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The Rapture and the Great Tribulation

Updated on October 11, 2019
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Betty have been sharing her personal Bible Studies since 2005. She also has a strong interest in American politics.

No Man Knows the Day or the Hour


Only God Knows The Time

Different denominations have different end-time doctrines. Some teach that the rapture will take place before all of the warnings within the scriptures happen and believers won't see any tribulation at all. Other's teach that believers will see some tribulation, but not the "Great Tribulation." Some also teach that that is no rapture and Christians will be here on earth throughout the tribulation. There is one more recent teaching that says there is some sort of "secret second coming of Jesus," or "secret rapture."

This is a very complicated subject and I encourage anyone reading this article to look into the scriptures for themselves. Regardless of what any denomination or person teaches we should all know these things for ourselves.

The word,"rapture," is not contained within the scriptures. It is a Latin word that means, "to seize or snatch away." Many believe that this verse is speaking about the "rapture," as it mentions being "..caught up together with them in the clouds."

1 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.

Though we're given many signs that tell us that we're in the last days, it's important to mention that no man knows the day or hour that Jesus will return.

Matthew 24: 36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

The above verse was spoken by Jesus after He spoke in great detail about end-time events.

One of the things that differentiated the disciples from the masses was that they often came to Jesus privately to ask Him questions. When Jesus ministered to large groups the people would listen and then go their way. The disciples however, would listen and take the words of Jesus to heart. If they had questions they would go to Jesus and ask Him "what does this mean." The events written of in Matthew ch. 24 are no different.

Matthew 24: 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?

Jesus answered them many things.

  1. "Take heed that no man deceive you." Many will come in His name and deceive many.
  2. Wars and rumors of wars.
  3. Nations will rise against nations and kingdoms against kingdoms (But the end is not yet.)
  4. Famines
  5. Pestilences
  6. Earthquakes in diverse places
And then Jesus said, "these are the beginnings of sorrows."

He went on to say that believers will be delivered up to be afflicted and many shall be killed. He also stated that believers would be hated by all nations for His sake.

That is a very interesting point. The word, "nations," in Matthew 24:6 means:

    1. 1) a multitude (whether of men or of beasts) associated or living together1a) a company, troop, swarm
    1. 2) a multitude of individuals of the same nature or genus
    1. 2a) the human family
    1. 3) a tribe, nation, people group
    1. 4) in the OT, foreign nations not worshipping the true God, pagans, Gentiles
    1. 5) Paul uses the term for Gentile Christians

So the word "nations," can apply to groups of people who dwell together from different nations. The first definition in Strong's Concordance means, " a multitude living together."

Paul takes it a step further using the term "nation," in reference to Christians.

Throughout the bible, there were true believers in the Old Testament who walked with God, and there were other Israeli's who did not.

The New Testament tells us that we are in the world but not of it. So in a sense, Christians would be a nation different from all worldly nations.

Since we will be hated by all, and "handed over to be killed." That statement in my view, would involve persecution by people within our own nations.

We see this happening in certain nations already. One nation where Christian's suffer horrendous persecution is Nigeria. Just this year thousands of Nigerian Christians have been killed.

Please add our Nigerian brothers and sisters to your prayers.

Jesus continued with warnings of false prophets deceiving many. That warning should be on the hearts of every believer in Christ Jesus.

Then He said that:

Matthew 24: 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

The above verse is from the KJV. Other versions use the word "lawlessness," rather than "iniquity." However, the word "iniquity," always ties into the ways of the world.

I don't think anyone would argue that this is currently happening. We're seeing lawlessness and a push for more lawlessness by the liberal leftists on a daily basis.

So Jesus started out by explaining, "the beginnings of sorrows." Then He began speaking about the start of the tribulation.

We are currently seeing these events happening in the world so I personally do not believe that Christians will see no end time tribulation. We are already seeing it.

Matthew 24: 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

There's a call for endurance in the description that Jesus gave about the end times. In context, Jesus described the end time events that would take place, and then He said that those who endure to "the end," shall be saved.

This dispels the idea that believers will be removed from the earth altogether before we see any tribulation.

Be Ready


Mid-Tribulation or Post Tribulation Rapture

In the first portion of this study, we covered Matthew ch 24, where Jesus made it clear that we would not only see the "beginnings of Sorrows," but also some end-time tribulation.

The Prophet Daniel spoke of laws and times being changed.

Daniel 7: 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

Most people take the above passage to mean that Biblical laws will be changed. We're currently seeing natural laws being changed. With the most recent fabricated push for impeachment of President Trump. The congressional democrats are working on changing a historical law that would allow them to indite a sitting president.

Politicus USA reported:

Rep. Kathrine Clark (D-MA) said that House Democrats are going to pursue changing the law so that a sitting president can be indicted while in office.

Rev. Al Sharpton asked Rep. Clark on MSNBC, “Speaker Pelosi has said there needs to be laws also that deals with this whole policy of the justice department that you can’t indict a sitting president. Is there something that you think the congress will pursue since your caucus is the majority now in the House?”

With the democrat's most recent whistle-blower, the democrats literally changed house rules on impeaching a sitting President. The new rules gives the democrat party the power to control the Judiciary house committee. The democrats changed this rule on the very day that the whistle-blower came out.

Many politicians are in the pocket of the globalists as they work to bring in their "new world order."

