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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture (Part 2)

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture (Part 2)

The-Rapture_thumb.jpgPosttribulationists 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.

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30 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.

  • jeff

    Jesus’ words declare that AFTER the tribulation and AFTER the abomination of desolation or the man of lawlessness is revealed. It is His own words. 22 time the word tribulation appears in NT, no one says BEFORE, but 2 say AFTER.

    Do not look up the Latin Vulgate for the word meed in Thes. 4:17, look it up in the Greek and see how it was used in the verse. It was only used 2 other times like this and it means “meet and return”.

    In the custom of the day if you knew someone was coming to you place or city, you would go out and meet them and come back with them. It is not that hard.

    You do not have to rely on the fact that pre trib is new. All you have to do is stick to scripture. Tribulation and Wrath are not the same.

  • jeff,

    It depends on what you believe in – a Pre-, Mid- or Post-Trib Rapture – which determines your “meet in the air and return to earth” scenario. The Post-Tribbers believe that the Rapture is going to occur right at the end of the seven years tribulation at which time the saints are going to be caught up to meet Jesus in the air only to return immediately to the earth. The Pre-Tribbers believe the saints are going to be caught up before the seven years tribulation to be judged at the Bema Throne judgment seat and, after which, their marriage to Jesus will be fully consummated. Only then, after the Tribulation has run its full course, will she (the Bride) return with Him to the earth to rule with Him a 1000 years. The difference between the various views is more of a time factor than anything else.

    You said “tribulation and Wrath” are not the same. Once again it depends on to what you are referring – the tribulation of the saints (John 16:33) which has been rampant since the beginning of creation or the tribulation of the entire world during the seven years tribulation period (also called the Time of Jacob;s Trouble” – Matthew 24:21; Revelation 2:19). The latter is called the Day of his wrath (Revelation 6:17).

  • Toddott

    What makes the great tribulation great is not that it is more horrendous than any other tribulation (for what could be more horrendous than being burned at the stake). What makes it great is that, unlike all previous tribulation that has been localized and intermittent, the great tribulation will be worldwide, a time of persecution of all Christians everywhere, such that, if not cut short, none would survive. Tribulation is tribulation, whether great or not. Wrath is not tribulation. Even now God’s wrath is being revealed against all the godlessness of the ungodly, yet the Church is still on earth. Pretribulationists fail to understand the wrath of God. God is merciful, not wanting any to perish. He never pours out His wrath on anyone unless there is no possibility of repenting. The wrath of God is the “giving over” of that person to his own rebellion. If God is pouring out His wrath on someone it is because that person is lost and beyond repentance. The tribulation is not the wrath of God, nor is it the Day of the Lord. It is a time of testing and an hour of trial for a nation and a Church that has falling into apostasy and rebellion. And if you don’t believe that is you or I, read the words of Daniel. Though he was righteous, he included himself in the sins of rebellious Israel, and was sent along with them into Babylon. The Church will follow suit, but a remnant will “Come out of her.”
    Jesus gave a template of the end times for us, for our benefit.
    First, the beginning of birth pains. Wars, famines, earthquakes, pestilences, persecution, deception.
    Second, the falling away and the revelation of the man of sin.
    Third, great tribulation.
    Fourth, darkening of the heavenly bodies “after the tribulation of those days,” lasting for an unspecified period of time (making the beginning of Day of the Lord an “unknowable day.”)
    Fifth, the Day of the Lord, coming as a thief, consisting of the gathering of the elect, followed by the pouring out of His wrath (which could possible last a year and ten days, if the Flood is a template; a year of trumpets, beginning at the Feast of Trumpets, then the pouring out of the Bowls during the “Days of Awe,” with the Second Coming on the Day of Atonement. However, the Seals, Trumpets, and Bowls are most likely “telescopic.”
    Paul confirms the words of Jesus.
    That Day (the coming of the Lord and our being gathered to Him will not happen until the falling away and the revelation of the man of sin.
    John agrees.
    Fifth Seal…great tribulation.
    Sixth Seal darkening of the heavenly bodies.
    The Day of the Lord, beginning with the resurrection and rapture of a great multitude who came out of great tribulation, followed by the blowing of seven trumpets and the pouring out of seven bowls of wrath.
    Isaiah, Joel and Peter make it clear that the Day of the Lord begins after the Sixth Seal. The Day of the Lord contains neither the tribulation, nor the great tribulation period.

    YOU CLAIM:
    1) They reject Pretribulationism on the assumption that it is a new doctrine and therefore not apostolic.
    Whether it is new or not is irrelevant. It is not taught in the Bible. Even Pretribulationist “scholars” admit the rapture is not stated in the Bible, but can be “inferred.”
    YOU CLAIM:
    2) Posttribulaitonists argue against the imminent return of Christ and assert that all the relevant signs must be fulfilled before Christ can return.
    The return of Christ is not imminent. Jesus gave a list of signs that would occur prior to His coming. Ironically, PreTribbers believe the rapture is near because of signs. But PreTribbers because they have assumed a PreTribulational rapture based on the heresy of dispensationalism, are forced to conclude that Jesus’ words are not for His Church. Nowhere in the Bible is it taught that Christ’s coming would occur without signs. Jesus comes as a thief at His Second Coming, but it is not without signs. Those in darkness will be taken unaware. The “day that no man knows,” when Jesus comes as a thief, is referring to the gathering of the elect “after the tribulation of those days.” Of course, men can reject the words of Jesus, but that doesn’t change the truth that His coming as a thief is referring to His coming at the battle of Armageddon.
    YOU CLAIM:
    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.
    A straw man argument, but whether it was fulfilled or not is, again, irrelevant. The fact is, the Church is not a gap in the middle of God’s dealings with Israel, The Church is the culmination of the ages. It was God’s eternal purpose in Christ from the foundation of the word. God has not set aside Israel during the so-called Church Age. Paul, quoting the Old Testment, states “Though the descendants of Israel be like the sands of the seashore, only a remnant will be saved.” Paul goes on to say the “At this present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.” Paul gives his own salvation as proof of this. God is dealing with Israel now, during the Church Age. And through a PARTIAL hardening of Israel, Gentiles are grafted into this remnant. In Christ, Jew and Gentile are made “one new man.” Gentiles become part of the Commonwealth of Israel, and are sharers in the Promise.” “God, knowing beforehand that He would justify the Gentiles by faith, announced the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In your Seed all the nations will be blessed. That Seed is Christ, and the first chapter of Ephesians tells us just how Jew and Gentile are blessed in Him. Old testament saints were saved the same way that New Testament saints are saved, by grace through faith. Hebrews 11 makes this clear and states that both Old and New Testament saints will be made perfect TOGETHER, not seven years apart. The dispensational doctrine of the so-called “tribulation saint,” is a myth.
    There will be no return to the Old Testament age.
    YOU CLAIM:
    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.
    This is so absurd, it is laughable. Remember, at Mount Sinai, when God made a Covenant with Israel? That was a covenant of marriage. Later, because of adultery, God divorced Israel, But He promised that He would once again take her back. “The Lord appeared to him from afar, saying, ‘I have love you with an everlasting love; therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness. Again I will rebuild you and you will be rebuilt, O virgin Israel!” The rebuilding of Israel is the Church, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets (ALL of them Israelites) with Christ Jesus as the Chief Cornerstone. The New Covenant is made with Israel and Judah, not the Gentiles. The Gentiles are grafted into Israel and together become the Body of Christ. Through His Son, God “remarried” Israel. Just as a husband places his seed into his wife, so Christ places His Seed, the Holy Spirit into His Bride, the Church. The Bride is a Temple. The High Priest entering into the Most Holy Place of the Temple, is a picture of Christ entering into the Most Holy Place of His Bride. There is one Husband and one Bride. QUESTION: Since the twelve disciples were chosen BEFORE Pentecost, are they Old Testament saints, or New Testament saints? QUESTION: Why the the Bride, the New Jerusalem have the names of the twelve tribes on its gates and the twelve apostles on its walls? QUESTION: Have you ever wondered why the father of the bride gives her away to her husband? Because God the Father presents the Bride to her Husband. “And I, John, saw the Holy City, the New Jerusalem coming down out of Heaven from God, prepared as a Bride for her Husband.” What is truly ironic, is that many Dispensationalists believe that the Church will reign in Heaven with the Father, while Israel will reign on earth with Christ. Shouldn’t each Wife be with her corresponding Husband? Shouldn’t Israel be with the Father in Heaven, and the Church be with Christ on earth?
    YOU CLAIM:
    “…a divorced wife can never again be a virgin, and it is not a divorced wife but a virgin whom the Lord marries…”
    The blood of Christ, makes us virgins. We are NEW creatures in Christ, born again.
    YOU STATED:
    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).
    Yes, John the Baptist himself was a type of the friend of the Bridegroom, because Christ was remarrying Israel through the New Covenant which He made in His blood. If the Church did not begin until Pentecost, as PreTribbers claim, then who did Jesus betroth to Himself at Passover. The answer is Israel.

