The Pre-Tribulation Rapture (Part 1)

Tom (Discerning the World)

Discerning the World is an internet Discernment ministry based in Johannesburg South Africa that was founded in 2008. Tom Lessing originally founded the website "Waak en Bid/Watch and Pray". Tom Lessing joined Discerning the World in May 2013 and all his articles were moved across to DTW.

36 Responses

  1. Sharon says:

    Zechariah 9:12 Turn you to the strong hold, ye prisoners of hope: even to day do I declare that I will render double unto thee;

    The verse above is something we, the saved, should be…a prisoner of HOPE. Those without hope truly are the poorest of all. Whether saved or lost we all need HOPE. HOPE will get us through that long lonely times when friends are few and far between.

    There are many verses from Genesis through The Revelation concerning HOPE.

    The sweetest verse of Scripture concerning HOPE is of course in Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
    This is the blessed hope of every saved person, whether they believe this sweet doctrine or not. If the Calvinist want to stay here, then stay. But where the Holy Spirit goes we go.

    I asked a Calvinist friend recently what she believed about the Rapture of the Church/Saved. Her comment was, “well I have heard Godly men preach both the Pre-Trib and After the Trib. I just know he will return”. I was just “stunned” at her comment.
    What I took from our conversation is that she is missing a great comfort and is unable to be looking for our Blessed Hope!

    Jesus is NOT a Bride Beater. He loved the Church and gave himself for us…PTL!
    When the Apostle Paul talked about the return of Jesus he was expecting it to be in his life time. He was looking for that Blessed Hope. Don’t you know what comfort that gave Paul when he was in prison and he also told us to comfort one another with his words in

    1st Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
    1st Thessalonians5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

    So if any Calvinists out there reads what little I write, you can stay here until after the Great Tribulation if you wish, so you can prove to yourselves that Calvin is always right. (not)

    The rest of we non-Calvinists will be at home with our Blessed Savior…what an awesome HOPE!

  2. Jean says:

    Incorrect. I belong to a Sovereign Grace Fellowship (reformed theology ) that is pre trib and does not teach replacement theology. Please do better research before broad brushing everyone into one category. I realize in your zeal to bash reformed people you want to put everyone together, however better research on your part would make you more credible

  3. Jean wrote:

    Incorrect. I belong to a Sovereign Grace Fellowship (reformed theology ) that is pre trib and does not teach replacement theology. Please do better research before broad brushing everyone into one category. I realize in your zeal to bash reformed people you want to put everyone together, however better research on your part would make you more credible,

    The general view among reformed theologians is that there is no Pre-Trib Rapture and that Christians will be going through the tribulation. Calvin’s entire “Institutes of the Christian Religion” is based on Augustine’s theology, including his eschatology.

    If you believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture then goody for you, but that does not change the fact that the general view among reformed theologians is that of a no-no Pre-Trib Rapture.

    Many reformed theologians have changed their views on the Jews because their eyes have been opened since Luther’s and Calvin’s abominable rejection of the Jews. Calvin said:

    “Their [the Jews] rotten and unbending stiffneckedness deserves that they be oppressed unendingly and without measure or end and that they die in their misery without the pity of anyone.”

    But then again you must have known this because you seem to have done thorough research into the damnable heresies of John Calvin.

    I can see that you and your church have made a giant progressive leap since the dark ages of John Calvin. The only thing you need to do now is to reject with disdain the entire TULIP heresy. Are you prepared to do that as well? You should, you know, because TULIP is one of the most horrendous doctrines ever devised by man. And when you’ve done that, you should consider changing the name of your fellowship from “Sovereign Grace Fellowship” to something else because “Sovereign Grace” clearly implies that God sovereignly chose to pour out his salvific grace only on some (the so-called elect) and not all (the so-called non-elect). That in itself is much much worse than replacement theology. It replaces the one and only true God of the Bible with another god who only loves some people and not the entire world.

    Hopefully you will heed my exhortation and flee from you Calvinistic fellowship as fast as your feet can carry you.

  4. Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Jean

    Oh terrible sorry that we miscategorised your little church while the rest believe differently. However the fact of the matter is you are still a CALVINIST and that means you follow a false doctrine, so believing in a pre-trib rapture is worthless because you believe you are Elect before time memorial and this does not constitute salvation.
    Please read:

  5. Jesus Christ Our Passover and His Unlimited Atonement – Proof that Limited Atonement is False. – http://www.discerningtheworld.com/#sthash.VxCnRmmo.dpuf
  6. What it Really Means to be “Elected, Chosen, and Predestinated” – The Biblical Truth – http://www.discerningtheworld.com/#sthash.VxCnRmmo.dpuf
  • Joe says:

    [delete – Please read all articles on understanding the false gospel of Calvinism under the Categories/Keywords:
    TULIP, 5 Points of Calvinism, Total Hereditary Depravity, Unconditional Election, Limited Atonement, Irresistible Grace, Perseverance of the Saints – See more at: http://www.discerningtheworld.com/#sthash.A3CRQ3Hp.dpuf%5D

  • Redeemed says:

    Jean, I echo both Thomas’ and Debs comments and could not have said it better.

