Events Leading Up to the Rapture

Mid-Rapture Slides
The Rapture Notes (PDF)

The Apostle Paul tells us that the Rapture will happen suddenly (but not necessarily imminently): the dead in Messiah will rise first, then those Believers who are alive will arise to meet Him in the air.

Yeshua foretold the sequence of events leading up to the Rapture in His Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24; John confirmed this same sequence in Revelation 6 & 7: False Messiahs, Wars, Famine, Pestilence and Christian Martyrs are followed by Cosmic Signs (Genesis 1:14).  And then shall come the Sealing of the 144,000 Messianic Believers from all 12 Tribes (Rev 7:1-8) and then the rapture of the remaining Believers (Rev 7:9-17).

Many are teaching today that the Rapture occurs in Revelation 4:1 – before all of this tribulation happens.  But this does not fit the sequence of events that Yeshua told His Disciples nor the sequence of events that John witnessed in Revelation 6 & 7.

This can be a very painful realization that we Believers will experience tribulation before Yeshua comes for His Bride (us!).  As we continue our study, we will explore many verses that support this.

3 thoughts on “Events Leading Up to the Rapture

  1. Brother,

    I have a couple issues with your teaching. Please do not take this the wrong way. If I err in my application of the Scriptures, please let me know. Thanks.

    According to Scripture, the “wrath of YHWH” cannot last three and a half years.

    Scripture indicates that the “wrath” will come simultaneously with the return of Y’shua (Psa 110:5, Isa 30:30, Rev 6:16). Scripture also reveals that all nations are consumed in the day of His “wrath” (Zep 1:18, 3:8). Additionally, Scripture that says this “wrath” will end the rule of the lawless one (Dan 11:36) and that the return of Y’shua will immediately follow the tribulation (Mat 24:29-30, Mar 13:25-26, Luk 21:22-27).

    Furthermore, a detailed analysis of Revelation 6 through 11 places the “wrath” at the tail end of the great tribulation.

    1) “Wrath” takes place during the time of the 6th seal (6:12-17).
    2) “Wrath” also takes place after the 7th trumpet sounds (Rev 11:15-18).
    3) 144,000 are sealed after the 5th trumpet sounds (9:13-15/7:1-4).
    4) The 7 trumpets does not start sounding until the 7th seal (8:1-2).

    If the 144,000 are here for first 4 of the trumpet soundings, and trumpets does not start sounding until during the time of the 7th seal, then the 144,000 would have to be here during the “wrath” of the 6th seal.
    Thus, the first 5 seals must cover the same time period as the first 6 trumpets. (If 6th seal and 7th trumpet cover the same time period (point 1 & 2), then 1-5 seals and 1-6 trumpets cover same time period.)

    Time of the gentiles and of the two witnesses takes place after the 6th trumpet sounding (9:13-11:14).
    Thus, the time of the gentiles and of the two witnesses takes place during the time of the first 5 seals.

    What happens during this time?

    Rev 6:1 And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures saying, like a sound of thunder, “Come and see.”
    Rev 6:2 And I looked and saw a white horse , and he who sat on it holding a bow. And a crown was given to him, and he went out overcoming and to overcome.
    Rev_6:3 And when He opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature saying, “Come and see.”
    Rev 6:4 And another horse, fiery red, went out. And it was given to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that they should slay one another. And a great sword was given to him.
    Rev_6:5 And when He opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come and see.” And I looked and saw a black horse, and he who sat on it holding a pair of scales in his hand.
    Rev 6:6 And I heard a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s wage, and three quarts of barley for a day’s wage. And do not harm the oil and the wine.”
    Rev_6:7 And when He opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature saying, “Come and see.”
    Rev 6:8 And I looked and saw a pale horse. And he who sat on it had the name Death, and the grave followed with him. And authority was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and by the beasts of the earth.
    Rev_6:9 And when He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the beings of those having been slain for the Word of Elohim and for the witness which they held,
    Rev 6:10 and they cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Master, set-apart and true, until You judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”
    Rev 6:11 And there was given to each one a white robe, and they were told that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brothers, who would be killed as they were, was completed.

    Three questions can be raised:

    Who do the horses and riders represent?
    Who is being killed for the Word and the witness?
    Who is killing them?

    Prophecy reveals that Y’shua will come again to:
    “proclaim the acceptable year of יהוה, and the day of vengeance…” -Isa 61:2
    Speaking of the time of the His second coming, Y’shua informs us:

    “Because these are days of vengeance, to fill all that have been written.
    And when you see Yerushalayim surrounded by armies, then know that its laying waste is near. And then they shall see the Son of Aḏam coming in a cloud with power and much esteem.” -Luk 21:22-23, 27

    Here we can see that Y’shua’s return is connected to Yerushalayim being surrounded.

    Speaking of the same time-frame, the prophets reveal:

    “And I shall gather all the gentiles to battle against Yerushalayim. And the city shall be taken, the houses plundered, and the women ravished. Half of the city shall go into exile, but the remnant of the people shall not be cut off from the city. See, a day shall come of יהוה, and your spoil shall be divided in your midst.” -Zec 14:2, 1.

    Here we can see that the time of Y’shua’s return is also connected to the day of YHWH.

    “For the day is near, even the day of יהוה is near. It is a day of clouds, the time of the gentiles.” -Eze 30:3

    Here we can see that the day of YHWH is also called the time of the gentiles. Continuing on with His prophecy, Y’shua tells us:

    “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Yerushalayim shall be trampled underfoot by the gentiles until the times of the gentiles are filled.” -Luk 21:24

    Speaking of this time, the John prophecies that:

    “But cast out the court which is outside the Dwelling Place, and do not measure it, for it has been given to the gentiles, and they shall trample the set-apart city under foot for forty-two months.” -Rev 11:2

    Here we can see that this “time of the gentiles” lasts 42 months.

