THE RETURN OF CHRIST...
His saints His saints
IS THE MOST THE
THE "TRANSLATION" THE REVELATION
OF THE SAINTS OF JESUS CHRIST
WHAT OTHER ><>><>><> ><>><>><>
TERMS ARE USED? THE FIRST STAGE THE SECOND STAGE
OF CHRIST'S RETURN OF CHRIST'S RETURN
Christ will come Christ will come
FOR HIS BRIDE, WITH HIS BRIDE,
RELATIONSHIP TO THE
THE CHURCH THE CHURCH
HARPAZO NO SPECIFIC
GREEK VERBS ARE
CAUGHT UP GREEK VERB
WHAT Parousia = coming Parousia = coming
GREEK NOUNS REFER Apokalupsis = revelation Apokalupsis = revelation
TO THIS EVENT? Epiphaneia = appearing Epiphaneia = appearing
HOW KING OF KINGS
IS CHRIST LORD OF LORDS
(A MARRIAGE CEREMONY)
PORTRAYED? (CORONATION OF A KING)
TO DELIVER TO JUDGE &
SAINTS WAGE WAR AGAINST SINNERS
WHO IS REMOVED BELIEVERS - UNBELIEVERS -
AT THE RETURN? THEY HAVE A BLESSED HOPE THEY HAVE NO HOPE
WHAT IS THE
NO DIRECT IMMEDIATELY
RELATION TO THE
RELATION TO THE PRECEDES THE
MILLENNIAL KINGDOM MILLENNIAL KINGDOM
Mt 24:27-30 (note)
WHICH 1Thes 4:17-note
Re 19:11, 12, 13, 14-note
SCRIPTURES John 14:3
ARE RELATIVELY 1Cor 15:51-52
SPECIFIC? (See note)
WHERE REVEALED ONLY REVEALED
ARE THESE EVENTS IN THE IN BOTH
DESCRIBED? NEW TESTAMENT TESTAMENTS
Daniel's Seventieth Week
WHAT Daniel's Seventieth Week
(Seven Year Tribulation)
IS THE TIMING? (Seven Year Tribulation)
(After Great Tribulation)
IT'S UNKNOWABLE... IT'S KNOWABLE...
CAN THIS EVENT BE
PREDICTED? IT IS IMMINENT (note) 2520 days after Antichrist signs treaty with Israel
SPECIFIC TIME or 1260 days after he breaks the covenant
UNKNOWN Da 9:27-note, Mt 24:15 - note
IN A MOMENT SLOW ENOUGH
(In an "atom") to be visible to the eye
QUICKLY WILL IT
TWINKLING OF AN EYE Mt 24:27-note, Rev 1:7-note,
1 Cor 15:52 Ps 2:2, Rev 19:19-note
WHAT IT IS A
IT IS A
WILL THE WORLD PUBLIC
SEE? WILL THE PRESENTATION
WORLD SEE THE Believers and non-believers
Only believers see Him
EVENT? Every eye will see Him
The world is spiritually "asleep"
NO Mt 24:4-14 -note
SIGNS SIGNAL THIS
SIGNS SIGN OF SON OF MAN
Mt 24:29, 30 -note
WHAT OCCURS OCCURS
IS THE RELATIONSHIP BEFORE AFTER
TO THE BOOK OF REVELATION REVELATION
REVELATION? CHAPTER 4 CHAPTERS 6-18
WHERE CHRIST'S FEET CHRIST'S FEET
DOES CHRIST COME? DO NOT DO
TOUCH EARTH TOUCH EARTH
IN THE CLOUDS ON CLOUDS
NO MENTION OF HORSE ON A WHITE HORSE
DOES CHRIST COME?
