Spring 2012

What is the Rapture and When Will it Happen?

Professor Alan Hultberg on what the Bible says about the end times

There’s nothing like an apocalypse prediction to get the media buzzing. Last May, one of the more highly publicized predictions in recent memory came from radio host Harold Camping, who gained national notoriety by warning that Judgment Day would arrive on May 21. (It didn’t, of course.) Meanwhile, other doomsday predictors have had their eyes on 2012 for several years now; some say the Mayan calendar places the end of the world on Dec. 21. But amidst all the hype and pop culture hoopla, what does the Bible actually say about the end times?

Eschatology is a popular but notoriously difficult area of Christian theology. There are nearly as many theories on how to interpret the book of Revelation, for example, as there are books in the Left Behind series. One of the most contested elements of evangelical end times scholarship is the rapture — specifically when it will take place in relation to other eschatological events like the tribulation and the return of Christ to earth.

Alan Hultberg, an associate professor at Talbot School of Theology, is one of Biola’s resident experts on end times theology, and he recently edited the book, Three Views on the Rapture. Biola Magazine recently interviewed Hultberg about the rapture, its various interpretations, and why it’s important for Christians to take seriously.

What is the rapture, and what is the scriptural evidence for it?

The rapture is the doctrine that at the return of Christ, all believers will be caught up (i.e., “raptured”) to meet the Lord in the air. The bodies of dead believers will be resurrected, and all believers, living and dead, will be glorified. It is taught explicitly in 1 Thessalonians 4:15–17 and more or less implicitly in 1 Corinthians 15:51–55 and John 14:2. Other passages, such as Matthew 24:31; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; and Revelation 14:14–16 are debated.

What purpose does the rapture serve in the overall purposes of God for creation? How does it fit into the big picture of God's redemptive plan?

God’s redemptive plan is to restore what was lost in Adam, to restore the proper functioning of his rule in creation through the vice-regency of a humanity living in proper relation to him (though that entails a lot more than what I’ve said here). The resurrection of believers is part of that restoration, as Paul teaches in Romans 8:18–23. So, insofar as the rapture and the resurrection are associated, the rapture plays a role in that restoration. However, the Scriptures also teach that before the establishment of the Messianic kingdom at the return of Christ, God will pour his wrath out upon the world opposed to his rule. The church is promised reprieve from this wrath, and the rapture is the means by which it is protected.

In your introduction to Three Views on the Rapture, you say that while the issue of the timing of the rapture isn’t central to the Christian faith, it “touches on the doctrine of the church and on issues of normative Christian experience,” and “is thus not an inconsequential doctrine but one that the church at large needs continually to wrestle with.” Why is this issue an important one for Christians to discuss?

Well, when I say that the doctrine of the rapture touches on the doctrine of the church, I mean that the distinction made among believers by the rapture raises the question of the relation of various groups of believers in the larger family of God. The Bible teaches that some believers will go through the period of God’s wrath (notably the 144,000 in Revelation 7, 9 and 14) and some won’t (the “us” that Paul associates himself with in 1 Thessalonians 5:9, those who will be raptured). Why is there this distinction among believers? What does it have to teach us about the family of God? When I say it touches on issues of normative Christian experience, I mean that it raises the question of God allowing the church to suffer. There is debate over the timing of the rapture in relation to the final tribulation, the final period of unparalleled persecution by the Antichrist. Some argue that God will not allow the church to suffer under Antichrist. But God does allow the church to suffer in this present age (John 16:33; Acts 14:22), so what makes the difference, if there is one?

There are three main views of the timing of the rapture: pretribulation, posttribulation, and prewrath. Could you briefly explain the main claims of each position?

The pretribulation view teaches that God will rapture the church before the final seven years of this age (often called the 70th week of Daniel, from Daniel 9:27, or the tribulation). According to this view, this entire time period is characterized by God’s wrath. It depends in part on making a distinction between the coming of Christ to rapture the church and the coming of Christ to return to earth to reign. Posttribulationism teaches that the church will be raptured at the very end of the age, when Christ returns to reign. The church will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air and immediately return to earth with him. The prewrath view teaches that the wrath of God is poured out sometime in the final three and a half years before the end of the age, after the start of the final persecution by Antichrist. The church is raptured immediately before God’s wrath is poured out, so, like pretribulationism, a distinction is made between the coming of Christ to rapture the church and the final coming to earth, but unlike pretribulationism, the church will experience the final persecution by Antichrist.

You argue for the prewrath position. What are the main supporting arguments for this position?

I base my argument on two points that I believe the Scriptures to teach: that the church will be raptured sometime during the second half of Daniel’s 70th week (that is, after the abomination of desolation and beginning of the final persecution by Antichrist), and that between the rapture of the church and the return of Christ to earth will be an extended period of time when God’s wrath is poured out on the hostile world. The first point is derived especially from Matthew 24; 2 Thessalonians 2; and Revelation 13. The second point is derived especially from 1 Thessalonians 4 and 5 and Revelation 7 and 14. Of course, both points consider numerous corollary issues and passages. In the main, though, pretribulationism is ruled out by the first point and posttribulationism by the second.

As someone who takes the prewrath position, do you then believe that the rapture won’t be entirely unexpected? That is, if the abomination of desolation is an event we can observe happening, wouldn't that signal that the rapture will be imminent?

Since the prewrath position requires the rise of Antichrist and his abomination of desolation before the rapture, it means that, in this view, the rapture is not imminent in the sense of being able to happen at any moment. In my opinion, 1 Thessalonians 5:2–4 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1–4 teach exactly that those “signs” must occur (and other passages imply as much). That means that I need to deal with “imminence” passages, like Matthew 24:42–44, differently than as teaching an “any moment” rapture. Matthew 24:32–33 suggests that this is proper. Essentially, in my opinion, the Bible teaches the “unknowability” of the timing of the rapture, not its “any moment imminence.” As long as the number of intervening events or the duration of time between certain events and the rapture is unknown, “imminence” in the biblical sense is maintained. There is nothing in the prewrath view that undermines that biblical “imminence.”

Do you think it’s a danger for Christians or churches to focus too much on the rapture? Do you think it gives off the impression that Christians are just eager to escape the world and leave it to its own destruction?

I guess it’s a matter of how that focus is presented to the world and what one holds to be central to Christian theology. If one makes the rapture the central focus of one’s Christian life and holes oneself up awaiting the return of Christ or merely (and gleefully?) preaches destruction to unbelievers, or if one neglects the larger issues that make for Christian unity and virtue — things much more clearly taught and prescribed in Scripture — in favor of dogmatic and divisive interest in the rapture, then one is focusing too much on the rapture. Paul enjoined against something like the first problem in the Thessalonian letters and Jesus something like the second in John. Getting things straight scripturally is important, but majoring on the minors and becoming arrogant and unloving in the process, both toward insiders and outsiders, is not of the Spirit.

To the outside (secular) world, the idea of the rapture is looked at derisively, as a kind of kitschy joke that makes Christians look silly (“date predictors” like Harold Camping don’t help things). How should Christians defend the idea of the rapture in a more intelligent or believable way?

Well, defending what the Bible says is always going to be a joke as far as the world is concerned. All we can do is aim to be accurate, humble and winsome, admitting where things are clear in Scripture and where they aren’t clear. One thing that “date setters” have in common is poor hermeneutics; they use indefensible interpretive methods. More knowledgeable Christians can try to explain to an incredulous world what defensible interpretations lead us to conclude about the return of Christ.

In the midst of various interpretations of the end times, what would you say are the most important eschatological truths or facts that all Christians should cling to? In other words, what are the eschatological “essentials” versus “non-essentials”?

Things indisputably taught in Scripture and central to our faith are essential; things less clearly taught are non-essential. That Jesus is coming again to vindicate his church and judge the enemies of God is the big essential. That is the blessed hope of the church. When and how are not as essential. That there will be a resurrection of the dead, some to eternal life and some to eternal suffering, is essential. What the new heavens and earth will be like, what the kingdom of God on earth will be like, etc., that is, the details, are non-essential.


