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A Heart For God: Pre-Tribulation or Pre-Wrath Rapture?

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Pre-Tribulation or Pre-Wrath Rapture?

There was another bungling of the subject of Rapture recently. (To read: "Is May 21,2011 the Day?," click here.) If anything, at least it brought the whole idea of Jesus' returning to catch His church away to the forefront again. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) (You should see my 12-year old daughter how into it she is with the "Left Behind" books, the teen series. Cool.)

And I've been doing a lot of studying lately of the book of Revelation. (A "like" at: A Heart For God Ministries gives exclusive access to Episode 1-11 of my newest video teaching series on "Revelation.") In the midst of my research the concept of a pre-tribulation Rapture versus a pre-wrath Rapture has been brought up.

Let me try to explain these in the simplest way I can.


There are those that believe there is a 7-year period called "The Tribulation" (or "Great Tribulation") ahead for planet earth. (Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19) During that period (at the very beginning) a man seen as Antichrist will appear and rule the world by Satan's power. It will be the most destructive time humankind has ever known. As it has to do with the Rapture, many believe it happens directly prior to The Tribulation/7-year period. This is the "pre-tribulation" understanding of the Rapture.

At least one passage that is used to back this belief is found in 2 Thessalonians chapter 2...
And you know what restrains him (Antichrist) now, so that in his time he will be revealed. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he (the Holy Spirit) who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:6-7)
A large part of the Holy Spirit as the "restraining force" keeping Antichrist (the "man of lawlessness") from being revealed is believed to be the Church. (Matthew 5:13a, 5:14a) When she is "taken out of the way" through Rapture, that's when the Tribulation starts.

Again, this understanding of Rapture (pre-tribulation) and the end times is held by many.


The pre-wrath understanding of Rapture is different (of course). This point of view sees the Church undergoing trials and troubling times (as depicted in especially 5 of 6 of the seal judgments portrayed in Revelation chapter 6 and then in 6 of 7 trumpet judgments portrayed in Revelation chapter 8 and 9.) These trials and troubling times (tribulations) are age long beginning in the first century up until our day. Thus, the Church endures tribulation up until the time the wrath of God is poured out (as depicted at the sounding of the 7th trumpet which is the 7 bowls of wrath portrayed in Revelation chapter 16.) This is the "pre-wrath" understanding of the Rapture.

One verse used to back this belief is found in John 16. This is our Lord speaking (note italics)...
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
And then there are Paul's words in 1 Thessalonians 5 (note italics)...
For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:9)
And so is it a pre-tribulation or pre-wrath Rapture? (Please leave your thoughts in the comments. Thank you.)

My answer: Whichever it is, the only thing I really have control over is making sure I'm ready. (1 John 3:2-3)

(To view: "How to receive Christ into your heart and life (in 30 seconds)," click here.)

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Anonymous ModernEzra said...

Mike, I can find at least SOME basis for all three of the trib positions. I personally LEAN toward pre, but I'm prepared for post. That way if I'm right, I'm ready, but if I'm wrong, I'll be HAPPY to be wrong! :-)

10:36 AM  
Blogger wbc453 said...

To me it's as plain as the nose on my face, it's pre-trib but it is non-essential so I'm not going to go into a lengthy debate.

1:15 AM  
Blogger Jo Jo said...

Good blog. But I'm definitely post trib. (@ the 7th trumpet)
There are many many verses that back this up. You can find them at
The reader will have all he or she needs verse wise but will have to read for themselves. That's the best way to do imo.
But a hint of some verses: Jesus said immediately after the tribulation of those days (those days are referring to after the abomination of desolation, which is not 70ad), then we'd see Him. Another is which trumpet brings our change, & another that says Jesus' return will be after the workin of Satan. When He does come He will destroy that Wicked(Antichrist, beast) with the brightness of his coming. Like I say these are examples of what you'll find when you search the Scriptures provided. One thing we need to consider is the second coming is @ Jesus' return. The first coming is what we celebrate December 25th. His coming to earth as a baby.
Thx for the great blogs. I really enjoy them
Looking foward to future ones.
Your sister in Christ.
Just trying to prepare my brothers and sisters for what is shortly to come.

