by Paul Benson
Maybe you could help me with my research. I have been looking for years for answers to some questions the pre-tribulation rapture theory raises in my mind. The problem is I cannot locate the Bible verses that clearly teach these major facets of the rapture theory (of which I am assured are quite Scriptural).
All other major doctrines of our faith are plainly stated in the Scriptures with multiple witnesses leaving no doubt what we are to believe. If there are 31,102 verses in the Bible surely there must be loads of passages explicitly stating these elemental truths of the rapture theory. Do you know where they are?
QUESTION: Where does it say in the Bible that Jesus will have an invisible coming to earth?
There is no where in the Bible that even hints at the notion of a non-visible coming of Jesus for the Church. Some times I wonder if the pre-trib rapture promoters really do actually READ the Bible! Take this passage from Matthew for example:
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. 27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming (*Parousia) of the Son of man be. Matthew 24:26-27
(*The Parousia / coming is when the Resurrection of the Just takes place according to 1 Cor. 15:21-23.)
An honest consideration of these words of Christ shows him to be plainly stating we are not to believe any thing other than a VISIBLE Coming of Jesus! It could not be stated in a clearer fashion: Believe it NOT! If you believe or teach a secret coming of Christ that is not visible to the whole world you do so in direct disobedience to Christ’s own words. What does the Bible explicitly say about the visibility of the Coming of our Lord?
Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, Revelation 1:7
Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Acts 1:11
…and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. Matthew 24:30
The Bible expressly teaches a totally visible Coming of Christ. And about this time the pre-trib teachers chime in with a hearty: “But you don’t understand Paul, those Bible verses are talking about the Second Coming, not our pre-trib rapture.” And that is my point exactly! I’m quoting Scripture and believing what it says. All they can quote is their theory; because there are NO verses that teach an invisible coming (unless maybe they also are invisible).
Let’s base our beliefs on what is plainly stated in the Bible (not on a theory you can only see with ‘rapture vision’). For more on the error of a ‘secret’ coming of Christ SEE THIS ARTICLE.
QUESTION: Where does it say the Body of Christ will instantly disappear at the rapture?
And the answer is: “,,,,,,,Uh,….let’s see….I know it’s in the Bible somewhere; because that’s what the Bible teaches!”
No, sorry that’s not the correct answer. The concept of Christians instantly disappearing and leaving behind a pile of clothes is not taught in the Bible, it is just more of the myth. The phrase ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ was pulled out of its context and misused to promote rapture theology. It is specifically the concept of ‘resurrection’ being discussed in 1Corinthians 15, NOT the catching away. The catching away is not mentioned even once in the entire chapter!
In their proper context the words ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ refer to the transformation (we shall be changed v.52) which takes place when the dead are raised, and together with the living believers, are given immortal bodies. Resurrection and ascension are two separate matters (for Jesus they occurred forty days apart!). The Bible DOES NOT say the catching away happens in the twinkling of an eye! I discuss this in detail IN THIS ARTICLE.
QUESTION: Where does it say in the Bible that a ‘rapture’ takes us off to Heaven?
It does not say anything of the sort. What the Scriptures actually teach is that the catching away takes us up to meet Jesus in the clouds at his Return to earth. Nothing any where about going to Heaven. What do the Scriptures plainly say?
But in those days, after that tribulation,… ….shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. Mark 13:24+27
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. 1Thess. 4:17
There is not one verse in the Bible that describes the rapture transporting the Church off to Heaven. It’s just one more aspect of that non-biblical teaching people are convinced of, but have no foundation for that belief in the Word of God. Their doctrine speaks it to them quite loudly, but the Bible says not a word. Let’s base our beliefs on what is plainly stated in the Bible!
(SIDE NOTE: It’s getting kind of popular to mockingly call the post-trib position The Giant U-Turn in the Sky’. As if that statement should cause heads to hang in shame or something? What kind of proof for your beliefs does making a statement like that present? I sure don’t see any.
Now think about it for a second here: what would look MORE like a giant U-Turn in the sky? Me being caught up from Kalispell Montana U.S.A. to meet Jesus in the air, then continuing on to the other side of the planet to descend upon Israel (on another continent); OR: Jesus coming out of Heaven to ‘rapture’ the Church, and then immediately turning around and returning to the exact place he had just left? Now THAT sounds suspiciously like someone made a giant U-turn; are you sure you’re not just mocking your own beliefs here?
