Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Why pre-tribulation rapture is doctrinally correct

There are many people going back and forth over a pre-tribulation rapture versus a post-tribulation rapture (Daniel prophesied this, "many will go to and fro.") Rather than take a few verses, or worse, one verse, and build a doctrine out of it, the entire bible must be looked at. Also one must look at God and His work with humans since the course of time began. But first, to answer questions about the rapture, one needs to ask what is the Tribulation? GotQuestions.org has an answer:

"First, it is important to recognize the purpose of the tribulation. According to Daniel 9:27, there is a seventieth “seven” (seven years) that is still yet to come. Daniel’s entire prophecy of the seventy sevens (Daniel 9:20-27) is speaking of the nation of Israel. It is a time period in which God focuses His attention especially on Israel. The seventieth seven, the tribulation, must also be a time when God deals specifically with Israel. While this does not necessarily indicate that the church could not also be present, it does bring into question why the church would need to be on the earth during that time."

"The primary Scripture passage on the rapture is 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. It states that all living believers, along with all believers who have died, will meet the Lord Jesus in the air and will be with Him forever. The rapture is God’s removing His people from the earth. A few verses later, in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Paul says, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The book of Revelation, which deals primarily with the time period of the tribulation, is a prophetic message of how God will pour out His wrath upon the earth during the tribulation. It seems inconsistent for God to promise believers that they will not suffer wrath and then leave them on the earth to suffer through the wrath of the tribulation. The fact that God promises to deliver Christians from wrath shortly after promising to remove His people from the earth seems to link those two events together.

"Another crucial passage on the timing of the rapture is Revelation 3:10, in which Christ promises to deliver believers from the “hour of trial” that is going to come upon the earth. This could mean two things. Either Christ will protect believers in the midst of the trials, or He will deliver believers out of the trials. Both are valid meanings of the Greek word translated “from.” However, it is important to recognize what believers are promised to be kept from. It is not just the trial, but the “hour” of trial. Christ is promising to keep believers from the very time period that contains the trials, namely the tribulation. The purpose of the tribulation, the purpose of the rapture, the meaning of 1 Thessalonians 5:9, and the interpretation of Revelation 3:10 all give clear support to the pre-tribulational position. If the Bible is interpreted literally and consistently, the pre-tribulational position is the most biblically-based interpretation."

Jack Kelley has answered the pre-vs-post trib many times in his "Ask a Bible Teacher" forum. In the interest of not re-inventing the wheel, I will excerpt some of his excellent work. For more answers to bible questions on this, or any topic, go to GraceThruFaith. Here's Jack-

"There are many indications, both explicit and implicit, that require a pre-trib rapture. To interpret it any differently means the reader has either departed from a strict literal interpretation or worse, has actually re-interpreted Scripture. Since there’s only one rapture of the Church there cannot be prophecies that support both pre and post trib raptures. One of the positions has to be the result of human misunderstanding. So far in my experience, prophecies put forward to support the post trib position have either been speaking to Israel, not the Church, or speaking about the 2nd Coming, not the Rapture."

"Suffering for our faith has often been a part of the Christian Life. In John 16:33 Jesus said that we’d have tribulation in our lives. Over 3000 people die every day in this world just because they believe in Jesus. But the Great Tribulation is something different. Jesus said there has never been anything like it in the history of the world, nor would there ever be again. He said that if He didn’t put an end to it not a single human would survive. (Matt. 24:21-22). And he said that He’d keep His church out of it. (Rev. 3:10) "

So if pre-trib is the biblically correct view, and if Jesus said He would keep the Church out of it, where does this post-tribulation view come from?

Jack Kelley said: "There are lots of anti pre-trib viewpoints around, and the only explanation is that those who promote them don’t really understand what went on at the cross. At some level they believe the Church should endure the great Tribulation because it needs to be purified, when in fact the Church was purified at the cross, becoming as righteous as God Himself in His eyes (2 Cor 5:17,21) They begin with the conviction that there is no pre-trib rapture and then pick and choose verses that when looked at all by themselves without the benefit of context, can be used to support their position."

For example, "The phrase “Last Trump” has no demonstrable connection to either the 7th trumpet judgment, as some claim, or to the 2nd Coming. It refers to the trumpet of God mentioned in 1 Thes. 4:16. "

Continuing with Jack Kelley's explanation in a different vein, "Mark 13:24-27 says that Jesus will gather the elect at the time of His Coming. But it also says that some will be in Heaven (the Church) and some will be on Earth (Tribulation believers)."

"Please remember that for reasons of secrecy explained in 1 Cor. 2:7-8, Jesus never spoke about the Rapture at all, nor did He teach it to His disciples. That’s why you won’t find in mentioned in the Gospels. We only see hints of it, as in Mark 13, because we already know about it. The Doctrine of the Rapture was first disclosed on Earth by Paul in 1 Thes. 4:15-18 nearly 20 years after the cross."

"1 Thes.4:13-18 while introducing the rapture doctrine doesn’t indicate pre or post trib. You have to infer its timing from other passages like 1 Thes. 1:9 and 5:9, 2 Thes. 2 Rev 3:10, Isaiah 26:19-21. I don’t think it can be the 2nd coming because Jesus doesn’t come to earth in a visible return in glory but draws us up to be with Him in the Air in fulfillment of John 14:1-3." "1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 is describing the Rapture, not the 2nd coming. We know this because the church is going up to Heaven to meet the Lord where He is. At the 2nd Coming the Lord comes to Earth to meet people where they are."

A rebuttal to the most oft-cited post-trib "supporting" verse is here:
And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. (2 Thes. 2:6-8)

An excerpt to "What's behind the Post-trib view?"

"In my experience most people who believe in the post trib rapture don’t do so because of what the Bible says.  It’s not difficult to demonstrate that verses they use to support their position are either taken out of context, or misinterpreted.  I think the reason they cling to their post trib position is that deep down they believe the Church deserves to be judged and purified and they want to believe it will happen." More here.

The rapture is an event that will take place in the twinkling of an eye. The Tribulation is "the hour of trial"- a lengthy period of judgment in which God pours out His wrath on the rebellious people. Post-trib view cannot explain the imminence of the rapture since the Tribulation is a scheduled series of events that are prophesied down to the last day. Contrastingly, the rapture is an event that was so secret it was not revealed as doctrine until 20 years after the cross, and its exact moment of fulfillment is still a secret today.

About wrath:
"In 1 Thes. 1:10 Paul wrote that Jesus would rescue us from the coming wrath. The Greek word for rescue in the verse means to deliver, or draw to oneself.  The word for from denotes a separation of time and distance.  So the Lord will draw us to Himself to distance us from the time and place of the wrath to come.  In 1 Thes. 5:9 he said the Church was not appointed to suffer wrath. In Rev. 3:10 the Lord promised to keep us from the “hour of trial” that’s coming upon the whole world. A different Greek word for from us used there.  It means out of the place, time, or cause of the event being referenced. So here His promise is to keep us out of the time and place of His wrath, because we’re not the cause of it. Put it all together and it says we won’t be here for any of it."

Or you can go to GraceThruFaith and search keyword rapture for plenty more explanations why the pre-trib doctrine is the only correct rapture stance.

64 comments :

  1. Thanks so much for the post! You are indeed gifted with writing and word choice. Thanks so much! It is indeed helpful to my studies. :-)
    `Wooster

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  2. thank you for the nice compliment! It is hard to concisely defend a pre-trib view...the whole bible is the pre-trib view. However, there are certain verses that make distinct promises, and I offered those, & tried to provide a smattering of different ideas on various topics so that people can use for their witnessing at their pleasure and need. And Let's not even get into Jewish marriage customs! All of which mirror exactly the pre-trib view! Hmmm, sounds like it could be another post! :)

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  3. GraceThruFaith is a wonderful resource and you're right again, Elizabeth. The pre-trib rapture is doctrinally correct. I've debated some of these mid- and post-tribbers, in addition to the preterists. The pre-trib view is the thought most backed by scripture in my opinion.

