The Greek word apokalupsis refers to Christ’s ‘Revelation.’ It means a revealing, a disclosing, or a manifesting. Indeed, the book of Revelation is sometimes called the Apocalypse.
When is Christ’s apocalypse? Is it at his epiphany (his bright coming)? At his parousia (his arrival to be present with)? Or, are they all just different descriptive words of the same event?
Again, let's look at what the Bible says.
II Thessalonians 1:7-10
“And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed [apokalupsis] from heaven with his mighty angels,”
In this verse, Paul expressly declares that the Christian will enter into rest when Christ is revealed from heaven.
To put it another way: It is at the Revelation of Jesus Christ, that the believer will enter into rest. (Not at a pre-Tribulation Rapture!)
Also, look at verse 10, “When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe…”
Christ is not glorified in his saints until the Revelation. This is the SAME time that his saints enter into rest. It is also the same time as his apocalypse!
I Corinthians 1:7
We have seen that saints are to be waiting and looking for both the parousia and the epiphany, but what about the apokalupsis?
“So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming [apokalupsis] of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Are you waiting for the Revelation? Or the Rapture? Paul was waiting for both!
This is not a contradiction because the parousia, the epiphany and the apokalupsis are all at the same time!
We have seen that the believer receives rewards at the epiphany (the appearing), but what about at the apokalupsis (the revelation)?
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing [apokalupsis] of Jesus Christ:”
The believer’s faith during trials is rewarded with “praise and honour” at the Revelation.
There is NO reward ceremony following a pre-Tribulation Rapture anywhere in the New Testament. Rewards are always connected with the glorious Second Coming.
I Peter 1:13
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation [apokalusis] of Jesus Christ;”
What would be the significance of this, if born again (1:23) believers had received grace at the parousia seven years earlier? According to the pre-Tribulation scenario, believers receive their new bodies about seven years before they receive the grace that Peter is talking about!
No, this is a reference to the grace of glorification (i.e., new bodies) that is always connected to the Blessed Hope of Christ's return.
As with epiphany and parousia, apokalupsis refers to a great, singular event at the end of this age. An event that is comprised of the resurrection and rewarding of believers, and the coming of Christ in glory with his angels.
The Rapture is AT the Revelation.