A part of TestingWorldviews.com

The Second Coming of Christ
and Rapture Site

With Antichrist possibly about to be revealed . . . the Church is still on earth.

Rapture FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
...answered from a Post-Trib Perspective

- by Rhett Totten, MDiv - (c) 1999

A List of "Rapture FAQS" (Hot-Links to sections below) :

1. Does the promise in Revelation 3:10 to "keep from the hour of testing" indicate a pre-trib rapture?
2. Does the non-mention of the "Church" in Revelation chapters 4 through 18 indicate a pre-trib rapture?
3. Does "Removing the Restrainer" in 2Thess. chapter 2 necessitate a pre-trib rapture?
4. If the Rapture is Post-Trib, then who will populate the Millennium?
5. Aren't the 24 Elders in Rev.4 the pre-trib raptured Church?
6. "Imminence" : Is the Rapture the next prophesied event in history?
7. "No one can know the day," but couldn't the day of the 2nd Coming be calculated with Post Trib?
8. Does the Wedding Supper of the Lamb require a pre-trib rapture?
9. Doesn't the Post-Trib rapture deny the "Blessed Hope"?
10. If the church AND trib-saints are BOTH raptured post-trib, then who rides on horses with Jesus as he comes?
11. Since the Old Testament saints were not part of the church (not "in Christ"), when are they resurrected?
12. Wouldn't a Post-Trib rapture leave no "sheep" to go through judgment, so as to enter the millennium?

1. Does Christ's promise in Revelation 3:10 to "keep from the hour of testing" indicate a pre-trib rapture?

In the Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, seven local churches located in seven cities are addressed by the Lord. --This scripture is spoken to "the Church in Philadelphia" (Rev. 3:7), and some think it might conceivably indicate a pre-trib removal of the church if the Church in Philadelphia stood for the generation right before the beginning of the tribulation.

--However, if you take this portion of Scripture in its most straight-forward and normal (literal) way, then the Lord Jesus is talking to a specific local church in Philadelphia (Asia Minor --in today's Turkey) in 96 A.D. --he is not speaking specifically to some future generation of the church.

In commenting about this passage, Dr. Wilbur M. Smith writes that the interpretation which says these seven churches represent seven successive periods of church history "will reveal confusion upon confusion." (Wycliffe Bible Commentary "Revelation", W.Smith, Moody Press). This is because those seven churches do not match the periods of the history of the Church very well.

--And the most damaging part of this "historical periods" interpretation to the pre-trib view is the fact that since there are some spiritually victorious "overcomers" in the seventh church (the Laodicean church of Rev.3:21), this would be proof that the Church saints will be present on earth in the tribulation --since the sixth church (the Philadelphian church) stands for the raptured church.

Also, if the Philadelphian church is the raptured generation, then the "lukewarm" church of Laodicea would be the "great multitude" of tribulation saints (Rev.7:9,14)... a conflicting thought. --And, again, this scenario fits quite poorly, because the tribulational saints are fervent, "faithful" witnesses who have "faith in Jesus" (Rev. 14:12), who are "washed in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14), and many of them lay down their lives for Christ and "die in the Lord" (14:13). So, the tribulation saints can't be reasonably described as "lukewarm." The "historical periods" schema doesn't fit. --Rather, using better hermeneutics, it would seem preferable to say that those seven churches are specifically ancient history in 96 A.D., and that they are then secondarily, perhaps, representative of different kinds of churches (& individual Christians) during any given year down through all the centuries leading up to the end.

Concerning the words "keep from" in Rev.3:10, the word "from" is a translation of the Greek word "ek", which actually means "out from within" a place. In the Greek-English Lexicon by Bauer Arndt & Gingrich, they say that "ek" is used "of situations and circumstances out of which someone is brought" ...and they even cite Rev.3:10 as an example. Because of this, we should recognize that if this verse did speak about the tribulation, the church must first have been "within" the tribulation, in order to be brought out at a later time. --A.T. Robertson, in his Greek Grammar, agrees that the meaning of the Greek word "ek" is "out from within", --as do Dana & Mantey in their Greek Grammar (p.102).