    As long as you remain in a church that subscribes to the Calvinist/Reformed false teaching on salvation which is the bedrock of that faith you have no grounds on which to be offended.

    May I suggest that you study the articles here refuting Calvinism/Reformed theology/TULIP? Will you please consider that it is YOU who need to check your facts? Also the articles on salvation at the top of the webpage.

    Perhaps the Lord drew you here just for that purpose. May He lead you into ALL truth.

  • Sharon says:

    I have studied Calvinism for the last 5 years. Calvinism turns God into the author of every evil thing. If you were raped today would that be God’s will? Calvin was an unrepentant murderer. Have you ever read his and Augustine’s “salvation statements?” No repentance, not asking God to save them. God nor Jesus is mentioned at all in their statements. Our God is sovereign that is true. The only thing else I will say is in the World of Calvinism ALL doesn’t mean ALL. WHOSOEVER doesn’t mean WHOSOEVER and the WHOLE WORLD doesn’t mean the WHOLE WORLD.

    I am not Arminian….I am a born again Christian first and foremost. Then I am a Baptist by conviction. Reformed/Calvinism/Sovereign Grace…it all means the same things… Heresy and Blasphemy! I’m done. Because there is no use arguing with a Calvinist because they are blind to the damning teachings of it.

    Jean wrote:

    Incorrect. I belong to a Sovereign Grace Fellowship (reformed theology ) that is pre trib and does not teach replacement theology. Please do better research before broad brushing everyone into one category. I realize in your zeal to bash reformed people you want to put everyone together, however better research on your part would make you more credible

  • Jon O. Barnes says:

    Notice who is the object of this world wide testing – the earth dwellers , not the faithful. Again this observation regarding the recipients of the testing is indirect support for the fact that the church will not be present. To be sure, many peoples will come to know Christ during the tribulation period (Re 7:9- note ; Re 7:14- note ) and especially the Great Tribulation , but they are not benefactors of God’s promise in Re 3:10- note to keep them from the hour of testing. In fact, the world wide testing is undoubtedly an “impetus” that God’s Spirit uses to awaken their dead souls to receive the life giving Gospel proclaimed throughout the world by the angel in mid-heaven. However, even as they receive Christ and refuse Antichrist, they do so with the realization that they will mark themselves as targets who are subject to martyrdom at the hands of the Antichrist!

  • Martin Horan says:

    My main problem with Calvinism–after its blasphemous view of God, I mean–is its Catholicism.
    It claims to extol the Reformers, many of whom were tortured and murdered by Rome, and yet it holds staunchly to Catholic doctrines. It also esteems Augustine whom the Catholics revere as one of their all time greats! Hello. That’s why Catholics have Augustinian monks.
    Romanism gets it Unam Sanctum from Augustine. It is close to Calvinist election but not quite as chilling: Anyone can become a Catholic but that’s not so with Calvinism. You are particulary chosen to be a Calvinist. But Calvin made no secret of his esteem for Augustine and neither did Luther.
    The strangest Calvinist belief is that Catholic baptism is efficacious. I wonder how they work that out when most people who are baptised remain Catholics, nominally or otherwise. Would they aply that to Hitler, Mussolini and Franco who all remained Catholics? I also wonder if they’d apply the same to Jacob Prasch who was baptised Catholic as a child, considering Mr Prasch takes his famous Mishna approach to Scripture!
    As to my own baptism as a child in the Catholic Church: I cannot remember the slightest thing about it and neither can any other person I know who was baptised as a Catholic. Also, countless numbers of Jews who were forced into Catholic baptisms by the Inquisition remained Jews. So it could not have been efficacious for them.
    This Catholic part of Calvinism is cranky to say the least.
    Jesus Christ tells us that the the next greatest thing to loving God is loving our neighbours as ourselves [Matt 22:39].
    Calvin and Luther certainly did not love their neighbours as themselves. Unless, of course, they were perverse masochists who would have been happpy to be tortured and murdered.
    It seems an odd god they worship who demands of his followers to love their neighbours as themselves while he has condemned the vast majority of them to eternal damnation. This is especially so when he could have been much nicer and never let them be born.
    I thank God that He reveals Himself in His Word–quite the opposite of Calvin’s god. And that brings us back to the point of the Rapture: God, who is God and not another of many gods, has not appointed His people to wrath [1 Thess 5:9]. He has promised us the Blessed Hope [Titus 2:13]. Calvinists deny that and have the Great Tribulation to look forward to (of which we have a glimpse in Matt 24:19-22) before His Return.
    The interesting thing is the question that Jesus was answering [verse3].
    Calvinsts and Preterists obviously don’t believe Jesus answered that question. Instead they seem to believe that He went off on a tangent about something else. But no, He dealt with the question they asked. And it was not about the Church but about Israel and, as they asked, at the END OF THE AGE. What I can’t understand is why people refuse to believe that when it is clearly documented.
    We get back to the point that Jesus is either dealing with another group in verse 38, when the world is carrying on as usual, or He is contradicting Himself. Or He doesn’t know what He is talking about or He is joking!
    How do Calvinists and Preterists deal with this? Either at the End there will never be a time like it, before or since, or life is carrying on as usual? Either they are different times or we have the options of Jesus being clueless or joking.
    Jesus knew very well what He was saying and He was not joking. He was deadly serious.
    Arguments and counter arguments can fly back and forth. Post-Tribbers whether Calvinists or any other ists, need to look at these things squarely. It is bad enough that they revert to blatant lies regarding Margaret MacDonald’s visions, Lacunza (who was a Jesuit for goodness sake–and therefore a Preterist!!!) coming up with the idea, and that it is a fairly recent concept. A fairly recent concept! It was written of by Ephrem of Syian before 373AD and it is even mentioned even earlier in the Didache, circa 40-60 AD. And it right there in the New Testament.
    In Revelation the Church is not mentioned again after John is sybolically Raptured to God’s Throne.
    There are even forerunners of it in the Old Testament, for those with eyes to see: In fact in the days of Noah the Flood came instantly and Noah and his family were above the earth and all the people who were destroyed. Lot and his family were virtually snatched by angels out of Sodom and taken above Sodom and Gomorrah. Elijah was an even clearer pointer to the Rapture.
    I can’t understand why people don’t believe what is clearly in the Bible.

