And the Lord will cause His voice of authority to be heard, And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger, And in the flame of a consuming fire In cloudburst, downpour and hailstones. (Isaiah 30:30 NASB)
This is definitely a scripture portraying the return of Jesus. Because it says the ‘Arm’ of the Lord descends. The word ‘descending’ might ring bells to most of us because it reminds about one of the most taught and read scripture in the entire Bible. You guessed it ! It’s 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17. It’s says;
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ 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.
See, Both Isaiah and Apostle Paul are talking about the same event. It’s the return of our Lord and gathering of believers unto him. Even pre-tribulation theorists admit the fact that this is talking about the same event popularly called as the Rapture of the Church.
The similarities in these scriptures are astonishing.
1) First of all there is ‘Voice of authority’ in Isaiah. Similarly there is a ‘Shout‘ from Lord in 1 Thessalonians. It means that Our Lord Jesus will come with a Mighty voice, a Shout ! Clearly it won’t be a secret event.
2) Secondly, In Isaiah the Arm of the Lord will descent from Heaven. Throughout the Bible Jesus, the Son of God is referred to as the Arm of the Lord. There are numerous scriptures to validate this statement. Some of them are given below:
“I have made the earth, the men and the beasts which are on the face of the earth by My great power and by My outstretched arm, and I will give it to the one who is pleasing in My sight”. (Jeremiah 27:5)
God made everything by his arm, his Son, Jesus. John Chapter 1 confirms this by calling Jesus the Creator of all.
“You have a strong arm; Your hand is mighty, Your right hand is exalted”. (Psalms 89:13)
Psalmist says that God’s arm, his right hand is exalted. We know it was Jesus who was exalted to the right hand of God from Acts 2:33.
“Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear”.
There are many more examples. Definitely Jesus, The Messiah is God’s right hand.
In 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 Lord Jesus descends from Heaven. He is coming down for the Church. It doesn’t say that he touches the earth. Rather, believers are caught up to meet the Lord in the air. It’s the rapture of the church, plain and simple.
Now we have proved both Isaiah 30:30 and 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 are talking about the same event, Rapture of believers. No we are going to study when the Rapture occurs.
Now consider the first scripture(Isaiah 30:30) again. It says what happens when Jesus returns for the church.
“And the Lord will cause His voice of authority to be heard, And the descending of His arm to be seen in fierce anger, And in the flame of a consuming fire In cloudburst, downpour and hailstones“.
When Jesus descends, Fire and hailstones will be rained down to earth. This is an important insight! In the Book of Revelation, Apostle John also saw the same event. But When ? When the 7th seal was broken and the first trumpet was sounded !
“The first angel sounded: And hail and fire followed, mingled with blood, and they were thrown to the earth. And a third of the trees were burned up, and all green grass was burned up”.
(Rev 8:7 NKJV)
This is further proof that there is NO Pre-tribulation rapture. Believers will go through Tribulation. Rapture happens at the breaking of 7th seal when first trumpet is sounded ! You might think that Jesus returns with the Trumpet of God, not with the Trumpet of Angels.(1 Thess 4:16), In Revelation 8:7, it is the angel who is sounding the trumpet. There can be a little bit of confusion here. But it will be gone if we read the entire chapter carefully. Consider Revelation 8:2;
And I saw the seven angels who stand before God, and to them were given seven trumpets.
Trumpets belongs to God. They are his! But all of the 7 trumpets are ‘given’ to the angels to be sounded. This is a key scripture.