I am going directly to our comparison in part 4.You should see the difference.
COMPARING THE RAPTURE TRIBULATION AND THE SECOND COMING
1. At the RAPTURE, Jesus comes FOR His Church. (John 14:1-3, 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17)
2. At the SECOND COMING, Jesus comes WITH His Church. (Zechariah 14:5, Colossians 3:4, Jude 14, Revelation 19:14).
3. At the RAPTURE, Christians are caught up to meet Jesus in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
4. At the SECOND COMING, Jesus’ feet touch the earth (Zechariah 14:4, Revelation 19:11-21)
5. At the RAPTURE, Christians are taken up but unbelievers are left behind. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
6. At the SECOND COMING, the unsaved, wicked (tares) are taken up, but the righteous (wheat, i.e., the tribulation saints) are left behind. (Matthew 13:28-30)
7. At the RAPTURE, Jesus will gather His Bride, the Church, unto Himself in preparation of the Marriage of the Lamb. (Revelation 19:6-9)
8. At the SECOND COMING, Jesus will execute judgment on the earth and establish His Kingdom. (Zechariah 14:3-4, Jude 14-15, Revelation 19:11-21)
9. The Marriage of the Lamb takes place in Heaven AFTER the RAPTURE of the Church. (Revelation 19:6-9
10. War on earth comes AFTER the “Marriage of the Lamb” at the SECOND COMING when the King of Kings and Lord of Lords judges the nations, and evil! (Revelation 19:11-21)
11.The RAPTURE will happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (Blink. It’s over!). (1 Corinthians 15:52)
12. The SECOND COMING will be a slow coming. Everyone will see Jesus coming with great power and great glory! (Zechariah 12:10, Matthew 24:30, Revelation 1:7)
13. At the RAPTURE, only those who are looking for Him (Christians) will see Him. (1 John 3:2, 1 Corinthians 15:52)
14. At the SECOND COMING, every eye will see Him and those who have rejected Him will cry in fear. (Revelation 1:7)
15. At the RAPTURE, Jesus will descend from Heaven in the air, with a shout (calling for the saints at the resurrection). (1 Thessalonians 4:16)
16. At the SECOND COMING, no shout is mentioned, although the Lord does slay the wicked with the sword of His mouth. (Revelation 19:11-21)
17. The RAPTURE can happen at any time, (IMMINENT) even now, which is why we are to be WATCHING for the return of Jesus Christ! (Revelation 3:3, 1 Thessalonians 5:4-6)
18. The SECOND COMING will occur at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. (Daniel 9:24-27, Matthew 24:29-30, 2 Thessalonians 2:3-8)
19. At the RAPTURE, no angels are sent to gather the Church.At the SECOND COMING, angels will be sent to gather people together for judgment. (Matthew 13:39, 41 & 49, Matthew 24:31, Matthew 25:31, 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10)
20. At the RAPTURE, those who died in Christ will return with Jesus to recover their resurrected bodies. (1 Thessalonians 4:14-16)
21. At the SECOND COMING, Christians will return with Jesus already in their resurrected bodies, riding on white horses wearing white linen. (Revelation 19:11-21)
22. At the RAPTURE, Jesus doesn’t return riding a white horse.
23. At the SECOND COMING, Jesus will return riding a white horse. (Revelation 19:11)
24. The RAPTURE will bring with it a message of hope and comfort. (1 Thessalonians 4:18, Titus 2:13, 1 John 3:3)
25. The SECOND COMING will bring with it a message of judgment and Wrath. (Joel 3:12-16, Malachi 4:5, Revelation 19:11-21) The World is deceived. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-12),Satan is bound. (Revelation 20:1-2)
26. The focus of the RAPTURE is: Lord and Church. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
27. The focus of the SECOND COMING is: Israel and Kingdom. (Matthew 24:14)
28. No signs precede RAPTURE. (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3)
29. Many Signs precede SECOND COMING. (Luke 21:11,15)The TRIBULATION begins.
30. At the TRIBULATION Antichrist is revealed (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
31. At the SECOND COMING Jesus Christ is revealed. (Malachi 4:2)
32. Jesus claims His bride. RAPTURE
33. Jesus comes with His bride. SECOND COMING (Revelation 19:6-14)
34. Marriage Supper Of The Lamb follows the RAPTURE. (Revelation 19:9)
35. The Great Supper of the wicked follows the TRIBULATION. (Revelation 19:17)
36. The WORLD will not see Jesus at the RAPTURE; but rather, BELIEVERS ascend go to meet Him in the air. (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
37. Jesus will descend bodily and visibly for all to see, just as He ascended bodily and visibly. (Acts 1:9-11)
38. The Judgment Seat Of Christ follows the RAPTURE (BEMA SEAT IN HEAVEN). (2nd Corinthians 5:9-11)
39. The Judgment of the Nations follows the TRIBULATION (Matthew 24:32-46)
40. Believers receive a new, immortal, glorified body fashioned like unto the Lord’s. (Philippians 3:21; 1 Corinthians 15:51-54)
41. Saints saved during the TRIBULATION enter into the Millennial kingdom with their earthly bodies. (Isaiah 65:20)
42. The Antichrist is revealed after the RAPTURE. (2 Thessalonians 2:8)
43. The Antichrist is defeated and cast into the Lake of Fire at the SECOND COMING. (Revelation 19:20)
44. Israel is persecuted during the TRIBULATION. Two-in-three Jews in Israel are killed. (Zechariah 13:8-9)
45. Israel is REGATHERED. (Jeremiah 23:5-8)
46. The timing of the Rapture is unknown. No man, nor the angels, not even the Son, know when this time shall be (Mark 13:32). Only a “PRETRIBULATION” position supports this vital Biblical truth.