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  4. All true and all taken from the word of God, Not from the word of man. Man has his own idea of the word. And God has no idea cause He is the idea.

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  5. I absolutely agree. There is also a comparison that a Jewish wedding is mirrored in the way Jesus secretly comes to take us to His Father's house, etc. There are way too many problems with a post trib rapture. Thank you for this posting.

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  6. Hi Tori,

    Yes! Since the customs at the time in the OT of weddings are frequently referred to by Jesus as the picture of how the rapture will unfold, it is another great mirror of how "the bride" will be meeting her Groom! Thanks for reading and commenting.

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  7. Thanks to the Holy Spirit who gives understanding to all who seek - and thank you Elizabeth for your work on this site. I love Jacks take on the "Trump". The 7th trumpet is blown by an angel and the "trump of God",of course, is blown by the Father and is called the "tekia gedolah" which means the great blast as in the Festival of Trumpets. It's a shofar blast that gets louder and louder and louder. Many classical Jewish rabbis see the prophetic fulfillment of this festival as Messiah "regathering His people". Amen

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  8. Hi Craig,

    You're welcome! It is my pleasure to obey the Spirit and be blessed by knowing others are blessed by it. I agree with you about the tekia gedolah. The Trump of God was heard one other time, at Mt Sinai at the giving of the Law. Curious a while back, I googled it and listened to the sound of the shofar blowing the tekiah gedolah online. It gave me chills! Will this be the sound we hear when we are called to Him? Will it be the sound the Jews hear as they are redeemed?

    Shofar calls:
    Tekiah: the "blast," one long blast with a clear tone.
    Shevarim: a "broken," sighing sound of three short calls.
    Teruah: the "alarm," a rapid series of nine or more very short notes.
    The Tekiah Gedolah: "the great Tekiah," a single unbroken blast, held as long as possible.

    They have contests to see who can hold the note the longest, it's called the Shofar Blast-Off, lol, http://njop.org/html/shofar.html

    the verse referring to the Trump of God is 1 Thess 4:16, I pray we all hear it soon!

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  9. Revelation 7 show us another rapture

    (remember 13 chapters yet to happen)

    And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    I would think when the two witness are brought back to life after 3 days and are told "Come up hither" all of those who accepted their teaching that Jesus is Lord, will be saved out of the great Tribulation.

    So the first rapture is for the Bride
    And another rapture for those who blew it the first time.

    pre trib and post trib are in Revelations

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  10. I'm sorry, but there is no double rapture. It violates His plan for the Church and the Age of Law, which are separate. It also violates the bible's clear direction for the church and the Israelites and the purpose of each.

    Jack Kelley explains:
    "There’s no Scriptural support for a 2nd rapture in the middle of Daniel’s 70th Week. Having such a thing would require the Lord to change His clearly stated position that membership in the Church is based solely on our belief that Jesus died for our sins and rose again (Romans 10:9). It would mean that only those who had somehow earned the right to go in a pre-trib rapture would be taken, which is a violation of the doctrine of Grace. would also mean that God would permit part of the Church to remain on Earth during a time when His focus will be on re-establishing His Old Testament relationship with Israel. Both Paul (Romans 11:25) and James (Acts 15:13-18) indicate this will not be the case."

    "I’ve never seen any credible evidence in the Bible for 2 raptures. I’ve found that most people who put this kind of idea forward have misunderstood what it is to be an overcomer, making participation in the Rapture a function of works, not faith."

    As for who the crowd in white robes is, the facts that John, the disciple most closely associated with the Church, didn’t recognize them, their arrival in Heaven follows the Rapture by three chapters, and their destiny is that of servants in the Temple and not co-regents of the Universe, mean they are post rapture believers and not part of the Church.
    So, I'm sorry...but that interpretation is not correct.

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  11. Again, thank you so much for the depth of your insight and documentation. I sent the article to my son who apparently is being taught in his church a post trib view. So sad. Hopefully we can dialogue and he'll have more hope!

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  12. You are so welcome! I have no clue how anyone can reconcile the Lord saying we are blameless in our transgressions in one breath and in the next say that we will go through judgments for transgressions in the worst period in history ever! I hope your son will allow the Spirit to reveal His truth so He can have hope in the promises of the Church age as His bride!

    Thank you for reading :)

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  13. You are well versed and I thank you for your post. I believe it will help me in my own end times studies.
    Here is my question, however. In Revelation 14:14-16 it talks about Jesus reaping His harvest. This is during the last trumpet and then following right after are the bowl judgments. This to me sounds like the rapture of God's people. It would preserve the verse in 1 Cor. 15:52 where Paul writes that at the last trumpet the dead will rise first and we will be changed.
    This would also justify Rev.3:10 where Jesus promises to keep His people from judgement.
    As you said there can only be one rapture. But all throughout the seal and trumpet judgments the saints are mentioned.
    For example, the ones sealed of God can not be harmed by the locusts from the bottomless pit Rev.9:4. Also, the Beast of the sea will be able to make war with the saints and overcome them in Rev.13:7.
    Are these a different group of saints?

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  14. Hello Prophecy Reader,

    Thank you for your question. Let's look at the trumpets to specifically answer your question, look at the saints, then look at the bigger picture.

    For some reason (satan, most likely) people have gotten tangled up in htinking that the Trumpet judgments in Rev 8 - 18 are the same as the Last Trump. They are not. In Revelation 8:2, 7 angels receive 7 trumpets. Angels blow these trumpets to announce the next judgment.

    In 1 Thess 4:16 when the trumpet is sounded and the dead in Christ shall rise, it is the Trumpet of God. Those are two different things! Jesus blows this Trumpet. The trumpet of God is the voice of the Lord made manifest. You notice in the Thessalonians verse it says about the voice three times in a row: "heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:" So understand that the Trump of God has NOTHING to do with trumpets that the angels receive. They are distinct. It would be like saying that Johsua's trumpet at Jericho had something to do with the rapture. But you can see that there is no connection.

    As for the saints: there are three kinds: Old Testament saints, Church Age Saints, and Tribulation saints. They all have different destinies. After the rapture, there will be many saved. Multitudes. Many of those multitudes will be martyred on account of Jesus name. These are saints.

    The bigger picture is knowing what the Tribulation is all about. It is a resumption of the remaining 7 years for God's Holy People: the Jews. The Tribulation occurs for 6 reasons, they are listed in Daniel 9:24. One of those is to punish the Jews (and the unbelieving world) for their sins. But we are saved from punishment from sins, they are not remembered and they are wiped clean. Why would Church Age believers be punished for sins after God promised he would remember them no more?

    The judgment begins with the first seal opening. As all the seals are opened and the judgments are unleashed upon the world, as the 6th & final seal is opened it states, "The wrath has begun". (Rev 6:16-17).We in the Church are not appointed to wrath (1 Thess 5:9), however, and we will be in heaven as shown in Rev 5.

    Read Rev 5:8-14 in the KJV, you will see the multitudes redeemed by His blood singing the song of praise to Him, and the only saints who can sing that song is the Church age saints. We're there already. Then in the next chapter the judgment begins, and you also notice never after that is the church mentioned until the end when we accompany Him back to earth. Hoep this helps

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  15. "The phrase “Last Trump” has no demonstrable connection to either the 7th trumpet judgment, as some claim, or to the 2nd Coming. It refers to the trumpet of God mentioned in 1 Thes. 4:16. "???????