Alan Hultberg (M.Div. ’89), an associate professor of Bible exposition and New Testament at Talbot School of Theology, is the editor and co-author of Three Views on The Rapture: Pretribulation, Prewrath, or Posttribulation. He holds a Ph.D. from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

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  • Chris Cecil May 20, 2012 at 1:02 PM

    I completely agree with professor Hultberg that the Bible decribes a pre-wrath, not a pre-trib, rapture. We will not know the day or the hour, as Jesus warned us, but Paul also tells us that He will not come to believers "like a thief in the night." (1Thess. 5:2-10) Like the ten virgins, we will go out to meet the Lord, because we will expect him. In Daniel 9:25, the angel Gabriel tells Daniel, "Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the command to restore and build Jerusalem until Messiah the Prince, there shall be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; The street shall be built again, and the wall, Even in troublesome times." The word for "street" Hebrew refers to a plaza, and the wall in Jerusalem refer to the area of the Western wall in Jerusalem, or the wailing wall. The plaza was cleared immediately after Israel took back Jerusalem in 1967, when the first feast of weeks was celebrated there. 70 [feasts of] weeks, which is the meaning of the Hebrew word "shabua," will occur before Messiah the Prince is anointed king in Jerusalem. If the rapture occurs after three and a half years into the seven year tribulation, the church should be raptured sometime at the end of the year 2032, and I believe that will occur sometime during the Jewish fall festivals known as the "Days of Awe." We cannot know "the day or the hour," but we can certainly know the year and the season.

  • Mark Decker May 27, 2012 at 5:07 AM

    Comments like Mr Cecils are the reason were are to stick to the Bible and and pray hard that the Holy Spirit might lead us in truth. When Jesus came the 1st time He fulfilled all prophesy literally and exactly and when He comes again to gather His church prior to His wrath being poured out on the unrighteous, He will again fulfill all prophesy completely, not some convaluted nonsense. Chris let the Bible speak to you and don't believe every fancefull idea that comes down the pike. Jesus warned us not to be deceived, the only way that will happen is to believe the Bible and not man.

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:16 AM

    Note that the author's DEFINITION of the “rapture” is taken EXPLICITLY from 1 Thessalonians 4, which is the PAULINE DOCTRINAL TEACHING. He is certainly correct in his statement. The problem is he then says it is IMPLICIT from 1 Cor. 15. Why would it be? 1 Corinthians is a COMPLEMENTARY, CORROBORATIVE, COMPLETION of the doctrinal truth concerning the mystery of the gathering concerning the LIVING, not the DEAD as given in 1 Thessalonians 4! Those TWO passages are the doctrinal teaching of Paul concerning the gathering of the body of Christ, which includes the DEAD and the LIVING! 1 Thessalonians 4 comes BEFORE 1 Corinthians 15, just as the DEAD are spoken of before the LIVING!

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:19 AM

    The author then includes John 14 in his implicit teaching of the rapture, but you won’t find a word about the DEAD AND LIVING “together” in the passage! In other words, that’s a lie! It’s falsehood. It’s supposition. It’s assumption! The dead and living are found ONLY IN PAULINE WORDS OF TEACHING IN HIS EPISTLES! And they’re TOGETHER! They concern the body of Christ because Paul teaches TOGETHERNESS. The words of the Lord Jesus didn’t when he spoke of the DEAD and LIVING. The living always come before the dead according to the Lord DURING HIS MINISTRY. THE LAST ARE FIRST. Check the references in the gospels!

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM

    The rapture is an HISTORICAL PAULINE REVELATION. The Lord Jesus Christ in his earthly ministry DID NOT TEACH it! Can you get it yet? Paul is AFTER the earthly ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord appears to Paul in his HEAVENLY GLORIFIED BODY and gives him that “revelation”. It is not found PREVIOUSLY by any spoken word of the Lord Jesus Christ, whose ministry was to the nation of Israel, the lost sheep of the house of Israel. (Matt.10, 15, Rom. 15)

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    The author, Hultberg, can’t identify the wrath to come. Hultberg LEAVES out the wrath and anger of the Lord AGAINST Israel, and uses the term "world". That’s HOW he gets out of the wrath of God being the great tribulation. ISRAEL IS JUDGED BEFORE THE WORLD due to their “acceptance” of the 7th king of the mystery of iniquity. (Jews are ALWAYS judged BEFORE the Gentiles!) See Romans 2 which verifies many Old Testament scriptures. The body of Christ is gathered before the WRATH TO COME, which is the great tribulation. (See Matt.3, 24, Luke 3, 21, 1 Thessalonians 1, 4-5, 2 Thessalonians 1-2) The wrath to come is the TIME when Jews flee from Jerusalem due to the setting up of the abomination of desolation in the holy place! THEY ARE WARNED BY JOHN THE BAPTIST, THE LORD JESUS, THE 12, and the 70 during the proclamation of the gospel of the kingdom which was preached HISTORICALLY (Matt.3-4, 10) and will be preached IN THE FUTURE by 144,000, his servants the prophets, who have the spirit of prophecy, which is the testimony of Jesus Christ! (Matt.24, Rev.7, 12, 14, 19, 21) That gospel concerns the END OF THE WORLD. (Matt. 13, 24, 28, Rev. 10) It will be preached to GENTILES! (Matt.24, Rev.7, 15)

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    The author, Hultberg, is certainly wrong when he says the rapture is not central to the Christian faith. Ephesians 4 and the unity of the Spirit CONTRADICT him. The ONE HOPE of our calling is that of the gathering, and it is IMPERATIVE that it is not contradicted. (See 2 Timothy 2 concerning Hymanaeus and Philetus, who CONTRADICTED Paul’s testimony concerning the resurrection, which INCLUDES the rapture!) Our calling concerns all blessings in HEAVENLY PLACES. The body of Christ will be caught up together TO THOSE PLACES. (Ephesians 1-2)

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:33 AM

    The author, Hultberg, rightly believes that there are DIFFERENT GROUPS of God’s family. However, he is in ERROR concerning the SUFFERING of his family. The BODY OF CHRIST will not suffer under the hands of the BEAST of Rev. 13. The believers of Israel (those who believe the preaching of the 144, 000, whom are sealed) and the believers of the Gentiles are the ones who will suffer at the beast's hands. Hultberg has CONFOUNDED the body of Christ with the PUNISHMENT OF ISRAEL for their acceptance of the 7th head of Satan. The man whom Paul dubs the son of perdition will not be BELIEVED by the body of Christ FOR WE believed Paul’s gospel message of grace when others didn’t. Those that do NOT believe Paul's gospel message of grace WILL BELIEVE A LIE AND BE DAMNED. Their belief and damnation is sealed through the son of perdition at the MIDST OF THE WEEK while we receive salvation, the glory of God, which is our comfort and consolation! (2 Thessalonians 2)

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:40 AM

    The author, Hultberg, is one of the few prewrath rapturists who has ADMITTED that there is more than ONE "coming". Hultberg believes one "coming" for his body, and the other "coming" is at Armageddon. Most prewrath rapturists believe there is only ONE "coming". In their ignorance of the Holy Scriptures, they state that His "coming" at Armageddon IS NOT a "coming". BUT, the "coming" at Armageddon CERTAINLY IS IF YOU BELIEVE THE HOLY SCRIPTURES.

    The Lord comes BEFORE and AFTER the tribulation, AND at Armageddon. There are three future appearances of the Lord for (1) the body of Christ, (2) the Jews, and (3) the Gentiles. That is the THREE MAIN DIVISIONS according to Paul. (1 Corinthians 10; Jew, Gentile, church of God)

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    The CORRECT scriptural teaching is that the Lord will gather the body of Christ during the MIDST OF THE WEEK, which is a one year time period. ( 2 Thessalonians 2, Daniel 9) The author, Hultberg, teaches that the Lord will gather the body of Christ AFTER the tribulation, which is WAY AFTER the midst of the week. The scriptures teach that the gathering is related and connected to the REVELATION of the son of perdition which occurs at the midst of the week, not after the tribulation. (2 Thessalonians. 2:3, 8) Again, Hultberg has CONFOUNDED members of the family of God. The body of Christ is NOT the servants, His prophets, NOR the saints of the tribulation. The Lord’s coming AFTER THE TRIBULATION is to the LIVING who SURVIVED the great tribulation. The body of Christ is delivered from the great tribulation. (1 Thessalonians 1) We don’t have to FLEE from anyplace or hide ourselves from anyone. The SAINTS OF THE TRIBULATION do. (Matthew 24) Members of the body of Christ do NOT go into the great tribulation. Members of the body of Christ are DELIVERED from it! It is the wrath to come.

