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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture (Part 2)

Icon Mongoose Icon75 The Pre Tribulation Rapture (Part 2)

The Rapture thumb The Pre Tribulation Rapture (Part 2)Posttribulationists believe that the church will go through the Tribulation to purge her of impurities and will be raptured at the end of the seven year tribulation when Christ returns to the earth at His Second Advent to meet Him half way in the air only to return immediately to the earth to reign with Him during His Millennial Kingdom. In analyzing this system it will become obvious that its viewpoints are based on a set of denials of the Pretribulationist view instead of on a positive exposition of Scripture.

In order to place the church in the Tribulation which Jeremiah specifically called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30: 7) they must deny dispensationalism and all dispensational distinctions. Consequently they must deny all distinctions between Israel and the church as well as God’s distinctive programs for each one.

Bearing in mind that Scripture describes the Tribulation as a period of wrath, judgment, indignation, trial, trouble, and destruction, they must deny the divine purpose for that period which is to pour out judgment on the nations (Joel 3: 2). In order for them to make the Rapture and the Second Coming one and the same event, they must deny all die distinctions Scripture makes between the two separate events. Their teaching that a multitude of signs must be fulfilled before the Lord can return, compels them to deny the doctrine of imminence. The posttribulationists must apply major passages of Scripture that outline God’s program for Israel (Matthew 13; Matthew 24-25; Revelation 4-19) to the church in order to support their views. They claim that Daniel 9: 24-27 was fulfilled in the past and therefore denies the Pretribulationst view that its fulfilment lies in the future.

What are the Posttribulationist?s main tenets?

1) They reject Pretribulationism on the assumption that it is a new doctrine and therefore not apostolic.

Reese, one of the major proponents of Posttribulationsim says,:

About 1830 … a new school arose within the fold of Pre-millennialism that sought to overthrow what, since the Apostolic Age, have been considered by all pre-millennialists as established results, and to institute in their place a series of doctrines that had never been heard of before. The school I refer to is that of “The Brethren” or “Plymouth Brethren,” founded by J. N. Darby.”

Robert Cameron continues in similar vein when he says:

Now, be it remembered, that prior to that date, no hint of any approach to such belief can be found in any Christian literature from Polycarp down. . . .

On the contrary, several documents written by the post-apostolic fathers prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that they believed in the imminent return of Christ, and in a Pre-tribulation Rapture. Those of you who would like to go into more detail as to the contents of these documents may read this article. For the purpose of this article it is sufficient to mention only the names of some of the apostolic fathers who wrote these documents. They are Clement of Rome (fl. Ca A.D. 90-100), Ignatius of Antioch (d. ca. A.D. 98/117), The Didache (Before the end of the first century A.D.), The Epistle of Barnabas (ca. A.D. 70/117-138), and The Shepherd of Hermas (in two parts, ca A.D. 96/140-150).

2) Posttribulaitonists argue against the imminent return of Christ and assert that all the relevant signs must be fulfilled before Christ can return.

Believers throughout the last 2000 years have constantly been urged to look for the coming of the Lord and not particularly for any signs (Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 9:29; Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6).

The signs of cosmic proportions (great signs in the sun, the moon and the stars) in Luke 21: 25-28 are not given to announce a Mid-Trib or a Post-Trib Rapture but to encourage the saints during the Great Tribulation to lift their heads in anticipation of their redemption at Christ’s Second Advent when He is going to establish his thousand year of peace on earth. Had the fulfilment of these signs been a requirement for His return at the Rapture, He could not have come as a “thief in the night.” He used the metaphor of a thief to illustrate that His return for His own will be unannounced and in secret. Indeed, the mass of humanity will not be looking for Christ when He returns at the Rapture. They will be saying “peace and safety” when “sudden destruction?” will come upon them (1 Thessalonians 5: 2-3).

Whereas the Rapture is a “thief in the night” event for His own, His Second Coming will be announced by many signs and every eye will see Him, and all the tribes of the earth shall gaze upon Him and beat their breasts and mourn and lament over Him when He returns in great glory (Revelation 1:7). His Second Coming pictures a complete different scenario from the events preceding the Rapture when the entire world will say ”peace and safety.” In fact great turmoil will abound and fear will grip the hearts of men, great and small, “And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Revelation 6: 15-17).

3) They assert that Scripture promises tribulation for the church and not a sudden route of escape.

Two distinct usages of the term “Tribulation” are manifest in the Word of God. It is either used in a non-technical and non-eschatological sense in reference to any time of suffering, testing or persecution (Mark 4: 17; John 16: 33; Romans 5: 3; 12: 12; 2 Corinthians 1: 4; 2 Thessalonians 1: 4; Revelation 1: 9). God’s purposes in allowing His saints to go through tribulation in this particular sense of the word are to purify (test as if by fire) their faith and to assist them in their spiritual growth (1 Peter 1: 6-7).

The term is also used in a technical and eschatological sense in reference to the whole of the seven year tribulation period (Revelation 2: 22; Matthew 24: 29) or the last 3 ½ years of the seven year period (Matthew 24: 21). If, as the Posttribulationists believe, there is only a single usage of the term, (the saints’ tribulation throughout the church age), they must deny that the prophesied seven year period of tribulation has any distinct character of its own. In other words, the well-defined character Jesus Himself attributed to the Great Tribulation in Matthew 24: 21 becomes obsolete and completely insignificant. Why would He say, “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” Surely His words “such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now; no, and never will be [again]” places the seven year period of tribulation in a unique category of its own. What is this unique character? The seals, the trumpets, the vials or bowls and the judgment on the false religious system Babylon have one purpose in view – judgment, wrath, indignation, unbearable trial, trouble, and destruction. God never promised His saints that He would keep them safe whilst they are in the midst of persecutions, trials and troubles with the intent of purifying and purging (weaning) them from the world during the tribulation period (1 Peter 4:12) However, he does promise to keep them from (“ek,”  “out of” or “away from” which denotes a literal departure) His judgments that are coming upon all the world. (Revelation 3: 10).

