Daniel’s Precise Prophecies concerning Specific Days of the Tribulation
Preclude both a Mid-Tribulational Rapture or a Post-Tribulational Rapture
This short note demonstrates how the specific days described in the prophecy of Daniel preclude a Mid-Tribulational or Post-Tribulational Rapture. Of course, many other passages in the Bible also preclude a Mid-Tribulational or Post-Tribulational Rapture.
First, Jesus prophesied: “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone” (Matthew 24:36). Jesus referred to the Parousia of the Son of Man. Because only the Father knows that day and hour, no one will know that day and hour until the Parousia occurs (Matthew 24:37). Because Jesus repeatedly emphasized that people must be ready for Jesus to appear at any time, the doctrine of the imminent return of Christ (the Parousia) must control the day and hour of the Rapture (I will use the term “Clouds Resurrection” instead of “Rapture” below).
Second, Daniel provided a series of specific dates of events during the seven-year period of Tribulation. See the Timeline of Daniel Days of Tribulation (Appendix) at https://christassembly.org/who-is-the-one-who-makes-desolate-daniel-927/. Daniel provided a specific timeline of specific events in the seven-year period of Tribulation, describing specific days for specific events (Daniel 8:13-14; 9:27; 12:11-12). Therefore, because God revealed the specific days of specific events in the Tribulation, anyone using the days of Daniel as time markers would know the exact day of the Parousia of Jesus if the Clouds Resurrection took place at any time after the beginning of the Tribulation. One could simply count the days from the different events which Daniel described and immediately calculate the exact date of the Parousia of Jesus, as outlined in the passages above.
Therefore, the days of Daniel prophecy provides exact days of different events in the Tribulation which would allow anyone to know the exact day of the Parousia. Therefore, because Jesus said no one would know the hour and day, the Clouds Resurrection (the Parousia) must take place at some point before the Tribulation begins, because of the specific events described to occur on specific days of the Tribulation. Of course, if you spiritualize all prophecy and ignore a literal interpretation of the days of Daniel described above, you can fashion any timeline that suits your spiritualization of any passage. Praise God that He revealed the truth using precise words, timelines, and dates to describe the past, present and future. God remains the God of perfect precision and timing. We must be ready for Jesus to come at any moment, known only by God the Father.
At first glance, people may think that I have just proved the need for a Post-Tribulational Rapture because Jesus proclaimed the Parousia occurs after the Tribulation in Matthew 24. Yet, Scripture provides many details showing that the Parousia of Jesus comes in at least two stages: the Clouds Resurrection Parousia and the Post-Tribulational Parousia. Furthermore, God commands the church to be ready for Jesus to come at any moment (the Imminent Return of Christ to earth). So, we must reconcile several different truths. First, Jesus will appear at a day and hour which no one knows except God the Father (Matthew 24:36). Second, the church should be ready for Jesus to return at an hour when no one, including the church, expects Him (Luke 12:40). Third, Jesus taught that the Parousia occurs after the Tribulation. The first two truths undergird the doctrine of the Imminent Return of Christ. The third truth seems to contradict the first two truths emphasizing the Imminent Return of Christ. As above, the Post-Tribulation Parousia described in Matthew 24 does not fit well with the doctrine of the Imminent Return of Christ because everyone will see the signs of His return and the days of Daniel’s prophecy provide a precise timeline of events by day of the Tribulation. Therefore, it seems likely that the term “parousia” must encompass more than the Post-Tribulational Parousia. Therefore, we must examine other uses of the term “parousia” in the New Testament.
In 1 Corinthians 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 we read about another use of the term Parousia. In those passages, the resurrection of the saints takes place in an instant in the clouds of earth when Jesus appears. The Parousia of the Clouds Resurrection happens in an instant. Three events attend the Clouds Resurrection Parousia (1 Corinthians 15:51-53). First, the Lord Jesus descends with a command (compare John 5:28). Second, the voice of the archangel sounds. Third, the trumpet of God sounds. Nothing indicates that the unsaved people of earth are aware of any of those three events at the Clouds Resurrection Parousia (compare Mark 14:62 and Matthew 24:30 where everyone will see Jesus coming at the Post-Tribulational Parousia). The Clouds Resurrection emphasizes the snatching of believers from the earth with immediate judgment to follow (1 Thessalonians 4:17). Therefore, without going into much more detail here, the Clouds Resurrection Parousia comes at an hour no one expects and no one knows except God the Father. The Clouds Resurrection Parousia must happen before the start of the Tribulation as described above to harmonize with the doctrine of the Imminent Return of Christ and the days of Daniel Prophecy.
As I always, I look forward to hearing from you.