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 11:54 AM

    Paul does NOT teach that the son of perdition arises and the abomination of desolation occurs BEFORE the gathering. In fact, he teaches that SOMETHING and SOMEONE withholds it! There are NO PREWRATH TEACHERS who can identify that thing and person correctly. ONLY THE WORDS OF THE HOLY GHOST THROUGH THE HOLY SCRIPTURES DO! The revelation of the son of perdition cannot come before the day of Christ, which is our gathering. It is PREVENTED. (let) When the son of perdition, "that Wicked", is revealed, THE DAY OF CHRIST SHALL HAVE COME! (2 Thessalonians 2:3)

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    The author, Hultberg, FINISHES his prewrath spill with an atrocity. He states that things taught "less clearly" are non-essential. Therefore, in the author's MIND, the "when" and "how" of the gathering of the body of Christ is NOT essential. This erroneous view is due to the author's misunderstanding (or outright rejection) of the apostle Paul's dispensational teaching. The author's errors demonstrate his LACK of right division of the truth. If you do not teach what the apostle Paul teaches, you are teaching the WRONG doctrine. The scriptures prove the Prewrath doctrine to be WRONG.

  • Thomas Berwick May 27, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    Chris Cecil states:

    "Paul also tells us that He will not come to believers "like a thief in the night." (1Thess. 5:2-10)"

    That statement demonstrates the depth of ignorance of most prewrath rapturists, like Chris Cecil. What the apostle Paul ACTUALLY teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 is that THE DAY OF THE LORD comes "like a thief in the night". That, my friends, is NOT the Lord Jesus Christ. The "Day of the Lord" by both Old and New Testament accounts, is a TIME PERIOD which begins with the great tribulation in the MIDST of Daniel's 70th week.

    To demonstrate how ignorant Chris Cecil's statement is, take a look at the following verse (capitalization is mine):

    1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that DAY should overtake you as a thief.

    And, look at this verse (capitalization is mine):

    1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to WRATH, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

    That WRATH to which members of the body of Christ are NOT APPOINTED, is the "wrath to come" which starts with the great tribulation in the MIDST of Daniel's 70th week. Check it out in the Holy Scriptures. Look at this verse (capitalization is mine):

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

    And to determine what "make it desolate" means, check out the following verses:

    Zechariah 14:1 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

    Finally, to tie these Old Testament verses to the Lord Jesus Christ's teaching about the end times Matthew 24:15 and Luke 21:20-22.

    Those armies that compass Jerusalem do exactly what Zechariah 14:2 states. So the Lord Jesus Christ quotes "Daniel the prophet" which tells us that bad things happen in the MIDST of the WEEK. Zechariah tells us what those things are. Matthew, Mark and Luke warn those in Judaea and Jerusalem to FLEE when they see those armies compassing Jerusalem and when they see the "Abomination of Desolation" which is the IMAGE of the Anti-christ setting the the holy place.

  • John Dunn May 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM

    Thank you for this article and for the excellent updated book "Three Views On The Rapture".

  • The Orange Mailman May 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM

    Nice article Dr. Hultberg. I also enjoyed our e-mail exhange awhile back. Hopefully your contributions to the study of eschatology are not yet complete.

  • Thomas Berwick May 31, 2012 at 1:06 AM

    The Orange Mailman made the following statement on May 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM:

    "Nice article Dr. Hultberg."

    Statements like that demonstrates the depth of ignorance of prewrath rapturists. There is NOTHING "nice" about Hultberg's article. It is full of errors. To believe the statements put forth by Hultberg, one must deny the basic dispensational doctrines in the apostle Paul's epistles.

    Check out the rebuttals posted above and verify the truth of the matter within the scriptures.

    The Orange Mailman is the prewrath waterboy. He only reads and believes what Van Kampen and Rosenthal state in their books on prewrath. His pattern is set by Ron Wallace and Heidi Nigro. They all erroneously believe that the "wrath to come" starts AFTER the great tribulation. Ignorance of the scriptures abounds among all of them.

  • Thomas Clark June 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM

    Friends,
    I have followed the Pretribulation Rapture debate for approximately 50 years. I held the Pretribulation Rapture position until sometime in 2004 when I had time to research all the aspects of PreTribulational Rapture. 1) there is no clear Scriptural verses or passages that teach Pretrib Rapture. 2) Pretrib Rapture was never taught until approximately 1830 A.D. in the History of the Church. 3) Many of the Early Church fathers clearly taught Premillennnialism, but without any type Rapture. 4) Polycarp was taught by the Last Apostle, John, who wrote Revelation. If you assume, and I do, that the Apostle John taught about the Second Coming, you would also assume that he would teach Clearly about the Rapture. Polycarp became Biship of Symira and was martyred. He have few remain written works. However, he had a very honorable student, Irenaeus, who wrote a considerable about prophecy. In fact, his view of eschatology is almost exactly like the classic premillennialism of today without the Rapture theory. Hippolytus who was a student of Irenaeus wrote even more about prophecy. He wrote two books in particular: 1) a Commentary on Daniel, and 2) Christ and Anti-Christ. In these two books Hippolytus clearly takes a Premillennial viewpoint without any mention of a Pretribulation Rapture. 5) If you will examine closely 1 Thes. 4:13-18 you will find that the Rapture of living believers occurs at the same time as the First resurrection of the dead believers (Rev. 20:5,6)

    And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
    Rev 20:4-6 (KJV)

    continued Thomas Clark

  • Thomas Clark June 4, 2012 at 10:06 AM


    CONTINUED!

    6) All four of the views of the Rapture hold to one single view: All views believe that God will not put His children through His Wrath. The question is: When does the Wrath of God begin? From Scripture it appears to occur at the end of the Sixth Seal or the beginning of the Seventh Seal. It appears that all of the wrath of God is poured out in the Seventh Seal.

    7) Speculation: If the Seven Seals are somewhat parallel with the Seven years of Daniel's Seventieth Week, then the Wrath of God would be poured out in the Seventh year of Daniel's Seventh Week. Thus the first six years of Daniel's Seventieth Week will be the wrath of man, the Anti-Christ and evil men, and Satan.

    Of course no Christian wants to go through any of these troubled times. But I believe that literally millenniums of people will be saved during the dread tim (Rev. 7:

    13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?



    14 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.

    15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them. 16 They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any more; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. 17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

    Rev 7:13-17 (KJV).

    Fight the good fight of Faith!

    Rev. Thomas L. Clark - Phil. 3:14
    www.bibleresourceman.com




  • kris June 18, 2012 at 8:20 PM

    Friends- are we CERTAIN there is a rapture? Would you have come to this conclusion strictly from reading the Word? I am fearful that many will be sadly disenchanted when they find they have not girded themselves, and put on the armor of God in preparation for the great tribulation. I do have reason to believe that the rapture is indeed one of Satan's deceptions, tricking us into thinking we have an "easy way out"! We SHOULD go through the troubling times, we're responsible for all the evils today- abortion, adultery, sex outside of marriage is commonplace! homosexuality is promoted, etc. Persecution is guaranteed for believers. I am terrified for those who are "left behind" when no one except SATAN comes to "rapture" them. Itching ears!

  • John Bonner June 29, 2012 at 2:33 PM

    To quote part of your answer to one of the questions: There is debate over the timing of the rapture in relation to the final tribulation, the final period of unparalleled persecution by the Antichrist. Some argue that God will not allow the church to suffer under Antichrist. But God does allow the church to suffer in this present age (John 16:33; Acts 14:22), so what makes the difference, if there is one?

    It is clear to me the difference is God's judgement. Christians have been persecuted since the beginning of the faith. You are correct that some argue that God will not allow the church to suffer under the Antichrist. This point is in error. To clarify: The purpose of the rapture is not to end the persecution which has not ended but to protect His bride from the judgement to come. Persecution although extremely uncomfortable is nothing like the unbridled judgement that is coming when He removes His restraining influence. That to me is the worst form of judgment. When God lets people do whatever they want with no restraint. That is judgment and that is why my belief in the Rapture is ever more strong thanks to this article. Blessings and see you here, there or in the air.

  • John Bonner June 29, 2012 at 3:40 PM

    It seems my failure to mention the two times in scripture that God delivered escaped me until now. The first is Noah and the Ark and the second is Lot being saved from the judgement of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    @kris - The rapture is clearly in the word. The word rapture is not there as that word is different from the word Harpazo as used in I Thessalonians 4:17. And neither is the word Trinity in the scripture but certainly the concept of the triune God is in scripture.

