The rapture (Latin for “caught up”) is an event that that is believed that will take place sometime in the near future around any “Pentecost” or “Rosh Hashanah” time frame; when Jesus returns in the air and calls all true believers (obedient followers) past and present from the earth to meet Him.
“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. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” (1 Thes 4:16-18)
The purpose of this web page is to provide education and a warning to born-again Christians and non-believers; and to prove that not only will the rapture occur prior to the beginning of the tribulation period, but also that some born-again believers will find themselves “Left Behind” if they are not “counted worthy to escape the things to come”. (See Luke 21:34-36)
34And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
In our opinion, this is the one key verse (36) that eludes to a pre-tribulation (wrath) event/escape; yet there are several others that would indicate the bride doesn’t step into the tribulation in fear. We are to be “comforted” with the words of His appearing at the “Great Assembly”! The “mystery,” timing of the rapture and who will be participating can be reasonably discovered based on a careful study of traditional Jewish Agriculture/Harvesting of the Fields and Jewish Wedding Ceremonies and Customs.
To begin… Keep in mind that Jesus is Jewish; therefore, there is no reason to believe that He would deviate from Jewish tradition. With that said, let me remind you of what the Apostle Paul told us regarding the Rapture in 1 Cor 15:51-52:
“Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
He clearly stated that the Rapture is a mystery; therefore, mysteries have clues that need to be discovered, and only then can the mystery be understood and solved. Also, God loves to conceal things!
Check out Proverbs 25:2:
“It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter.”
We are shown in the 12th chapter of the book of Daniel that God revealed information concerning the Tribulation period (Daniel’s 70th Week); however, Daniel was told on two occasions not to disclose all of what he heard and to seal up this knowledge until the Time of the End.
Look at Daniel 12:4.
“But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.”
Only at “the time of the end” will knowledge or understanding increase. And it appears that is where we are now.
And again at Daniel 12:8-10.
“Although I heard, I did not understand”. Then I said, “My lord, what shall be the end of these things?” And he said, “Go your way, Daniel, for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end. Many shall be purified, made white, and refined, but the wicked shall do wickedly; and none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.
Therefore; only then will clues of this mystery be understood by those who are wise.
Four Opposing Views of the Timing of the Rapture
Now in my opinion most people who read the bible literally believe in the physical second coming of Jesus, and that the Rapture, or catching away of believers (Bride), is clearly observed and taught so that no-one can deny such an event. The Four views are:
The Pre-Tribulation (Partial) View – Only the faithful, devoted (bride) will be Raptured BEFORE the Tribulation; those who are not counted worthy (only God knows) will be left behind to make a commitment to the faith. (This is the position that I hold)
The Pre-Tribulation (Full) View – All who claim to be “Christians” will be Raptured BEFORE the Tribulation.
The Mid-Tribulational (Full) View – All who claim to be “Christians” will be Raptured in the MIDDLE of the Tribulation.
The Post Tribulational (Full) View – All who claim to be “Christians” will be Raptured at the END of the Tribulation, just before Christ’s second coming.
Although, the “Pre-Tribulation (Full)” and Post-Tribulation (Full) views have been well researched and documented among many scholars; there are still opposing views involving the timing of the rapture.
My opinion is mainly based upon a deep study of Jewish culture; therefore, I will be focusing primarily on the “Pre-Tribulation (Partial)” view. Although this view is contrary to the traditional, main-stream teaching of this event, I believe that once you understand Jewish customs and culture, the timing and participants of this event will be made known more clearly and you will see that there is more than one rapture.
First I want to take a deeper look at the timing of the Rapture events; then we will take a look at who will be participating in vivid detail.
I want to start with the proper context of the big picture in Luke 21 where Jesus describes not only the “signs of the times” at the beginning of the Tribulation period, but also an opportunity to “escape” the Tribulation that is presented at the end of the chapter.
Let’s start in v.34-36.
Counted Worthy To Escape These Things…
The Importance of Watching
“But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (NKJV)
“Come to Pass” = Future Tense
How can the Coming of the Lord be a snare?
