The purpose of this study is to examine what the Bible says about the rapture. Is the Messiah coming secretly? Does the Bible support seven-year tribulation? Is the Messiah coming before or after the great tribulation? What about the second coming of the Messiah in two stages? Will Christians go through the great tribulation? We will likewise look at other popular scriptural passages used to support this theory. Is a pre-tribulation rapture coming, and what does the Bible teach? Be ready to open and study your Bible for the answers.
This study was prepared in form of questions and comments, it is important to study all the scriptural references, make personal notes from them, and then read the comments that followed the question. All scriptural references are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible unless otherwise stated. The keyword or words in the reference verses are highlighted for you to have words to think and meditate upon.
To gain the knowledge God intends, asked Him to open your understanding to the scriptures you read. Remove your mind from any preconceived opinion and focus on what the scriptures say. Be like the Bereans Christians who studied the scriptures to be sure what they heard were true. Believe the Word of God, prove it and hold fast to it, because it is true.
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May your heart be blessed as you study diligently.
1. Is the second coming of the Messiah in two stages?
2. Is the Messiah coming with the Angels or with the saints?
3. Are seven years of tribulation coming?
4. What about the other scriptures used to support the secret rapture?
a) Like a thief in the night: 2 Peter 3:10
b) One taken, and the other left behind, Matthew 24:40-41
c) Not appointed us to wrath, 1 Thessalonians 5:9
5. Will Believers will go through the great tribulation?
6. Will true believers be protected during the great tribulation?
Questions and Comments
Is the second coming of the Messiah in two stages?
Read I Thessalonians 4:15-17, I Peter 1:13, Matthew 24:37, Luke 17:26, 30
The “rapturist” believes that the Messiah’s (Christ’s) second coming is in two stages. They believed the first stage is a secret rapture when the Messiah will quietly take the believers to heaven before the great tribulation so as to escape the horrors of the great tribulation. They believe that at this stage the Messiah will not set his feet on the earth, but stays in the air, and believers will then be CAUGHT UP with him in the air. They believe the first stage is when the Messiah comes FOR the Saints.
The second stage as they believe it is the REVELATION (GLORIOUS APPEARANCE) of the Messiah to the public when he comes WITH the Saints to judge the world and start the millennial reign. At this time, he will set his feet on the earth.
The first stage of the supposed secret rapture is supported by I Thessalonians 4: 15-17, where the Greek word “Parousia”, translated “the coming” in verse 15 was interpreted to mean secret coming, or just the nearness of Christ. The second stage is supported by I Peter 1:13, where the word “the revelation” from the Greek word “apokalupsis” in verse 13 was interpreted to mean the actual coming of Christ when all eyes will see him. They believe there is going to be a seven-year period between “Parousia” (the coming) and “apokalupsis” (the revelation) of Christ.
Now to what the scripture teaches. There is nowhere the scripture suggests two stages of the Messiah’s second coming, but the religious system of this world formulated theories they want us to believe. It is important to look at all scriptures to understand the mind of God concerning any doctrine or before making a doctrine out of one verse of the scripture.
It is interesting to know that the two Greek words mentioned above can be used interchangeably to mean the same thing or event. Let’s consider the following:
(a) Considering “Parousia” in I Thessalonians 4: 15 and 2 Thessalonians 2:28
I Thessalonians 4:15-17
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming “Parousia” of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus, we shall always be with the Lord.”
II Thessalonians 2:8-9
“And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming “Parousia”. The coming “Parousia” of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders,”
Before further comment on these two scriptural references, let’s answer this question, as it is vital to our understanding of the above references. When will the lawless one (anti-Christ) be destroyed or judged? At the Messiah’s coming, after the great tribulation. Read Revelation 19: 11 -21. Now, if “Parousia” means secret coming in I Thessalonians 4:15 as the Rapturist believe, then it is not possible for the destruction of the Lawless one (anti-Christ) to be at the same “Parousia” of the Messiah in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9 where the Lawless one is judged, since they believe the two events (the coming of Christ for the saints and the revelation of Christ with the saints to judge the world) are separated by seven years period. “Parousia” simply means physical or bodily coming when we consider its usage in the New Testament. Check Strong’s Concordance for how this Greek word is used, there is no suggestion of a secret coming.
(b) Considering the Greek word “apokalupsis”, interpreted “the revelation” in verse 13 of I Peter Chapter 1.