    Of course The Last Trump is the 7th trumpet. When God says He has spared us from the wrath to come, He is speaking of the BOWLS OF WRATH (which open at the 7th trumpet). Else who is the "angel" of Rev 14:14-16 reaping the earth with His sickle-oh yah, the guy who's coming on a cloud just as fortold in Acts at the acsenion-it is Yeshua coming to harvest the bride. There are so many things happening concurrently at the 7th trumpet, but Yeshua's harvest of the Bride is one, therefore sparing us "from the wrath to come" (meaning the bowls).

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  16. Of course the 7th Trumpet is NOT the Last trump. The only thing they have in common is that they are trumpets. You might as well tie Aaron's trumpet into it, if you're going to pick and choose trumpets. The trumpet of Revelation and the trumpet Paul speaks of have nothing to do with each other. Here's why:

    The Trumpet judgments are spread over Rev 8-9-10-11

    Rev 8:6 begins them- "And the seven angels which had the seven trumpets prepared themselves to sound"

    Rev 10:7 tells us that when the last trumpet sounds, the wrath is DONE.
    Rev 10:7 "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."

    And Rev 11:15 finishes the woes with the 7th trumpet sounding:
    "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

    So first of all, the trumpets conclude the wrath, to which we are not appointed. It is not a mystery when the wrath begins. It is with the opening of the seal judgments, at Rev 6:1. As the seals are opened we are told that so begins the wrath, the wrath has come. (Rev 6:17). Again, because we are not appointed to wrath, we will not be here for it. And that includes since before Rev 6:1.

    There is a second reason the 7th trumpet judgment and the 'Last Trump" of 1 Corinthians 15:52 are not the same. You notice in the above verses, Angels blow the trumpets. They all line up. They all have a trumpet. They all blow one. "2And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets" Rev 8:2.

    The last trump in 1 Cor 15:52 is the Trump of GOD. There are trumpets all over the bible. They were used for a variety of purposes. But there is one trumpet that is special.

    in Exodus 19 verses 16 to 19 a trumpet called the people out of the camp to meet God. It was a trumpet of assembly and it called them out of the camp to meet God. I believe this is a trumpet of assembly. In Zephaniah 1:16 and Zechariah 9:14 a trumpet was used as a signal of the Lord's coming to rescue His people from wicked oppression. It was a deliverance trumpet. And I believe the trumpet on that day is an assembly trumpet and a deliverance trumpet. I believe when the trumpet blows it is to assemble the saints who have been called out of the graves to life with the living saints and it is also to call them out, to rescue them out from among those who oppress them, men and demons. There are many other trumpets associated with the end times, they tend to be trumpets of judgment, primarily as in Revelation 8 through 11." (source gty.org)

    I hope you can see that the verses are clear that the wrath begins in Rev 6, and therefore we will not be here for it. That the 7th trumpet is stated to conclude the wrath, and again, we will be long gone. And finally, just because it says a trumpet in both places, does not mean they are the same event. The angels raise trumpets for judgments to begin and God shouts the trumpet for us to assemble.

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  17. This holds true if Great Trubulation is indeed the Judgment of God, but I think that as believers we should be walking close to Jesus and be ready for anything because we really cannot know the day or the hour of His coming. We would be wise to get ready to face difficulties, He did not promise us it will be always easy. To be ready at all times is all that really matters.

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  18. The Tribulation is the judgment of God. Daniel 9:24 outlines the 6 reasons for the Tribulation as does Revelation 6 with the beginning of the judgments ("wrath") and Matthew 24.

    I agree with you that we should be ready at all times. However, Paul told us to take encouragement from his words that we will not be here for it (1 Thes 4:18). The "no one knows the day nor hour" refers to the Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation (Mt 24:36) not the rapture.

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  19. You ought to go to http://meccasevenmountains.blogspot.com which contains information, clearly, about the rapture.

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  20. BlazyJon, I ask you, why should I go to another blog for information about the rapture when I've shared from the bible here? Do you have any questions about what the verses say? Or have a doubt or confusion about it? Let's discuss.

    I've also shared about this doctrine from the bible here
    http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2009/12/thirtysix-pre-trib-rapture-texts.html

    and here
    http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2011/01/more-on-rapture-will-be-pre-tribulation.html

    and here
    http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2010/06/why-rapture-is-biblically-pre.html

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  21. You say:

    There are many people going back and forth over a pre-tribulation rapture versus a post-tribulation rapture
    (Daniel prophesied this, "many will go to and fro.")

    Rather than take a few verses, or worse, one verse, and build a doctrine out of it, the entire bible must be looked at."

    Do you believe the scripture from Daniel refers to people flip flopping between doctrines?

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  22. Hi Anonymous,

    Good question. The verse from Daniel about people going to and fro could have several meanings, and those meanings could be exclusive or they could mean different things at the same time. I don't know,and I think it is too hard to extract a dogmatic meaning from the verse and its surrounding context.

    Here is a link to the verse in all the different translations viewed at once:
    http://bible.cc/daniel/12-4.htm

    here is the verse
    'But you, Daniel, close up and seal the words of the scroll until the time of the end. Many will go here and there to increase knowledge." NIV

    "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." KJV

    Here is what I believe: I think the verse says what it means on the literal level. People will be going to and fro all over the world. Travel will increase. One rule of biblical interpretation is to take literally where possible what should be taken literally.

    Secondly I think that because reading the verse in context, starting with verse 1 and the title of this chapter "The End Times," that the verse could at the same time mean that people at the end times will be recipients of the book being opened. Meaning, that interest in prophecy and the meanings of what the angel had just delivered to Daniel will open and that people will be massively and suddenly understanding these difficult verses and others, hidden from understanding for thousands of years.

    We certainly can see that this is so. Interest in end times prophecy over the last ten years has widened from a few preachers at the fringes teaching this stuff to culturally popular books and movies, teachings, discussion boards, seminars, conferences and the like.

    Along with the end times, also come prophesies of promises of false doctrines, people hating to cling to true doctrines, and schemes from satan trying to confuse our understanding of any and all biblical doctrines (Doctrines of devils, tickled ears, etc) including end times doctrines. It stands to reason that satan will try to corrupt ALL doctrines of the bible, including the very ones that Paul said should be comforting us, like the pre-trib rapture for example.

    As interest in prophecy has risen, also risen are the divisions and arguments over timing of the rapture, and even doctrines that say the rapture won't occur, replacement theology, and other corruptions of these end time promises.

    God is not the author of confusion, but satan is a liar from the beginning. God is clear, satan muddies.

    When you look at what the chapter says as a whole, and in looking at the totality of the bible's promises from God, and combining our understanding of what the bible says how satan operates, yes, the Daniel verse could well mean that people will be confused about end time doctrines, flipping to and fro in their understanding of them.

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  23. Hi Elizabeth, I just read your response to Anonymous dated Jan. 31,2012.
    In there you had this paragraph:
    Along with the end times, also come prophesies of promises of false doctrines, people hating to cling to true doctrines, and schemes from satan trying to confuse our understanding of any and all biblical doctrines (Doctrines of devils, tickled ears, etc) including end times doctrines. It stands to reason that satan will try to corrupt ALL doctrines of the bible, including the very ones that Paul said should be comforting us, like the pre-trib rapture for example.
    It sounds to me that you are saying that anyone who disagrees with your view, that is, anyone who does not agree with the pre-trib view, are people who hate true doctrine and believe the doctrines of devils. Is this really what you are saying? Is it possible that the pre-trib view could be an elaborate mis-direction of Biblical truth and then you would fall into the category you condemn?
    I understand that you would have to have Biblical proof. Are you up to that challenge?

