By Ed Tarkowski
Pretribulationism proposes that Matthew 24:29-31 is for the Jews only in order to disprove a Posttribulational rapture in that chapter. If it cannot be shown that this is concerning the Church, then Posttribulationism has the duty to provide proof to refute this belief. That proof is found in the same scene described in Mark 13:24-27. If Pretribulationism states this is not the same scenario, then they have a problem of having these two chapters describing two separate tribulations followed by two different comings of Christ filled with celestial catastrophies and therefore two very visible comings. Look at the two sets of verses from these chapters to see they are describing the same scene:
What proves that Matthew 24 is not just for the Jews, but is the gathering of the entire body of Christ in heaven and on earth at His coming is the wording in Mark 13:27:
Mark 13:27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.
The phrase "and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other" in Matthew 24 is said by Pretribulationism to mean the Jews, not the Church. But the verse from Mark refutes this:
These gathered in Matthew 24, in Pretribbulationism, would have to be the remnant gathered from the earth and who believe when they see Him coming. But, Mark gives a fuller description of who is gathered and his description includes both those in heaven (the spirits of the dead saints to be raised) and the saints on earth (who will changed in the twinkling of an eye) when He comes:
"and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the UTTERMOST PART OF THE EARTH to the UTTERMOST PART OF HEAVEN"
Therefore, these can not be the Jewish remnant who believe when they see Him and mourn over Him because they are on earth, not in heaven when He comes. Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament comments on this verse:
"Shall gather together his elect (episunaxei touß eklektouß autou). This is the purpose of God through the ages. From the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven (ap akrou ghß ewß akrou ouranou). The Greek is very brief, 'from the tip of earth to the tip of heaven.' This precise phrase occurs nowhere else."
The Pretribulation doctrine says that Matthew 24 is for the Jews only and therefore this cannot be Christ coming back for the Church "immediately after the tribulation of those days." But Mark 13 shows that at that time, He gathers saints from BOTH heaven and earth.
If we are to believe the ones He gathers from heaven are a previously raptured Church seven years before His return at the end the age, then He gave no description of this rapture occurring in the four gospels in spite of its description of the seven year tribulation period. The mention of pretribulational rapture is nowhere to be found. It is non-existent.
If Pretribulationism would argue this, then they would have to admit that have up to this point been totally wrong about Matthew 24 because they would have to admit it was they being gathered in Mark 13:27 after the tribulation. Furthermore, there are live saints in the earth who gathered, in which case there would have to be another rapture in which the saints are raised or changed at His coming for they are gathered as described in 1 Thessalonians 4:
1 Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
The trumpet in Matthew 24:31 matches that of verse 16 in 1 Thessalonians 4, a Posttribulational scene.
When He gathers the Jewish remnant, He does not gather them from heaven, but from earth. The answer to the seeming quandary is this:
When Jesus comes back, He gathers the saints in heaven and on earth in a very visible Posttribulational coming.
Michael The Archangel And Matthew 24/Mark 13
Dan 12:1 "At that time Michael, the great prince who protects your people, will arise. There will be a time of distress such as has not happened from the beginning of nations until then. But at that time your people--everyone whose name is found written in the book--will be delivered.
There is teaching within the Church that Michael is the restrainer, that he is the one taken out of the way so the antichrist can come forth in 2 Thessalonians 2:7. In Daniel 12:1, Michael is said to be the protector of Israel and he is assocated with the resurrection the OT saints who will have died when Jesus returns. This resurrection occurs AFTER the time of Jacob's trouble (the Great tribulation).
What is important is he is associated with the resurrection of OT saints, and his protection of Israel is seen even in his dispute with the devil over the body of Moses (Jude 1:9-10). That he is associated with the resurrection of OT saints in Daniel is very important in disputing Pretribulationism. He is the only archangel mentioned in the Bible and it would be hard to argue against his being the archangel mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:
1 Th 4:16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.
The mention of "the archangel" here indicates the resurrection of the OT and NT saints at the same time. This places the resurrection of the Church AFTER the tribulation since it is clear that the OT saints are raised at that time. This would compliment our verses in Mark and Matthew as being a Posttribulational scenario.