A Voice in the
May 26, 2003
Why make such a fuss over the 'pre'-trib Rapture?
FOLLOWUP: when I stated that Jesus endured the tribulation- I meant He endured the cross- suffering. Why are his disciples taken out of suffering? I think it would be amazing to be alive during the tribulation. Those who know their Lord will be jailed, loose everything and their lives but it will be like childbirth where you think you are not able survive but then a child comes forth.
I suspect the most 'famous' so-called post-trib passage is Mt24:29-31 "...And immediately after the affliction of those days the sun will be darkened...And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the heavens... And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." You see how they look at this: "after" the affliction (tribulation) the Son of Man is coming; and in 'that' context He is gathering together His "elect". They think "elect" means "Church". They have missed the fact that Israel has this special 'title' from God: "For Jacob My servantís sake, and Israel My elect, I have even proclaimed your name; I have entitled you, though you have not known Me." (Is45:4) No mistaking...it is from "Jacob" that -Israel- is God's "elect". The fact that they "have not known" God makes it -impossible- for this to be the "Church", because, by definition, the Church is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and are the "righteousness of God in Christ". By definition, the Church "knows" Jesus Christ. This entity that does -NOT- "know" God cannot be the Church, it is Israel. It is -this- entity, Israel, that is being gathered "from the four winds". It is "the winds" to which Israel was "scattered" in the first place due to their idolatry (Jer49:32); from where, as God is giving Israel a "new heart" (Eze36:26) as Paul reiterates: "..Israel shall be saved.." (Is45:17, Rom11:26) He will gather them back "after" the 70th week...like we observed recently, contrary to those who are trying to gather -all- Israel back 'now'; and rapture the Church 'afterwards'. Both are in error: 1) the Church is raptured 'prior' 2) Israel is fully gathered 'after'
The fact that the "seventh" trumpet in Revelation is the 'last' of those seven, does not necessarily suggest that it is the 'same' trumpet as what Paul calls "last". (1Cor15:52) Throughout the O.T. trumpets were used for a wide-assortment of events and feasts. A "last" trumpet could (could) be associated with -any- one of those Feasts during which trumpets were blown...which also has future fulfillment. When trumpets are being blown, eventually when the event/Feast is finished, that final trumpet sound associated with that event is the "last" trumpet (for 'that' Feast). For previous discussions on this, please see:
Jesus went to the cross to endure it and thus our redemption. God did not spare his own son from the hour of trial. Do those of us who follow Jesus expect the wide path?
You say: What does one have to do with the other? Exactly.
Jesus died to redeem us to Himself. When Believers suffer persecution, or even martyrdom, that does not redeem anybody else to give them eternal life. Yes, we suffer -because- we are followers of Christ (Jn15:18-20), and Jesus promised that this would be the case (Jn16:33), and also that much of it would come from the '[c]hurch' (16:2); as history has borne out, and we experience it even today. But a Believer's suffering for Christ is not redemptive. It is for the same reason they persecuted Jesus 'before' He was crucified, because they do not believe the Father; they do not know God. (Jn16:3, 15:21) This persecution comes from satan and the world -against- God and His children.
On the other hand, while the 70th week includes satan's wrath (Rev12:12); it is primarily characterized by -GOD's- WRATH upon the world... satan and sinful man. Please see:
If you were not around when we had the series, you might be advised to read the entire file as background to the section "wrath" that this link goes to.
Since it is a time when God is judging the world (Rev3:10), and purifying Israel: the "sons of Levi", Israel's 'pastors' (Mal3:3) who had rebelled against God from leading Israel in a Godly path (Jer23); it is not even 'appropriate' for the Church to be here, to receive God's wrath. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of Lights.." (Jac1:17) "Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good things to those who ask Him!" (Mt7:9-11) God gives His children (which -unbelieving- Israel is not: they may be His "elect" whom He is yet going to redeem unto Himself, but when they are in unbelief, they are judged like anybody else) GOOD THINGS; "..God did not appoint us to wrath.." (1Th5:9) because we are no longer "..children of wrath.." (Eph2:3) but "..children of light.." (Eph5:8)
Yes...until the Rapture happens, Believers receive persecution/affliction/tribulation from the world...as history has shown to be the case for the past 2000 years. But God does not subject His children, who are "righteous" (by definition), to -His- wrath. That's why He delivered "righteous Lot" -prior- to Sodom's destruction of God's wrath. (2Pet2:7)
What is the harm? VERY MUCH IN EVERY WAY!!!
