The central event of the end times in the 2nd Coming of Yeshua (Jesus). There are wars and tribulations leading up to that event. At the 2nd Coming, there is a great supernatural event called the rapture, in which the saints are transformed and caught up in the air.
There are seven primary, contextual passages that speak of the rapture. Although some people teach that the rapture occurs before the tribulation, ALL seven of these passages clearly state that the rapture comes after the tribulation.
Matthew 24:29 – “After the tribulation…” In the Mount of Olives prophecy, Yeshua speaks of His coming in glory, and of sending angels to gather His elect from the four winds. This is described in as “after” the tribulation.
Matthew 24:38 – “Until the day…” Yeshua compares His coming to the flood of Noah. People were eating and drinking until the very day that Noah entered the ark and all was destroyed. There was no gap between the day of His coming and the destruction of all things. There is no tribulation period in between. At Yeshua’s coming one in a field will be taken and another left; two women grinding, one taken and one left.
Mark 13:24 – “After that tribulation…” Mark repeats the teaching on the Mount of Olives with all the details in Matthew describing the tribulation, the 2nd Coming and the rapture. He also repeats that the rapture is “after” the tribulation.
Luke 17:27, 29 – “Until the day…”, “On the day…” – Luke repeats Yeshua’s teaching comparing His coming to Noah’s flood, and adds the comparison to the destruction of Sodom. As with Noah, so with Lot, total destruction came immediately. All people were there until the end. There was no time gap. On the same day the people were taken, everything ended.
I Corinthians 15:52 – “At the last trumpet (shofar)…” – At the LAST trumpet, the dead will be raised and we will be changed. Revelation describes 7 trumpets during the tribulation period. (The 7 trumpets are connected with the Feast of Trumpets [Leviticus 23:24], the last trumpet with the Day of Atonement [Leviticus 25:9].) The rapture occurs at the last trumpet, after the 7 trumpets, after the tribulation, immediately after the resurrection of the dead.
I Thessalonians 4:15 – “remain until the coming…” If the saints remain on earth until the 2nd coming, they could not possibly leave several years before. Verse 15 – “by no means precede…” 16 – “The dead will rise first…” – The resurrection of the dead will come first. The resurrection takes place after the tribulation. If the rapture “by no means” precedes the resurrection, then it must be after the tribulation as well. Only “then” will we be caught up in the air to meet the Lord (verse 17).
II Thessalonians 2:3 – “will not come until the falling away comes first…” – Paul speaks of two simultaneous events on that “day”: the coming of Yeshua and our being gathered to Him. Those two happen at the same time. They will not happen until after a world wide apostasy and after the appearing of the son of perdition, the anti-Christ. The apostasy and the anti-Christ happen during the tribulation. If the rule of the anti-Christ must happen first, then the rapture can not occur until after the tribulation.
These seven passages indicate that the timing of the rapture is after the tribulation. The popular teachings that the rapture comes before the tribulation are doing damage to the body of Messiah world wide.
[Note: There is also some reference to the rapture in the parables of Matthew 13:41 and 49, as well as in Yeshua’s teaching on the “Father’s house” in John 14:2-3.]
We are to prepare the international Church to stand with Israel in the spiritual battles of the end times. If the saints believe they will not be here during the tribulation, they will not prepare, and thus be caught off guard, easy prey for both the devil and the anti-Christ.
Yeshua never promises to take us out of tribulation, but to strengthen us (John 16:33 – “In the world you will have tribulation, but be encouraged, I have overcome the world”) and to protect us (John 17:15 – “I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one”).
Like Yeshua, let us pray and teach the saints to be victorious during the end times. Let us root out dangerous false teachings that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation, leaving Israel alone to suffer and fight the anti-Christ.
Asher serves as president of Tikkun Global family of ministries and congregations, dedicated to the dual restoration of Israel and the Church. He is founder of the Revive Israel five-fold ministry team, and oversees both Ahavat Yeshua and Tiferet Yeshua congregations in Israel.
He and his wife Betty share a passion for personal prayer and devotion, local evangelism and discipleship in Hebrew, and unity of the Body of believers worldwide.
Asher was raised in a conservative Jewish home and holds degrees from Harvard University, Baltimore Hebrew College and Messiah Biblical Institute. He has authored numerous books, tracts and articles.