    The Pretribulation rapture is not taught in Scripture. It is a presupposition, an a priori assumption based of the false doctrine of dispensationalism (The Bible teaches only two dispensations. The first has been made obsolete.) The PreTribulation rapture is assumed, and them Scripture is wrested out of context to make if fit the theory.

    Assumptions:
    1) The Holy Spirit is the restrainer. The text does not state this. It is an assumption. Even if it is true, it in no way proves that the Church must be removed to allow the man of sin to be revealed. In fact, the text does not say anything is removed, even though the translators chose to use these words. The Greek literally states, the “he who restrains will until he be revealed in the midst. The word translated “taken out” is “ginomai,” and it means “to become, to arise, to appear in history, to appear in public.” The word translated “way” is “mesos,” and it means “midst, middle.” The correct translation would appear to be “he who restrains will until he (the man of sin) appears in the midst.”
    Even if the restrainer is the Holy Spirit in the Church (and the text in no way says this), it does not in any way imply that the Church will be removed. In fact the apostasy and the revelation of the man of sin are intimately connected, one resulting in the other. Jesus said that the Church is the Light of the world and the salt of the earth. At Jesus coming, half of the virgins will have lost the light of the Holy Spirit. And Jesus stated that if the salt loses its saltiness, it becomes good for nothing except to be trampled by men. In the book of Revelation we see this trampling of the Holy City in chapter 11. Because of apostasy, the Church will lose its restraining influence, and as the spirit of the antichrist infiltrates the Church, the man of sin will arise.
    2) Matthew 24 is not for the Church. Again, because of the a priori assumption of a PreTribulation rapture, dispensationalist are force to make Matthew 24 fit their schema. And because Matthew 24 contradicts their belief, they must reject Jesus own words regarding His coming.
    3) “Tribulation saints” are not the Church. Another assumption nowhere state in Scripture. Because they choose to believe the Church is not on earth during the time of tribulation, they are force to conclude that the saints are not actually saints. It is true, the word church does not appear in the middle section of Revelation, but this is only because, throughout Scripture, “church” is mainly used in reference to a local body of believers, not the worldwide church. Even so, according to this theory, the Church, then, does not return on white horses with Jesus, because “church” is not mentioned in that passage either.
    John makes it clear that the “tribulation saints” are the Church. After the woman finds refuge in the wilderness, the Dragon wages war on the rest of her offspring, those who keep God’s commands, and hold fast their testimony of Jesus.
    “I write to you…because the Word of God lives in you and you have overcome the evil one.”
    “…this is love for God, to keep His commands. And His commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. We accept human testimony, but God’s testimony is greater because it is the testimony of God, which He has given about His Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has this testimony in himself….”
    Jesus gave the book of Revelation “to his servant John, who bore witness to the Word of God and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, even to all that he saw.”
    Those who hold obey the commandments and hold the testimony of Jesus are they which overcome the world. In other words, those who are not hurt at all by the second death, those who receive the crown of life, those who are given hidden manna and a white stone, those who are given power over the nations, and are given the morning star, those clothed in white raiment, whose names arena the book of life, those who will be pillars in the temple, and will sit of Christ’s throne.
    Throughout the book of Revelation, we see those who overcome, those who hold to the testimony of Jesus, those who are killed for the Word of God, those who love not their lives unto death. These are descriptions of the Church, who in chapters 2 and 3 are told to “hold fast,” to “watch and pray,” to “persevere,” and to overcome the those who would overcome them (Rev. 6:2).
    4)John being called up to heaven represents the rapture. An assumption, nowhere stated in Scripture.. Where are the dead in Christ that rise first? Where is the voice of the archangel. PreTribbers are quick to point out that minor differences between Paul’s coming and gathering and Jesus’ coming and gathering prove there are different comings and gatherings…except here in Revelation 4:1.
    5) The Church will be in the wedding chamber with Christ for seven years. An assumption, nowhere stated in Scripture. PreTribulationist like to use Isaiah 26:20 as proof that the Church will be hidden away in the wedding chamber with Christ during the time of wrath. However, Isaiah 26:21 tells us that the Lord comes out of His dwelling to punish the people of earth for their sins. If He comes out of His dwelling, He can’t also be in the Wedding Chamber. Furthermore, the chapter is a hymn of praise and prayer, spoken by Isaiah. It is not the Lord who is telling His people to enter their rooms, but rather Isaiah who is telling HIS people Israel to enter their rooms. “We (Israel) were with child, we (Israel) writhed in pain, but we (Israel) gave birth to wind. We (Israel) have not brought salvation to the earth, and the people of the world have not fallen. But YOUR dead will live, O Lord; (Notice he is addressing the Lord.) Together with my (Isaiah’s) dead body they shall arise. Awake and sing, you that dwell in the dust, for your dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead. Come My (Isaiah’s) people enter into your chambers and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves as it were a little moment until the indignation is past. For the Lord comes out of His place (Notice it does not say “I come out of My place.”) to punish the inhabitants of the earth (Notice it does not say “…to punish Israel for her sin.”); the earth shall disclose her blood and shall no more cover her slain.” If the Lord is coming out of His dwelling place, while His people are hidden, this is clearly posttribulational, when Jesus pours out the Bowls of His wrath. In the same way, PreTribbers like to point out that the ancient Jewish Wedding tradition supports the PreTribualtion rapture theory. However, this ancient tradition doesn’t exist. It was concocted by taking bits and pieces of writings and piecing them together into a story. Over the years it has been embellished and has risen almost to a status equal to Scripture. Not one website, however, has ever cited where this tradition comes from. The bible warns not to go beyond that which is written. The fact is, there are multiple scenarios in the ancient writings. Picking and choosing bits and parts that fit your theory is dishonest. Jesus may have gone to prepare a place, but His return will not be until after the tribulation period, after the ENTIRE Bride is made ready.
    6) The Blessed Hope is the rapture. This is a reference to the “appearing” of Christ, not a secret rapture. The Church having to go through a time of great tribulation does not make His appearing any less blessed.
    7) There is a seven year period known as the Tribulation. Nowhere in all of Scripture is there even a hint that there is a seven year “Tribulation.” The saints are worn down for a time, times and half a time, the Holy City is trampled for 1260 days, and the Beast reigns for 42 months.
    8) The Seventieth Week of Daniel is the seven year Tribulation. Nowhere does Scripture equate the Seventieth Week with a seven year Tribulation.
    9) The time of Jacob’s Trouble is the seven year Tribulation. Again, nowhere stated in Scripture.
    10) The Church must be removed in order for God to deal with Israel again. Why? God is dealing with Israel now, and will continue to deal with Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles is grafted into the Olive Tree, when the Redeemer comes out of Zion. This means the fulness of the Gentiles comes in at the Second Coming., not seven years prior. Hmmm, the so-called “tribulation saints” ARE the Church!
    11) Revelation 3:10 proves the Church will be kept out of the Tribulation. The text says, “Because you have guarded the word of My perseverance, I will guard you from the hour of trial…” In the Garden of Gethsamane, during His hour of trial, Jesus urged the disciples to watch and pray, lest they fall into temptation. Of course, they failed to obey the words of Jesus, and Peter, who had just hours before proudly boasted that he would never deny Jesus, but would die for him, quickly fell away. Throughout the New Testament we are urged to watch and pray. James tell us that the testing of our faith, through trials and temptations, develops perseverance, and perseverance must finish its work so that we can become mature, lacking nothing. Those who have been faithful and persevered in faith and been made mature through trial and tribulationl, will not be tempted to fall away during the hour of trial, as Peter did. They will have learned to trust in the power of the Spirit, rather that their own strength. YOU STATED: 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.
    You are correct in this. The hour of temptation will come upon all who dwell on the earth, but the Church, whom the book of Revelation calls “those who dwell in heaven,” will be guarded in this time, not removed.
    No PreTribulation rapture mentioned in this verse.
    12) Jesus telling us to pray that we escape “all these things,” means that we will escape through a rapture. Jesus had just finished telling His disciples that they would suffer persecution and some would be killed because of their faith in Him. He told them that, even so, “not a hair on your head shall perish.” If Jesus had just told the disciples that they would suffer “these things,” clearly “escaping all these things” does not mean they will be rapture and will not experience them. More likely, Jesus was referring to the temptation to get caught up in the cares of life, which would close in on them like a trap, or a snare. “And take heed yourselves, lest that any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkeness, and cares of life, so that the day come upon you unawares. For as a snare it shall come upon all them that dwell on the face of the earth.” Clearly, it is the “snare” that Jesus urged us to pray we would escape. “Watch at all time, praying that you may escape all these things and to stand before the Son of Man.” Watching, praying, persevering until the end. That is how we escape.

