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Why I Left The Pre-Trib Position


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#1 Ukulelemike

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 01:18 PM

I wanted to start this post so as not to hijack another, and because some seem genuinely confused as to why an IFB pastor, particularly, would hold to what to them, (and to me once, as well) comes close to perhaps heresy or a departure of the faith.

 

Let me first say that despite how strongly we hold to such a doctrine, one way or the other, it is not what we might consider a fundamental, or it shouldn't be IMHO, and so, I have never seen it as a separation issue, though I know of some who do. I won't judge them-its between them and the Lord.

 

I was not raised IFB-it is something I turned to in my 20's. However, saved in a C&MA church and raised in various churches in my youth, one things they all agreed on was a pre-tribulation rapture position. So, since my youth this is what I believed.

 

Shorlty after I was married to my wife, back in about 2005-ish, my wife began to seriously question me concerning  the various positions on the timing of the catching away/rapture, whatever you want to call it. I explained to her all that I had ever been taught on the subject: The entire tribulation is the outpouring of God's wrath., so we won't go through it; it is for the Jews, the time of Jacob's trouble, so the church won't be there; Rev 4:1 seems to suggest the rapture as John sees a door open in heaven, (isn't Jesus called 'the door'?) and a voice that says "Come up hither", ( voice of the archangel?), so this must depict the rapture JUST before the tribulation is seen to begin; 1Thes 4  says, concerning the rapture, "Comfort one another with this', how can we find comfort in knowing we will go through great tribulation? And so on.

 

So, she began to lay out a pretty extensive argument both against the PreTR and for the PostT/PreWR Trib.  To go into it all, I haven't time. But I told her that, to make her happy, and because I want to please God before man, OR her, I would take what we have both said, and prayerfully study it out for myself. I took about a year looking it over in scripture and praying over it before I was finally willing to say that I had to agree with her. I knew I was taking a stand considerably different than 99% of other IFB's and might lost friends and associates over it, but I believed, as I do now, that pleasing God was more important. 

 

Some of what I found was, yes, Israel is the focus of the tribulation time. However, nowhere do we see that this must mean the church is not in existence. Jew have continued to live and thrive during the 'church age', and even with Israel being re-established as a nation, here we still are. The focus on them doesn't necessarily mean we can't be here any more-it is assumption, no more.

 

I have yet to hear anyone give a good explanation of what occurs in Rev 14:14. No, it isn't Jesus sitting on the church-we see Jesus in the clouds with a sickle, reaping His harvest. This takes place shortly after the seventh trumpet sounds, the last trumpet mentioned in scripture. We also see an angel shout to Him that the time has come.  Last trumpet, Jesus in the clouds, voice of an angel from the temple, (an archangel?). sounds like about all that is needed to match what occurs in 1Thes 4 return of Christ. NO, we don't see those who sleep in Christ coming with Him, but that doesn't mean they aren't there-it is the ONLY specific example we are given of Jesus reaping His harvest, and it is followed immediately by the outpouring of God's wrath. Apparently the entire tribulation is NOT God's wrath, because we see a specific time the wrath falls.  

 

I will continue when I have time. There's more! Please read, comment if you like, but again, this is not comprehensive, so no fights just yet.



#2 Steve Schwenke

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 02:18 PM

Mike.

Thank you for your transparency and honesty.

Revelation 6-19 - the church is not mentioned.  Let me rephrase that - the church as we know it is not mentioned.  Will there be churches there?  Sure, in the sense of the word "called out assembly."  Certainly there will be assemblies of believers scattered across the globe.  But the doctrine of the Trib and the Pauline epistles just does not match, no matter how much juggling we do.

 

Revelation 14:14-20 has absolutely nothing to do with any rapture.  It is the Second Coming of Christ, plain and simple.  We know this because of what happens in v. 20 - The Lord throws those vines into the winepress and tramples them out.  There is no "rapture" or catching away of any type in the passage.  It is a match to Revelation 19:11ff.

 

In Christ,



#3 Genevanpreacher

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 03:03 PM

One pastor I had years ago taught pre-wrath, he was also,previously, pre-trib. 

This will be interesting to follow!

