Q. I read your study on “Confirming The Sequence Of End Times Events”, and it it you say, “neither God’s revelation to Israel nor the emergence of the anti-Christ can happen until the Church is gone.” Yet in 2 Thessalonians 2:1-8 speaks of us being gathered to him and that day won’t come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed… And in verse 8 it talks of the the lawless one being revealed and destroyed by the splendor of the Lord Jesus’ coming. How can he be destroyed by the 2nd coming if he hasn’t been revealed yet? Do you think the rapture and the second coming are separate? Wouldn’t Jesus have to come 3 times then?
A. 2 Thes. 2 begins with Paul mentioning the Day of the Lord and our being gathered to him. These are 2 different things because the Day of the Lord is the Great Tribulation that ends when He comes to Earth. Our being gathered to Him is the Rapture when we go to be with Him.
Then he said the Day of the Lord can’t happen until there’s a great falling away followed by the anti-Christ standing in the Temple saying that he’s God. (2 Thes. 2:4) Finally, he said that the anti-Christ can’t be revealed until the one holding him back is taken out of the way. (2 Thes.2:7) The one holding him back is the Holy Spirit, sealed in the Church.
So before the Day of the Lord can come the anti-Christ has to be revealed, and before that can happen the Church has to be gone. Turn it around and it means, first the church has to go (Rapture) then the anti-Christ is revealed, and then the Day of the Lord begins. At the end of it the Lord returns and the anti-Christ is destroyed.
Yes the Rapture and the 2nd Coming are separate events. But that doesn’t mean the Lord comes 3 times. Both the first and second comings bring the Lord to Earth for extended periods of time. (33 years and1000 years) The Rapture doesn’t involve the Lord coming to Earth at all. Rather, we go some where off the planet to meet him.
Trumpets are used many times in the Bible because the piercing sound they make gets people’s attention. The trumpet mentioned in Matt. 24:31 is for gathering the Lord’s elect (believers) from one end of the heavens to the other. This is to prepare them for their return to Earth at the 2nd Coming. It’s not the same as 1 Thes. 4 because Matt. 24 speaks of angels (plural) being sent to gather, where 1 Thes.4 mentions only the Arkangel (singular). The term Arkangel is used only of Michael. The trumpet call of God in 1Thes. 4 and the Last Trump of 1 Cor. 15 are not to be confused with the trumpet of Matt. 24:31 for this reason.
Some try to identify the the Last Trump of 1 Cor. 15 as the seventh Trumpet of Rev. 11:15, which is also incorrect. But even if they were the same the seventh Trumpet is blown 2 chapters before the Great Tribulation begins, which happens in Rev. 13, not at its end.