    Another question along the lines of whether or not the Rapture is in the word kris if you don't mind - What do you suppose the parable of the 10 virgins is about if not the expectation of us to be ready for the Groom to come get His Bride? Just wondering what your thoughts are on that subject.

  • Dana June 30, 2012 at 9:10 AM

    I offer a simple challenge to my brothers and sisters in Christ who hold to the pretrib rapture position. Show any ONE verse of Scripture placing the timing of the rapture PRIOR to Daniel's 70th week (the tribulation). God Bless

  • matt July 12, 2012 at 9:48 AM

    Pre-Wrath? Sure, but at least 3.5 years pre-wrath.
    The key to end times prophecy is Daniel. The Rapture, or Harpazo, comes PRIOR to the 70th week of Daniel chapter 9. All the Old Testament types (Enoch translated before the flood, Lot being taken out of Sodom before the destruction, etc.) indicate that the Church is taken out before the judgment - which fits in wth the pre-wrath view. However, that view fails to take into account the key to end-time prophecy: Daniel's 70 weeks, or 70 "sevens" - meaning seventy 7 years periods. 69 of them occurred from the "going forth of the commandment to rebuild Jerusalem until messiah the Prince." That occured on Nisan 10 AD 32 (Palm Sunday). The 70th week will begin when the "Son of Perdition" enforces the covenant (probably the Abrahamic Covenant - i.e. Israel in the land and secure). The Son of Perdition, or Man of Sin, a.k.a. Antichrist, obviously must be revealed prior to making or enforcing the covenant, but can only be revealed AFTER the Church is taken out of the way. "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed.." 2 Thess. 7,8
    This may be academic, since true believers in Christ will all be resurrected in the Rapture no matter what they believe about when it occurs, but it is important in understanding the Whole Counsel of God. I look forward to a pre-70th week Rapture. In fact I wish it would happen right now. "I will come again, and receive you unto myself" - Jesus Christ

  • matt July 12, 2012 at 9:58 AM

    Dana,
    Your challenge is a misguided one. Many subjects in scripture cannot be confirmed by one verse here or there, but by the scriptures as a whole. If you are around when the Wicked One is revealed and "confirms the covenant for one week," then you have missed the Rapture. 2 Thessalonians and other passages, and typologies from throughout the scriptures, clearly teach that the Church must be removed prior to the coming of The Man of Sin, and since the 70th week of Daniel can't start until after that, a "mid-trib" Rapture is absolutely ruled out. The "gathering of the elect" mentioned in Revelation is not the rapture, it's a different event - it gathers the elect to a point on the Earth, whereas the Rapture occurs in the air.
    Our understanding of God's word must be based on all of it, not just a verse here or a verse there.

  • Julie September 14, 2012 at 10:40 PM

    Matt,

    Just something to consider...it was often taught to me that the one who now restrains evil and is taken out of the way was the Holy Spirit. As I have read scripture and searched to see if that is truly a given description of the work of the Holy Spirit (to restrain evil) I could find none. However, Daniel 12:1 seems to prophesy instead Michael standing down from his duties of restraining evil or "arising" ("amad" in Hebrew which means to stand still) He is a restrainer of evil against Israel as another angel described in Daniel 10:13. So Michael will stop restraining evil...stand still.

    I don't believe the Holy Spirit will be removed with believers before the man of lawlessness is revealed...Michael will be though. Believers will still remain...the Holy Spirit will continue to inspire and draw people to Christ as Revelation 7:13-17 says.

  • shawn may September 27, 2012 at 7:12 PM

    tom i believe in mainly the words writen in red Jesus said in Mathew 24 "not until after the tribulation of these days will the son of man come!" Let me explain in the last days most Christians will fall away because they have believed the great lie, "staight out of the pits of Hell " of a pretribulation rapture. We as Christians have just stood by and excepted homosexualality, let our children "and ourselves for that matter" sit by and watch evil telivision ,play evil video games, and how many of you have walked over and turned off the TV or trash that ungodly vedeo game you bought your children and yourself maybe 10% WOW! AMAZING RIGHT .read your Bible folks it says many are called but few are chosen and please dont try to post coments that show your true savior! The master of deception! satan himself maybe you need to spend more time on your knees and not posting evil rude coments to people that are just trying to get people to think about the evil we live in and the out come thjats at hand! Folks try for once I beg you read your Bible "the red letter edition and try just once the words written in RED then you will see out of mouth of my Savior himself we will suffer in these last days!But praise his Holy name "the days will be shortened for if not not one would be saved" If your not ready to die for Christ today you better hit your knees and beg god to forgive your stuborned mind i did and I was finally filedl with the greatest fealing i'll ever have this side of Heaven " the truth" You must be as little children as Christ said in order to enter into the kingdom of heaven .Do you believe children reading the Bible would have to skip to several books of the Bible to come up with When there father is coming back to get them no they'll know when Jesus tells us.Shame on you Christians that believe you will not have to recieve persicution even death for "jusdt believeing In Jesus Christ"Hundreds die every day JUST FOR BELIEVING IN THEJESUS what makes you soooo much better than they are ? Oh ya you are from Amarica where you wouldn't know what it's like to sneak to a house church just to hear vthe word of God most places share 1 Bible How many you have and still you sit here putting rubish in the minds of mostly curiose Christians that just want to hear the truth not the latest theology of the end time Jesus condemed Spiritual people those are the goats at the day of jugment are you a goat or a sheep most christians are Goats if you nKnow nothing else then understand what Jesus said to those Goats "be gone from me I never KNEW" to have an intimate relationship with him" YOU!I pray that all that read this spend time preparing your soul and just talking to OUR saviour every day instead of typing argumentive comments on evry sight that dont vbelieve in your views. Please "

  • Jesse03 October 23, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Well.....I wanted to comment on individual posts because I had statements I wanted to make in response, but I see that's not made possible. I will just reply to Shawn (the last one today) and point out that you may read the gospel of Thomas if you are only interested in the words of Jesus and not what the Holy Spirit wanted you to know. I Actually see a lot of opinions mentioned here that reinforce my firm belief in multiple raptures, and I would say that many of you people are actually compelled by your own teachings to believe the same.

  • Ray Walker October 23, 2012 at 9:25 PM

    I thought the article was very interesting and well presented. I personally believe the pretribulation rapture is what I see and understand the scriptures to say. BUT, there seems to be a few things that none of us know today that will COMPLETE our perfect individual doctrines. When a few more end time events happen, we will have more knowledge and the missing parts will more clearly complete our rapture doctrine puzzle. One thing is clear, Jesus will return and the earth and its inhabitants will be judged. Jesus clearly tells us to WATCH and PRAY. If we are not doing that, we clearly will miss His return. Make no mistake about it, Jesus will not take you if you aren't looking to go. When Jesus rode the colt into Jerusalem, there were people in the synagogues praying for his return to set up His kingdom, all the while, He was in the streets. THEY MISSED HIS TIMING. Please, I beseech you to watch and pray and be looking for Him to return, when ever it happens. No one, absolutely no one has all the answers. If someone seems to have ALL the answers, I would get as far from the as possible. Jesus is looking for His LOVER, or Bride. Not a know it all that has all the answers. WATCH and PRAY for your Bridegroom.

  • Jerry Christner October 24, 2012 at 10:49 PM

    It's amazing to me that no one has commented about God's 7 Holy Feast Days. Jesus Christ fulfilled the first 4 Spring Feasts (1. Passover, 2. Unleavened Bread, 3. First Fruits, 4. Shavaot /Pentecost) at His 1st Coming. So, Jesus Christ will fulfill the last 3 Fall Feasts (5. Trumpets, 6. Atonement/Judgement Day, 7. Tabernacles) as well. #5 Trumpets will be the next Feast to be fulfilled. Some consider #5 Trumpets to be the Rapture, as I do. The 10 days from #5 Trumpets to #6 Atonement/Judgement Day is considered to be the Days of Awe, also considered to be the Time of Jacobs Trouble or Great Tribulation. Following God's Holy Feasts Days tell me the Rapture will happen before Great Tribulation when the "fulness of the gentiles" comes to salvation and then God will focus back on Israel to get the nation to accept Jesus Christ as their Messiah. Rapture/Great Tribulation/Judgement Day and then God Tabernacles with us on earth in the flesh as Jesus Christ for 1,000 years.

