The Rapture and the Revelation are Different

Dr. Mike Johnston

The Revelation is part of the prophecy program in the “ages to come” category. It’s the deliverance of Israel following “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. It is a well-known Jewish teaching (Psa. 102:16; Isa. 66:15-18; Dan. 7:13-14; Zech. 14:3-4; etc). It originated through the prophets, centers around earth, concerns the establishment of the Davidic Covenant Kingdom in Jerusalem, and occurs at the completion of the great tribulation (Matt. 24:29) also known as “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7), Daniel’s seventieth week (Daniel 9:24-27, “the day of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; 34:8; Jeremiah 46:10, etc), a “time of trouble” (Dan. 12:1), and “the hour of temptation” (Rev. 3:10). [Continued discussion in Annotation [1]]. His purpose is completely separate from what we know to be the Rapture.

In an article entitled The Glorious Appearing of Christ, Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost wrote: “When the Son returns in glory (Rev. 1:13-16 He is fulfilling His God given role as Judge (John 5:27). He is portrayed in that role throughout the book of Revelation. Christ is the one (Rev. 5:5) who looses the series of judgments described in the breaking of the seals (Rev. 6:1-17) and the blowing of the trumpets (Rev. 8:2-9:21) . . .  Upon the Second Coming, He will assemble living Israel for judgment (Matt. 24:31; 25:1-30) and will judge living Gentiles to determine who will enter the covenanted kingdom.”

 

Chart: Revelation vs. Rapture

 

Revelation of Christ (prophecy)

“Ages to come”

Rapture by Christ (mystery)

“But now”

“Ages to come” (Eph. 2:7)

Occurs after the time of Jacob’s trouble aka Daniel’s 70th week

Dan 7:9,22; Matt 24:29-31;

Rev 19:11-21

“But now” (Eph. 2:13)

Occurs before the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) aka Daniel’s 70th Week (Dan 9:24-27)

Luke 21:36; Rev 3:10

A prophecy given to Israel by the Lord Jesus Matt 24:29-31; Mark 13:26 A promise given to the church by the Lord Jesus John 14:2-3; Rev 3:10
Was well known to the prophets

1 Chron 16:33; Isa 26:21; Dan 7-13-14; Zech 14:4-5

Was a mystery unknown to the prophets

1 Cor 15:51

In the day of the Lord

Isa 2:12; Jer 46:10; Ezek 30:3; Joel 2:11

In the day of Christ

2 Thess 2:1-2; 1 Cor 1:8; 5:5; Phil 1:6

Christ comes with His own

Rev 19:14

Christ comes for His own

John 14:3; 1 Thess 4:17

He comes to the earth

Zech 14:4-5; Acts 1:11

He comes in the air

1 Thess 4:17

He comes with His Bride

Rev 19:6-14

He comes to claim His Bride

1 Thess 4:16,17

Public: Every eye shall see Him
Rev 1:7; Matthew 24:30
Private: Only His own see Him
1 Thess 4:13-18
A time of mourning and wailing

Psa 114:7; Isa 26:21; Matt 24:30; Rev 1:7

A blessed hope Titus 2:13
Unsaved have experienced wrath

Rev 6:12-17; see Nahum 1:2

Saved are delivered from wrath

1 Thess 1:10; 5:9; Rev 3:10

Signs precede the Second Coming

Matt 24; Mark 11; Luke 21

No signs precede the Rapture

1 Thessalonians 5:1-3

Focus: Israel and Kingdom

Matt 24

Focus: Lord and Church

1 Thess 4:13-18

Followed by sheep and goat judgment

Matt 25:31-46

Followed by judgment seat of Christ
Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10
Millennial Kingdom begins

Rev 20:1-7

Daniel’s 70 week begins sometime after

2 Thess 1:6-9

   

The Rapture is part of the mystery program. It delivers the Body of Christ from “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jer. 30:7; Luke 21:36; Rev. 3:10). It was taught by Paul, was unknown to the prophets, centers around heaven, and is a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51) that removes the mystery Body of Christ (Rom. 16:25; Eph. 3:1-11) at the day of Christ, prior to Daniel’s seventieth week, and the day of the Lord. [2]

  • Mystery appearance of the Body of Christ: “Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of JesusChrist, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began” (Rom 16:25; see Gal. 1:12)
  • Mystery disappearance of the Body of Christ: “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1Co 15:51-52). [SIDENOTE: I find the allusion to the eye quite interesting in that Israel is currently blind. Could this twinkling be in the Jewish eye? Time will tell].

Once the mystery Body of Christ is removed – which will occur when “the fullness of the Gentiles be come in” (Rom. 11:25) – the prophecy clock and final preparations for the Kingdom can once again get underway. [3]

The Revelation was well known by the prophets, is for Israel, and occurs after “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. The Rapture is the final mystery in the mission of the mystery Body (Eph. 3:1-11), and it occurs prior to “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.

Summary: The Rapture and the Revelation (see Appendix [i]) are different; therefore, they are not the same!