    YOU STATE:
    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).
    QUESTION: Where in the Bible does it tell us that the Bema Throne judgment or the rapture happens at the PreTribulational rapture. My Bible merely states that we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, and my Bible states that the Wedding of the Lamb happens at the Second Coming.
    YOU STATE:
    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).
    I SAY: Yes, He does return with His Bride. But it in no way proves the Bride was raptured seven years prior.
    YOU STATE:
    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).
    I SAY:
    Yes, these are true, but again, in no way proves there is a seven years span between the rapture and the Second Coming. BOTH occur “after the tribulation of those days.”
    YOU CLAIM:
    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).
    I SAY:
    Jesus returns like a thief in the night at His Second Coming. In Bible times, thieves did not sneak in unaware. They broke in suddenly, bound the owner of the house, and then ransacked the house. Jesus will do the same. His return will be sudden, surprising those who are not watching, and every eye will see Him, and none will escape except His people.
    YOU STATE:
    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).
    II Thessalonians 2:3-4 is referring to the Day of the Lord, not the rapture. “That Day (the coming of our Lord and our being gathered to Him) will not occur until the apostasy and the revelation of the man of sin.” The rapture AND the Second Advent occur AFTER the time of great tribulation.
    YOU CLAIM:
    f. The rapture leads to the seven tribulation 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9)
    This verse is talking about Jesus’ Second Coming when He is REVEALED (parousia) from heaven with His mighty angle in flaming fire, taking vengeance. This is not a secret coming. It is His APPEARING, when every eye will see Him.
    YOU CLAIM:
    g. No signs are given for the rapture (1 Thessalonians 5:1-3).
    Again, this verse is talking about the Day of the Lord, which occurs after the tribulation, when sudden destruction occurs, and none will escape. It is His wrath, not tribulation.
    YOU STATE:
    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).
    Yes, but again, there is no seven year period between these events, and in case you haven’t noticed, the “all Israel” that is saved when the Redeemer comes out of Zion, when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, is grafted into the very same Olive Tree that those Gentiles are grafted into. The remnant of Israel becomes part of the Church at Jesus Second Coming, and together as the Body of Christ, we rule and reign over “all those who are left over from the nations that attacked Jerusalem.”
    YOU STATE (Concerning Paul’s response to a supposed letter written to the church):
    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.
    Nowhere in the text is a PreTribulational rapture mentioned. The letter concerned the Day of the Lord, which begins after the time of tribulation.
    YOU CLAIM:
    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.
    Matthew is referring to the resurrection of the Church. The “mystery” that Paul revealed was that there would be those living who would be “changed” and caught up with those in the resurrection. The resurrection and raptured is not what happens in “the twinkling of an eye.” It is the “change from mortality to immortality that happens in the twinkling of an eye. After the instantaneous change, the elect are gathered. No inconsistency here.
    YOU CLAIM:
    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?
    First, John makes no mention of the rising of the dead in Christ, nor the voice of an archangel in Revelation 4:1, but PreTribbers still claim it is a the rapture. Just because Paul and Jesus don’t include all of the same specific details, doe not mean they are not referring to different events.
    Second, your definition of “elect” is skewed. Instead of reading Romans 11:18 carefully, lets read the entire context, beginning with Romans 8. First, Paul states that those of the flesh can never please God. Second, he states that “they are not all Israel, who are descended from Israel; nor because they are Abraham’s seed are they his children.” He quotes Isaiah, who tells us that though Israel be like the sand of the sea, only a remnant will be saved. Paul then states that God has not reject His people, whom He foreknew, and them gives two examples, the 7000 at the time of Elijah, and himself. He states, “So too, at the present times, there is a remnant chosen by grace, and that which Israel sought to find, it did not find, but the elect did.
    So, who are the ELECT? They are the remnant chosen by grace. They are NOT unbelieving Israel. Unbelieving Israel is cut off from the people. Look at the two words, elect and chosen. They are the same word in the Greek, “ekloge.” Only the BELIEVING REMNANT are the elect! The rest are cut off. And the reason we are not to boast against the natural branches is because we are ALL chosen by GRACE!
    And third, where in the Bible does it say that the 144,000 are evangelists who witness during the period of tribulation? Another assumption not supported by Scripture. They are called servants.
    And yes, the Church is the ONLY soul-winning body. The kingdom was taken from Israel and giving to a nation that would bear its fruit because Israel gave birth to wind. Jesus cursed the fig tree and said, never again will you bear fruit. That job has been given to the Church.
    So, who is the “all Israel” that is saved? This cannot refer to national Israel, because the prophets tell us that only a third will come through the fire. To be sure, the remnant alive today represents only a tiny percentage of those who have lived throughout the Church Age, most of which are lost. No, the meaning of Paul’s words is this:
    “By way of the partial blindness of the Jews, the Gentiles are being brought in (which would provoke some Jews to seek also), and in this way, all the elect of God, Jew and Gentile, will be saved. This salvation occurs “when the Redeemer comes out of Zion to turn godlessness away from Jacob, and it coincides with the coming in of the fulness of the Gentiles. Together we will all be made perfect.