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    1. Hi C.A.

      It is not a challenge. It is the truth. Search this blog for 'pre-trib' and you will find I've offered biblical proof over the course of at least 5 essays, maybe more, and linked to others. Biblical proof abounds - should you choose to avail yourself of it.

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  24. Hi,
    You didn't answer my question. If I have a different opinion on interpretation am I of the devil, false, or unlearned? Is that what you really believe?

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    1. Why do you worry about what *I* think? I hope your study of the pre-tribulation rapture yields fruit to your soul and His glory.

      This essay may help you, it lists the essential doctrines of the faith and the non-essential. http://carm.org/apostasy-christian-church

      The Bible itself reveals those doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith. They are
      1) the Deity of Christ,
      2) Salvation by Grace, and
      3) Resurrection of Christ,
      4) the gospel, and
      5) monotheism. These are the doctrines the Bible says are necessary. Though there are many other important doctrines, these five are the ones that are declared by Scripture to be essential.

      The Secondary essentials are necessary truths, but there is no self-declared penalty for their denial -- yet they are still essential to the Christian faith.

      1. Jesus is the only way to salvation
      2. Jesus' Virgin Birth
      3. Doctrine of the Trinity

      Primary Non-Essentials (Bible, Church ordinances, and practice) - Denial does not void salvation, yet principles are clearly taught in scripture. Denial suggests apostasy.

      Male eldership and pastorate (1 Tim. 2:12-13; 3:15; Titus 1:5-7)
      Fidelity in marriage in heterosexual relationships (1 Cor. 6:9)
      The condemnation of homosexuality (Rom. 1:26-27)
      Inerrancy of Scripture (2 Tim. 3:16)

      Secondary Non-Essential doctrines do not affect one's salvation relationship with God. Debated within Christianity. Denial or acceptance does not suggest apostasy.

      Baptism for adults or infants
      Communion every week, monthly, or quarterly, etc.
      Saturday or Sunday Worship
      Worship with or without instruments, traditional or contemporary.
      Pretribulation rapture, midtribulation rapture, posttribulation rapture.
      Premillennialism, amillennialism, and post millennialism.
      Continuation or cessation of the charismatic gifts
      Etc.

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    2. Hi Elizabeth,
      Thank you for your response, this is extremely helpful.
      Based on your answer, then we could agree that our separate, or different interpretations of Bible verses on the Pretribulation rapture, midtribulation rapture, posttribulation rapture, Premillennialism, amillennialism, and post millennialism are non-essential, secondary issues. And that our disagreement on any of them does not suggest apostasy? I will assume yes seeing as this is how you answered me.
      I would like to further suggest, that not only are all these views secondary, and non-essential, but because they are all yet future, they are also by definition: Speculation.

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    3. They maybe secondary but they are not unimportant. They are also not speculation. The rapture will be a fact. That it is still future is true. But that it is in the bible means it is not speculation. So as a matter of fact, no, you may not suggest.

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  25. The scripture referenced by Jack Kelley, Mark 13:24-27 says nothing about Christ coming back with the church rather just His angels. To use 1 Cor 2:7-8 wherein the word "secret" is used as proof for a "secret" rapture makes no sense at all. No scripture verse found tells of two comings of the Lord. Not one. In the letters to the Thessalonians Paul makes it clear that there is not secret, quiet rapture, rather "with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God," 1Thess4. "This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels" 2Thess1 and we know from Rev1 that "every eye will see Him. God will use the tribulation before His wrath to purify and refine His saints (thoughout prophetic scripture)and He will keep, shelter and protect His people...not take them out. His wrath will be poured out at the end the same as as He destroyed those in the flood.

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    1. Hi Bob,

      His church will be taken out of the Tribulation pror to ite beginning. he will not pour out wrath for sin on the people he has already forgiven of sin. He will not allow the gates of hell to prevail against His church, yet we're told in the Tribulation the antichrist will overcome the saints, (Rev 13:7). There are several verses which say the rapture will occur, we will be taken UP to meet Him in the air at the rapture but after the tribulation we will return WITH Him to see His destruction of the unsaved. Revelation 3:10 says "Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth." and the Greek for keep you from means from the time and place.
      The pre-tribulation rapture is the only interpretation that makes no contradiction of what He says He has done for His church (forgiven, no wrath, already purified, not overcome) whereas the reason for the Tribulation according to Daniel 9:24-27 is to pour out wrath on the whole world as revelation 3 tells us.

      If you read Daniel 9 you'll gain an understanding that the Tribulation is aimed at Israel and the ungodly-not His bride. His bride will be in heaven with Him, as seen by Revelation 4.

      Here is a good essay with scriptures that explain the difference between the Rapture (happens prior to or at the outset of the Tribulation) and the Second Coming (at the end of the Tribulation)

      http://www.gotquestions.org/difference-Rapture-Second-Coming.html

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    2. You continue to confuse the tribulation with God's wrath. God allows the tribulation of His saints to refine and purify us. His wrath is poured out at the end and is not for us. Also...you don't understand who Israel is. Read Romans 11 carefully and you will see that there is one new man, one body, one Israel, one bride, one flock, one people, gentiles are grafted into the olive tree and of the commonwealth of Israel. Revelation 3 speak of God keeping His people from the wrath and not snatching them up....look at the Greek meaning of the word!
      There is only one coming in the clouds...all scripture is about the same event and after the tribulation, ref. Matthew, Mark & Luke.

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    3. Hi Bob,

      The Tribulation IS God's wrath. I guess the confusion comes in as we the Church use the word 'tribulation' to mean the 7 year period when God punishes the Jews and sends wrath to the ungodly on earth.

      Yes, the Lord said we would have 'tribulation', meaning trouble and persecution, but that is not the same event. THE Tribulation is better known as the Time of Jacob's Trouble (Jere 30:7) and its point is to send wrath to the earth and to punish the Jews. If you read Daniel9:24-27 the purpose of the Tribulation is explained there.

      I encourage you to read the link's I offered that explain the difference between the rapture and the Second Coming, and now I offer these 2 which explain the work the Lord is still doing with the Jews in the Tribulation/Great Tribulation.

      In Romans 11:25 it says he has partially hardened their hearts while he builds His church; Acts 15 explains that when He is done doing that and the full number of the Gentiles comes in, (rapture) He will release the hardness and toward the end of the Great Tribulation they will nationally convert, and the promise of the saved remnant will be fulfilled!

      Here is the other link that explains more, with scripture:

      http://www.gotquestions.org/tribulation.html
      http://www.gotquestions.org/Great-Tribulation.html

      I think it is best to suspend further back and forth until you've read those or at least referred to the scriptures we've shared because any conversation about the bible and its doctrines is better accomplished when referring to His word as our basis. Best to you and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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  26. I am new to your blog and I do think the writing is well done; however, I am VERY disheartened and unable to continue reading a blog that is so presumptuous as to make the following statement:

    The Bible can't be interpreted to say anything other than pre-trib.

    It is this type of narrow-minded and often misleading “interpretation” of the Bible that keeps Christians of different beliefs apart rather than joining us all in the glory that God hopes we can share.

    This issue of Pre-Trib, Mid-Trib, Post-Trib and Pre-Wrath is simply as you implied an “interpretation” of Biblical reading. It is discussed in the Bible at length and certainly bears study but it should NEVER serve as a means of pushing Christians away
    or apart from one another or God.

    You state quite emphatically that, the Bible can't be interpreted to say anything other than pre-tribulation and by taking such an easily arguable stance you are in danger of misleading many people. You are possibly spreading false information and even worse you are discouraging people from reading God's word and doing their own research. You are telling them that you have read His word and this is Truth so they do not need to read it for themselves.