  • stevereal December 12, 2012 at 6:38 AM

    The Bible was written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He is the One and only He can tell us what he means in his Word. The majority ofus (christians?) are interpreting God!s Word in the flesh nstead of Spiriual decernment.

  • Elizabeth Bennett December 21, 2012 at 5:59 PM

    As a Messianic Jew I am very disappointed that
    God's promises to Israel are not mentioned. God is not finished with Israel. In Zechariah 12 we can see that the Lord will return to rescue Israel from total destruction when all nations rise to destroy her. The Lord and the Saints will return to destroy the nations that are attempting to destroy the Jews and inhabitants of Jerusalem. The surviving remnant (one third) will see Christ's redemption and realize that Jesus really was the promised Messiah, and they will mourn and repent and totally believe in Jesus Christ as Savior. Jesus' feet will touch the Mt. of Olives when He returns to save Jerusalem. This happens at the end of the Tribulation. If Jerusalem and Israel are never mentioned in end-times theology then we are in danger of turning scripture into Replacement Theology, which is contrary to scripture. The Church has not replaced Israel. God is faithful to fulfill His promises to the Jewish believers. Jesus was a Jew.

  • John January 3, 2013 at 10:21 PM

    The "rapture" and "second comming" seem to me to be myth and legend. It was started about 2000 years ago when the supernatural was used as a reason for lots of things we just didn't have the knowledge to comprehend. If someone can talk you into believing in the "rapture" or the "great flood" or "Noah's Ark" then you can be talked into believing anything.

  • Lloyd Little May 19, 2013 at 7:09 AM

    Revelation 6 & 7

    End Times-- Could it be possible that Rev.7 & 8 has been misinterpreted and/or uninterpreted by bible scholars? Please consider my interpretation that I believe came through the Holy Spirit some years ago. I am no scholar like many of you, but a seeker of this hour by his prompting.

    Rev. 6 = A chronological "preview" of the coming seven trumpets and bowl judgements.
    Rapture happens in Rev.4 then John see's a preview of judgements in 6 and the in Revelation 7, he sees the Church in heaven with out number. Chapter 8 begins the judgement or wrath of God upon the unbelieving world. Everything remains chronological as previously interpreted by believers just with a new understanding.

    Chapter 6 - the removing of the seals are not judgements per se, but a revealing of the judgements to come as each one is removed. Once the final seal is removed the Lamb's book of life is opened and all who believe are revealed to Him. Both the raptured believers in chapter 7 and the remnant of Jewish and Gentile believers who come to faith on earth while the 7 year tribulation unfolds. This takes us the chapter 8 and the hour of heavenly silence for a span of days that can be calculated. Those remaining on earth are deceived and few will be few in number compared to numberless who are raptured in heaven according to Rev. 7. and my inspirations.

    If you are interested in a detail account of my interpretations, you can read my book titled
    "His Dream Interpreters".

    My novel titled "Ishmael's Apocalypse" was written afterwards. It reveals a chilling interpretation of the same and the coming rapture and antichrist. I believe he is here and can be identified but not verified until the peace covenant is signed.

    Watch for the new temple on the mount being negotiated for a peace treaty deal. Just my opinion on this idea.

    God Bless

  • Lloyd May 19, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    Sorry for typo's. I didn't proof read before sending. Alot of interruptions at my business where I am typing this.

    For the record, I believe pretrib fits perfectly into the scriptures for the Church and Israel believers in messiah. The other interpretations do not. Also, the list of scriptures that substantiatel pretrib are numerous and throughout the old and new testiments, while the others are few and can have more than one interpretation.

  • Cris C. Dean July 29, 2013 at 1:40 PM

    I must say after reading most of the above comments that you all have missed one remarkable thing: that the Lord who made the universe and all in it plans on bring us into His presence for all of eternity. Whether it's at our deaths, or at the rapture, it will happen for those who acknowledge that Jesus is THE SON OF GOD, SENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF REDEEMING THOSE WHO HAVE THEREFORE BECOME HIS CHILDREN THRU BELIEVING IN JESUS.

    So many of the above comments assume so many things, presumptions made by human judgement. Yes, we can look, observe and sense when the specific signs sited in Scripture seem to be on the horizon. But remember, not even Jesus knows when the Father will send Him back. What makes you all above think with your trained and studied minds that you can translate b/w the lines and know exactly what timeframe the rapture will happen. Stop defending yourselves and your decades of study. Look and express all with humility based on the heart of Jesus that's being established in you.

    And, Kris, there's no deception about there being a 'rapture' or a coming to get those who believe in Jesus. Seek Jesus and His heart, seek who He really is, and what He has planned - then multiply that hope by one billion and that won't scratch the surface of what the Father has in store for us who accepted Jesus!!!

  • Mary E Lewis August 27, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    THINGS THAT SHOULD BE TAUGHT BUT ARE NOT

    The timing for the first four seals on the scroll with seven seals is from the cross to the second coming of Christ of nearly 2,000 years known as the unknown gap. Jesus began breaking these seals in the first century right after the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. (Rev. 5:6; Acts 2:1-4) As the Lamb breaks the first four seals revealing the horsemen, each is introduced by one of the Four Living Creatures. The Four Living Creatures and the four horsemen being presented together reveal the great importance of our choices between good and evil from the cross to the second coming of Christ. Understanding these options offers the opportunity of making wise choices.

    There are only two choices offered in the Bible and made by every human with every breath drawn from birth to death. Those choices are between good and evil; the Spirit of YHVH or the spirit of lawlessness; the Father of truth and life or the father of deception and death; YHVH or Satan. Adam made the wrong choice and humanity has and is suffering for it.

    Most Bible interpreters see the entire scroll with seven seals, as the last seven years of Daniels prophecy of seventy-sevens. (Daniel 9:24-27) The problem with that interpretation is the timing. Everything related to the last seven years must be unique to that period. If even one of the seven seals is in reference to past or current events, then not all seven seals can represent the last seven years. Based on Leviticus 26, the first four seals represent consequences of disobedience past, present, and future.

    Seal five is also past, present, and future, since the altar represents the altar of Jesus. There were martyrs from the first century and there will be more to the end. They all wait under the altar of Jesus Christ for the call of resurrection. (Hebrews 13:8-11)

    Seals six and seven are the only seals unique to future events, as you will see in the description of each. As for when the Antichrist enters the scene, you must determine that from Daniel 9:24-27 and balance that information with the rest of YHVH’s Word.

    There is more in my book, "Prophecy Trilogy: Timeline, Daniel, Revelation” and my Bible, "Word of YHVH Bible, My Name is YaHavah” also free at fireofthelord dot com

  • Mary E Lewis August 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM

    The part I could not fit into my first comments on the scroll with seven seals.

    Back to the first four seals that offer four choice between good and evil. The evidence is in the fact that the horsemen of the first four seals are introduced by the Four Living Creatures who are described in Ezekiel. The four faces of this awesome angel present the four aspects of Jesus' ministry. The four horsemen of the first four seals represent the four judgments of YHVH to show the disobedient, un-hearing, and un-seeing that he is YHVH and that he gives and takes away. The four judgments are the beast, sword, famine, and pestilence. These four represent kings, wars, famine, and death. All are forms of captivity for the disobedient and explained as such by YHVH in Leviticus 26:21-26. In Zechariah 6:1-7 we are told the four horses walk to and fro throughout the earth. In Ezekiel 14:12-21 YHVH again speaks of them as judgments for iniquity. All of the verses in these references are spoken in the words of YHVH.

    The sixth seal is a preview given to show Israel that YHVH has not forgotten his promise to the tribes of Israel. At the end of the sixth trumpet, the promised remnant (144,000 of the twelve tribes) will receive the seal of the Spirit of YHVH and take part in the first resurrection also called the rapture. The Great Day of YHVH (millennium) will begin with the sound of the seventh trumpet. Jesus will be seen on a cloud to call those bearing the seal of YHVH, both living and from the graves. All of these will wait in a safe place until the seven bowls of YHVH's wrath is delivered and all of the unbelieving are destroyed. Not a pretty sight, but one to cause fear of the Lord. He gives and he takes away.

  • craig mortimer October 23, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    I used to believe in a pre daniels 70th week rapture and now believe in a pre trib rapture which is the second half of the 70th week. I believe the Holy Spirit witnessed this fact to me and certain things such of being delivered from the hour of temptation and Daniel chapter 12.

