I have met more and more people who believe the Bible teaches the rapture will occur mid-trib, just as I believe. However, I've also met some, who believe in mid-trib, but they call themselves "mid-trib, pre-wrath." I've also met people who are staunchly mid-trib, but struggle with the wrath. What is this? How does this work out?
I'm open to changing my doctrine, but I'm fairly certain the rapture will be mid-trib. See my articles under the Eschatology section in the left side bar for mountains of Scriptural evidence to back my belief. Now, if the rapture is mid-trib, which means, chronologically, it occurs at the seventh trumpet, then where and how does the wrath of God play out, in relationship to the saved Christian?
Hold that thought.
First, I want to write a bit about the trumpet. I've mentioned in previous articles how some teachers of the pre-trib rapture stance teach that the trumpet mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is the same as the trumpet voice of Revelation 4:1. This is one of the reasons why some people believe in the pre-trib rapture.
The problem with this, is that the trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16 is the "trump OF God," while the trumpet in Revelation 4:1 is a voice AS OF a trumpet. A voice that sounds like a trumpet is completely different than one's sounding an instrument called a trumpet. The voice of Revelation 4:1 is the same voice that was speaking to John in Revelation 1:10-11a:
"I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last"
JESUS is the Alpha and Omega - the First and the Last. The voice AS OF a trumpet, is Jesus speaking. This is the same as in Revelation 4:1:
"After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."
Did you catch that? The first voice that he heard that was "as it were of a trumpet" was JESUS. There is no trumpet being blown in Revelation 4:1. It is a voice speaking to John that is like a trumpet, and we learn from Revelation 1:10-11a, that that trumpet-like voice is Jesus. Jesus' voice is not a trumpet, but it is a powerful, BLASTING voice, like that of a trumpet, when speaking to John in Revelation.
The trumpet of the rapture is identified as the "last trump" in 1 Corinthians 15:51-52. In Revelation 10:7, we are told that the MYSTERY of God will be finished when the seventh angel sounds (the last/seventh trumpet). 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 says the rapture is a MYSTERY. You can read the rapture event in Revelation 11:15-18 - which is the last trump.
Some pre-trib rapturists like to say that the rapture is the next thing on the prophetic calendar. That can't be so, because 2 Thessalonians 2 says the son of perdition has to be revealed first, and that chapter goes on to explain that this son of perdition proclaims himself god. I haven't seen that happen yet, have you? This is what Jesus and Daniel called the abomination of desolation, and that doesn't occur until the middle of the tribulation.
The Scriptures clearly establish that the rapture happens at the last/seventh trumpet, and chronologically, we see that is in the middle of the tribulation - not at the beginning, or the end. Now, the question of the wrath of God stands. One Scripture that jumps out at a lot of people is the following:
"God hath not appointed us to wrath"
Where is that in the Bible? Here is it, as the WHOLE verse:
"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" -1 Thessalonians 5:9
Ah, so those who face the wrath of God are the unsaved. One of the ways of the unsaved facing the wrath, is via burning in hell for all eternity, don't you think?
Let's zero in some more. What wrath is the above verse referring to? The context for the first half of that chapter is clearly referring the end times. Verse 2 tells us this wrath occurs during "the day of the Lord." In the Greek, it is hēmera (the day) kyrios (Lord). Hemera Kyrios = the day of the Lord. What is the Day of the Lord?
If you study the phrase in both the Old and New Testaments, you will see that the day of the Lord is synonymous with the day of His wrath. It is the battle of Armageddon, when Christ comes back, and the battle is won. The day of the Lord has a second part, which takes place after the thousand year millennium, when the heavens and the earth are burnt up, and recreated without the curse, back to how they were meant to be. This occurs after Satan is loosed, and another war against God is attempted.
Now, because of the mid-trib rapture, born again Christians will NOT be here for the day of the Lord, we will be with the Lord, because we would have been raptured around 3.5 years before the day of the Lord happens.