1Thes 4:17-note Mt 24:30, Rev 19:11-note
Those who are with Him are the called and
chosen and faithful (saints)
No Description Rev 17:14-note
of Saints ><>><>><>
accompanying Christ The armies (saints and angels) which are in
at the Rapture heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and
clean, were following Him on white horses
Rev 19:14 -note
JUDGMENT OF ANTICHRIST
NO JUDGMENT OF UNBELIEVERS
Re 19:17-note, Re 19:18-note,
Re 19:19-note; Re 19:20-note
BEMA SEAT JUDGMENT
ARE THE ASSOCIATED JUDGMENT OF
JUDGMENTS? SHEEP & GOATS
1Cor 3:11, 12, 13, 14,15
Mt 25:31-46 (note)
2 Ti 4:1-note, 2Ti 4:8-note
COMFORT MOURNING FOR ALL THE TRIBES OF THE
WHAT ATTITUDES ARE
FOR BELIEVERS EARTH
1Thes 4:18- -note Rev 1:7-note, Mt 24:30
WHAT HAPPENS TO RESURRECTED
BODIES OF & PUT ON
ENTER MILLENNIUM IN NATURAL BODIES
Mt 25:23 (note)
1 Cor 15:51-52, 53, 54, 55
NO SPECIFIC MENTION
OLD TESTAMENT Da 2:44, 45 (note) (note)
(COMPARE ENOCH &
MENTION Da 7:11, 12, 13, 14 (note) (note)
NO MT OF OLIVES
ANY CHANGES ON
SPECIFIC SPLITS IN THE MIDDLE
CHANGES Zech 14:4 (Ref) (Ref 2)
THOUGHTS TO PONDER: The Rapture is when Jesus Christ returns to remove the church (all believers in Christ) from the earth.
The Rapture is described in 1 Thess 4:13-18 and 1 Cor 15:50-54. Believers who have died will have their bodies resurrected, and
along with believers who are still living will meet the Lord in the air. This will all occur in a moment, in a twinkling of an eye.
The Second Coming is when Jesus returns to defeat the antichrist, destroy evil, and establish His Millennial Kingdom. The Second
Coming is described in Revelation 19:11-16.
(1) If the Rapture and the Second Coming are the same event, believers will have to go through the Tribulation (1 Thess 5:9; Rev
(2) If the Rapture and the Second Coming are the same event, the return of Christ is not imminent … there are many things which must
occur before He can return (Matthew 24:4-30).
Background: "The Return of Christ" is a glorious event on God's prophetic calendar, but this wonderful doctrine can at times be
confusing because some passages are ambiguous as to which aspect of the Return of Christ is being described and many
commentaries use the term Second Coming generally to refer to both aspects of Christ's return (some of course because they
do not accept a "two phase" return). The following table is an attempt to summarize the differences in the future Return of
Christ. This chart is based on a literal interpretation of Scripture and not a specific theological persuasion, although admittedly
this tabulation is more in keeping with what dispensationalists have taught. Regardless of our eschatological position, all
believers can agree with John's encouraging and motivating declaration... Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has
not appeared as yet what we shall be. We know that, when He appears, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him
just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure. (1 John 3:2-3)
(3) In describing the Tribulation period, Revelation chapters 6-19 THERE IS NO MENTION OF THE CHURCH. During the Tribulation—
also called ―the time of Jacob’s trouble‖ (Jeremiah 30:7)—God will again turn His primary attention to Israel (Romans 11:17-31).
THE RETURN OF CHRIST...
FOR The Tribulation WITH
HIS SAINTS... Seventieth Week of Daniel HIS SAINTS...
Covenant w/ Israel
At the Second Coming
At the Rapture marking the End of the
Preceding Tribulation &
The Tribulation Beginning of the
3.5 Years 3.5 Years
2 Witnesses Great
Prophesy 1260 days Tribulation
Based on a review of multiple commentaries and journal articles, it is "safe to say" that the majority of conservative evangelical scholars
who interpret the Scripture in a literal, normative manner distinguish the Rapture, when Christ comes for His Bride, the Church, from
the Second Coming, when Christ comes with His Bride, the Church to earth to judge and wage war against His enemies which is
followed by the establishment of His 1000 year Millennial Kingdom. If one accepts a pre-tribulation viewpoint, this distinction would
seem to be quite clear. However if one favors a post-tribulation rapture, then the identity of these events would merge into one event. In
addition, even among those who appear to accept a pre-tribulation rapture, the term Second Coming is occasionally used without a
specific designation to refer to both of these events. Strictly speaking since Christ has come a first time, both of these events would
represent a "second coming". And since both aspects of Christ's return hold forth glorious promises for believers, it is not at all
inappropriate to think of them both with great hope and eager anticipation (see Greek Verbs)
A number of the New Testament passages are somewhat ambiguous (see examples of these passages) as to which event is intended
and one can read diametrically opposite comments by respected scholars that make relatively dogmatic interpretations regarding these
ambiguous passages. While these ambiguous passages do at times tend to favor one event over the other event, the distinction is not
always sufficiently distinctive to allow one to make the dogmatic statements one encounters in the Christian literature. It is little wonder
that this wonderful future event on the Christian's calendar can be a source of some confusion. Furthermore, as I have studied this
subject and the passages in question, it seems quite possible that in a number of passages the intended meaning is purposely
ambiguous so that believers might be stimulated to anticipate the occurrence of both great eschatological events, the Rapture and the
Today in the Word writes that...