Not that I see anything wrong with Jesus making a U-Turn if he so chooses. He is God Almighty; he can make a U-Turn any place and any time he pleases. But that’s not the point here. The point is that instead of sound clear Bible teaching, what I get from most of the pre-trib promoters is either unsupported statements, Scripture pulled out of context, or childish comments like: “You believe in a giant U-turn in the sky!” OR “You are wanting Antichrist to come; I am looking for Jesus!”)
QUESTION: Where does it say there will be resurrected believers in Heaven before the Second Coming?
Although many will insert their doctrine into certain verses, and claim them as ‘proof’, not one verse clearly states, or even implies, such a thing. NOT ONE!
QUESTION: Where does it say the armies on white horses coming out of Heaven with Jesus at his Second Coming are the previously raptured Church?
It does not. That notion has been deceptively inserted into that verse in the pre-trib scenario! I thoroughly address that error IN THIS ARTICLE.
QUESTION: Where in Scripture does it say the Marriage Supper of the Lamb takes place in Heaven?
It absolutely does not. Actually the Bible says surprisingly little on the marriage supper of the Lamb; and the only point of reference we are given is the Battle of Armageddon! The only way the rapture theorists can validate this aspect of their story is to preach a skewed version of Jewish tradition; but we are clearly told by God’s Word not to follow fables and traditions of man.
QUESTION: Where does Jesus say he will come back to earth twice in the end-times?
The possibility of two separate comings of Christ in the end-times is not even broached in the New Testament. In fact, if there were such a thing as a pre-trib rapture, many Scriptures like this one would have been worded differently:
Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 1Peter 1:13
The Revelation of Jesus Christ is the Second Coming. The grace he will be bringing us is the power of the Resurrection. Pre-trib theology says you will NOT get that grace brought onto you at the Revelation of Christ, but seven years earlier at the ‘rapture’. It would have been untruthful for Peter to speak those words if the pre-trib theory were true. This is just one of many places the Bible would have to be worded differently if that myth were a reality!
QUESTION: Where do the Scriptures say the time of the great tribulation is the ‘wrath of God’ being poured out?
In truth the very words of the Lord Jesus himself prove the great tribulation is NOT the ‘wrath of God’! The wrath of God is poured out at the Return of Christ. For a clearer understanding of this SEE THIS ARTICLE.
QUESTION: What verses teach, as the rapture teachers claim, that the Body of Christ is NOT the ‘elect’ of God in Matthew 24?
Actually the Bible very clearly shows the Body of Christ IS the elect of God today. I give the Bible evidence IN THIS ARTICLE.
QUESTION: Where does the Bible state the Fig Tree represents or symbolizes Israel?
In spite of the fact we have been told this what seems like a million times, the Word of God does not convey the idea that the nation of Israel is symbolized by the Fig Tree. I explain the falsehood of that notion, and the way it is used to distract you away from truths in the parable of the fig tree which refute the pre-trib theory IN THIS ARTICLE.
QUESTION: Where does it say there will be no signs of Jesus’ Return to redeem us that we should be watching for?
One single verse proves that notion a falsehood:
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
We are given by Jesus many things to watch for! This is clearly a reference to the Second Coming, and thus declares that is when we receive the fullness of our redemption; NOT seven years earlier as the rapture theory teaches.
QUESTION: Where does it teach that the Holy Spirit restrains evil men from rising to power, and must be removed from the earth in order for Antichrist to rise?
There is no Biblical (or historical) evidence that shows God has ever had to remove his Spirit from this earth for evil men to be able to rise to power. This is a totally unsupported hypothesis.
QUESTION: When did Christ’s Return BECOME imminent?
This is a question pre-trib promoters refuse to address. Because the concept of ‘imminent return’ is a pillar of the rapture theory; the honest answer to that question is lethal to their doctrine! Their doctrine of ‘imminent return’ is easily proven false by a simple examination of certain Bible passages that absolutely prohibit such a thing. I address this in great detail IN THIS ARTICLE
(SIDE NOTE: Amazingly ignored by rapture theorists is the fact both Jesus and Paul spoke against those teaching an imminent Return of Christ!