    Any of the rapture opinions can easily be supported and/or interpreted from Biblical reading and the arrogance of stating that only your view is the correct view, feels very unsettling to me as Christian.

    The Rapture timetable is not important in the overall scheme of things – does a person believe in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit and have they invited Jesus to be his/her personal Lord and Savior is the only true issue. And I believe, anyone attempting to presume to know God’s mind and intentions is in danger of getting many things wrong. They are not open to God’s blessing them with His revelations of His word – because they already know it.

    God bless you and your readers. And, I eagerly look to the sky every day hoping to see Jesus and I will gladly accept being a part of the Rapture whenever it may come.

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    1. Hi Pam,

      I appreciate your thoughtful comment.

      It is not presumption if the bible proves it. Revelation 3:10 is the most explicit.

      Contrary to what you say, the timing IS extremely important. It is not one of those 'agree to disagree' things, for several reasons. I'll show you 2 of those reasons from the bible.

      First: Peter tells us that when we believe the end will come *changes* our thinking and resulting actions. In 2 Peter 3, Peter begins by explaining about the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord is the 7 year out-pouring of God's wrath upon the world. You believe that whether we are on earth at that time is not important. Here are several things Peter warns us about that should give us pause when we day the timing 'doesn't matter.'

      In verse 3 Peter warns that scoffers and mockers will come. These are not people scoffing at the notion of Jesus nor about Christianity in general. They scoff SPECIFICALLY at end time things!

      2 Peter 3:3-4 "knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.”

      He then sums up with an important question:

      "Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness," (2 Peter 3:11)

      He's saying that our behavior changes depending on what our attitude is about these end time things! As Gill's Exposition says, "what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness? not as the scoffers and profane sinners, who put away this evil day far from them, but as men, who have their loins girt, and their lights burning, waiting for their Lord's coming; being continually in the exercise of grace, and in the discharge of their religious duties, watching, praying, hearing, reading; living soberly, righteously, and godly; guarding against intemperance and worldly mindedness, and every worldly and hurtful lust."

      So if the end time timing does not matter, that means we are setting aside Peter's question about how it changes us to live holy lives. How? Because we can raise Cain until the abomination of desolation, and when we see the Tribulation starting, THEN we can shape up. No, the rapture will be signless and this imminence sparks us to do what Peter said, live Godly lives.

      See, the Tribulation is for the Jews. It will be a time when they are punished for their rebellion and at the end national salvation comes. The rest of the world will be punished for their sins. This is according to Daniel 9:24, when the angel tells Daniel it is for 'your people.'

      So the second verse that we look at in is in Mt 24. We receive instructions. In Mt 24:4-13 Jesus outlines general behavioral conditions as the end of days. Starting with verse 14 He gives instructions on what to do when you see the Abomination of Desolation begin.

      Saying that Christians may go thru the Tribulation also means you ignore the very instructions of Jesus. It is a practical matter. What mountains do you flee to? Have you studied that? Have you prayed that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath? Have you made preparations not to be pregnant or nursing? Are you stocking up, building a bomb shelter, and learning medicinal herbals and gardening? There are practical matters to attend to if we are to go thru the Trib, you know. If you think you may go thru the Trib you must be ready to follow the instructions of Jesus!!

      The presumption is ignoring the clear teaching of the bible on the topic, the number one topic mentioned in the NT more than any other. Every book except Philemon mentions the end of days. And you say coming to an understanding of the timing of it “doesn’t matter”? That is presumption, I am sorry to say.

      Here’s a sermon on the topic
      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/1324/will-the-church-go-through-the-tribulation-part-1

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  27. 7 Raptures in the Bible…Harpazo in the Greek by Chuck Missler
    Enoch…….Elijah…….Philip…….Paul…….John…….JESUS…….The Body of Christ
    Concluding our brief series of articles on our "Blessed Hope," there would seem to be seven harpázôs ("raptures") in the Bible: Enoch, Elijah, Philip, Paul, John and JESUS, and, of course, the Body of Christ, the Church. (In fact, the very Greek term, harpozô, is employed in four of these references.)
    But to me, the most provocative are the consistent patterns - or "types," metaphors, and similes - in the Old Testament:
    Pattern is Prologue
    It is interesting to notice the patterns that seem to be suggested in the Biblical text. One of the greatest judgments on the Planet Earth was, of course, the flood during the days of Noah. It is obvious that there were three groups of people facing that judgment:
    1) Those that perished in the Flood;
    2) Those who were preserved through the Flood, by means of the ark; and
    3) Those who were removed prior to the Flood, namely, Enoch. (It can be argued that he was only one person, but so is the Church! It was G. H. Pember who first suggested that Revelation 12:5 might be a reference to the Church.)
    Enoch is, for many reasons, one of the most intriguing characters in the Old Testament. There are also several provocative Jewish traditions regarding Enoch. He is regarded as having been born on the day the Jews observe Hag Shavout, the Feast of Weeks, or Pentecost. What is also interesting is that, by tradition, he is also believed to have been "translated" (or "raptured") on his birthday. Since the Church was "born" on this day, one wonders if we, too, will be "raptured" on its birthday!
    (As some pre-tribbers love to point out, Enoch wasn't "mid-flood" or "post-flood," he was "pre-flood.")
    We all have enjoyed the famous confrontation between Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel's three friends in the fiery furnace in Daniel. Many prophecy buffs view Nebuchadnezzar and the forced worship of his image as a "type" of the Antichrist, and the three Jewish young men as a foreshadowing of the 144,000 miraculously preserved through the "furnace" of the tribulation. That leaves a provocative question: Where was Daniel himself? Who might he represent as a type?
    Some prophecy buffs see the use of a threshing floor as an idiom alluding to the tribulation. The marvelous romance of Ruth, who becomes the Gentile bride of Boaz, her Kinsman-Redeemer, is seen as an anticipatory type of the Church and her Redeemer. In the critical threshing floor scene in chapter 3, where is Ruth? At the feet of her Redeemer. Interesting.

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  28. Hello, first time reader here stopping by. Seems my busy life with four little ones has taken over my previous interest in prophecy, which was sparked again with news of Obama's trip to Israel on March 20th...

    Anyway, I like your writing. I like your passion. I respect your years of research. I can tell you really want to inspire, inform and comfort your fellow believers with what you have gleaned from Scripture on the rapture. You will probably be proven correct as end times unfold.

    However, your lack of humility to dissenting commenters is a real turn off. Here are my suggestions that I believe are FACTUAL for your benefit:

    1. Read Humility by Andrew Murray, 1896
    2. Read The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer
    3. Google Tim McHyde for some lively post-trib discussion. :D

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  29. Regarding your Pre Trib thesis, anyone can manipulate Scripture.
    Check what Jesus said, However, regarding the coming of Jesus/Day of the Lord/rapture timing.
    Jesus indicates in Matt 24: 5-30 what will happen before He returns, and the “Elect” will see Him coming from way out in space since He is brighter than the sun and we will know when He is coming by the trumpets and at the last trumpet.

    Also confirmed in 2 Thess 2:3.
    So who fall away? Well, they have to be believers in Jesus to fall away. Possibly the luke-warm Christians.

    My theory is that having believed most of the preachers in a Pre Trib rapture and then having witness to WW III and the signing of the “Peace Accord” in Israel they then do not trust the Lord – off the bus they fall.
    Now preachers may recognise their wrong doing and repent for we have about another 4 years before the “Great Tribulation” and God’s wrath upon earth “after” the antichrist sits on the throne in Jerusalem. You want us out before Satan's wrath, not so, then why have all the present day Christians being persecuted esp by the Moslems not raptured. All, bar one disciple died a horrible death but you liberal Christians think you have some ordain right to get out before Satan's tribulation and wrath. Well, time is running out. Jewish prophecy says WW III in 2015!

