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Bible Questions with Michael Pearl
Episode 026: Is the rapture of the church before, during, or after the tribulation period? (Part 5)

By Michael Pearl

Episode Transcription:

Michael Pearl:  All right. Here we are on our fifth lesson on the rapture of the church. We've been looking at passages, talking about the rapture. Now, let's turn to II Peter Chapter three and Verse 8. Turn your Bibles with me. All right, I don't know about you, but I've gotten to where my eyes are so poor... It's kind of hard to work with one hand. I've gotten to where my eyes are so poor I can't see my old Bible anymore. So, I have written the scripture out very large, size 14 font, so I can see it. If I don't have a passage pretty well memorized, I can't read that out of my Bible. All right.

2 Peter Chapter three Verse 8, he says, "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing that one day with the Lord is a thousand years and a thousand years as one day."

That's a pretty important passage, on the side, for other issues: like, when Jesus said that he's coming quickly. Two thousand years doesn't seem quickly to us, but, when 1,000 years is equal to one day, that's pretty quick for him.

"The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness." In other words, some people think that, "It's been 2, 000 years. Where is he?" "But is longsuffering to us‑ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."

God has allowed this period of time for men to repent. But, "The day of the Lord will come, as a thief in the night." Now, remember, we talked about the day of the Lord and the Book of Joel and in the Old Testament.

The Day of the Lord is this three and a half year ending on this seven years tribulation period. This three and a half years of great tribulation. This is the Day of the Lord.

This is when the judgments fall and the wrath of God is poured out on the nations, ending in the second coming and the destructions of the armies of the earth in the valley of Megiddo.

So, back to our text, he says, "For the day of the Lord will come, as a thief in the night, in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements..." It looked like John knew something about all matter being composed of elements.

"The elements shall melt with fervent heat: the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up." That's quite a contrast from the passages in I Thessalonians and I Corinthians that we read about the rapture of the church: his glorious coming back.

This speaks of the elements melting with a fervent heat, which we know won't happen until after the millennium, a thousand years later. There's not attempt here to give us a chronology on this.

But, he speaks of... Let's read further. "The elements shall melt with a fervent heat the earth also and all of the works that are therein shall be burned up." So, we see here the painting, with the earth being burnt up.

So, he's going all the way from the second coming, through the millennium, down to the destruction of the earth, where there's going to be a new heaven and a new earth created. No attempt to be chronological. Now, many people who debate over, when the rapture will take place: pre‑trib, mid‑trib, post‑trib, pre‑wrath... These different positions, most all of them, obviously, believe that there's going to be a thousand years reign of Christ upon the earth. According to this passage, you wouldn't know it.

He skips right over that thousand years and mixes the second coming and the destruction of the earth. Mixes the Day of the Lord with the destruction of the earth itself. So, we find that quite often takes place, in the preaching of the word of God. He says, “melt with a fervent heat and all shall be burned up: seeing that all these things shall be dissolved."

In other words, the very atomic structure will be dissolved. "What manner of person ought you to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hastening, under the coming of the Day of the Lord?" 'This is a day of gloominess, darkness', Joel said. "Wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved". The heavens, that's your sun and moon and Mars and Venus and Neptune.

The stars will be dissolved. Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. In the book of Revelations, he speaks of that new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. If you go to Isaiah Chapter 64 and Chapter 65, he also speaks of this new heavens and new earth. In fact, it's almost like reading the book of Revelation, reading Isaiah 64 and 65.

On this new earth, in Revelations Chapter 21, the new Jerusalem descends down and sits upon the new earth, once the old earth is destroyed.

We had a question in church last Sunday. Someone asked if the old earth was going to be recreated like in Noah's flood when it was re-inhabited. No, this present earth will be burnt up. The elements will melt, and it says in Revelation that there will be no place found for it. He says, "I created new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness."

So, we look for new heavens and new earth. I give you that passage to show you the contrast between the Bible speaking of the Second Coming and speaking of the Rapture.

Now, Revelation 19:11. "And I saw heaven open, and behold a white horse, and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness, he doth judged and make war." So, this is Revelation 19. This is a picture of Christ coming back on his white horse.

You say, "Do you really believe he's going to come back on a white horse?" Absolutely. I believe Jesus is a horse rider, and I believe in heaven, he's got a stable and a big white stallion that he rides.

