RAPTURE TIMING: Which theory is more correct (Pre, Mid, Post-tribulation or Pre-wrath)?

By: Robert Hunt – July 23, 2017
If I approach this subject the wrong way it would likely open up a can of worms that could possibly endure until kingdom come.  Therefore, instead of declaring which position is correct, which is something that cannot even be proven until this glorious event actually happens; I can only say which position I believe best fits the scriptures, and why the others don’t.  I’m writing this for those who are overwhelmed by this subject, because I know that most pastors do not preach much about it.  But since I’ve been following/studying Eschatology for about 27 years now, it’s time spill the beans about all of these rapture theories.  Additionally, I have recently designed a new theory which isn’t listed above, and has no such prefix attached to it (Readiness Rapture Theory).  It goes much deeper into the rapture issue with more details, even addressing some issues the other theories fail to mention, namely the three different rewards believers (cold, hot & lukewarm) will receive when our Lord returns, which is altogether another issue entirely.
The main difference between my theory and the others is that mine focuses on which believers will be ready when our Lord suddenly appears; while the others assume the entire Church will raptured together, which I believe contradicts other scriptures.  The other theories get around this by assuming that cold and lukewarm believers were never really saved to begin with.  I contend that they were/are saved, but they simply won’t be rewarded along with His faithful servants, as some will fall away and others will be martyred afterward for refusing the mark of the beast.  When questioning these assumptions, some scholars further assume that these martyrs are saved after the rapture, which is not supported by scripture either.  I am one that is not satisfied with assumptions and misconceptions, which is why my search for truth kept pressing on, until it led to new discoveries and plugged the holes left by the other theories.
However, because my purpose for writing this is to discuss the timing of the rapture only, I will put aside my differences with the other theories.  And since the timing of my new rapture theory can also be classified with one of the prefixes listed above (pre-wrath), it can also be included into this discussion as well, as long as we’re discussing the timing of the rapture only.  And now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, please allow me to explain why I prefer the pre-wrath position over the pre, mid and post-tribulation positions, as I will take a brief look at all of them.
First, I should say that I first learned about the rapture in 1990, when a friend at my church encouraged me to read a popular book, “The Late Great Planet Earth” by Hal Lindsey that was written about 20 years earlier.  I was so fascinated by the very thought of the rapture that I soon began reading most of the popular books about it and I was instantly sold on the pre-tribulation rapture theory, even though I didn’t know there were other rapture theories at that time.  My acceptance of this theory didn’t mean that the pre-trib. position was correct, by any means, only that I swallowed it, hook, line and sinker.  And I went along with the pre-trib. theory for about 15 years.  Then, when the twin towers fell on Sept. 11th, 2001, I knew instantly that the world had just changed forever, and that’s when I finally started to buckle down and began studying God’s Word more diligently myself. It took me a few years of study, but I finally began to question the pre-trib. theory in 2005, after I started noticing the misconceptions and assumptions that they present as truth.  And that’s when I was finally willing to abandon the pre-trib. theory once and for all.  So I decided to wipe my slate clean of all preconceived ideas and beliefs I had learned along the way.  And this is when I began to search for biblical truth regarding the mysterious rapture.
The more I studied God’s Word, the more I learned how incorrect the pre-trib. position really is.  Ironically, there is not one single passage of scripture that supports this position.  The entire theory is built upon misconceptions and assumptions, not to mention the fact that they also have to discard a lot of important scriptures to arrive at their conclusion.  They reject Matthew 24, claiming that Christ was only talking to the Jews or Israel.  They claim the gathering together of His elect is not the rapture, but the second coming instead.  They insist that Christ’s hand-picked disciples were not Christians, but Jews only before the Church officially began.  They seem to ignore the fact that the gospel was offered to Israel first, then to the Gentiles.  His Jewish disciples were present at Pentecost, when the Church was born, as the Holy Spirit was sent to indwell all believers in the new covenant.  But they insist that the Church is made up of Gentiles, started in the book of Acts by the apostle Paul.  But Paul was not even converted yet, when Christ’s disciples received the Holy Spirit.  Nothing against Paul, but he was first persecuting the Church when Christ, Himself, later called him to preach to the Gentiles.  Paul then went to Arabia for a few years before beginning His ministry to the Gentiles, meanwhile His disciples were still preaching the gospel to Israel, which continued 35–40 more years until the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in 70 AD.  These scholars ignore the fact that we Gentiles were grafted into the same olive tree with Israel (Rom. 11), and the Jews who receive Christ today have to be grafted back in, just like we Gentiles are.  There is no longer any difference between Jews and Gentiles (Rom. 3:22, 10:12).