    Now the Feasts of Israel are also the Feasts of the Lord, then Jesus, having fulfilled the first 4 Feasts, the next one being the Feast of Trumpets.
    So we then know the season, autumn in Israel, which year? We have 4 blood moons coming up, starting 2014 with an eclipse of the sun in the middle, which indicates judgment on Israel’s enemies (possibly WW III).

    Odd, how the Jewish Rabbis know when their Messiah is coming back but have no relationship with Jesus but Christians, having a relationship with Jesus have no idea when Jesus will return!

    The God of the Bible is a Holy God who is divine order.
    Any time rapture is chaos. Chaos comes from Satan.

    So which god are you following? The God of the Bible is a God of order!

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  30. My simple argument as a layman for pre-trib rapture? The bridegroom will take exceptional care of the bride, not wishing any harm to come upon her. True love!

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  31. Elizabeth, I totally agree with what you have said. The Bible backs up everything if you take it literally. Scripture builds on Scripture. We are to stand firm 1 Cor. 15:28 Be steadfast, immovable, abound in work of Jesus...know your work is not in vain!

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  32. Dear Mr Travis Stenazo,

    Thank you for your comments. However, at four parts and over 2200 words, longer than the original blog essay to which you’re responding, I decline to publish it. You spent a great deal of time refuting the pre-tribulation stance, and I appreciate your dedication to your interpretation, though I disagree that I used a straw man argument in any way, shape, or form.

    The promise in 1 Thess 4:13-18 to keep us from the tribulation uses the Greek word ek, meaning keep out, keep away from the time and place of.

    The church at Philadelphia was a real church the letter in Revelation is addressed to. However it is also commonly interpreted as a message sent to to apply to all believers through all times. If you dismiss the promise in that letter of keeping us from the hour of trial, as being applied to that church only and for that time only, then normal hermeneutics says you must also not apply any other of the promises in that verse to any other church age believer at any other time, either.

    MacArthur says of the church at Philadelphia, “each of these letters were written to historical churches, actual churches in actual cities in Asia Minor. But at the same time, these churches are examples or models or symbols of kinds of churches that exist at all times. In this particular case of the church at Philadelphia we have the picture of a faithful church. And what is said to this church would be true for this very historic church in the city of Philadelphia and true also for faithful churches at all times in the history of the church.” MacArthur’s stance is the correct hermeneutic.

    If He raptures us at the end of the Tribulation, then who is left at the end of the Tribulation in mortal bodies to re-populate the earth, as we see in Isaiah, Zechariah etc? And who is left for Him to sort out between sheep and goats? (Mt 25:31-46). The upshot is, the Lord did not appoint us to wrath, and we in the church will not be here to endure the tribulation period’s wrath. He said the gates of Hades shall not overcome His church, (Matthew 16:18), and the Tribulation is a time when He allows satan to overcome the saints. (Rev 13:7), so if we are here, that'd be a contradiction.

    No, these and other promises He made would be broken if He kept the bride on earth during the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, so it is clear that we will not be here. He will not be inconsistent nor break His promises.

    If you like, here is an essay written by a male theologian who makes the same interpretation but comes at it through a different perspective (still biblical though.)

    Why God’s purpose for the Tribulation does not include the church.
    http://www.bibleprophecyblog.com/2010/08/why-gods-purpose-for-tribulation.html#

    thanks again,
    Elizabeth

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  33. The Great Tribulation will end the dispensation of Grace and the Great Commission drastically will be changed. Right now it is time to give the Gospel to this lost world. God's love and grace beckon us to Come to HIm. When judgement comes down to this entire world, as in the days of Noah, God will provide His Ark, which is the Rapture.
    I was thinking when God's Holy Spirit is taken out of this world. His Spirit lives in me, so I am going, too. The Church will have no more Gospel message of Grace to give as Judgement comes to this world. God is taking His people home. Rev. 4.. Come up here!! It is getting sooo close now!! The message of Grace will be poured out on Israel as many Jews will Come to know their Messiah, Jesus Christ! It is exciting times that we live in. The fig true is ripe..as Jesus said it would be!

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  34. Our pastor preached on the rapture today... one of his main points was that if you miss the rapture, you are likely to be deceived by the Great delusion and end up in hellfire if you havnt made up your mind about following Jesus.
    There are a lot of people looking into becoming a believer but think that they still have time to get right with GOD. After all, they are taught about the mid or post trib position, so that they think they will see the AntiChrist and the first several trumpets before having to make up their mind about following Jesus. This is SO dangerous, as the Pre trib rapture may well be correct...
    I have mostly been a pan tribber myself, but got saved and began to follow Jesus over 30 years ago. (pan tribber means its gonna pan out:) )
    Lewis in San Diego

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    1. Hi Lewis,

      I applaud your preacher and also I applaud you and the lesson you took away from the sermon! Wonderful!

      And then you went and nullified it with your last comment.

      The "pan-trib" quip is especially a pet peeve of mine. Jesus spent a great deal of time teaching and preaching about hell, and the necessity of repentance unto salvation. He spoke about not delaying, about being ready, about how one must give up all to follow him no matter what the cost.

      EVERY book of the NT except Philemon speaks of His return. Revelation is a devastating account of the hell on earth people will endure. Paul urged the Thessalonians to learn the end times doctrines rightly, and to encourage each other with them. Peter said that in the last days people will mock and scoff at the last times doctrines.

      And I hear that quip so often now: "It don't matter, it's all gonna pan out."

      NOT FOR MILLIONS IT WON"T!!

      He didn't go thru all that to make is incomprehensible! Pre-trib doctrine is very clear with explicit verses and implicit verses. It can be known for sure and it should be known for sure.

      It mattered enough to Jesus that he spent a great deal of time teaching on it. (Olivet Discourse was one of the longest speeches He ever made). It mattered to the Spirit, who inspired Paul with what to say to correct the new believers at Thessalonica so that they would be encouraged.

      Are you a "pan salvationist?" "Pan-creationist?" What other important biblical doctrines do we just throw away and say it doesn't matter, it doesn't inform my walk with the Spirit in sanctification?

      Here is a great article answering the question "Why Study bible prophecy?"
      http://www.raptureready.com/featured/gillette/study.html

      I'm sorry I yelled, but if I hear "it's all gonna pan out" one more time I'm going to go off my nut. :)

      I'm glad you read the essay I wrote and I hope it clarified some confusions for you. Here is a relatively short article written by John MacArthur which shows also that the rapture is pre-trib.

      http://www.gty.org/resources/bible-qna/BQ3911/the-church-the-tribulation-and-the-rapture-

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    2. Boy you mention John MCA, you are maybe going to get slammed by someone as the race is on to call his teachings blasphemous. I listen to him but don't hear what they say about him. but I am still learning, thank you

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    3. Hi Anonymous,
      '
      Yes, they're after him now, big time. They used to crank on him occasionally when he was on Larry King or another show and stated a propositional truth, like "there is a hell" or "Unrepentant homosexuals will not go to heaven". But after the Strange Fire conference rejecting the claims of the Charismatic community, they have since come out in full force. Pray for him.