  • The Town Crier says:

    Lot never left the earth , neither did Noah. The rapture theory is a hoax people… The last trumpet is the end of judgment… Scripture says- We who are alive and remain,that the angels will separate the wicked from among the just (Mat 13:49) the tares will be gathered first and the righteous shall see and fear(Psalms 52:5-6, Proverbs 10:30, Psalms 1:5. Isiah 13:9 ) Jude 1:15-judgment comes and the ungodly will be among them, Matthew 25:32,33 the Sheep are separated from the goats at the gathering of the nations-on the Earth!…What part of those don’t you understand? Go ask the people in the middle east who are being killed for their testimony if they believe in a ‘rapture theory’. Only the lukewarm believe that. You folks that believe in ‘unmerited favor’ are in for a big surprise….read a book called ‘How a Nation Fell From Grace’-it undisputedly refutes a rapture of the church before Jesus returns,as well as breaks down the gospel of grace and destroys the doctrine of unmerited favor completely.Copy and paste the link into your browser and it will take you straight to the free download:

    [link removed] How a Nation Fell From Grace.pdf

    Deborah, I would encourage you to read the whole book before you go making any comments,Having said that God Bless and let grace always be in your speech because what is in the mouth comes from the heart…what does your heart look like?

  • The Town Crier

    You quote several passages from Scripture that have absolutely nothing to do with the Rapture while you deliberately ignore the ones that refer to it very clearly.

    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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1Co 15:51-55)

    Is the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11: 15, the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15: 52 and 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 identical? Can one categorically declare that because it is identified as the “last trump” that it is the very last trumpet in point of time to be sounded? Even the staunchest mid-tribulationists admit that “last” can either refer to a sequential or a final time-out occurrence. It would be naive to say that the final whistle in a football match is the very last whistle for all football matches put together, jut because it is called the final whistle. For instance, is the trumpet call which Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24: 31 the same as the last trump mentioned in Revelation 11: 15? Hardly, because the trumpet call in Matthew 24: 31 will be sounded after His Second Coming when His angels are sent out to gather his elect (remnant of Israel) from the four corners of the earth, whilst the trumpets in Revelation are sounded before to announce his Second Advent. Therefore the trumpet in Revelation 11: 15 cannot be the very last trumpet because another one will be blown after His Second Advent.

    In their zeal to prove that the seventh trumpet in revelation 11: 15 is the very same as the last trump in 1 Corinthians 15: 52 and 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 the critics of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture fail to acknowledge the obvious differences between the trumpets mentioned in the above portions of Scripture. The most significant difference between 1 Thessalonians 4; 16 (1 Corinthians 15: 52) and Revelation 11: 15 is that the latter is an angel’s trumpet whilst the other is called the trump of God. God alone can call the dead to life as we’ve seen in John 11 where Jesus called Lazarus to come forth form amongst the dead. Some may argue that a resurrection is mentioned in Revelation 11: 12 as well. However, the trumpet of the angel does not sound until after the resurrection whereas the trump of God in 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 is the very power that brings them to life.

    Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Th 2:1-4)

  • The Town Crier

    If favor were to be merited (something you deserved) it could not have been favor. The very nature of favor is determined by its undeservedness. There is no such thing as merited favor.

    True: Lot and Noah did not leave the earth but Enoch and Elijah did. Lot and Noah are types of the saints who are going to survive the Great Tribulation and given the right to enter the thousand year kingdom of Christ on earth. Enoch and Elijah are tpes of the saints who are going to be taken in the Rapture. In any case the believers and unbelievers aren’t going to be judged at the same time. Read your Bible instead of a book like “A Nation fell from Grace.” America is not Babylon. Rubbish!

