You said — Nevertheless, my leaning is decidedly toward Pre-Trib.
Well, with the pre-trib, mid-trib and pre-wrath — they all have more common characteristics than they do differences. AND, they all are *in common* with one another — and against those who deny the Rapture as a separate event.
All three of these agree that the Rapture “pre-wrath” (none of the three positions are around when the wrath of God is dispensed on earth). All three agree that the Rapture is a separate event as compared to Jesus coming to set up the Kingdom on earth. All three agree that this message of the Rapture is to be given to other Christians as a comforting message to them.
They all stand in stark contrast to some who say that there is a “rapture” at the time of the second coming (when Christ returns to set up the Kingdom). The only problem with *this rapture* — is that everyone will be wearing “neck braces” for the “whiplash” that they’ll get from being “taken up” and then immediately “swung around” to go back down to earth again... LOL...
[... it kinda makes you wonder why Jesus Christ will waste His time bringing us up to then “whip us around” to go back down again... some people think Christ likes to “whip us around” after “beating us up” on earth, during the Tribulation... :-) ...]
FWIW, I’ll type from the hip, and probably display a gross amount of misunderstanding, but just some intuition of how I’ve perceived the Church’s role during the GT.
It strikes me that we are raptured at the beginning or close to the beginning of the GT. While with the Lord in the clouds, and BTW, I think of Shadrack, Mishach, and Abendigo going into the firey furnace when I think of the Rapture. I don’t see the worldly perspective of the Rapture as being something glorious, rather, I wouldn’t be surprised if all the Church isn’t gathered up, and slaughtered, say in a valley with a nuclear device, purging the planet of the Church all at once.
I suspect it would coincide with attempts to use hitech neurological devices several steps above Bluetooth, to establish a 2-way comm system, with unique ID for each person so marked, and the same system interferes, interrupts, or disrupts something neurological associated with prayer between the human and God.
It would probably be associated with the person at the helm, being able to communicate to the people directly with these devices.
If that occurred, I could see people asking, ‘Who could ever oppose such a person?’
I could see people falling away from God, simply by any sin they commit, but never being able to return into fellowship based upon 1stJohn 1:9, because of active interruption of the prayer life.
If the Church were no longer present, a great falling away had occurred, and God the Holy Spirit was not performing anything good by indwelling believers any longer, because their ability to return to Him was interrupted, then I can understand why God the Holy Spirit might depart on His own volition, His Sovereignty, because He does nothing that is ‘good for nothingness’.
I could then see a gross injustice and unrighteousness having occurred at the Divine level. Something our Lord and Savior paid for had been denied Him by a third party.
I can see the Church with Him in heaven, with human technology to the point of altering neurological designs, then at a point of rewriting our hearts and minds so we no longer have to teach one another.
I can see the rewards predestined from eternity past, being given to His elect who remained in fellowship, at the right place and at the right time, to later stand at the bema seat and be given rewards.
All the injustice performed here on earth, simply would get burnt up in a fashion, perhaps spiritually or soulishly, I don’t know, so that we are purified like gold.
Upon receiving those eternal crowns, we are now equipped to perform as we had been made and as we had been tested to perform by His Plan.
Meanwhile, a remnant of believers remain, who might not have been part of the Church at the Rapture, but upon perceiving the abomination of desolation, immediately understand exactly who the Messiah is and who the son of perdition is, and remain a remnant through till the end.
Even with the Church removed, those unbelievers, falling into the cosmic system of the world won’t stop at simply grieving the Holy Spirit. They will have an insatiable lust to quench the Holy Spirit and worse, the son of perdition will naturally seek to make himself as God, leading to the abomination of desolation.
A Temple service is likely to occur again, because with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit removed, God still will provide a Temple for His volition to have fellowship with His believers in fellowship with Him. Perhaps that remains in the mind, in our soul, or perhaps its a sacred building provided by Him, I don’t know, but wherever it might be, IMHO, it has to be something provided by God, otherwise the abomination wouldn’t deface anything holy, rather it would be defacing something counterfeit to His provision (so it wouldn’t matter to God.). Instead, IMHO, the Temple must be provided by God, must be where He dwells, and it is defiled by an abomination, which also makes the Temple desolate.
IMHO, I can understand this as something in the mind interfering with the proper method of returning into fellowship with Him. If it’s the sacred building, then that building would have to be provided by God, in order to meet the Divine criterion for a Temple/dwelling place for God, and for it to replace the present Temple of God, the human soul of the believer.
The millennial reign, then seems fairly straight forward. Hi tech has advanced, at least the stuff founded through faith in Christ. Not yet time for the new heavens and earth, that will still come in the future. Besides, man is still wretched, even after getting all the evil and wickedness out of the way.
Even amongst believers in fellowship, we still have an incredible way, with our own volition, to stumble about and not get it right, not performing the way God really intended.
Anyway, that’s my take on it at present, but I’ve got a lot more study to perform and where I’m likely scarred in my thinking, is simply not always relaxing and taking the inbreathing of the Word at His pace, instead of mine.