They will change the laws and the rules in order to get their way.

We've seen several laws changed by the democrats, from public defecation in California, to laws that push for "gender equality." No parent should be alright with the idea of a man dressed as a woman entering the same public bathroom's that their daughters use.

The law changes that the globalists have been bringing in are not for the benefit of the people. Anyone paying attention knows that these law changes benefit the Babylonian, new world order system.

In Revelation Ch. 6-8 there are seven seals that are opened.

1. When the first seal was opened, John saw a white horse whose rider had a crown on his head, and a bow in his hand. The rider was given power to "conquer."

2. When the second seal was opened, John saw a red horse. The man who rode upon this horse was given power to take peace from the earth. The rider was also given a great sword.

3. When the third seal was opened, John saw a black horse. The rider had a "pair of balances" in his hand. He also heard a voice say:

Revelation 6: 6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

So we'll see economic turmoil at this point. It's interesting because we've all read about the steep rise in food costs for the people of Venezuela. Even the price for a dozen eggs shot up to $150.00 American dollars. There are videos of the people there digging through trash cans looking for food to eat. There were also reports that Venezuelans had become so desperate that they were forced to eat their pets, and some even stole zoo animals for food. The communistic democrats are pushing to bring the same policies that sent Venezuela into hyper inflation, into the USA.

4. When the forth seal was opened, Daniel saw a pale horse. The name of this horse's rider was "death," and hell followed behind him.

5. When the fifth seal was opened Daniel saw an alter with the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God, and their testimonies were beneath it. These same people called out to be avenged.

This will be the result of the forth seal as the rider named "death," went out first.

6. When the sixth seal was opened, John saw a great earthquake. The sun became black by the dust, and the moon became as blood. The stars fell from heaven, and the heavens rolled up like a scroll. Every mountain and every island were moved out of their places. All of the people left on the earth hid themselves in caves, dens and rocks of the mountains.

This is the great wrath of God. No one will be able to stand on that day. At this point, there are still believers on the earth.

The next chapter Revelation ch 7 says so.

Revelation 7: 1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

Revelation 7: 2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

Revelation 7: 3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

There were still "servants of God," on the earth and the angels seal 144,000.

Revelation 7: 4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

John asked the angel, "who are these in white robes?" And John answered:

Revelation 7: 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

There will be people saved during the great tribulation. Some will turn to God at that time. Many will not.

7. The Seventh Seal: With the 7th seal, 144,000 people of the tribes of Israel are sealed. At this point, Tribulation goes into hyper-drive.

Revelation 8: 1 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour.

Revelation 8: 2 And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets.

Revelation 8: 3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.

Revelation 8: 4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel's hand.

Revelation 8: 5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

Revelation 8: 6 And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound.

Revelation 8: 7 The first angel sounded, and there followed hail and fire mingled with blood, and they were cast upon the earth: and the third part of trees was burnt up, and all green grass was burnt up.

Revelation 8: 8 And the second angel sounded, and as it were a great mountain burning with fire was cast into the sea: and the third part of the sea became blood;

Revelation 8: 9 And the third part of the creatures which were in the sea, and had life, died; and the third part of the ships were destroyed.

Revelation 8: 10 And the third angel sounded, and there fell a great star from heaven, burning as it were a lamp, and it fell upon the third part of the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters;

Revelation 8: 11 And the name of the star is called Wormwood: and the third part of the waters became wormwood; and many men died of the waters, because they were made bitter.

Revelation 8: 12 And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise.

Revelation 8: 13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

It's unclear at this point if the 144,000 or any believers are left on the earth. It appears to me that they are not.

As for there being a "secret rapture," or a secret second coming, I see no passages that would indicate this.

Revelation 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.

1 Thessalonians 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:

1 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.

There is nothing "secret," about every eye seeing Jesus return. When He returns there will be a "shout" along with the sound of the "trump of God..."

A study on end times events is massive and involves so much more. Based on the passages that I've examined, I would say that there is no early pre-rapture. Believers in Jesus will see much tribulation, and they are called to "endure till the end."

"The end," could apply to the end of life or the complete end of the world itself.

We're always called to endure.

One last point that point that I wanted to cover. In the very first chapter that was covered in this study, (Matthew 28,) Jesus said:

Matthew 24: 38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, Matthew 24: 39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Jesus compared the storm, or the "flood," coming and all the people were still doing the things that they always did. "Eating, drinking, marrying, and giving in marriage..." It wasn't unto the day that Noah entered into the ark that the flood came.

The verse says that "the flood came, and took them all away."

Matthew 24: 40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

This is where I welcome discussion.

I've always heard the above passage used in terms of the "rapture." Most post rapture believers hold the belief that those taken are the believers.

In the mention of Noah, it wasn't Noah and his family who were taken out. It was those who did not believe. Jesus used this same reference in the same chapter that He explained the beginning of sorrows, and the tribulation.

Seeing that there are believers, even the 144,000 who receive the mark of God after the sixth seal. I'm praying about this, but right now based on the chapters I just read, I have to say that it's not the believers who are taken out.

As stated at the beginning of this article. The subject of Rapture or no rapture is complicated and deep. The scriptures cover a vast amount of information on it.

There are those who have studied this subject for years. If you're one of them, feel free to respond. If you see error in this study, feel free to respond. If you'd like to discuss the end times based on the scriptures, feel free to respond.


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