The pretribs make a distinction between the Rapture and the Second Advent of Christ. According to them, the Rapture occurs before the start of the 70th week of Daniel, and the Second Coming of Christ occurs, at least, seven years later at the end of the Tribulation Period. But the Scriptures do not make such distinction. The Greek word “parousia” rendered Coming is a compound word consisting of “para” and “ousia.” “Para” means arrival, and “ousia” presence. Therefore parousia means arrival and consequent presence with. Like His first advent, the Second Coming is one whole unit. The First Advent consisted of a series of events like the annunciation, the conception, the birth of Christ, the presentation in the Temple, His temptation, His three year Ministry, arrest, trial and condemnation, crucifixion, burial, resurrection, postressurrection appearances to His disciples, ascension and session and intercessary ministry at the right hand of the Throne Of The Father at the Throne Room in the Temple in Heaven(Heb.7:25).
Like the First advent, the Second Advent will also consist of a series of events. The Second Advent begins with the breaking of the sixth seal which begins with a massive worldwide earthquake or series of massive worldwide earthquakes, followed by cosmic and celestial disturbances that darken the heavens and freeze the Earth.
“And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.”(Rev.6:12,13).
This shall be followed by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens, which is the sign of the coming of the Son of Man in the heavens.
“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 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.”(Matt.24:29,30).
When the Shekinah appears in the heavens, the saints are advised to look up, for their redemption draweth nigh.
“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”(Luk.21:28).
If the Rapture had already taken place, what is their redemption at this time? The Shekinah is the visible manifestation of the Yahweh of Israel. Every eye shall see Him when He appears in the darkened heavens with an entourage of angels who will blow the trumpet and gather His elect from one end of the heavens to the other to meet the Lord in the air.
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”(1 Thess.4:14-17).
So the Rapture cannot be silent, sudden or secret as pretribs teach. Quite the opposite, the heavens shall blaze it forth. Christ will appear in the sky with an entourage of angels in the Shekinah Glory. The trumpet will be blown with the voice of the archangel. The archangel is unidentified because the emphasis is not on his personality, status nor regalia. Christ will dispatch His angels to gather His elect from the fours corners of the Earth.
But before then, the 144,000 must be reconciled to God and sealed for protection with the name of God.
“And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree. And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea, Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel. Of the tribe of Judah were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Reuben were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Gad were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Aser were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Nepthalim were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Manasses were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Simeon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Levi were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Issachar were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Zabulon were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Joseph were sealed twelve thousand. Of the tribe of Benjamin were sealed twelve thousand.” (Rev.7:1-8, cp., 14:1).
God will not leave Himself without a witness. It is like the handing over of a baton in a relay race. The Church will be taken away in the Rapture, evacuated from the Earth, and the 144,000 from the twelve tribes of Israel will become God’s witnesses on Earth. The two witnesses are still operating on Earth but their ministry will expire at the end of the 70th week of Daniel. If the 144,000 are not sealed, God will have no witnesses on Earth when the two witnesses are killed on the last day of the 70th week of Daniel. The surviving remnant of Israel are not reconciled to God until day 3 of the 30-day reclamation period of the kingdom. Then the 7th seal shall be broken and the wrath of God begins. After the wrath of God which ends at Armageddon at the end of the 30-day Reclamation Period of the kingdom, the whole Earth will be renovated during the 45-day Restoration Period of the kingdom, and Christ coronated by the Father in Heaven to reign over the Earth in the Millennium. These series of events constitute the Second Coming Of The Lord.
There is no silent or secret Rapture anywhere in the Scriptures. That is a pretrib concoction and fabrication. The people of the Earth who see His appearance like lightning in the heavens shall mourn because He is about to punish them for their evils.
“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?”(Rev.6:15-17, cp., Matt.24:29-31; Rev.1:7,).
The Rapture is a part of this whole. When Christ appears in the heavens, He remains in the air. He does not touch down on Earth. He dispatches His angels to gather together the saints, resurrected and translated, to meet Him in the air. So shall we ever be with the Lord. The descent of Christ from the heavens to rapture the Church occurs at the parousia.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”(1 Thess.4:13-18).