Basically, we have:
--- The first half of the tribulation - the seven seals and the seven trumpets --- | Seventh Trumpet, Mid-Trib Rapture - the Day of Christ | ---The second half of the tribulation - the seven vials of WRATH --- . --- Armageddon, the Day of the Lord, part one, at the end of the tribulation --- . --- The millennium of peace - Satan is locked up --- . --- After the millennium, Satan is loosed, gathers an army, and tries again to fight against God, God destroys them - Day of the Lord Part 2 - the heavens and earth are melted with a fervent heat, and recreated back to how they were, before the curse and fall of man . --- Eternity ---
The Day of the Lord is Hemera Kyrios in the original Greek, and is the wrath of God unleashed in Armageddon, and again at the final satanic war, after the millennium of peace.
If you study the term "day of Christ" in the Bible, we find that is an entirely different event from the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is a time Christians are saved from, and the time that the unsaved will fear. The day of Christ is shown in the Bible to be a time Christians look forward to - it is our gathering together with Christ - it is the mid-trib rapture.
"The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come" -Acts 2:20
"Woe unto you that desire the day of the Lord! to what end is it for you? the day of the Lord is darkness, and not light." -Amos 5:18
"Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain." -Philippians 2:16
"As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our's in the day of the Lord Jesus." -2 Corinthians 1:14
The members of the church in Thessalonica were afraid that the day of Christ (also called "the day of the Lord Jesus", but not 'the day of the Lord') could happen at any minute, without any warning. Would they be able to lead their family members to salvation before it was too late? Would there be any sign to warn them the rapture was about to happen? Could the rapture happen before they've had a chance to share the Gospel with their neighbors? This would be a fearful thing. Paul tells them in an epistle (see 2 Thessalonians 2), that the rapture/day of Christ will not happen, until there is a great falling away, and the antichrist is revealed as the "son of perdition," which is the abomination of desolation (click here if you don't know what this means) and then antichrist would be revealed as "that Wicked." Before the mid trib rapture, he is the "son of perdition." Afterwards, he is "that Wicked."
The day of Christ, in the Greek is hēmera Christos. Some, in trying to hold to the pre-trib rapture stance, have tried to change "the day of Christ" in 2 Thessalonians 2:2 into "the day of the Lord." If the King James translators made a mistake, and it should have been translated "the day of the Lord," then that would change the whole context of 2 Thessalonians 2 into that of 1 Thessalonians 5 - it would be referring to the wrath of God at Armageddon, not to the rapture, which is our gathering together unto Christ. Some study Bibles and preachers will say that the Greek for 2 Thess. 2:2 is day of the Lord, but I'm here to tell you that that is NOT TRUE!
The Greek for day of the Lord is hēmera Kyrios. However, if you look at the Textus Receptus Greek text, underlying the King James New Testament for 2 Thessalonians 2:2, you'll see we have hēmera Christos, which is the day of CHRIST! The King James translators did translate it correctly. Don't take my word for it. I want you to see this in the Greek for yourself - Click here and study it out. The text underlying the King James is the true majority Greek manuscript. 95%+ of the ancient Greek manuscripts of the New Testament say hēmera Christos in 2 Thess. 2:2. Less than 5% say hēmera Kyrios. It's obvious 2 Thess. 2:2 says "day of Christ," and not "day of the Lord."
Christians are not appointed unto the wrath of God, and that is why we are not here for the day of the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 5. We are waiting for the day of Christ, which is the mid-trib rapture, our gathering together unto Christ - 2 Thessalonians 2.
Now, more on the wrath of God. Just like there is a distinction between the day of the Lord, and the day of Christ, there is also a distinction between the wrath of the Lamb, and the wrath of God or the Lord.
The wrath that we are saved from, via the mid-trib rapture, is the wrath of God:
"For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night." -1 Thessalonians 5:2
"For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ" -1 Thessalonians 5:9
The wrath of God = the day of the Lord.
Some mid-trib rapturists get hung up on the below:
"For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" -Revelation 6:17
The rapture is mid-trib, and we are not appointed unto wrath, so what gives with the above? First off, you must remember that the promise of our not being appointed unto wrath in 1 Thess. 5 is in regards to us not suffering the wrath of God at the day of the Lord. This is not the whole tribulation, but just the last part of it. We are raptured before the day of the Lord, which is the wrath of God.