You say, "Well, God wouldn't have to ride a stallion." No, but if you were a spirit, wouldn't you enjoy riding a stallion? Wouldn't you enjoy taking on bodily form, and getting on a horse, back of a good stallion, taking a ride across the meadow? Well, God does, too, and when Jesus Christ comes back, He's not going to be riding on a donkey like he did the first time. He's going to be coming back in power and great glory, as a conqueror riding on a white horse.
He will face the armies of the world riding on a white horse. Now, that's a sight.

See, where were we here? All right, back to our passage. He said "His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns, and He had a name written that no man knew but He Himself, and He was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood."

Now, this is not His garment. This vesture dipped in blood that He's clothed with, he dipped it in the blood of His enemies down here. "Vesture dipped in blood, and His name is called the Word of God." Jesus. "And the armies which were in heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, clean and white."

The Bible tells us that fine linen and clean white is the righteousness of the saints, so when Christ comes back at the Second Coming, he's got the saints with him, riding on horses. "And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations, and He shall rule them with a rod of iron."

So, we find a ruling of the nations following this Second Coming. "And He treadeth the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of God Almighty." That's what I've drawn here in my picture, is the wine press. You see the grapes with the human faces on them, the blood dripping from them, about to be tread. That's where it says that, "The blood came out of the wine press up to the horse's bridle, there in the Valley of Megiddo."

You say, "Do you believe that's literal?" Of course I believe it's literal. I believe that at the Second Coming of Christ, the nations of Earth will be gathered together at the Valley of Megiddo when Christ comes back, and when the laser beam comes out of His mouth, and He just slices the armies of the Earth in half that their blood will run out to the point that when the horse runs out into the bottom of the valley and goes into the draw to cross, that is it steps into the blood, the blood will splash up and cover the horse's bridle.

I believe there will be blood running two, three feet deep there in the Valley of Megiddo where the armies, all over those mountains, have been slain almost instantly by the Word of the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ.

So, yes, this is a horrible picture of the Second Coming, and yet it's a glorious picture for those of us that know Him. And finally he says, "Out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, and is the fierceness of the wrath of God Almighty."
So, that's not the Rapture, because it's about fierceness, and it's about wrath. He comes right to the Earth and He's seen. In the Rapture, He's not seen by the Earth. He's taken out. So, another very strong passage for pre‑tribulational Rapture.

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

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4 comments on “Is the rapture of the church before, during, or after the tribulation period? (Part 5)”

  1. Hi Mike,
    I had always wondered what you believe about the timing of the rapture, and found out you're a pre-tribulationist. i just want to say that i respect you for that, but be VERY VERY sure you are right, for imagine if that theory is wrong?? SO MANY people will enter the tribulation and lose their faith, because people had been telling them that they won't even see the anti-christ, etc. Here is a link to a free book that I don't think ANYONE could read without seeing their error. 75% of this book is scripture, and it makes them so clear. Christians will go through the tribulation, (Satan's wrath against the Church,) but not God's Wrath (The Day of the Lord.)
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/19249381/THROUGH-TRIBULATIONHA-BAKERCORRECTED-VERSION
    I am just very concerned that influential people like you teach the truth, for teachers either teach...wrong or right to so many people. I encourage you, and everyone else to be a Berean, and check to see whether your doctrines fit with EVERY scripture the Bible has to say on the subject. God bless you.

  2. Hi joe,
    greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. brother michael pearl has it absolutly 100% right the it is a pre-tribulational rapture. the lord thaught it me too while studying the bible.
    so christians dont worry there is a pre-tribulational rapture and that is the good news.
    may god bless all brothers and siters richly in Christ Jesus

  3. I'll be more specific: That book mentioned teaches that the rapture happens at the 6th seal. Everything after that is the Wrath of God on the world, but before that, Christians must face the wrath of Satan. The first 5 seals are never mentioned as the wrath of God, but at the end of chapter 6, it says "the great day of his wrath has come." Since the 7 year period starts with the "peace treaty" of Antichrist to Israel, it follows that we will experience persecution by him before the rapture. we will face the mark of the beast, and that's why it's important for Christians not to assume they will not face it. H. A. Baker says "through tribulation," but he doesn't mean we'll go through the entire 7 years and all the plagues. I hope this clears things up!
    ~Joe

  4. Hi joe.
    i will believe what the lord taught me and not a theologian. and the lord thaught me clearly that we not face the tribulation.
    but believe what you wanna believe my brother.
    God bless you

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