Biblical prophecy provides some of the greatest encouragement and hope available to us today. Just as the Old Testament is
saturated with prophecies concerning Christ’s first advent, so both testaments are filled with references to the Second Coming
One scholar has estimated that there are 1,845 references to Christ’s Second Coming in the Old Testament, where 17 books
give it prominence.
In the 260 chapters of the New Testament, there are 318 references to the second advent of Christ—an amazing 1 out of every
30 verses. Twenty-three of the 27 New Testament books refer to this great event. For every prophecy in the Bible concerning
Christ’s first advent, there are 8 which look forward to His second!
Ed Comment: Some of these 318 references are specific and refer to the Rapture while others can be identified as referring
specifically to the Second Coming. As allude to above, a careful study of the majority of these 318 passages cannot be
specifically identified with one aspect or the other of the Lord's return.
Dr Walvoord echoes the New Testament emphasis of the return of the Lord writing that...
The revelation of the second coming of Christ is one of the most important and most frequently mentioned doctrines of the New
Testament. One out of every twenty-five verses in the New Testament refers either to the rapture of the church or to Christ’s
coming to reign over the world (cf. Jesse Forrest Silver, The Lord’s Return, p. 29). Though it is not always possible to distinguish
references to Christ’s coming for the church from references to His coming to establish His earthly kingdom, there are many
passages which clearly present a premillennial coming at the close of the great tribulation to judge the world and to bring in the
righteous reign of the King. Approximately twenty major references are found in the New Testament alone (Mt 19:28; 23:39; 24:3-
25:46; Mark 13:24-37; Luke 12:35-48; 17:22-37; 18:8; 21:25-28; Acts 1:10-11; 15:16-18; Ro 11:25-27; 1Cor 11:26; 2Thess 1:7, 8,
9,10; 2:8 ; 2Pet 3:3, 4; Jude 1:14,15 ; Rev 1:7-8; 2:25, 26, 27, 28; 16:15; 19:11-21; 22:20). (The Prophetic Context of the
Millennium — Part III: The Second Coming of Christ in the New Testament) (Comment: Read the first sentence again. Do you
notice how even Dr Walvoord uses "the second coming" as a term to include the Rapture and the Second Coming.)
As noted in the preceding table other designations have been proposed for these two end time events including the division of Christ's
return into two phases or two stages. Another designation that has been offered is to refer to these events as Christ's return for His
saints (Rapture) or with His saints (Second Coming).
Dr Walvoord, who is without doubt the most influential and respected evangelical writer regarding Biblical study of future events
(eschatology) differentiates between the Rapture and the Second Coming writing...
For the sake of brevity, the term rapture or translation is used for the coming of Christ for His church, while the term Second
Coming is uniformly used as a reference to His coming to the earth to establish His millennial kingdom, an event which all
consider post-tribulational. While the words rapture and translation are not quite identical, they refer to the same event. By the
term rapture reference is made to the fact that the church is ―caught up‖ from the earth and taken to heaven. By the term
translation the thought is conveyed that those who are thus raptured are transformed in their physical bodies from natural and
corruptible bodies to spiritual, incorruptible, and immortal bodies. Strictly speaking, the dead are raised while the living are
translated. In common usage, however, this distinction is not normally maintained.
Dr Walvoord adds that...
Though the second coming may not be as important to the total program of God as the first coming, it certainly is without
precedent in manifestation of the glory and power of the Triune God. It constitutes the most tremendous intervention of divine
power in the entire course of human history...
