Updated: Sep 6
by Rav Richard "Aharon" Chaimberlin
WE shall not all sleep (die), but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last shofar (trumpet): for the shofar shall sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. But when the perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘O Death, where is your victory? O Death, where is your sting?’” 
The verses above are among the most prominent supporting the doctrine of the “Rapture.” Rav Sha’ul (Paul) says, “I tell you a mystery.” Yochanan (“John”) says, “In the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he is about to sound (the shofar), then the mystery of God is finished, as He preached to His servants the prophets.” 
The seventh angel will sound the seventh shofar, which just ‘happens’ to be the last of seven angels, each of whom sounds a shofar which heralds a plague or cataclysmic event. “And the seventh angel sounded, and there arose loud voices in heaven, saying, ‘The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Messiah; and He will reign forever and ever’ … and the time came for the dead to be judged, and the time to give their reward to Thy bondservants the prophets and the saints and to those who fear Thy name, both small and great, and for destroying those who destroy the earth.’ ”  When the seventh shofar is sounded, the saints will be rewarded. Will you be ready? This is also the time when those who destroy the earth (criminals against ecology?) are destroyed.
The Rapture (catching away and transformation) of the saints occurs at the sounding of the seventh (last) shofar, and not a moment sooner. This means that the Rapture occurs after… the many plagues described in Revelation chapters 4 through 9.
Daniel 7:25 tells us about a wicked king who will arise (the anti-Messiah) and will “speak out against the Most High and wear out down the saints of the Most High, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they (the saints) shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time (3 and ½ years).”
Certainly, long before any future anti-Messiah (with a capital M – also known as “Anti-Christ”), there have been many other anti-messiahs who have accomplished similar things. They have made “alterations in times and in laws,” for instance. They have replaced Biblical holidays such as Passover with pagan holidays such as Easter, named after the pagan goddess Ishtar. This holiday has been changed to appear more “Christian.” However, many traditions attached to this holiday are pagan, such as Easter eggs and Easter bunnies. The Biblical Sabbath has been replaced by the day of the week which honored the sun god. (Try to guess which day that is!) However, the Seven-Day week has remained since Creation. I expect that the anti-Messiah will attempt to alter the 7-day week in some fashion. Manmade commandments (“no wine,” etc.) have also come into the Church, replacing the commandments from God.
Daniel 7:25 mentions the saints being persecuted. Many Protestants do something very unusual when interpreting this verse. The saints(for this verse only!) are considered to be the Jewish people. In this manner of interpretation, the “Church” is spared persecution. However, when it comes to the time for blessings, the term ‘saints’ is interpreted as being the Church. Don’t you think the term “saints” should be used a bit more fairly and consistently? The anti-Messiah will be wearing down those who are born-again of the spirit of YHWH, both Jews and Gentiles.
Covenant of ‘Peace’
The prophet Daniel (9:27) also records the warning of the angel Gabriel about a man who “shall make a strong covenant with many for one week; and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation…” The word that Daniel used for “week” is shavua, which is related to the shoresh (root word) for seven. Prophetically, a “week” sometimes refers to a “week” (or seven) of years. This passage has more than one fulfillment, referring to events that occurred in the times of the Maccabees during the revolt against the Syrian Greeks in 168–165 BCE, as well as the Jewish revolt against Rome in the First Century CE, and also to times yet future. There will be a restoration of Temple sacrifices in the future, which assumes a rebuilt Beit HaMikdash (Temple) in the latter days. However, halfway through this 7-year period, Anti-M (Anti-Messiah) breaks his treaty with the Jews in Israel.
Rav Sha’ul warned us about this man: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Yeshua the Messiah, and by our gathering together to Him (Rapture?) that you not be soon shaken in mind, nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as if from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. Let no one in any way deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come, except that there shall come a falling away first, and that man of sin revealed, the son of perdition (Anti-M), who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God, declaring himself to be God.”  There will be a great falling away first. The Temple will be rebuilt. The anti-Messiah will take his seat in the Temple of God proclaiming himself as being God. And only then will the Rapture occur.
Yes, the saints will have to endure three and a half years of Tribulation prior to the Rapture. This has been confirmed thus far in this article by the witness of Yochanan, Rav Sha’ul, Daniel, and the angel Gabriel. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God; and if it first begins with us, what will be the end for those who do not obey the Gospel of Adonai?” 
The most important witness to the timing of the Rapture and return of the Messiah is Yeshua Himself. He said, “But immediately afterthe Tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened … the sign of the Son of man will appear in the sky … and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and with great glory, and He will send forth His angels with a great shofar, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.”  It is apparent that Yeshua did not believe in any “Pre-Trib” Rapture.
When I use the term “Rapture,” I am using a non-Biblical term. It is nowhere to be found in Scripture. However, it is the commonly used term to describe the events of 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17: “For the Lord Himself will descend with the shofar of God; and the dead in Messiah will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.”
The smaller shofar is a trumpet generally made from a ram’s horn. The shofar gadol (large shofar) is usually made from the horn of a kudu, which is an antelope commonly found in Africa. The shofar is blown on many of the Biblical Holy Days, especially including the Feast of Trumpets, also called Rosh HaShanah in Judaism. Biblically, a more accurate term for this particular holiday is Yom T’ruwah(Day of Blowing [the shofar]). According to Rabbinic tradition, the blowing of the shofar on this day has a three-fold purpose:
· Sounding the call to repentance.