Concerning the word "keep" ...it is a translation of the Greek word "tere'o", which means "to guard" or "protect". This word conveys the idea of guarding and protecting from danger that is surrounding or nearby in the area. If the church is in heaven, then such "guarding" or "protecting" of the church makes little sense, because there is no nearby danger in heaven. --If we consider putting the two words together, then we have the meaning conveyed that the Lord will "guard" and "protect" these believers from nearby danger until they are "out from having been within" the tribulation.

There's only one other verse in the N.T. that uses the above two Greek words ("tere'o" and "ek") together, and it is John 17:15. In that verse, Jesus is praying, "I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep ("tere'o") them from ("ek") the evil one". --So, in the only other place where these two words occur together in the N.T., Jesus considers the guarding and keeping work of God to be sufficient without removing believers from the world ...and he specifically says so!

All of this makes clear that though Christians will suffer, they will be guarded spiritually if not physically.

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2. Does the non-mention of the "Church" in Revelation chapters 4 through 18 indicate a pre-trib rapture?

Admittedly, the specific term "church" is missing from those chapters (and some suppose this might imply the rapture has occurred), however, neither does John mention the "church" (specifically by name) during his several visions of heaven nor in what he sees in the air, which fairly well cancels out the omission of the Church as being on earth. --There is a word, though, that is just as good as "church", and that is the term "saints,"in Rev.13:7,10 and 14:12. Now that we are living under the authority of the New Testament, a "saint" can only be a person who is a born-again believer in Christ. This must be true during the tribulation as well. --Even more pointed than that, is where John records the voice from heaven which pronounces a blessing in Rev.14:13 on all those who die "IN the Lord" during the time of Antichrist's persecution. If you read the letters of Paul, and especially Ephesians, you'll see that if someone is "IN Christ" or "IN the Lord", then they are born-again people who are part of the "body of Christ", which is the "Church", according to Eph.5:23 and Col.1:24. Unavoidably, then, it is the "Church", the body of Christ, which will be persecuted and dieing at the hand of Antichrist... they are testifiers about Jesus (17:6) who are "washed in the blood of the Lamb"(7:14). Such saints would necessarily have to be part of the body of Christ.

Actually, if we say that "tribulation saints" are not part of Christ's body, then we would produce much more serious doctrinal problems than just with the timing of the rapture, --because we would create problems in the doctrine of salvation, as is explained in this web-site's article entitled : The Church, Tribulation and Rapture (read the section on "Tribulation Saints").

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3. Does "Removing the Restrainer" in 2Thess. chapter 2 necessitate a pre-trib rapture?

In 2Thessalonians 2:6-7, Paul reminds his readers of previous discussions they had had about the coming appearance of Antichrist to the world, saying : "And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but he who now holds it back will continue to do so until he is taken out of the way."

Since the restrainer is referred to as both a "what" and a "he", this vagueness has given rise to much speculation as to the restrainer's identity. Suggestions range from God's power to human government, to an angel, to Satan's power. However, several considerations favor the view that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit : The main points are that several teachers in the early church taught that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, and the restrainer is a personal "he", and the restrainer must be powerful enough to hold back the working of Satan, who is the most powerful being in the universe other than God himself. So, let's say the restrainer it is God's Spirit.

Now, pretribulationists believe that the Holy Spirit performs this restraining work through the Church, and therefore, the removal of the restrainer from the earth necessitates the removal of the Church from the earth as well --hence, the rapture is necessary before the Tribulation during which the Antichrist will be revealed.

This sounds pretty convincing, until you read what the text clearly says. Does verse 7 say that the restrainer will be removed "from the earth"? ...or "out of the world," or some such phraseology? No. It says he will be taken "out of the way." This is quite a different thing than being removed from the earth. --A lion can easily be released by sliding the cage-door "out of the way", and this does not necessitate taking the door into outer space. --Besides, the force of the Greek words means more literally, that he is removed "out of the middle." This conveys the picture that the Holy Spirit stands inbetween the Antichrist and his ability to come out onto the stage of history, --and at the right moment, the Spirit will get "out of the way" and allow the man of lawlessness to begin his satanic work. This is the plain and straight-forward sense of Scripture.