    Question: I’ve heard prophecy teachers say that New York (and perhaps even America as a whole) is “mystery Babylon,” the woman riding the beast in Revelation 17 and 18. They point to the evil of America, the Statue of Liberty (a pagan goddess) guarding New York harbor and supposedly blessing America, etc. What do you think of this?

    Answer: America may be Sodom prophetically, but it is not “Mystery Babylon” depicted by the woman riding the beast. The truth is rather simple. First of all, the woman is a city, not a country: “that great city , which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Rv 17:18). This fact alone eliminates the United States. God’s people are warned, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (18:4). Must we all move out of the United States? Hardly. The reference is to a religious system in which Christians are to have no part, not to a geographical location one must leave.

    That the United Nations has its headquarters in New York does not mean that the city of New York rules over the world. Rome of the Caesars, followed by Rome of the popes, ruled over the known world of its day for many centuries. New York is of recent origin. Ancient Babylon in Iraq has been in ruins for 2,300 years, so it doesn’t qualify either, even if rebuilt.

    The angel tells John, “I will tell thee the mystery of the woman…” (17:7). There are 14 identifying features given in these two chapters that make the identity of the woman very clear. We deal with them in A Woman Rides the Beast . http://www.thebereancall.org/content/november-2004-q-and-a-4

  • Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    The Town Crier

    America is not Babylon. Total nonsense if ever I have heard it. And I’ve read many a book and article on this subject – it does NOT tie up with scripture. That is a hoax if ever I’ve seen one, to try draw attention away from the real culprits the Vatican and the Roman Catholic Church.

  • The Town Crier says:

    [delete – no I removed the link because I don’t want to promote ridiculous lies on my blog – get it? got it? great!]

  • The Town Crier says:

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

    The Town Crier
    You quote several passages from Scripture that have absolutely nothing to do with the Rapture while you deliberately ignore the ones that refer to it very clearly.
    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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1Co 15:51-55)
    Is the seventh trumpet of Revelation 11: 15, the last trump of 1 Corinthians 15: 52 and 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 identical? Can one categorically declare that because it is identified as the “last trump” that it is the very last trumpet in point of time to be sounded? Even the staunchest mid-tribulationists admit that “last” can either refer to a sequential or a final time-out occurrence. It would be naive to say that the final whistle in a football match is the very last whistle for all football matches put together, jut because it is called the final whistle. For instance, is the trumpet call which Jesus mentioned in Matthew 24: 31 the same as the last trump mentioned in Revelation 11: 15? Hardly, because the trumpet call in Matthew 24: 31 will be sounded after His Second Coming when His angels are sent out to gather his elect (remnant of Israel) from the four corners of the earth, whilst the trumpets in Revelation are sounded before to announce his Second Advent. Therefore the trumpet in Revelation 11: 15 cannot be the very last trumpet because another one will be blown after His Second Advent.
    In their zeal to prove that the seventh trumpet in revelation 11: 15 is the very same as the last trump in 1 Corinthians 15: 52 and 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 the critics of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture fail to acknowledge the obvious differences between the trumpets mentioned in the above portions of Scripture. The most significant difference between 1 Thessalonians 4; 16 (1 Corinthians 15: 52) and Revelation 11: 15 is that the latter is an angel’s trumpet whilst the other is called the trump of God. God alone can call the dead to life as we’ve seen in John 11 where Jesus called Lazarus to come forth form amongst the dead. Some may argue that a resurrection is mentioned in Revelation 11: 12 as well. However, the trumpet of the angel does not sound until after the resurrection whereas the trump of God in 1 Thessalonians 4: 16 is the very power that brings them to life.
    Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. (2 Th 2:1-4)

    I will simply say this- all of your questions are dealt with in the book- and answered using sound scripture…The simple fact is- Deborah does not want you to read it because she knows that she will be outed as a false prophet…Go ahead Deborah- leave the link up so people can judge for themselves. If what I say is wrong- everyone who reads the book will know it…

    If she will not leave the link up- that will tell you all you need to know…Let others decide for themselves Deborah

  • The Town Crier wrote:

    I will simply say this- all of your questions are dealt with in the book- and answered using sound scripture…The simple fact is- Deborah does not want you to read it because she knows that she will be outed as a false prophet…Go ahead Deborah- leave the link up so people can judge for themselves. If what I say is wrong- everyone who reads the book will know it…

    If she will not leave the link up- that will tell you all you need to know…Let others decide for themselves Deborah

    Nobody, including Deborah, needs to tell me what to read and what to ignore. I am mature enough to decide for myself.

    The questions I asked was not because I do not know the answers or that I need to read a book to which you linked us. In any case, the book is replete with inaccuracies, lies and erroneous doctrine. As I said, anyone who believes America is Babylon is already way off track.

