There is 99% proof that believers are raptured into heaven. Why 99%? Because few things are 100% in prophecy. Not only are there 3 verses that clearly show this, but scenes from Revelation also describe believers in Resurrection Bodies before the throne of God in Heaven. As most of you know, I often include Nelson Walter’s end times videos on this site and strongly recommend you sign up to his YouTube channel. I have met Nelson and am confident this humble man has been raised up by God to alert the church to the lateness of the hour and the many end times scriptures. Nelson also helps me with my other website http://www.powerpointsermons.net. You will be blessed by watching this video and am confident you will learn something new.
Who are the 144,000 sealed Jews in Revelation 7, after the sixth seal and the celestial disturbances and prior to The Rapture at the seventh seal? Immediately after they are sealed, John sees the raptured multitude in heaven standing before the throne of God crying out “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”
We are told Jesus comes on the clouds and is seen by all tribes including the Jews who mourn. “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see Him, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him.” Revelation 1:7
In Revelation 14; we see the 114,000 are with Jesus in heaven singing before the throne. Are they the first fruits of the Rapture?
“They sang as it were a new song before the throne, before the four living creatures, and the elders; and no one could learn that song except the hundred and forty-four thousand who were redeemed from the earth… These were redeemed from among men, being first fruits to God and to the Lamb.” Revelation 14:3-4
You will need to go to YouTube (click on it) to watch the video.
Alan Kurschner of Eschatos Ministries does a creditable job to explain that Matthew 24:8 and 1 Thessalonians 5:3 do not explain the same events, which provides support for the PreWrath Rapture position: the Rapture occurs after the tribulation and great tribulation but before the wrath of God is poured out at the Trumpet and Vial judgements.
“Pretribulational proponents believe that the beginning of birth pangs that Jesus mentions in his Olivet Discourse refer to when the day of the Lord’s wrath begins and typically place it at the beginning of the seven-year period.
In an attempt to make the “beginning of birth pangs” in Matthew 24:8 describe the day of the Lord’s wrath, pretribulationists assert that this is parallel with Paul’s usage of “labour pains” in 1 Thessalonians 5:3, which clearly refers to the beginning of God’s wrath. However, it is obvious the respective contexts show that Jesus and Paul are not describing the same event, but actually very different events. The metaphor “birth pangs” is not a technical phrase to denote the day of the Lord as some wrongly claim. Context must determine the application of the usage of the common metaphor of birth pangs.
Let’s compare both verses:
“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 rumours 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 but the beginning of birth pangs.” (Matt 24:8)
“For you yourselves know perfectly that THE DAY OF THE LORD so comes as a thief in the night. For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-3
There are six differences that demonstrate that Jesus and Paul are using it for two separate and distinct periods.
1. Jesus’ usage in Matthew 24 describes events before the great tribulation; Paul’s usage is found at the inception of the day of the Lord. Jesus uses the birthing metaphor to warn that the end has not arrived (“Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come. . . All these things are the beginning of birth pains”). Paul uses it to announce that the end has arrived (“then sudden destruction comes on them, like labour pains,” cf. Isaiah 13:7–8).
2. Accordingly, Jesus emphasises the tolerable stage of “the beginning of birth pains” (Matt 24:8); hence, the reason he reassures, “Make sure that you are not alarmed, for this must happen, but the end is still to come” (Matt 24:6). In contrast, Paul is drawing from Isaiah’s labour imagery focused on the intolerable stage of actual giving birth, “cramps and pain seize hold of them like those of a woman who is straining to give birth” (Isaiah 13:8).
3. Jesus teaches that the “beginning of birth pangs” is what Christians are destined to experience (Matt 24:4–8); Paul teaches just the opposite that Christians are promised exemption from the hard labour pains, the time of God’s wrath (1 Thess. 5:9).
4. The labour pains in Matthew 24 refer to natural events such as false christs, wars, famines, and earthquakes (Matt. 24:5–8). Paul’s reference is to the supernatural event of the day of the Lord (2 Thess. 1:5–8).
5. Jesus’ usage of the beginning of birth pangs occurs before the celestial disturbance happens (Matt. 24:8–29). But in the Isaiah passage that Paul is drawing from associates the birth pangs of the onset of the day of the Lord with the celestial disturbance (Isaiah 13: 8–10).
6. Jesus uses the birthing metaphor to apply to both unbelievers and believers (Matt 24:5–8). While Paul uses it exclusively applied to unbelievers (1 Thess. 5:3–4).
The interpreter must be careful not to fall into the similarity equals identity fallacy. Context is key.”
The debate between pretribulation and prewrath rapture scholars about Paul’s second letter to the Thessalonians has been fierce – mostly centred around 2 Thess. 2:3 and the meaning of the Greek word apostasia.
Dr Nelson Walters of Gospel in the End Times has written about that passage at length in his book Rapture: Case Closed? However, he points out in this presentation that very little discussion has taken place about the passage that precedes 2 Thess. 2 and provides its “context,” that is 2 Thess. 1. The eschatological material in chapters one and two are really one continuous teaching! We cannot understand chapter two without understanding chapter one that provides introductory thoughts on the more hotly contested chapter.