Believing a wrong doctrine (such as this) may not condemn a person, if they don't know any better. After all, there are so many deceptive doctrines out there, and if a younger Believer listens to some trusted 'guru', they may inadvertently accept as true, various false doctrines. Salvation is based on receiving Christ (Jn1:12), not one's proclamation of "pre-trib". However, in receiving Christ, one must also believe His promises...it is only a natural outworking of that faith. For the earlier half of my life I 'tended' to believe "pre", but was "not sure"...only having heard/read the teachings of the so-called "experts"...you know, the ones from the famous seminaries with the alphabet behind their names. But then around 1982 the -LORD- began showing me THROUGH SCRIPTURE, He opened my eyes to little things here and there along the way, to where the Scriptural evidence became overwhelming to me, there was NO QUESTION about it.
And if you read that link above from the "Covenants" series, you will understand that it is IMPOSSIBLE for the Church to go through the 70th week. It DOES NOT BELONG in it; because of the covenants. The 70th week is -about- 1) ISRAEL, 2) Babylon/World/[c]hurch, and 3) Satan/serpent... (Yes...the [c]hurch of christendom will go through the 70th week; not for purifying, but for eternal judgment, because they are not the Church of Jesus Christ, they "-did-" not believe 2Th2:10) ...NOT the "[C]hurch" of Jesus Christ
Additional related links:
"pre-trib" verses needed
WEBSITE VISITOR QUESTION: (not a subscriber)
Besides all the numerous things that indicate the Church does not belong here for God's wrath, a very specific verse should answer #2 of your questions here...2Th2:6-8. Particularly vs 7-8. Most translations muddy up the meaning of vs7...speaking of "taken out of the way". It actually more correctly should say "..until he arises from out of the midst." (VW-edition)(LITV, MKJV & ALT are closer to being correct in this verse than the others) If you read it with that correctly translated, and then see how vs8 begins with "and THEN" ...it is pretty much irrefutable.
But if you read that recommended Q/A, there are links within it to other past writings...and put them all together, I believe should pretty much present most of the Scriptural argument for the matter. In addition, you might find the Portions link: "Lot was raptured" of interest...in connection with the fact that he was rescued out of Sodom 'prior' to Sodom's destruction, and Jesus said that His coming would be like the "days of Lot".
[VW Note: "parousia" meaning "coming". ALT renders it as "arrival"]
In light of these two passages that state the coming will not occur until after the Antichrist and after the Great Tribulation, are there comparable passages that state as clearly that the rapture comes before those events?
2Th2:1-4 speaks of the same things. The 1) coming of Jesus, and 2) our gathering to Him. Always remember... when Jesus 'comes' to set up His kingdom, He is coming 'with' the saints..."And Jehovah my God shall come, and all the saints with You." (Zec14:5) That means, the saints had to have been resurrected/raptured 'prior' to that 'coming'. This is something that many simply do not accept, and confuse others about: that the Rapture and the Second Coming are -NOT- the same event.
There are two types of "day" of the Lord. There is a "Day of the Lord" that encompasses everything about Jesus from His human birth, through His crucifixion/resurrection, ascension, second coming, kingdom, destruction of this heaven and earth to establish the new when Christ then "will be subjected to [the Father].." (1Cor15:28) That particular "day" traverses something like 3000 years. For an overview of that, in the "Morsels" section at the website is a series of Scriptures along this theme. 2Pt3:10 represents the tail end of this.