    You are free to believe whatever you like about the parousia of Jesus Christ but please don’t advertise your heresies here. I am not going to waste my time arguing with you when you refuse to acknowledge that you have a blind spot with regards to America. If you do not want to acknowledge that it is a city (Vatican on seven hills) that represents Babylon in the end times and not a country (America) then you don’t want to face the facts and admit that you are wrong.

    Rather read this for your edification.

  • The Town Crier says:

    If favor were to be merited (something you deserved) it could not have been favor. The very nature of favor is determined by its undeservedness. There is no such thing as merited favor.

    God giveth grace to the Humble, Repent or ye shall likewise perish, Marvel not ye must be born again,Unless ye eat of my flesh and drink of my blood ye have no life in you…Do any of these sound like unmerited favor? Jesus said that He gives us POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD…Read Titus

    Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
    Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
    Tit 3:7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

    He saved us by a washing and renewing of the Holy Spirit…that is grace my friend but you have turned grace into lasciviousness and will pay dearly for it…

    True: Lot and Noah did not leave the earth but Enoch and Elijah did. Lot and Noah are types of the saints who are going to survive the Great Tribulation and given the right to enter the thousand year kingdom of Christ on earth. Enoch and Elijah are tpes of the saints who are going to be taken in the Rapture.

    We are also translated into the Kingdom:

    Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

    In any case the believers and unbelievers aren’t going to be judged at the same time.

    Really? The Bible says we are:

    Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
    Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

    Read your Bible instead of a book like “A Nation fell from Grace.” America is not Babylon. Rubbish!
    Question: I’ve heard prophecy teachers say that New York (and perhaps even America as a whole) is “mystery Babylon,” the woman riding the beast in Revelation 17 and 18. They point to the evil of America, the Statue of Liberty (a pagan goddess) guarding New York harbor and supposedly blessing America, etc. What do you think of this?
    Answer: America may be Sodom prophetically, but it is not “Mystery Babylon” depicted by the woman riding the beast. The truth is rather simple.

    First of all, the woman is a city, not a country: “that great city , which reigneth over the kings of the earth” (Rv 17:18). This fact alone eliminates the United States. God’s people are warned, “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (18:4). Must we all move out of the United States? Hardly.

    City is simply a dwelling place. Babylon is also called a destroying mountain and the hammer of the Earth, also where the merchants of the earth are made rich by ‘her’ lifestyle, Babylon is called a place where the candle will be put out and the voice of the Lord will no longer be heard…How does The Catholic church fit those…Babylon sits in the middle of the seas…How does the Catholic church fit those?

    The reference is to a religious system in which Christians are to have no part, not to a geographical location one must leave.
    That the United Nations has its headquarters in New York does not mean that the city of New York rules over the world. Rome of the Caesars, followed by Rome of the popes, ruled over the known world of its day for many centuries. New York is of recent origin. Ancient Babylon in Iraq has been in ruins for 2,300 years, so it doesn’t qualify either, even if rebuilt.
    The angel tells John, “I will tell thee the mystery of the woman…” (17:7). There are 14 identifying features given in these two chapters that make the identity of the woman very clear.

    Wrong- there are over 50 Characteristics of Babylon that the United State alone fits-most are physical, some are names- ‘An Eagle’, a ‘Lady’ etc. You lack spiritual discernment because you don’t have true grace- the power of the Holy Spirit and the knowledge of the word of God ‘in your heart’. I have warned you but you are to full of pride to listen…so it is what it is…goodbye

  • The Town Crier

    God giveth grace to the Humble, Repent or ye shall likewise perish, Marvel not ye must be born again,Unless ye eat of my flesh and drink of my blood ye have no life in you…Do any of these sound like unmerited favor? Jesus said that He gives us POWER TO BECOME THE SONS OF GOD

    The Webster dictionary and thesaurus define “merit” as follows.
    1mer·it \’mer-ət, ‘me-rət\ n [ME, fr. AF merite, fr. L meritum, fr. neut. of meritus, pp. of merēre to deserve, earn; akin to Gk meiresthai to receive as one’s portion, meros part] (14c)
    1 a obs: reward or punishment due b : the qualities or actions that constitute the basis of one’s deserts c : a praiseworthy quality : virtue d : character or conduct deserving reward, honor, or esteem ; also: achievement
    2 : spiritual credit held to be earned by performance of righteous acts and to ensure future benefits .

    I must take my hat off to you because you claim to have earned spiritual credit by performing acts of righteousness. Bully for you. You don’t need Jesus, the Son of the Living God.

    How odd. You don’t believe in unmerited favor but then you quote verses that prove without doubt that God’s grace and mercy are unmerited favors.

    The Town Crier wrote:

    We are also translated into the Kingdom:

    Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

    You obviously believe that we are already living smack bang in the middle of the millennial kingdom of God on earth. In that case you should stop praying “Let thy Kingdom COME. Let they WILL BE DONE on earth as it is in heaven.” Or even better, next time you visit the Kruger National Park in South Africa, get out of your car, approach a pride of lions and say “Hi guys, I see you only eat grass so it must be safe to sit and chat with you.”