Just as Scripture concerning the rapture of the church is climactic and determinative in truth revealed about the church, so the
second coming is determinative in tracing the future course of Gentiles and Israel in the world, the resurrection of the righteous,
and the fulfillment of prophecies concerning the kingdom of God on earth. King of glory. (John Walvoord. Millennial Kingdom -
Dr S Lewis Johnson the late esteemed professor of Dallas Theological Seminary said that...
The Tribulation, which we have called one of the "monster subjects" of the Bible, is followed by an even larger one, the doctrine of
the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus. One commentator, in writing about the Second Advent has said that the most dramatic
event in all history will be the visible appearing of Jesus Christ, and that is probably true. We certainly can say it is the most
prophesied event in the Bible. There is no other event of holy Scripture that has so much of the divine revelation given to it as
the Second Advent of the Lord Jesus. And as you know, it was one of the subjects that the apostles particularly taught and
Ed comment: Note that Dr Johnson uses the Second Advent as a synonym for the Second Coming. He also rightly points out
that most of the Biblical references are to the visible, earthly return of the King of kings, which would make sense since the
church was a mystery in the Old Testament and thus any passages that allude to Messiah's return would "by default" speak be
referring to His Second Coming to fulfill His covenant promises (especially regarding the land) to made to Abraham and passed
through Isaac to Jacob and in turn to the nation of Israel. (For more detail refer to Dr Walvoord's excellent 8 part series on Israel
While I humbly agree with both these highly esteemed scholars, the problem arises when one is reading another writer's comments, in
which they may use the term "Second Coming" in a more generic and/or a less distinctive manner.
The approach adopted by this website is to refer to Christ's return for His saints as the Rapture and His return with His saints as the
Second Coming. If a clear distinction cannot be made in a passage under discussion, that qualifier is added.
The upshot is that if you see the term Second Coming of Christ in the Christian literature, you need to try to discern the author's
intended meaning (and this distinction is not always clear from my cursory review). Many times the context of the passage may favor
either the Rapture or the Second Coming but that distinction is not always clear as previously noted.
Walvoord comments on the importance of the Second Coming writing...
On every hand one discovers that the Scripture dealing with the second coming is the key to the prophetic future. The important
place given the premillennial Second Coming of Christ in Scripture justifies using the term premillennial to describe the whole
system of Biblical interpretation which is involved. Just as Scripture concerning the rapture of the church is climactic and
determinative in truth revealed about the church, so the second coming is determinative in tracing the future course of Gentiles
and Israel in the world, the resurrection of the righteous, and the fulfillment of prophecies concerning the kingdom of God on
earth. King of glory. (John Walvoord. Millennial Kingdom - Prophetic Context)
1) Regarding whether the Rapture is "visible" or "invisible" to the unbelieving world, to be completely accurate, it should be noted that
Scripture is not absolutely definitive. Thus Dr. John Walvoord writes the following caveat...
His second coming will be a very public event. Everybody will see Him. The rapture of the church may be an event that is quite
unseen by the world. Although the Bible never calls it a secret rapture because it is not a secret at least to Christians, it will take
place very quickly. First Corinthians 15:52 speaks of the rapture as taking place ―in the twinkling of an eye.‖ The world possibly
will only be dimly aware that something has happened until it is all over. (Bolding added; italic emphasis mine) (John Walvoord -
Christ’s Olivet Discourse on the End of the Age—Part III: Signs of the End of the Age)
Comment: On the other hand, it should be emphasized that there is certainly no doubt that the Rapture of millions of believers in
a moment of time will not be a secret to the shocked and awed unbelieving world!
TAMMY SHOE: Views, Comments and Scriptures 3-02-09
Two things to start:
First and foremost I would like to EMPHASIZE the debate regarding the timing for rapture (amongst the greatest of theologians) is far
from settled and one must give pause with regard to dogmatic assertions on any side.
