Seat of Judgement that happens post rapture and how its purpose is to reward you and me with “crowns” of rewards based on our works as a result of our faith. In fact, the Greek word that was used for “crowns” in this passage was “stephanos” or “victor’s crown”. These “24 elders” are with Christ in the inauguration of the tribulation period.
Let’s continue to uncover evidence to show a pre-tribulation rapture.
“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two men will be in the field: one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding at the mill: one will be taken and the other left. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” (Matthew 24:36-44)
Jesus is talking about the rapture in this passage. However, pay close attention to how he says But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven… It’s evident the rapture happens when no one knows without warning. He even goes as far to describe what life will be like at the time of the rapture…
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will be the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be…”
What does this mean? Life will be happening like normal. What were the days of Noah like from the outside looking in? Life was great…people were living in abundance…people were celebrating life events…life was seemingly carrying on like “normal”. Now let’s go back a couple of passages to Matthew 24:29-31…
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
I ask you now…does this sound like “normal” life to you? Jesus was describing two different events at two very different time periods. You heard it from The Man himself, the rapture is imminent. It will happen at a time that no one knows. So does this mean first we must see a treaty signed with Israel then the rapture? Does this mean first we must see The Antichrist blaspheme God in the Temple then we get raptured? No it means the church goes to be with the Lord when no one knows. Now, at this point, you might be thinking wait a minute doesn’t that passage clearly state He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and now you’re connecting this with 1 Corinthians 15:52… In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. Then as proof of the rapture not being at the beginning of the tribulation you connect it with Revelation 11:15-19.
The seventh angel sounded his trumpet,and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:
“The kingdom of the world has become
the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever. And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign. The nations were angry, and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your people who revere your name, both great and small—and for destroying those who destroy the earth. Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and within his temple was seen the ark of his covenant. And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a severe hailstorm.”
This seventh angel’s trumpet is described immediately after the passage about the two witnesses whom Jesus says will prophesy for 1,260 days or 42 months. How many years is this…3.5 years. How long is the tribulation period…7 years. So the two prophets (whom I believe are Moses and Elijah) take place midway through the tribulation at the same time as the abomination of desolation as described by Daniels 70th week prophecy where he states He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘week.’ In the middle of the ‘week’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.” If one week equals 7 years then “in the middle of the week” is 3.5 years when the Antichrist will sit in the Temple and declare himself God.
Here’s how the “last trumpet” interpretation is wrong. In Corinthians Paul spends most of the time detailing a connection between the new covenant and the Feasts of Israel. For example, in 1 Corinthians 5:6-8 he talks about the Feasts of Passover and Unleavened bread and shows how this is fulfilled in Jesus’ death. In chapter 15:20-24 he speaks about the Feast of First fruits and how this was fulfilled with Jesus’ resurrection. Then in 1 Corinthians 15:51 he talks about the ‘last trump’ and connects that with the resurrection and rapture of the church. This is simply a fulfillment of another Jewish feast – the Feast of Trumpets. So the seventh angel’s trumpet and Paul’s “last trump” are not the same trumpet. At this point in time the Corinthians would only know of trumpets from the Old Testament as the Revelation of Jesus Christ was not penned until 96 A.D. Many years after Paul writes his letter to Corinth. Furthermore “God’s Trumpet” is not the seventh angel’s trumpet. Take a look at the passage at the beginning of this commentary… “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God…” We know in Revelation the seventh angel’s trumpet is one of the events that signifies the end of the tribulation period. Let’s now look at Revelation 4:1…
After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me “like a trumpet” said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.
Jesus’s voice sounds like a trumpet to the apostle John, and there are many more scriptures that describes “God’s voice”, “shout”, or “loud command” like the sound of a trumpet all throughout the entire Bible. Pay close attention to when Jesus says, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” It’s quite possible John is being showed what the rapture will be like and the “what must take place after this” that Christ is referring to is the tribulation period.
Now let’s return to Matthew, specifically Matthew 24:4-14.
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come”.
Let’s dissect the first portion of this passage.
“And Jesus answered and said to them: “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows…”
Sounds exactly like today doesn’t it? The important part of this passage we need to focus on is the second half…
“Then they will deliver you up to “tribulation” and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come”.