    The Town Crier wrote:

    Thomas says: In any case the believers and unbelievers aren’t going to be judged at the same time.

    Really? The Bible says we are:

    Rom 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
    Rom 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
    Rom 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

    Well, of course you will say something so silly as this when you believe that we are already smack-bang in the middle of the millennial king of Christ on earth. Romans 14 concerns the judgement of a brother in Christ and not an unbeliever. In any case the judgement seat of Christ is the Bema seat where only believers are going to be judged according to the works they had done in their natural bodies and NOT the Great White throne judgment where only unbelievers are going to be judged (Revelation 20:4-5).

    Do you live in America? Well then you’d better emigrate to somewhere else cause the Bible says: ” Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.: Perhaps you would like to come to South Africa. We have quite a few of genuine Babylonians here ourselves.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Town Crier

    We are also translated into the Kingdom:

    Col 1:13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

    You obviously believe that we are already living smack bang in the middle of the millennial kingdom of God on earth. In that case you should stop praying “Let thy Kingdom COME. Let they WILL BE DONE on earth as it is in heaven.” Or even better, next time you visit the Kruger National Park in South Africa, get out of your car, approach a pride of lions and say “Hi guys, I see you only eat grass so it must be safe to sit and chat with you.”

    Rightttttt…. I don’t even have the energy to answer such a comment as this. You clearly have no idea what you are speaking about.

  • Yana says:

    “Hardly, because the trumpet call in Matthew 24: 31 will be sounded after His Second Coming when His angels are sent out to gather his elect (remnant of Israel) from the four corners of the earth, whilst the trumpets in Revelation are sounded before to announce his Second Advent. Therefore the trumpet in Revelation 11: 15 cannot be the very last trumpet because another one will be blown after His Second Advent. ”

    Can you explain your views on Israel’s role in the Rapture, please? I’m afraid I’m a bit confused. What do you believe “the gathering of the elect from the four corners” is? Why do you equate “the elect” with “the remnant of Israel”? What exactly is the “gathering”?

    Thanks in advance. 🙂

  • Yana wrote,

    Can you explain your views on Israel’s role in the Rapture, please? I’m afraid I’m a bit confused. What do you believe “the gathering of the elect from the four corners” is? Why do you equate “the elect” with “the remnant of Israel”? What exactly is the “gathering”?

    The Jews as a nation will have no particular role in the Rapture with the exception of the Jews who were saved during the dispensation of grace (the period between Pentecost and the Pre-Trib Rapture). They will all be raptured together with all the Gentiles who were saved during the same period.

    The Tribulation, as you may know, is also called “Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7). It tells us that the elect during the Tribulation will comprise mainly of Israel. Why? There is a stunning passage in Scripture that aptly describes why the Jews in particular must go through the Tribulation.

    With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. (Isaiah 26:9)

    I firmly believe that this verse refers to the seven years tribulation when God’s righteous judgments are going to be poured out on the entire world. Throughout Israel’s history it was always in times of affliction (such as the exile into Babylon) that prompted Israel as a nation to return to God for their restoration. Whenever their riches increased and they started to live in luxury, Israel tended to forget God and to follow other false gods. The only way to bring them back was to send affliction and hardship. Hence the warning in Deut. 8:11-14. It is therefore reasonable to say that God’s primary purpose with the Tribulation is to bring the Jewish nation back in faith to Him.

    The “gathering” will occur just prior to the Second Advent of Christ when the angels are going to gather them (the elect) from the four corners of the earth and bring them back to their Promised Land in preparation for Jesus’ Second Coming to the earth (not the Rapture).

  • I AM says:

    When words are many, transgression is not lacking.

    Do not judge others, and you will not be judged.
    For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

    Therefore this is what the LORD says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the LORD–‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.

  • I AM says:

    [deleted by DTW – do you think you are God by any chance?]

  • Gideon says:

    @i am

    You dish out exactly what you accuse others of.

    “Do not judge others, and you will not be judged” typical mantra of those who do not like what they read here. I am very sure DTW would have loved to have a penny for every time this has been said on this site.

    If the truth offends you-
    Therefore this is what the LORD says: You have not obeyed me; you have not proclaimed freedom to your own people. So I now proclaim ‘freedom’ for you, declares the LORD–‘freedom’ to fall by the sword, plague and famine. I will make you abhorrent to all the kingdoms of the earth.

    See. Anyone can do what you do. Doing what Tom and Deborah does takes a lot more effort. It is very easy for someone to write silly little one-liners warning people who have a real passion for the truth.

    If you disagree with what you read here please state the facts to the contrary and I am sure you will be taken more seriously.

  • Deborah (Discerning the World) says:

    Thanks Gideon! 🙂

  • Robbie says:

    Spot on Gideon.

    “do not judge” is certainly the most oft’ misquoted verse in the Bible. People use it to hide their sinful life styles.