But what really took the cake for me, is when I learned that pre-trib. scholars also reject the resurrection in Daniel 12, as they claim it has nothing to do with the rapture.  Daniel 12 is the only passage in the Bible that lays out the timeline to the end.  There are only two resurrections, the resurrection of the just and the resurrection of damnation that comes after the millennial reign of Christ.  The former is for the righteous, who will return and reign with Christ for 1000 years upon the earth; and the latter is for unbelievers at the great white throne judgment, which occurs after the millennium.  If they reject the first resurrection, which is the one promised for believers, there’s only one alternative and it isn’t good.  This is not just some spilled milk to clean up.  There is a lot that is drastically wrong here and I now question whether this was a deliberate attempt to deceive the masses, because they have to do an awful lot of scripture twisting to arrive at this conclusion and they have.  It’s hard to believe I went along with it for 15 years, but I’m glad the light finally came on and I investigated this to verify its authenticity.  The pre-trib. theory could not be any further from the truth, and personally, I believe this is the very worst of all rapture theories.  Buyers beware; this is genuine fool’s gold, and those who sell it are really slick, with itching ears.
The Mid-tribulation rapture theory is one of the least popular theories. And there’s not really very much evidence for it, if you ask me.  Although, I can understand that some might believe the rapture would happen shortly after the abomination of desolation (Matt. 24:15), especially when they read shortly after that that those in Judea who will see it should immediately flee to the mountains.  Then add to that, later in this same passage it says, “Unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved.  But for the sake of the elect, those days shall be shortened” (Matt. 24:22).  I can see how they could easily jump to conclusions and misinterpret this.  It appears to be an honest mistake, though.  But this really isn’t enough to go on, and if only they would have continued reading just a little further, they would’ve discovered that the sign of the Son of man (rapture) appears immediately after the tribulation of those days (Matt. 24:29-31), unless they also assume the sign of the Son of man is the second coming instead, which could very possibly be what tripped them up?  I can see how some might make a case for it, but that passage seems a little vague as to the timing.  And this is why Daniel 12 is so important, because Daniel’s timeline makes this time very clear (Dan. 12:9-13).
I agree with the Post-tribulation theory that the rapture occurs after the tribulation. However, I do not agree with the post-trib. theory, that the rapture and the second coming will be fulfilled on the same day.  Not only because those days will be shortened for the sake of the elect, but also because there would be no time for those who are ready when He appears to attend the wedding supper, not to mention that there would also be practically no time for the hour of trial (Rev. 3:10), when those who are not ready will be overcome by the beast (Rev. 13:7-8).  These are the martyrs that will be killed for refusing the mark of the beast after the rapture (shortened days).  They will cry out to God to avenge their blood, but they will be told to wait a little season, until all of their brethren are killed in like manner (Rev. 6:9-11).  This alone would delay the second coming, because not only will God withhold His wrath until all of the martyrs are killed, and there will be millions killed, but also because these martyrs will also be returning with Christ for the second coming as well (Rev. 20:4).
And if this isn’t enough, the fall feasts must also be fulfilled as well, and it is impossible to fulfill them in a single day.  Just as the spring feasts were fulfilled during His first coming, the fall feasts must be fulfilled during His second coming as well.  And it will take three full weeks to fulfill the three fall feasts (Trumpets, Atonement & Tabernacles).