Speak on!



#4 beameup

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 03:37 PM

I meet a lot of Christians that believe that Matthew 24 applies to them ("church").

 

And this gospel of the Kingdom must be preached in all the world for a witness, and then the end shall come.

 

We don't preach this gospel.  Peter preached this gospel to Israel.  Israelites will once again be preaching this in future.

 

I actually believe there will be a similar +/- 40 year transition period like the baptism of Jesus-70AD period.



#5 Ukulelemike

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:27 PM

Mike.

Thank you for your transparency and honesty.

Revelation 6-19 - the church is not mentioned.  Let me rephrase that - the church as we know it is not mentioned.  Will there be churches there?  Sure, in the sense of the word "called out assembly."  Certainly there will be assemblies of believers scattered across the globe.  But the doctrine of the Trib and the Pauline epistles just does not match, no matter how much juggling we do.

 

Revelation 14:14-20 has absolutely nothing to do with any rapture.  It is the Second Coming of Christ, plain and simple.  We know this because of what happens in v. 20 - The Lord throws those vines into the winepress and tramples them out.  There is no "rapture" or catching away of any type in the passage.  It is a match to Revelation 19:11ff.

Then why are there TWO reapings mentioned here? (see below).

 

 

In Christ,

14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.

15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.

16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped.  (Reaping Number One)

17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.

18And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.

19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. (Reaping Number Two)

 

We see here two very specific reapings-twice a sickle is thrust into the earth, and twice we see something reaped. In the case of that which Jesus reaped, we see notning said about what is done with them. In the case of the angel's reaping, we see them cast into the winepress of God's wrath. There is no way this can be construed as a single reaping-two reapers, two sickles, two thrustings, two reapings. One is believers, the other is unbelievers.

 

This is one of the areas where going to the Greek, despite so many arguments against it, makes it clearer. The word 'ripe' is used twice here-the harvest of Jesus is said to be ripe, and the ripeness it refers to is a dryness-for those who have farmed, we know that grains like wheat are ripe when they turn dry and brown. Believers are compared to wheat, as opposed to false believers who are tares.

The term for ripe in the reaping of the angel is self-evident: grapes, thus full and bursting with juice-all the better for throwing into a winepress. Sometimes it DOES help to look at the Greek. Not a huge advocate-but the reason I initially looked at it was because someone told me the very thing I just told you, and I didn't at first believe it, because the way he understood it was that these were worthless believers-he advocated godly believers being raptured pre-trib, and worthless believers being raptured after it. I do not believe that. But the words Do mean what they do-different sorts of ripe-one dry, one full of juice-so one wheat, believers, and one full-the lost, full of wickedness.

 

 



#6 Ukulelemike

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:29 PM

I meet a lot of Christians that believe that Matthew 24 applies to them ("church").

 

And this gospel of the Kingdom must be preached in all the world for a witness, and then the end shall come.

 

We don't preach this gospel.  Peter preached this gospel to Israel.  Israelites will once again be preaching this in future.

 

I actually believe there will be a similar +/- 40 year transition period like the baptism of Jesus-70AD period.

So Matt 28 doesn't apply to us, either? Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature? No? Not us?



#7 beameup

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:50 PM

Do missionaries preach the gospel of the Kingdom today?

 

Here is an example of Peter preaching the gospel concerning the gospel of the Kingdom:

Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out

when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord

and he shall send Jesus Christ which was before preached unto you

whom the heavens must receive until until the times of restitution of all things

which God hath spoken by the mouth of his prophets since the world began.

 

Note how they were expecting the Lord to soon return to set up his kingdom.

Millennium: "refreshing" the earth  and "restitution of all things"


Edited by beameup, 24 April 2014 - 04:53 PM.


#8 ASongOfDegrees

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:51 PM

The OP makes the mistake that because something isn't or shouldn't be a fundamental then it isn't that important. It's about believing the bible. This is why I prefer to be called a bible believer instead of a fundamentalist. 



#9 ASongOfDegrees

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 04:51 PM

 

This is one of the areas where going to the Greek, despite so many arguments against it, makes it clearer. 

 

 

Ugh...