Thus, this text does not necessitate the removal of the Holy Spirit from the earth in order to withdraw his restraint of Antichrist. --In addition, according to Acts 2:32-33, the fulness of the Spirit's ministry is based upon the resurrection, ascension and exaltation of Christ ...and a retreat to the immature status of the old testament-type ministry would be a repudiation and annulment of the work and exaltation of Christ. Bad theology. Such a removal of the Spirit from the earth and his indwelling ministry would be to deny the Pentecostal fulness and power of the Spirit inaugurated by Christ ...as Jesus said, "It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:7-8). It should be apparent by the multitudes that become believers during the Tribulation, that this dynamic ministry of the Spirit is not diminished, but heightened during that crucial period of time (see Rev.7:9-14).

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4. If the rapture is Post-Trib, then who will populate the Millennium?

Pre-tribulationists think the above question is a major difficulty for those holding the post-tribulational position, for the following reasons : If all believers were raptured immediately before the start of the millennium (in a post-trib rapture) they would be glorified immortals (because glorification happens at the rapture; 1Cor. 15:52), and thus they would be non-child-bearing (Mat. 22:30), ...and if all the rest of the world were non-believers who would be condemned and cleared off the earth in a judgment by Christ at the Second Coming (whereby none of them would be allowed to enter the millennial kingdom), then no one would be left to populate the millennium. - - - [So goes the problem ...but I don't accept the premises.]

Now, those holding the pre and post-trib points of view both agree that scripture clearly indicates that the milliennial earth is partly populated by sinful mortals in their natural bodies (see Isa.65:20), which is clearly verified by the satanic rebellion by sinful, unredeemed people just after the 1000 years (Rev. 20:7,8) --thus, there seems to be a dilemma: where did these mortal non-believing sinners come from that live in the millennium and rebel at its end?

Pre-tribulationists say they have a good answer to this problem, because unsaved people at the pre-trib rapture will not be glorified, but will enter into the tribulation. And then, the people who are saved during the tribulation would remain un-glorified (because they missed the rapture) and they would be allowed to enter the millennial kingdom, and yet they (still being un-glorified) would also bear unsaved, mortal children. That is the pre-trib solution.

This issue of "populating the millennium" may seem to be a problem for the post-trib rapture position ...that is if you buy into the premise that non-believers will be totally disallowed from entering the millennial kingdom. But where does the Bible teach that un-saved people will not be allowed to enter the 1000 year millennium? Nowhere that I know of. Somebody will be under the reign of Christ and his resurrected saints (Rev. 20:4). --On the contrary --and most importantly-- scripture quite clearly and directly indicates that non-believers who survive the great tribulation will enter into the millennium : -- Zechariah 14:16-17 says, "Then the survivors (those who are left) from all the nations that have attacked Jerusalem will go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, and to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. If any of the peoples of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD Almighty, they will have no rain." --The above scripture, in its context, clearly indicates that some of the people from all the nations who "attacked Jerusalem" (just after the end of the great tribulation), will also be survivors of the final post-tribulational battle at the Second Coming of Christ (who fights the Battle of Armageddon and then descends onto the Mt of Olives). These survivors can only be non-belivers who attacked Jerusalem --something which glorified believers would never do. Even if everyone who personally participates in the battle of Armageddon is killed, there would still be many women and young people "who are left" back in their home-nations all around the world who would survive to enter the millennium.

Thus, a straight-forward and normal (literal) reading of Zechariah 14:16 explicitly teaches that these surviving attackers of Jerusalem are themselves the very people (and not their children) who initially will "go up year after year to worship the King." Read the verse again in context. These are non-believers who are required to go up to worship Christ. The phrase "year after year" is an idiomatic phrase indicating a long stretch of many years, which nicely indicates the 1000-year millennium. In addition, Zechariah goes on to explain that eventually, among those survivor nations, different nation-groups will occasionally rebel against being forced to go up to Jerusalem to worship the Lord ...and such rebellion against worshiping the Lord is not at all the behavior of believers. These people are non-believers throughout the millennium. Pre-tribulationst's attempts to explain away these verses in Zechariah 14 are very inadequate, and it is their pre-conceived viewpoint which forces them to ignore the plain sense of these verses.

