In numerous scriptures a period of seven years of tribulation, trial, and judgment is described. It is during this period that the antichrist is revealed and the saints are overcome, as described by the Minor Prophets, Daniel, and Revelation. It is also during this period that scripture tells us that large numbers of people will accept Yeshua as their Messiah. These tribulation period saints, however, are not the saints that currently make up the Church / Bride of Christ.
This period is called by various terms and titles throughout both Older and Newer Covenants:
- The Tribulation
- Daniel’s 70th Week
- Day Of Yahweh (The LORD)
- Day Of Mashiach (Christ)
- Day Of Wrath
- Day Of Indignation
- Days Of Vengeance
- Time Of Jacob’s Trouble
- Time Of The End
- The Lamb’s Wrath
- The Great And Terrible Day Of Yahweh (The LORD)
Paul informs tells us that this seven year period will not come unless the departure (frequently translated the apostasy) comes first (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4), the temple is rebuilt, and the antichrist is revealed. Daniel, in chapters 7-11, tells us that the antichrist will be the leader of ten nations, that he will enforce a seven year covenant with Israel, and he will be the leader of a nation to the north of Israel. us that the true Church/Bride of Christ, will not know who this antichrist is, since he will not be revealed until before the start of the seven year period.
Matthew 24 tells us that no one will know the day and hour of Yeshua’s next coming – the coming in the clouds to resurrect the dead and translate the living to immortality (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 and 1 Corinthians 15:52). This coming in the clouds by Yeshua can only refer to the Resurrection/Rapture, as once the antichrist has been revealed to the world (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8) when the covenant is confirmed at the start of the seven year period, the timing of Yeshua’s second coming can be mathematically determined. – “everyone will then know precisely the day of His return, if not the exact hour!
Jacob’s Time of Trouble
Older Covenant scriptures clearly state that the Tribulation is a time that affects Yahweh’s chosen ones – Israel (or Jacob), his enemies, and sinners. Newer Covenant scriptures also clearly state that the Tribulation is a time that affects “Israel”.
Jeremiah 30:7 – “Alas! for that day is great, there is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob’s distress, but he will be saved from it.” This verse states that the tribulation is a time of Jacob’s trouble, not a time of judging the church.
Isaiah 1:9 – “Unless the LORD of hosts had left us a few survivors, we would be like Sodom, we would be like Gomorrah.” This verse states that the tribulation is a time to bring forth a remnant from within Israel.
Daniel 3:13-ff – “Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are with Yeshua and not affected by the fire. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, also known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 1:7) represent those who will place their faith in Yahweh/Yeshua during Jacob’s time of trouble. In other words, they represent the Jews who will flee and be protected. Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah are unaffected by Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace, and so also will the protected Jews be unaffected by the fiery judgments of Yahweh during the Tribulation period.
Revelation 12:17 – “So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children, who keep the commandments of Yahweh and hold to the testimony of Yeshua.” This verse states that the tribulation is a time when Satan makes war with a remnant from within Israel (not from within the Church/Bride of Christ). Satan will attack those who do not flee and receive Yahweh’s protection during Jacob’s time of trouble.
The Punishment of Enemies, the Unrighteous, and Sinners
It is only those who do not accept Yeshua as their Lord and Savior that suppress the truth, who are judged unrighteous.
Isaiah 13:9 – “Behold, the day of Yahweh is coming, cruel, with fury and burning anger, to make the land a desolation; and He will exterminate its sinners from it.” This verse states that the tribulation is a time to destroy sinners from the Earth.
Nahum 1:2-3 – “A jealous and avenging god is Yahweh; Yahweh is avenging and wrathful. Yahweh takes vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserves wrath for his enemies. Yahweh is slow to anger and great in power, and he will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” These verses state that Yahweh reserves His wrath for His enemies.
Romans 1:18 – “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” Yahweh only shows His anger against those who suppress the truth.
2 Peter 2:9 – “Yahweh knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment.” Yahweh keeps the unrighteous for the day of judgment.
Revelation 11:18 – “And the nations were enraged, and Your wrath came, and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to reward Your bond-servants the prophets and the saints and those who fear Your name, the small and the great, and to destroy those who destroy the earth.” This verse states that the tribulation is a time to judge the nations for their sins against Yahweh’s chosen people. It is not a time to judge the saints, nor the church, which is judged at the Bema Seat of Yeshua.
The Sinless Bride
Newer Covenant scriptures state that the Church (or Bride of Christ) has already been declared without sin, so cannot be included in those who will be subject to the Tribulation and its judgments. The Church/Bride of Christ is not an enemy of Yahweh, but are in fact called “friends” (John 15:15). The Church/Bride of Christ is judged righteous by the shed blood of the Lamb, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.
1 Thessalonians 5:9 – “For Yahweh has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.” Yahweh has not appointed those who have placed their trust in Yeshua to wrath.