4) They claim that the prophecy in Daniel 9: 24-27 has been fulfilled in its entirety in the past and that there is no gap between the 69th and 70th week of the prophecy.

Concerning the gap, I would like to refer you to 2 Peter 3: 9 which clearly alludes to the necessity of such a gap in God’s plan of redemption: “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, (the promise of Second Coming and His Millennial Kingdom) as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” This is one of the Posttribulationists’ most serious errors and is the result of their denial of all the distinctions between the church and Israel as well as God’s separate plans for them.

Daniel 9: 24 unmistakably affrims that the prophecy is related to his people and the holy city Jerusalem which is the logical outgrowth of God’s covenants with Israel. The “he” spoken of to in verse 27 has its antecedent in the previous verse where he is called “the prince who shall come” and he is clearly related to the people who destroyed Jerusalem and the sanctuary in 70 A.D., i.e. the Romans. The one confirming the covenant with Israel cannot be Christ for He was cut off (crucified) after the fulfillment of the 69th week (Verse 26). The fact that sacrifices and oblation continued after the death of Christ until the year 70 A.D. makes it impossible for Christ to have terminated these sacrifices. To uphold their claim that the prophecy in Daniel was fulfilled in the past, they must interpret it spiritually. Bearing in mind that the prophecies of the first 69 weeks were fulfilled literally, the final seven weeks must also be fulfilled literally.

All the proponents of the Pre-, Mid-, and Postribulation Rapture agree that the 69 weeks in Daniel’s prophecy have already been fulfilled to the very letter. Therefore, there is no argument to be made against a literal fulfilment of the last week of the 70 week cycle. Pretribulationists, as opposed to the Postribulationist’s view that the 7th week immediately followed the 69th, believe that there is a gap between the two periods and consequently that the 7th week is a future event. Is there enough evidence from Scripture that such a chronologically defined sequence of events such as the 70 weeks in Daniel could be interrupted indefinitely? Is there a precedent for this to be found in the mystical chronology of Israel’s history?

According to 1 Kings 6: 1 Solomon built the temple in the 480th year after Israel’s redemption from slavery in Egypt. Chronologers have rejected it as forgery and a blunder and even Scripture seems to dismiss it as an error. In his sermon at Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13: 18-21) Paul elaborated on the chronology of the history of his nation: 40 years in the wilderness; 450 years under the judges, and 40 years of the reign of Saul, making a total of 530 years. Add to this the 40 years of David’s reign and the first 3 years of Solomon’s then a total of 573 years is reached which leaves a gap of 93 years amiss in the chronology of these events. Can this apparent inconsistency be reconciled?

Following the history of Israel in the Book of Judges it becomes clear that their national existence as Jehovah’s peculiar people was in temporal abeyance for several periods. This happened in times of their punishment for their idolatry when they were “sold into the hands of their enemies.” They became slaves of the King of Mesopotamia for 8 years, to the King of Maob for 18 years, to the King of Canaan for 20 years, to the Midianites for 7 years, and finally to the Philistines for 40 years. The sum of 8 + 18 +20 + 7 + 40 = 93 which, when deducted from the 573, leaves a total of 480 years.

Can there be any doubt that the 480 years of the Book of Kings from the Exodus to the temple is a mystic era formed by eliminating every period during which the people were cast off or kept on hold by God? If God had temporarily cast off His people in the past only to reinstate them again, could He not presently be doing the same thing? Indeed, Paul who wrote his epistle to the Romans primarily to correct the developing anti-Semitism and seeds of “replacement theology” in the Church of Rome following the banishment of Jews from that city by the Emperor Claudius (Acts 18: 2), asks “. . . has God totally rejected and disowned His people”? to which he himself answers, “Never!” (Romans 11: 1).

He continues to add a note of warning, “Do not boast over the branches and pride yourself at their expense. If you do boast and feel superior, remember it is not you that support the root, but the root [that supports] you.” . . . “And even those others [the fallen branches], Jews] if they do not persist in [clinging] to their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again.” . . . “Lest you be self-opinionated – wise in your own conceits – I do not want you to miss the hidden truth and mystery (the mystery of the Jews being kept on hold during an intermediary period): a hardening (insensibility) has (temporarily) befallen a part of Israel [to last] until the full number of the Gentiles had come in, And so all Israel (the remaining remnant at His Second Coming) will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob.” (Romans 11: 18, 23, 25, 26; Isaiah 59: 20, 21).

These passages from Scripture declare unequivocally that God has not transferred His promises with regards to the Jews’ final inheritance of the land of Israel and Jerusalem to the church. God has not written off His people and is going to fulfil every promise he made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This will all come to pass during the 7th week of Daniel’s 70 week prophecy which still lies in the future.

Could the 7th week have been fulfilled in the past as the Posttribulationists prefer to believe? Did the 69 and last 7 weeks run in immediate succession without a gap in between? Such a scenario is highly unlikely. Daniel leaves no room for doubt when he says that exactly 69 weeks of years (483 years) expired between the going forth of the command to build Jerusalem until the coming of the anointed One (Daniel 9: 25) (referring of course to the day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. (Matthew 21: 1-11) and a mere four days later He was cut off (crucified) but not for Himself.

From the day He was crucified in 32 AD, 38 years expired before the temple and the sanctuary was destroyed by Titus in 70 AD. Had the destruction occurred within the seven years immediately following the fulfilment of the 69 weeks one would have to concede that the 7th week did indeed follow the 69 weeks of years without any gap, but then all the other events Daniel mentions to be fulfilled within the gamut of the 7th week would have to be ignored completely. In verse 24 Daniel unequivocally says that 70 weeks of years or 490 years would expire before a final end will be made to his peoples’ transgressions, before the full measure of their sin will be sealed up, before they will finally be purged and complete reconciliation be made for their sins and before everlasting righteousness will be ushered in at the inauguration of Christ’s 1000 year reign of peace on earth. Have all these event been accomplished during the seven years immediately following the fulfilment of the 69 weeks? The short answer is a resounding, no! In fact, judgement fell upon Daniel’s people in stead of reconciliation; animosity rather than love for the Messiah became more ferocious as the experience of His disciples clearly show.