Think about this: It’s not a snare for those who are counted worthy to escape, but it’s a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth, or for those who are “left behind” because they are caught in the “Tribulation” trap. Being in a snare means that something is trapped in a situation that it cannot get out of. (Anything serving to entrap or entangle unawares; trap.)
“Counted worthy to escape these things” Worthy = Being a prevailer or overcomer… Fit for Honor… Did a great job.
Standing before the Son of Man is talking about those who are worshiping Him and are standing before the Judgment seat of Christ as in 2 Cor 5:9-10.
The Judgment Seat of Christ
Therefore we make it our aim, whether present or absent, to be well pleasing to Him. For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
Doesn’t that sound like there is a certain level of works involved in order to “escape the things that will come to pass”? Of course it does. He is not talking about salvation itself, but of blessings and rewards. The Rapture is NOT a guarantee to those who claim to be saved, yet who walk with satan, but it IS a blessing to those who are faithful and obedient to Jesus Christ and His commands.
What is Jesus talking about here when He talks about escaping? Escaping what?
When you go back and read what He is talking about in Luke 21:7-19 you will read about Famines, Pestilence’s, Earthquakes, Wars, Great and Fearful Signs In Heaven, Persecution and being betrayed by loved ones, being hated by ALL for His name sake.
Here, I’ll show you – Luke 21:7-19.
The Signs of the Times and the End of the Age
So they asked Him, saying, “Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?” And He said: “Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He,’ and, ‘The time has drawn near.’ Therefore do not go after them. But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately.”
Then He said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven.
But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name’s sake. But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.
Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost. By your patience possess your souls.
In the above verses we can discern that Jesus is most likely describing the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation.
Then when you continue in Luke 21:20-24 Jerusalem is being occupied by armies, that people (Jews) will flee to the mountains and that these are Days Of Vengeance, great distress in the land and wrath upon this people, falling by the edge of the sword, and being led away captive into all nations.
The Destruction of Jerusalem
“But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
When you read in the Old Testament, the Day of Vengeance of our God always reflects upon a time when God’s wrath is poured out on the earth. It is the identified time after the Church Age and the dispensation of God concludes; otherwise known as The Time of Jacob’s Trouble, Daniel’s Seventh Week, or the Tribulation Period. This time frame is leading up to Mid-Trib then entering into what’s known as the “Great Tribulation”.
Please also notice in v.24 where “they will fall by the edge of the sword”. A practice of execution that Islam uses today. With the rise of Radical Islam and their intent to take over the world, we can already see where this practice will be widely used, especially after the Rapture and during the Tribulation period.
The Destruction of Jerusalem will be exactly “Mid-Tribulation” which is validated in Matt 24:15-18.
The Great Tribulation
“Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), “then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes.
And in Daniel 12:11.
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away, and the abomination of desolation is set up, there shall be one thousand two hundred and ninety days.
Then He talks about Signs in the Sun, Moon, and Stars in Luke 21:25-28.
The Coming of the Son of Man
“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near.”
What He is saying here is that these things are all happening over a period of time, that these are all of the signs that occur before the Day called His Return…(The Day of The Lord). That that Day doesn’t cease you unaware. What day? The day that is set aside that “no man knows the Day (singular) or the hour of His return. A major day in that He comes.
Those who are worthy to escape those days of vengeance to come and stand before the Son of Man. But when that day comes it will be a snare to those who remain on the earth.
It’s going to be a trap!!!
Imagine that in all of the preaching and teaching you’ve heard during your life that one day the Lord is coming, and all of the sudden you wake up one day and there is mass confusion across the earth, people seemed to have disappeared, probably amongst some sort of major global catastrophe (ie, Comet ELEnin, Planet-X, or a passing Brown Dwarf Star, etc). And at that time, imagine such a force of energy due to the molecular structure of humans being changed from mortality to immortality that starts a brief chain reaction of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions across the globe and no-one knows what’s truly happening. Satellite communications are disrupted and it takes days, weeks, or even months to find out what’s going on.
- The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is a wedding feast by invitation only… Many are invited; but we can be in danger of turning down the invitation.
- He who has hope purifies himself… those who believe the Lord isn’t delaying in his coming.