Luke 21:36 – “But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” Yeshua does not desire for the Church/Bride of Christ to endure the tribulation, but does expect His bride to be in prayer and to petition him that they will be raptured prior to the tribulation. We are to pray to escape all these things.
John 5:24 – “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears my word, and believes him who sent me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” Those who have placed their trust in Yeshua do not come into judgment, but are spared and given eternal life.
Romans 5:9 – “Much more then, having now been justified by Yeshua’s blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of Yahweh through Him.” Yeshua will save us from Yahweh’s wrath by his blood.
Revelation 3:10 – “Because you have kept the word of my perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.” Yeshua and Yahweh clearly protect the Church/Bride of Christ from enduring the tribulation. Therefore, one must conclude that Yeshua’s bride will be raptured prior to the tribulation.
The sequence of when the rapture takes place is clearly documented in both Older and Newer Covenants. The Church/Bride of Christ is gathered first, taken to heaven to be where Yeshua is, and receives a time of rest. After these things the antichrist is revealed, the seven year begins to be enforced, and the tribulation period starts.
Zephaniah 2:1-2 – “Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame, before the decree takes effect, . . . before the burning anger of Yahweh comes upon you, before the day of Yahweh’s anger comes upon you.” The decree spoken of in this verse is the tribulation and the nation without shame is the Church/Bride of Christ. Zephaniah clearly states that the Church/Bride of Christ will be gathered together before the tribulation starts, before the decree takes effect.
John 12:26 – “If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there my servant will be also; if anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” The Church/Bride of Christ, Yeshua’s servant, will be precisely where Yeshua is – in heaven.
John 14:2-3 – “In my Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am, there you may be also.” Yeshua returns to take us to be where He is – in heaven.
2 Thessalonians 2:3, 6-8 – “3Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the departure comes first, and then the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.” “6-8And you know what restrains him now, so that in his time he will be revealed. . . Then that lawless one will be revealed . . .” Do not be deceived! The sequence is very clear: First is the departure (the Rapture) in conjunction with the removal of the one who restrains evil, and then the Son Of Perdition is revealed.
Hebrews 4:9, 11 – “So there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God . . . Therefore let us be diligent to enter that rest, so that no one will fall, through following the same example of disobedience.” The Church/Bride of Christ will have a time of Sabbath rest in Heaven.
Hebrews 12:22-23 – “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to myriads of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven. The Church/Bride of Christ is clearly in Heaven with Yeshua, as Yeshua is also clearly in Heaven during the tribulation period.
Revelation 5:9-10 – “And they sang a new song, saying, ‘Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for you were slain, and purchased for God with your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God; and they will reign upon the earth’.” The Church/Bride of Christ has been given its Sabbath rest as a result of Yeshua’s shed blood, and sings to confirm this fact while enjoying being in Heaven. Only the Bride of Christ can sing “You have bought us with your blood . . .”
Absolute Proof Of A Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Matthew 16:18 – “I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it.”
Proof that the timing of the Resurrection/Rapture is before the Tribulation period is stated in several scriptures, including Revelation 3:10 – “the church will be kept from the hour of trial,” and 1 Thessalonians 5:9 – “the church is not appointed to wrath,” even though “tribulation saints” will experience either part or all of the period. Isaiah also knew that he would be resurrected and would be hidden during the time of the indignation (Isaiah 26:19-20).
Absolute proof, however, that the Church is removed prior to the Tribulation period, is contained in Matthew 16:18. In this verse, Yeshua clearly states that neither Lucifer, Satan, The Devil, the antichrist, the fallen angels, nor all the powers of hell can overcome, prevail against, or conquer His Church, His Bride, His Redeemed.
Since we know through scripture that Satan is given power to overcome “saints” during the seven year period (Revelation 13:7), the Church/Bride of Christ, therefore cannot, I repeat, CANNOT, be present in the world – it has to be some other group of saints whom Satan is able to overcome. If the Church, the Bride of Christ, were still in the world when Satan is allowed to overcome, Yeshua would be a liar, and He cannot lie! Numerous scriptures attest to this fact.
Therefore, absolute proof that the Resurrection/Rapture of the Church, the Bride of Christ, occurs before the Tribulation is guaranteed by Yeshua’s statement in Matthew 16:18. This does not in any way preclude others from accepting Yeshua during the Tribulation period, and Satan’s ability to overcome those saints at that time.
The Resurrection/Rapture is definitely Pre-Tribulation, and the above scriptures give us every reason to be, joyous, happy, cheerful, festive, and singing our hearts out!
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew Prophets. Today we are one day closer to the return of Yeshua than we were yesterday and tomorrow we will be even one day closer. For almost two thousand years the Jews would proclaim “Next year in Jerusalem!” I now proclaim “Next Yom Teruah in the clouds!” Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.