In the previous post, I established that a pre-tribulation, secret, and conditional Rapture is very obviously guaranteed in the Bible.
However, there are many less obvious bible verses that might give hints that a rapture event might actually happens after the Tribulation begins.
I find the pre-tribulation, secret, and conditional Rapture very easy and obvious to defend, so I just settle on that, and from there, I am going to investigate other possibilities – what if other rapture theories can be right at the same time? Maybe there are multiple raptures?
The more I research the arguments from every school of rapture theory, the more I am convinced that the majority of them must be wrong!
Am I being proud to say that? No, if interpretations of scriptures from every school of thoughts contradicted with one another and sometime even themselves, then at least half of them must be wrong.
Some arguments are based on sound logic, but many more are based on assumptions and poorly supported scriptures. Occasionally, I would find some gems from their arguments, but many times I just couldn’t accept the quality of the exegeses that were done by many.
It became more and more confusing and hard to organize the information. Thank God, I found a solution to do this! Reasoning by elimination seems to be the best way to handle this mud pit.
By eliminating arguments that are stretchy and preserving the gems, we will find a clearer picture. If we don’t know what’s certain, then at least we need to know what’s not.
Is There A Second Rapture? The Last Trumpet? Would It Be The Post-tribulation Rapture?
Post tribulation theorists believe that the Rapture will happen after the Tribulation. Partial rapture theorists believe in a secret pre-trib rapture, but they also think the post-tribulation can be right too, because of the “last trump”, see the following verses.
“For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15–17)
“49And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we[a] bear the likeness of the man from heaven.50I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”[b]55“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”[c]” (1 Corinthians 15:49–55)
Some say that the “last trumpet” is the last of the seven angelic trumpets in the Revelation. The seventh trumpet is sounded at the last half of the Great Tribulation (Rev 11:15-18), and so believers of post-trib Rapture believe that the Rapture should happen after the seventh trumpet is sounded or even later at the day of Jesus’ second coming.
Those who believe in partial Rapture, aka the two raptures or even multiple raptures, believe that both the conditional, secret pre-trib Rapture theory, the pre-wrath Rapture theory, and post-trib Rapture theory can be right at the same time.
Under this belief system, the Rapture Bible verses that mention the “the trumpet” would be the “trumpet Rapture”, and the verses that only talk about an escape for the worthy when Jesus will come to snatch them like a theft would be the “pre Trib escape Rapture” (Luke 21:36).
There Were Many “Trumpets” In The Bible, Not Just the Seven Trumpets in the Great Tribulation
The problem with the “trumpet Rapture” is that the “last trumpet” could also mean the last trumpet of the Church age. There is also hint that indicates that Paul wasn’t talking about the trumpet in the book of Revelation.
At least there is one thing I am sure, which is the seventh trumpet isn’t the “last” trumpet in any sense, because on the very last day of the Great Tribulation when the Lord will come down from heaven with His saints and heavenly army there is yet another sound of the trumpet! See below:
29 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Matthew 24:29-31
Beside, apostle Paul wrote to the first century churches about the “last trumpet” as if everyone in the church understood what he meant, but the 7 trumpets in the Revelation were unheard of by any Christian at the time, because the book of Revelation hadn’t been written yet at the time.
The author of Revelation hadn’t received the visions of the end time as of the writing of Paul regarding the “last trumpet” and the Rapture, so Paul was very likely to mean something else when he wrote “last trumpet”, and that he was expecting the readers to understand it without the knowledge of the book of Revelation.
Therefore, there are only two remaining possibilities for the true meaning of the “last trumpet”: either it is the last trumpet of the Church age (symbolic with the Feast of the trumpets), or it is the last trumpet at the second glorious global appearance of Christ.
Possibility 1: “Last Trumpet” could be the last trumpet of “the feast of the Trumpets”, which symbolizes the things to come (Col 2:16-17), and the Christians at the time were familiar with the concepts and symbolism of the feast.
For more analysis on the “last trumpet” from the pre-tribulation camp, you may want to read this forum post. Although I don’t agree with everything in the post, such as an all-inclusive pre-Trib Rapture, I think her analysis on the “feast of the Trumpets” is excellent.
Possibility 2: “Last Trumpet” could also be the sound of trumpet on the day of Jesus’ second coming (Matthew 24:31).
I think this possibility is less likely, because if the Rapture happens that day, the bodies of believers will be changed into immortal bodies forever (1 Corinthians 15:49–55). It means they will never reproduce (Matthew 22:30).
However, during the Millennium that follow after the Great Tribulation (Revelation 20:1-10), there are mortal people (Isaiah 65:25; Rev 20:8-9), but where do these mortal come from if everyone who survive the Great Tribulation is transformed into immortal at the “post-trib” Rapture, and the wicked are slaughtered and eliminated entirely from earth (Isaiah 34:1-3; Matt 13:40-43; Matt 13:49-50)?
Since the mortal men on earth during the Millennium are most likely the offsprings of the Tribulation saints, it implies that those saints who survive the Tribulation will remain mortals. Their mortality implies that the Rapture does not happen at the end of the Tribulation, since the “last trumpet”Rapture will transform the bodies of believers into immortal bodies.
Either a second post-tribulation rapture, or a one time post-tribulation Rapture, is implausible. The “last trumpet” probably isn’t the seventh trumpet in the Revelation, nor is it the trumpet on Christ’s second coming.
There is yet another point for post-trib rapture that is worth tackling, which is the “first resurrection” argument:
If Revelation 20:1-6 mentions the “first resurrection” after the Tribulation has ended, doesn’t it imply that the Rapture can’t happen before the Tribulation? (Remember the “Trumpet Rapture” comes with a simultaneous resurrection)
Find your answer here: The First Resurrection