Rapture for Saints vs. Return with Saints
In the Old Testament, there were 2 different pictures painted of the Messiah: one suffering (Ps. 22:6-8,11-18; Isa. 53:2-10) and one reigning as King (Ps. 2:6-12; Zech). Sometimes, a single verse is a prophesy of both: Isa. 61:2, only 1/2 of which Jesus read and said was fulfilled in Luke 4:18-21. Those who denied half the scriptures, or expected only one set of verses, or expected all scriptures to be fulfilled at one singular moment in time made a grave error. As we study these scriptures from the Holy Bible, we see they predicted two separate comings of the Messiah: the first coming as a suffering Messiah and the second coming (still future) as a reigning King.
In the New Testament, considering the Second Advent, we again have two pictures to consider, and they don’t look the same. As before, these two different descriptions of Jesus coming, point to two separate events. The first event, we call “The Rapture”. The second event, we call “The Return with the Saints”, or the glorious appearing, or the return after the tribulation.
This page originally labeled the return at the end of the tribulation as “the second coming”, and many pre-trib teachers still use that term. I think that term is misleading. I believe entire process from the pre-tribulation rapture to the return in glory after the tribulation, is all “the Second Advent”. The First Advent of Christ was when he appeared in the flesh and died on the cross, and appeared to the disciples several times after his resurrection. Just as all those appearings are the “First Advent”, so too, is the appearing at the rapture and the appearing at the return seven years later both part of the “Second Advent” or “second appearing/coming”. The entire Second Advent is all part of the “Day of the Lord”, which starts with the rapture. The fact that Jesus appears at Edom, and Bozrah, and Meggido or Armageddon and also on the Mt. of Olives, does not indicate two or three or four “other comings” after the tribulation. Therefore, neither is the rapture “another coming”.
The Rapture (and resurrection) occurs before the 7 year Great Tribulation. The Return with the Saints occurs after the 7 year Great Tribulation, at Armageddon. Listed below are 15 differences between the Rapture and the The Return with the Saints. This list is by no means complete and presents only a brief look at the many contrasts between these two events. This list is only a very brief introduction to the topic of the pre-tribulation rapture.
Rapture The Return with the Saints
* Jesus coming for His Church/Bride up to Heaven, before tribulation. Luke 21:36; John 14:1-3; 1Thess 1:10, 4:14-17, 5:9; Rev 3:10
* Jesus coming with His Church/Bride down from Heaven, after tribulation. Zech 14:5; Col 3:4; Rev 19:7-8,14, 21:9-10; Matt 24:29-31; Jude 1:14,15; 1 Thess. 3:132
* Caught up with Him in the air, in the clouds, 1 Thess. 4:13-18;
* Jesus’ feet touch the earth Zech 14:4; Rev 19:11-21, and he brings war, then peace.
* Appears to Believers only. Mat 5:8, John 11:40, Heb 9:28
* Every eye will see him, including unbelievers. Rev 1:7, Zech. 12:10, Matt. 24:30, Luke 3:6, John 19:37
* Christians taken first, unbelievers are left behind a shut door. Matt. 25:1-13; Rev. 3:8-10; Rev. 4:1, 1 Thess. 4:13-18
* Wicked are taken first, Matt. 13:28-30 the righteous (Tribulation saints) are left to populate the millennium
* Purpose: To present the Church to Himself and to the Father in Heaven, 2 Cor. 11:2; Rev. 19:6-9
* Purpose: To execute judgment on earth and set up His Kingdom on earth. Zech. 14:3-4; Jud. 1:14-15; Rev. 19:11-21
* Purpose: to cast Satan out of heaven (Rev. 12) down to the earth, which will reveal Satan for the Tribulation as the man of sin. 2 Thess. 2
* Purpose: to cast Satan to the bottomless pit, to bind Satan after the Tribulation. Rev. 20:1-7
* Happens in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, no war, globally. 1 Cor. 15:52
* Slow coming, at war, to specific locations, from Edom, to Bozrah, to Meggido or Armageddon, to Jerusalem. Isa. 63:1-3, Rev. 16:16, Zech. 12:9-10
* Christians are changed, and get spirit bodies, go to heaven and do not marry, and become immortal; Matt. 22:30; 1 Cor. 15:52; 1 John 3:2
* People populate the earth during the millennium; some people still die, not being changed to immortality as at the rapture. Isa. 65:20
* Jesus descends with a shout (for resurrection) and trumpet noise. 1 Thess. 4:16
* No shout mentioned Rev. 19:11-21
* A resurrection takes place of all saints to immortality, to rule as kings and priests in Heaven over Earth 1 Cor. 15:51-54; 1 Thess. 4:13-18
* Resurrection of the tribulation saints to immortality who worship day and night in the temple of God. Rev. 7:15, Rev. 20:4-6,
* Occurs as a thief in the night, at the ‘no man knows the day or hour’ festival of the Feast of Trumpets. Matt. 24:43; 1 Thess. 5:4-6; Rev. 3:3
* Occurs at end of 7 years of Tribulation; exact day predicted; 3.5 years or 1,260 days after the abomination of desolation: Dan. 9:24-27, 12:11-12; Rev. 11:2, 12:6,14, 13:5
* Is likened to the abduction of the bride during the Jewish Wedding, and the union of the bride and groom, which occurs at the start of the 7 day bridal week. Gen. 29:22-28, Judges 14:1-18
* Is likened to the marriage feast, which occurs after the 7 day bridal week, returning from the wedding. Luke 12:36; Rev. 19
* The dead in Christ rise and together with then living will be changed into their new bodies and leave Earth with Jesus. 1 Thess. 4:14-16
* Christians return with Jesus in already resurrected bodies riding on white horses. Rev. 19:11-21
* Jesus returns as a savior from wrath Luke 21:36; Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10, 5:9; Rev. 3:10
* Jesus returns on a white horse, full of wrath. Rev. 19:11
* For the Church only (those in Christ) 1 Thess. 4:14-17
* For redeemed Israel & Gentiles Matt. 25:31-46; Rom. 11:25-27
* A message of hope and comfort 1 Thess. 4:18; Titus 2:13; 1 John 3:3 Like the days of Noah and Lot, which show deliverance and salvation from judgment. 2 Peter 2:7-9, Matt. 24:37-44
* A message of judgment and woe Joel 3:12-16; Amos 5:18; Mal. 4:5; Rev. 19:11-21 Like the plagues of Egypt, many of which are mirrored in Revelation, pouring out his Wrath, and He comes after the judgments.
For further study:
* The two main rapture chapters in the Bible are 1 Thess. 4, and 1 Cor. 15.
* The two main return of the Lord chapters in the Bible are Zech. 14 and Rev. 19.
* Count up how many similarities and differences you can see between those 4 chapters.
* See what 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15 have in common. (Rapture, change to immortality, resurrection, trumpet blown, descent of Christ for his saints.)
* See what Zech. 14 and Rev. 19 have in common. (Return with saints, coming to make war on unbelievers)
* See what Zech. 14 and Rev. 19 do not mention (no trumpet, no resurrection, no rapture) with regard to what is mentioned in 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15.
* See what 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15 do not mention (no war) with regard to details in common that are described in Zech. 14 and Rev. 19.
Please feel free to email me, Jason, at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or comments on this article, or on the subject of the pre-tribulation rapture, or if you wish to share any scriptures with me.
This article “Rapture for Saints vs. Return with Saints” by Jason Hommel was copied, and expanded upon and modified, from: http://people.zeelandnet.nl/wjanse/rapture.htm –now a dead link. Copied with Permission. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”