Why I Believe in the Prewrath Rapture

Posted on November 22, 2021

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By David Ettinger

4 Rapture Views
There are 4 basic views regarding the Rapture of the Church – that blessed time when Jesus will call all Christians present and past to be with Him for eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:14-17). These 4 views center on what is commonly (but incorrectly) called “the tribulation” – the final 7 years of this era of human history. The views are:

1. The Pretribulation Rapture view holds that the Rapture will occur before the 7 years begin.

2. The Midtribulation Rapture view has the Rapture occurring at the 3½-year mark of the decisive 7 years.

3. The Postribulation Rapture view has the Rapture occurring following the 7 years.

4. The Prewrath Rapture view has the Rapture occurring during the 7 years, but before God’s wrath is poured out on Planet Earth. This is the view I support, and the following is why.

The 70th Week
Daniel 9:24-27 speaks of “70 Weeks” in which the nation of Israel is to accomplish several directives. These weeks are actually 70 weeks of 7 years, or 490 years. The 483rd year ended at Christ’s crucifixion; the final 7 years are still awaiting their fulfillment.

They will begin when Israel signs – or better yet, confirms – a covenant of peace with the world ruler at the time, the Antichrist (Daniel 9:27).

God’s Wrath
A crucial verse concerning the various rapture views is 1 Thessalonians 5:9: “For God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

A word about this wrath, especially in light of the wrath mentioned in John 3:36: “The one who believes in the Son has eternal life; but the one who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”

This verse tells us that human beings are born separated from God because of our sins. We are children of wrath (Ephesians 2:3). As such, we are destined for eternal damnation, that is, God’s wrath (1 John 5:11-12). However, God sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to pay the price for our sins and remove God’s wrath from us. Our sins will be paid for if we confess Jesus as Lord and Savior (Romans 10:9-10). If not, His wrath remains on us and we will be sentenced to eternal damnation.

Though related, this is not the same wrath referenced in 1 Thessalonians 5:9. That end-times wrath will be the specific time of human history when God will do battle with Planet Earth, punishing the wicked for their disobedience to Him, and sentencing them to eternal condemnation (2 Thessalonians 1:9).

The question is, When does this decisive time of wrath begin? Pretribulation Rapture proponents believe it begins before the outset of the climactic 7 years, and therefore the Church will be raptured  before the Antichrist even arrives. Are they right?

The Beginning of Wrath
Daniel’s 70th Week will be characterized by horrifying evil, spurred on by the emergence of the Antichrist. But will the Church be raptured before he emerges?

I say “no,” and for a very specific reason: His emergence onto the scene of world politics will take place before God begins to pour out His wrath on Earth. In the meantime, there will be the 7 “seal judgments” of Revelation chapter 6. These seal judgments will bring global war, famine, and death.

But will this be God’s wrath? No. Why? Because during the first 5 seal judgments we don’t see the word “wrath” mentioned anywhere. In fact, we don’t see the word “wrath” anywhere in the Book of Revelation to this point …

… UNTIL we come to the 6th seal ­– the cosmic disturbances which will precede the return of the Lord Jesus Christ to judge Earth. And, finally, we read in verses 16-17 (emphasis added):

… and they [unbelievers] said to the mountains and the rocks,
“Fall on us and hide us from the sight of Him who sits on the throne,
and from the wrath of the Lamb; for the great day of
their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

THIS is where God’s wrath begins – not at the 1st seal at the beginning of the 70th Week. The time frame of the Lord’s return to rapture the Church and pour out His wrath is most likely somewhere between the 4th and 5th year.

This is when the Church will be removed from Earth – not before.

Christians Will Be Martyred
Those who believe in a Pretribulation Rapture say Christians won’t be subjected to God’s wrath. It’s true, they won’t. However, believers WILL BE subjected to the wrath of the Antichrist.

Revelation 6:9-11 – the 5th seal – speaks of martyrs DURING the 70th Week – those in Heaven – and those STILL TO COME.

Elsewhere, in speaking of the Antichrist, Daniel 7:25 tells us: “And he will speak against the Most High and wear down [kill] the saints of the Highest One …”

Revelation 13:7 confirms: “It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome [kill] them, and authority was given to him over every tribe, people, language, and nation.”

A Note on Revelation 4:1
Pretribulation Rapture proponents use Revelation 4:1 as a proof text for the Church being raptured before the 70th Week begins. It reads: “After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven, and the first voice which I had heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, ‘Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.’”

A simple reading of this passage gives no indication whatsoever that God was addressing the Church (“Come up here”). He was talking to John, and John only. In verses 1-4, John uses the term “I” 5 times – indicating he is the only one being addressed. We see no mention of the word “we” – indicating a group of people (namely the Church) is being addressed.

The Bottom Line
The most important truth about this teaching – that God’s wrath will fall well into the final 7 years of this era of human history – is that Christians WILL enter this time period, and many will be martyred for their faith.

The way things are going, many alive today could well be part of this generation of believers which will enter the 70th Week. If we are aware of this, we will be able to stand firmly under the persecution which will be unleashed upon us in those final years.

It is for these reasons I believe the Prewrath Rapture view is the most accurate Rapture view.