      Delete
  35. I just saw this website yesterday. I was glad to know that there are people whose hearts are so 'stubbornly' stuck in the blessed hope of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is over four years now since this article has been posted, how many pre-tribbers have left their faith and have embraced the suffering in the tribulation period, I just don't know. They boast of their faith in Jesus Christ through the suffering in this horrible time that is to come.
    It was in the very same year (2009) I became aware of the timing of the rapture of the Church. As I do not go to any church, I always thought that everybody believed in a rapture that is going to take place before the tribulation begins but I was wrong.
    I began to pray about this and the more I doubted the pre-tribulation rapture, the more I was confirmed by the Lord that this was right. On the surface it does appear that the post-tribulation rapture is correct but when you dig deeper and deeper with the help of the Holy Spirit, that's when you will see the clean water. The post-tribbers, who are our brethren as well, do not talk about the Holy Spirit (they do only when asked and for the sake of argument) but keep throwing verses of the Bible on your face to prove their doctrine. Is the Bible wrong then? No. The Bible is like a raw manna that has fallen from heaven, early in the morning. Those who are hungry will gather them. But you cannot just eat the raw manna, but you need to grind it and then bake it and then eat it. Spiritually, the manna is the Word of God, grinding means meditating (chewing the cud) and then baking on the fire means understanding by the Holy Spirit, which is the Fire. I would like to make few points which may be helpful to some to become more strongly rooted in this doctrine. Forgive me if there is any repetition here. You can write to me on levipattar@gmail.com
    The grace
    Our post tribulation rapture brethren say that because the church has been going through the persecution or tribulation since it was born, the same should happen to the end time church believers as well. In reply, I would agree that we must go through persecution, suffering and tribulation. But I believe, to be victorious, there is one thing that you need; and that is the grace of God. Now, the Bible tells us that the coming great tribulation would be of great intensity unprecedented. If the Church has to go through such a horrible time then definitely there should be unprecedented grace as well but I do not find one word of grace, mercy, lovingkindness, hope, compassion during this time in the book of Revelation. Why?

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    1. Levi, thank you for your sincere comment.

      I liked how you said the following:

      "It is over four years now since this article has been posted, how many pre-tribbers have left their faith and have embraced the suffering in the tribulation period, I just don't know. They boast of their faith in Jesus Christ through the suffering in this horrible time that is to come."

      Yes, they do boast. It shows a deep misunderstanding of what the Tribulation is all about, a neglectful study of the power of God's wrath, and an elevation of themselves and their abilities. If people truly understood the horror of the tribulation they would fall down on their face in relief the Lord chose to remove His Bride prior.

      There IS grace, mercy, lovingkindness, hope, compassion during this time in the book of Revelation, much of it. Myriads are saved! Myriads of people find the Lord and are saved by His grace, and moreover are given a special welcome as they reach heaven. (Rev 20:4) However, the focus is on wrath, it is the Day of Wrath, so... This was the Age of Grace. At the rapture, that time is concluded and it is the Day of Wrath.

      I've written about pre-trib rapture several times over the years and each time I get push-back that I'm wrong. Sigh. More and more people are falling away from the doctrine of the rapture altogether, and/or the pre-trib rapture, but Peter said it would be so, 2 Peter 3:3

      You need to go to church, all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25. :)

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  36. Hi Elizabeth,

    I wonder why my other comments not posted yet, which are in fact the part of my original comment? Are there any rules to limit the number of comments?

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    1. Levi, It was well written. Thank you for posting. The comment that was posted came in came well before the others, I don't know why it was out of synch. I hadn't known there was much more to come when I posted the one comment.

      Your comment was four pages and about 3000 words. Generally, if a person's comment is longer than the original post (as a rule of thumb) it's better if it is posted on their own website.

      Also, it was teaching post, and though it was well written and mostly doctrinally correct, you're not a guest poster. Mostly people try to respond to what is already here and push the conversation forward based on a kind of back and forth. If you want me to remove the partial comment that got thru, I will if you want. Hope this explains.

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  37. Thank you so much for this site. While I don't always agree 100 percent with every little thing that is posted, I do love that you are up front about the pre-trib Rapture. I get so sick and tired of going round and round with people who make an emotionally based decision that the pre-trib Rapture simply *must* be wrong and then go to the Word to twist a few verses of Scripture around it. You can't get anywhere with them, and saddest of all, Christ and His Word are grossly dishonored. That's why I finally made up my mind to simply quit arguing about it.

    One of my favorite analogies for the post-trib Rapture crowd comes from mathematics. If you begin with the assumption that 1 + 1 = 2, you can build the foundations of modern mathematics. There you have addition, and subtraction is just the addition of negative numbers, and multiplication is just repeated addition, and division is just repeated subtraction. There's arithmetic. From there you can build algebra, and then analytic geometry and onto calculus.

    It all makes sense. It all works.

    But post-trib believers start with the assumption that 1 + 1 = 3. It just *can't* equal 2. Only escapist fools believe 1 + 1 = 2. The idea that 1 + 1 = 2 just rubs them the wrong way, and they desperately twist some isolated verses of Scripture around their "profound discovery" that 1 + 1 *really* equals 3.

    Now nothing makes sense; nothing works.

    But it doesn't seem to matter, because they build an altar from a twisted, steaming pile of misinterpreted and misapplied verses of Scripture and worship at it, all while chanting vile imprecations directed at those pathetic pre-trib heretics.

    Anyway, love your site. Keep up the good work.

    And thanks for letting me vent. =:)

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  38. Could you please provided the specific scripture from the AKJV bible that says that the Tribulation will be 7 years long?

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  39. Skip:

    What is the Tribulation? How do we know the Tribulation will last seven years?
    http://www.gotquestions.org/tribulation.html

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    1. I disagree with that explanation at 'gotquestions.com', which is a typical non-answer to my question. For example, the reference article states: 'In verses 25 and 26, Daniel is told that the Messiah will be cut off after “seven sevens and sixty-two sevens” (69 total), beginning with the decree to rebuild Jerusalem.'
      But that is NOT what the scriptures read. Quoting directly from Daniel, the scriptures indicate that: 'Daniel 9:26  And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.'
      So, Daniel only says that after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off - NOT after 'seven sevens and sixty two sevens'.
      That is just one discrepancy with the 'accepted explanation' and what the words actually say in the scriptures.

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    2. Nevertheless, that is the explanation. If you look overall at the work the LORD is doing for in the Tribulation, you will see the timing: the initial work in Israel, the pause, and the end.

      Here is another teaching on it for you

      That period of seven years is clearly defined in Scripture...clearly. There are 69 weeks of Daniel’s history from the Decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem, to the coming of Messiah. You can track those 69 times seven years and you’ll end up with Jesus came in to Jerusalem on this week. They’re actual seven-year periods. That seventieth week, therefore, must be also a seven-year period. In fact, half way through that period comes the Great Tribulation and the last three and a half is the worst of all. The Bible refers to it as the three-and-a-half period, Daniel called it time, times and half a time...time is one, times is two, and half is one half, so it’s three and a half, if you add it up. He said it’s a period of twelve hundred and ninety days, or twelve hundred and sixty days in Revelation. That again speaks to that three-and-a-half period. So it’s clearly the second half of that seven years when it is most severe.

      Read more here, friend:
      http://www.gty.org/resources/sermons/41-67/the-future-tribulation

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  40. Thank you for taking the time to reply Elizabeth!

    I have read so many articles through the years, such as you referenced. It seems as if one author takes the writings of another author and simply repeats the error continually.

    In the quote you provided, it reads: 'There are 69 weeks of Daniel’s history from the Decree of Artaxerxes to rebuild Jerusalem, TO THE COMING of Messiah.'
    This portion is correct and is confirmed in: 'Daniel 9:25  Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem UNTO the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.' The capitalizations are mine, for emphasis, Elizabeth. Words mean things, and to come UNTO something is to come to the beginning, as in coming unto an entryway. This does not mean that you have passed through the entryway. As such, 'UNTO the Messiah' means at the time when Jesus actually became the Messiah, at the baptism of John, when the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus.