Trumpets / last trump = Rapture / End of the times of the Gentiles
Atonement = Israel repents / saved
Tabernacles = King of Kings / second coming / wrath.
No doubt, God’s judgment and wrath will be swift and final, but He’s not going to rush it.  When He destroyed the world with the flood in the days of Noah, it rained for 40 days and nights.  The end of the great tribulation is not the end of the age as many assume.  Daniel’s timeline reveals an extra or additional 45 days remaining to the end (Dan. 12:11-12).  I believe that post-tribbers sincerely believe in their position, and that there is no deception on their part.  However, I believe there are a few scriptures that have stumped them.  I’m referring to the scriptures that say the Lord will, “raise them up at the last day.”
John 6:39, 40, 44, & 54
“39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
On the surface, it may appear that they have a valid point, and it’s clear they interpret these passages literally.  However, post-tribbers are not exempt from assumptions either, and there are two parts that I’ll take a look at here.  First, “raising him and/or them up,” they assume He is referring to the rapture in each case.  But when you read John 6 in context, it appears that He is talking about eternal life, and the resurrection of the righteous, which to them, may appear to be referring to the rapture, that is, until we come to the next part, “at the last day.”  Apparently they also assume the “last day” is referring specifically to the last day of the great tribulation, but as I said earlier, according to Daniel’s timeline, there remains an additional 45 days after the great tribulation ends before we come to the end of the age.
I have a completely different interpretation.  If we take this literally to the fullest extent, then we would be literally drinking His blood and eating His flesh as well, as indicated in verse 54 above.  But we know He didn’t mean that in a literal sense.  No, He’s talking about communion or taking part in the Lord’s Supper, which consists of eating a tiny piece of a wafer and less than a swallow of grape juice in most churches today.  The Lord commanded us to do this in remembrance of Him until He returns.
In my understanding, raising them up on the last day simply means all saints will be resurrected in a glorified eternal body, and will reign with Him beginning at the last day, which is referring to the Day of the Lord, a great day which represents the seventh day, the Sabbath day, and entering into the Lord’s Sabbath rest (Heb. 4:1-10).  This last day is referring to the millennium, when the righteous of all times will be raised up to reign with Christ upon the earth for 1000 years (Psalm 90:4, 2 Pet. 3:8).  It has nothing to do with the last day of the tribulation, or the rapture of the living, although those who are raptured will be included in the first resurrection, as will the martyrs who will be killed afterward.  But I can’t knock my post-trib. brethren too much, because at least they will be prepared to endure to the end.  If post-tribbers are wrong, they have very little, if anything to lose.
On the other hand, if the pre-tribbers are wrong?  Oh my!  They’re really gambling, and they stand to lose a lot!  They have always been told that they will be out of here before anything bad happens, with absolutely no scripture to support all of these assumptions.  If they’re wrong, most of them won’t be prepared when persecution comes and I suspect that many of them will fall away, which they have now twisted into another way to explain the rapture.  And the pre-tribbers that don’t fall away may end up becoming some of the foolish virgins?  Some of them, however, that have crucified the flesh will probably have enough faith to persevere, make it through to the end and be among those who are ready.  Oh Lord help them!
I would actually classify my theory as both, post-trib. and pre-wrath.  It allows time in between the rapture and the second coming, to fulfill all of the remaining events that I mentioned above.  Again, it’s important to know that the end of the great tribulation is not the end of the age.  The rapture and second coming are two separate events (2 Tim. 4:1).  That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!  For those who are interested in learning more about my “Readiness Rapture Theory” click on the link below:
Thank you for visiting my blog.  Feel free to share this with friends and your comments are welcome below as well.  My mission is to prepare as many as possible for the soon return of our Lord and Savior.  To God be the glory.

This entry was posted in Prophecy/Bible Commentary. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to RAPTURE TIMING: Which theory is more correct (Pre, Mid, Post-tribulation or Pre-wrath)?

  1. Karen says:

    Very well said. Should make people rethink what they have been taught.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s