    “I AM?… no you are not.
    Debs/Tom I see it was also the logo on 2015 woman’s day celebration. the “policy” started with “I am”

    *sigh*

  • Ryan says:

    I sincerely hope you are right. It would make things so much easier. However just as you have built a case there are equally as strong cases for post trib. Your use of rev 20 betrays you as you would place the rapture at the beginning of rev, probaby ch 4 but the first resurrection doesn’t happen until ch 20. Here is a excerpt from an article I’m writing as well.

    2 Thess 2:1-11. This chapter is written to people who are unsure about the timing of the rapture. It also could be said that you could take out 2 Thessalonians here and substitute pre tribulationalists. Paul sets the context in verse one, he is writing this chapter in regards to two things:
    1. Coming of Christ and; 2. Our gathering together to Him or the rapture. This clearly shows it is the first gathering of the followers of Christ by the use of the word “our.”
    These two events are not differentiated in the following verses so it would be fair to say that they occur at the same time or are the same event. This in verse 2 is referred to as the Day of the Lord thus defining what “The Day of the Lord” is, both events.

    V.2 Day of the Lord.
    They are concerned they have missed it. It would be fair to say they didn’t know what they were looking for, obviously someone had told them something false which they believed. Paul is correcting their thinking saying it has not come. Paul gives reasons in v. 3

    V.3 “Let no one deceive you” Day of the Lord will not come unless and until 2 things happen: 1. The apostasy comes, or the great falling away happens. (Christians have to be here to fall away.) and; 2. The man of Lawlessness is revealed. This eliminates the pre trib option and leaves mid and post, as we know that the man of lawlessness is revealed in the temple at the mid point of the final seven years. This is called the abomination of desolation as found in the book of Daniel 11:31. It seems that there are many who have been deceived by a pre trib rapture as these Thessalonians also had, the very thing that this verse warns against.

    This verse removes the possibility that the church could be the restrainer of verse 7 as it happens in reverse order. Verse 3 says the apostasy and revealing of the man of lawlessness occur then then “our” gathering to Him. Verse 7 puts the removal of the restrainer before the revealing of the lawless one. Therefore the events happen in this order:
    1. Apostasy (v.3+11) (probably has already started.)
    2. Restrainer removed (v.7) (notice restrainer is referred to as “He,” the church is a she.)
    3. Lawless one revealed. (V.3) This is also called the abomination of desolation.
    4. Day of the Lord. This includes three events: the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (v.3), “our” gathering to Him (v.3), and the destruction of the lawless one. (V. 8)

    What does it mean for the antichrist to be revealed? Does this mean we will know who he is years in advance or when he takes power? Verse 4 gives us the answer to what this means in these selected verses. He will oppose God and sit as God in the temple. This is the only way we will know for certain that it is him. There have been many speculations of who it may be but until the abomination of desolation we will not know for sure.

    Paul includes Himself by using the word “our” in verse 1. This shows that he is watching and waiting for the second coming and obviously isn’t expecting to be secretly raptured away before times get tough. This is unless Paul and his audience, which he refers to as “our,” plan to convert during the tribulation and are expecting to gather to Jesus when at the end of the tribulation. This simply does not make logical sense and is therefore safe to conclude He is not teaching a pre trib rapture.

    Up until verse seven a case could be made for a mid trib or a pre wrath rapture, as the two events that need to happen are done at the mid point of the tribulation. However the phase “the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”
    appears in verse 1. Although there are other places where this is over looked by pre tribulationalists verse 8 clears things up for us. Verse one gives us two events, the coming and the gathering, and verse 8 expounds on the coming. It is absolutely clear that we are talking about the second coming of Christ here because it says He will destroy the lawless one when He comes. We know that the lawless one isn’t destroyed by Jesus until the second coming at the end of the Daniels seventieth week so that moves the timing of the rapture to the end of the tribulation.

  • Ryan wrote:

    I sincerely hope you are right. It would make things so much easier. However just as you have built a case there are equally as strong cases for post trib. Your use of rev 20 betrays you as you would place the rapture at the beginning of rev, probaby ch 4 but the first resurrection doesn’t happen until ch 20. Here is a excerpt from an article I’m writing as well.

    You seemed to have forgotten 1 Corinthians 15:23, “every man in his own order.” “First” and “second” in first and second resurrection do not refer to sequential events as in 1, 2 etc. but qualitative events. The first resurrection is composed of different groups in the the believers’ fold – the church saints, Old Testament saints, Tribulation saints. These different groups will be raised at different times but are all collectively called the first resurrection. if you want to place the first resurrection in Revelation 20 you would have to place Jesus Christ’s resurrection there because He was the first to be raised from the dead.

  • Ryan wrote,

    V.3 “Let no one deceive you” Day of the Lord will not come unless and until 2 things happen: 1. The apostasy comes, or the great falling away happens. (Christians have to be here to fall away.) and; 2. The man of Lawlessness is revealed. This eliminates the pre trib option and leaves mid and post, as we know that the man of lawlessness is revealed in the temple at the mid point of the final seven years. This is called the abomination of desolation as found in the book of Daniel 11:31. It seems that there are many who have been deceived by a pre trib rapture as these Thessalonians also had, the very thing that this verse warns against.