  • Deb Pembleton January 10, 2014 at 5:30 PM

    For those who think the body of Christ (Church) will go through the Tribulation my questions are these: 1) What did Jesus take on the cross? 2) Did He not take our sins and suffer the wrath of God for us? 3) If He took our sins and suffered the wrath of God for us, then why would we have to suffer the wrath of God during any part of the tribulation or any other time? 3) Wouldn’t that be like us saying, “Sorry Jesus, what you did on the cross for us was not enough”? What an absolute insult to our Lord and Saviour!! The Church is now perfected through Jesus; no need for any tribulation period for us.

  • Gabriel February 27, 2014 at 2:30 AM

    September 2032 is what the Holy Spirit told me. The rapture is Post-Trib and Pre-Wrath.
    The 1290 days in Daniel 12 is from the time the AntiChrist claims to be God (abomination of desolation) until the rapture and 1335 days until the wrath is done. So 45 days of wrath.
    Isaiah 26:
    20
    Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you;hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.21 See, the Lord is coming out of his dwelling to punish the people of the earth for their sins.The earth will disclose the blood shed on it; the earth will conceal its slain no longer.

    The two-horned ram in Daniel 8 is Iran/Iraq and they will soon take over Israel. This is also in Daniel 11:13-19
    The ram is defeated by the shaggy goat who will be the first king of the one world system who is NOT the antichrist. Daniel 8:5-8 Daniel 8:21 and Daniel 11:20
    The shaggy goat fails financially and then the antichrist takes over and seizes the kingdom through intrigue. He has stolen the money through his trade (stock market) see Ezekiel 28
    See why there are 2 beasts in Revelation 13.
    The 2300 days of Daniel 8 is the time of the antichrist until the end.

    Hosea 6:1-3
    Psalm 90:4
    2 Peter 3:7-10
    Revelation 20

    So 2000 years until the rapture from Christ's departure will be 2032. The third day is judgment day and then heaven. Armageddon is at the end of judgment day.

    Revelation 11 and Ezekiel 37....the rapture. Ezekiel 38 and 39 and Revelation 20 Armageddon.

    The return of the Israelites to Jerusalem is heaven not NOW. Why would Jesus have the Israelites return only to tell them to flee from Judea (Matthew 24:16)

    The 3 1/2 days in revelation 11 is actually 3 1/2 years. The two Olive Trees are 2 prophets (Elijah and Gabriel) but the two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lampstands dressed in sackcloth meaning repentant. In Revelation 1 is says the lampstands are the churches. If you read Rev 2 & 3, only 2 of the 7 churches are fully repentant. They are refused burial and thrown into mass piles. After the 3 1/2 years (1290 days) they come back to life and resurrect along with Christians who are still alive. Now read Ezekiel 37 for some God Bumps.
    The 1260 days are the first 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation and the two witnesses will prophesy and there will be great famine and drought-a days worth of work for a ration of wheat and barley. Amos 4 says some fields will have rain and some none. The evil side has the money but we have the food and water.
    The Elijah of Malachi is not the Elijah of the past but was Gabriel's partner in delivering God's messages throughout history. Read Malachi closely for part of the message of the end times.

    There's more just ask the SPIRIT.

    Jesus is Lord!
    Gabriel

  • Gabriel February 27, 2014 at 9:16 AM

    Matthew 24:
    29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

    30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

    31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

    ***For those of you that think Jesus did not know when the end was, it might interest you to know that in the original manuscripts of Matthew 24:36 it did NOT say the SON did not know.***

    THE TRIBULATION IS NOT GOD'S WRATH, IT IS THE DEVIL'S WRATH ON GOD'S BELIEVERS!!!
    For those of you that think bible scholars don't understand salvation and the root of Christianity in particular Matthew 25:31-46.........and the forgiveness factor Matthew 6.........Hosea 4:6

    Revelation 4:1 is not talking about the rapture but telling John to come and see the future and write about the end. When Peter asked Jesus:
    John 21:
    21 When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”

    22 Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” 23 Because of this, the rumor spread among the believers that this disciple would not die. But Jesus did not say that he would not die; he only said, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you?”

    For those that think that it isn't necessary to learn prophecy:
    23 At that time if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.

    The days cut short is that the antichrist doesn't get a full lifetime to deceive.
    Revelation 12:

    12
    Therefore rejoice, you heavens
    and you who dwell in them!
    But woe to the earth and the sea,
    because the devil has gone down to you!
    He is filled with fury,
    because he knows that his time is short.”

    As for writing your own books: Ecclesiastes 12:9-14 John 7:18 Revelation 22:18-19

    JESUS IS LORD 1 Corinthians 12:3 John 14:9 John 1 Isaiah 7:14

  • Irv Spielberg March 1, 2014 at 12:43 PM

    [Saw this piece on the web.]

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice's mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn't find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 - and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers "the early pretribulationists" (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including "Pseudo-Ephraem" and a "Rev. Morgan Edwards," taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist's arrival as the only "imminent" event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an "imminent" pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards' historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google "Morgan Edwards' Rapture View" and journalist/historian Dave MacPherson's "Deceiving and Being Deceived" for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read "pretrib" into phrases like "before Armageddon," "before the final conflagration," and "escape all these things"!
    BTW, the KJV translators' other writings found in London's famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don't have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib "proof" in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. But "Famous Rapture Watchers" (on Google) shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Biola University's doctrinal statement says Christ's return is "premillennial" and "before the Tribulation." Although universities stand for "academic freedom," Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases - non-essentials the founders purposely didn't include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a "Ph.D" issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn't authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he's working on another "Ph.D" via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice's scholarliness, Google "Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "be careful in polemics - Peripatetic Learning," and "Walvoord Melts Ice." Also Google "Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)" - featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 "End Times Passover" blog.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google "The Background Obama Can't Cover Up.")




  • al July 17, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Please read the book Antichrist before the Day of The Lord. I was privileged to be in the very
    first class taught on the Pre Wrath position. The Church will be tested during the great tribulation by Antichrist (last 3&1/2 years) to see who the true possessors vs. professors really are. You my also want to visit www.alankurscher.com

  • PattiAnne October 7, 2014 at 6:51 AM

    I just discovered this site and I am humbled by the great teachings and debates. You are all learned and blessed with the ability articulately present your opinions, views and deep understandings.
    There is just this one thing that keeps tugging at me. Why is it that Biblical scholars, and teachers get so angry when trying to support their particular belief regarding the End time and the Rapture? We are all on the same team, so to speak. Yes, we have been given minds to understand and reason and even to disagree, but why don't you first keep your eye on our HOPE?

    I have always believed in a Pre-Trib Rapture. My mother taught the concept to us, her children, and lived her lifetime looking for it....just as her mother did before her and her grandfather before that. So, of course, I have watched for the signs of His coming since I was a little girl, almost 65 years ago.

    HOWEVER......the EXAMPLE BY WHICH SHE LED HER CHILDREN WAS THIS: Go ahead, Look for that Blessed Hope to come quietly to snatch us children away. It's okay. The LORD understands His children and knows we need to have that hope in our hearts to sustain us for the day in which we live. BUT, while we are looking and waiting for that blessed event to occur, remember at the same time to PLACE OUR FAITH AND FOCUS ON THE ONE IN WHOM WE KNOW WE CAN TRULY TRUST. When the bad times come (as they are right now, in history) and as they EXPONENTIALLY INCREASE, almost daily, REMEMBER that Jesus promised blessings on His little children (His Followers). He will neither leave us nor forsake us.

    Like so many others,I am deeply, deeply frightened by all the stuff going on in our world...Hamas, the rise of ISIS, Ebola, strange illnesses attacking innocent children, terrifying, brutal beheadings, outrageous attacks on people who are just trying to make a living and get through another day, civil unrest, racially provoked violence, strange and frightening weather patterns, out-of-control spending, soaring debt that we can never hope to crawl out from under. LIFE AS WE KNOW IT IS A TOTAL MESS.

    So, the ONLY HOPE on which I rely LIVES SQUARELY in the PERSON of JESUS CHRIST. Come what may, HE IS WATCHING, GOD THE FATHER IS WATCHING, THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO LIVES INSIDE ME IS WATCHING. IT WILL ALL TURN OUT JUST AS THE LORD GOD ALMIGHTY PLANNED AND PROMISED.
    Please, keep that in mind, for your sake, the sake of those you are teaching and those for whom you are working. Please stop bickering. He is with us. He alone will give us strength for the days ahead. JUST BE READY, TRUST AND OBEY.
    Thank you for allowing me this chance to comment. You are all wonderful scholars and I thank the Lord that He has placed you here.