 

The "believers" here are tribulation saints. The church is long gone.


Edited by ASongOfDegrees, 24 April 2014 - 05:08 PM.


#10 ASongOfDegrees

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:06 PM

Do missionaries preach the gospel of the Kingdom today?

 

Here is an example of Peter preaching the gospel concerning the gospel of the Kingdom:

Repent ye therefore and be converted that your sins may be blotted out

when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord

and he shall send Jesus Christ which was before preached unto you

whom the heavens must receive until until the times of restitution of all things

which God hath spoken by the mouth of his prophets since the world began.

 

Note how they were expecting the Lord to soon return to set up his kingdom.

Millennium: "refreshing" the earth  and "restitution of all things"

Brother, I agree it is doctrinally speaking of the kingdom gospel but there is no reason it cannot be spiritually applied to the church preaching the gospel of the grace of God. 



#11 LindaR

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:35 PM

I posted this link about a year ago in one of the rapture forums here on OB, but I am posting it again because it is a really good article:

 

It is called Pre-Wrath Confusion

 


The Pre-Wrath Rapture theory is set forth in the book, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church by Marvin Rosenthal (Thomas Nelson, 1990). This view may be summarized as follows:

 

The Rapture of the Church is not an imminent event (p. 292). It cannot take place today. It is impossible for the Lord Jesus to come for His Church today. The Rapture cannot take place next week, next month or next year. Indeed the Rapture cannot take place for at least four or five years [at the very earliest]. The Rapture will occur immediately prior to the Day of the Lord and the Day of the Lord will begin with the opening of the seventh seal (pp. 18,60,176). The Rapture will occur on the very day the Day of the Lord begins (p. 117). It will occur at the very outset of the Day of the Lord (p. 210).

 

Daniel’s 70th week (a period of seven years) contains three distinct time periods (p. 233): (1) The first is the "beginning of sorrows" which is the first 3½ years (p. 147). (2) The second is the "Great Tribulation" which begins in the middle of the 70th week [at the beginning of the last 3½ years]. The Great Tribulation is also called "the time of Jacob’s trouble" (pp. 74, 206). The Great Tribulation is man’s wrath against man, not God’s wrath (p. 105). The Great Tribulation is "cut short" and made less than 3½ years (pp. 108,109,112). (3)The third time period of Daniel’s 70th week is the Day of the Lord which is the time of God’s wrath. The Day of the Lord begins with the opening of the 7th seal (p. 26).

 

According to this view, the Day of the Lord must be clearly distinguished from the Great Tribulation. These two time periods are distinct and separate and do not overlap (p. 147). They both occur during the last 3½ years, beginning with the Great Tribulation and followed immediately by the Day of the Lord. It is uncertain when the Great Tribulation ends and when the Day of the Lord begins because no man knows the day or the hour (Matt. 24:36). The Day of the Lord will commence sometime within the second half of the 70th week (p. 60). How long will the Day of the Lord last? It will end at the end of the 70th week. The uncertainty involves when it will begin. It will begin "long before the end of the 70th week" (p. 153). The Day of the Lord will begin "a considerable period of time before the 70th week ends" (p. 248). The Day of the Lord must be longer than five months because the 5th trumpet judgment alone is said to last five months (Rev. 9:1,5 and see p. 153) and the trumpet judgments take place during the Day of the Lord. The Day of the Lord will immediately follow the Rapture of the Church, which according to this theory is described in Matthew 24:31.

 

The Church will be on earth when the Antichrist makes a treaty with Israel which marks the beginning of the 70th week. The Church must enter the 70th week (p. 19, 137). The Church must pass through all of the first 3½ years. Indeed, the Church must be on earth during a significant part of the second half of the 70th week (p. 138). The Church must be on earth during the entire period called the Great Tribulation ("the time of Jacob’s trouble") and will not be Raptured until after the Great Tribulation is over, but immediately prior to the Day of the Lord. Thus Church saints must be on earth to decide if they will accept the mark of Antichrist (p. 36) and they must be willing to suffer and die for Christ, if necessary, under the persecution of the Antichrist (p. 34). The true Church will be on earth when the Antichrist is personally present, empowered by Satan (Rev. 13:4), demanding that the world bow down and worship him (p. 137). Thus the Church will be present on earth "during a significant part of the 70th week of Daniel" (p. 138). The great multitude from every nation described in Revelation 7 is the raptured Church (p. 184-185).