Would Jesus have wept under His remorseful words, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate” (Luke 13: 34, 25) if all the aforementioned blessings had been fulfilled in the seven years directly after the 69 weeks of years? As Sir Robert Anderson so eloquently says in his book “The Coming Prince,”

We may conclude, then, that when wicked hands set up the cross on Calvary, and God pronounced the dreaded “Lo-ammi” (Romans 9:25, 26; cf. Hosea 1:9, 10) upon His people, the course of the prophetic era ceased to run. Nor will it flow on again till the autonomy of Judah is restored; and, with obvious propriety, that is held to date from the moment their readmission into the family of nations is recognized by treaty. It will, therefore, be here assumed that the former portion of the prophetic era has run its course, but that the events of the last seven years have still to be accomplished.

pixel The Pre Tribulation Rapture (Part 2)

22 comments to The Pre-Tribulation Rapture (Part 2)

  • Khadina

    PRETRIB RAPTURE STEALTH !

    Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)

    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!

    Many don’t know that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!).

  • Deborah (Discerning the World)

    Khadina

    >> Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
    1 Now regarding the arrival of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to be with him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,
    2 not to be easily shaken from your composure or disturbed by any kind of spirit or message or letter allegedly from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here.
    3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not arrive until the rebellion comes and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction.
    Talking of pre-tribulationists, Jacob Prasch says, “They must also fail to draw due distinction between the Great Tribulation and “the Day of the Lord” which are distinct

    What exactly is “the day of the Lord’”? The day of the Lord is The Tribulation made up of two parts; The Tribulation being first 3.5 years and the Great Tribulation being last 3.5 years, totaling 7 years from start to finish PLUS Jesus’ Second Coming and the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ!

    So what 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is saying is this: The Tribulation / “the day of the Lord” will not start until the apostasy comes first, and Jesus’ Second Coming (when He sets foot on earth) will not take place until after the anti-Christ has been reveal.

    Now

    1 Thessalonians 5:1-6
    1 Now on the topic of times and seasons, brothers and sisters, you have no need for anything to be written to you.
    2 For you know quite well that the day of the Lord will come in the same way as a thief in the night.
    3 Now when they are saying, “There is peace and security,” then sudden destruction comes on them, like labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will surely not escape.
    4 But you, brothers and sisters, are not in the darkness for the day to overtake you like a thief would.
    5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness.
    6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober.
    Paul says: (1 Thessalonians 5:1)“But of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.” The word time here in Greek means χρόνος chronos (khron’-os) in which we get the English word chronology. So, of the general chronology, of this particular time Paul says that no one needs write about it because they have ALREADY been instructed: 1) concerning the general time when Jesus said He would come and 2) concerning the particular time. So the general time CAN be known, but not the actual time. And this is a FANTASTIC message.

    In (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3) Paul says: “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.”

    It is IMPORTANT to note that the whole 7 year Tribulation period (also known as “Time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) is considered a time of JUDGEMENT from God, not just the last 3.5 years which some seem to think. Judgments will be poured out on earth as the seven-sealed scrolls are opened consecutively by the Lamb. Judgments of the Seals, Trumpets and plagues GROWS IN INTENSITY, until you reach 2nd half of the tribulation, namely the Great Tribulation which lasts for another 3.5 years, where God’s Wrath is finally poured out IN FULL on mankind. If you want to thinks that the first half of The Tribulation is not part of God’s wrath on earth, then I do not know what bible you are reading.

    So how does the Rapture of the church relate to “the Day of the Lord” which happens before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ by 7 years? We know that “the Day of the Lord” will come suddenly and unexpectedly like a thief in the night, in other words, The WHOLE Tribulation starts suddenly and unexpectedly. And the Rapture of the church MARKS the end of ‘the day of Grace’ and simultaneously MARKS the beginning of ‘the day of the Lord’. As soon as the church is removed the trials and tribulations of this world begin in all earnest, the birth pangs are over, the birth begins, and no one can escape it.

    1 Thessalonians 5:5-6
    5 For you all are sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night nor of the darkness.
    6 So then we must not sleep as the rest, but must stay alert and sober.
    Paul tells the born again believers to be alert and sober, to watch for Jesus!

    We are not to look for Satan as so many people want us too, we do not have to identify the him and his False Prophet! People want to trying to cheat the saints out of the Blessed Hope. The Bible tells us we are look towards Jesus Christ only and comfort one another with the message that He will return. (1 Thessalonians 4:1-18) “15 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.“

    1 Thessalonians 4:1-18
    1 Furthermore then we beseech you, brethren, and exhort you by the Lord Jesus, that as ye have received of us how ye ought to walk and to please God, so ye would abound more and more.
    2 For ye know what commandments we gave you by the Lord Jesus.
    3 For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication:
    4 That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;
    5 Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God:
    6 That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified.
    7 For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness.
    8 He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.
    9 But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another.
    10 And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more;
    11 And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you;
    12 That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without, and that ye may have lack of nothing.
    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.
    14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
    15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
    18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

  • boldncourageous

    An understanding of the history of Israel really helps in rightly dividing the Word of truth. It is important to understand that Israel is scattered throughout the Earth resulting from the time of Jacob’s trouble. The history that has already happened and prophesy that is yet to be fulfilled shows that this time has only ONE time in the existence of the nation of Israel, past, present, and future. Isaiah tells us that Israel will not be scattered again once she has been gathered. Israel was gathered back from being scattered in 1948. She was about 60% scattered in 70 AD and fulfilled the rest of the scattering about within 100 years later. She has been scattered about 2 times longer than having a king or government. Jeremiah 31 continues the chapter 30 prophesy and in vs. 8 it tells us about how God will gather Israel back from being scattered throughout the Earth. This scattering is substantial, and can ONLY refer to one point in history. This prophesy of Jacob’s trouble IS fulfilled and cannot be used to be considered as yet to be fulfilled, because Israel will never be scattered again. Israel doesn’t have a history of being scattered, but once, you cannot pick and choose which prophesy you may think the time of Jacob’s trouble might apply too. There simply is only one.

