The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Plain And Simple
(an excerpt from the 338-page book,
I Know Who Holds Tomorrow)
Clearly, Billy Sunday (1862-1935) concluded and taught a
Pretribulation Rapture. Read what Evangelist Billy Sunday said concerning
the Rapture in his
classic sermon, “The Second Coming Of Christ”...
The Lord does not
come to the world at the time of the Rapture, but only reveals himself to
the members of His Body. At the time of his resurrection He was only seen by
those who believed on Him. Pilate and the High Priest, and those who
crucified Him, did not know that He was risen. So it will be at the time of
the Rapture. The world will not know that He has been here, and will have no
knowledge of Him until He comes with the members of His Body, at the close
of the Tribulation.
The Second Coming of Christ — by Evangelist Billy Sunday
The following is Dr. John R. Rice's doctrinally
sound, Biblical, explanation of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture...
“The rapture will come, as most reputable premillennial Bible teachers agree,
before the Great Tribulation time. Then after the Great Tribulation (which
will occur in Daniel's seventieth week, as I believe), Christ will return with
these saints and with angels to fight the battle of Armageddon, to destroy the
kingdom of the Antichrist, and to set up His throne at Jerusalem and reign on
the earth for a thousand years of joy and peace. There are two separate phases
of Christ's coming. That for which we wait is His coming into the air to
receive His saints. Then after the tribulation time, those who will have been
converted on the earth will long for Christ's return, with us, to set up His
kingdom. It is this second phase of Christ's coming, when He shall come
literally to the earth to take charge and to reign, that is discussed in this
Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980), chapter 3 from the excellent book,
We Can Have Revival Now.
Evangelist Oliver B.
Greene (1915-1976) Biblically concluded and taught a
God did not judge
Sodom until Lot was safe outside the city walls (Genesis 19).
Nor did God utterly destroy Jericho until Rahab was saved
(Joshua 6). This will be just as true in the future; God will
not judge this earth, nor the wicked in the final judgment,
until the Church is taken out of the earth. That promise is
clear: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also
will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come
upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth”
(Revelation 3:10). This verse definitely refers to the great
Tribulation period. The Rapture takes place at the beginning
of chapter four. A door is opened in Heaven and a Voice cries
out, “Come up hither!” And the Church is raptured out of the
earth to meet the Lord in the air. Read I Thessalonians
“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him,
and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth
shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”
The second coming of
our Lord is a vital part of Christian doctrine, and there has
never been a time of greater need for the preaching of this
truth than today.
It is essential to
distinguish the two parts of His second coming. There is
definitely a period of time between the Rapture (the time when
Jesus comes FOR His saints) and the Revelation (when He comes
WITH His saints). The Rapture is mentioned in John 14:3;
Philippians 3:20; I Thessalonians 4:15-18; and I Corinthians
All these Scriptures
refer to the next great event for Christians - the Rapture of
the Church - the time when Jesus comes for His saints, and
every living, born again, blood-washed child of God will be
caught up to meet Him; the bodies of all the saints who have
died will be raised incorruptible, and we will all be caught
up together to meet the Lord in the clouds in the air.
But there is another
group of Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments which
distinctly teach another coming, and verse 7 in our present
chapter refers to this time when Jesus will come WITH His
saints. (In connection with this read Jude 14; Zechariah 14:5;
Colossians 3:4 and Revelation 19:11-14).
“Behold, He cometh with clouds” agrees with Daniel’s statement
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of
man came with the clouds of Heaven” (Daniel 7:13). This also
corresponds with the prophetic utterance of the Lord on the
Mount of Olives: “They shall see the Son of man coming in the
clouds of Heaven with power and great glory” (Matthew 24:30b).
All these Scriptures
refer to the Revelation - the time when Jesus will come in the
air and EVERY EYE shall see Him. When the Rapture takes place,
no person will see the Lord Jesus. He will not come to the
earth; He will descend in the air, the trumpet will sound, the
voice of the archangel will call the saints up to meet Jesus
in the air. He will not stand on the earth when He comes in
the Rapture, but He WILL stand on the earth when He comes in
the second phase of His return. Zechariah 14:4 definitely
describes the Lord Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives.
throughout the era of the Old Testament had two great
prophetic themes: Judgment - and Glory. The Old Testament
prophet did not see the church age it was a mystery until it
was revealed to the Apostle Paul, who makes known that
revelation in the book of Ephesians. As the end of the church
age draws near, Jews and Gentiles will become wicked as never
before on the face of the earth (Isaiah 60:2).