Revelation 6:17 above, is NOT referring to the wrath of God. Take a close look:
"And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" -Revelation 6:15-17
Revelation 6 is referring to the wrath of the Lamb, not the wrath of God. Therefore, this isn't referring to the day of the Lord. Who is the wrath of the Lamb geared towards? Anyone who is not in the Lamb's book of life; those who do not have the seal of God - they suffer the wrath of the Lamb. The next event we read of in Revelation, is the sealing of the 144,000 Jews. This isn't a symbolic thing. It is literally 144,000 Jews. The Scriptures tell us that these saved/sealed Jews have a measure of protection, until they are raptured at the seventh trumpet. For example:
"And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads." -Revelation 9:4
Unless you are a virgin, Jewish, and a man who is part of the 144,000, then you are like me, and not one of the 144,000 to get sealed in the tribulation. I am already sealed. I'm sealed, right now, and so are you, if you are a born again Christian:
"In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise" -Ephesians 1:13
"Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God; Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts." -2 Corinthians 1:21-22
"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." - Ephesians 4:30
Hold on a minute. Did you see that?! Christians have the seal until the "day of redemption." What's the day of redemtion? Go ahead and do a word study on the "redemption" in the New Testament, and you'll see it's the same thing as the "day of Christ!" Take a look:
"And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." -Luke 21:28
"And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body." -Romans 8:23
We are redeemed through the shed blood of Christ, right now, if we are born again. But the day of redemption, the redemption of our bodies has not happened yet. That happens at the mid-trib rapture. Now look again at the below Scripture:
"And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption." - Ephesians 4:30
The 144,000 with the seal will have a measure of protection in the first half of the tribulation, which they are there for. Those with the seal have this promise. I am not of the 144,000, but I have the seal. I received the seal at around 10pm, on November 18, 1995.
Revelation is not clear if those with the seal are protected from all that happens in the first half of the tribulation, but we are certainly protected from some of it. All of this is in accord with God's will, and we must leave this in His hands, and trust Him fully.
If you've done a search and study on the term "day of the Lord," you may have noticed that there two passages of Scripture that say the day of the Lord will come "as a thief in the night." To understand this, a few more distinctions need to be made. First off, before we get into this day of the Lord, let me point out that the mid-trib rapture will not be a secret rapture. It will be visible. Christ will come in the clouds, and we will meet him in the clouds, and people WILL see Christ coming in the clouds - there is no such thing as a secret rapture. Take a look:
"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." -Matthew 24:30
"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." -1 Thessalonians 4:17
"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." -Revelation 1:7
When Christ comes back in the Day of the Lord, he will not be coming in the clouds:
"And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords." -Revelation 19:11-16
Now, we see that the day of Christ is not a secret rapture, but one where people will SEE Christ coming in the clouds. And regarding the Day of the Lord - Armageddon and the final battle after the millennium of peace, two passages in the Scriptures say the day of the Lord will come as a "thief in the night." Let's look at those passages. Here's the first one:
NOTE: In the next several passages, keep note of two separate peoples - them and us.
"But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 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." -1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
The above is referencing part one of the day of the Lord - Armageddon - sudden destruction:
"And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed." -Luke 17:26-30
"I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together." -Luke 17:34-37
Body = dead body. Eagles = birds who eat the dead:
"And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army." (Armageddon) -Revelation 19:17-19
I underlined and bolded for emphasis, especially on the they versus us. There are two people groups being discussed. The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night to "they," not us.
Notice the above 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4 passage says "they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them." The day of the Lord only comes as a thief in the night to those who aren't watching the signs of the times:
"Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober." -1 Thessalonians 5:6
This watching is how we are supposed to have oil in our lamps:
"Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh." -Matthew 25:1-13
"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching: verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." -Luke 12:35-40
The physical realization of the Kingdom of Heaven comes closer when Christ comes back to reign. The final fulfillment will be New Jerusalem - after the millenium of peace and rejuvination. The literal kingdom of heaven is synonymous with the day of the Lord. Christ's kingdom will reign, and then after the millenium and rejuvination, the physical kingdom of heaven will come to this earth via the city New Jerusalem. There will be signs and warnings before the day of Christ, which is the mid trib rapture, but the day of the Lord will be different, unless those left on the earth are watching, they will have no oil in their lamps, and therefore their lights will not shine. Those with oil in their lamps will be in the rapture, unless they don't get saved until after the rapture. Christians are called to watch, regardless if they become Christians before or after the day of Christ.
