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Pre-Tribulation vs. Post-Tribulation Rapture


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#1 pastortotten

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 01:00 AM

This debate is now over. Thank you all who participated in this civil and informative debate. -BroMatt

Greetings to you, my friends in Jesus.

Welcome to a discussion about Pre- vs. Post-Tribulation Rapture.

I want everyone to remember that concerning the "rapture" (Christians being "caught up" in 1 Thess.4:15-17), intelligent and godly Bible students disagree whether it will occur before (pre-) or after (post-) the tribulation period. --But regardless, the rapture issue is not a matter of "heresy" vs. "orthodoxy" --(as holding to the fundamentals of the faith is)-- but it's more on the level of discussing head-coverings in church. I hold to the biblical fundamentals. -- The teaching of the rapture's timing is not worth disrupting fellowship between Christians. The chief task given to us, the Church, is to evangelize the lost world --who couldn't care less about the placement or timing of the rapture in relation to the tribulation (unless it is to mock us because it hasn't happened). --And you all mean more to me than this discussion. I'm not in this to "win" ...but mainly to help everybody learn and understand the scriptural viewpoints. - - - So, on to first issues:

Hermeneutics (how to understand & interpret the Bible):

1. A reader should initially take everything in the Bible in its normal ("literal") sense, like any piece of explanatory informative literature. We should try to understand the writing in the very same way in which we honestly think the writer intended his original audience to take it.

2. Every verse should be taken in its immediate context. -- The nearby verses are usually more relevant to each other than verses further-away; also, verses (or word-usage) on a topic by the same human writer are often more closely related than verses (or word-usage) by a different human writer.

3. Clear, direct and explicit statements of scripture take precedence over unclear and implied ideas (e.g. theological "systems") which a reader might impose on the text. -- This basic perspective on how to properly interpret the Bible, is very much in accord with the statement: "When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense."

-- I completely accept the Textus Receptus/KJV in all discussions about the 2nd Coming, --and I also feel free to clarify what the Greek wording means in any verses I use.

Opening Statement:

I am personally convinced that the Bible teaches that the Rapture (the 1Thess.4:16-17 catching-up of believers to meet Christ in the air) occurs immediately after the great tribulation (whether 7 or 3 1/2 years long), at the start of the 1000-year millennium, as Jesus comes at his glorious 2nd Coming. I feel this is the most clear and direct teaching of the Bible.

The Post-trib rapture position is the oldest, and the "classical" position of Christianity (1950 years old) --held by the "fathers" of the early church, ...and all of them who wrote about it said we Christians would face Antichrist. -- But the Pre-trib position is a new-comer in Church-history, and did not exist before about 170 years ago.

Now, concerning the Rapture, the following scriptural facts should be realized:

No passage ANYwhere in the entire Bible explicitly (directly and clearly) puts right before (or at the start of) the tribulation a single one of the constituent parts (events) that make up the rapture --namely:

1. a "coming" of Christ (or him descending from heaven),
2. a resurrection of the saints (...or church or believers resurrected)
3. a translation of the saints ("translation" means: bodies are changed & glorified)
4. a "gathering" up of believers (gathered up, for example, by angels)
5. a catching-up (or rapture) of the saints (believers)
6. or, a reception of the just-raptured saints (...specifically in heaven)

As exemplified in the above list, the teaching of a pre-tribulational rapture is built virtually entirely on implication (reading "between the lines"), but not on direct and explicit statements in the Bible.

---On the other hand, the New Testament does tell us explicitly and directly that :

1. Christ will come again just after the great tribulation ( Mat.24:29-30)
2. saints will be raised from the dead just before the millennium (Rev.20:4)
3. and, the elect will be gathered up right after the tribulation. (...see Mat.24:29-31).
4. Everybody agrees that the rapture occurs at the Lord's "coming," (1Thes.4:15-17) --but when is the Lord's "coming" in relation to the tribulation? ...The New Testament only explicitly states that the Lord will "come" back to earth right after the tribulation (see Mat.24), but never that he will come just before it.

These are some raw, basic scriptural facts.

The whole pre-trib view rests virtually entirely on ideas which imply that view (such as the difference between Israel and Church) -- but never on verses which directly state it by putting its parts together (esp. - Christ's coming, believer's resurrection, rapture, then tribulation).

Because of being more explicit and direct, the post-trib position is the "strong" scriptural position --the "classic" position.

--Still, I respect in the Lord those who hold the pre-trib view. ---And with developments in the Middle-East and elsewhere around the world, I suspect that many of us shall find out in our life-times who is right in this regard.

Blessings in Christ, - Pastor Totten

#2 Pastorj

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Posted 01 December 2006 - 12:30 PM

Calvary and I will be representing the Pre-Tribulation Rapture position, which is also the official position of the Online Baptist Forum. There are a number of things that we agree with Pastor Totten on. We agree that there are good men who hold to both positions and that it is not necessary to separate over this issue. We also agree that the chief task given to us is to evangelize the lost world. Calvary, Pastor Totten, and I have agreed to keep this debate in a civilized manner. We have also agreed that when we get to a position where we must agree to disagree, the debate will be over. We agree that this is not about winning or losing, but about showing a clear presentation of when the rapture will occur.

As to Hermeneutics, We agree completely on the issue of Hermeneutics and therefore there is no need to debate in this area.

