Sep 27 11 12:41 PM

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 The Scriptural difference between the rapture of the Church and the second coming of Jesus

There is only one time frame for the rapture of the Church, which is immediately preceding the antichrist being revealed, who triggers the "Day of the Lord." I will tell you why in the following.

First of all, the term, "Day of the Lord" is used in the Scriptures any time the Lord intervenes into the affairs of man. In the case of the rapture of the Church, it is referred to by Paul in 2 Thes.2:2, confirming reference he made to the 70th and final Week/seven year tribulation of God's decree upon the destiny of Israel, in Dan.9:27. Which I we'll get to a little later on.
To put any thoughts you may have pertaining to a post-trib rapture of the Church, as you may think you find in Mt.24:30-31, you can set aside permanently. Because that is Jesus response to the questions His disciples asked Him in vs 3, to their questions as to what the sign of His return will be and of the end of the age.

His response pertains to His second coming to the earth and has nothing whatever to do with the Church, because His ministry during His first advent was exclusively to Israel, as He made very clear in Mt.15:24 as well as in 10:5-6. His Church did not exist until the arrival of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, in Acts 2:1-3, ten days after Jesus ascended into heaven, in Acts 1:9. The "second coming" is found in Zech.14:4-5; Jude 14 and in Rev.19:14, where you find Jesus returning with all His angels in Mt.24:31 and His entire Church following Him on white horses, dressed in fine linen, white and clean [A sign of the righteous acts of the saints, as found in Rev.19:8, NIV], in His armies from heaven. Which makes it quite impossible for any such thing as a post-trib rapture.

The entire text by Jesus, from Mt.24:4-31 is an amplification upon Dan.9:27, as Israel has been decreed to go through the tribulation. The Church is not, and the following will reveal to you why it won't. The antichrist is the same person found in Dan.7:23-27; 8:9-12 and in 9:27, confirmed by Paul, in 2 Thes.2:3-4 and 8, that immediately follow the pre-trib rapture of the Church.

Beginning with Jn.14:2-4 and 28:

"In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you [See Jn.20:17]. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going."  Jn.14:2-4.

"You heard me say, 'I am going away and I am coming back to you.' If you loved me, you would be glad that I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I." Jn.14:28.

Think about what the Scriptures tell us where all of us go, who belong to Christ after the death of our bodies:

"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord." As recorded in 2 Cor.5:8, confirming Ecc.12:7. Which is, in and of itself, conclusive to the fact that Jesus is not going to let the rest of His Church remain on earth to go through the tribulation, when He returns for those of us who are still alive, waiting for His appearing, as Paul reinforces in 1 Thes.4:14-18. When He has already raised all those who have died in Him, to be with Him, immediately after their physical death, over the past 2,000 years.
A look at 1 Thes.4:14-18:

"We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him [Died physically]. Vs 14.

"According to the Lord's own word..." [Scriptural truth as to the fact that Jesus taught there was to be a pre-trib rapture of the Church, as recorded in Jn.14:2-4 and 28], we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left to the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. Vs 15.

Because they have already been raised, each in his/her own turn, according to 1 Cor.15:23. That is the very reason it is not called a resurrection in the Scriptures.

"For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven [With all His saints,, according to 1 Thes.4:14], with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first" [As seen in vs 14, they were all previously raised, each in his/her own turn, as they died, over the past 2,000 years]. Vs 16.

"After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the sky. And so we will be with the Lord forever." Vs 17. Where we proceed with Jesus to our Father in heaven as He promised us in Jn.14:2-4 and 28.
"Therefore encourage each other with these words."  Vs 18.
The precise timing of the rapture of the Church:

"Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to Him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us, saying that the Day of the Lord [The 70th and final Week/seven year tribulation] has already come." 2 Thes.2:1-2.

