the Rapture mentioned in the Old Testament?
Rev. Bill Lee-Warner
One of the
keys to understanding biblical truth is to have a proper method
of interpretation or hermeneutic, part of which is to compare Scripture
with Scripture. Some people who contact our ministry want to frequently
take one single passage of Scripture and build their doctrine upon
it, rather than considering all of what Scripture has to say about
the subject. This principle is certainly true when it comes to the
events of the end times.
is very clearly mentioned in the Old Testament in Daniel 12:2: "And
many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these
to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting
contempt." When we look at the context of this verse and then
compare it with other Scripture, we can clearly see that this verse
is speaking of our being gathered up to Christ at His coming just
as it is detailed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17.
12:1, Michael, who stands guard over Israel, will stand aside (the
word "arise" [NASB] is an idiom that conveys an arising
to allow someone or something to pass by or through) and then Jeremiah
30:7 will be fulfilled: "Alas! for that day is great, there
is none like it; and it is the time of Jacob's distress, but he
will be saved from it." This is exactly what the Apostle Paul
is speaking of in 2 Thessalonians 2 when he says that before the
day of the Lord begins the lawless one will be revealed-- when the
one (Michael) who restrains him will stand out of the way. This
happens at the mid-point of Daniel's seventieth week (Dan. 9:27).
Then in the Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24, He tells us exactly
the sequence of events to take place just before the Rapture. Jesus
tells us that after the lawless one -- the abominator -- is revealed
"there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred
since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall"
(Matt. 24:21). This is exactly what Daniel has said in 12:1, "And
there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there
was a nation until that time." This time spoken of in Daniel
12:1 and Matthew 24:21 is the worst time that the Jews and the elect
(saints) will ever experience. Now the context of Matthew 24 is
directed toward the elect and the context of Daniel 12 is directed
toward the nation of Israel, therefore this difficult time, as bad
as it will be, will not be the worst time ever on the earth. That
degree of severity is reserved for when God pours out His wrath
in the Day of the Lord judgment.
on to say "and unless those days had been cut short no life
would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days
shall be cut short" (Matt. 24:22). This is what Daniel is saying
in the last part of 12:1: "and at that time your people, everyone
who is found written in the book, will be rescued." Both passages
are talking about the day yet future when the lawless one (Antichrist)
persecutes the woman (Israel) and her offspring (the saints) in
Revelation 12:13, 17 and 13:7. Then Christ, with the sign of the
end of the age and the sign of His coming, appears in the clouds,
and we are caught up to meet Him and be with Him forever (Matt.
following the Rapture, God begins the Day of the Lord's wrath on
those who remain, and as Daniel says in 12:2, they experience "disgrace
and everlasting contempt."