[1] In order to fit the pieces together leading to restarting the prophecy clock and ultimately to the Kingdom, we need to understand Daniel’s seventy weeks, which we will study shortly. Daniel – a Jewish prophet – saw the Lord’s first presentation of the Kingdom   in a prophecy he foretold of seventy weeks of seven years (for Israel) leading to the cutting off of the Messiah (Dan. 9:24-26). With the Davidic Covenant in mind, John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ began preaching Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand (Matt. 3:2; 4:17). This of course was God’s offer to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16) and fulfill Daniel’s prophecy. When Jesus was officially rejected on the exact day Daniel’s seventieth week was to begin, the prophetic calendar for Israel stopped making way for a parenthetic body to be inserted into the fabric of God’s providence- a mystery that was unknown by the prophets- called the Body of Christ (aka the church). However, this left unfulfilled one seven year period the prophets and dispensational scholars refer to as the time of Jacob’s (Israel) trouble (Jer. 30:7); the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; 34:8; Joel 1:15, 2:1; etc); a time of trouble (Dan. 12:1); and the tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21-29). Bear in mind, the tribulation is part of the day of the Lord; a Jewish phrase used by at least nine Jewish prophets that centers on earth and concerns Israel, not the church (see Zech 12-14; Matthew 24; Revelation 6-19), where the focus is Jerusalem, and the abomination of desolation in the Temple (Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4). Not surprisingly, Daniel’s seventieth week – which the Olivet Discourse outlines and the Book of Revelation reveals – will be the worst period of devastation and anti-Semitism in world history. It will be a time when a sinister figure called Antichrist and the Beast leads a carnage against the saints of God (Jews: Dan. 7:18, 21-22, 25,27; Rev. 11:18; 13:7, 10; 14:12; 16:16; 17:6; 18:24, etc). In the end, Israel- at the point of utter annihilation at Armageddon (Joel 3:14; Zech. 14:1-3; Rev. 14:20; 16:16; 19:11-21)  – will look up to see a white horse in the sky carrying the glorious Messiah Jesus who is returning in glory to rescue them from total destruction. His feet will split open the Mount of Olives (Zech 14:4) and He will gather earth’s survivors, separating the sheep from the goats in judgment (Matt. 25:31-33), therein establishing the Covenanted Kingdom of David (2 Sam. 7:16) in Jerusalem. This visible, triumphant return to Israel- called the Revelation is an event the prophets of Israel saw (Dan. 7:13-14; Zech 14). What they didn’t see was the mystery; the church playing a parenthetic role during Israel’s blindness (Rom. 11:25). It was Paul – the converted Jewish scholar- that taught two separate comings of the Lord; one for Israel on earth which he’d learned in his Jewish studies (Dan. 7:13-14) at the feet of the brilliant Gamaliel (Acts 22:3); and one in the heavens for the church he learned from Jesus in the revelation of the mystery (Rom. 16:25; Gal. 1:12; Eph. 3:3) separated by at least seven years that could begin shortly. The former called the Revelation (aka Second Coming) happens on earth and is for Israel; it will be seen by everyone in the world (Rev. 1:7). The latter called the Rapture happens in the heavens and will be seen by all who have trusted Him (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:13-18; Heb. 9:28). In divine irony, the church- which began in a mystery- will likewise disappear in a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51).

[2] Anti-PreTrib proponents claim the church needs to endure the tribulation to prove herself worthy. How can Bible teachers in good conscience subject the church to any of the earthly tribulation hell knowing Christ’s bride has been redeemed (Eph 1:7), justified (Rom 3:28), and glorified (Eph 1:20; 2:6) by faith in our Saviour’s shed blood – with no subsequent requirement to “prove herself worthy”?   They pull this sleight of hand trickery simply by redefining a couple words most who read this have never really studied- saints and elect.

[3] At some point in the future, God’s program will once again feature Israel. Anti-PreTrib rapturists have identified no starting point for this.

Appendix [i]
The Revelation and the Rapture Differences

The Revelation- also called the Second Coming – is for Israel. Keep this in mind and prophecy becomes clearer. It originated through the prophets, centers around earth, concerns the establishment of the Davidic Covenant Kingdom in Jerusalem, and occurs at the completion of the great tribulation (Matt. 24:29) also known as the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7), and the day of the Lord (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6,9; 34:8; Jeremiah 46:10, etc).

The Rapture is for the church. It originated with Paul, centers around heaven, and is a mystery (1 Cor. 15:51) that removes the church (also a mystery) prior to the day of the Lord, at the day of Christ. Once the church is removed, the prophecy clock and final preparations for the Kingdom can once again get underway.

In order to fit the pieces together leading to the Kingdom, we need to understand Daniel’s seventy weeks. Remember, the vision was delivered by the angel Gabriel (Dan. 9:21), to the prophet Daniel, for “thy people” (Jews) concerning “thy holy city” (Jerusalem; see Dan. 9:24). Although it is a comprehensive narrative, the prophecy is incomplete; it’s missing a single week of seven years that must be fulfilled through Israel according to the Davidic Covenant and the prophetic Word (Dan. 9:24-27).