Adding to Zechariah's clear teaching that non-believers will enter the millennium and be forced to worship the Lord, one should then ask : "Is it true that other scriptures demonstrate a ban on all un-believers entering the millennium?" No. Such a ban is not at all clear. (If it were, we would have a virtual contradiction). --And, by the way, think about it : It does not make sense for there to be an initial ban on non-believers entering into the millennium, when (under the pre-trib schema) there would very soon be non-belivers in there anyway. Either non-believers can be tolerated in the millennium, or they can't. --For them to be allowed at a later date, would be like a hospital's surgery room declaring that "No unclean thing may enter into this operating room at the beginning of surgery," ...but ten minutes after surgery starts you can bring in all kinds of filth and infection. It makes a non-sensical mockery of the initial ban at the beginning. -- The Lord would not operate in such an inconsistent and illogical way.

While a few passages are thought to teach that no non-believers will be allowed to enter into the millennium, those passages instead fall into groups which actually teach other things, such as :

First, a number of passages, thought by some to demonstrate such a ban, are more appropriately seen as talking about the final "Great White Throne" judgment after the end of the millennium. An example of this, is the "sheep and goats" judgment in Mat.25:31-46. It makes sense to consider this passage as describing the final judgment, because it follows a brief description of the millennium with Jesus sitting "on his throne in heavenly glory" (v.31) --and then, also, this passage fits the final judgment picture well since the judgment-results are "eternal" and decide about entrance into eternal life versus eternal hell-fire (v.46) --they do not merely decide about entrance into the millennium.

Second, another group of prophetic verses are much more appropriately understood as teaching about the situation in the new earth and the new Jerusalem, rather than in the millennium. For example, in talking about the new Jerusalem, Revelation 21:26-27 says, "The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life." Similar prophetic descriptions more fittingly apply to the final state, rather than the milliennial kingdom on earth.

And thirdly, other passages may be indicating the manner in which the Lord Jesus will "rule with a rod of iron" over the non-believing nations during the millennium, such as Psalm 2:12 which says, "kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way." This seems to describe Jesus' absolute and authoritative rule over sometimes rebellious people during the millennium, and not an indication that he will ban all non-believers from entering the millennium in the first place.

Thus, Zechariah clearly teaches that some sinful and mortal non-believers will enter into the Millennial kingdom on earth, and other Bible passages do not clearly indicate a ban on such entrance --rather, the Scriptures do indicate that no unbeliever or anything impure will ever enter into the final eternal state which will exist on the new earth and in the new Jerusalem.

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5. - In Revelation chapter 4, does John being caught up into heaven, and the 24 Elders there, represent the pre-trib raptured Church in heaven?

If you read Revelation 4 in its most normal and straight-forward (literal) way, you have John talking, and John is caught up into heaven in order to show him what will happen in the future. --Now, some people think John represents "the Church", but it doesn't say that, does it? Taking the chapter most literally, you have John, back in about 96 A.D., being shown (in the Spirit) a vision of heaven.

Now, some people would also like to think that the 24 elders (Rev.4:4,10) represent the Church that has just been raptured, ...but it doesn't say that, does it? --The 24 elders actually seem to be beings of great age and dignity and rulership in heaven, who are responsible for the heavenly worship of God (vss.9-11 & 5:8-12). In fact, it seems that the 24 elders are not human at all, because those 24 elders talk about redeemed men in the 3rd person ("they"), whereby the 24 elders aren't even talking about themselves (read Rev.5:8-10). They are also set off from redeemed mankind in Rev.11:16-18 and 14:3. In Rev.5:10 the elders do not say that they themselves will rule with Christ on earth, but that redeemed mankind will do that. --It is also suggested that the crowns of the 24 elders indicate raptured Christians who have received their rewards, --however, beings other than humans wear crowns (Rev.9:7 ; 12:1) and crown-wearing doesn't necessarily mean reward (Rev.9:7 ; 14:14), but rather, crowns may indicate rulership, power, authority, and high position. Obviously then, it is very unlikely that the 24 heavenly elders represent the newly raptured Church.

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6. "Imminence" : Is the Rapture the next prophesied event in history?

Pre-tribulationists often teach that the rapture is "imminent," meaning that it could happen "at any moment." They say the Bible tells us to "watch" for the rapture as the next prophesied event in history because there are no events or "signs" prophesied to happen before the rapture. --However, in studying the Scriptures, we find that there are prophesied events that must occur before the rapture does, therefore, the rapture is not imminent (as of this writing, in 1999 AD).

One key passage that contradicts the notion of the rapture's imminence, is 2Thessalonians 2:1-3. --Condensed for clarity, it says : with regard to to the coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus, and our gathering together to Him (the rapture), do not be disturbed by anyone who says that the day of the Lord has come, because that day will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness (the Antichrist) is revealed.

