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The Rapture

Key Scriptures
Current Events
Rapture Links
Alternate Points of View (Not Pre-Trib)
Excerpts From The Prophecy Puzzle

Key Scriptures

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NIV & Other VersionsIncludes Commentary
Luke 21:36 Further Study
John 14:1-6 Further Study
1 Corinthians 15:50-55 Further Study
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Further Study
1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 Further Study
2 Peter 2:6-9 Further Study
Revelation 4:1 Further Study
Revelation 3:10 Further Study
Revelation 22:7, 12, 20 Further Study

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Current Events and Links

See more recent articles - after Jan. 1, 2011

See more recent articles - after Jan. 1, 2010

Perhaps Today?

Sept. 29, 2009 - Jesus is coming back for those who believe in Him. With all the turmoil in the world, and so many the end-times prophecies being fulfilled, it could be any time!
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14 We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage each other with these words.
(from New International Version)
Jesus said we could not know the day or the hour, but we should be ready always. The Biblical festival of "Rosh Hashanah," the Feast of Trumpets is being observed today and tomorrow. It is a good time to focus on the Rapture and do the things we would do if we could know when Jesus will return!
Rosh Hashanah is Jewish New Year - Factmonster
Rapture Drill - Our 2006 Commentary about Rosh Hashanah
Worldwide wave of horns, shouting planned in time zones across planet - From Prophecy Central "Feasts of Israel"
The End/ New Beginning
Are You Ready?

Come, Lord JesusóBut Not Too Soon

Aug. 26, 2005 - Read this clever article by John Koessler about being prepared for the future with The Lord.
Source: Christianity Today

Nebraska, WWI and the Rapture

Sept. 27, 2004 - Jesus said we can't set a date for the Rapture, but our changing world is headed for self-destruction. That fact is a strong indicator that the Rapture must be getting closer.
Source:Jack Kinsella - Omega Letter

The Iraq War Has Little Effect on the Rapture Index

Mar. 27, 2003 - Todd Strandberg, creator of the "Rapture Index" says that the index is high at this time, but mostly because of factors other than the Iraq war.
The Rapture Index monitors 45 categories of various indicators prophesized in the Bible. The categories are ranked one to five based on whether they are rising or falling and include: earthquakes, mark of the beast technology, and date setting.
Source:Christianity Today
Rapture Ready - Home of the Rapture Index

A Response to Ron Graff: Pretribulation or Prewrath?
Aug., 2000 - by Charles Cooper. We welcome honest discussion, but are disappointed at the unkind tone of the article. Respect for one another as brothers is as important as our viewpoints on the timing of the Rapture.
Reference article: Pretribulation or Prewrath?

Is the Apocalypse Coming?
Aug, 2000 - Transcript of June 19, 2000 Larry King Interview with Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins about the "Left Behind" series.
Source: CNN

The Futility of setting dates for Christ's Return
The following article illustrates the damage done by date-setting. It is no wonder that Jesus told us we can not know the date of His return. It just leads to disappointment, and results in discrediting the people who set wrong dates.
Watch out for Armageddon on millennium eve (Story no longer online)

Dec. 27, 1999 - In the U.S., the F.B.I. has issued a warning, called "Project Megiddo", to all police chiefs, warning them to be vigilant about religious extremists who may use the start of a new millennium as an excuse for violence to help usher in their apocalyptic beliefs.

At Megiddo in Israel, the archaeological site associated with Armageddon, Ahmed Agbariah, the site's manager, plans to to stay on duty all night on New Year's Eve to discourage fanatical Christians from doing anything that would give Megiddo a bad reputation.

Clarence Wagner of Bridges For Peace is quoted in the article with a more Biblically balanced view of the timing of Christ's return:
"I don't think it has anything to do with 2000 years or a chronological millennium. When God's good and ready, he'll come back."
Source: ABC News

