Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Rapture Timing

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy Dr. David R. Reagan

Does the Rapture mark the beginning of the Tribulation?

No, the Bible does not state anywhere that the Tribulation begins with the Rapture. I believe the Rapture could occur months or even years before the Tribulation begins, although it is likely to occur near the beginning because the Tribulation is the time of the pouring out of God's wrath, and 1 Thessalonians 1:10 says that Jesus will "deliver" His Church "from the wrath to come."

Another reason for believing the Rapture is likely to occur near the beginning of the Tribulation is because 2 Thessalonians 2 says that the Antichrist cannot be revealed until a "restrainer" is "taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7). I believe that restrainer is the Holy Spirit working through the Church. Thus, when the Church is removed, the Antichrist will be unleashed, and the Tribulation will begin.

The prophet Daniel indicates that the starting point of the Tribulation will be a "covenant" that the Antichrist will arrange for Israel that will evidently guarantee the nation's peace and enable the Jews to rebuild their Temple (Daniel 9:27).


I want to address those who ask, "Aren't those of you who believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture a bunch of escapists who are not willing to suffer for the Lord?"

There is nothing wrong with being an "escapist." Noah was an escapist and so was Lot. And Jesus said that when the end time signs begin to appear, we are to pray "to escape the things that are about to take place and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36).

Certainly we are called to suffer for Christ (Romans 8:17). And anyone who truly stands for Jesus in this world will be persecuted (John 15:19). We are assured that as believers we will suffer tribulation in this world (John 16:33), but we are promised that we will be exempted from the great tribulation that will one day come upon all the world (Revelation 3:10).


Junbuggg said...

Something I have wondered about though.....if the Holy Spirit living inside believers is to be taken out of the way for the anti-christ to be revealed And I believe that this statement is in fact true. Then how does one, left behind after the rapture, truly become saved? Doesn't the Holy Spirit have to dwell inside the believer?? What am I not understanding here??

Buggg :-)

Nathan Jones said...

Concerning the removal of the Restrainer, see Who or What is the "Restrainer?"

Junbuggg said...

Thanks Nathan, that makes sence. I guess what kinda through me off, was the statement that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit working through the Church. I read that as being the Holy Spirit alone, being the restrainer, rather than the Church actually being the restrainer. Makes perfect sense now. :-)

I posted a new thread on the Christ in Prophecy Facebook page. Hope you can help with that as well.....it's about "politically correctness".


SeanOsborne said...

Yes, I agree completely, the force which is holding off the revealing of the antichrist is the Bride of Christ.

I believe there is another point to make with respect to Junbuggg's question above.

After the Harpazo those who accept Christ will recieve "the seal of God upon their foreheads." This seal is their protection from the hordes of demons (figuratively depicted as locusts) who are released from the abyss with Abaddon/Apollyon.

The Greek word used, sphragis, literally evoke the image of a seal, an insignia or an inscription of the name of God and Christ, which is supernaturally placed upon our future brethren foreheads. In the terms of the old American west this is God's branding of His possession.

What purpose would their be for a seal of this magnitude were the Holy Spirit indwelling these Tribulation saints?

Anonymous said...

Here's my timeline for future events just based on my limited education on Bible prophecy. First would be the removal of the US as any kind of military, economic, and political force to be dealt with. Israel's neighbors would take the opportunity to wipe Israel off the map, no doubt. Israel would impliment their "take everybody with us" policy and with God's help, Israel will be victorious over her neighbors which will leave her "living in peace without walls". That sets up the Tribulation period with the Anti-Christ entering into an agreement to protect Israel in perhaps an effort to rid the world of nukes or possibly due to the Russian/Iranian invasion to grab the land and it's wealth while Israel is living without walls. I think that the Church might be raptured after the fall of the U.S. because I think God will allow one last call to the people of our nation to repent before he closes that door. I hope that's true and I pray that many will come to him before it's too late. I used to think the rapture was immediately before the Tribulation but now it seems that more Biblical prophesies are being revealed as the Bible said would happen in the last days, and I think there will be a pause between the events. Only God knows His plans for sure. I thank God and pray for those in His service getting the message out over the internet, television, and radio. I rely on people like Dr. Reagan and the Lamb and Lion ministry website for all my news and to keep up with what's really happening in the world. Also, thanks for the wonderful links to other sites.

Junbuggg said...

Seems like a good timeline to me "anon", but, like you said, the Lord is in charge of planning the "event". :-)

Oh, and if you use the "name/URL" down at the bottom of where you post, you can put your name in there, rather than "anonymous".

Buggg :-)

Nathan Jones said...

Good timeline, Anonymous! So glad to hear the ministry has been a blessing to you.

Good question, SeanOsborne. How does the spiritual world recognize each other? How does it interact with opposing forces? How do demons know when to stay away from something God wants them to? These are questions that have answers outside of our realm of experience.

I'd imagine the seal is like the signet ring a king uses to officially sign a decree. Who knows, we may have seals on ourselves that we cannot see. Hmm...

son of thunder said...

Well, the Bible says weare sealed by the Holy Spirit. And in the case of "seals" in Bible times, a seal was a tube worn on a leather strap. This tube had images carved onto it and when rolled across wax, it told a story. So, in essence, when a person is sealed by the Spirit, He is writing His story on our hearts.

So, we do have seals that we can't see, but obviously beings in the spirit realm can.

SeanOsborne said...


You wrote: "How does the spiritual world recognize each other? How does it interact with opposing forces? How do demons know when to stay away from something God wants them to? These are questions that have answers outside of our realm of experience."

To expound a little on the major point in my comment above, I would offer up Biblical text to show that the Gospel contains the answers to these questions. The text of Mark 5 particularly illustrates some of the answers which pertain to how they spiritually recognize each other, and their interactions.

Mark 5 relates how an entire legion (several thousands) of demons who had possessed a man. The man had enough of his wits to throw himself at Jesus feet. It is then that the demons verbally recognized Jesus as "Son of the Most High God."

This "legion" of demons then begged Christ not to send them into the abyss, the bottomless pit.
The Hebrew word used for this place in Genesis 1:2 is tĕhowm, and in Revelation 9 it is abyssos. Those demons prefered to live for mere moments in swine than be sent into the abyss. This transfer of demons from one human being into a herd of about 2000 swine was allowed by Jesus. Those swine immediately drowned themselves in a lake (probably the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee) and died.

In this single act Jesus Christ demonstrated total control by His spoken world over a legion of demons. They did not resist, instead they recognized His power and absolute authority over them.

This then gets back to the events of Revelation 9 - those demons released from the abyss are commanded (Greek word: rheo which is a spoken word, a command) to not hurt any grass, any green thing or tree but only those who do not have the seal of God upon their foreheads.

Who does the commanding? Presumably it will be the "star," or heavenly being, an angel, which releases the demons and Abaddon/Apollyon from the abyss and who issues the commands to them with the full authority of God.

Father, Son and Holy Ghost are THE universal, omnipotent power over all creation. This is the power within us through the Holy Spirit through which we can achieve all things within the will of God.

hartdawg said...

i believe there will be at least a 3.5yr gap between the rapture and tribulation. 1st the rapture, 2nd the fulfillment of paslm 83(perhaps before the rapture) 3rd Gog/magog. 4th after Gog/magog the ten toes come together 5from europe(western roman empire)5 from the areas devastated by Gog/magog (eastern roman empire) europe sets those kings to stabalize the devestated region. 3.5yrs or so later the tribulation. 7yrs for burning fuel but 3.5 yrs into the tribulation isreal flees ant-christ. make sense?