Early Warning: A “Head’s Up” Before the Rapture? – By Ed Wood


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Terry James | Prophecy Line

Amos {3:7} Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. 

In the Left Behind series, as well as in many other similar works of both fiction and non-fiction, the Rapture occurs totally by surprise. As a result, airplanes, ships, cars, trains end up being uncontrolled with horrendous results. Of course, this is just the beginning of the terror that sweeps over humanity as millions of people and all of the children before the age of accountability suddenly vanish in the manner that Paul described as such:

1 Corinthians {15:51-52} Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 

The word rendered as “twinkling” in English is from the Greek “rhipe” (pronounced “hree-pay”) according to Strong’s Concordance. It compares it to “a jerk of the eye” in the sense of its rapidity.

Taking a quick look through the internet gives various estimates as to how fast that is, all come in at less than a second. At the time Paul wrote his letter, there were no devices capable of measuring small amounts of time accurately as the ones we have today, so it might actually be instantaneous.

Needless to say, the sudden disappearance of millions will be the most universally frightening event humankind has ever experienced up to that point. But will some people be given an early warning shortly before this happens? That’s the possibility we’ll consider in this article. From the opening quote from Amos, I believe it might be the case.

Adam and Eve

From the very beginning of the Bible, God always let someone know what he had in mind. Adam and Eve were told to be the stewards of his creation and to procreate (Genesis 1:28). He also gave them more details including the rule regarding the Tree of Knowledge and the consequences if they did. Well, we all know what happened, right? Adam and Eve could not plead ignorance of the rules. This made their acts those of willful rebellion.


Genesis {6:5-8} And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his heart [was] only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

As we reflect on God’s interactions with the human race, he always let someone know what the deal was before dramatically stepping into history. Let’s take a look at Noah and the Flood. Noah was somewhere between 500 (Genesis 5:32) and just over 600 years old (Genesis 7:11) when God told him to begin working on the Ark. If we consider just how big this ship was (450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet tall), how much construction material required, and the very basic nature of the tools available, the time required to complete it must have been great. Add to this a steep learning curve because it is unlikely Noah, or any member of his family were professional shipbuilders so this project could have taken decades.

Perhaps just as difficult as the task at hand was dealing with the neighbors. Recall that the society at that time was so bad that God determined it was necessary to wipe it out and start over. I suspect that it was even worse than today, although it seems we are well on the way toward replicating those conditions. Noah and his kin must have had a truly dreadful time dealing with the taunts, maybe even occasional sabotage of this project. (You can get something of the idea by seeing how the world deals with believers today.)

In this instance, God let Noah know what was coming a long time before the Flood was to occur and it seems certain Noah passed the message on, rejection of it notwithstanding. Significantly, God also followed it up with a final alert right before the Deluge was to come. (Genesis 7:1-10) Let’s keep that in mind.


Genesis {18:17, 20-21} And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do . . . And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know.

The Genesis narrative which follows the above quotation recounts the discussion between Abraham and God concerning the latter’s decision to destroy those two cities. That the Lord would consider sparing them if only ten “righteous” people were found in them is a clear demonstration of his mercy and reluctance to inflict a “scorched earth” policy (literally, in this case) even upon people who so richly deserved it. Yet he also knew, in his omniscience, that there was one man and his immediate family who would not roll over for the evil of their society. Out of all the people in those desperately wicked cities, only four were found to be worth saving.


Genesis {19:15-16} And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.  And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city. 

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Lot and his family got advanced notice about the destruction God was about to send on Sodom and Gomorrah, just a matter of hours ahead of time. Lot even warned his sons-in-law, but it appears they had the same attitude about it that Noah’s contemporaries did. As a result, only Lot, his wife, and their two daughters got out. Unfortunately, only three were to ultimately survive because Lot’s wife paused to look back upon the destruction and was killed in the process. Once again, there was a warning right before the event. 

The Israelites in Egypt

Exodus {11:1} And the LORD said unto Moses, Yet will I bring one plague [more] upon Pharaoh, and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence: when he shall let [you] go, he shall surely thrust you out hence altogether. 

For over 400 years, the Israelites had resided in Egypt, initially as a small family of refugees welcomed by its pharaoh because of his high regard for Joseph, Jacob’s son who had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers. Over the centuries, their descendants “lived long and prospered” to such an extent as to cause great fear concerning them to arise in the mind of the increasingly hostile Egyptian ruler of Moses’ time. To deal with this perceived threat, this pharaoh imposed harsh labor upon the Israelites for beginners, culminating in infanticide as his paranoia grew.

Moses miraculously escaped the pharaoh’s edict and was adopted into his household. After learning of his heritage and killing an Egyptian in defense of a fellow Hebrew, he escaped into the desert and ended up in a land where he received his assignment from God to return and free his people – a task he only reluctantly accepted. I’m sure his reticence was further reinforced when he found that even his own people didn’t initially believe him when he got back to Egypt. (Exodus 5:20-23).

Nevertheless, he persisted with them and, at the same time, warned the pharaoh what would happen if he refused to let the people go – backing it up with unmistakable supernatural signs as evidence. Now if one wants to find fault with the Egyptian leader’s obstinacy, recall that such stubbornness was to be a recurring theme on the part of his own people as Moses led his people for forty years across the wilderness.

Oh, by the way, don’t forget that God did give Moses a final “heads up” in Genesis 11, telling him that after one final plague (the one that would kill all the first-born in Egypt, human and animal) the pharaoh would at last yield and let his people go.