In the above passage, the parousia of the Lord, and the rapture, are identified in time with the "day of the Lord," --meaning that all three start basically at the same time. Paul talks about these three events in one uninterrupted thought, without a transition in time --because all three start together. Paul reassured his readers that they had not missed the 2nd Coming, rapture and "day of the Lord," because none of the three could start to happen unless the apostasy comes first along with the revealing of Antichrist. --So, neither the rapture nor the parousia can occur, nor can the Day of the Lord begin, until first there is a great spiritual rebellion against God and Christ, and the Antichrist is revealed during the great tribulation. Therefore, the idea of the rapture's imminence (before the tribulation) is wrong and unbiblical.

Now, some pretribulationists have tried to say that the word translated "rebellion" or "apostasy" (in 2Thess. 2:3) can be translated as "departure," and therefore that word may refer to the rapture (as a departure). But if you accept that meaning, it creates a very strange situation, where Paul (in 1Thess.5:4-8) tells the Christians to be alert and sober because the Day of the Lord will come upon and overtake them (but not like a thief), --and then he tells them (in 2Thess 2) that they are going to depart from the earth before that day begins. This is nonsense, and portrays Paul as telling a falsehood. --No, rather, that word "apostasy" (a noun) had aquired a special meaning of political or religious departure or rebellion, and it did not mean a "spatial" departure with physical movement from one place to another. Thus, the best translation is "rebellion," and Bible students should realize that the rapture cannot possibly be imminent until the spiritual rebellion (apostasy) and revelation of Antichrist take place.

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7. "No one can know the day," but couldn't the exact day of the 2nd Coming be calculated with Post Trib?

One pre-trib objection to post-trib runs like this : Post-trib cannot be right because Jesus said, "of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone" (Mat.24:36), ...but if the Christian Church is in the tribulation, couldn't they count 3 1/2 years from the "abomination" (in the middle) and know the exact end-day of the tribulation?

--No. -- let's re-think this :

Even with the Pre-Trib rapture view, if you and I in this day are smart enough to count down from the time of the "abomination" to the exact day of Christ's coming, then don't you think the saints living in the tribulation will be just as smart, and be able to do the very same thing? --Of course they will. --After all, they'll have all our "Scofield" and "Ryrie" Study-Bibles that we left behind, and they'll have all our pre-trib literature and video teaching-tapes laying around to study during the first half of the tribulation, and won't they be smart enough to calculate the date? --Sure! You bet they would. --But they won't be able to calculate the exact date regardless, because Scripture says no one will be able to know for sure the exact day, even if they are alive on earth during the tribulation.

In addition, if the post-trib view is correct, then people still won't be able to calculate the exact "day or hour", because Jesus said that "those days (of the great tribulation) will be "cut off" (Mat.24:21-22 & Mk.13:19-20). So, God won't allow the full 3 1/2 years to run out their course, and we don't know how many days he'll cut off.

And think about this for a minute:
There's good scriptural confirmation of those days being "cut off", as follows : Whenever something like one of the 7 "Seals" is opened in the book of Revelation, the event described under that seal happens ; Likewise, if one of the 7 "Trumpets" is blown, the events under that trumpet happen on earth. --Well, look at Rev. 10:1-4, and you'll see there is another series of 7, and they are the "7 Thunders". Those 7 thunders were evidently at one time supposed to describe 7 more events during the tribulation, ...but the Lord commanded that the 7 thunders be "sealed up" and "not written down," therefore, they now will not happen, and the time it would have taken for them to occur has been taken off of the time of the tribulation. --Just as Jesus said, the tribulation will be "cut short" ...for how long? We do not know how long the 7 thunders would have taken if their events would have happened on earth ...but it seems reasonable that the tribulation will be shortened by at least that unknown number of days required for them to happen.

Similarly, even though tribulation saints may see other events known to be near the end of the tribulation, still, no will will be able to calculate the exact day or hour of the Lord's return.

Finally, when the sun and moon darken, and the "stars" are moved and the heavenly powers shaken (Mat.24:29-31), then that day will actually be the day of the Lord's return, and all possibility of calculating ahead of time will be over and finished, because when we see all these things, it will be "the Day" and it will be the time to "lift up your eyes" for Jesus will be "right at the door" (Mat.24:33) imminently coming in power and glory!