    Jer. 30:7 makes a note of this time being the worse ever time, past, present, or future. Because of the ‘worse ever’ scenario it is easy to assume the time of the great tribulation. This simply isn’t the case. The decimation and devastation that came to Israel and Jerusalem in 70 AD and the Roman rule definitely fit the prophesy. As a result Israel was left destitute and without the promised land for almost 2000 yrs. Israel has not finished seeing calamity, however it will never be to this extent again.

    Matt. 24 also refers to the ‘worse ever” scenario as well. It is important to note the context in what multiple events are being spoken of here. The chapter starts out by talking about the temple building. Jesus states that it would be destroyed and one stone would not be left upon another. This was fulfilled in 70 AD. Note that the disciples then asked THREE questions, see vs. 3, The disciples asked about the 70 AD event as well as the Lords return ,and the end of the age. It is important to understand that along with Jesus speaking of His return and the end of the age, He also spoke of the 70 AD event. There is a mix of events in this chapter due to the nature of the disciples questions. Matt. 24:21 tells us of the “worse ever” scenario event and the abomination of desolation that happens. The fact of the matter is that the “worse ever” event that happens to Israel is confined too and limited too the occurrence of what happened in 70 AD which caused the scattering of Israel to the ends of the Earth.

    Concerning God’s wrath. It is important that vs. 10 is not removed from vs. 1 Thess. 5:9. It is absolutely true that God has not assigned, appointed, or destined us to wrath. It is equally important to understand what we ARE assigned, appointed, or destined to… We are assigned, appointed, and destined to salvation and forever living with Him. This is an ETERNAL assignment, not TEMPORAL! It is also important to understand what God’s wrath is. Rev. 14:9-11 tells us exactly what God’s wrath is… it is Hell! God’s temporal judgment brings about His eternal wrath Rev. 15:1. The English words used in 1 Thess. 5:9… assigned, appointed, or destined signify a futuristic position, and have nothing to do with the current temporal life. To use the current position of the temporal life is a false assumption.

    The Greek word for wrath that is used in 1 Thess. 5:9 is not the same Greek word used concerning the bowl judgements. It is however used in in the 7th trumpet judgement referring to when God Judges man eternally in Hell. This same word used in 1 Thess. 5:9 is also used in by “man” who declares God’s wrath has come, at the end of Rev. 6. Man seems to really carry a temporal view, where God’s view is eternal.

    Rev. 16:15, “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.” Amazing, it’s after the 6th bowl judgement and Jesus is still coming like a thief, and the wise virgins are still watching…. What happened to the pretrib virgins? Mark 4:17 Jesus tells us that those who are not prepared for tribulation and persecution will immediately stumble. Paul tells us that before we are gather together will Him there must a a great apostasy, or falling away… 2 Thess. 2:1-3. You can only mock a pretrib believer with the words, “Where is the promise of His coming…” for a post-trib believer is prepared to have oil in their lamp until the bridegroom comes.

  • boldncourageous

    You state under your second point: Whereas the Rapture is a “thief in the night” event for His own,

    If that is the case how do you explain the OTHER “thief in the night” scriptures?

    Jesus States in Rev. 16:15: “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame”

    Peter states (to the Gentile church) 2 Peter 3:10, ” But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.” By the way, he taught the same message to the gentile church that he learned from Jesus Matt. 24:29-36. Funny pretribbers don’t see this message as one to the church.

    Jesus states in Matt. 24:42,43, “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
    [43] But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
    [44] Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” You can’t have more than one event of a “thief in the night” the second would be declared. Yet, Jesus declares the ‘second coming’ as THE event.

    You are so right the rapture happens at the time of the event when Jesus comes like a thief in the night. You also refer this event as the second coming unless you ignore Peter and Jesus (in Rev. 16). If not, why would Jesus declare this event between the 6th and 7th bowl judgement? It’s going to be really hard for a pretribber to be still watching when Rev. 16:15 rolls around. The wise virgins still will have oil though. Sad to consider realistically the unwilse will be mocking one another with, “where is the promise of His coming?” You can’t mock a post-tribber in that manor, they never believed in rapture without tribulation and persecution.

  • boldncourageous

    Why should there be only one thief in the night occurrence or event? Jesus Christ’s return is often likened to a thief in the night to indicate that many, especially unbelievers, would be unprepared and caught unawares by his coming. There are no signs for the Rapture. It can happen at any moment. Most Christians are going to be caught unawares by the Rapture because they do not believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture. They believe they must go through the tribulation and suffer in behalf of their faith. The only ones who are going to suffer decapitation during the tribulation are those who will enter the time of Jacob’s trouble as unbelievers and then be saved (Rev 7:13-14).

    The Rapture cannot take place whilst the Bride of Christ is still on earth. She must be raptured from earth before the Antichrist can reveal Himself (1 Thess 2:6-7).

    I never said that the Rapture and Christ’s Second coming occur simultaneously. There are several distinct differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming. Matthew 25 (wise and foolish versions) is not the Rapture. It would have been rather silly for Christ to warn people in Matthew 24 not to come down from the roof or from the fields to gather some of their possessions but to immediately flee to the mountains when the actual Rapture in `1 Cor 15:51-53 uses language such as “in a twinkling of an eye.” There won’t be any time to come down from the roof or from the fields if Matthew 25 were to depict the Rapture happening in the twinkling of an eye.