    “And he was given a mouth speaking great matters and blasphemies, and he was given authority to do so forty-two months. And it was given to him to fight with the set-apart ones and to overcome them.” -Rev 13:5, 7

    “and it speaks words against the Most High, and it wears out the set-apart ones of the Most High…and they are given into its hand for a time and times and half a time.” -Dan 7:25

    Here we can see that 42 months is also a “time and times and half a time.”

    And the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, to fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent. -Rev 12:14

    And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by
    Elohim, to be nourished there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.
    -Rev 12:6

    We can see here that 42 months, or a “time and times and half a time”, is also 1260 days.

    John continues this prophecy by stating that immediately following this time:

    “And after the three and a half days a spirit of life from Elohim entered into them, and they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell on those who saw them. And the seventh messenger sounded, and there came to be loud voices in the heaven, saying, ‘The reign of this world has become the reign of our Master, and of His Messiah, and He shall reign forever and ever!'” -Rev 11:3, 7, 11,15

    Referring to this final sounding, Shaul tell us:

    “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” -1Co 15:52

    “Because the Master Himself shall come down from heaven with a shout, with the voice of a chief messenger, and with the trumpet of Elohim, and the dead in Messiah shall rise first.” -1Th 4:16

    This takes us to Rev 20:4 and the beginning of the 1000 kingdom of YHWH.

    Rev 20:4 And I saw thrones – and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them – and the lives of those who had been beheaded because of the witness they bore to יהושע and because of the Word of Elohim, and who did not worship the beast, nor his image, and did not receive his mark upon their foreheads or upon their hands. And they lived and reigned with Messiah for a thousand years
    Rev 20:5 (and the rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended) – this is the first resurrection.

    Therefore, the “rapture” event spoken of in Deu 30:3-4, Isa 11:11-12, 27:12-13, Jer 3:14, 31:6-12, Mic 2:12, Mat 24:31, Mar 13:27, 1Th 4:16-17, etc. is not prior to the tribulation or any period of time other than the very instant the final “wrath” that is poured out on the unrepentant gentiles at the Messiah’s 2nd and final coming.

    • Hi Jacob,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to the Rapture notes. This Torahnotes.org site is primarily for our weekly Torah study, but we have added teachings on the Feasts of Yahveh and End Time Events.

      As you are aware, there are many understandings of the timing of the Rapture; and it may well be that we share different understandings of these things. Let me briefly explain our point of view.

      First: the Rapture (I Corinth 15 & I Thess 4) is a separate event from Yeshua’s Return to the Earth (Rev 19). To put it simply, the Rapture is Yeshua coming FOR His Bride; His Revelation 19 Return is Him coming WITH His Bride.

      Second: Tribulation and God’s Wrath are two different phenomena. Tribulation (as defined in Matt 13:21) is persecution – man persecuting his fellow man, using “conventional” methods: war, famine, pestilence, economic destruction, etc. The Wrath of God is….. the Wrath of God! It is God using what we would consider supernatural events to “punish” (or more accurately, bring to repentance) His Creation.

      In looking at the Seal Judgments, we see the first 5 are “natural” events: false Messiahs, war, famine pestilence, economic destruction …. all the stuff that is happening around the world today. Are we in the Revelation Chapter 6 Seal Judgments now??? Maybe …. but if not, we’re getting very close! The Trumpet and Bowl Judgments are definitely not events that man could produce – they are clearly “God-Events”.

      The beginning of Rev chapter 7 makes it clear that these events follow after the chapter 6 Seal events. We are not focusing in this study on the Trumpet & Bowl Judgments. Some say they will occur in sequence; others say they will occur simultaneously. I don’t believe we will be on the Earth to experience them; if I’m wrong, then I will eventually know the answer to this firsthand!!

      While the actual Rapture event is not specifically recorded, we see the results in Heaven immediately after the Rapture in Rev 7:9-17. This is certainly a more complete and accurate description of the Rapture than the event that the Pre-Tribbers point to in Rev 4:1.

      Yeshua promised that we Believers would NOT see the Wrath of God; but there is no such promise concerning tribulation. In fact, He said we WOULD experience tribulation but that He would protect us through it. So … we WILL experience the tribulation of the first 5 Seal Judgments (the 6th Seal is not necessarily tribulation … but it is a sign in the Heavens that is prophesied in Genesis 1:14); then the 144,000 are sealed and the Believers are Raptured BEFORE the 7th Seal. Then God’s Wrath starts – as announced in the final verse of chapter 6. So, based on these definitions of “Tribulation” and “Wrath”, we are proposing a Post-Tribulation / Pre-Wrath Rapture.

      A comment about the sealing of the 144,000: this event is described in Rev 7:1-8. This part of the Book of Revelation is still in chronological order, so the sealing of the 144,000 occurs between Seals #6 & #7 …. not after the 5th Trumpet.

      Whether we agree on every point listed here is not the important thing. The vast majority of End Time Teachers are pushing the “Pre-Trib” point of view. This is giving The Church a false sense of security – they we will all “be outta here” before any of the persecution events start. That is contrary to what Scripture teaches and will certainly lead to a great “falling away” of The Church when they see Antichrist proclaiming himself to be a god. Our ministry is to teach the truth of these events so we are all prepared physically, mentally and spiritually to endure (thru Messiah!) the persecutions that are soon to manifest in full.

      Thanks again for your interest. Blessing to you, and Shalom!

      Jon Baker

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