11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The difference between pre-trib and pre-wrath can only be understood if you realize that the tribulation and the wrath of God are two distinct periods of time. ( I might add short periods ) Pee tribulation is realized by the persecution of Anti-christ toward the people of God and is cut short by the intervention of God's wrath. God's wrath begins the day he rescues the church out of the tribulation of Anti-Christ. Many will have died prior to this rapture through the lawless one's persecution; but those who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds. Then the wrath of God will begin to be poured out upon the earth. Jesus said that when YOU see the abomination of desolation standing in the Holy Place of the Temple then there will be great tribulation, the likes of which has never been seen. This is the persecution that the Anti-christ instigates. But his day will be cut short by God beginning with the rapture and then the Day of the Lord will ensue, which is God's wrath. My view then is Pre wrath. Like the brother wbc453 said - I do not want to go into a lengthy debate. This is not the place for it.

8:46 AM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Anonymous, I totally agree with you. The church will go up between the last (seventh) trumpet and the seven vials of wrath. I mean Rev. 20:1-6 is very clear that the FIRST resurrection includes those who didn't worship the beast or take his mark. People have had this pre-trib rapture stuff so drilled in their heads........I was one of those people. But Holy Spirit opened my eyes through reading the Bible. Thank God fpr that.

4:43 PM  
Blogger Dennis Thurman said...

There is actually no difference for the seven year tribulation period is the wrath of God. It commences with the opening of the seven seals in Rev.6. So, technically to be pre-wrath is to be pre-trib. :)

1:02 PM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Dennis, u r correct. But the elect won't be here during the seven vials of wrath. We as I understand it, will be going up either as or just before those vials are poured out. That I think is where everyone gets confused about what is pre wrath. God's wrath does start before the seven vials, but those vials of wrath r a whole different creature. Pure indignation.

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike, I would call what you've described as "Pre-Wrath" more properly, Historical Prelmillennialism which can be thought of as "A-Tribulational" since it doesn't really incorporate the 70th week of Daniel into its eschatology. This is distinguished from Dispensational Premillinnialism which is almost always Pre-Trib.

A true Pre-Wrath view integrates some of the Dispensational ideas and fuses them into an eschatology that acknowledges a yet future 70th week (known as the tribulation period) but sees the church entering that period and suffering under the persecution of Antichrist until the return of the Lord, sometime after the start of the Great Tribulation. This is the view I hold.

The key question is this: Is all of the Tribulation period a manifestation of the active outpouring of God's punative wrath? If you answer yes, you will likely be Pre-Trib. If you answer no, only part of it is, then you will likely be Pre-Wrath. This s because we all acknowledge Paul's statement to the Thessalonians: "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1Thes 5:9

God Bless.

6:46 AM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Anonymous, you are correct in that we are not to suffer God's wrath. But we will be here until the Lord Jesus visually comes back when every eye shall see him. @ that time the last 7 plagues will be poured out. God's wrath starts before that, but we will be like the Israelites in Egypt. God sent all those plagues on Pharoh and his people (like he will the antichrist & his) yet even though in the same land, the Israelites didn't suffer any of those plagues. But they did suffer Pharaoh's wrath as we will the antichrist's

8:12 AM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Anonymous, you are correct in that we are not to suffer God's wrath. But we will be here until the Lord Jesus visually comes back when every eye shall see him. @ that time the last 7 plagues will be poured out. God's wrath starts before that, but we will be like the Israelites in Egypt. God sent all those plagues on Pharoh and his people (like he will the antichrist & his) yet even though in the same land, the Israelites didn't suffer any of those plagues. But they did suffer Pharaoh's wrath as we will the antichrist's

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jo Jo Jones, can you explain why the church is never mention or the word church after Revelation chapter 3, which describes the tribulation period?

12:13 PM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Anonymous, Exactly. They are not mentioned because nothing is going on to be mentioned. Meaning, we still here. No secret Rapture. Read Rev. 20:1-6. In short it says that in the ""First" resurrection are those who didn't take the mark of the beast, or worship him or his image. Those beheaded for the witness of Jesus and the word of God are also included. Remember what Paul said? When Jesus returns, the dead in Christ will rise first & those of us who are still here will meet them in the air? So if the first resurrection happens @ his return and those without the mark of the beast & , those who Didn't worship the beast are in the resurrection, that means the resurrection & Rapture happens after all tribulation except the last 7 plagues.

3:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jo Jo do you believe in a literal millennium?

4:01 PM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Anonymous, if you mean do I believe Jesus will reign 1000 years after he returns like the prophecy says, then yes. Everything in Rev. Is not metaphors. A lot is, but if you compare the 1000 year reign with the OT prophecy that says all nation will come & worship the King(Jesus ) or the rain will be withheld, then you gotta know that 1000 years is longer than a day.

4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If so, you believe in a literal Gog & Magog war at the end of the tribulation. And if so how do you explain this happen? How do incorruptible transformed human beings can be deceived to follow Satan? Impossible! So must be that during the millennium mortal human beings are living, who can be deceived contrary to the transformed ones. But how? if someone is to live through the tribulation and pass to the millennium has to be a believer; for all the enemies of the our Lord will be destroyed at Armageddon. But how about their offspring? Being they are born of, though believers, fallen creatures they have the capacity of being unbelievers and deceived by Satan. But my point is the ones who pass to live in the millennium, believers, at some point will die and they must be resurrected into incorruptible beings or be rapture out and transform to live in eternity with Christ, for the first earth passed away (Rev. 21:1). If so how do you call this resurrection? B/c the last resurrection, the one for eternally being condemned, has not happen. They have to be part of the first resurrection too. Meaning the first resurrection does not have to be a one point event but that all saints are part of it. For Christ is the first fruits of those who are asleep ( 1 Cor. 15:20), part of the first resurrection, but happen 2,000 years ago. If you still disagree that's ok, I love you and believe you are my brother, for unbelievers do not think about this things not even pretend believers; and however end times unfold we'll know for certain then. I'm just trying to make you think. If I gave a convincing argument I might change your mind, but if I didn't then I'm just sharpening you sword even more. God Bless you!

5:44 PM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Anonymous, I'm your sister. Lol.;*). But Armageddon is the battle @ Jesus' return. And the beast & false prophet. Were cast alive in the lake of fire. The kings & armies are who is destroyed. Rev19:20-21. Once satan is released, he will go out to decieve, and when he & his armies surround the camp of the saints, Father God devours them with fire & then the judgment. Rev 208-12. But we cool. But read Matthew 24:29. And what do you say the 1000 year reign means if it's not a 1000 year reign? . God bless

7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe in a literal 1000 years. But also believe there will be mortals, capable of sining in it, that's why they rebel with satan at the end of it; but also mortals who will remain in Christ in need of a resurrection, rapture or like to be transform for eternity during or at end of millenium. Sorry, my dear sister; love you. ;-)

3:45 AM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Anonymous, we bout on the same page. Follow me on Twitter. @trib_b4rapture. Hope to tweet ya there. Godly hugs & kisses.

5:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a covenant pre-millenial historicist. Therefore I consider the 70th week of Daniel to be entirely Messianic. Christ fulfilled the 70th week through His sacrificial death & resurrection from the dead. Christ was "cut off after the 69th week" which is halfway through the 70th week since He ministered for 3 & 1/2 years.Jesus Christ's sacrificial death put a legal end to the Old Testament sacrificial system therefore the holy of holies curtain was torn in two by God (Daniel 10:1-14). There is no further fulfillment of the 70th week of Daniel. Christ has done what the angel foretold Daniel. There is no mention of an anti-christ in Daniel 9:24-27, The abomination of desolation occurred in 70 A.D. through the armies of the Roman general Titus. The Jews themselves committed the abominations which led to the desolation and are stated in II Chronicles 36 and repeated by Jesus when He said to the Jewish people that "they had left their temple desolate". There is much more to say but limited time.

8:16 AM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Anonymous historicist
I have heard this theory before. However, verse 27 is speakin of the prince to come from verse 26 not Jesus. As for no mention of anti christ in these verses, really no where in the Word is there mentioned antichrist except for anyone who does not believe in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. But there is that one vile person (antichrist, beast) who does cause the abomination of desolation. Daniel 11:31-45 & Chapter 12. Also, if Jesus is the one who took away the daily sacrifice, why AFTER his resurrection did he repeat this same prophecy more in-depth to John? Because the verses you are referring to is not talkin about Jesus except the one that says Messiah.

11:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jo Jo,

The "prince who is to come" is the same person as "Messiah the Prince" in verse 25. It would be improper grammatically to assume otherwise. The same "he" in verse 26 must be the same "he" in verse 25 unless the context clearly alters this which it does not. After Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself on the cross for sinners then the sacrifices become obsolete. See Hebrew 8. The words "he will make a firm covenant" in verse 27 are more properly translated "he will confirm the covenant" from the original Hebrew text.

5:18 PM  
Anonymous Steve N said...

Mark 13:30
Matt 24:29-31
1 Cor 15:51-52
1 Thes 5:1-6
Rev 6:9-11
Rev 7:13-14
John 6:40, 44, 54 (at the last trump)
Mark 13:9-13
Mark 13:20-22
Mark 13:26-27 (look when...after)
1 Thes 5:4

9:29 PM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Annon..the verse s26 says the people of "the prince to come " shall destroy the city. Verse 25 is Prince Messiah, verse 26 is prince of darkness....
Steve N..wat to go... here are some more verses if you are interested.
Rev. 8:2-6, 9:1-3, 11:7, 11:15-19, cor. 15:52, 1Thess. 4:16-17, rev. 20:4-6, Rev. 14:14-20, 1John2:28, 1Thess. 4:14-18,
All of u have a blessed day. Luvs & hugs

7:39 AM  
Blogger Becky Howard said...

This has been an interesting topic.
My father always taught me that he personally believed in pre-trib.

He passed away a few years ago, so for him, he was right.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Becky Howard said...

This has been an interesting topic.
My father always taught me that he personally believed in pre-trib.

He passed away a few years ago, so for him, he was right.

12:27 PM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Becky Howard I just wanted to say I'm sorry for your loss. And yes, interesting it has been...but good friendly debate. ;*). Have a blessed day.

3:10 PM  
Anonymous Barnabas said...

Trouble comes from not seeing that the tribulation is not seven years, as it does not even begin until halfway through the 70th Week of Daniel. We also need to note that the wrath of God won't begin until the 6th seal.

The Rapture is definitely not Pretrib.

9:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have been revealed the thing God want us to know though his WORD,and I thank Him for discernment, but The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: be ready, endure, and overcome

7:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I’m not sure why this is the most misunderstood and debated topics of the Bible… I’ve studied it, and traced it back to John Nelson Darby and his dispensationalist teachings and publications around 1845, based on the dream of a little girl who went on to found the 7th Day Adventist out of the Millerite movement… It got picked up and circulated and is now taught as sound doctrine by Pentecostal, Baptist, and 7th Day churches today.
Rapture appears nowhere in the Bible, and “antichrist” is nowhere in the book of Revelations. It’s the false prophet (pastoral leader teaching false messages), the beast (from the sea and land – the coalition of nations), and the dragon (satan) that will persecute the people of God. Rev 12:13-17.
The cornerstone of rapture doctrine is 1 Thes 4 about the return of Jesus. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. But nowhere in that chapter does it say WHEN that will happen.
2 Thes 2 clarifies it. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs (tribulation that earns God’s judgment) and the man of lawlessness is revealed (satan), the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
That will be the message of “antichrist”. That he is Jesus returned and he’s here to save or rapture you if you worship him.
Revelations clearly states Christ’s return in chapter 19:11-16. And then it clearly states in 20:4-6 the first recurection of those that did not worship the beast or receive his mark. It then goes on to say “BUT THE REST OF THE DEAD LIVED NOT AGAIN UNTIL THE THOUSAND YEARS WERE FINISHED. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION”.
Many will be deceived and follow the false one to their own doom… don’t be one of them.
Besides that, think of all the people that would die as a result of a "rapture". Everyone on planes, trains, and automobiles that will die outside of Christ. What about children that haven't come to Christ yet but their parents are taken and are left with no choice? That's not the Father I know... not sure where you're going to church at.
Study it for yourself and ask for God’s wisdom. -tony @anthonykharrell

9:42 AM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

Amen & Amen...

7:46 AM  
Anonymous John said...

Anonymous, we bout on the same page. Follow me on Twitter. @trib_b4rapture. Hope to tweet ya there. Godly hugs & kisses.

12:51 PM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

John wht ur Twitter handle, I look ya up..;)

3:02 PM  
Blogger Jo Jo Jones said...

John wht ur Twitter handle, I look ya up..;)

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