    You’ve mentioned 2 Peter 3:4: “where is the promise of his coming.” That’s exactly what some Christians are doing today when they say there is no such thing a a Pre-Trib Rapture. Surprise, surprise! It is not unbelievers who say “where is the promise of his coming” but believers who scoff at a Pre-Trib Rapture.

  • boldncourageous

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    boldncourageous
    Why should there be only one thief in the night occurrence or event? Jesus Christ’s return is often likened to a thief in the night to indicate that many, especially unbelievers, would be unprepared and caught unawares by his coming. There are no signs for the Rapture. It can happen at any moment. Most Christians are going to be caught unawares by the Rapture because they do not believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture. They believe they must go through the tribulation and suffer in behalf of their faith. The only ones who are going to suffer decapitation during the tribulation are those who will enter the time of Jacob’s trouble as unbelievers and then be saved (Rev 7:13-14).
    The Rapture cannot take place whilst the Bride of Christ is still on earth. She must be raptured from earth before the Antichrist can reveal Himself (1 Thess 2:6-7).
    I never said that the Rapture and Christ’s Second coming occur simultaneously. There are several distinct differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming. Matthew 25 (wise and foolish versions) is not the Rapture. It would have been rather silly for Christ to warn people in Matthew 24 not to come down from the roof or from the fields to gather some of their possessions but to immediately flee to the mountains when the actual Rapture in `1 Cor 15:51-53 uses language such as “in a twinkling of an eye.” There won’t be any time to come down from the roof or from the fields if Matthew 25 were to depict the Rapture happening in the twinkling of an eye.
    You’ve mentioned 2 Peter 3:4: “where is the promise of his coming.” That’s exactly what some Christians are doing today when they say there is no such thing a a Pre-Trib Rapture. Surprise, surprise! It is not unbelievers who say “where is the promise of his coming” but believers who scoff at a Pre-Trib Rapture.

    Do the math Thomas, Jesus says that, “if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched” If the rapture is 7 years prior to the second coming, the goodman would know EXACTLY which watch to keep watch. Therefore, the rapture DECLARES the timing of the second coming, and the second coming no longer has the element of surprise of,”like a thief” Yet Jesus declares that the second coming, “of that day” no one knows the hour or the day, except the Father… Luke 24:29-36. Jesus declares the second coming to have the element of surprise… 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15, etc. To remove the element of surprise by the placement of a rapture 7 years prior is to call Jesus a liar. He declared the nature in which He would come, “like a thief.” The pretrib doctrine makes it into more of a, “politician in the daylight.”

  • boldncourageous wrote:

    Do the math Thomas, Jesus says that, “if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched” If the rapture is 7 years prior to the second coming, the goodman would know EXACTLY which watch to keep watch. Therefore, the rapture DECLARES the timing of the second coming, and the second coming no longer has the element of surprise of,”like a thief” Yet Jesus declares that the second coming, “of that day” no one knows the hour or the day, except the Father… Luke 24:29-36. Jesus declares the second coming to have the element of surprise… 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15, etc. To remove the element of surprise by the placement of a rapture 7 years prior is to call Jesus a liar. He declared the nature in which He would come, “like a thief.” The pretrib doctrine makes it into more of a, “politician in the daylight.”

    Do you, I and anyone else know when the seven years tribulation is going to begin? Do we all know when the Antichrist is going to reveal him to the world? Do we know when Antichrist is going to make a covenant with the Jewish nation and when they are going to receive him as their Messiah? Or do you know something we don’t? Then, you must be the goodman who knows EXACTLY when Jesus is going to return at the Rapture. VOILA! You have proved (with little or no circumstantial evidence) when the Pre-Trib Rapture is going to occur. Please do me a favor and give me the EXACT date when the seven years tribulation is going to take place. Then and only then will I accept your argument that the goodman knows EXACTLY when it will occur.

    Similarly, the seven years tribulation prior to His Second Advent does not provide the EXACT date. Surely, you must have noted the words “hour and day” in verse 36? It means no one can pin an exact hour and day to his Second Advent. It implies that the seven years tribulation will probably not be EXACTLY seven years in duration. It could even be shorter than that. How do I know?

    for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. And EXCEPT THOSE DAYS HAD BEEN SHORTENED, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect’s sake THOSE DAYS SHALL BE SHORTENED.” (Matthew 24:21-22).

    Now, if you can tell me EXACTLY how long the shortened period is going to last and subtract that EXACT time you had calculated from the seven years (provided of course you also know on what EXACT hour and day the Rapture is going to take place), then we can begin to believe your brilliant argument against a Pre-Trib Rapture. Will you do that for us, PLEASE EXACTLY?

  • Yana

    “What exactly is “the day of the Lord’”? The day of the Lord is The Tribulation made up of two parts; The Tribulation being first 3.5 years and the Great Tribulation being last 3.5 years, totaling 7 years from start to finish PLUS Jesus’ Second Coming and the Millennial reign of Jesus Christ!”

    Where exactly do you get these conclusions from?

  • Yana

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    boldncourageous

    The Rapture cannot take place whilst the Bride of Christ is still on earth. She must be raptured from earth before the Antichrist can reveal Himself (1 Thess 2:6-7).

    First of all, I think you meant 2 Thessalonians. :)

    But secondly, those verses do not prove your assertion in any way.

    2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
    2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

    How does this prove that the Antichrist comes after the Rapture?

    Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

    What’s interesting here is that the days are shortened because of the elect. (Why would that matter if they’ve been raptured?)I notice that pre-tribbers often ascribe all verses with “elect” in them as pertaining to Israel, but there is no Biblical basis for this. “The elect” refers to those who are saved, whether they be Jews or Gentiles. For example:

    Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

    Here it even denotes the Gentiles!