Next, this is MY opinion based on personal study and not a point of view that I expect everyone to AGREE with. My desire is that each
of you would study to show yourself approved … gaining insight and knowledge from the Word of the Lord and with the Holy Spirit as
RAPTURE = an apocalyptic event: Apocalypse (Greek: Ἀ ποκάλσψις Apokálypsis; "lifting of the veil") is a term applied to the disclosure
to certain privileged persons of something hidden from the majority of humankind. Today the term is often used to refer to the end of
the world, which may be a shortening of the phrase apokalupsis eschaton which literally means "revelation at the end of the æon, or
SCRIPTURES USED WHEN DISCUSSING THE RAPTURE:
1 Thessalonians 4*
1 Corinthians 15*
Revelation 4:4 and 5:9-10
Revelation 4-18 (argument used by pre-trib believers is the assertion that the Church is not mentioned on earth
anywhere between these chapters)
The Old Testament doesn't talk about the Rapture. The New Testament just makes casual references to it. Some
suggest details like Daniel 9 and the missing week of Daniel's prophecy.
*These two scriptures are the only two referencing the actual “rapture” of the Church.
I believe that the Church (the body of Christ) is destined for post-tribulation rapture (not a POPULAR belief to be sure). I would like to
state upfront that I would ―prefer‖ the church not to have to ―see‖ the Great Tribulation, however I am set in peace to encounter (if it be
God’s will for our time) whatever the Lord intends for His body and for His purposes.
My entire church history has been based on a pre-trib belief (the disappearance of the church seven years prior to the return of Christ).
Biola University, the college I attend, is pre-trib as well. So, once again, I reiterate that I KNOW this is not a view taken by many in our
season of time. However, I would like to point out a few things for consideration. 1) The pre-trib point of view is approximately only
150 years old. 2) This doctrinal believe was not held by the history of the church until a prophecy came that was EXTERNAL to the
Scriptures called the Plymouth Brethren prophecy. 3) The church did not see it for 2,000 years.
The Plymouth Brethren, or simply "Brethren," began around 1827 by four individuals in Ireland who assembled by themselves since
they had difficulties with the "professed" churches of the day. They did not see the Scripture for the doctrines of the churches around
them and thus began preaching this to other individuals. Many "gatherings" grew up throughout the United Kingdom, with the most
well-known group being founded in Plymouth, England, from which the name "Plymouth Brethren" is derived. The Brethren are known
for simplicity in meeting and a "non-denominational" approach to their church; they are, however, best known for the origin in John
Darby of the dispensational/premillennial belief system, incorporated today in much of Evangelical teaching.
Does the Bible teach pre-trib? If so, then why was it not found by anybody for almost 2,000 years? I believe that the historical church
did not see it because it wasn’t there. The church fathers expected to see the Antichrist; which would validate at least a mid-trib
When studying any issue of theology we need to be sure that we have an explicit Biblical teaching (we HAVE to proceed from here!!),
THEN we apply the rules of analogy and faith. When people maintain that we have to draw simple inference from the Scriptures things
get kind of ―muddy‖ … one thing that I have been consistently taught is that we do not know when the rapture is going to take place. I
have been taught that there are no direct Scriptures that specially teach us ―when.‖ Looking at the actual text, however (1
Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 – the only two Scriptures that explicitly describe the event and not ―refer‖ to it), we are given
clear, exact teaching of when the rapture is to take place! ―1 Thessalonians 4 says, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord,
that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord
himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with a voice of the archangel, with a trumpet of God and the dead in Christ
shall rise first." Then the next verse talks about being caught up with the Lord in the air. When does this happen? It
happens at the coming of the Lord, according to verse 15. Then Paul says the dead in Christ shall rise first. Paul doesn't call
this event the rapture, which is our popular word. He calls it a resurrection. This is the resurrection that happens at the
coming of the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15 gives another description of what most people would acknowledge to be the same
event, where in a moment, or the twinkling of the eye at the last trumpet, the dead will be raised imperishable and the living
shall be changed and the mortal will put on immortality. We see some of the same language used in this passage and we see
some more details about this event. Notice that in 1 Thessalonians 4 he was talking about a resurrection. In 1 Corinthians
15, the entire chapter is about resurrection. But he tells the timing of it in verse 23. It says, "but each in his own order, Christ
at the first fruits, after that those who are Christ's at his coming and then comes the end." (Greg Koukl).
It is imperative that we do not read new doctrine we get from outside the Bible INTO our Bible. These Scriptures clearly teach The
COMING OF THE LORD as the resurrection, the event that is called the rapture. This is foundational and explicitly taught in the text.
1. We have two passages that give, by all counts, an explicit description of what has been called the rapture. Both
accounts tell when it is going to happen.