47. The timing of Christ’s SECOND COMING is known, which is at the culmination of the 7-year TRIBULATION (or, Daniel’s 70th week). The RAPTURE starts the calendar clock for Daniel’s 70th week.
48. World government (New World Order) follows the RAPTURE. (Revelation 13:15)
49. Christ’s reign and government follows the SECOND COMING. (Daniel 2:34-35)
50. The Lord gathers the saints RAPTURE (2nd Thessalonians 2:1)
51. The angels gather the saints SECOND COMING (the elect, Matthew 24:31)
52. Both the living and the dead saints are gathered RAPTURE (1st Thessalonians 4:16-17)
53. Only the living saints are gathered SECOND COMING (Matthew 24:31)
54. World famine, pestilence, war and sorrow follow the RAPTURE. (TRIBULATION) (Matthew 24:6-10; Luke 17:31)
55. World peace follows Christ’s SECOND COMING, when He reigns from Jerusalem (Isaiah 11:6)
GOD’S RESTORATION OF HIS CHOSEN PEOPLE THE JEWS
During the Tribulation, the TEMPLE will be restored. God will renew His covenants and promises He made to His chosen people the Jews. Israel as a nation will be gathered back to Him. In addition the “PHYSICAL RESTORATION” of their capital “JERUSALEM.” will be restored. There will be the 144,000 “JEWISH EVANGELIST” will be SEALED BY GOD AND PREACH THE KINGDOM GOSPEL. Why are the Jews preaching the gospel instead of the Church? Is it not the job of the church to preach, teach and witness to a lost and dying world? Is that not what Christ commanded the church to do, before he ascended back to heaven? (MATTHEW 28:19-20). THE REASON THE JEWS ARE NOW PREACHING THE GOSPEL, IS THAT THEY ARE BEING RESTORED AND THE CHURCH AGE HAS ENDED. THE CHURCH IS NOT ON EARTH. THE RAPTURE HAS TAKEN PLACE.
You CANNOT PLACE THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH, IN THE TRIBULATION, OR AT THE END OF THE TRIBULATION. THE CHURCH AND THE CHURCH AGE DOES NOT CONTINUE TROUGH THE TRIBULATION TO THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST. As I stated previously in another part of this series of articles, “The day of Christ” and “The day of the Lord” are 2 separate events, in 2 separate time frames, with 2 separate purposes. And these 2 separate days are separated by a “NIGHT” OF DARKNESS- TRIBULATION. I will not try to detail all of the events taking place during the TRIBULATION period. I think that would take about 5 more articles. The Tribulation is the 70th week of Daniel and prophesied by him. It is also the writings of the prophets throughout all of the Old Testament. 86 times through the old testament we are told by the prophets about the “great and terrible day of the Lord” that was to come upon the whole earth. It IS the “TRIBULATION PERIOD.”
The concept of Jesus’ “SECOND COMING” was a “MYSTERY” to Jews and Jesus’ followers until He ascended into heaven, after His crucifixion and resurrection. Acts 1:1-11 ” The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, 2 Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Ghost had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: 4 And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. 5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. 6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? 7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. 8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. 9 And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.10 And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”
OLD TESTAMENT TYPES AND PICTURES OF THE RAPTURE
There are many Old Testament types and pictures of the Rapture that corresponds to the New testament. I do think God was revealing part of His plan for the Rapture through the Old Testament. We see Gods working in these events and pictures. Maybe you have read about these but never saw it this way. 1.Noah’s Ark and the Flood – A Preview of the Rapture. Noah and his family escaped God’s wrath and judgement that came upon the earth. GOD HIMSELF CLOSE THE DOOR, to the ark. John 10:9 Jesus said, “I AM THE DOOR: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” In Revelation 3:8 Jesus said, “I know thy works. Behold, I have set before thee, AN OPEN DOOR and no man can shut it. For thou hast a little strength, and hast kept My Word, and hast not denied My name. In Revelation 3:20 Jesus said,Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” In Revelation 4:1 John see’s AN OPEN DOOR. “After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.”
2.Lot Escapes Sodom Luke 17:28-30 “Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; 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.” Judgement and wrath could not fall until righteous Lot was out of Sodom. And notice the angels Physically Forced Lot and his family out. 3. The PASSOVER in the book of Exodus 12:22-23. The blood was applied to the door and closed so the death angel would not enter. Judgement and Wrath passed over them.