  • Kurt December 31, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    We are all on the same team here, and it will happen when it happens. And I Am's timing will be perfect. Rather than debate about when it will happen, let's share our faith with everyone and be glad that we have all been forgiven if our sins.

  • Greg May January 10, 2015 at 6:55 PM

    Thank God for born-again authors Jonathan Cahn ("The Harbinger") and Mark Biltz ("Blood Moons") who brought the ancient Jewish mysteries of the Shemitah and blood moons to our attention which John Hagee describes in his best-seller, "Four Blood Moons: Something Is About To Change." In September 2015 the Prophecy of Joel will be fulfilled: "The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord." (Joel 2:31) On March 20 there will be a solar eclipse which the ancient Jewish rabbis saw as a sign of judgement for the Gentiles (rest of the world) followed by a blood moon on April 4 (Passover) which they saw as an omen for Israel. 2015 will also be a Shemitah Year in which God allows something to happen to get our attention just as He did when He punished the disobedient, idol-worshipping Children of Israel with the 'Seven Sets of Seven'. Previous Shemitah Years saw the seven buildings of the World Trade Center destroyed in the Islamic terrorist attack of September 2001; seven years later - in September 2008 - the Dow Jones fell 777 points in one day. Seven years from then brings us to September 2015 - The Prophecy of Joel!

  • boldncouragesous March 28, 2015 at 2:29 PM

    The word rapture is fabricated in an attempt to bring separation between a singular event of the second coming. If there were two separate events then the first would announce the second, especially if it were separated by a 7 year time frame. However. the Scriptures give the element of surprise on the Second Coming passages. ...OF THAT DAY, no man knows the day or the hour... Matt. 24:36. Which day? ...the one just described in the previous verse in which the heavens and Earth pass away. This is the same passage that Peter taught the church the Second Coming in 2 Peter 3:10 where Jesus comes like a thief in the night when the heavens and Earth pass away. All passages that give an element of surprise falls upon the Second Coming.... that is not possible if a rapture were to happen 7 years prior. That would make Jesus into a liar concerning the nature in which He stated HOW He would come, "like a thief..." Rev. 16:15, 2 Peter 3:10, Matt. 24:41,42.

  • Jerry Powers August 11, 2015 at 8:29 PM

    Hi, very fine interview! My pastor emeritus, Ron G. Wallace was an early convert to the Pre-Wrath position beginning in the early 1990's. His website is www.biblefragrances.com
    He has a lot of material on this subject. I myself was having problems with Pre-Trib position for a while, especially II Thess. 2 and welcomed something which made more biblical sense and tied all the various parts of the prophetic mosaic together.

  • Greg May August 20, 2015 at 2:44 PM

    Jesus said, "There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars . . . when you see ALL of these things come together - HERE I COME!" Last year there were two Blood Moons but no solar eclipse; this year there are two Blood Moons and not one - but TWO -solar eclipses and one of them occurs on September 13 - Feast of Trumpets!

  • Mikah September 10, 2015 at 11:14 AM

    excerpt from Father's little Book prophesied by John the Revelator. 4 days til the Day of the Lord! the great tribulation is process of sanctification to be perfected. Armageddon is a metaphor for this process:

    Messiah instructed us to watch when teaching 'The Owner of the House' parable. The Greek word translated as watch means to be vigilant, be watchful.

    The Feast of Trumpets starts on the new moon and is the only feast that no one knew what day it would start. They had to watch.

    Matthew 24:42-44 KJB
    Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 THEREFORE BE YE ALSO READY: for in such an hour as ye think not, the Son of man cometh.

    The goodman represents us and the thief represents Messiah. The broken house represents the destruction of our families if they are not spiritually ready.

    1 Thessalonians 5:4-6 KJB
    But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

    In the following verses heaven and earth represent unclean spirits and the carnal people they control being destroyed. With science today the New Moon and Feast of Trumpets can be calculated, but we don’t know the hour.

    Mark 13:31-33 KJB
    Heaven and earth shall pass away: but My words shall not pass away. 32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

    Messiah warns that those who are not perfected need to die to self, repent and get ready.

    Revelation 3:2-3 KJB
    Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

    Revelation 16:15 KJB
    Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

    Keep your robe free of spots and blemishes for the Day of the Lord is coming at the Feast of Trumpets 5775, the beginning of the Year of Jubilee. If you have any doubts about spots on your robe of righteousness do your first works again, repent and be baptized to wash away your sin.

    Revelation 7:14 KJB
    And I (John) 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.


  • Kristin October 7, 2015 at 4:13 AM

    One good thing about Gods Word is that it can be backed up sort of prophetic if you will, I have seen countless evidence(s) myself for a pretrib. The tribulations will be Gods judgement poured out on man, us Christians will not see that.

    As for the comment about us not deserving a pretrib because us "Christians" allow gays, bad video games, and so forth; okay we do deserve hell and suffering, but Jesus paid all that when He died on the cross. Also I am not one of those so called Christians who accept homosexuality, I only accept Gods Word, you need to focus on your life not the life of others.

  • eaglet October 22, 2015 at 5:02 PM

    SCRIPTURES THAT DESTROYED THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE DOCTRINE

    Revelation 21:1-2
    21 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
    2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

    Revelation 21:9-10
    9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
    10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

    Revelation 16:12-16
    12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared.
    13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.
    14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
    15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.
    16 And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon.

    To add more sense and logic to it without the twisting and the allegories:

    Revelation 16:17-19
    17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
    18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
    19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.

    Revelation 17:12-16
    1 And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters:

    BOOOM!!!! There you have it.


    YBIC,
    Eaglet - A former Pretribber

  • eaglet October 22, 2015 at 5:04 PM

    continued...

    The Bride will be snatch and stolen by the Thief right between the sixth vial judgement and the seventh vial judgement (Revelation 3:3, "Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.")

    A Thief in our secular understanding is someone who snatch or steal. In eschatology it has been abused to this understanding that a thief is someone who comes at a time we do not
    know. The most important characteristic of the Thief was ignored in light of the rapture mystery.

    The Revelation of Jesus Christ according to His own Word.

    God help us all in this very deceptive end times.

    YBIC,

    Eaglet

  • eaglet October 22, 2015 at 5:33 PM

    continued...

    In case you didn't get it, here is the reason why:

    It was the angel who holds the sixth bowl judgement that introduce the Bride to John. The Bride was raptured during his time of pouring the sixth bowl judgement. The keywords there is "Behold! I come as a Thief". It didn't said there " I WILL come as a Thief. A Thief is not just someone who comes at a time we do not know but more importantly he snatches and steals.

    The angel who holds the seventh bowl judgement in turn was the one who showed to John Great Babylon, The Whore, The Prostitute. So you see the principle here that whoever witnessed an event is the one who will be the most credible to testify of that event.

    Is it not fitting that after Jesus gets His Bride, He will now turn and deal with the Prostitute?

    If you still not agree, then ask Jesus why not Gabriel, Michael, or any other angel instead.

    YBIC,

    Eaglet

  • Shirley February 17, 2016 at 2:30 AM

    Warning. Do not laugh at what Christians are saying
    While they are safely in heaven who knows where the ones that laugh could be
    I pray you are spared brother.actually it's referred to as saved not spared.
    Bless you

  • Kire Cree February 17, 2016 at 5:53 PM

    The Pre-Wrath position places the Abomination of Desolation to early according to the writings of Daniel. This event is at the end of the 7 year period, There is a great new book on this topic it is called Roadmap to the Rapture and the End of the World: Finally: A Biblical View of the Rapture.

    Kire Cree ( www.graphshort.com )

  • Esther February 22, 2016 at 3:29 PM

    [This item, seen on the net, explains why one rapture view has been losing ground after certain facts have been uncovered.]