    To be sure, dispensationalism is heresy because it claims there is another way of salvation other than through Christ. On the cross, Jesus suffered the wrath of God for us. All those who through faith are in Christ, have been buried with Him in baptism, and have died with Him, and have already passed safely through the wrath of God. Peter tells us that the Flood represent baptism that saves us. For seven days Noah, his family and all kinds of clean and unclean beasts (the same ones Peter saw lowered and raised in a white sheet before two witnesses were sent from Cornelius) entered into the Ark.And then God closed the Door, and no one outside was saved. The pitch-covered Ark represents the Church, the Temple, the Body of Christ. Three parts, one Door, covered by the blood. To say that the so-called “tribulation saints” must suffer God’s wrath to be saved implies that Jesus’ death was not sufficient for them. God chastises His children to bring them back to repentance, but He NEVER pours His wrath out on them. Wrath is reserved for the wicked, the unrepentant. The Trumpet and Bowl judgments are NEVER poured out on the nation of Israel. They affect the heavens and earth, and those who have the mark of the beast. God is not punishing Israel during the Seventieth Week, He is saving them. Just as God sent Israel into Babylon because of their apostasy, to be ruled over by Nebuchadnezzar, so He will send the Church into Babylon for its apostasy, to be ruled over by Antichrist. This is the chastisement of God upon His people. But AFTERWARDS, a remnant will “come out of her” and they will return to the Holy City, and THEN God will pour out His wrath upon those troublers who troubled God’s people. This is the meaning of Jeremiah 30. “For lo, the days come, says the Lord, when I will bring again the captivity of My people Israel and Judah, says the Lord; and I will cause them to return to the Land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it…For I am with thee, says the Lord, to save thee; though I make a full end of all the nations where I have scattered thee, yet I will not make a full end of thee; but will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.”
    “For it shall come to pass in that Day, says the Lord, that I will break his yoke from off they neck, and will burst thy bonds…behold the whirlwind of the Lord goes forth, a continuing whirlwind; it shall fall with pain upon the head of the wicked. This is how God works. He uses the wicked to test and purify His people in tribulation (sometimes even great tribulation), then He destroys the wicked in His wrath when He is finished using them for His purpose. “The beast and the ten horns will hate the prostitute (the apostate Church). they will bring her to ruin and leave her naked; they will eat her flesh and burn her with fire. For God has put it into their hearts to accomplish His purpose…” God calls His faithful to come out of her, then destroys her before finally destroying the beast, the false prophet and the ten horns.
    “Woe to you destroyer, who yourself have not been destroyed; you treacherous one, with whom none has dealt treacherously! When you have ceased to destroy, you will be destroyed; and when you have made an end of dealing treacherously, you will be dealt with treacherously.”
    The Seventieth Week CANNOT be the wrath of God, even if a remnant of His people are in it. Again, wrath and tribulation (even great tribulation) are not the same thing. God NEVER pours out His wrath on His elect.
    God uses the Antichrist, to bring His people to the end of themselves, to cry out for Him, and “when the power of the holy people is broken,” He will rescue them and pour out His wrath on Babylon the Great.
    The age of the Church in Philadelphia is past. We are in the age of Laodicea, the lukewarm church who believes they need nothing. A chastisement is coming, and if you think you will escape, remember Daniel and his three friends.

  • Toddott

    Your comment is rather lengthy and laborious and I can appreciate that because some of my own comments are often very long and laborious. However, I can refute your arguments against a Pre-Trib Rapture very easily by concentrating on your very first sentence. You said:

    What makes the great tribulation great is not that it is more horrendous than any other tribulation (for what could be more horrendous than being burned at the stake?).

    I am very surprised to hear that you do not know what the difference is between the Great Tribulation when God’s wrath is going to be poured out on the entire world and the burning of a saint at the stake. The difference is this, and I would like to start by referring you to your own words: “Pretribulationists fail to understand the wrath of God. God is merciful, not wanting any to perish. He never pours out His wrath on anyone unless there is no possibility of repenting. The wrath of God is the “giving over” of that person to his own rebellion. If God is pouring out His wrath on someone it is because that person is lost and beyond repentance.” This is not true, not true in the very least. God poured his wrath out on his chosen people, the Israelite, again and again, and never rejected them despite their unrepentant hearts. (Romans 11:25-28). If Israel was beyond repentance God would never have promised the following:

    Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD. (Jer 31:37).

    There are many more similar promises which you can read for yourself: Leviticus 26:43-44; Isaiah 62:4; Psalm 94:14; Ezekiel 39:28; Nehemiah 9:17.

    The seven years tribulation is called “the time of Jacob’s trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) and not as you suggest the time of the church’s or the Bride’s trouble. The purpose of the tribulation is to bring Israel back to their God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – and to do so it will be necessary for God to pour out his righteous wrath primarily on Israel who had rejected their Messiah. Consider and ponder this verse for a moment.

    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. Let favour be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the majesty of the LORD. (Isa 26:9-10)

    I sincerely hope you can see from the above passage that God’s wrath and righteous judgments are intended to teach the people of the earth righteousness and to bring them to their senses that they may be saved. You have rightly quoted 2 Peter 3:9 which says that God wants no one to persish.

    In contrast. God is going to deliver his Bride out of the world BEFORE the great and terrible Day of the Lord commences.

    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, 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. (Rev 3:10)

    This is precisely what happened to Israel. They forgot the Lord their God when affluence increased.

    Beware that thou forget not the LORD thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day: Lest when thou hast eaten and art full, and hast built goodly houses, and dwelt therein; And when thy herds and thy flocks multiply, and thy silver and thy gold is multiplied, and all that thou hast is multiplied; Then thine heart be lifted up, and thou forget the LORD thy God, which brought thee forth out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage; Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint; Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end. (Deu 8:11-16)

    Scripture abounds in clear-cut assertions that the seventh week of Daniel is NOT the wrath of men, nor even the wrath of Satan, but the time of the wrath of God.

    Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. (Isa 24:1)

    For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. (Isa 26:21)

    And I will bring distress upon men, that they shall walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD: and their blood shall be poured out as dust, and their flesh as the dung. Neither their silver nor their gold shall be able to deliver them in the day of the LORD’S wrath; but the whole land shall be devoured by the fire of his jealousy: for he shall make even a speedy riddance of all them that dwell in the land. (Zep 1:17-18)

    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? (Rev 6:15-17)

    And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, . . .(Rev 11:18)

    And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (Isa 2:19)

    Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. . . . The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word. . . . Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, and few men left. (Isa 24: 1, 3, 6)

    The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. (Isa 24:19-21)

    There are many more similar verses proving that God’s wrath will be poured out on the entire earth during the seven years tribulation. Jesus referred to it when He said: “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 24:21). Either you believe Jesus or you don’t.

    Now, to get back to your question “what could be more horrendous than being burned at the stake?” Dying in whatever manner in behalf of Christ Jesus, including dying at the stake, cannot possibly be construed as God’s wrath and judgment on the saint. On the contrary the Bible distinctly says it is an honour and a privilege to die for Him as a martyr.

    1 Peter 2:20: Amplified Bible (AMP)
    20 After all, what kind of credit is there if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you endure it patiently? But if when you do what is right and patiently bear [undeserved] suffering, this finds favor with God.

    Here we see the difference between the tribulation of those who do wrong and are punished and the tribulation of the saints who suffer in Christ Jesus’s behalf. The latter kind of tribulation has always been part and parcel of the believers’ life, while the tribulation/punishment of the entire world will be a once-off occasion that never occurred before and will never occur again. That’s the difference.