4. Moses Speaking to God on Mt. Sinai. “The Lord literally descends to Earth to speak to Moses and the 12 tribes of Israel. Notice the parallels to the Rapture description from Bible prophecy. God Himself descended from Heaven in a cloud, just as the 1 Thessalonians states that Jesus Himself will descend from Heaven in a cloud. The people are told in advance that they will gather together to meet The Lord, just as the raptured church will be gathered to meet Jesus in the clouds. 5. The Consecration of The Temple Priesthood
Leviticus Chapter 8. #6. Joshua 6:22-24 Rahab the harlot delivered from Judgement from a wicked city.
7. God’s Own Prophecy. Isaiah 26 contains a not-often used prophecy about the Rapture: ” Isaiah 26: 17-21 shows a picture of the Rapture and the Tribulation. And what did Jesus say in Luke 21:35-36 ““And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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.” THAT YOU MAY BE ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE. HE DID NOT SAY TO GO THROUGH IT.
We or scholars may argue or debate the Rapture, Tribulation, and second coming. We may argue to its TIMING also. I want to conclude with a Biblical Principal that ends the entire debate for me. A question will be asked, and I think it is one of the “MOST IMPORTANT” question in the whole Bible. In Genesis chapter 18, Abraham has a conversation with God. God is going to send Wrath, Judgment and total destruction on the cities of wicked, evil, vile cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. In verse 17 says “And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do?”
Here is that most important question I am talking about. Abraham asked God in verse 23, “And Abraham drew near, and said, “WILT THOU ALSO DESTROY THE RIGHTEOUS WITH THE WICKED?” God did NOT destroy the righteous with the wicked. To the contrary, the angels physically took hold of the righteous and pulled them out of Sodom. Judgment could not come until the righteous escaped and were gone. The Bible is full of MANY other events like this. “IT IS A BIBLICAL PRINCIPAL” AND SHOWS THE VERY CHARACTER OF GOD. This is a main reason I believe in the Rapture.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says, “The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.”
What did Amos the prophet tell us in Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.” There are many other examples in the Old Testament. Maybe you will remember what I said in a previous article. “What is in the Old Testament concealed is in the New Testament Revealed.”
I have tried to show in this article the DIFFERENCES REVEALED between the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Second Coming. I have tried to show from the SCRIPTURE how these are different events at different times for different people. In this series I have tried to show the difference in “THE DAY OF CHRIST” (For The Church) and “THE DAY OF THE LORD” (For Israel, the Jews). Throughout HISTORY God has worked differently between the SAVED and the LOST. God has worked differently between the ACCEPTORS AND THE REJECTERS. Hebrews 2:3 says, “3 How shall we ESCAPE, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”
There has been all through history (and present today) ungodly, unbelievers who still reject God and His message of mercy and grace to the world. There will be NO ESCAPE for them, now or in the future. What did Christ say to the Jews about the Tribulation period? Matthew 24: “15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall 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.”
Can anyone deny that this is the Tribulation period? THIS STATEMENT WAS NOT MADE FOR THE CHURCH. Jesus was speaking to his disciples and the Jewish nation. Jesus had not been rejected yet, (but He knew He would be). The death, burial and resurrection has not taken place yet. The CHURCH was non-existent at this time. The CHURCH started on the day of Pentecost 10 days after Jesus ascended back to heaven. Did the CHURCH transition? YES. The Church started with JEWISH believers IN CHRIST, and later included GENTILE believers.
I Corinthians 2:13 “Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” COMPARE SCRIPTURE WITH SCRIPTURE. God made covenants and promises to Israel, the Jews and He will fulfill them all. God made promises to the Church, and He will fulfill them all. God has worked differently with the Jews than He has the Church.
When Christ returns at the second coming, the actual MARRIAGE between the bride and groom,has already taken place in heaven. We the Bride come back with Christ the Bride Groom. “The Wedding Supper will take place here on earth. Christ, as KING, will fight the battle of Armageddon and defeat the enemies of Israel. God has poured out his WRATH on the nations of the world and Israel during the Tribulation. Israel’s RESTORATION will then be complete. Christ will set up ” The 1000 Year Millennium Kingdom” PROMISED to the Jews.. He will rule the entire world himself from the city of Jerusalem. It will be a time of perfect peace on earth.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 King James Version (KJV) “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” 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.” If you study this verse, and the word ESCAPE, You will find the meaning is this. “That you may escape by the help of another.” Not escaping by your own efforts.This series has been called “WHY I BELIEVE IN THE RAPTURE. I have shown why I believe it.
To other CHRISTIANS with a different view, you are entitled to your view, and I will NOT fall out with you over it. There is 1 thing WE can both agree on and here it is: Hebrews 2:3 “How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him.”
I CAN ONLY SAY THAT NONE OF US WILL EVER ESCAPE WITHOUT THE LORD.
Your thoughts, opinions and comments are welcome so leave them below in the comment section. RAY