A Pattern of Disclosure

The Bible itself is an on-going revelation of God, first to the Jews, and then to the rest of the human race. It words and warnings have persisted across thousands of years of history. But it doesn’t stop there because it also shows us what’s ahead of our own time. We’ve already seen the God provide long- term warnings and often short-term ones in the examples above. The Bible contains many more such occurrences, but I think these fairly disclose the pattern. Regarding the way the world will be in the Last Days, we’ve already been given a long-term look ahead in both the Old and New Testaments, but will there also be a more immediate warning just before the Rapture itself?

The Big Question 

Joel {2:28} And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:

This exact line was quoted by Peter at the very beginning of the Church (Acts 2:14-17), and I am certain this has continued in the intervening 2000 years. Will our “sons and daughters” prophesy and our old men “dream dreams” to a much greater degree as we watch our world slipping ever faster into the darkness which promises to intensify into the worst time in human history (Matthew 24:21)? Will extraordinary times produce extraordinary experiences? It is my belief that they very well might.

It seems that, for the most part, the world rolls along in a manner of “sameness” much as wise King Solomon described in Ecclesiastes:

Ecclesiastes {1:5-9} The sun also ariseth, and the sun goeth down, and hasteth to his place where he arose. The wind goeth toward the south, and turneth about unto the north; it whirleth about continually, and the wind returneth again according to his circuits. All the rivers run into the sea; yet the sea [is] not full; unto the place from whence the rivers come, thither they return again. All things [are] full of labour; man cannot utter [it:] the eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing.  The thing that hath been, it [is that] which shall be; and that which is done [is] that which shall be done: and [there is] no new [thing] under the sun.

Except for changes in technology and specifics, we humans pretty much travel the same route across the centuries. People are born, live their lives, have families, and die. Their descendants do the same thing. Yet every once in a while, we see something unprecedented during which God needs to directly intervene and make possible the “impossible,” such as in the examples given earlier.

Yet those events all pale in comparison to that one-time God literally stepped onto our world as one of us in the man, Jesus Christ. From that miraculous event, the world has never been the same. I think it is very possible that in the very near future, the world will again be profoundly changed when Jesus himself steps into history again to take his own off this disintegrating planet when he calls us to meet him up in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). Once we are safely gone, God will initiate on those left behind the kind of judgment and justice this fallen race has earned by continually ignoring all the warnings God has provided by those chosen across the ages to be his messengers.

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff

End-of-the-world predictions have probably been going on since the first humans encountered something drastic occurring in their environment. Volumes could be written on these alone. Limiting our range to “end of the world” date predictions, here are just three examples of “fake prophetic news:”

William Miller: October 22, 1844 (Nope!)

Harold Camping: End of 1994, May 5, 2011 (Sorry, Mr. C. – wrong on both counts!)

Watchtower Society (Jehovah’s Witnesses): 1925 (Obviously not!)

Jesus himself warned us of this sort of thing in the Olivet Discourse. False prophecy and prophets were the first items he listed. Some of these deceivers would even claim to be him:

Matthew {24:4} And Jesus answered and said unto them*, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. [*His followers.] 

Mark {13:5} And Jesus answering them* began to say, Take heed lest any [man] deceive you: For

many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ;] and shall deceive many. [*His followers.]

Luke {21:8} And he said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am [Christ;] and the time draweth near: go ye not therefore after them.

How, then, do we determine which, if any, modern messages and those delivering them concerning the coming of the Rapture itself will be valid? Here is my own two-step litmus test:

1) Does the prediction go against anything Scriptural? If it does, then it fails the ultimate test. ( 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). In this regard, be a Berean! (Acts 17:10-11)

2) Has the person or organization made an inaccurate prediction before? If it does, then he, she, or it is unreliable. Pay no attention. (Deuteronomy 18:22)

Feel free to add more qualifiers to your own list, but I suggest that the two above are a good place to starting. 


As we can see, God always makes sure that his messages and warnings find their way to those to whom he intended. Whether or not they are accepted by the general populace, and, tragically, often they are not, is totally up to each individual.

Significantly for us, Jesus specifically warned that the condition of the world again be like those of Noe (Noah) and Lot (Luke 17:26-29). The growing and accelerating immersion of society into evil echoes the former, and its acceptance of sexual deviancy replicates that of the latter. Furthermore, research into the genetic manipulation of living organisms brings forth a very real potential of replicating the kind of Nephilim hybrids which lived on Earth just prior to the Flood (Genesis 6:1-4).

Does this mean that we are presently on the verge of a time when God will find it necessary to once again intervene? If this is so, isn’t it possible, more than that – probable – that he will choose modern-day messengers to receive and disseminate a final warning just before the that intervention, namely, the Rapture?

Jesus said:

Luke {21:28} And when these things* begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. *Refers to all the signs he himself and the Bible told us about the Last Days.

Last Question 

Are you ready to receive and accept such a message today?


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views the Virginia Christian Alliance

About the Author

Terry James
Leading biblical prophecy expert Terry James is an author, general editor, and co-author of numerous books on Bible prophecy—hundreds of thousands of which have been sold worldwide. His latest release is Rapture Ready…Or Not? 15 Reasons This Is the Generation That Will Be Left Behind, is for this generation of readers who are confused and look upon a world that seems to have destroyed opportunity for a bright, abundant future. The Rapture is about to catastrophically strike an unsuspecting world of both unbelievers and believers. Jesus Christ is the shelter from the coming Tribulation storm of God’s wrath and judgment.