2. They say it is going to happen at the coming of the Lord. That is our explicit foundation. Both describe it, both tell
3. Now the question becomes, which coming of the Lord does the author here, Paul, have in mind?
I believe that the answer is Christ’s second coming (not a third nor a one-and-a-half coming). The text is clear that it is called ―THE
coming of the Lord‖ … not A coming. Paul is very straightforward in stating that it is THE coming of the Lord, then right after that
comes the end. Paul is very explicit on the order. The writer of Hebrews says in Hebrews 9 "In as much as Christ also, having been
offered once to bear the sins of many, shall appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin to those who eagerly await
him." There are only two comings: the coming when Jesus accomplished the work of the cross, and the second coming. Read
Matthew 24 on Christ’s second coming. Christ’s second coming is going to be a visible, powerful and conclusive coming. The Bible
teaches that everyone will be able to see Him. Paul teaches us that these events that are called the rapture happen at the coming of
the Lord and the coming of the Lord, according to Jesus, is visible and there is only one second coming.
That leaves room for only one point of view, as far as I can see, from what the Scripture teaches: what is called the post-tribulation
rapture. Veering away from terminology, let’s just teach/focus on what the text teaches and what the church has taught for 2000 years,
that the resurrection happens when Jesus returns.
WHEN WILL HE COME?
1. Jesus gives the general timing -- "This generation will not pass away until all these things take place" (v34). Here I think
Jesus is not referring to the generation He was speaking to, but rather to the generation He was just describing, that is, the one
who sees all of these things take place.
2. Jesus didn't currently know the exact timing as He spoke to His disciples, but He doesn’t say no one cannot know."But of that
day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone" (v36).
3. However, Jesus does know now, at this present moment, because He's with the Father and no longer in His humility.
Jesus' statement was not meant to be restrictive for all time, I believe. He simply answered the question of "When?" by
saying, "I don't know." We are not perpetually in a state of ignorance about this event, however. The NT emphasis is that the
person in darkness -- the unbeliever -- will be caught by surprise. The Christian, however, shouldn't be caught because he's
a child of light, constantly in spiritual and moral readiness, alerted to the signs of Jesus' coming (see 1 Thess 5).
The die is cast; the final act of the drama is about to be played out. Jesus' life is in the hands of those who hate Him. In His final
hours, with "the marks of the tears He had wept over Jerusalem still on His cheek," (Edersheim LTJM, Vol. 2, p. 373). Jesus gathers
those closest to Him to offer encouragement, to prepare them for the dark days ahead, and to demonstrate to them "the full extent of
His love" (John 13:1, NIV).
ONE FINAL THING TO CONSIDER:
It has always bothered me that most recently (going back to the 150 years after the Plymouth Brethren prophecy) Christians would
believe that they would be ―taken out‖ of tribulation. I have found through the study of the Word that God’s ―standard‖ has been to
protect His people from wrath, while allowing them to still be present. Consider Noah, Daniel, Lot, those in Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 9:4 says this: "And the Lord said to him, 'Go through the midst of the city, even through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark
on the foreheads of the men who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in their midst.'"
There were people who saw the abominations happening in the city of God and in the house of God, and before judgment began, God
said, "Seal those who are truly Mine; seal those who see what's wrong, who know what's wrong, and who grieve over it. Before the
judgment comes, seal them."
There are many examples that I have not covered and the fact that we believe we would be exempt from, instead of USED by God,
troubles me. Please read below:
http://www.bible.org/page.php?page_id=413 Revelation 3:10The promise of protection in Revelation 3:10 is considered by many
commentators to be the best exegetical proof of a pre-tribulational rapture of the Church. Lewis Sperry Chafer has called Revelation
3:10-11 the ―determining passage‖ with regard to the timing of the rapture.9 Many other pretribulationists concur.10
Arguments for the rapture in Revelation 3:10. The promise in Revelation 3:10-11 is thus: ―Because you have kept my admonition to
endure steadfastly, I will also keep you from the hour of testing that is about to come on the whole world to test those who live on the
earth‖ (NET). Although the promise is given specifically to the Philadelphian church (Rev 3:7), the promise is applicable to all believers
Those who see the rapture in this verse argue primarily on the basis of the phrase τηρησω ἐ τῆ ὥ ―I will keep you from the hour.‖ It
κ ς ρας
is suggested that τηρή means to ―preserve‖ or ―protect,‖ while the preposition ἐ means ―out from within.‖11 It is emphasized that the
believers are not merely promised protection from the trial, but protection from the entire hour of trial, necessitating a removal from
earth to heaven.12
Although some have argued that ἐ indicates ―emergence from‖ the hour of trial, thus guaranteeing protection through it,13 this particular
affected meaning of ἐ depends greatly on the type of verb to which it is related.14 Daniel Wallace suggests a general principle of
transitive prepositions like ἐ when used with stative verbs such as τηρέω: ―Stative verbs override the transitive force of preposition.