    The other obvious passage that places the Rapture after the Tribulation is Matthew 24:29-31, but there again you guys claim that “the elect” means Israel. Honestly, I don’t understand how this works. The fact that these people are “elect” means that they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! Now, why haven’t they been raptured? Probably because they did not believe at the time of the Rapture. But how did they come to believe during the Tribulation? Who was there to preach to them? Isn’t it the church that is to bring Israel to jealousy (Romans 11:11)? How will she do that if she’s gone?

    Oh, and another thing. I see statements concerning Israel’s acceptance of the Antichrist as their Messiah. I don’t get that. If they do so, will they not accept the Mark of the Beast? And those who are marked cannot be amongst the elect. Or do you believe that only a part of the Jews will fall for the Antichrist?

    I find your beliefs a bit confusing, or at least the way they are presented in these two articles (The Pre-Tribulation Rapture 1& 2) and the subsequent comments. Could someone give me a chonology of the end-time events according to you, because I think that’ll clear up quite a few things. Also, the role that Israel is to play in all this: what exactly are your thoughts on that?

  • Yana,

    Let’s get one thing straight. Who is the elect during the Tribulation?

  • Yana, I will answer you in more detail later.

  • Yana

    Well, I’d say the elect during the Tribulation are the same as the elect otherwise, but I have a feeling you don’t agree.

    I’m looking forward to your answer.

  • Vanessa

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Yana,

    Let’s get one thing straight. Who is the elect during the Tribulation?

    Hello Thomas. My understanding is that the elect are all believers regardless if they are Jew or Gentile. I hope you don’t mind if I have joined this thread as I too wish to learn and know the truth.

    I am a pre tribber.

    Out of 16 mentions of the term “elect” in the Bible:

    10 refer to Believers in General
    2 refer to Believers who are Gentiles
    1 refers to Believers who are Jews
    2 refer to Jesus Christ himself
    1 refers to the person Jacob who was a Believer

    Thank you. I use to be louise.

  • Yana,

    Here are the verses that prove that the Day of the Lord (also known as “that day” and “that great day.

    Zephaniah 1:14-18 – The seven years tribulation.

    Zechariah 14:1-4 – the Second Advent of Jesus Christ.

    2 Peter 3:10 – the entire millennial.

  • Yana,

    How does this (2 Thess 2:6-7) prove that the Antichrist comes after the Rapture?

    The church at Thessalonia endured some of the harshest persecutions in Paul’s time, to the extent that they believed they were already in the Tribulation. To make their suffering even worse false prophets sent them letters, claiming that they were Paul’s letters (2 Thess 2:2), to make them believe that they were already in the Tribulation. In fact they believed they had missed the Rapture and were left behind to go through the tribulation period. As you can see, it really confused and distressed them. To alleviate their misconceptions, Paul wrote a letter to assure them that they could not possibly have been in the Tribulation as yet. Why? Because the Antichrist cannot reveal himself to the world until after the Pre-Trib Rapture. God has decreed a specific time for the Antichrist to reveal himself to the world and that time will be after the Pre-Trib Rapture takes place. There is only one Person who is powerful enough to restrain the works of the devil through the Antichrist. The Holy Spirit who presently abides in each believer and the collective body of Jesus Christ is restraining the Antichrist from revealing himself. As soon as the restraining power of the Holy Spirit is removed via the Rapture, Antichrist is going to reveal himself to the world and the Jewish nation as a most resplendent peacemaker (Daniel 8:25; John 5:43).

    Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

    What’s interesting here is that the days are shortened because of the elect. (Why would that matter if they’ve been raptured?)I notice that pre-tribbers often ascribe all verses with “elect” in them as pertaining to Israel, but there is no Biblical basis for this. “The elect” refers to those who are saved, whether they be Jews or Gentiles.

    Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
    Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

    What’s interesting here is that the days are shortened because of the elect. (Why would that matter if they’ve been raptured?)I notice that pre-tribbers often ascribe all verses with “elect” in them as pertaining to Israel, but there is no Biblical basis for this. “The elect” refers to those who are saved, whether they be Jews or Gentiles. For example:

    Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

    Here it even denotes the Gentiles!

    You are wrong in saying that Pre-tribbers ascribe all verses of “elect” in them as pertaining to Israel. Gentile believers are also referred to as God’s elect. Nonetheless, the elect during the Tribulation almost always refers to Israel, simply because the Tribulation is called Jacob’s trouble and is designed to purify the Jewish Nation of their unbelief, and to prepare the remnant among them for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.

    The other obvious passage that places the Rapture after the Tribulation is Matthew 24:29-31, but there again you guys claim that “the elect” means Israel. Honestly, I don’t understand how this works. The fact that these people are “elect” means that they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! Now, why haven’t they been raptured? Probably because they did not believe at the time of the Rapture. But how did they come to believe during the Tribulation? Who was there to preach to them? Isn’t it the church that is to bring Israel to jealousy (Romans 11:11)? How will she do that if she’s gone?

    Matthew 24 has nothing to do with the Pre-Trib Rapture or any other rapture. Bear in mind that the Rapture has always been a mystery (musterion) which was revealed to Paul in God’s time. In other words the Rapture could not have been revealed by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Therefore, Matthew could not have referred to the Rapture in Matthew 24:31. Note carefully that Matthew makes no mention of the twinkling off an eye, the time it would take to Rapture the church. The gathering of the elect from the four corners of the earth is inconsistent with the phrase in the twinkling of an eye. I’m pretty sure that Jesus would never have warned them not to return to their homes to salvage their possessions if this gathering were to take place in the twinkling of an eye. In any case, the main truth of the Rapture of the saints is that they are going to receive their new bodies like unto that of Jesus in the twinkling of an eye at the Pre-trib Rapture. Does Matthew mention anything remotely like a transformation from an earthly body to a heavenly one? The elect (the Jews) are going to flee into the mountains with their earthly bodies in tact.