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8. Does the Wedding Supper of the Lamb require a pre-trib rapture?

It is sometimes maintained that the "Wedding of the Lamb," mentioned in Rev.19, happens in heaven during the tribulation, and that, therefore, this necessitates a pre-tribulaitonal rapture so that the Church (the bride of Christ) can be present in heaven for that event.

There turns out to be no pre-tribulational support from this line of thinking, however, because we see that John, in Rev.19:7-9, records a hymn about that wonderful wedding event, but it is not spoken of as having already happened in the past. --Rather, in v.7, John hears the multitude saying that the time for the wedding "has come."

In addition, verse 7 goes on to say that the bride "has made herself ready". --Clearly, a bride who is just now "ready" for the wedding, is not yet married, but is still waiting for the big event. So, in Rev.19:7, the wedding is about to happen soon, but it has not yet happened.

Verse 9 underscores this same picture, because it speaks about the blessedness of those guests who are "invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb," . . .thus, in like manner, the supper cannot be a past event if the focus is still on those who are "invited" to the supper, but are still waiting for it. --Therefore, in Rev.19:6-10, both the wedding and supper are yet to come.

With the bride and the invited guests ready and waiting for the soon-coming wedding and supper, what is the very next event described in Revelation chapter 19? --It is the glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus, in verses 11-16. --So, it must be at the time of the 2nd Coming, --and/or soon thereafter-- that the wedding and the supper will take place.

And note: The Scriptures never say that the wedding or the supper take place in heaven or during the tribulation. The wedding may be at least partly included as part of the 2nd Coming, and the wedding supper may follow soon after that in Jerusalem.

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9. Doesn't the Post-Trib rapture deny the "Blessed Hope"?

No. --The phrase "the Blessed Hope" is found in Titus 2:13, and it is in reading the complete verse that we see exactly what Paul meant by the idea of the "Blessed Hope." The full verse 13 says: "while we wait for the blessed hope --the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ,"

Reading this complete verse tells us specifically that the blessed hope IS the glorious appearing of Jesus Christ --in other words, Christ's glorious appearing constitutes the blessed hope for Christians, and that appearing is the main event of the end times for which we wait. So, what is that "glorious appearing"?

In Titus 2:13, the Greek word for "appearing" is "epiphany." --The word "Epiphany" means "the visible appearance of the Lord Jesus on earth at the end" of the age (ref: New Int'l. Dict. of N.T. Theology, Vol.3, Colin Brown, p.319). To the ancients, this word indicated the appearance of God on earth, so that humans see him there. The "Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament," (by Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich, 1957, p.304), states that the Greek word "epiphany" means "a visible manifestation of a hidden divinity," and in the literature of the New Testament, the word speaks "only of Christ's appearing on earth." In addition, Arndt & Gingrich's lexicon states that as the same word "epiphany" occurs in 1Tim.6:14 ; 2Tim. 4:1,8 ; Titus 2:13 ; and 2Thess. 2:8, all of those verses speak "of Jesus' coming in judgment." --Thus, taken all together, the "epiphany" of Jesus can be nothing other than the glorious and visible Coming of Christ when he ends up among people on the earth in judgment ...which is clearly post-tribulational.

Paul exhorts Timothy to "keep this commandment without spot or blame until the appearing (epiphany) of our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Tim.6:14). So, Paul is saying to persevere faithfully until the big goal is reached : the post-trib epiphany.

In addition, Paul declares that it is the "epiphany" (which is part of Christ's "parousia") which destroys the Antichrist (2Thess.2:8) --therefore, it is the glorious epiphany (appearing) of Christ the God-man on earth which destroys the Antichrist just after the end of the great tribulation.

Recalling the words of Titus 2:13, Paul tells Titus: "we wait for the blessed hope --the glorious appearing (epiphany) of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ". Thus, the "blessed hope" we look to and wait for is not some secret disappearance before the great tribulation (as in the pre-trib or mid-trib rapture), but rather, it is the glorious and visible epiphany of Christ's Coming to earth in judgment, at which time the Antichrist is destroyed ...which is post-tribulational.

Conclusion?: When is the next time that "our great God Jesus Christ" will appear on the earth? --It will be at the Post-tribulational "epiphany" of Jesus, when he descends in great power and glory down to the earth.