The Jewish prophet Daniel saw the Lord’s first presentation of the Kingdom in a prophecy he foretold of seventy weeks of seven years (for Israel) leading to the cutting off of the Messiah (Dan. 9:24-26). With the Davidic Covenant in mind, John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus Christ began preaching “Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matt. 3:2; 4:17). This of course was God’s offer to inaugurate the Davidic Covenant (2 Sam. 7:16) and fulfill Daniel’s prophecy.

When Jesus was officially rejected on the exact day Daniel’s seventieth week was to begin, the prophetic calendar for Israel stopped; allowing for a parenthetic body to be inserted into the fabric of God’s providence- a mystery that was unknown by the prophets- called the church. However, this left unfulfilled one seven year period the prophets and dispensational scholars refer to as the time of Jacob’s (Israel) trouble (Jer. 30:7); the day of the Lord (Isa. 2:12; 13:6, 9; 34:8; Joel 1:15, 2:1; etc); a time of trouble (Dan. 12:1); and the tribulation (Deut. 4:30; Matt. 24:21-29).

Bear in mind, the day of the Lord is a Jewish phrase used by at least nine Jewish prophets that centers on earth and concerns Israel, not the church (see Zech 12-14; Matthew 24; Rev. 12: the focus is Jerusalem and the abomination of desolation in the Temple Dan. 9:27; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:4). The Body of Christ is NOT in view during the time of Jacob’s trouble!

See Chart of Differences between the Revelation and the Rapture on the next page

RAPTURE

Unrevealed and not predicted in O.T. Scriptures (1 Cor. 15:51 – “mystery” compare Eph. 3:9 – “which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God”)
Christ comes in the air (1 Thess. 4:16-17)
Christ comes for His saints (1 Thess. 4:16-17; 1 Cor. 15:51-56) and returns to Heaven (John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:14).
Christ claims His bride (2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27)
Only His own people see Him (1 Thess. 4:17-18; Phil. 3:20; Titus 2:13)
A wedding ceremony will occur following this coming (Rev. 19:7; 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-27)
Christ coming as the bright and morning star (Rev. 22:16)
Translation of living believers to Heaven (1 Cor. 15:51-52; John 14:1-3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
A time of blessing and comfort (1 Thess. 4:18; 5:11)
Earth not judged (John 14:3; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 2 Thess. 2:1 – no mention of judgment)
Imminent (any moment), signless – (Phil. 3:20; 4:5; Titus 2:13; 1 Cor. 16:22; Rev. 3:11; 22:12. 20)
Believers only are involved with this coming (John 14:1-3; 1 Cor.15:51-52; 1 Thess. 4:13-18)
Occurs before God’s wrath  (1 Thess. 1:10; 5:4, 9; Rev. 3:10 – “keep thee from the hour”)
Marks the commencement of God’s day of wrath on earth (1 Thess. 5:1-9).
Tribulation begins following this coming (1 Thess. 1:10; 2 Thess. 2:1-3; Rev. 3:10; Rev. 6-19)

No mention of Satan (1 Thess. 4:13-18)

REVELATION

Revealed and predicted often in O.T. Scriptures (Isa. 9:7; 11:4; 26:19-21; 63:1-4; Dan. 2:44-45; 7:9-12; Zech. 14:1-9; Ma. 4:2-3)

Christ comes back to earth (Zech. 14:4)
Christ comes with His saints (Zech. 14:5; 1 Thess. 3:13; Jude 14) and returns to earth (Rev. 19:11-14).

Christ comes with His bride (Rev. 19:7-9; 11-14)
Every eye shall see Him – visible to entire world (Matt. 24:27; Rev. 1:7)
A wedding feast will occur following this coming (Rev. 19:9; Matt. 22:1-14; Lk. 14:12-24; Isa 25:6)

Christ comes as the sun of righteousness (Malachi 4:2)
Transfer of unbelievers to judgment (Matt. 24:37-41; 25:31-46; 13:41-42; 3:11-12)
A time of earthly destruction and judgment (2 Thess. 2:8-12; Matt. 24:51; 25:46)

 

 

Earth judged (Rev. 16:14-20; 19:15; Isa. 11:4)

Follows definite predicted signs (signs occurring during the Tribulation Period – Matt. 24:29-34)
All humanity is affected by this coming (Matt. 24:1-25:46 – Israel and Gentile nations)
Occurs “after the tribulation of those days” (Matt. 24:29-30) – 7 years later
Marks the culmination of God’s day of wrath on earth (Joel 2:31; Rev. 19:15)
Millennium begins following this coming (Rev. 20:1-3; Matt. 13:41-43; Daniel 7:13-14; 12:2-3)

Satan is bound (Rev. 20:1-3)

 

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