The nations will be
gathered in open rebellion against the Lamb of God (Revelation
19:19) and they will fight against Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:2).
Therefore, the earth
must be cleared of evil and ungodly men before the Lord Jesus
comes back to reign in glory, with His Church. Before leaving
this section, let me point out that Christ is nowhere said to
come with the clouds to gather the Church out of the earth. On
the contrary, the saints go up in the clouds (I Thessalonians
4:17). God provides a royal carriage to convey the saints from
the earth to meet the Lord in the air. Clouds in the Old
Testament were the well-known symbol of the presence of the
Lord with His people (Exodus 13:21-40; Exodus 40:34-38;
Christ is not only
said to come “in the clouds” (Mark 13:26) but He will come
with the clouds (Revelation 1:7) and in the clouds (Matthew
24:30). The clouds which attend His coming are symbols of His
majesty and glory. Read Psalm 18:9-12. The Lord sits on the
clouds, as on His throne. We believers will be caught up in
the clouds (I Thessalonians 4:17).
The Lord Jesus
ascended in the clouds (Acts 1:9) and He will come in a cloud
(Luke 21:27). These facts are very interesting to spiritually
minded believers. The statement “every eye shall see Him” is
to be taken literally. Every eye will not see Him at the same
identical split second - but every eye will see Jesus. One
class is singled out from the mass of mankind and mentioned as
“they which pierced Him.”
The entire earth will
be in open conflict against the Lord God and His Anointed
(read Psalm 2), but this one group is pointed out
specifically. John is the only one who records the incident of
the Gentile spear which pierced the Saviour’s side (John
19:33-37). Pilate admitted three times that there was no fault
in Jesus (John 18:38-19:6); but in spite of the fact that Rome
knew Jesus to be innocent, they allowed Him to be scourged and
crucified. The Jews screamed aloud for His death. They invited
His blood to be not only upon them, but upon their children;
and their children have inherited that guilt for generations.
They will see Him “whom they pierced” (read Zechariah 12:10).
The peoples referred
to as “those who pierced Him” are the people whom we know
today as Jews.
“All the tribes of the
earth shall wail because of Him.” This coming in the clouds in
great glory and power will take place over the entire universe
at the same identical time. All the peoples of all the earth
will see the Son of God coming in the clouds of Glory. In
chapter six we will learn that a world-wide prayer meeting
will immediately be in progress . . . but the prayers will be
Verse 7 closes with
the words “. . . Even so, Amen.” That is a double “amen,” and
certainly carries much weight spiritually. Amen means “so be
it.” The Spirit is saying here, “This is true. It will happen
exactly as stated.”
Oliver B. Greene, a quote from chapter 1 of the excellent
book, “THE REVELATION,” ©1963, The Gospel Hour
Evangelist John R.
Rice (1895-1980) Biblically concluded and taught a
In the Olivet discourse the Saviour discusses the second
coming. The clearest point in all His teaching on the second
coming is that no one knows when it will be. Consider Mark
II. No One Knows Even
Approximately When Jesus Will Come
"But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the
angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time
is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who
left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to
every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch
ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house
cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cock crowing, or in
the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And
what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."
Now observe the clear
teaching of the Saviour that no man can know the time:
1. The angels do not know
when Jesus will come.
2. The Lord Jesus Himself while on earth did not know when
He would return.
3. Jesus said His second coming was so wholly unpredictable
that it was illustrated by the servants waiting for their
master's return. The master might come in the evening,
midnight, cock-crowing or in the morning. In this world no
one can foretell even approximately when Jesus will return
and when this age will end. If the more than nineteen
hundred years which have already elapsed since Christ
promised to return be divided up into four watches or
periods to represent evening, midnight, cock-crowing and
morning, we find that Jesus is saying that no one can know
even within centuries of the time of His return.
4. The all-important teaching of Jesus about His return is
that He may come at any moment. His coming is imminent.
Evangelist John R. Rice (1895-1980), chapter 3 from the
We Can Have Revival Now.
“As a blind
man has no idea of colors, so we have no idea of the manner by which
the all-wise God perceives and understands all things.” —Isaac
28 Differences Between
the Rapture & Second Coming
THE NEW WORLD ORDER
(.PDF file) authored by S.Z. Batten written in 1919. Batten
states on page 148, “Christianity has suffered much from the
wrong thinking of bad men, but even more from the small
thinking of good men.” What a true statement!
Jeremiah 6:16, “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in
the ways, and see, and
ask for the old paths,
where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your
souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”