And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them. Luke 21:8
Jesus plainly said not to follow those teaching his Return is imminent! He gave us signs to watch for to know the season when his Return is upon us (Luke 21:29-31).
That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand (imminent). 2Thess. 2:2
Paul told his followers as plain as day not to let anyone tell them the Return of Christ was imminent. Yet sadly many twist the narrative around to where they have Paul teaching the Church the very thing he clearly had told them not to accept! To ignore these plain and concise statements of Jesus and Paul, and to teach contrary to their words, is nothing short of willful ignorance; and leads people away from the truth of God’s Word. Let’s base our beliefs on what is plainly stated in the Bible!
QUESTION: Where does it say O.T. Saints will not take part in the Resurrection of the Just and the catching away of the believers?
This is an aspect of dispensational / pre-trib rapture theology that doesn’t get discussed much as it doesn’t set very well with a lot of folk (as well it shouldn’t; it is not the truth). Their theory separates the N.T. Saints into one group, and the O.T. Saints (along with the tribulation Saints) into another. They teach that when the rapture happens King David, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Samuel, Moses, Joshua, and ALL other O.T. Saints stay in their graves and get ‘left behind’! But what does the Bible say?
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: 2Cor. 5:14
And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 1John 2:2
The sacrifice of Christ on the Cross paid the price to redeem (purchase) the righteous from all generations. We have truly been ‘bought with a price’. We belong to him.
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 1Cor. 15:21-23
The Scriptures plainly state all who belong to Christ will be resurrected at his Coming. One event involving ALL those who are his redeemed. To say the O.T. Saints will not rise in the Resurrection of the Just flies in the face of much Scripture. In case that did not do it for you here is another verse that plainly states O.T. Saints take part in our resurrection:
But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: 14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:13-14
In this passage Jesus promised these folks (who were living under the O.T. Law) an opportunity to take part in the Resurrection of the Just. Who are you going to believe: Jesus describing O.T. Saints taking part in the Resurrection of the Just; or dispensational / pre-trib rapture teachers who say they will not? It is quite disturbing to me the amount of people who do not side with Jesus on this issue (or a great many others). Let’s get it right!
QUESTION: Where does it say the Body of Christ will not face the Mark of the Beast?
The war between the Beast and the Body of Christ is addressed IN THIS ARTICLE.
Free Books On The Rapture Question
I address these and many other erroneous teachings about the Coming of our Lord Jesus in my two books ‘The Rapture Theory’ and ‘Escape or Passover?’. Both are easy-reads (less than 100 pages) and available for free in 3 e-book formats.
You can download a copy AT THIS PAGE
When Proof Goes Poof
If all these elemental facets of pre-trib theory do not come from the Bible (and many plainly contradict the Bible), then just where are they coming from? A burden on my heart for years has been to try and get folks to wake up to the fact that the pre-trib rapture theory is a doctrine void of true Biblical foundation. It is not a teaching native to the Scriptures; it has to be presupposed, and then forcibly injected into the Gospel by deceitful means.
If you were to present these questions I have listed to a rapture theorist they will immediately go to work preaching their ‘theory’; but if pressed for the location of Scripture passages which clearly and plainly state exactly what they are saying they cannot deliver. They will either quote a generalized reference to the catching away (See! Here’s the pre-trib rapture!), OR insert their doctrine into an otherwise unrelated verse (Look! There’s the pre-trib rapture!), OR state as ‘proof’ an element of their rapture theory which has no biblical support (There! Proof of the pre-trib rapture!). Sorry, but quoting your doctrine as proof of your doctrine proves nothing at all!
If I canmot find any clear Bible teaching to answer these many questions about the pre-trib theory why in the world should you or I believe such a thing? That theory is so full of holes if it were a bucket it would have been thrown out with the trash long ago!
Let’s base our beliefs on what is plainly stated in the Bible!
My Brothers and Sisters in Christ: If you have bought into this myth of a ‘pre-tribulation rapture’ you have been deceived (and defiled) by that falsehood. And if you are teaching this error to others you will not only face accountability to God for doing so, but have placed yourself in grave danger! This falsehood will bring those who promote and teach it under the curse of Revelation 22. PLEASE READ THIS:
I exhort you today to reject this deceiving and damaging doctrine; and to seek cleansing through the Blood of Jesus Christ. My love and prayers are with you. May the Holy Spirit lead us all into God’s perfect truth.