There is one more "thief in the night" scripture on the day of the Lord:
"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. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." - 2 Peter 3:10-13
The above is part two of the day of the Lord - the rejuvenation of the heavens and the earth after the millennium of peace:
"And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them." -Revelation 20:7-11
"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea." -Revelation 21:1
Like Armageddon, the final battle after the millennium will come as a thief in the night only to those who aren't watching.
Let's simplify some of what we just looked at:
The day of Christ --> mid trib rapture --> Christ coming in the clouds, not a secret rapture | The wrath of the Lamb on those who are not written in the Lamb's book of life, which are the unsaved and unsealed
The day of the Lord --> God's Wrath --> Armageddon is part one --> Millennium of peace, then the final Satanic war, then rejuvenation of the heavens and earth, part two --> New Jerusalem coming from heaven onto the earth, the literal fulfillment of the kingdom of Heaven - the kingdom of Heaven, literally moved to the earth after earth's rejuvenation. The kingdom of Heaven is part of the kingdom of God, which is universal - God's reign over everything, and all creation. God's kingdom then completely restored.
Now, to expound on the kingdoms, because this is important, and I only touched upon them earlier. Right now, this world is fallen, and is the kingdom of the devil. This is why Satan was able to offer it to Jesus, if Jesus would worship him:
"And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine." -Luke 4:5-7
This is why the Bible tells us that we Christians are in this world, but not OF it. This world is in a corrupted state, and right now, Satan is the god of it:
"In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Corinthians 4:4
"Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." -1 John 4:4
"I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world." -John 17:14
At the seventh/last trumpet, the mid-trib rapture will take place, and after that the seven vial of wrath will be poured fourth, which is the beginning of Christ taking the kingdom back. This is why the below verse is mentioned in the Revelation report of the seventh trumpet rapture:
"And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever." -Revelation 11:15
God pours his wrath forth onto the world, and then after the seven vials of wrath are finished (which is the second half of the tribulation) then Christ and the sealed come from heaven to do battle at Armageddon. The day of the Lord ushers in the kindgom of heaven, once again. However, the capitol of the kingdom of heaven continues to be in heaven, until after the millennium of peace. Then, there will be one final satanic war. God will destroy the satanic armies with fire, and cast Satan into the lake of fire for eternity. Then, the earth and heavens will be rejuvenated, the heavenly city and capitol of the kingdom of heaven - New Jerusalem, will come down onto the earth, and the universal kingdom of God will have been established forever.
In conclusion, we have seen that:
1) The rapture trumpet of God cannot be Revelation 4:1, but must occur at the seventh trumpet, which is in the middle of the tribulation.
2) Christians are not appointed unto GOD's wrath, which is the day of the Lord. The day of the Lord happens at the end of the tribulation, so we born again Christians won't be here for that wrath.
3) All born again Christians are sealed, and 144,000 Jews will be sealed during the tribulation. Those with the seal of God receive a measure of protection.
4) The Greek Textus Receptus manuscripts, underlying the King James Bible, and that agree with over 95% of the ancient Greek manuscripts out there, tell us 2 Thessalonians 2:2 is referring to the rapture - the day of Christ, NOT to Armageddon, the day of the Lord.
5) There is no secret rapture. At the day of Christ, Jesus will be seen coming in the clouds during the rapture. However, parts one and two of the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night to those not watching.
|Also called Day of the Lord Jesus||Also called "Day of God."|
|Wrath of the Lamb to those not written in the Lamb's Book of Life. (Before the day of Christ, and to Armageddon)||Wrath of God/the Lord's Wrath. (Happens after the Day of Christ)|
|Day of Redemption||Day of Darkness (and judgements)|
|The Day of Christ is the Mid-Tribulation Rapture event||The Day of the Lord is the battle at Armageddon - part one. Then part two will be the rejuvination of the heavens and earth after the final satanic battle after the millenium of peace.|
|The kingdoms of this world are taken back as the kingdom of the Lord and His Christ. The judgements begin with the seven vials of wrath.||Day of the Lord ushers in the kingdom of heaven|
|Christ Coming in the Clouds||Christ coming on a horse, ready for battle|