The gathering together is done by the angelic reapers, the “aetoi.” “For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.”(Matt.24:28). Biblical scholars of all persuasions are agreed that this passage relates to the Rapture. How then can the Rapture be sudden, silent, and secret when it is associated with the descent of Christ from the Heavens with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God: and Christ’s descent from the Heavens is preceded by the tribulation of those days and the darkening of the sun, moon, and stars? Jesus makes it clear in the parable of the Wheat and the tares that the Harvest occurs at the end of the ages, and that the reapers are the angels(Matt.13:39). And again, there is no way the angels can separate the Wheat from the tares until they are mature and are clearly distinguishable from each other. The separation occurs during the Great Tribulation when the tares are clearly marked for destruction with the mark of the Beast.
“And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb: And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”(Rev.14:9-13).
The acceptance or rejection of the mark of the Beast is a sign of MATURATION; and it is IRREVERSISBLE. Maturation once attained is an irreversible process. It is therefore futile to tinker with the idea or notion of repentance once the mark of the Beast has been accepted. Pretribs like Brannon Howse, Jimmy De Young, and Tommy Ice have begun to teach of late that one can take the mark of the Beast and repent later on. This is a very dangerous falsehood that can lead to Eternal Damnation. We reject it outright. After the Third angelic announcement, warning of eternal damnation for those who take the mark of the Beast and participate in the worship of his person or image, what follows is the harvest. Rev.14:14-16 depicts the Rapture of the saints. Rev.14:17-20 is the final wrath of God that ends in a bloodbath at the battle of Armageddon. The fundamental error of Pretribulational Rapture Position is the separation of the Rapture from the Parousia. There is no verse of the Scriptures that explicitly teaches or implicitly permits such separation. The Rapture occurs at the Parousia. The Harvest occurs at the Parousia. The Harvest occurs at the end of the ages. Therefore the Parousia occurs at the end of the ages. Jesus told His disciples He shall be with them till the end of the ages. It therefore follows the the Rapture also occurs at the end of the ages.
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”(Matt.28:18-20).
The Parousia occurs after the Tribulation of those days. Therefore the Rapture occurs after the Tribulation of those days. Those who endure to the end(of the ages) shall be saved.
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end(of the ages) shall be saved.”(Matt.10:22).
As we have pointed out, the Parousia is initiated by the cosmic and celestial disturbances that amputate the Great Tribulation. This is followed by the appearance of the Shekinah in the heavens. The 144,000 are brought into saving relationship with the God of Israel and sealed for protection from the wrath of God which is about to follow. The Church is raptured, evacuated from the Earth, removed from the scene of persecution. The very same day the Church is raptured, the seventh Seal is broken and the wrath of God in the day of the Lord begins.
Christ does not touch down on Earth until the first day of the 30-day reclamation period. He comes to the 144,000 and some remnants of Israel hiding in the Edomite wilderness. On day 3 of the 30-day Reclamation Period of the kingdom, He appears with them on Mount Zion where they are reconciled to the God of Israel.
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps: And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth. These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”(Rev.14:1-4).
The song sang by the mass choir in Heaven is the song of the redeemed. It is sung by the newly raptured Church in Heaven. The 144,000 are the only ones on Earth who could learn and sing this song because they are redeemed also and sealed with seal of God which is the name of God on their forehead. The rest of the remnants of Israel could not learn and sing this song because they were not yet reconciled to the God of Israel, nor could the surviving Gentile remnant that will appear at the Sheep And Goat Judgment.
“And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem, as the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the valley of Megiddo. And the land shall mourn, every family apart; the family of the house of David apart, and their wives apart; the family of the house of Nathan apart, and their wives apart; The family of the house of Levi apart, and their wives apart; the family of Shimei apart, and their wives apart; All the families that remain, every family apart, and their wives apart.”(Zech.12:10-14).
On day 3, the mystery of God is finished, thusly completing the spiritual kingdom of God. On day 4, the two witnesses who were murdered by the antiChrist on the last day of the 70th week of Daniel resurrect. On day 5, the seventh trumpet is blown, and God Almighty reclaims His rule over the Earth. On day 6, Christ cleaves the Mount Of Olives into two creating a roadway that leads to Azel where He hides the 144,000, and the newly saved remnants of Israel for protection from the final seven bowl judgments. On day 7, the final wrath of God contained in the seven bowls begins to be poured out on the beast-marked worshippers and adorers. The unbranded Gentiles are neither specifically targeted nor offered any protection. They may suffer some collateral damages. Those of them who survive the final wrath of God shall appear at the sheep and goat judgment which occurs shortly before the commencement of the Millennial Reign of Christ.