So this is the "blessed hope" which all Christians await, and to which we should expectantly look. --The post-tribulational rapture does not deny the blessed hope, but it looks forward to it in a scriptural fashion.

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10. - If both the church and the tribulation-saints are resurrected and raptured post-tribulation, then who comes riding on horses with Jesus as he comes?

The resurrection and rapture of 1Thess.4 occurs just after the end of the Great Tribulation, so, it is correct to say that it would include tribulation saints, because the trib-saints must be part of the church. Since this is true, those who come with Jesus riding on horses would be all of the church which has just been raptured (including the trib-saints).

So, the picture of the 1Thess.4 scene is much as follows:
... The Lord appears in the highest atmosphere above the clouds and as he descends from heaven. Then he shouts out a command, and there's a trumpet call and the dead in Christ are raised (this is the first resurrection), and then those who are still alive are raptured along with those who have just been raised, and the whole church (which includes trib-saints) meets the still-descending Lord among the highest clouds --where the church mounts heavenly horses-- and the whole church continues to descend down through the clouds with the Lord at his Second Coming.

This resurrected and raptured church constitutes the saints who come "with the Lord" at his Second Coming --and so we will always be with the Lord.

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11. Since the Old Testament saints were not part of the church (not "in Christ"), when are they resurrected?

It is correct to say that the OT saints were not part of the church, because the church is the body of Christ, which did not exist until after the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus.
--However, after the Lord accomplished his earthly ministry, it is necessary that Abraham and David and all the OT saints were incorporated into the Body of Christ on the day of Pentecost (in Acts 2), when the Holy Spirit came and the church began. From that day forward, the OT saints have been "in Christ," and have been part of the church (the body of Christ).

This is necessary, because there is no other way of redemption provided other than through the body of Christ. Although Abraham and the rest didn't know about it during their earthly life, the redemption through Christ was provided for them, as they had faith in Christ (looking forward by faith) before they even knew his name. I go into more depth on this in an article on this website, which you might read.

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12. Wouldn't a Post-Trib rapture leave no "sheep" to go through judgment, so as to enter the millennium?

Some people wonder: If there was a Post-Tribulation Rapture, then all believers would be caught up to heaven and glorified, and there wouldn't be any "sheep" left to go through the "judgment of the nations" (Mat. 25:31-46) nor would there be "sheep" to populate the earth during the millennium. --This sounds like a real problem for the post-trib view, until one realizes that this question assumes too much, and is based on some wrong ideas.

First of all, this question already assumes the pre-trib rapture schema to be correct: that the raptured saints will be caught up into heaven and kept there for a period of time. But the Bible does not say this will be the case. In 1Thess. 4:14-17 --the "rapture passage"-- it says that Jesus will descend from heaven and the Christians will be caught up "to meet the Lord in the air." This does state where we will "meet," but it does not specify to where Christ will take the saints after that point of meeting. In fact, the only directional wording given, is that Christ will "descend from heaven," and the idea that he will reverse his course, is pure speculation which rests on the assumption that the pre-trib rapture notion is correct. It is better, rather, to let the Word declare what it simply says: that Christ will descend from heaven. The post-trib view takes this word of Scripture at face value.

The other problem with this "judment of nations" question, is that the scriptural outcome of this judgment (in Mat. 25:31-46) is ignored by the pre-trib view.
-- In verse 34, we see that the righteous (the "sheep" ...or Christians) will be given their "inheritance, the kingdom prepared [for them] since the creation of the world." This is the glorious and ultimate inheritance of eternity prepared for the saints. It is bigger and better than the millennium. That inheritance would not be the millennial kingdom itself, because the millennium will still be a time of service and struggle with sinful people and problems of rebellion here on earth (see Zech. 14:16-19). There will be more rewards earned during the millennium, so, the final inheritance God has prepared must follow the millennium.
-- And then, in verse 46, we see that the outcome for the unrighteous (the goats) will be that they will be sent off to "eternal punishment." This does not fit with the idea of a lesser judgment right before the millennium, but rather, its ultimacy actually accords with the final judgment, when the lost are sent to their final and eternal punishment. The outcome of the "judgment of nations" reveals that it is the same thing as the "Great White Throne Judgment" described in Revelation 20:11-15.

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