I Peter 1:13
“Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation “apokalupsis” of Jesus Christ;”
Scripturally, the Greek words “Parousia” and “Apokalupsis” can be used interchangeably to mean the same event. Now look at Matthew 24:37 and Luke 17:26,30, both describing the same event.
“But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming “Parousia” of the Son of Man be.”
Luke 17:26, 30 (describing the same event)
“And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed “Apokalupsis”.”
1. These two scriptures proved that the Greek words can be used interchangeably, therefore the coming (Parousia) and revelation (Apokalupsis) of the Messiah is the same event. The bible did not support two phases of the coming of the Messiah. The second coming of the Messiah is one and final and will take place on the last day after the great tribulation.
Is the Messiah coming with the Angels or with the saints?
Read I Thessalonians 4:15-17, 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13, I Peter 1:13, Matthew 24:37, Matthew16:27, Matthew 25:31, Mark 8:38, 2 Thessalonians 1:6-8.
The rapture theory teaches two stages of the second coming of the Messiah. The first stage they say is when the Messiah comes for the saints and the second stage is when He comes with the saints. They believed that the two stages are separated by seven years of the great tribulation. The two Greek words used to describe the two stages are Parousia (translated to mean the secret coming of the Lord for the saints, that is the rapture of the saints) and Apokalupsis (translated as the visible coming of the Lord with the saints to judge the world, some call it the revelation of the Messiah, or the glorious appearance of the Messiah).
In the comment, “Is the Messiah coming in two stages?”, I wrote that the Messiah’s second coming will be one and final. I also pointed out that the two Greek words Parousia and Apokalupsis can be used interchangeably (given scriptural examples) and they described the same event. To prove this point in a clearer way, we will look at two Bible references, and they are 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16 and 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13.
A) I Thessalonians 4:15-16
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming (Parousia) of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
Verse 15 of 1 Thessalonians 4 is the verse used to support the secret rapture, the time when the Messiah comes for the saints. They believe the Greek word “Parousia” translated “the coming” in this verse means the secret rapture of the saints and is different from “Apokalupsis”, the Greek word translated “the revelation” in 1 Peter 1:13 which says “Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation (Apokalupsis) of Jesus Christ;” The major difference between the two as they believed it is that Parousia is the coming of the Messiah for the saints before the great tribulation to heaven, and after the great the great tribulation is Apokalupsis, the coming or revelation of the Messiah with the saints to judge the world. But is this true? Let’s consider the second scriptural reference.
B) 1 Thessalonians 3:13
If we look at 1 Thessalonians 3:13, starting from verse 12, “And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming (Parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.” It is evidently clear that “the coming”, the same Greek word (Parousia)that is used to support the secret rapture (coming of the Messiah for the saints) is the same Greek word used to describe the coming of the Messiah with the saints. Please check Matthew Henry concordance for the Greek word Parousia (the coming) as translated in 1 Thessalonians 4:15 and 1 Thessalonians 3:13, you will notice that they are the same word and which prove that the coming of the Messiah is not in two stages. Both scriptures are describing same, this will be clear as we go on.
And now to the question, Is the Messiah coming with the Angels or with the saints? Let us first read the following scriptural references: Matthew16:27, Matthew 25:31, Mark 8:38, 2Thessalonians 1:6-8,
“For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”
“When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.”
“For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
2 Thessalonians 1:6-8
“since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Without any doubt, all the above scriptures support the truth that the Messiah is coming with His Holy angels at His second and final coming. It is interesting to know that only two Bible passages are used to support the coming of the Messiah with the saints. And they are 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 and Jude 1:14-15. Note this, depending on the Bible translation you are using this may further reduce to one or zero. Let’s study the two scriptural references closely without the influence of any preconceived opinion.
A) 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13
We have already established that this passage is not talking about a different coming of the Messiah from 1 Thessalonians 4:15-16. What we have not explained is why is the one talking about the Messiah coming with the His Holy angels and the other with the saints? The first thing is to read 1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 in other translations.
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NKJV (New King James Version)
“Now may our God and Father Himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all, just as we do to you, so that He may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints.”