Will The Rapture Take Place This Week?
Sept. 7, 1999 - Sandwiched between this year's unlikely computer failure date of 9/9/99, and an eclipse on September 11th, Israel's Rosh Hashanah will occur. This is the ancient Jewish New Year, beginning at sunset on September 10th and lasting until sunset, September 12th. Rosh Hashanah is also known as "The Feast of Trumpets," and is considered by many Bible scholars as an appropriate, or even likely time for the Rapture to occur.
While we don't believe in setting dates for the Rapture (See Warnings and Cautions), we always consider this time of year a good time for a RAPTURE DRILL. Why not do all the things you would want to have done if you could know when the Lord was going to return for the Church? Be right with Him. Share the Gospel with your neighbors and friends. Settle any problems you may have with others. The truth is, He may return at any time, and we should be ready!
An A&E Special Presentation: The Road To Rapture will be aired on Dec. 20 and 21. It will "explore the phenomenon from its biblical underpinnings to current popular trends, creating a fascinating portrait of mankind approaching the third millennium."
A description of part 2 of the program: "Meet the thousands who are buying one-way tickets to Jerusalem for New Year's Eve 1999 when they believe the 'Rapture' will happen and they will go up to paradise. Meanwhile, American cults are stockpiling weapons for Armageddon--the battle between good and evil that will follow the 'Rapture'. "
Those who believe in the Rapture may be depicted as cultists in this program. On the other hand, it may raise interest in Biblical prophecy.

Armageddon... Again
July 29, 1999 - Those who interpreted Nostradamus's vague prophecies to mean that Armageddon would start in July, now think that the eclipse of September 11th may be what he meant.
This BBC News article lists many other false predictions of Christ's coming and/or Armageddon. It should be a good reminder of Jesus' own warnings not to set dates.

Doomsday Cult Deported From Israel
Israel Deports Doomsday Cult Members To United States
Jan. 8, 1999 - Fourteen members of a Denver-based cult, Concerned Christians, were deported on grounds that they were planning violent acts to hasten Christ's return as the millennium approaches.
Approximately 60 cult members abandoned their jobs and homes in Colorado several months ago. Source: CrossWalk (Story no longer online)
Commentary: It's only January. How much weird behavior is ahead this year? This is why we need to keep balance. Date-setting and extreme activity like this make people think all Christians who believe in the literal return of Christ are strange.

When Will Jesus Return?
Dec. 25, 1998 - A common question is raised from an uncommon source. Joseph Farah is the editor of WorldNewsDaily, and Executive Director of the Western Journalism Center, an independent group of investigative reporters. He says that just as the first advent of Christ was prophesied by the Hebrew prophets, His Second Coming was also predicted. He notes the Hebrew and Early Christian theories about the possibility that Messiah's return to reign would be after six thousand years of human history and after two thousand years of Christian history. With the beginning of a new millennium just a year away, he says, "We'll soon find out if they were right".
Farah acknowledges that many of his readers don't believe in such things, but says:
But, as a journalist and as a Christian, I can't ignore hard evidence -- no matter where it may lead me. And the more I study the prophetic scriptures of the Holy Bible and look at the condition of our world today, the more convinced I become that we are nearing that time. In fact, I think we are very close.
Source: WorldNewsDaily (Story no longer online)

Oct. 19, 1998 - Leaders of a variety of denominational leaders express concerns about wild ideas and date-setting in relation to the turn of the millennium. They stress that Jesus will still be Lord of The Millennium, and Christians should be filled with hope instead of dread.
Source: Religion Today (Story no longer online)

More Wrong Dates For The Rapture
June 9, 1998 - Urged on by Internet correspondence, Marilyn Agee has now proposed June 7 (past), and possibly June 14. This could continue until the end of her calculated window of time before the Tribulation is supposed to begin at August 28, 1998. (See Pro & Con 119.)
The June 7 date was supposedly confirmed by Peter Hader's Bible Code research from equidistant letter sequences from Genesis 7:4-10. He had previously found the date of May 31 in the Book of Ruth. Will he find other dates now?

Another Rapture Date False-Alarm
June 1, 1998 - Marilyn Agee and others have been disappointed by the fact that the Rapture did not take place as they predicted yesterday.

We don't think it is wise to set dates, but the fact that many are doing so is, in itself something of a fulfillment of prophecy, because date-setting gives scoffers something to criticize. 2 Peter 3:3-4 says, "Know this first of all, that in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, 'Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.'"

See Todd Strandberg's "The Date Setter's Diary"

Will The Rapture Take Place May 31st?
May 4, 1998 - We often warn against setting dates for the Rapture. (See Warnings and cautions.) Mrs. Marilyn Agee has come up with a theory that places the date of the Rapture at Pentecost (May 31) this year. Could Jesus come May 31st? Yes, He could come any time, so we ought to be ready. But we have seen too many Christians discouraged about understanding prophecy, and too many ministries discredited by making this mistake.