  • Toddott wrote:

    What makes it great is that, unlike all previous tribulation that has been localized and intermittent, the great tribulation will be worldwide, a time of persecution of all Christians everywhere, such that, if not cut short, none would survive. Tribulation is tribulation, whether great or not. Wrath is not tribulation. Even now God’s wrath is being revealed against all the godlessness of the ungodly, yet the Church is still on earth. Pretribulationists fail to understand the wrath of God. God is merciful, not wanting any to perish. He never pours out His wrath on anyone unless there is no possibility of repenting. The wrath of God is the “giving over” of that person to his own rebellion. If God is pouring out His wrath on someone it is because that person is lost and beyond repentance. The tribulation is not the wrath of God, nor is it the Day of the Lord. It is a time of testing and an hour of trial for a nation and a Church that has falling into apostasy and rebellion. And if you don’t believe that is you or I, read the words of Daniel. Though he was righteous, he included himself in the sins of rebellious Israel, and was sent along with them into Babylon. The Church will follow suit, but a remnant will “Come out of her.”

    Jesus gave a template of the end times for us, for our benefit.

    I have already proven that the seven years tribulation will not be “a time of persecution of all Christians everywhere.” It is called the “time of Jacob’s (Israel’s) trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7) and NOT the time of the Church’s or the Bride’s trouble. The Christians who are going to be persecuted and beheaded during the tribulation are unbelieving Jews and Gentiles who will have been left behind at the Pre-Trib Rapture and subsequently been saved through the preaching of the 144 000 Jewish evangelists. If those Christians had all been Christians everywhere Jesus would have been an infamous liar. Didn’t He promise that He would not allow his Bride to suffer the consequences of God’s wrath during the seven years tribulation?

    For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Th 5:9).

    The salvation spoken of here is not the salvation every sinner receives when He puts his faith in Jesus and receives forgiveness for his sins. It is the ultimate salvation when the dead and living saints are going to discard their earthly sinful bodies to receive their new bodies like unto that of Jesus at the Pre-Trib Rapture. Hebrews 7:25 calls it a salvation to the uttermost.

    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, 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. (Rev 3:10)

    And please don’t throw the silly Post-Tribulationist Rapture argument at me that God is going to protect his saints during the tribulation in the same way He protected Israel in Goshen during their sojourn in Egypt. That’s not what the Bible teaches.

    And it was given unto him [by God] to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Rev 13:7-8)

    Those who do not worship him will be put to death. That means that precious little saints if any will be left to be raptured at the end of the seven years tribulation.

    You said: “Though he (Daniel) was righteous, he included himself in the sins of rebellious Israel, and was sent along with them into Babylon. The Church will follow suit, but a remnant will “Come out of her.” The mistake you are making is to blot out the differences between Israel and the church. It’s called Replacement Theology. I am not talking about differences in how these two groups are saved, as you facetiously suggest I am promulgating. In Acts 15:11 Peter says an astonishing thing: “But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we [the Jews] shall be saved, even as they [the Gentiles]” (Acts 15:11), admitting that Jews and Gentiles are saved in exactly the same way – through faith and faith alone in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The differences I am referring to, are the differences in how God is dealing with the Jews and the Gentiles in history.

    Even the choice of language in writing certain parts of the Bible prove that God is dealing differently with the Jews and Gentiles in history. For instance, the book of Daniel represents three distinct parts in which language suggests with whom God is dealing. Part one (chapter 1:1-21) which deals with the history of the prophet Daniel, is written in Hebrew; the second part (chapters 2:1 to 7:28) which deals with the history of the Gentile nations is written in Aramaic, an ancient Gentile language; and part three (chapters 8:1 to 12:13) which deals with the history of the Jews is written in Hebrew. Our present day and age, in which God has put his chosen people, the Jews, on hold, so that the Gospel may be proclaimed to the Gentiles. (Romans 11:9-29), is also proof that God is dealing differently with the Jews and the Gentiles in history, as the New Testament is written in Koine Greek (a Gentile language). Please take special note of verse 25 in Romans 11. It says that God is going to deal in a special way with the Jews again when the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. It obviously refers to the Pre-Trib Rapture and the subsequent seven years tribulation (the time of Jacob’s [Israel’s trouble] when God will again turn his attention to his peculiar people, the Jews, to bring them back to Him.

    So you cannot, as you had done, say “Though he [Daniel] was righteous, he included himself in the sins of rebellious Israel, and was sent along with them into Babylon. The Church will follow suit, but a remnant will ‘Come out of her.’” The remnant in Revelation is not a church remnant but a Jewish remnant. There are too many Jewish elements in Daniel’s prophecy to suggest otherwise. Note:

    1) The seventy weeks (70 X 7 years) are determined upon Daniel’s people (the Jews) and not the church.
    2) It is determined upon “thy Holy City” (the City of Jerusalem) and not the Vatican in Rome.

    Replacement Theology is an abomination because it blatantly suggests that God is a liar who cannot keep all the promises He made to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob with regard to their land and their holy city. If God refused to keep his promises to Israel, He is also quite able to annul his promises to the apostatizing church which is following the very same path of idolatry and apostasy Israel followed in the Old Testament.

    Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted. Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand. Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents. Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer. Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come. Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. (1 Co 10:1-12)

  • boldncourageous

    IN RESPONSE:

    1. addressing dispensational issues: The pretrib doctrine does exactly what you claim concerning dispensational issues. Consider the concept of the temple. Jesus informs us that the temple will be destroyed and not one stone left upon another. The work of the cross destroyed the veil in the temple, and created a new dispensation in which our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. Daniel prophesied that the offerings and sacrifices would end and they did so at the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus became the sacrifice once and for all. This happened in the middle of the 7 year war called the Roman-Jewish War or Jewish Rebellion that lasted from 66 AD to 74 AD ending with the fall of Masada. This fact is clearly fulfilled by the work of the cross, and the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70th week described in Dan.9:27. However, this one singular verse is foundational for the pretrib doctrine, and as a result the pretrib doctrine teaches from this one singular verse that the temple will again be restored, the sacrifices and offerings will again be restored just so that they can be destroyed once again to fulfill a Scripture that is already fulfilled.
    2.You state, “Jesus promised his Bride that He would Rapture her before He would pour out his wrath on the Antichrist ” Then you reference 2 Thess. 2:1-3, and Rev. 3:10. Yet this verse NEVER promises nor does Jesus ever promise any such thing. 2 Thess. 2:1-3 does indeed inform us that before we are gathered together with Him, the anti-Christ must first be revealed, but your claim is super-scriptural. Then Rev. 3:10 informs us that because ONE of the seven churches, Philadelphia, has met a certain requirement, that this ONE church will be kept from the “hour of temptation”. Typical of the pretrib doctrine the “hour of temptation” must be speculated into an assumption that event is the “great tribulation.” However, this passage parallels Psalm 91, and Luke 21:36. All these Scriptures have stipulations of “works” connected to them. We are not saved by works, and therefore the bride is not raptured by works either. Unless, of course, you believe that not everyone who is saved gets raptured. Some pretribbers have that belief… do you?
    3. It always amazes me the differences that the pretrib doctrine attempts to conjure up to separate the singular event of the return of Christ.
    a.I love the Scriptures that you quote that states the opposite that you are intending to state, like 1 Cor. 3:13… interesting how you conveniently left out verses 10-12. Paul is informing the portion of the bride, ,those who are alive and remain on how to conduct themselves for when Jesus comes with all of His dead saints for her.