1 Thessalonians 3:11-13 NIV (New International Version)
“Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you. May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”
1 Thessalonians 3:12-13 CJB (Complete Jewish Bible)
“And as for you, may the Lord make you increase and overflow in love toward each other, indeed, toward everyone, just as we do toward you; so that he may give you the inner strength to be blameless, by reason of your holiness, when you stand before God our Father at the coming of our Lord Yeshua with all his angels.”
1 Thessalonians 3:13 ICB (International Children’s Bible)
“That your hearts will be made strong. Then you will be holy and without fault before our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy people.”
The first thing you will notice is that the Greek word “hagios” translated as saints in the King James Version was translated as angels, holy ones, or holy people in other translations. But, before we conclude, let’s consider the second passage Jude 1:14-15 and how other translations rendered it
B) Jude 1:14-15 NKJV (New King James Version)
“Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.””
Jude 1:14-15 JUB (Jubilee Bible)
“And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have unfaithfully committed and of all the hard words which the unfaithful sinners have spoken against him.”
Jude 1:14-15 NIV (New International Version)
“Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.””
Jude 1:14-15 GNB (Good News Bible)
“It was Enoch, the seventh direct descendant from Adam, who long ago prophesied this about them: “The Lord will come with many thousands of his holy angels to bring judgment on all, to condemn them all for the godless deeds they have performed and for all the terrible words that godless sinners have spoken against him!””
Jude 1:14-15 ERV (Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version)
“Enoch, the seventh descendant from Adam, said this about these people: “Look, the Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy angels to judge everyone. He will punish all those who are against him for all the evil they have done in their lack of respect for him. Yes, the Lord will punish all these sinners who don’t honor him. He will punish them for all the evil things they have said against him.”
Jude 1:14-15 ICB (International Children’s Bible)
“Enoch, the seventh descendant from Adam, said this about these people: “Look, the Lord is coming with thousands and thousands of his holy angels. The Lord will judge every person. He is coming to judge everyone and to punish all who are against God. He will punish them for all the evil they have done against him. And he will punish the sinners who are against God. He will punish them for all the evil things they have said against him.”
Jude 1:14-15 GW (God’s Word Translation)
“Furthermore, Enoch, from the seventh generation after Adam, prophesied about them. He said, “The Lord has come with countless thousands of his holy angels. He has come to judge all these people. He has come to convict all these ungodly sinners for all the ungodly things they have done and all the harsh things they have said about him.”
Again, you will notice that the Greek word “hagios” could mean saints, holy ones, Angels, or holy people. Strong’s concordance #G40 defines hagios as anything that is sacred, that is, physically pure, morally blameless, consecrated, most holy (one, thing, angel), or saint. It can also be used for the Holy Spirit. And if we consider Jude 1:14-15 and 1 Thessalonians 3:13 in the overall plan of God regarding the return of the Messiah, both scriptures should have been generally translated as the holy angels, as some translation correctly did. According to Easton’s Bible dictionary, in the comment made in the definition of saint, it reads “The “saints” spoken of in Jude 1:14 are probably not the disciples of Christ, but the “innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22; Psalms 68:17), with reference to Deuteronomy 33:2.”
So those who preach that the Messiah is coming with the saints did not put the usage of the Greek words “Parousia” and “hagios” in the proper context in the overall plan for man. They also failed to consider other Bible translations, limiting themselves to only one or two. Hagios does not always mean saint or saints, it can also be used to mean angels, Holy Spirit, the Holy One, Holy people, or Holy thing. Just to assume or conclude that it means saints in Jude 1:14 or 1 Thessalonians 3:13 without considering other passage on how it is used is totally unscriptural. The word of God does not contradict one another if interpreted within His overall plan.
At the second and final coming of the Messiah, He will come with His holy angels (they are the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean mentioned in Revelation 19:11-16) to resurrect the saints (true believers) and to take over the kingdoms of the world with the saints reigning and ruling Him. See the answer to the question “From resurrection to the new heaven and earth, where is Christ: heaven or earth?” for a detailed chronological order of events of the coming of the Messiah, from the time the last (seventh) trumpet is sounded to the coming down of the new Jerusalem. May the Lord give you understanding.
Are seven years of tribulation coming?
Read Daniel 9:1 – 27
The rapturists believed that the tribulation will last for seven years, thus many of the popular books and movies on a pre-tribulation rapture are centered on a seven-year period. But how many Bible passages clearly stated or even suggested this idea – none.