Dec 15, 1997 - From Todd Strandberg of Rapture Ready
I noticed several people e-mailed me, asking various questions about The Pre-Trib Rapture
The Pre-Trib Rapture Conference is a yearly study group that is sponsored by the Pre-trib Research Center. It was started by Thomas Ice and Tim LaHay, and has the who's who of Bible prophecy as members - of course, only those that are of the pre-trib view.

Everyone at the study group had something to do with the job of defending the pre-trib rapture position. The conference hall was bustling with authors, preachers, teaches, and little ol' me.

The majority of the time, I hung around with Ray Gano from Prophezine, who was there for the first time. Ray took several pictures which should soon show up on his site.

The main topic at the Dallas conference was obviously the pre-trib rapture. I have two main observations I'd like to pass on to you folks.

The first one is: the pre-trib rapture is under incredible attack these days. In the past, Dallas Theological Seminary was synonymous with the word pretribulation, however lately, liberal views are rapidly invading this once stronghold of the pre-trib rapture.

I learned that several evangelical and charismatic movements are straying away from believing in the pre-trib rapture. Churches that have become more socially and politically active in society are typically the more like candidates for abandoning pretribulationism.

The media, liberal scholars, post-tribbers, pre-wrathers, cults, and New Agers have all stepped up their attacks these past few years.

The second observation: I've noticed that people who are anti pre-trib have very little understanding of what the pre-trib rapture view is all about. Most groups or individuals that I sat and listened to 14 speakers address one oposing views after another, regarding the timing of the rapture. I highly doubt there's a post-trib group that meets to discuss, among other things, pre-trib beliefs.

This meetings of about 100 leading prophecy authorities stands in great contrast to the popular belief that I hear from most critics of the pre-trib rapture. They constantly tell me, if folks like you would only study the scriptures a little more, you all see things our way.

Well, after three days of study, I'm afraid I still don't view prophecy the same way post-trib and pre-wrath do. In fact, after researching their beliefs, I'd say I'm farther away from joining them. I would like to invite them to study the scriptures a little more.

Beware setting the date of the Rapture
The Time of Jesus Christ's Return
Why Christ Nor The Apostles Could Predict A.D.70 Or Any "Time" As The Return Of Christ - Read this article by Bob L. Ross from The Pilgrim Magazine site. (Story no longer online)
Look for lots of date-setting as we approach the end of the Millennium. Some claim that they are not setting dates, but discovering them. However, Jesus told us we couldn't know the day or the hour (Matthew 24:36). All of the scholarship of these Bible teachers may be discredited when their predictions don't come to pass. Too many good teachers have made this mistake already.
On The Prophecy Club's May 23 broadcast, Stan Johnson came close to the line of naming the date of September 12,1997 because this was the beginning of an Israeli Year of Jubilee. (Story no longer online)
In Bible Prophecy Corner, Marilyn Agee says she is convinced that the Rapture will come at Pentecost in 1998.
What happens to the credibility of a Bible teacher who sets dates that are wrong? Monte Judah of Lion and Lamb Ministries (different from Lamb and Lion Ministries), taught that we are already in the Tribulation, and that it had started with the signing of the Middle East Peace Accords on September 13, 1993. Thus, the events of the middle of the Tribulation should have happened by Purim, March 23, 1997. He has been honest enough to admit that he was wrong, and to issue an apology [-no longer on line]. This, however, has done serious harm to his reputation. It really isn't worth the risk. (Story no longer online)
Another prophecy teacher, Jim Searcy on his website, Great Joy In Great Tribulation, subscribes to the same idea, that the Tribulation began on September 13, 1993. At the supposed midpoint of the seven years, he does not admit it is a mistake, but now says that the abominations (Editorial 5/10/97) may have begun in mid-March. The problem with this is, that the Abomination of Desolation takes place at the time of the breaking of the covenant (Daniel 9:27; Matthew 24:15), and at that time there should be a Temple where regular sacrifices are offered, and there should be a proclaimed world dictator who will stop the sacrifices and set up an image of himself in the Temple. (Story no longer online)(Website no longer online)
The website called Home of The Five Doves has some interesting information, but they thought the Rapture would be on May 14th, 1997! On May 18th they posted an admission that they were wrong and very disappointed. [See May 18 in their "Old Letters."] These are earnest believers. I have been in touch with some of them and know they are very sincere. At least they are right that we should be watching and praying! Pray that the Lord will use this frustration for His glory and for their good.
(Story no longer online)

Rapture Links

Rapture Alert
This site combines outstanding graphics with excellent articles.