    How Pretribs Hijack Matt. 24 Etc. !

    by Dave MacPherson

    In a recent dream of mine I saw things that even John Bunyan didn't dream about in his "Pilgrim's Progress."
    I was walking down a remote dirt road and came by an old store with a sign that said "Second Coming Store - Established in 1830."
    I opened the door and spotted the elderly owner standing next to shelves covered with many bottles filled with liquids.
    "What are you selling?" I asked.
    "Second Coming perfume," he said.
    He quickly explained: "Our first and most popular perfume is called 'Rapture.' It doesn't have much substance but smells better than our other perfumes."
    "How was 'Rapture' invented?," I asked.
    He responded: "Well, the 'gather' in Matt. 24:31 was 'borrowed' in 1830 and when it was quietly transferred to a pretrib setting it became much more fragrant and 'Rapture' became its new name."
    I also noticed the other bottled perfumes.
    Evidently reading my mind, he explained that after "Rapture" came out in 1830, other perfumers realized they'd have to stretch forward other ingredients found in other parts of the Olivet Discourse in order to make "Rapture" even more acceptable.
    His other "Rapture"-supporting perfumes were in bottles labeled "Unknown Day & Hour," "One Taken & the Other Left," "Thief in the Night," and "His Elect" (Olivet Discourse "elect" was originally "Church" but later changed to "Israel").
    I wondered why the store owner didn't have some other Olivet Discourse perfumes like "Sun & Moon Darkening," "Falling Heavenly Stars," "Sudden Destruction," and "Jerusalem Touchdown" which could also be placed in a pretrib setting.
    He said: "I could never sell the four perfumes you just mentioned!"
    I asked: "Why not? They're in the same Discourse."
    He blushed and said: "Folks would smell a rat!"
    Well, I finally woke up from my dream. If you think my dream was just a dream, then you are dreaming!

  • Sharon May 5, 2016 at 7:38 AM

    I started reading this page to try to make sense of the book of Revelation. Then, after reading the comments, I realize that NOONE can make sense of it. The Church of Christ teaches that Revelations has already come to pass with the destruction of Jerusalem. A knowledgeable member of the C of C can explain all of these things, and they have already happened. I cannot make any sense at all about all the things you have written here.

  • Mark July 18, 2016 at 11:16 PM

    Before the flood the history books of Enoch,Jubilees, even Asher, I believe state that God had all the Saints die before Noah and his own were SAFELY in the Ark! The last saint to die was Methuselah. Then God shut the door and Judgement. Remember that Paul quoted some of these books in the Holy Scriptures! Example after example shows that God deals differently with the Church and Israel! The trigger for a one world government could be the rapture of the church.


    Ly

  • Margo Moore September 15, 2016 at 10:44 PM

    Those who are taken in the rapture are not "better" than anyone else; we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We are in a different position than unbelievers, because we have accepted Christ's sacrifice. We are in His hand, and no one can remove us from that secure place. We did not earn this place; God in His mercy offered us salvation through His Son, and at some point at our lives we recognized our need of a Savior, and accepted Him. There is one other point that I have heard and mentioned a lot lately, which seems unscriptural: to say that only those who are waiting for the rapture is to introduce a condition other than God's salvation. Many, many non-evangelical Christians were never taught about the rapture or even the end times; the social gospel was taught even in the 1950's (I was there!) and prophecy was scarcely ever mentioned. And what about the believers who sleep in death? What percentage of them had even heard of the rapture? Five percent? Two percent? I suspect that most of our ancestors never heard anyone preach about the rapture. We are warned not to sin (by drunkenness, in particular) and assume that Christ will come "someday" (but never today!). But if the believers in Christ who have died will be raised before the living, why would the living be held to a different standard. The transformation of all believers in Christ MUST come to us whether we believe in the rapture or not! The only qualification is that we are believers in Christ.

  • Lou October 10, 2016 at 11:22 PM

    Ready for an after-dinner mint? Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." BTW, the most accurate, documented, and highly praised book on the long hidden but now revealed 186-year-old history of the pretrib rapture view is journalist Dave MacPherson's "The Rapture Plot" - available by calling 800.643.4645.

  • eaglet January 24, 2017 at 6:30 PM

    Seal 1 - Preaching of the Gospel (Bow/Covenant) throughout the world from Ascension up to the end of the Great Tribulation

    Seal 2,3,4 - Wars and Rumors of Wars continued on; Economic Woes continued on; Death from Wars, Earthquakes, Famines, Calamities, and from Wild Beasts continued on from Ascension up to the end of the Great Tribulation

    Seal 5 - Persecution and martyrdom continued on from Stephen and up to the last martyr to be killed in the Great Tribulation

    Seal 6 - Great Tribulation, Bowls Judgement, Resurrection of the Dead in Christ and Rapture of the Alive in Christ, Second Advent

    Seal 7 - The Millennium, the Thousand Years of Peace on Earth, the Half Hour Silence in Heaven

    Trumpet Judgement happens at the end of the Millennium

    White Throne Judgement happens at the Seventh Trumpet Judgement.

    The Beast coming out of the bottomless pit; the time for judging the Dead; the Mystery of God shall be finished at the end of the Millennium

    The Mystery of God is Christ.

    God's plan of Salvation and Justice to mankind shall be made complete through His Son, Jesus Christ, at the White Throne Judgement, where death and sin will be destroyed, and all power, kingdom, and authority will be handed over to God, so that God will be all in all.

    It is at the end of the Millennium where transgression will be finished, and sins will be put to an end, and reconciliation for iniquity will be made, and everlasting righteousness will be brought in, and the vision and prophecy will be unsealed, and the Most Holy will be anointed. Daniel 9:24

    YBIC,

    eaglet

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  • Jerry Campbell March 9, 2017 at 8:40 AM

    When talking about the churcn and the rapture any essay that includes Matthew 24 and 25 is wrong. Lets rightly divide the word.

  • Lou March 13, 2017 at 10:19 PM

    [I found this item titled "Pretrib Rapture: how WHAT becomes WHEN" on Treena Gisborn's excellent blog "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing." Enjoy.]

    Certain rapture verses in the Bible are a WHATers paradise!
    WHATers can dazzle their audience with a lot of WHAT WHAT WHAT between Gen. 1:1 and Rev. 22:21 and, while you're not noticing, quickly sneak in their own WHEN of the rapture and ignore the Bible's WHEN!
    WHATers read all of the WHAT details in I Thess. 4:13-18, emphasize the "comfort one another" at the end, and say something like "What a comforting thought that the rapture can happen at any moment BEFORE the tribulation!"
    They often add: "It wouldn't be comforting if we had to face the Antichrist." (Maybe they believe a lighthouse wouldn't be comforting to sailors on a dark, stormy night but only when the sun is shining!)
    WHATers avoid the next chapter (I Thess. 5) which says that the rapture's "times and seasons" happen WHEN "sudden destruction" (the "destruction" part of the "day of the Lord") happens.
    (How can the wicked be destroyed before, or during, the time of their tribulational "reign"? Even their leader, the Antichrist, isn't destroyed until the trib's end!)
    Now look at I Cor. 15:51-54. WHATers have a blast with the first half. They dwell on "mystery," read "in a moment" as if it really means "AT ANY MOMENT," spend an inordinate amount of time explaining how fast the "twinkling of an eye" is, and try to prove that "last" (in "the last trump") doesn't really mean "last"!
    Seldom do WHATers dare to reveal WHEN we are changed into immortal bodies - but verse 54 dares to when it says our rapturous change occurs WHEN WHEN WHEN "Death is swallowed up" (same as "ended").
    Obviously the trib's time of death can't be ended before, or even during, the trib!
    And WHATers don't want you to realize that the "Death" quote is a paraphrase of Isa. 25:8 which even Scofield etc. agree is in a posttrib setting!
    II Thess. 1:6-10 is further proof that our rapture ("rest" in vs. 7) happens WHEN the wicked are destroyed - and not several years ahead of time!
    And Acts 2:34-35 and Acts 3:21 declare that Christ must stay in heaven UNTIL He comes down to earth to destroy the wicked (make them His "footstool") and restore "all things" - so how can He leave heaven ahead of time for a pretrib rapture?
    II Tim. 3:14 says we should "vet" our teachers ("knowing of whom thou hast learned them"). You can do this if you Google or Yahoo "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty."
    What I'm wondering is this: WHEN will everyone wake up and realize that a lot of WHAT will never take the place of WHEN?

  • Lou March 13, 2017 at 10:30 PM

    Treena Gisborn's UK blog recently aired "Good Fight Ministry's DVD Survives Paul Wilkinson's Attack!" by Dave MacPherson. The DVD (seen also on YouTube) is titled "Left Behind or Led Astray?" It will turn you inside out!

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