There is no single scriptural passage that specifically says that there will be seven years of tribulation, but the idea was taken from the last week (i.e. The last 7 days) of the “seventy weeks” prophecy as recorded in Daniel 9:24 – 27. Please read our article “Understanding the seventy-week prophecy” for a full understanding of this prophecy.
This is the summary of the whole chapter of Daniel 9. Jerusalem was invaded by Babylon, the land desolated, the temple destroyed, and the children of Israel, including Daniel, was taken captive. In captivity, Daniel understood according to prophesy that 70 years was the period they will be in captivity and that period was about to end; this made Daniel go to God in prayer to bring His word to pass. In answer to Daniel’s prayer, God sent the Archangel Gabriel to reveal to him the plan he had in mind for Israel. Remember, this prophecy was about the Jews and Jerusalem. In this revelation, God did not just reveal to Daniel that He will honor His word, in addition, Daniel was given the understanding of how God will permanently deal with the issue of sin – the exact cause of what brought them to captivity. In this prophecy, the exact time of the coming of the Messiah was foretold, the time of his death, what his death would accomplish, and the final judgment on those who destroy the earth. Again, the Seventy-week prophesy was not about seven years of great tribulation, the anti-Christ or Satan, but about the Jews, Jerusalem, and the Messiah. Please read the whole chapter of Daniel 9.
What about the other scriptures used to support the secret rapture?
Read 2 Peter 3:10, Matthew 24:40-41, 1 Thessalonians 5:9
A) Like a thief in the night: 2 Peter 3:10
To fully understand this verse, it is important to read the whole chapter of 2 Peter and other related verses. II Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up.”
If the secret rapture is related to “as a thief in the night”, then the heaven and the earth would have passed away three and a half or seven years before the end of the world. And if the earth had already passed away, how and when will the anti- Christ reign.
Now read Matthew 24: 36, 42-44; “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, but My Father only. Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. Therefore, you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”
The main lesson the Messiah wants us to learn about His coming as a thief in the night is that the believers should always be ready for his coming because he is coming when no man knows. He wants us to be watchful for the signs of His coming. Yeshua’s (Jesus’) coming as a thief in the night does not mean secret rapture, what it means is that no one knows the time of His coming. Even though you may not know when the thief comes at night, you will know when he enters the house if the occupants are still inside.
B) One taken, and the other left behind, Matthew 24:40-41
One taken and the other left behind is a phrase taken from Matthew 24: 40-41 to describe the event of a secret rapture. They believed Christians will be taken to heaven at the Messiah’s secret coming and the wicked will be left behind to suffer under the antichrist. With this belief, many books and movies have been written with the title “Left behind” to depict the horrific situations of those that are left behind after the secret rapture has taken place. But, is this the thought these verses want believers to have?
It is important to read the whole chapter 24 then pay attention to verses 36 to 42. Now, let us look at the important points from those verses. In the same Matthew 24, verses 1-35, The Messiah had just told his disciples the signs of his coming and the end of the age. And from verse 36 he was telling them to be ready for that day because no one knows the exact time the day will be. Let us look at the lessons in verses 36-44
Verse 36: No one knows the exact time the Messiah will come, except God alone, not even the Angels
Verses 37-39: That day will come unexpectedly, as in the day of Noah. In those days, people did not heed to the warnings but preoccupied themselves with the affairs of this life. The scripture says in verse 38 that “they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark”
Verses 40-41: when the Messiah comes, there will be two groups of people (men or women). One group will be taken and the left.
Now to the important question. Where did those taken go and where did those left behind remain. Let’s read Luke 17: 26-37, a parallel account of Matthew 24:36-44 which gives more vital information about the destination of the those that were taken. When the Messiah told His disciples that “one will be taken and the other left”, they asked in verse 37 of Luke chapter 17 “Where, Lord?” They asked specifically about those who are taken and where they were taken.
Jesus answered them in verse 38 “Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.” Let see other versions of the bible because they correctly translated the verse.
“Where, Lord?” they asked. He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.” Luke 17:37 NIV
“The disciples asked him, “Where, Lord?” Jesus answered, “Wherever there is a dead body, the vultures will gather.” Luke 17:37 GNB
“And they asked Him, “Where, Lord?” He answered, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will be gathered.” Luke 17:37 AMP
Again, where are they taken? Heaven? No. The bible says they were taken to the place of the dead. Vultures are scavengers that feed on dead remains, the Eagles do not. This is the reason why the correct translation will be vultures, not Eagles. Again, those who are taken are taken to be destroyed in judgment because they failed to be ready for the coming of the Lord. And those who are left are the saved ones. Where are they left? They are left on earth, spared and saved from judgment.