But the other "Day of the Lord" is the occasion of Christ's return to defeat His enemies and rescue Israel from what will turn out to be near-imminent annihilation at the hands of the gathered armies of the world at Armageddon. 1Th5:2, Ac2:20, Jer46:10, Is13:6,9, Ezek30:3, Joel, Am5:18, Ob1:15, Zeph1:7,14, Zec14:1, Mal4:5, etc. If you read these passages...and so many others like them throughout the O.T. Prophets, the "time of Jacob's trouble" (Jer30:7) corresponds to Mt24:29-30
But notice how Mt24:23-24 speaks of the deception 'before' that day, just as 2Th2:3-4 speaks of the falling away and the one declaring himself to be God which comes "first" before "that Day". But the "day" and "deception" do not necessarily speak of the Rapture...although we certainly do see much deception already, because you don't suddenly wake up one morning and, Sh'zamm! Look at all this deception that popped up overnight! Thus, can you imagine how much worse it will be during "that day"!
But it is in this context that Paul sets the stage for the one who deceives (vs9-10)... that he won't be "unveiled" until -after- that which restrains "arises from out of the midst". (vs7) And notice also that he speaks of the ones experiencing the deception in the third person: "himself" (vs4), "those", "they" (vs10), "them" (vs11), "they" (vs12) to receive judgment.
And then he speaks to "you, brethren" (second person)(vs13) as being the ones who experience "salvation". 'they' receive judgment, but -not- 'you'. The Church of Philadelphia is -kept- from the "hour of trial" that comes to "test -THOSE- who dwell on the earth" (Rev3:10) "you" (second person) are escaping what is coming to "those" (third person) dwelling on the earth. If "those" are spoken of being 'on' earth in such a 'disjointed' fashion, then the ones He speaks of as "you" are not.
In similar fashion Jesus speaks in the third person about "many" (Mt24:10), "those" (vs16), "him" (vs17), "those" (vs19); and then goes into second person: "So -you- also, when you see these things, know that it is near, at the doors!" (vs33)
[Grammatical note, considering today's dumbed-down education, for some who may not understand: first person is the one 'doing' the talking; second person is the one being spoken 'to'; third person is the one being spoken 'about'. In other words... first person speaks 'to' second person 'about' third person]
Now, from Daniel 9:24-27 a person could 'know' when the "Day" is, by counting seven years from the time of the "confirming" of the covenant. Daniel also speaks of 1290 days from the time of the "abomination of desolation". (12:11) And there is also the 1335 days (12:12) John speaks of 42 months/1260 days. (Rev11:2-3) These are things which can be counted from those two events.
But Jesus says, "But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of Heaven, but My Father only." (Mt24:36) Jesus must be speaking of something 'different' from the rest of it all...otherwise, is it not stupid to give days/weeks/years to count...only to say that nobody can know? Well, Jesus goes into describing the similarity of the days of Noah, where some were saved from destruction in the ark. (vs38) And He then goes on to describe the nature of the Rapture. (vs40-41) And defines the timing of what He has -just- described, the "taking" of some out from the company of others...and He repeats in the second person -to- His disciples (Believers), "..-you- do not know what hour -your- Lord comes" (vs42)
There are many trying to 'calculate' when they think the Rapture will happen...but Jesus says that He will come "..at an hour you do not expect" (vs44) I must confess that I often wonder about the Rapture corresponding to one of Israel's Feast days...but I should think this verse pretty much guarantees that it WON'T BE one of those.
We don't know the year/day/hour...but we DO KNOW that it is 'prior' to the "unveiling" of the one in 2Th2:7-8. It will be before destruction comes, as was the case in the "days of Noah". (Lk17:26)
"Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. Even in the same way will it be in the day when the Son of Man is REVEALED." (Lk17:28-30) It is "..when He is REVEALED [that] we shall be like Him.." (1Jn3:2) ...having been "changed" (1Cor15:52)
Remember: it is His 1) appearing (rapture) & 2) kingdom (coming)(2Tim4:1) The Rapture happens 'before', His coming happens 'after'. Although both events are part of His -broader- "coming": for the Rapture He comes as far as the clouds to catch away the Church to Himself, and for His kingdom He then comes all the way to the earth to the Mt.of Olives. (Zec14:4, Ac1:11-12)