    No! the fact that they are the elect does not mean they believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (Read Romans 11:18 carefully). How are they going to be saved during the Tribulation and who is going to evangelize them? Jesus first little band of twelve disciples is going to be increased 12 times 12 (144 000) in the Tribulation. No none is going to miss an opportunity to hear and respond to the Gospel. You really are limiting God;s power. Do you really think that the church is his sole soul-winning body of disciples?

    Oh, and another thing. I see statements concerning Israel’s acceptance of the Antichrist as their Messiah. I don’t get that. If they do so, will they not accept the Mark of the Beast? And those who are marked cannot be amongst the elect. Or do you believe that only a part of the Jews will fall for the Antichrist?

    Jesus Himself once said the Jews are going to accept the Antichrist as their Messiah.

    I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him (the Antichrist) ye will receive. (John 5:43)

    The prophet Daniel wrote,

    And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate. (Dan 9:27)

    And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand. (Dan 8:25)

    That’s pretty straightforward, isn’t it?

    I find your beliefs a bit confusing, or at least the way they are presented in these two articles (The Pre-Tribulation Rapture 1& 2) and the subsequent comments. Could someone give me a chonology of the end-time events according to you, because I think that’ll clear up quite a few things. Also, the role that Israel is to play in all this: what exactly are your thoughts on that?

    Your request at this time is rather hefty. It takes time. However, I will venture to do so later.

  • Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    boldncourageous wrote:
    Do the math Thomas, Jesus says that, “if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched” If the rapture is 7 years prior to the second coming, the goodman would know EXACTLY which watch to keep watch. Therefore, the rapture DECLARES the timing of the second coming, and the second coming no longer has the element of surprise of,”like a thief” Yet Jesus declares that the second coming, “of that day” no one knows the hour or the day, except the Father… Luke 24:29-36. Jesus declares the second coming to have the element of surprise… 2 Peter 3:10, Rev. 16:15, etc. To remove the element of surprise by the placement of a rapture 7 years prior is to call Jesus a liar. He declared the nature in which He would come, “like a thief.” The pretrib doctrine makes it into more of a, “politician in the daylight.”
    Do you, I and anyone else know when the seven years tribulation is going to begin? Do we all know when the Antichrist is going to reveal him to the world? Do we know when Antichrist is going to make a covenant with the Jewish nation and when they are going to receive him as their Messiah? Or do you know something we don’t? Then, you must be the goodman who knows EXACTLY when Jesus is going to return at the Rapture. VOILA! You have proved (with little or no circumstantial evidence) when the Pre-Trib Rapture is going to occur. Please do me a favor and give me the EXACT date when the seven years tribulation is going to take place. Then and only then will I accept your argument that the goodman knows EXACTLY when it will occur.
    Similarly, the seven years tribulation prior to His Second Advent does not provide the EXACT date. Surely, you must have noted the words “hour and day” in verse 36? It means no one can pin an exact hour and day to his Second Advent. It implies that the seven years tribulation will probably not be EXACTLY seven years in duration. It could even be shorter than that. How do I know?
    for then shall be great tribulation, such as hath not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, nor ever shall be. And EXCEPT THOSE DAYS HAD BEEN SHORTENED, no flesh would have been saved: but for the elect’s sake THOSE DAYS SHALL BE SHORTENED.” (Matthew 24:21-22).
    Now, if you can tell me EXACTLY how long the shortened period is going to last and subtract that EXACT time you had calculated from the seven years (provided of course you also know on what EXACT hour and day the Rapture is going to take place), then we can begin to believe your brilliant argument against a Pre-Trib Rapture. Will you do that for us, PLEASE EXACTLY?

    I know exactly when it won’t occur… The pre-trib rapture will never occur. The rapture occurs at the second coming. They are one in the same. Your response shows that math isn’t one of your strong points. So lets come at it from another direction.

    Paul tells us that we are one body in Christ Jesus. He also tells us that the gentile believers are grafted into the Jewish believers, and that the walls of separation have come down… Eph. 2:11-14. Yet the pretrib doctrine attempts to make us into 3 bodies. Israel and the church, and the tribulation saints. Being that the tribulation saints cannot be part of the bride of Christ, a whole new set of rules must be set up for this newly conjured body of people that end up in heaven who are not the body of Christ. The pretrib doctrine tells us that Christ died for His bride, but the tribulation saints must be martyred to pay for their passage into heaven. We are told that this group of people, tribulation saints, will become servants of the bride of Christ. Interesting ideas, and something must be said to tie-up the continual loose-endedness of the doctrine. What’s your particular view of these extra-biblical individuals who are not the bride of Christ that the pretrib doctrine has conjured up? By the way if they are servants, Jesus tells us that he who is the greatest in the kingdom is a servant of all, so that would make the tribulation saints greater than the bride. In that case it would be more desirable to be a tribulation saint than one of the “church.” What a hokey pre-trib doctrine!