 

The first four seal judgments (Rev. 6) take place during the "beginning of sorrows" and the 5th seal takes place during the Great Tribulation (p. 147, and see Rosenthal’s chart published in Zion’s Hope, 1990). During the Day of the Lord the Trumpet judgments take place, but not the bowl judgments (p. 147). The bowl judgments are not poured out until after the 70th week of Daniel during the 30 additional days mentioned in Daniel 12:11. The seal judgments involve the wrath of unregenerate men whereas the trumpet and bowl judgments involve the wrath of God (pp. 34-35, 145). The Day of the Lord is not the time of God’s wrath in its totality because the Day of the Lord includes the trumpet judgments but not the bowl judgments. The bowl judgments take place after the Day of the Lord during the 30 days which follow Daniel’s 70th week. Thus, the seal judgments and the bowl judgments are not part of the Day of the Lord; only the trumpet judgments take place during this time.  [I have a letter on file from Marvin J. Rosenthal (April 11, 1991) confirming that I have presented his position accurately.]

 

Pre-Wrath Confusion

 


Edited by LindaR, 24 April 2014 - 05:46 PM.


#12 prophet1

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:48 PM

I meet a lot of Christians that believe that Matthew 24 applies to them ("church").

And this gospel of the Kingdom must be preached in all the world for a witness, and then the end shall come.

We don't preach this gospel. Peter preached this gospel to Israel. Israelites will once again be preaching this in future.

I actually believe there will be a similar +/- 40 year transition period like the baptism of Jesus-70AD period.

Show me 'Israelites preaching the Gospel in the future' in Scripture.

Anishinaabe



#13 prophet1

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:53 PM

14And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle.
15And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.
16And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (Reaping Number One)
17And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
18And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe.
19And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. (Reaping Number Two)

We see here two very specific reapings-twice a sickle is thrust into the earth, and twice we see something reaped. In the case of that which Jesus reaped, we see notning said about what is done with them. In the case of the angel's reaping, we see them cast into the winepress of God's wrath. There is no way this can be construed as a single reaping-two reapers, two sickles, two thrustings, two reapings. One is believers, the other is unbelievers.

This is one of the areas where going to the Greek, despite so many arguments against it, makes it clearer. The word 'ripe' is used twice here-the harvest of Jesus is said to be ripe, and the ripeness it refers to is a dryness-for those who have farmed, we know that grains like wheat are ripe when they turn dry and brown. Believers are compared to wheat, as opposed to false believers who are tares.
The term for ripe in the reaping of the angel is self-evident: grapes, thus full and bursting with juice-all the better for throwing into a winepress. Sometimes it DOES help to look at the Greek. Not a huge advocate-but the reason I initially looked at it was because someone told me the very thing I just told you, and I didn't at first believe it, because the way he understood it was that these were worthless believers-he advocated godly believers being raptured pre-trib, and worthless believers being raptured after it. I do not believe that. But the words Do mean what they do-different sorts of ripe-one dry, one full of juice-so one wheat, believers, and one full-the lost, full of wickedness.

You use Greek, I'll use Daniel:
Dan 12:1-2
Chapter 12
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time:and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Two reapings.
One Saved, One lost.

Not Rocket Science.



Anishinaabe



#14 prophet1

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:58 PM

I meet a lot of Christians that believe that Matthew 24 applies to them ("church").

And this gospel of the Kingdom must be preached in all the world for a witness, and then the end shall come.

We don't preach this gospel. Peter preached this gospel to Israel. Israelites will once again be preaching this in future.

I actually believe there will be a similar +/- 40 year transition period like the baptism of Jesus-70AD period.


Rev 14:6
6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,

....and then the end shall come...



Anishinaabe



#15 prophet1

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 05:59 PM

Ugh...

The "believers" here are tribulation saints. The church is long gone.

Scripture, please, that shows "the church" is gone.