    This is why, at the BEGINNING of Jesus' ministry, Jesus said: 'Mark 1:15  And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.' The TIME IS FULFILLED! This is Jesus referring to the first 69 weeks of Daniel's prophecy, UNTO the COMING (not the death) of the Messiah.

    This is confirmed in: 'Galatians 4:4  But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,'

    God SENT FORTH His Son WHEN the fulness of time was come, at the beginning of Jesus' ministry, and not towards the end, during his ride into Jerusalem.

    Yes, the 70th. week of Daniel's prophecy began IMMEDIATELY after Jesus' statement in Mark 1:15 above, and the 70th. week continued until Jesus' ministry ended with His crucifiction, approximately 3½ years in duration. Jesus' sacrifice on the cross was the ultimate sacrifice and caused the 'sacrifices and oblations' to cease, as they were no longer of any effect. When Jesus' offer of the Kingdom to the Jews was rejected, and He was killed, and the 70th. week was suspended. As such, ALL THAT REMAINS of the 70th. week of Daniel's prophecy is the final 3½ years which will be the great and terrible TRIBULATION PERIOD. That is all the remains and will soon be upon this world.

    And yes, what we know as the rapture (the DAY OF CHRIST and NOT the DAY OF THE LORD - these are two different events) will occur before the final 3½ years begin, BUT NOT until: '2 Thessalonians 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for THAT DAY SHALL NOT COME, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;'

    'THAT DAY' is the 'day of Christ' (Christos in Strong's - different from day of the Lord, which is a terrible day of judgment) and will be a day of joy for the true church. But this cannot occur, and has never been imminent, as is so often taught, simply because 'THE MAN OF SIN HAS NOT BEEN REVEALED YET! This will occur within the next few years, and THEN Christ's return in the clouds for His bride will become imminent!

    Sincerely offered, In Jesus

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  41. I read your articles on Beth Moore and was impressed with your discernment about her. I am therefore puzzled by your clinging to a pre-trib view of the rapture when an unbiased look at the Scriptures taken in the most literal way does not support it. It begins its entire foundation on erroneous definitions and assumptions and goes from there, spiritualizing Scriptures that have no business being spiritualized. I'm not a proponent of the post-trib view if that is what you are thinking. I put the rapture where God has clearly put it in the book of Revelation. When the mystery of God (the church) is finished, when the kingdoms of this world become Christ's, when the dead and saints are judged at the Bema seat, and God's wrath is then poured out on the world, and we see Christ harvest the earth, this is where the rapture occurs. I would challenge you to take a second look at your view, not through the lens of those who have taught you this (and just for the record, I was weaned on this belief but saw too many discrepancies to continue to accept it without really looking at the Scriptures for myself), but with an open mind to read the Scriptures exactly as written without twisting, rearranging, redefining (that's a really big problem) and spiritualizing them.

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    1. I cling to the pre-trib rapture because Paul says to. (1 Thess 4:18).

      Paul wrote the entire book of 1st Thessalonians in order to calm the congregation there that they had NOT missed the rapture and were NOT in the tribulation.

      I cling to the doctrine because Jesus told us. He said to the church at Philadelphia, the true church, "I will keep you from the our of trial that is to come upon the whole world." Rev 3:10. Can't get much more literal and plain that those verses.

      I cling to it because the Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write that we are not appointed to wrath.

      If you were "weaned" on this doctrine, then thank the Holy Spirit you were taught correctly in a proper, bible believing church from an early age. I had no such opportunity. I came to the Lord at age 43, read the bible, and came to understand by the meaning of not just the above verses but the entirety of the work of Christ on earth since Genesis, that the rapture will be pre-trib. Either way, taught corporately or gleaned individually, the rapture is the next prophetic event on the horizon, and it will precede the Tribulation

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  42. Elizabeth,
    HI, I just read almost all the prior comments on this topic of the Pre-Trib rapture. I am not surprised you are being attacked for teaching and understanding the truth of the matter. I want to just encourage you and let you know your understanding IS correct. The Bible is true and the Holy Spirit guides those of us who believe on Him to proper understanding of His Word.

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  43. Hi Elizabeth
    I just read through your article and I noticed a very common "opinion" tossed in the mix. I have seen it on many threads of this kind. It seems to be an argument to give merit when in actuality it is merely an opinion. There are some who make the claim that the apostosy is the direct result of those who fall away from their belief in Christ because the Pre trib Rapture does not happen, resulting in a loss of faith. This is utterly ridiculous. If the Rapture does not happen pre trib ( as I believe it will) then I would not "lose my faith" in Christ. I would simply understand that My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is perfect in all His ways and in His Word and in my human frality I misuderstood, not turn my back on my faith. Do people believe that simply if you are pre trib then you only have faith in Christ to escape...very sad...
    I do have one Huge question for all those and it basically settled my question once and for all in regards to the Pre Trib.

    If CHRIST IS IN US ...THEN WOULD CHRIST POUR OUT HIS WRATH ON HIMSELF???

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  44. HI Anonymous,

    Thanks so much for your comment. I appreciate that you read the piece.

    I'm sorry if I misrepresented my opinion, which, I try not to put an opinion in there in the first place but stick to the bible. But I do NOT hold the opinion that people fall away because the rapture didn't happen first. I do not believe I stated that in the piece at all.

    The falling away happens because of sin, and in fact, AFTER the rapture the greatest evangelism seen on earth in all of human history will occur, resulting in the greatest revival ever. So I do not hold the opinion you said I do.

    I agree your question is a good one. If Christ is in us, would He pour out the wrath upon Himself?

    Yes.

    Not in the rapture, but God poured out ALL wrath for sin upon Jesus, who is God, at the cross. And it pleased Him to do so. Isaiah 53:10.

    But the concept in your question brings up several others that are similar which I've addressed in other pre-trib writings on this blog. Two more are,

    --since Jesus told Peter that the gates of hell would not prevail over the church (Mt 16:18), then why is the satanically indwelled antichrist allowed to overcome the saints? (Rev 13:7). Answer: he isn't. The church is removes first and is never overcome.

    --since our sins are forgiven and forgotten, and condemnation is not upon us,(Col 2:14, Acts 3:19) then why would He be punishing us for sins during the Tribulation? (Dan 9:24, Rev 6:16-17). He isn't. The Bride is removed first, and those who were unbelievers come to faith. They still endure the wrath though, because the age of Grace is concluded at the rapture.

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    1. Elizabeth
      I just responded but realized I may have posted it just under comments and not in reply. I think you misunderstood and in rereading my comment I can see why. I should have clarified I was referring to the comments section. If you go through your thread you will see the opinion I am speaking of that the apostosy will happen when the Rapture fails to happen and those believers will then fall away from their faith. I do agree with your article I do NOT agree with the comments and those who use that as something to support that there will be no Pre Trib rapture is of the mark. I see that opinion all the time on boards and blog. Blessings, and sorry again for the confusion.

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    2. Thanks for clarifying! I apologize for misunderstanding. I read the comments in my email before I post them and in email they are not connected to a thread or previous comment. Context is everything. Sorry again!

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  45. Elizabeth
    Hi ...You misuderstood my post. I should have clarified my point better. I was refferring to those in the comments section . Not you :) I have heard this opinion on many sites that debate the Pre Trib as the great apostosy being the result of the Pre Trib not coming to fruition and thus the Pre Trib believer will turn their backs on God. I enjoyed your article and agree with you. I can see in rereading how you may have misuderstood what I had written as it seemed to be directed at you when I meant to direct it to those debating your view

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