Let’s now use the examples of the Messiah to support this.
Those who are taken are the ones destroyed in the flood, while those who are left are the ones saved in the ark. Luke 17: 27
Sodom and Gomorrah
Those who are taken are the ones destroyed by fire, while those left are the ones who heed to the warnings of God. Luke 17:29
Great separation Parable
Great separation parables like the parable of the wheat and tare and the sheep and goat all talk about the judgment of God coming to this world. The wicked, represented by the goat or tare will be taken and destroyed while the righteous one, represented by sheep and wheat will be spared. Matthew 13:24-30, Matthew 25:31-46.
Moreover, throughout the pages of the scriptures, it is the wicked that always got destroyed from the surface of the earth, while the righteous are left and spared. Let’s read more scriptures.
“The righteous will never be removed, But the wicked will not inhabit the earth.” Proverbs 10:30
“For the upright will dwell in the land, And the blameless will remain in it; But the wicked will be cut off from the earth, And the unfaithful will be uprooted from it.”Proverbs 2:21-22
Read the whole of Psalm 37 to see the end of the wicked and the righteous, then asked yourself the question. Who is destroyed and who is saved?
Finally, Matthew 24: 36 -44, was not talking about a secret rapture, but the need to be ready for the coming of the Messiah, because no one knows the hour of His coming. At the coming of the Messiah, those who are prepared will be left (saved), and those who are not prepared will be destroyed in Judgment.
The earth belongs to the righteous
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3
“Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5
“But the meek shall inherit the earth and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Psalms 37: 11
“And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:5
C) Not appointed us to wrath, 1 Thessalonians 5:9
“For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” I Thessalonians 5:9
This is another verse used to support the idea that the Messiah will come secretly to take the saints away before the great tribulation because God has not appointed us to face His wrath. When the whole of chapter 5 is considered, it will be discovered that there is no suggestion of a secret rapture so that believers can escape the wrath of God.
The lessons in this chapter are suggestions of what believers are expected to be doing before the Messiah’s second and final coming for the salvation for those who will endure to the end. Paul exhorts believers to be prepared because the Messiah is coming at a time when no one knows (as a thief in the night). So, believers need to be watchful for the end time signs, not to sleep as others, and to believe that God will do what he has promised – to save or protect us from the wrath to come and give us the hope of salvation (resurrection).
Moreover, the great tribulation and the wrath of God are not the same events. The great tribulation is the punishment of Satan, which targets those (believers and unbelievers) who will not obey him, take his mark or number, or worship his image. While the wrath of God is the punishment of God Almighty on those who refused to obey him or repent of their sins. The bible called them children of disobedience. True believers will not experience the wrath of God but will go through the tribulation. And again, the two events do not occur at the same time. The wrath of God comes after the great tribulation.
Please read the following scriptural references.
Therefore, put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.
For this you know, that no fornicator, unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.
Revelation 14: 9-10
Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand, he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. He shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Also read Revelation 16, Romans 2:5, Revelation 14:10.
Will believers go through the great tribulation?
Read John 16:33, Matthew 24:9, Acts 14:21-22, John 17:15, Matthew 24:21-22, Matthew 28:19 and 20, Revelation 7:9-10, 13-15
The reason why many believed the pre-tribulation rapture theory is because of the hope of escaping the great tribulation. And because it is a popular teaching many do not bother to prove it; hence the great deception. As I pointed out in the comment under “Not appointed us to wrath, 1 Thessalonians 5:9”, believers will go through tribulations, even the great tribulation, but never the wrath of God. These were the teachings of the Messiah and His apostles. Let take a look at some scriptural references to support this.
A. Believers will go through tribulations.
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. Matthew 24:9
And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:21-22
Please also read the following scriptural references, prove that believes will always pass through tribulations, Romans 5:3, Romans 12:12, 11 Corinthians 6:4, Romans 8:35
B) Believers will go through the great tribulation.
The following are the scriptural reasons why believers will go through the great tribulation.
a) The Messiah never prayed that believers should be taken out of the world, but that they should be kept from the evil one. In essence, believers will be on earth during the great tribulation and God will protect them.
