When is the Rapture? The Reverse Approach
Big question. Several Answers. And millions of opinions. Let’s take the unusual approach of looking at this question from the time Jesus comes back to fight the Battle of Armageddon in Revelation 19:11-21 going backward from that point in the book of Revelation. The return of Jesus in this passage of the Bible is the point that most people will agree on as the end of the Tribulation period. That period is also referred to as Daniel’s 70th week found in Daniel 9:24-27.
Daniel’s 70th Week
This 70th week is where we get the idea of a 7 year tribulation period at the end of this age. When discussing the weeks of the passage above it is important to note that a week is a reference to one year. The 70 weeks of Daniel 9 is a reference to 70 weeks of years. The Hebrew word weeks in Daniel 9:24 is shabuwa,which refers to sevens, or a period of sevens. The conclusion of many scholars is that there is one week in that prophecy (Daniel 9:24-27) that has yet to occur. It’s kind of like God’s clock stopped and he is waiting for something to happen to begin that final 7-year countdown, or Daniel’s 70th week.
The Rapture Related to Daniel’s 70th Week
What has developed over the years is the idea that the Rapture of the Church is related to this week inasmuch as the Rapture will occur either before, in the middle of, or at the end of Daniel’s 70th week. The common parlance for these three respective events is pre-tribulation, mid-tribulation, and post-tribulation. After having identified which part of the Tribulation week (7 years), pre, mid, or post, that the Rapture will occur most preachers fail in their discussion of what chapter and verse the actual rapture event will take place. Preachers seem content to merely identify that the Rapture will either be before, during or at the end of the Tribulation.
Pre-Tribulationists Say the Rapture Will Occur Anything Really Bad Happens
The pre-tribulationists generally just say that the rapture will occur before anything bad begins to happen. They generally rely on one scripture for this line of thinking which is 1 Thessalonians 5:9. This the wraths scripture which pretrib teaching says Christians will not see. The mis-information, or lack of understanding, or perhaps the fact that God has not authorized these preachers to speak on the subject of when the rapture will occur is perhaps one of the reasons that there is so much confusion regarding this event. I’m not sure if you are aware or not but the book of Revelation is the only book of the Bible that comes with a warning label. Revelation 22:18-19is a warning to anyone who adds or takes away from the book of Revelation. To what degree you have to add or take away is not mentioned, but the penalty is clear. If you do either you will lose your salvation. So I would be very cautious about adding your opinions to this book. And in this world today where everyone thinks they have the right to share their opinion keeping your opinions to yourself my be a challenge. If you don’t, about this book anyway, you might find yourself on the wrong side of eternity.
Looking Backwards From Revelation 19 to Find Time Periods of 3 1/2 Years, 42 Months, 1260 days, or time, times and half a time (another way of saying 3 1/2 years)
For some of the reasons above I chose to begin our discussion at the end of the tribulation period. Look backwards in your Bible from the end of the Tribulation period (Revelation 19), which happens when Jesus returns to fight the Antichrist and his armies at the Battle of Armageddon, and look for time periods of 3 1/2 years, 42 month, 1260 days, or time, times, and half a time. The first reference you come to is in Revelation 13:5 where the beast the comes up from the sea (the Antichrist) is given ruling authority for 42 months.
The Antichrist and the False Prophet Are Thrown Into Hell in Revelation 19:20
So what this appears to be saying is that the Antichrist will rule for 42 months then Jesus comes back and destroys him and has him, and the False Prophet, thrown into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 19:20). There is no one in hell now. No person is banished to hell until the Great White throne judgment in Revelation 20:11-15. Only the Antichrist and the False Prophet are in the place referred to as hell.
more to come……