The Rapture Forums
An Interactive Community Awaiting the Return of The Lord Jesus Christ - Extensive and attractive

Rapture Ready
This is Todd Strandberg's popular site which keeps track of current events as they relate to the Rapture. It includes "Nearing Midnight" and "Rapture Index." These pages are always up to date.

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Todd Strandberg of Rapture Ready

Defending The Pre-Trib Rapture (Again)
Jack Kelly (On Rapture Forums)

Article: Pretrib or Prewrath?
by Ron Graff

The Rapture of the Church - Jack Kinsella

The Thomas Ice Collection
This list of scholarly pre-trib articles is just one of many valuable sections in The Rapture Index hosted by Todd Strandberg.

The Rapture: Fact or Fiction
by David Williams
From Lambert Dolphin's online library.

The Nature Of The Mystery and The Rapture
by Bob Hill & Tim McMahon - Theology Online
Excellent treatment of the distinction between Israel and the Church, and why this requires that the Rapture take place before the tribulation.

Margaret MacDonald Who?
Article by Todd Strandberg of Rapture Ready questioning that she had any effect on Pre-Tribulation teaching.

Has Bible Prophecy Already Been Fulfilled?
An answer to Preterism by Thomas Ice

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Excerpts from The Prophecy Puzzle

In the actual software package, many key words would appear as colored hyperlinks to other articles. These links are not shown here.

Absence of the Church

Revelation, Chapters 4 through 22

There are constant references to the church and the seven churches in chapters 1 through 3. The word "church" is found every few verses: angels of the churches, messages to the seven churches, etc. But in chapter 4, verse 1 John is told to "come up here." He is "caught up" (like the Rapture). Also compare Revelation 11:12 where the identical words are used to resurrect and translate the Two Witnesses into Heaven.

Where is the church in the whole story of Israel's last week of history, The Tribulation? It is missing! "Church" is not mentioned during the entire Tribulation period, Chapters 4 to 19. There is no message to the church. What you do have is Two Witnesses from Israel's past, you have the 144000 who are sealed from the twelve tribes of Israel. It is the last seven years of Israel's history before the end of this age. Israel was the vehicle of God's blessing to the whole earth. They were not the "Chosen People" because God was playing favorites. They were chosen that through them, God could get the message out to others. When they did not do well with that, He set them aside and put the Church in. (Romans 11; 16:25-26; Ephesians 3:1-11; 5:32) The Church has been here for 2000 years now. When the Church is taken away, there are still seven years of Israel's history left to play out. This is known as Daniel's 70th Week. We believers of today are the spiritual seed of Abraham, but we are not Israel. We have been temporarily grafted in by God, but the time will come when Israel is grafted back into the tree of God's purposes. (Romans 11:17-24) It all fits together perfectly.

The absent church also accounts for the rise in lawlessness during The Tribulation period. (2 Thessalonians 2:3-8).

Deliverance from Wrath

Luke 21:36

"But keep on the alert at all times, praying in order that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man."

1 Thessalonians 5:9

For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 Peter 2

6 and if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter; 7 and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men 8 (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds), 9 then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment,

Message to the Church of Philadelphia

(Represents the Period of Missions)

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 upon the earth.

Some people have the mistaken idea that we will be delivered from the time of wrath just because God won't allow Christians to suffer. This is not what the Bible teaches at all. As Christians, we may expect trials and tribulations, suffering and persecution (1 Peter 4:12-13 ;2 Timothy 3:12). God allows our difficulties to improve us, develop our faith, and prove to others that Christianity is true (1 Peter 1:6-8; James 1:12). He promises not to allow us to be tried beyond our ability to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13), and He will see to it that what the Devil means for evil actually turns out for our good (Job 1:9-12; 42:10-17; Genesis 50:20).

On the other hand, we are plainly told that we who trust in Christ are not under condemnation (Romans 8:1). Whenever God judges the unrighteous, He delivers those who trust in Him. This is seen in the Biblical stories of the Flood in the days of Noah, the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah (Lot and his family saved), and the plagues on Egypt, including the death of the firstborn (Israelites delivered).

The events of the Tribulation are judgments from God, and as such, it would be consistent for Him to deliver the Church before it begins.

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Last Updated: 5/07/10
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