Almost always, when a stative verb is used with a transitive preposition, the preposition's natural force is neutralized; all that remains is
a stative idea.‖15 Therefore, it is argued from for syntactical reasons that the meaning of the passage is preservation away from the
hour of trial, not preservation through it.
Problems with the rapture in Revelation 3:10. Although this present writer finds the grammatical arguments in favor of understanding
τηρή ἐ as ―preserving from‖ to be rather compelling, there are reasons for questioning this passage’s role as the ―determining
passage‖ on the rapture.
In spite of the grammatical considerations, comments such as that of Mounce are common among competent exegetes: "The hour of
trial is directed toward the entire non-Christian world, but the believer will be kept from it, not by some previous appearance of Christ to
remove the church bodily from the world, but by the spiritual protection he provides against the forces of evil."16 Similar views seem to
represent a weakening of the force of the language, so that "from the hour" is comprehended in a more general or figurative way; that
is, believers are thought of as being "kept from the trial" in the sense of participating in the judgments, but not being "kept from the hour
of trial" in a temporal or spatial sense. Certainly, such an imprecise understanding of the idiom is within the range of possibility. On the
other hand, Beale argues that the keeping from the hour of trial refers not to protection from a future tribulation, but the harm of ―falling
away from the faith, that is, protection from trials that induce unbelief.‖17
Another problem is the choice of the verb, τηρέω. While the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is one of either sudden or forceful motion,
τηρέω is stative. If this passage tells the reader anything about the rapture, it merely describes the results of that event, not the event
itself. Even advocates of the pretribulational rapture view admit to this shortfall. Thomas writes:
The statement does not refer directly to the rapture. What it guarantees is protection away from the scene of the "hour of trial" while
that hour is in progress. This effect of placing the faithful in Philadelphia (and hence, the faithful in all the churches; cf. 3:13) in a
position of safety presupposes that they will have been removed to another location (i.e., heaven) at the period's beginning.18
A further problem with identifying τηρέω ἐ as physical removal from the tribulation period is the usage of the same construction in John
17:15: ἵνα τηρή ς αὐ ς ἐ τοῦπονηροῦ―in order that you may keep them out of the evil.‖ Ladd argues:
ωῃ τοὺ κ
In our Lord’s prayer, there is no idea of bodily removal of the disciples from the evil world but of preservation from the power of evil
even when they are in its very presence. . . . In the same way, the promise of Revelation 3:10 of being kept ek the hour of trial need not
be a promise of a removal from the very physical presence of the tribulation.19
Other commentators have set forth this same objection.20 While scholars have presented enough rebuttal arguments to at least
preserve the viability of the view that the rapture is suggested in Revelation 3:10,21 the debate is far from settled and one must give
pause with regard to dogmatic assertions on either side.
In conclusion, it can be safely said that a rapture could very well be implied by the verse if the stative verb with a transitive preposition
indicates ―protection away from‖ and if the phrase ―hour of trial‖ literally means the period of time, necessitating a translation from this
present world. Yet even given these conditions, the key element missing from Revelation 3:10 is the rapture itself. The systematic
theologian must read the event of 1 Thessalonians 1:17 into the promise and see Revelation 3:10 as the result. These debatable
variables must at least relegate Revelation 3:10 to a position of secondary significance or corroborative evidence with regard to the
rapture of the Church in the Apocalypse of John.
The Return of Jesus and the 1st Resurrection!The events in this timeline have been numbered in the order that the Bible says that they
will happen. It would not be possible, nor practical, to list them all here. Below is a summary, but of course you cannot use just one
verse to fully understand what the Bible is saying, so study these events using a good concordance and a Bible.