You may well believe this, but you're saying it doesn't make it so.
Anishinaabe

Edited by prophet1, 24 April 2014 - 06:12 PM.


#16 Ukulelemike

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:20 PM

I posted this link about a year ago in one of the rapture forums here on OB, but I am posting it again because it is a really good article:

 

It is called Pre-Wrath Confusion

Can't say I agree with all of it. Man makes his theories, and his doctrines, outlines everything in a nice, neat package and sells it as Bible-but the Bible, particularly on this subject/subjects, (as there is a lot to it), is not really that cut and dry in scripture. There is nowhere in scrioture that says, "And Jesus returned in exactly this manner at this point". So there is a lot of room for conjecture, which is why I always say that I have room to be proven wrong. I have not yet been, though. Most of the arguments, (the church won't be here, the influence of the Spirit will be gone, etc) are conjecture built on very shaky grounds. Someone who letteth WILL be taken out of the way, but the Bible says nowehre that it will be the Spirit of God. It is assumed the church will be gone because the Bible doesn't mention the church after Rev 6, but that could also be because the primary focus is Israel and the rest of the lost, not the church. That does not mean we won't be here. People who lived on  what would be the American continents are never mentioned anywhere in scripture-it doesn't mean they didn't exist, just that the focus wasn't on them.



#17 Genevanpreacher

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:33 PM

Can't say I agree with all of it. Man makes his theories, and his doctrines, outlines everything in a nice, neat package and sells it as Bible-but the Bible, particularly on this subject/subjects, (as there is a lot to it), is not really that cut and dry in scripture. There is nowhere in scrioture that says, "And Jesus returned in exactly this manner at this point". So there is a lot of room for conjecture, which is why I always say that I have room to be proven wrong. I have not yet been, though. Most of the arguments, (the church won't be here, the influence of the Spirit will be gone, etc) are conjecture built on very shaky grounds. Someone who letteth WILL be taken out of the way, but the Bible says nowehre that it will be the Spirit of God. It is assumed the church will be gone because the Bible doesn't mention the church after Rev 6, but that could also be because the primary focus is Israel and the rest of the lost, not the church. That does not mean we won't be here. People who lived on  what would be the American continents are never mentioned anywhere in scripture-it doesn't mean they didn't exist, just that the focus wasn't on them.

 

Interesting info - I heard this once years ago - JerUSAlem. I thought it kinda cool.



#18 Genevanpreacher

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:34 PM

You use Greek, I'll use Daniel:
Dan 12:1-2
Chapter 12
1 And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people:and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time:and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.
2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.

Two reapings.
One Saved, One lost.

Not Rocket Science.



Anishinaabe

 

I agree, there can be two reapings at the same instant. The tares are said to be with us til separation time.



#19 Genevanpreacher

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:42 PM

Brother, I agree it is doctrinally speaking of the kingdom gospel but there is no reason it cannot be spiritually applied to the church preaching the gospel of the grace of God. 

 

I don't think 'spiritual' application applies when it comes to telling facts about what is, what will, and what has happened.

'Kingdom' Gospel? I have heard of this!

Assuming God has anything special for the 'nation' of Israel, I understand what could be 'taken' from this phrase, but we are all one now through Jesus Christ, and God is no respecter of persons?

What kingdom are we talking about here? Heaven, the New Jerusalem? Isn't the City Jerusalem brought down and sat on the earth when it is made new?

Why does there have to be two kingdoms? Is not Jesus Christ King of Kings? And Our ONLY Lord?

Seriously asked.

 

And in Daniel, are not we reigning with Christ in some of those dreams Daniel had? Where does it separate us from Jews/Israel in those dreams/visions?

Are we not all believers, and the same 'bride'?

 

Surely Jesus Christ does not get two wives!!


Edited by Genevanpreacher, 24 April 2014 - 06:50 PM.


#20 Genevanpreacher

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Posted 24 April 2014 - 06:47 PM

And, hello? What Gospel did Paul preach that was different than the Gospel the Lord Jesus preached? And Peter?

Please enlighten me.  :allears:  I am all ears!


Edited by Genevanpreacher, 24 April 2014 - 06:48 PM.





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