Take specific note to when Jesus says…‘tribulation’. This is the beginning of the tribulation period. How do we know? Look at the portion where he says “and you will be hated by “all” nations for My name’s sake”. Are Christians hated by ‘all’ nations currently? No, in fact, it’s quite the opposite. Christianity is the largest world faith on the planet and statistically is on the rise. Yes there are nations that hate Christians and some of our brothers and sisters are being heavily persecuted. Even losing their lives in the name of Christ but “all” nations do not hate Christians in this current moment in history. When does the entire world hate Christianity? During the tribulation period. This is why it will be very difficult for those who come out of the tribulation… “But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (The Tribulation Saints) Jesus then ends this passage with… “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come”. What happens at the end of the tribulation period in The Book of Revelation? An angel flies around the world and preaches the gospel to give the people of the earth one last chance…
“Then I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth—to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people.” (Revelation 14:6)
After Jesus describes the tribulation period in its entirety he follows this summarization up with a detailed description of the latter half of the tribulation called “The Great Tribulation”…the latter 3.5 years.
Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath. For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened. Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand. Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.
As you can see in this passage this is the moment The Antichrist takes “full power” and declares himself “God”. This is Daniel’s “In the middle of the week…” portion of his 70th week prophecy. Now let’s tie it together with 2 Thessalonians 2:5-12.
“Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.”
Take note of the portion where Paul writes… “only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed…” This is the beginning of the tribulation when the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse is revealed… “the white rider”… “the lawless one”… the Antichrist. Who is the ‘He’ that is the restrainer taken out of the way so The Antichrist can rise to power? The Holy Spirit, which in dwells in you and me therefore we are the restrainer that is taken out of the way (rapture).
The last point I will make is in regards to The Mark of The Beast. I’ve heard many of our brothers and sisters talk endlessly about this subject and are constantly “looking for it” as if it’s right around the corner. Let me tell you this…there’s no way you and I will have to decide to take The Mark of The Beast at all…period.
“And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? 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. And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 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.” (Revelation 13:4-7)
This is the abomination of desolation where The Antichrist takes full power for 42 months or 3.5 years. The next passage are the events that take place after the “middle of the week” portion of the tribulation period.
“And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed… And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” (Revelation 13:11-12, 16-18)
You can see here that The Antichrist has his “false prophet” administer The Mark of The Beast onto the world. We know this “mark” has an extreme impact on the world economic system where no one without the “mark” can buy or sell. Since we are removed before the tribulation period none of this applies to us. So Christian, it is my firm belief there will always be some form of economic system you and I will be able to participate in as long as this world consists of decentralized governments. We will always have the opportunity to buy groceries, clothes, houses, vehicles…etc. When does the world unify under one centralized governmental system? The tribulation period under The One World Order. In fact the collapse of the world economic system is detailed in Revelation 18 as some of the last events of the tribulation period. So, no Christian, we will not be subject to “the mark”. Instead these chapters are aimed towards The Tribulation Saints. They will have to heavily rely on scripture in these times just as we do now. Will the Holy Spirit be gone from the planet during the tribulation? ABSOLUTELY NOT. The Holy Spirit will most definitely still be in dwelling all born again believers. The Bible is very clear on this promise. Can The Holy Spirit be “taken out of the way” and also remain? ABSOLUTELY. How? He’s The Holy Spirit.
In closing, needless to say this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to evidence of a pre-tribulation rapture. I literally could keep going on and on and cite passage after passage and connect the puzzle pieces but I leave it to you Christian to search the scriptures. Let us not forget that the rapture is hope. It’s hope for our Savior to save us. Who was Enoch, Noah, Lot, Rahab, Elijah…all people who experienced a form of “rapture”. It’s God’s method of operation to save the faithful from utter terror and destruction. There is no wrath nor condemnation for those who believe. Jesus is quite adamant about this fact time and time again in His word. One fact we can all agree on is there is nothing you and I have experienced or will experience in this lifetime that will come close to what it will be like to be with our Father. The birth of a child, your wedding day, the first time you tasted chocolate, meeting the love of your life, the day you got that dream job, your first car, your first house, watching your child graduate or get married, hearing the doctor tell you that you’ve beat cancer…NOTHING. The rapture is a saving “bouy”, a bright shining beacon in an ever growing dark, bleak world. However until then Christian you and I are to be the light and the salt that preserves this precious planet until the time that no one knows comes. What’s a simple way to keep our eyes on the Lord? Just look up.