1.) The Close of Probation - There will come a time when everyone will have made their final choice and will not desire anything
22:11 He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be
righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.
22:12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward [is] with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.
2.) The Special Resurrection of a few wicked - When Jesus returns there will be some who were involved in His crucifixion that will
be raised to life just to see Him return as He said.
26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the
right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the
earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
3.) Jesus Returns for His People - The Second Coming of Jesus will be a glorious event. The Bible says that everyone on earth
will see Him coming, He will come with a "shout" and the sound of a trumpet. It will not be a secret return!
24:14 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they
shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:
1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they [also] which pierced him: and all kindreds of the
earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.
4.) Righteous Dead Raised to Life and Meet Jesus in the Air - All of those who have died trusting in Jesus will be brought to life
and taken to meet Jesus in the clouds.
4:16 ...and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
5.) The Righteous Raised to Life are Joined in the Air by the Righteous Living - All of the righteous who are alive at the Second
Coming of Jesus will be taken to meet Jesus in the clouds.
4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air:
and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
6.) All the Wicked are Killed by the Brightness of Jesus Coming - None of the wicked, except the Devil and his angels, will
survive the Coming of Jesus.
2:8 ... and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
25:33"And the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall
not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried."
24:1 Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the
24:2 And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master; as with the maid, so with
her mistress; as with the buyer, so with the seller; as with the lender, so with the borrower; as with the taker of usury, so with
the giver of usury to him.
24:3 The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.
24:4 The earth mourneth [and] fadeth away, the world languisheth [and] fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do
24:5 The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, changed the ordinance,
broken the everlasting covenant.
24:6 Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the
earth are burned, and few men left.
7.) Jesus Takes All the Righteous to Heaven for 1,000 Years - The righteous will live in heaven for 1,000 years and will "judge
angels." Then the righteous, the Holy City and Jesus will return to the earth, the wicked will be raised and only then will they be totally
destroyed by what we call "hell fire." After the fire goes out, the righteous will watch as Jesus recreates the earth
20:4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were
beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image,
neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand
20:6 Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall
be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
1 Corinthians 6:3
Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?
8.) Satan is Bound for 1,000 Years - During the 1,000 years that the righteous are in Heaven the Devil will be alive on Earth. The
Bible also calls this the "bottomless pit" because Satan is not allowed to leave the ruin he has caused and there is no human alive to
tempt. The Bible says that there will be no light during this time and for 1,000 years he will have no distractions and lots of time to think
about the ruin he has caused, the punishment that is coming and all that he gave up by his own choice.
20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
4:23 I beheld the earth, and, lo, [it was] without form, and void; and the heavens, and they [had] no light.
4:24 I beheld the mountains, and, lo, they trembled, and all the hills moved lightly.
4:25 I beheld, and, lo, [there was] no man, and all the birds of the heavens were fled.
4:26 I beheld, and, lo, the fruitful place [was] a wilderness, and all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the
LORD, [and] by his fierce anger.
4:27 For thus hath the LORD said, The whole land shall be desolate; yet will I not make a full end.
It is obvious that this passage is not referring to the time before Creation because the statement "all the cities thereof were broken
down" shows that there had been cities, but that they have been destroyed by the "presence of the LORD, and by his fierce
anger."Here are some additional Bible texts for further study. The key word "coming" was searched for in the King James Version of
the Bible. A few of the more prominent of these verses are listed below. As noted above, there are over 300 places in the New
Testament that speak of the return of Jesus.
24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, [he is] in the secret chambers; believe [it] not.
24:27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
24:37 But as the days of Noe [were], so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the
day that Noe entered into the ark,
24:39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
24:41 Two [women shall be] grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have
watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
24:44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
13:32 But of that day and [that] hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.
13:34 [For the Son of man is] as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to
every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
13:35 Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the
cockcrowing, or in the morning:
13:36 Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
13:37 And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and
the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
1 Thessalonians 5:2-4
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and
safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye,
brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." (Not many people know about this last part of these
verses. It tells us that Christians will not be in the dark about when this will happen. Jesus Himself gave us signs that show when the
end is near in Matthew 24 & 25. Of course we need to be ready for that day whenever it happens, but it will not be a surprise for
those who are looking for His coming.