    The very word “rapture” derived from Latin was coined with the specific intent to create division of the singular event. We have English words for the event, “caught up,” and “taken,” to sufficiently translate from the word “harpazio” and if one attempts to substitute the word “rapture” into the other 12 places that “harpazio” is used in the Word that person is left scratching their head in confusion, because “rapture” doesn’t translate. It is a conjured up word for the intent to create division. It would be like taking the word for “gathered together,” used to describe the same event and then taking another language, such as Latin, creating a derivative of the Latin just in attempt to create an event that doesn’t exist.
    b. 1 Thess. 4:16,17 we meet Him in the air/clouds, you call this event rapture and state there is a distinction, however, Matt. 24:29-31 we also meet Him in the air/clouds and this you call the Second Advent. Yet there is no distinction in which you state exists.
    c.Jesus returns With and For His bride. The portion of WITH is the dead saints, the portion of FOR is those who are alive and remain. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. John 14:3… Yes, Jesus went to prepare a place for us… Yes, He is coming again…. THAT WHERE I AM THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO. Interesting that you think that the dead saint that are living in those dwelling places aren’t going to be returning WITH Him for the rest of His bride. To be absent from the body is to be present from the Lord. Acts 1:9-12 informs us that Jesus will return in “like manner” in which He left. He left from the Mount of Olives to the sky/clouds to heaven. Like manner return is from heaven, to the sky/clouds (with all the dead saints (Jude 14, Rev.19, 1 Thess. 3:10-13) where we meet Him in the air/clouds, to the Mount of Olives… Zech 14:4,5 …with all of His saints.
    d. All of the “secret” element of surprise, “like a thief…” verses fall and describe the second advent… 2 Peter 3:10 which tells us that He will return like a thief when the heavens are destroyed with a great noise… This parallels Matt. 24:35,36…”Of that day, no man knows the day or the hour…” What day? The one just described in the previous verse where the heavens are destroyed. I know pretribbers love to quote this verse in Matt. 24 and tell us that its about the rapture, often it’s in the same breath that they state Matt. 24 isn’t about the church, but the Jews.
    Jesus Himself declares the He will return for the second advent, “like a thief..” If a rapture were to occur 7 years prior, it would announce and declare the timing of the second coming. I don’t call Jesus a liar…. the pretrib doctrine does.
    e. Here again you quote a Scripture that does not state what you say it does. This Scripture informs us that we will not be gathered together with Him prior to the great falling away, and the anti-Christ being revealed. At no point does it state that our gathering will happen prior to the great tribulation. That assumption is just wishful thinking of those who wish to speculate.
    f. The reference given here is way out of context. The church of Thessalonica was indeed suffering great tribulation at that time and Paul was recognizing it. The very fact that Paul is addressing their tribulation explains the reasoning of why he is informing them that they will not be gathered together with Him, out of their tribulation, but that the great falling away and the anti-Christ must first be revealed, as he states in the next chapter.
    g. That’s interesting that you would categorize the “like a thief..” scripture with the rapture. Most pretribbers understand that the “like a thief…” references must fall on the second coming event. “Like a thief…” falls on the second coming side…Rev. 16:15, 2 Peter 3:10, but as you point out many pretribbers make the mistake of attempting to mix the event showing the “like a thief…” scriptures of 1 Thess. 5:1-3, and Rev. 3:1-5 (clearly for the church of Sardis, but the exact same message right before the last bowl judgment Rev. 16:15). Your argument just backfired on you… you cannot have two events of “like a thief…” the first would declare and announce the timing of the second. Especially if there were a 7 year period that pinpointed the exact season in which the “goodman” of the house knew at what time to keep watch…Matt. 24:42-44.
    h.Matt. 24:14 is indeed about the Jews. The disciples asked Jesus about the event in verse 3 concerning the destruction of the temple. In this passage Jesus is responding to them concerning that destruction that happened in 70 AD. That already occurred. That was the worst time ever for Israel. In 162 AD Jerusalem was eradicated of all Jews by the Roman Emperor. The parallel verse of Matt. 24:14-15 is in Luke 21:22-24. It refers to this time as the time of the gentiles where Jerusalem is trodden down by the gentiles. This time of the gentiles continued until 1948.

    All of the Scripture shows that the return of Christ is a singular event. Rev. 20:4,5 informs us that those who die for not taking the Mark of the Beast are resurrected in the FIRST resurrection. 1 Cor. 15:42-54 doesn’t call it a rapture, but the resurrection. It is one in the same, because it is a singular event.

    Paul goes to a great extent to explain the mystery in 1 Cor. 15. The return of Christ is first mentioned in verse 24. The body of his message is to explain and debunk the teachings of the Saducees. The Saducees believe that there is no spirit, no angels, nor resurrection… see Acts. 23:8. So here in this passage Paul is explaining that we indeed have a spirit body and a Earthly/natural body. Often Paul discusses this fact in other Scriptures, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” There is no need for a Earth suit in heaven. Yet so many miss the nature of the mystery that Paul is explaining. The mystery is not about the rapture (being caught up), but rather about the resurrection of the dead (see vs.44), and what happens to the Earth suit (physical body/ natural man).

    In Acts 2 we are informed that Jesus natural body did not become “corrupted” in the grave. In other words it didn’t rot and decay. This was prophesied in the Old Testament. So we are made to understand that Paul is talking about the dead saints who’s bodies have become corrupted by rotting and decaying. Paul is stating that we will not all “sleep.” This means that we will not all come to rest in the grave by dying. Those who are alive (and remain) will change in a moment from mortality to immortality. This is the exact opposite of what happened to Adam at the fall when he sinned. He changed from immortality to being mortal. Death entered into the World through sin. Prior to sin Adam’s “Earth suit” could not die.

    Paul calls this event the “resurrection of the dead.” He also informs us that the dead saints will again get new natural bodies that cannot be corrupted, rot, or decay. This is the mystery that Paul is referring to in this passage. The reason that the dead saints will need a new physical body is because Jesus is not going to rule and reign for 1000 years on Earth. Without a natural body, the dead saints would be disembodied spirits running around at this time with no Earth suit.

    John informs us in Rev. 20:4,5 that those who get martyred for not taking the Mark of the Beast will be resurrected at the FIRST resurrection. 1 Cor 15:42-54 speaks of this same first resurrection.

    Earthly bodies never go to heaven. When John was told to “come up here…” he was immediately in the spirit…. Rev. 4:1,2. At the time of the resurrection we will be changed, but the word “glorified” bodies are not used by Paul to describe our new Earth suits (natural bodies).Thomas Lessing (Watch and Pray / Waak en Bid) wrote:

    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).

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

    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).