- Rapture fighters who have fallen into immorality, who blast rapture teaching, and those who are getting drunk and still calling themselves Christians who aren’t looking for him are in danger of missing His coming.
- The New Age movement is spreading throughout the earth. For example: Hinduism says that “‘bad” people have negative ora and will disappear.
- Others believe that UFO’s will take millions of people off of the face of the earth.
- Earthquakes are happing all over the globe during these days. Watch for LA to be shaken not by the famous San Andreas fault, but the more recently discovered Puentes Fault. The History Channel has recently aired an interesting documentary about it.
Pray: Lord, make me someone who is an overcomer… help me to live different… help me to be counted “worthy” and a prevailer in order that I may escape (flee out of) trouble.
The root word of escape means (flee or vanish) i.e., the rapture. When the “day” comes.
Kingdom Now teaching… No rapture, politics, utopia, perfection, Christians become stronger, church is mature, denominations are working together. That we’re currently in the millennium reign and that Satan is currently bound. People who just sit around waiting for the Lord to come.
Rapture teaching is heresy… The Rapture is “escapism”. Noah escaped the flood, Lot fiery judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, Israel escaped 10 plagues in Egypt, Ezk: God marked righteous to escape Jerusalem, Rev: 144,000 are sealed to escape.
Everyone who I know who thinks He’s coming soon is busy working for the Lord. We don’t have a lot of time left based on the signs.
Don’t be found with God asking you, “why were you filled with such unbelief?” Why were you living like a hypocrite…
He’ll never rebuke me for my faith, but he’ll never rebuke me for my unbelief. Heb 2:1-4
Do Not Neglect Salvation
1 Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away. 2 For if the word spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just reward, 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?
God does not judge the righteous and unrighteous on the same level. Righteous are judged by: actions, works, deeds as we are free from sin. “what did you do for me on earth, how did you treat people”. Unrighteous are judged by their sins.
God has not appointed us to wrath…
- Escape = to get out of, to escape from (alluding to the Rapture)
- It will be as a snare at the time of the Rapture; It will be a relief, or blessing at His second coming.
- Neglect: To be careless of, to make fun of, if we mock,
- Peter… “in the last days there will be scoffers walking after their own lust…. Where’s the promise of His coming…” People have always said that!
Praise the Lord for His Word:
There are people who escape and people who do not. 1 Thes 4:16-18
This is said in the setting of the Rapture…
Get this txt in a different version. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11
The Day of the Lord
1 But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. 2 For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night. 3 For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, so that this Day should overtake you as a thief. 5 You are all sons of light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober. 7 For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night. 8 But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation. 9 For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, 10 who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. 11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.
How do we escape these things:
Noah escaped the flood, Lot fiery judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah, Israel escaped 10 plagues in Egypt, Ezk 9?: God marked righteous to escape Jerusalem, Rev: 144,000 are sealed to escape.
Keys to what got them out of trouble… to have the ability to escape. Who else escaped trouble???
- Noah: Key? In Heb… being moved by fear of God and walked in faith to prepare the ark. Prov: fear of the Lord is beginning of wisdom. The fear of the Lord reframe us from sinning.
- Lot: 2 Peter – The righteousness of God helped deliver him from the day of wrath. By their rightness (right standing with God – Obedience) they would be delivered
- Israel escaped Death angel: Key – Blood of the Lamb Rev: they overcame Satan by the blood of the lamb. What Jesus did on the cross. Justified by His Blood, Washed by His blood.
- 144k Jews Sealed: The Antichrist cannot touch them… but for the Church Eph “you are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise” Proof of our inheritance”
The Cross is the center of all protection and victory.
Keys to be ready for the Rapture:
- Faith in the Blood of Jesus
- Faith in God’s Word
- Fear of God
- Be in right standing with God
- Sealed with the Spirit of Promise
- Relying on the Cross of Jesus
These 6 keys are what makes a person an overcomer; giving you the ability to escape the things to come. Be mindful to continuously walk with a repentant heart daily!
Perry Stone: Counted Worthy to Escape
Berean Watchmen Ministries
Left Behind: Ilumina Edition
In His Mighty Grip!