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Bible Questions with Michael Pearl
Episode 024: Is the rapture of the church before, during, or at the end of the tribulation period? (Part 3)

By Michael Pearl

Episode Transcription:

Michael Pearl:  All right, this is our third week discussing the subject of the rupture of the church which is in Latin ‘caught up’ there in the first book of Thessalonians. When the theology was articulated, Latin was the primary language and so when they spoke of the rupture, they were speaking of scripture words caught up. All right we are in Revelation chapter four this time and discussing the rupture, the church. I am going to read it here. Notice in the sequence of event. This is important. I told you that the overview tells us more about the rupture than the individual verses. In the book of Revelation, we have chapters one, two and three which deal with the seven churches of Revelation. We have that here on our chart. The seven churches, a message is given to each one of them. The Church of Philadelphia is told that it will be saved from the hour of temptation which will come up on the earth to try all those that dwell up on the face of the earth.

So, the seven golden candlesticks represent the seven churches and they have seven stars in his right hand which is angels of the seven churches. The point I am making is that the first three chapters of the book of Revelation is about the church, detail about the church. Then chapter four verse one, we are reading here now. He says, "And this I beheld and behold a door was opened in heaven and the first voice which I heard was were of a trumpet talking and they're saying come up here then and I'll show you the things that must be hereafter."

Now, John is taken up into heaven at that point, stands before God and the angels and he observes all of this taking place. He sees it as one would who took a trip into the future. Got in the time machine, went into the future and saw these things taking place. So he describes them just as he saw them. For instance, he said he saw as it were a mountain burning with fire cast into the sea. He didn't know what this object was, he just describe what it look like. It was something as big as a mountain.

It was burning and it fell into the sea and it polluted and destroyed one third of a life in the sea which I think there is the Mediterranean Sea. Now, starting in Revelation chapter four, the church is never seen on the earth again during all of this seven years. That is very important. That is a key argument for pre‑tribulation rupture. The church is not involved at any time anywhere in all of this. Amazing detail in the book of Revelation and no mention the church.

No mention at all except we are reading right now, the church is in heaven. In other words before the tribulation takes place, the church is in heaven represented by the 24 elders here. You will see that as we read the text. Revelation chapter four verse two now. "And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold there was a throne set in heaven, and one sat own the throne." And he that sat was like to look on to the Jasper stone, beautiful picture of Christ here.

Verse four, "And around about the throne were four and 20 seats and upon the seats I saw four and 20 elders sitting. Clothe in white raiment and they had on their heads crown of gold." We found in the book of Corinthians, in other places that the church is promised crowns as we overcome five different crowns were promised in the bible to overcoming Christians. So here we find 24 elders, these would be those representing the church sitting closest to the throne of God.

How do you know that the church because as you read on them, you find them rejoicing that they have been redeemed. Let's…. let’s read further down. Five verse nine, and it says "And they sang a new song" and let's get verse eight first. "And when they had taken the book, the beast, the four and 20 elders fell down before the Lamb having every one of them harps and golden bowls vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints."

So here are these four and 20 elders around the throne and they sang a new song saying "That worthy to take the book and to open the seals. For thou was slain, for thou were open the seals, for that has...That worthy the book and to open the seals for thou was slain and has redeemed us to God by that blood out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation. And has made us onto our God, kings and priests and we shall reign on the earth." Now, that's great passage of the scripture.

What do we have? We have around this throne a 24 elders...Now that is just 24. Say, that they were redeemed to God by his blood out of every tongue, kindred and nation. So they must be representing more than 24 people because 24 couldn't cover every tongue, kindred and nations. There are thousands of languages up on the earth and over the period of history. There has been hundreds and hundreds of nation.

So they are representative and then he says that there was a great number in heaven. Begin to praise God and worship him. He continues in verse 11. "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands." What a magnificent scene.

So these 24 elders speaking on behalf of thousands and ten thousands around the throne are saying you redeemed us to God by your blood whatever your kindred tongue and nation. What we have here is the 24 elders and the thousands upon thousands praising God in heaven before any of the tribulation takes place. Before any of the judgments fall because the subject at hand is a book. That book is and you see right here the seven seal book.

That book is the God's blue print for the judgment that is going to come up on earth. This is the Day of the Lord revealed in the seven sealed book. The book is not yet been opened. The judgments have not yet been executed and yet all of the saints are in heaven rejoicing around the throne having been redeemed. Now, you see that is a much more powerful argument for a pre‑tribulational rupture than a single verses scripture.

Just as we point out in our first lesson, whenever Christ came the first time to die, there were passages in the scripture that intimidated that Messiah would suffer. He would die and it says in Psalm 22, they brought him to the dust of death. It speaks of him being resurrected even the book of Jonah gave us a tight of Christ going into the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. But there was not a single passage or scripture that said OK, you Jewish believers, whenever the Messiah comes, you are going to crucify him.

He is going to be buried, rise again the third day and the church is going to be founded. There is no such passage or scripture. Nor is there a passage or scripture that says that first of all, Christ is going to rupture the church out and then there will be a seven year period of tribulation at which time the Christians will be in the Heavens. At the end of seven years, Christ will come back, judge the heathen of the earth. There will be a one thousand year reign that will follow it.

The earth will be destroyed. There will be a new heaven, a new earth. The scripture never makes such an attempt. So neither the pre‑trib, the post‑trib, the mid‑trib nor the partial rupture or split rupture or pre‑wrath, none of those position have a clear single passage of scripture that is going to tell you how it is going to take place but this is the most powerful argument you can have. Is that the saints are in heaven before the tribulation takes place. That's clear. All right, we'll deal more the next time.

Announcer:  If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at [email protected] or call at 931‑805‑4820.

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