    IN RESPONSE:

    1. addressing dispensational issues: The pretrib doctrine does exactly what you claim concerning dispensational issues. Consider the concept of the temple. Jesus informs us that the temple will be destroyed and not one stone left upon another. The work of the cross destroyed the veil in the temple, and created a new dispensation in which our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. Daniel prophesied that the offerings and sacrifices would end and they did so at the time of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem. Jesus became the sacrifice once and for all. This happened in the middle of the 7 year war called the Roman-Jewish War or Jewish Rebellion that lasted from 66 AD to 74 AD ending with the fall of Masada. This fact is clearly fulfilled by the work of the cross, and the fulfillment of Daniel’s 70th week described in Dan.9:27. However, this one singular verse is foundational for the pretrib doctrine, and as a result the pretrib doctrine teaches from this one singular verse that the temple will again be restored, the sacrifices and offerings will again be restored just so that they can be destroyed once again to fulfill a Scripture that is already fulfilled.
    2.You state, “Jesus promised his Bride that He would Rapture her before He would pour out his wrath on the Antichrist ” Then you reference 2 Thess. 2:1-3, and Rev. 3:10. Yet this verse NEVER promises nor does Jesus ever promise any such thing. 2 Thess. 2:1-3 does indeed inform us that before we are gathered together with Him, the anti-Christ must first be revealed, but your claim is super-scriptural. Then Rev. 3:10 informs us that because ONE of the seven churches, Philadelphia, has met a certain requirement, that this ONE church will be kept from the “hour of temptation”. Typical of the pretrib doctrine the “hour of temptation” must be speculated into an assumption that event is the “great tribulation.” However, this passage parallels Psalm 91, and Luke 21:36. All these Scriptures have stipulations of “works” connected to them. We are not saved by works, and therefore the bride is not raptured by works either. Unless, of course, you believe that not everyone who is saved gets raptured. Some pretribbers have that belief… do you?
    3. It always amazes me the differences that the pretrib doctrine attempts to conjure up to separate the singular event of the return of Christ.
    a.I love the Scriptures that you quote that states the opposite that you are intending to state, like 1 Cor. 3:13… interesting how you conveniently left out verses 10-12. Paul is informing the portion of the bride, ,those who are alive and remain on how to conduct themselves for when Jesus comes with all of His dead saints for her.

    The very word “rapture” derived from Latin was coined with the specific intent to create division of the singular event. We have English words for the event, “caught up,” and “taken,” to sufficiently translate from the word “harpazio” and if one attempts to substitute the word “rapture” into the other 12 places that “harpazio” is used in the Word that person is left scratching their head in confusion, because “rapture” doesn’t translate. It is a conjured up word for the intent to create division. It would be like taking the word for “gathered together,” used to describe the same event and then taking another language, such as Latin, creating a derivative of the Latin just in attempt to create an event that doesn’t exist.
    b. 1 Thess. 4:16,17 we meet Him in the air/clouds, you call this event rapture and state there is a distinction, however, Matt. 24:29-31 we also meet Him in the air/clouds and this you call the Second Advent. Yet there is no distinction in which you state exists.
    c.Jesus returns With and For His bride. The portion of WITH is the dead saints, the portion of FOR is those who are alive and remain. To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. John 14:3… Yes, Jesus went to prepare a place for us… Yes, He is coming again…. THAT WHERE I AM THERE YOU MAY BE ALSO. Interesting that you think that the dead saint that are living in those dwelling places aren’t going to be returning WITH Him for the rest of His bride. To be absent from the body is to be present from the Lord. Acts 1:9-12 informs us that Jesus will return in “like manner” in which He left. He left from the Mount of Olives to the sky/clouds to heaven. Like manner return is from heaven, to the sky/clouds (with all the dead saints (Jude 14, Rev.19, 1 Thess. 3:10-13) where we meet Him in the air/clouds, to the Mount of Olives… Zech 14:4,5 …with all of His saints.
    d. All of the “secret” element of surprise, “like a thief…” verses fall and describe the second advent… 2 Peter 3:10 which tells us that He will return like a thief when the heavens are destroyed with a great noise… This parallels Matt. 24:35,36…”Of that day, no man knows the day or the hour…” What day? The one just described in the previous verse where the heavens are destroyed. I know pretribbers love to quote this verse in Matt. 24 and tell us that its about the rapture, often it’s in the same breath that they state Matt. 24 isn’t about the church, but the Jews.
    Jesus Himself declares the He will return for the second advent, “like a thief..” If a rapture were to occur 7 years prior, it would announce and declare the timing of the second coming. I don’t call Jesus a liar…. the pretrib doctrine does.
    e. Here again you quote a Scripture that does not state what you say it does. This Scripture informs us that we will not be gathered together with Him prior to the great falling away, and the anti-Christ being revealed. At no point does it state that our gathering will happen prior to the great tribulation. That assumption is just wishful thinking of those who wish to speculate.
    f. The reference given here is way out of context. The church of Thessalonica was indeed suffering great tribulation at that time and Paul was recognizing it. The very fact that Paul is addressing their tribulation explains the reasoning of why he is informing them that they will not be gathered together with Him, out of their tribulation, but that the great falling away and the anti-Christ must first be revealed, as he states in the next chapter.
    g. That’s interesting that you would categorize the “like a thief..” scripture with the rapture. Most pretribbers understand that the “like a thief…” references must fall on the second coming event. “Like a thief…” falls on the second coming side…Rev. 16:15, 2 Peter 3:10, but as you point out many pretribbers make the mistake of attempting to mix the event showing the “like a thief…” scriptures of 1 Thess. 5:1-3, and Rev. 3:1-5 (clearly for the church of Sardis, but the exact same message right before the last bowl judgment Rev. 16:15). Your argument just backfired on you… you cannot have two events of “like a thief…” the first would declare and announce the timing of the second. Especially if there were a 7 year period that pinpointed the exact season in which the “goodman” of the house knew at what time to keep watch…Matt. 24:42-44.
    h.Matt. 24:14 is indeed about the Jews. The disciples asked Jesus about the event in verse 3 concerning the destruction of the temple. In this passage Jesus is responding to them concerning that destruction that happened in 70 AD. That already occurred. That was the worst time ever for Israel. In 162 AD Jerusalem was eradicated of all Jews by the Roman Emperor. The parallel verse of Matt. 24:14-15 is in Luke 21:22-24. It refers to this time as the time of the gentiles where Jerusalem is trodden down by the gentiles. This time of the gentiles continued until 1948.

    All of the Scripture shows that the return of Christ is a singular event. Rev. 20:4,5 informs us that those who die for not taking the Mark of the Beast are resurrected in the FIRST resurrection. 1 Cor. 15:42-54 doesn’t call it a rapture, but the resurrection. It is one in the same, because it is a singular event.

    Paul goes to a great extent to explain the mystery in 1 Cor. 15. The return of Christ is first mentioned in verse 24. The body of his message is to explain and debunk the teachings of the Saducees. The Saducees believe that there is no spirit, no angels, nor resurrection… see Acts. 23:8. So here in this passage Paul is explaining that we indeed have a spirit body and a Earthly/natural body. Often Paul discusses this fact in other Scriptures, “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” There is no need for a Earth suit in heaven. Yet so many miss the nature of the mystery that Paul is explaining. The mystery is not about the rapture (being caught up), but rather about the resurrection of the dead (see vs.44), and what happens to the Earth suit (physical body/ natural man).

    In Acts 2 we are informed that Jesus natural body did not become “corrupted” in the grave. In other words it didn’t rot and decay. This was prophesied in the Old Testament. So we are made to understand that Paul is talking about the dead saints who’s bodies have become corrupted by rotting and decaying. Paul is stating that we will not all “sleep.” This means that we will not all come to rest in the grave by dying. Those who are alive (and remain) will change in a moment from mortality to immortality. This is the exact opposite of what happened to Adam at the fall when he sinned. He changed from immortality to being mortal. Death entered into the World through sin. Prior to sin Adam’s “Earth suit” could not die.

    Paul calls this event the “resurrection of the dead.” He also informs us that the dead saints will again get new natural bodies that cannot be corrupted, rot, or decay. This is the mystery that Paul is referring to in this passage. The reason that the dead saints will need a new physical body is because Jesus is not going to rule and reign for 1000 years on Earth. Without a natural body, the dead saints would be disembodied spirits running around at this time with no Earth suit.

    John informs us in Rev. 20:4,5 that those who get martyred for not taking the Mark of the Beast will be resurrected at the FIRST resurrection. 1 Cor 15:42-54 speaks of this same first resurrection.