· Reminding all of the covenant relationship between YHWH and His people Israel.
· And to startle and confuse HaSatan, who, according to the Rabbis, especially accuses Israel on this day.
All of the Jewish Holy Days also happen to be the Biblical Holy Days. These Holy Days all have historical importance as well as a prophetic fulfillment. One of the prophetic fulfillments of the Feast of “Trumpets” is the Rapture. Since the prophetic fulfillment of other Holy Days happen to occur on the various Holy Days themselves, it is reasonable to assume that the Rapture will also occur on a future Feast of “Trumpets.”
The concept of a “Pre-Tribulation Rapture” is relatively modern in origin, based in large part on the “visions” of Margaret MacDonald in 1830s Scotland. John Nelson Darby later latched onto this doctrine and popularized it. Eventually, it was the famous Scofield Bible with its notes that brought the “Pre-Trib” Rapture theory to the masses. Prior to 1830, the “Pre-Trib” Rapture was unheard of.
Bible-believers will endure the Tribulation period, which will last 3 ½ years. However, Believers will be “raptured out” prior to the Wrathof God (Revelation 15:1 & 16:1), which will be completed with seven more angels with seven other plagues. I believe that the Scriptures teach a “Post-Trib, Pre-Wrath” Rapture. As it says in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, “God has not appointed us for wrath…” However, “In the world, you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”
“The beast (Anti-M) was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and was allowed to exercise authority for 42 months (3 ½ years). It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against YHWH, blaspheming His name and His dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also, it was allowed to make war on the saints, and to conquer them.”  Don’t blame me for these words, folks; I didn’t write them. I would prefer that they weren’t there. However, this is the Word of God, and I cannot teach contrary to Scripture. Believe me, I’m in no hurry to be martyred. I don’t like pain or suffering – honest! I would prefer to believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture. However, that is not what the Scriptures teach.
One other “nasty” piece of news: Not every born-again believer will be ‘raptured’ at that time. Yeshua tells us the Parable of the Ten Virgins. I believe that the virgins are symbolic of the Believer, who is presented as a “chaste virgin” to the Messiah. In the Parable of the Virgins, only five of the ten are ready when the Bridegroom (Yeshua) comes. This may very well be a picture of the Believers at the time of Messiah’s Return. Many will be ready on the day of Messiah’s Return. Many others will not be ready. This is why Yeshua commands us to “Therefore be you also ready, for in such an hour in which you think not, the Son of Man comes.”  He is warning us, because He doesn’t want us to “miss the boat.” One person may have been a great servant of Messiah for many years, but at the time of Yeshua’s return, he might be partying it up with “wine, women, and song,” as the expression goes. He won’t be ready. Another Believer might not have lived the life that he should have lived, but on the day of Messiah’s return, he is ready.
Regretfully, many Christians are being given a false message that they don’t have to be concerned about the “anti-Christ,” and that God will rocket them off from this planet before the hard times come. This is the message taught by many churches, as well as the “LeftBehind” series of books and movies. When the anti-Messiah makes his appearance, these Christians won’t recognize what is happening, as they expect to be “out-of-here” before such a thing happens.
However, just as HaShem provided supernaturally for Elijah for 3½ years before he was “raptured,” He can also provide for you. His protection was also upon the Israelites during the plagues that fell upon the Egyptians. The world will aim its persecution at Believers (both Jew and Gentile). We see in Scripture that “all the nations of the earth will be gathered against (Jerusalem).” 
The current rise in anti-Semitism is shocking. The nations are busily de-legitimizing and demonizing Israel, not even permitting Israel to defend herself against terrorists who seek Israel’s destruction. Much of this anti-Semitic hatred is coming from Muslims. However, much additional anti-Semitism is coming from the Left and so-called Liberals. We are extremely pleased that Evangelic Christians have become Israel’s greatest supporters. However, Israel has far more enemies than friends.
I believe that God is gathering Israel’s enemies for Judgment. We see in Zechariah 12:4-9 that God will destroy all the nations that gather themselves against Israel. In the natural, such a thing seems impossible. However, I remember the wars of extermination launched against Israel in 1948, 1967, and 1973. Tiny little Israel was surrounded by nations far bigger with superior weaponry. Each time, Israel defeated her enemies. The Scriptures tell us that, although things will look dim for Israel, God will give victory to the Jews.
“And to the woman (Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, times, and half a time (3½ years) from the face of the serpent… And the dragon was enraged with the woman and went off to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the mitzvot (commandments) of God, and hold to the testimony of Yeshua.” 
 1 Corinthians 15:51-55.  Revelation 10:7.  Revelation 11:15-18.  A ‘saint’ is anybody who has trusted in Yeshua for his or her salvation and is living for Him. I suspect that many of those who have been canonized as saints (such as “Saint” John Chrysostom [349-407]) are rotting in hell for their evil anti-Semitism.  2 Thessalonians 2:1-4.  1 Kefa (Peter) 4:17.  Matthew 24:29-31.  Source: The Incredible Cover-Up, by Dave McPherson, Omega Publications, Medford OR  Yochanan (John) 16:33.  Revelation 13:5-7.  Matthew 25:1-12.  2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27.  Matthew 24:44.  Zechariah 12:3.  Revelation 12:14,17