  • boldncourageos,

    Indeed, you are very boldncourageous to call Jesus a liar. But before we get into that I must point out to you that the post tribulation rapture is not based on a sound exposition of Scripture but rather on a whole bunch of denials. They deny:-
    1. Dispensationalism and all dispensational distinctions. The distinction between the Church (Bride of Jesus Christ) and Israel (the wife of God the Father) – Jeremiah 3:1; 3:8; 3:14; 31:31-33; Hosea 2:2; 2:7; 2:16; 2:19-20 ¬– is so obvious that even the most elementary study of God’s Word is sufficient to understand it. The LORD’s accomplished purpose in Israel’s chastening during the tribulation also will result in the reestablishment of her original husband-wife relationship to the LORD. The relationship between Israel and Jehovah is dramatically different than what the NT records concerning Christ and His bride. Perhaps the most significant difference is that the marriage of Jehovah to Israel occurred in time past, whereas the marriage of Christ with His bride has not yet taken place. This is the subject of the passage before us. Israel in her land was the wife of Jehovah (Jer. 3:14-20; Isa. 54:1), but the wife was divorced because of her iniquity. Israel, however, is to be reinstated in Jehovah’s favour during the time of Jacob’s Trouble (Jeremiah 30:7). But a divorced wife can never again be a virgin, and it is not a divorced wife but a virgin whom the Lord marries (Lev. 21:14). Nowhere does the Bible say that Israel (the Jews) are the Bride of Christ’s servants. They are assisting the Bride of Christ in much the same way a best man assists the Bridegroom during a wedding. That’s why John the Baptist said: “He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled. (John 3:29).
    2. The purpose and nature of the tribulation period. Jesus promised his Bride that He would Rapture her before He would pour out his wrath on the Antichrist and his followers (2 Thessalonians 1-3; Revelation 3:10). The Scriptures indicate that there are two major purposes to be accomplished in the seventieth week. The first purpose is stated in Revelation 3:10, “I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” Apart from the question involved as to who will be in this time of testing there are several other important considerations in this verse. First of all we see that this period has in view “them that dwell on the earth” and not the church. This same expression occurs in Revelation 6:10; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:6 and 17:8. In its usage it is not giving us a geographical description but rather a moral classification. Thiessen writes:
    Now the word “dwell” used here (katoikeo) is a strong word. It is used to describe the fulness of the Godhead that dwelt in Christ (Col. 2:9); it is used of Christ’s taking up a permanent abode in the believer’s heart (Eph. 3:17), and of demons returning to take absolute possession of a man (Matt. 12:45; Luke 11:26). It is to be distinguished from the word oikeo, which is the general term for “dwell,” and paroikeo, which has the idea of transitoriness, “to sojourn.” Thayer remarks that the term katoikeo has the idea of permanence in it. Thus the judgment referred to in Rev. 3:10 is directed against the earth-dwellers of that day, against those who have settled down in the earth as their real home, who have identified themselves with the earth’s commerce and religion.

    Since this period is related to “earth dwellers,” those that have settled down to permanent occupancy, it can have no reference to the church, which would be subjected to the same experiences if it were here.
    The second major purpose of the seventieth week is in relation to Israel. In Malachi 4:5-6 it is stated:

    Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

    The prophet states that the ministry of this Elijah was a ministry to prepare the people for the King who was shortly to come. In Luke 1:17 it is promised that the son born to Zacharias would “go before him in the spirit and power of Elias” to perform this very ministry and “to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Concerning the coming of Elijah which was to have been a sign to Israel, the Lord states:
    Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at naught. But I say unto you, that Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him [Mk. 9:12-13].

    The Lord was showing the disciples that John the Baptist had this ministry of preparing a people for Him. And to remove all doubt, the word in Matthew 11:14 is conclusive, “if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” John’s ministry was a ministry to prepare the nation Israel for the coming of the King. It can only be concluded then that Elijah, who is to come before the great and terrible day of the Lord, can have only one ministry: that of preparing a remnant in Israel for the advent of the Lord. It is evident that no such ministry is needed by the church since she by nature is without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but is holy and without blemish.

    These two purposes, the testing of earth dwellers, and the preparation of Israel for the King, have no relation to the church whatsoever. This is supporting evidence that the church will not be in the seventieth week.
    3. All the distinctions between the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. There are several major differences between the Rapture and the Second Advent which we dare not overlook.
    a. At the Rapture Jesus returns FOR His Bride to gather her to Himself for the Bema Throne judgment and the wedding. (John 14:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:17; 2 Thessalonians 2:1).
    At his Second Advent after the seven year tribulation and prior to his 1000 year reign of peace on earth, He returns WITH his Bride (1 Thessalonians 3:13; Revelation 19:14; Luke 12:35-36).
    b. At the Rapture Christ returns to meet his saints in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:17)
    At his Second Advent He returns to the earth to judge the nations and establish his 1000 years reign of peace on the earth (Zechariah 14:4-21).
    c. At the Rapture Christ returns to claim his Bride whom He bought with his own blood (1 Thessalonians 4:17; 1 Peter 1:18-19).
    At his Second Advent Jesus returns together with his Bride (Jude 1:14-15; Revelation 9:6-14).
    d. At the Rapture He returns in secret like a thief in the night to remove his Bride from the sphere of the earth, first to appear before his Bema throne of judgment to determine who will receive rewards and crowns (1 Corinthians 3:11-15).
    At his Second Advent every eye shall see Him (Matthew 24:29-30; Luke 17:23-24; Revelation 1:7).
    e. The Rapture occurs BEFORE the seven year tribulation (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4)
    Christ’s Second Advent to the earth occurs AFTER the Great Tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31).
    f. The rapture leads to the seven tribulation 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9)
    The Second Advent leads to the Millennium on earth (Revelation 20:1-7)
    g. No signs are given for the rapture (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).
    Many signs precede the Second Advent (Luke 21:11-15).
    h. The rapture focuses on the Lord and his Bride (1 Thessalonians 4:13-19)
    The Second Advent focuses the Lord and the remnant of the Jews (Matthew 24:14).

  • Sam Dean

    [deleted by DTW – sorry Dean, but you are a Calvinist with a distorted view on Salvation, one can only expect that you would distort other scriptures in the bible to annihilate the fact that Jesus will rapture the church before the tribulation]

  • Sam Dean

    How long for moderation of posts? Thanks for answer, please. I thought I posted, but maybe it was deleted by accident by me doing something wrong?

  • Sam Dean,

    It’s quite possible that you deleted your comment. Could you please post it again? Do you have a copy?

  • Sam Dean

    Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    Sam Dean,
    It’s quite possible that you deleted your comment. Could you please post it again? Do you have a copy?

    No, it’s OK, I still see it now. My computer might not have “remembered my login” details. The post I did not see is there after I refreshed my page. Working on a Mac at present and it does seem to teach you how to do things right the first time. Old habits on the irritating windows platforms got me to change after all my friends changed to Apple. I am also bald and grey, and that might explain it.

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