    Earthly bodies never go to heaven. When John was told to “come up here…” he was immediately in the spirit…. Rev. 4:1,2. At the time of the resurrection we will be changed, but the word “glorified” bodies are not used by Paul to describe our new Earth suits (natural bodies).

  • I have two questions for you.

    1) And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. (Luk 12:36).

    To whom did Jesus address these words?

    2) And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. (Jud 1:14-15).

    Who are these saints and at what time in history are they going to return with Jesus?

  • I must say you have a super imagination to think that the gathering in Matthew 24:29-31 is a gathering in the air unto Him. This is what the passage says:

    Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Mat 24:29-31).

    The gathering takes place from the four winds which relates to the earth (Mark 13:27).This gathering involves those who will become believers during the seventieth week of Daniel and who will have been scattered to the ends of the earth because of persecution (Matthew 24:16).

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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture (Part 2)

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      7. Any content including advertisements or otherwise focused on the promotion of commercial events or businesses, or any request for or solicitation of money, goods, or services for private gain;
      8. Any content that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware or telecommunications equipment; or
      9. Any content directly or indirectly soliciting responses from minors (defined as anyone under 18 years of age).
  7. FAIR USE NOTICE:
    1. If any part of the “Comment” is not your original work, it is your responsibility to add the name of the third party, name the book with page number or a link (url) to the website where you obtained the information.
    2. Your “Comment” may contain Copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. You are however allowed to make such material available in your “Comment” in an effort to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this Site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to:http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml.
    3. If you wish to use copyrighted material from a website or any other medium for purposes to add to your “Comment” that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner. (Fair Use means you may quote from copyrighted sources, but you may not publish the whole article, book, etc., in your “Comment”.)
  8. You are solely responsible for the “Comment” you upload, post, transmit or otherwise make available to others using this Web Site. Under no circumstances will Discerning the World be liable in any way for any “Comment” posted on or made available through this Site by you or any third party.
  9. You understand that all “Comments” on this Site are pre-screened or moderated. That means that every “Comment” needs to be approved by Discerning the World before it appears in the “Comments” section.  This is not an automatic process.  Discerning the World does this for SPAM reasons.
  10. Discerning the World has the right (but not the obligation) in their sole unfettered discretion to remove any “Comment” that is posted on or available through the Site. Without limiting the foregoing, Discerning the World has the right to remove any “Comment” that violates these Terms or is otherwise deemed objectionable by Discerning the World in its sole discretion.
  11. You understand that Discerning the World in their sole unfettered discretion is not obligated and can not be forced in any manner, be it legal or otherwise to remove any “Comment” that is posted on or made available through the Site by you.
  12. When submitting a “Comment,” you will be asked to provide your name and your email address. While Discerning the World does not object to your use of a pseudonym instead of your actual name, Discerning the World reserves the right, but not the obligation, to reject, change, disallow, or discontinue at any time any submission name that, in Discerning the World’s sole unfettered discretion, is objectionable or inappropriate for any reason. Discerning the World requires the submission of your email address, but Discerning the World warrants that it will not publish your email address to an outside third party without your consent.
  13. Discerning the World does not sell or rent your personal information to third parties for their marketing purposes. From time to time, Discerning the World may contact you personally via email. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge and understand that the “Comments” feature of the Site is designed to permit users to post information and commentary for public review and comment and thus you hereby waive any expectation of privacy you may have concerning any likeness or information provided to the Site by you.
  14. You are solely responsible for your interactions with other users of or visitors to the Site.
    1. Discerning the World shall have the right, but not the obligation, to monitor interactions utilizing the “Comments” facility of the Site, between you and other users of or visitors to the Site. You acknowledge and agree that Discerning the World, or any third party shall not be, and you shall not seek to hold them, responsible for any harm or damage whatsoever arising in connection with your interaction with other users of or visitors to the Site.
    2. Discerning the World does not verify any information posted to or communicated via the “Comments” sections of the Site by users and does not guarantee the proper use of such information by any party who may have access to the information. You acknowledge and agree that Discerning the World does not assume, and shall not have, any responsibility for the content of messages or other communications sent or received by users of the Site.
  15. The Site contains content created by or on behalf of Discerning the World as well as content provided by third parties.
    1. Discerning the World does not control, and makes no representations or warranties about, any third party content, including such content that may be accessible directly on the Site or through links from the Site to third party sites.
    2. You acknowledge that, by viewing the Site or communications transmitted through the Site, you may be exposed to third party content that is false, offensive or otherwise objectionable to you or others, and you agree that under no circumstances shall Discerning the World be liable in any way, under any theory, for any third party content.
    3. You acknowledge and agree that the Site, and the contents thereof, is proprietary to Discerning the World and is protected by copyright. You agree that you will not access or use the Site or any of the content thereof for any reason or purpose other than your personal, non-commercial use.
    4. You agree that you will not systematically retrieve data or other content from the Site by any means, and you will not compile a database or directory of information extracted from the Site.
    5. You agree that you will not reproduce, distribute or make derivative works of the Site or any of the contents thereof without the express consent of Discerning the World.
    6. You hereby agree to indemnify, defend and hold harmless Discerning the World, its affiliates and licensees, and all of their officers, directors, employees, agents and representatives from and against any and all liabilities, losses, claims, damages, and expenses (including attorneys’ fees) in connection with any claim arising out of your use of the Site or violation of any of these Terms.

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY/LIMITATION OF LIABILITY.

  • YOU EXPRESSLY AGREE THAT USE OF THE SITE IS AT YOUR SOLE RISK. NEITHER DISCERNING THE WORLD, ITS AFFILIATES, NOR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, AGENTS, OR LICENSORS WARRANT THAT THE SITE WILL BE UNINTERRUPTED, TIMELY, SECURE OR ERROR FREE.
  • THE SITE IS PROVIDED ON AN “AS IS” BASIS WITHOUT WARRANTIES OF ANY KIND, EITHER EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WARRANTIES OF TITLE OR IMLPLIED WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE.
  • THIS DISCLAIMER OF LIABILITY APPLIES TO ANY DAMAGES OR INJURY CAUSED BY ANY FAILURE OF PERFORMANCE, ERROR, OMISSION, INTERRUPTION, DELETION, DEFECT, DELAY, COMMUNICATION LINE FAILURE, THEFT OR DESTRUCTION OR UNAUTHORIZED ACCESS TO, ALTERATION OF OR USE, WHETHER FOR BREACH OF CONTRACT, TORTIOUS BEHAVIOR, NEGLIGENCE OR UNDER ANY OTHER CAUSE OF ACTION. YOU SPECIFICALLY ACKNOWLEDGE AND AGREE THAT DISCERNING THE WORLD SHALL NOT BE LIABLE FOR THE DEFAMATORY, OFFENSIVE OR ILLEGAL CONDUCT OF USERS OF THE SITE OR THIRD PARTIES, AND THAT THE RISK OF INJURY FROM THE FOREGOING RESTS ENTIRELY WITH THE YOU THE COMMENTER.
  • IN NO EVENT WILL DISCERNING THE WORLD, ITS AFFILIATES OR ANY OF THEIR RESPECTIVE EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR LICENSORS BE LIABLE FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING WITHOUT LIMITATION DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, CONSEQUENTIAL OR PUNITIVE DAMAGES, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, ARISING FROM, RELATING TO OR CONNECTED WITH THE USE OR INABILITY TO USE THE SITE OR ANY OTHER MATTER ARISING FROM, RELATING TO OR CONNECTED WITH THE SITE OR THESE TERMS.

16. These Terms constitute the entire agreement between Discerning the World and you with respect to the subject matter hereof, and supersede any previous oral or written agreement between us with respect to such subject matter.

Thank you!