“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” John 17:15
b) The reason why God will shorten the period of the great tribulation is because the believers will still be on earth.
For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake, those days will be shortened. Matthew 24:21-22
c) The Messiah promised to be with the believers till the end of the world (age). And the end of the age will not come until after the great tribulation followed by the wrath of God.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:19 and 20
d) A great multitude of believers from all nations will be saved out of the great tribulation.
After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”……..Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from? ” And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So, he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, they are before the throne of God and serve Him day and night in His temple. And He who sits on the throne will dwell among them.” Revelation 7:9-10, 13-15
e) Believers will pass through tribulations to enter the kingdom of God. And the kingdom will not come until after the great tribulation.
And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.” Acts 14:21-22
Will true believers be protected during the great tribulation?
Read Psalms 27:5, Jeremiah 30:7, Daniel 12:1, Psalms 46: 1, Nahum 1:7.
God has always protected his own in times of trouble and protecting them during the great tribulation can never be difficult for Him. Read Psalms 27:5, Jeremiah 30:7, Daniel 12:1, Psalms 46: 1, Nahum 1:7.
In Revelation 3:10, The Messiah says “Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. This hour of trial coming upon the whole world could mean the great tribulation, and the Messiah promised protection to those that will endure to the end. The bible also states in Jeremiah 30:7 “Alas! For that day is great, so that none like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. The great tribulation will be a time of great trouble for the nation of Israel and the believers but God promised protection.
A) God always has a place of Safety
In Revelation chapter 12 and verse 6, the scripture states “Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.” Prophetically the woman here represents the true church and the dragon Satan. When the woman (Church) was about to be persecuted by the dragon (Satan), God caused the woman to flee to the wilderness where God has prepared a place of safety for her for a period of the time. Let us look at other examples of where God protected His own during the time of trouble (tribulation).
a) Noah during the great flood, Genesis 7
During the great flood that destroyed the wicked from the earth, God protected Noah and his family. The place of safety God had prepared for them was the Ark he commanded Noah to build.
b) Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah, Genesis 19
God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, but before the destruction, he commanded Lot and his family to flee a small city called Zoar. Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed when Lot and his family got to Zoar, a place of safety he had prepared for them.
c) The children in Goshen, Exodus 8:22, 9:26, 11:1-10
In Egypt, the children of Israel were protected from all the plagues that Egyptians experienced. Their first-born sons were also saved in Goshen from death because they obeyed the commandment of God. For the children of Israel, Goshen was the place of safety He had prepared for them.
d) The Three Hebrew men in the fiery furnace, Daniel 3
The three Hebrew men, Meshach, Shadrach, and Abednego, were protected from the fiery fire because of the presence of God with them. We can say their place of safety was the fire itself.
e) Daniel in Lion’s den, Daniel 6
Daniel was protected from the jaws of the Lion because of the presence of God with Him. His own place of safety was the lion’s den.
It can be concluded that no matter the kind of tribulation a believer will face, God has a way of protecting that believer. The great tribulation will not be different because God always protects His own. Moreover, God always gives an idea of what He will do in the future from past events in His Holy Scripture so that nothing takes His children by surprise; God never leaves His children in the dark.
B) God will protect those who trust and obey Him
God has always and will always protect those who trust and obey His commandments. In fact, trust and obedience are the main reason why Noah and his family, Lot and his family, the children of Israel in Goshen, the three Hebrew men, and Daniel were protected. During the great tribulation, it is only the believers who trust and obey His commandment that will be protected. God will put his seal on their forehead and hide them in the place of safety he had prepared for them. If you are hoping for God’s salvation or protection in times of trouble you must be a believer who obeys His commandments and delights in His laws, Psalms 119:166, 174; Hebrews 5:9. Think of what would have happened to Noah and his family if Noah had not obeyed God to build the Ark, or to Lot and his family if they had not obeyed God to flee to Zoar, or the first-born son of the Israelites if they had not obeyed God to kill the Passover lamb. God protects His own and if He has done it before, He will do it again. Please read the following: Psalms 23, Psalm 51, Psalms 18:10, Psalms 145:20, Psalm 121:7-8 Psalms97:10, 2 Timothy 4:18, Psalms 37:39-40, Isaiah 26:3, Psalm 91, Psalm 34:19.
Be sure to study Module Three.