Understanding the Timing of the Rapture

article in progress…..

The Timing of the Rapture

People that teach on the rapture and biblical eschatology (end-time stuff), in general, will usually only give you scriptures that support their position. It is rare to have someone present the listener with the problems that exist with each of the three main theories of the rapture (pre, mid, or post). Those teachers that present primarily their own view are generally stuck in the same revelation about the rapture they received 10, 20, 30 or 40+ years ago.

Revelation is prophecy and prophecy is revealed when it is time. And it is revealed to those who are listening and those to whom it has been given to understand. I don’t think anyone will understand all that is about to happen in the prophetic world, especially when you understand that much of end-time prophecy is understood by the rear-view mirror effect, I do believe with prayer, study, and help from the Holy Spirit, a very good picture of end-times events is possible. But it all starts with good information. By the way, the rear-view mirror effect is basically not being able to see prophecy unfold until you are either just getting into the prophetic event or you have been in the prophetic event for a while and it is starting to take shape and look like prophecy has unfolded. Kind of like driving down the road and missing something then looking back in the rear-view mirror and seeing it. You missed it when you drove by it but looking in the rear-view mirror you now clearly see it.

Prophecy will be clear to those it has been given to understand. We will present information that clearly fits the scriptural pattern of what is about to happen by making as few assumptions as possible when discussing Bible verses. True prophecy teachers will present information in such a fashion that the listener can take the information presented and make a more informed decision on their own. The true prophetic teacher isn’t trying to convince anyone of anything. He is merely trying to present information revealed in the Word of God such that the hearer can better listen to the Holy Spirit as He confirms the word.

If you don’t have all the arguments, and the scriptures to back them up, then your opinion is severely limited. You may be right, but you don’t really understand why. Look at all the scriptures without a predisposition to bias and you might be surprised. I will use the principle of Occam’s Razor as the guiding principle when presenting my understanding of the rapture. Some of you have heard about Occam’s Razor and have been told that it means, “the simplest explanation is the best one.” Occam’s Razor, a problem solving principle, actually means “that when there are competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest new assumptions is usually the correct one.” We will proceed by presenting  biblical information about the rapture will as few assumptions as humanly possible.

The Holy Spirit needs to be your guide in understanding the rapture and any prophecy as well. Learn to rely on Him for the answers. He is willing and able to show you what, when, how, and why things are going to happen in the way that they are. So, let’s get started.

The biggest assumption when studying the timing of the rapture

The biggest assumption that has to be made and for many the possibility of it being an assumption doesn’t even come to mind. And that is, is the book of Revelation in chronological order? If you believe that it is then you have to take a hard look at several, what I call, “problem scriptures.” They are only “problem scriptures” because there haven’t been many discernible attempts to explain these scripture in the light in which they were written. As an example, Revelation 4:1 speaks of an open door and a voice saying to come up here.

After this I looked, and behold, there was a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I heard was like a trumpet talking with me saying, “Come up here and I will show you things which must happen later.” —Revelation 4:1

The pre-tribulation person sees this as the rapture because there was an open door in heaven and a voice that said come up here. Why can’t this scripture simply be the Apostle John seeing an open door and a voice telling him (and only him) to come up here? It certainly seems to make more sense. Now to be fair, the pre-tribulation student will use other scriptures as well, but on its face this above scripture falls short of a rapture event.

Problems scriptures that have to be resolved

1 Thessalonians 5:9

Revelation 3:10

Revelation 4:1

Revelation 4:4

Revelation 6:16-17

Revelation 7:1-8

Revelation 7:13-14

more to come…..

Gregg F. Swift, J.D.