The "Day of the Lord" Paul refers to in vs 2, alludes to Dan.9:27, when God will intervene into the affairs of man for the last time, culminating in the second coming of Jesus to the earth. In that passage of Scripture, it is triggered by the "he" who "confirms a covenant for one Week" [The 70th and final Week/seven year tribulation], who is the antichrist. The second, and same "he," who stops Israel from the offerings and sacrificing in the temple of God, and the third, and same "he," who breaks his covenant in the middle of the Week [After 3.5 of the 7 year total], and sets up the abomination of desolation Jesus referred to in Mt.24:15, in His Olivet Discourse, about the sign of His second coming, and of the end of the age.

"Don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that Day [The Day of the Lord, the 70th and final Week, the seven year tribulation] will not come, until the "apostasia" [Greek term in which the original meaning was "to depart," of "departure," meaning, the rapture of the Church] occurs and the man of lawlessness [The antichrist, and all three of the "he's" in Dan.9:27] is revealed [Who triggers the Day of the Lord, the 70th and final Week, the seven year tribulation], the man doomed to destruction." Vs 3. The translation history of the term "apostasia" follows:
Translation History of apostasia and discessio:

The first seven English translations of apostasia all rendered the noun as either " departure" or " departing." They are as follows: Wycliffe Bible (1384); Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Cranmer Bible (1539); Breeches Bible (1576); Beza Bible (1583); Geneva Bible (1608) .[5] This supports the notion that the word truly means " departure." In fact, Jerome' s Latin translation known as the Vulgate from around the time of 325 A.D. renders apostasia with the word "discessio," meaning "to depart" or "departure." [6] Why was the King James Version the first to depart from the established translation of " departure" in 1611 A.D. ?

"He [The antichrist] will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God." Vs 4.
The rapture of the Church and verse 3 confirmed:

"For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so until
he is taken out of the way." Vs 7.

The "he" who will be taken out of the way, is the one body of Christ, each of us all, bearing the Holy Spirit within us, the Church of Jesus Christ. The very same as those who will participate in the "apostasia," the "departure," the rapture of the Church, in vs 3. Immediately following that:

"And then the lawless one [The antichrist] will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of His mouth and destroy by the splendor of His coming." Vs 8. [See Rev.19:17-21].

From the above Scriptural facts, there can be only one proper interpretation for the timing of the rapture of the Church, which will be immediately preceding the 70th and final/7 year tribulation, triggered by the antichrist, all three of the "he's" in Dan.9:27. Seen also as the first of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, riding the white horse, in the first of the seven seals, in Rev.6:2. There is no "pre-wrath" or post-trib rapture taught in the Scriptures.

There is no resemblance of Mt.24:30-31, or in any of the counterparts in Mk.13 and Lk.21 of the second coming of Christ, to the earth, to that of the pre-trib rapture of the Church, when Jesus gathers us all into the clouds of the sky and takes us from there to our Father in heaven, according to as Jesus, in Jn.14:2-4 and 28. And Paul in 1 Thes.4:14-18; 2 Thes.2:1-8. Confirming Dan.9:27. [The latter confirms who the antichrist is, his triggering the 70th and final Week/seven year tribulation and the timing of the pre-trib rapture of the Church as confirmed by Paul in 2 Thes.2:3].
In Mt.24:30-31, Jesus returns in His second coming to the earth for a number of reasons [to fight the battle of armageddon and defeat the antichrist, the false prophet and the ten nation confederation allied to them, in Rev.19:17-20. He does not gather anyone to Himself in the clouds of the sky, nor does He return to heaven with them!  But rather, to save the remnant of Israel, in Zech.14, to throw Satan into the Abyss for 1,000 years, in Rev.20:1-3, to administer to the first resurrection, in Rev.20:4 and 6], and to establish His 1,000 year reign on the earth. There are no saints meeting Him in the clouds of the sky, nor does He return to heaven with the saints to our Father in heaven as He promises us in Jn.14:2-4 and 28. In addition to the fact the raptured saints are seen returning with Jesus in His second coming to the earth in Zech.14:4-5; Jude 14 and Rev.19:14.The Scriptures clearly teach there is going to be a pre-trib rapture of the Church!

Parenthetics mine.


See also:  http://www.preceptaustin.org/the_second_coming_of_christ.htm#rsc