Nelson does a stellar job of presenting the Prewrath case for the timing of the Rapture in this seven minute video.
As some of my followers will have determined, I hold to a Prewrath Rapture position. It means that Christians will go through the tribulation period outlined by Daniel and John in Revelation, but not be subjected to the wrath of God that is poured out during the trumpet and bowl judgements.
For those of you who would like to explore this position further, I can recommend the resources produced by Alan Kurschner – Antichrist: Before the Day of the Lord and Nelson Walters – Rapture Case Closed? both who hold to the Prewrath Rapture position.
Don’t forget you can find sermons and videos relevant for these “last days” available for download on my other website http://www.powerpointsermons.net
I found the following fifteen tenets of the Prewrath position as outlined on Alan Kurschner’s website a great help and I hope you do too.
- There is a future seven-year period, and at the midpoint the Antichrist will be revealed and commit the abomination of desolation, initiating his great tribulation against the Church and Israel.
- There is a biblical distinction between the Antichrist’s great tribulation against the Church and Israel and the day of the Lord’s wrath against the ungodly. The latter event happens after the former event.
- The gathering of the elect mentioned in Matthew 24:31 refers to the rapture (cf. Mark 13:27; Luke 21:28; Rev 7:9–17; 1 Thess 4:13–18; 2 Thess 2:1).
- At an unknown day and hour during the second half of the seven-year period, the Antichrist’s great tribulation will be cut short by the Revelation of Christ to resurrect and rapture God’s people, and this will be followed immediately by the day of the Lord’s wrath with the trumpet and bowl judgements.
- On the same day the rapture happens, the onset of the day of the Lord’s wrath takes place, just as it was in the days of Noah and Lot (Luke 17:22–37; cf. 2 Thess 1:5–10).
- The second coming (parousia) is not a simple (instantaneous) event. The second coming is a complex-whole event containing various purposes of God, beginning with the Revelation of Christ in the sky displaying his Shekinah glory and power to the whole world, and resurrecting and rapturing God’s people, followed by the day of the Lord’s judgments upon the ungodly and Antichrist’s kingdom, restoring Israel to salvation, and culminating in Christ’s earthly reign.
- Although Armageddon is an element within the complex-whole second coming, Armageddon does not initiate the second coming; instead, the second coming begins between the sixth and seventh seal.
- The resurrection and rapture happens between the opening of the sixth seal and the seventh seal.
- The first six seals are not part of the day of the Lord’s wrath. The first six seals are conditional events that must happen before Christ’s return.
- The sixth seal signals the impending day of the Lord’s wrath as recorded in Joel 2:30–31; Matthew 24:29; Luke 21:25–26; Mark 13:23–25; and Revelation 6:12–17.
- The seventh seal pronounces the day of the Lord’s wrath.
- The trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon contain and execute the day of the Lord’s wrath.
- The trumpets, bowls, and Armageddon will not occur before the seventh seal is opened.
- Paul’s “last trumpet” (1 Cor 15:52) is not the seventh trumpet judgment in the book of Revelation.
- Christ’s return to resurrect and rapture God’s people is not imminent (“any moment”), since discernible prophesied events must happen first (e.g., the Antichrist’s revelation and his ensuing great tribulation; the apostasy; coming of Elijah; and a cluster of discernible celestial events). Christ can return in any generation of the Church.
—Alan Kurschner, 08/01/12
Once again Nelson does a great job of challenging us all about the state of the church in these last days. What is the state of your church? Has it compromised with the worlds values? How many in your church are actually born again? Is it even discussing Jesus Second Coming and prophesied tribulation at that time?
“Seventy weeks are determined upon the people and upon the 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. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah, the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks.” Daniel 9:24-25
What an amazing prophecy!
Remember, Satan tried to stop this prophecy being delivered to Daniel by Gabriel. No wonder, as it predicts both the first and second coming of Jesus. At His second coming, first, to raise the dead in Christ and rapture the Saints, and then, to return with the Saints to rescue Israel and to rule and reign for one thousand years. It clearly states that at the end of the seventy weeks, almost all prophecy will be completed, all sin atoned for, and an everlasting righteousness achieved for those who are in Jesus.
Can you see the connection between Daniel’s prophecy and Jesus statement in Matthew 18:21?
Then Peter came to Him, and said, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? “Jesus said to him, I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.” Matthew 18:21-22
Have you wondered why seventy times seven? It is seventy times seven because at the end of this period, all sin is atoned for and an everlasting righteousness given to all those who are in Jesus.
- JESUS COMING IN THE CLOUDS WITH HIS ANGELS WITH THE ANGELS. THE DEAD IN CHRIST ARE RAISED FIRST AND THEN THOSE ALIVE IN CHRIST WILL BE RAPTURED TO MEET HIM IN THE AIR.