    The Antichrist will not be revealed midway the seven year tribulation when the abomination of desolation stands in the most holy. He will be revealed right at the beginning of the seven year tribulation when he makes a covenant with the Jews.

    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)

    Do you really think the man of lawlessness will only reveal himself as the false Christ midway the seven years tribulation? The reason why Israel will make a covenant with him (for seven years) is because they are gong to receive Him as their Messiah who has supposedly come to bring peace (John 5:43). The revelation of Antichrist is not about him revealing himself as an ogre to the Jews but as a Messiah. Had he only revealed himself midway the seven year tribulation, Israel would never have made a covenant with him. They would have rejected him.

    To suggest that the church must be here for a falling away to take place makes Jesus’ words in John 10 sound silly.

    Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out. And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. (Joh 10:1-5).

    You don’t need to be saved to fall away from the faith. You only need to be a professing Christian who belongs to a Christian church, who proclaims the rudiments of the Christian faith in order to fall away from the faith. This is already happening in the so-called Emergent Church and guess what? – they all call themselves “followers of Jesus Christ.”

  • Ryan wrote,

    2 Thess 2:1-11. This chapter is written to people who are unsure about the timing of the rapture. It also could be said that you could take out 2 Thessalonians here and substitute pre tribulationalists. Paul sets the context in verse one, he is writing this chapter in regards to two things:
    1. Coming of Christ and; 2. Our gathering together to Him or the rapture. This clearly shows it is the first gathering of the followers of Christ by the use of the word “our.”
    These two events are not differentiated in the following verses so it would be fair to say that they occur at the same time or are the same event. This in verse 2 is referred to as the Day of the Lord thus defining what “The Day of the Lord” is, both events.

    Are you sure about the timing of the Rapture? The Rapture is an imminent event and can happen at any moment, and that is why the Thessalonian saints believed that the Rapture had already taken place. The intense persecution they experienced led them to believe – under false teachers who told them so – that they were already in the tribulation. Paul had to remind them that they could not have been in the tribulation and the rapture could not have already taken place because the Antichrist had not yet been revealed. No one on this site ever said that the church is the Restrainer. We said that the Holy Spirit who resides in all the true believers (Bride of Christ) is the Restrainer. Who else could it be other than the Holy Ghost, would you say?

    The Mid and Post tribulationists must of necessity deny the imminency of the Rapture. It is not difficult to pinpoint the time of the Rapture midway or at the end of a seven year period of the tribulation. You only have to calculate 3 and and half years from the beginning of the tribulation for a mid-Trfib Rapture and seven years from the beginning of the tribulation to pinpoint the timing of a Post-Trib Rapture. Where’s the imminency now? Gone with the wind!

  • Ryan wrote:

    We know that the lawless one isn’t destroyed by Jesus until the second coming at the end of the Daniels seventieth week so that moves the timing of the rapture to the end of the tribulation.

    The revelation of the lawless one and his destruction are two different things and seven years apart. Why then would you want to associate the Pre-trib Rapture with his destruction and not his revelation?

  • Fleur lewis says:

    “God reigns where people have promised/submitted themselves to his righteousness/sovereignty by striving for the heavenly life through self-denial and contempt for the world and their life on earth. The kingdom thus consists of two aspects, namely that God is to change our evil desires through his Spirit, and that God is to reform our senses so that we can obey his sovereignty.” (Inst. 3.20.42). “The kingdom of God is where God reigns supreme through his Spirit.” (Catechism, 269 – see Calvin (1981)

    God does not reign where people have promised to submit themselves to God’s righteousness and sovereignty. That’s pure nonsense. The Israelites promised Moses to do everything God commanded them but failed dismally (Exodus 19:8; Jeremiah 42:6)).

    I dont understand ?? Jesus said
    Luke 17 : 20 – 21

    20And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

  • Fleur lewis

    First of all the phrase “the kingdom of God is within you” cannot mean that it is/was a spiritual kingdom within the Pharisees. They were unbelievers and for Jesus to have said and meant that the Kingdom of God was within them, would have turned the Gospel message based on faith in Him on its head. In fact, it would have been an endorsement of the infamous doctrine called “Universalism” or “Universal Redemption.” The phrase simply means that the Kingdom of God was in their midst, in the sense that the Messiah and King of that Kingdom was among them and urged them to repent so that they could enter into his Kingdom when He returns at his Second Advent, not the Rapture.

    You said:

    God does not reign where people have promised to submit themselves to God’s righteousness and sovereignty. That’s pure nonsense. The Israelites promised Moses to do everything God commanded them but failed dismally (Exodus 19:8; Jeremiah 42:6)).

    Do you submit completely to God;s righteousness and sovereignty? If not, then He is not reigning in your life.

  • Michael says:

    The Rapture is PreWrath, so there is still a Rapture followed by a time of judgment and then Christ returns.

  • Michael,

    The tribulation will last seven years and the Antichrist cannot reveal himself until the body of Christ has been removed before the seven year tribulation begins. It’s as simple as that.