Summary: 7 PROOFS OF THE RAPTURE BEFORE THE TRIBULATION
7 PROOFS OF THE RAPTURE BEFORE THE TRIBULATION
In 2 Thess. 2:1-12 we have a clear proof that the church and O.T. saints will be raptured before the day of the Lord, that is before the second advent,(2nd coming), and before the Revelation of the Antichrist, before Daniel's 70th week, before the future tribulation, and before the last seven years of this age which ends with the second advent of Christ to the earth.
In 2 Thess. 2:1-4 Paul beseeches saints not to be deceived by any means or by anybody, as to the coming of the day of the Lord, or the second advent. The two things that were to precede the day of the Lord are:
1. "A great falling away" and
2. "That man of sin be revealed" (2 Thess. 2:3).
Besides these two things Paul revealed that a third great event would take place, this one to precede the day of the Lord or second advent, and also precede the revelation of the man of sin. He said, "he who now letteth [hinders] will let [hinder] until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed" (2 Thess. 2:7-8). Thus it is clear that the hinderer of lawlessness will be taken out of the way before the Antichrist can come. "Our gathering together unto him" of 2 Thess. 2:1 and the hinderer of lawlessness being "taken out of the way" of 2 Thess. 2:7-8 refer to the same event-the rapture of the church and O.T. saints before the Revelation of the Antichrist. And then-when he who hinders lawlessness is taken out of the way-shall that Wicked be revealed.
Another proof of the rapture of the church and O.T. saints before the tribulation is found in Rev. 1:19 and Rev 4:1. All the dead and living in Christ at this point in time will be raptured to meet the Lord in the air to be taken to heaven to live in mansions, in the Father's house with Christ eternally (John. 14:1-3; Lk. 21:34-36; 1 Cor. 15:23,51-56; Eph. 5:27; Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 2:19-20; 1 Thess 3:13; 1 Thess 4:13-18; 1 Thess 5:1-11,23; Jas. 5:7-8; Heb 11:10-16; Heb 12:22-23; Heb 13:14; Rev. 5:8-10; Rev 19:1-10).
Christ made it clear to John in t and Rev. 4:1 that all the details of every prophecy in Rev. 4:1 -Rev 22:21. This is confirmed without controversy in the three-fold division of the book of Revelation.
Another proof of a rapture of the church and O.T. saints before the tribulation lies in the literal fulfillment of Lk. 21:34-36. Christ personally promised all true believers who would meet the conditions that they would "escape all these things" and "stand before the son of man." The things that the "worthy" ones were to escape are those listed in Lk. 21:1-11,25-33; Mt. 24:1 -Mt 25:46; Mk. 13 and Rev. 4:1 - Rev 18:24. The only way they could do this would be to be raptured before these events took place. To escape means that they would not suffer or have to endure these things, and to stand before the Son of man means that they would be raptured bodily so as to be able to stand before Him in bodily presence. They will therefore literally rise "to meet him in the air" and be received by Christ to go up to heaven to live with Him (John. 14:1-3; 1 Cor. 15:23,51-54; Eph. 5:27; Phil. 3:21; Col. 3:4; 1 Thess. 2:19-20; 1 Thess 3:13; 1 Thess 4:13-18; 1 Thess 5:1-11,23; 2 Thess. 2:1,7-8; Jas. 5:7-8; 1 John. 2:28;1 John 3:1-3; Rev. 1:19; Rev 4:1; Rev 5:8-10; Rev 19:1-10).
The Greek word for "escape" in Lk. 21:36 is ekpheugo, meaning to flee out of the way (Acts 19:16); to get away (Acts 16:27); and to escape danger and even hell (Lk. 21:36; Rom.2:3; 2 Cor. 11:33; 1 Thess. 5:1-4; Heb. 2:3;Heb 12:25).
A proof of a rapture of the church and O.T. saints before the tribulation is found in Rev. 5:8-10. Here we have the raptured saints of all past ages up to this point already in heaven having been already redeemed and raptured to heaven. They are the "kings and priests" from "every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" who will reign on the earth. They are in heaven at this point in the fulfillment of Rev. 4:1 - Rev 22:21, all of which must be fulfilled after the churches. The fact that they are here revealed as already having been redeemed and raptured cannot be denied. They are pre-tribulation saints and they are in heaven at the very beginning of the tribulation which starts in the first seal and continues throughout the entire seven seals, the seven trumpets, and the seven vials of Rev. 6:1 - Rev 16:21; Rev 18:1-24. The tribulation saints are those that are martyred in this 70th week of Daniel (Rev. 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 14:9-13; Rev 15:1-5; Rev 20:4-7; Dan. 7:21;Dan 9:27). There is a special song of redemption related to the pre-tribulation saints (Rev. 5:8-10) that is entirely different from the song sung 3 ½ years later by the 144,000 (Rev. 14:1-5), and the one sung seven years later by the tribulation saints (Rev. 15:1-5).