- JESUS COMING TO EARTH WITH THE SAINTS ON WHITE HORSES TO RESCUE ISRAEL AND TO RULE AND REIGN FOR ONE THOUSAND YEARS.
God declares the end (REVELATION) from in the beginning (GENESIS).
Increasingly, this site will focus on prophesied end times as they unfold in our time. The aim, to equip believers to use prophecy in evangelism. As I have mentioned in previous posts, there are far more prophecies about Jesus Second Coming than there were about His First coming. All the OT prophets were given a picture of a restored Israel with Jesus (descendant of King David) ruling and reigning from Jerusalem.
Isaiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Nehemiah, Zechariah, and Micah are all stand outs for me in providing us with pictures of future “end times” events. All through Isaiah we get snippets of Jesus ruling from Jerusalem. As early as Isaiah 2, we read “Now it shall come to pass in the latter days, that the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be firmly established above other mountains, and exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow to it. Many people shall come and say, come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, and we shall walk in His paths. For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. He shall judge between the nations, and rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore”. Isaiah then goes on to paint a picture of The Day of the Lord when the Lord alone will be exalted on that day, everything proud and lofty, everything lifted up will be brought low.
As Nelson Walters states in this important video, the timing of the Rapture is not just a theological debate, its timing is critical, in terms of whether the church will face the tribulation, and even great tribulation outlined in Daniel’s 70th week. In the Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), Jesus gave His disciples and us, a lot of information about His Second Coming. He said, many times, WATCH, BE ALERT, for it will be like the days of Noah, they will be eating, sleeping etc and suddenly, He will appear in the clouds with the angels and every eye will see Him, believers will be taken up, but most look for rocks to hide under. God then pours out His wrath upon the unrepentant in the Trumpet and Bowl Judgements.
What an important question. Will the church face the Antichrist? What is your understanding of when the Rapture will take place, if at all? Listen to Joel Richardson interview Nelson Walters author of Rapture: Case closed.
I have read two of Nelson’s previous books: Are We Ready for Jesus – How to Prepare for His Return and Revelation Deciphered, both I can recommend. Nelson is on the Board of Power Point Sermons for the end times (www.powerpointsermons.net) which I set up late last year and which is shortly to be launched. I look forward to meeting up with both Nelson and Joel at the Understanding the Times – Israel, Islam and the Gospel Conference in Tyler Texas next week. I will give you a report week after next. Be blessed.
Alan Kurshner of Eschatos Ministries on the Prewrath Rapture.
What are key passages that best represent the Prewrath Rapture position?
I think the strongest passage is 2 Thessalonians 2, where Paul reassures Thessalonian believers that they are not experiencing the day of the Lord’s wrath. Paul explains that they are not experiencing the day of the Lord’s wrath because two discernible events must happen first—the revelation of Antichrist and the apostasy. Since they have not happened, Paul argues, the day of the Lord has not materialised. This passage eliminates the possibility of a Pretribulation Rapture.
I also see Jesus’ Olivet Discourse as a key passage that supports the Prewrath Rapture position. It depicts all the key elements: the Antichrist’s great tribulation, cutting short of the great tribulation, celestial disturbances, Son of Man’s return to the clouds, rescue of God’s people, and the impending wrath of God.
I would argue, as well, from the book of Daniel and Revelation, but the former two passages, in my view, form a strong case for the pre-wrath position.
What role does Daniel 9 have in your understanding of the timing of the rapture?
I do not see Daniel 9 informing a particular eschatological sequence vis-à-vis the rapture question (but I do in Daniel 11:36–12:4). There are at least two points that Daniel 9 informs us on: (1) There will be a future seven-year period during which time key events will unfold, and (2) the fulfilment of the salvation of Israel will happen when the seven-year period is complete.
How does your understanding of the rapture affect your life?
Jesus ominously warns believers, “See, I have told you beforehand” (Matt 24:25). This is not a cliché, but a real warning to God’s people. The great tribulation will be a concrete event occurring in the future just before the Lord returns. Jesus says it will be characterised by martyrdom, hatred, apostasy, betrayal, deception, and lawlessness. So much so that he says, “such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be” (Matt 24:21).
To be sure, if we do not experience this event in our lifetime, there are still important faith-principles that we can use to apply to our lives in the present time.
Since God has ordained that the last generation of church will experience tribulation before she meets her Rescuer bride-groom, should this not be an urgent warning for the church? The temptation during the great tribulation to capitulate to persecution, false teaching, and slothfulness will be intense. There will be two imperative duties for the believer during the great tribulation: to overcome the adversity through faith and to encourage the fellow believer to do the same.
One final implication is saliently portrayed in the angelic warning not to take the beast’s mark, lest they suffer eternal punishment in hell (see Revelation 14:9–12).
God perseveres the faith of his people through concrete warnings, so it is incumbent on Christian leaders not to dismiss these eschatological warnings for their people that God has entrusted to them. So the practical implications for the basic correct interpretation are sober for the believer.
This information is taken from Alan Kurshner’s book Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord: What Every Christian Needs to Know About the Return of Christ.