Opening Statement: (Rebuttal of Pastor Totten‚??s Opening)

Just as Pastor Totten is conviced of a Post-Tribulation Rapture, We are also equally convinced that the Bible teaches that the Rapture (the 1Thess.4:16-17 catching-up of believers to meet Christ in the air) occurs prior to the great tribulation. We would also hold that the Rapture and the 2nd Coming (which takes place just prior to the Millennium) are two different aspects of the second advent. We believe that Scripture, when taken in it‚??s entirety will prove this out.

Now, concerning the Rapture, the following scriptural facts should be realized:

The post tribulation side would have you believe that: ‚??No passage ANYwhere in the entire Bible explicitly (directly and clearly) puts right before (or at the start of) the tribulation a single one of the constituent parts (events) that make up the rapture ‚??namely‚?Ě

There are indeed numerous passages of Scripture that are clear and direct along with suggestive of a Pre-trib rapture. We will get into these passages a little later.

As to the verses that ‚??Explicitly and directly‚?Ě show a post tribulation rapture. The post tribulation side has given 3 primary passages that they claim show a post tribulation rapture: Matt. 24, 1 Thes. 4:15-17, and Rev. 20:4. Throughout this debate we will show that even these Scriptures will show that the Christ will return first for his church (Rapture) and then with the saints (2nd Coming).

Let‚??s get started:
Rev 20:4 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 worshiped 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.

This verse is dealing with tribulation saints who refused to take the mark of the beast.

1 Thes. 4:15-17 ‚?? Everyone does not agree that the Rapture is at the Lord‚??s coming. Scripture shows that the 2nd coming has two aspects to it: The rapture and the return of Christ. Since we will be using this passage to show a pre-trib rapture, I will discuss further later.

Matt. 24 ‚?? This is the most difficult passage to deal with regarding a pre-trib and post-trib rapture. The Post tribulation side has stated the following which the pre-trib side would agree with. However, these verses are not dealing with the Rapture, they are dealing with the second coming of Christ.

1. Christ will come again just after the great tribulation (Mat.24:29-30)
3. and, the elect will be gathered up right after the tribulation. (...see Mat.24:29-31).


Arguments for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture:
In order to better understand the passages in question, one must begin by understanding the purpose of the tribulation. There are numerous reasons for the Tribulation, but here are a few:

1. To judge a Christ-rejecting world (Rev. 15:1; 16:1; 19:15)
2. Reveal Satan's Character (Rev. 12:7-12)
3. Demonstrate how much man's sinful heart can imagine and do (Rev. 16:8-11,21)
4. Humble Israel (Jer. 30:7-9; Zech 12:9-14:5)
5. See people saved
a. Early martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11)
b. 144,000 Jews (Rev. 7:1-8)
c. Many Gentiles (Rev. 7:9-17)
d. Two witnesses (Rev. 11:2-14)

As we look at the book of Revelation, we see the key verse of Revelation: Rev 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

Notice the book is divided into three parts: The things seen (Past-Ch. 1, The things which are ‚?? Church age-ch. 2-3, and the things which shall be hereafter ‚?? Future-ch. 4-22)

With this in mind, we look at Rev. Chapter 4:1
Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter.

I would like to draw your attention to two things in this verse. First the voice as it were of a trumpet and then the phrase ‚??Come up hither‚?Ě.

1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

When comparing Rev. 4:1 to 1 Thes. 4:16-17 you will see the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. You also see that the saints are rising to meet Christ. As John said in Revelation ‚??Come up hither‚?Ě.
1Co 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
1Co 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1Co 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

As we add to the previous passages 1 Cor. 15:51-52 we will again see the trumpet of God, the dead raising, and we (those which are alive and remain) be changed.

When Comparing Matt. 24 we see a number of distinctions between
When we add to this the OT pictures of the rapture and the Book of Daniel. We can only conclude that the Rapture is to occur prior to the Tribulation

Here are some distinctions between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming:
1 Translation of all believers - No translation at all
2 Translated saints go to heaven - Translated saints return to heaven earth
3 Earth not judged - Earth judged & righteousness established
4 Imminent, any-moment, - Follows definite predicted signs including tribulation
5 Not in the Old Testament - Predicted often in Old Testament
6 Believers only - Affects all men
7 Before the day of wrath - Concluding the day of wrath
8 No reference to Satan - Satan bound
9 Christ comes for His own - Christ comes with His own
10 He comes in the air - He comes to the earth
11 He claims His bride - He comes with His bride
12 Only His own see Him - Every eye shall see Him
13 Tribulation begins - Millennial Kingdom begins

This is not exhaustive, but for the sake of time, we have condensed our thoughts as best as possible.

#3 pastortotten

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 02:59 AM

Hello, dear saints.

Some answers to questions raised about specific verses:

Rev. 20:4-6 ---

You are right, these verses do specifically refer to the resurrection of tribulational martyred saints.
-- The reason I brought up these verses, is because they explicitly place the resurrection of some blood-bought saints at the beginning of the millennium, which is what the post-trib view requires.

--And there are verses which explicitly place belivers' resurrection just after the tribulation:
-- Daniel 12:1-3,13 puts resurrection of saints just after tribulation, right where post-tribbers need it.
--- And Jesus said that the raising of "all that the Father has given me" --which obviously includes the Church-- will take place "on the last day" (John 6:39,40,44,54; 11:24) ...where the "last day" refers to the last day of this present age ...the "day" when the 2nd Coming of Christ occurs (Luke 17:24; 2Thess.2:2).
--- All of this supports the view of post-trib resurrection & rapture. Resurrection and rapture occur together.

What Pre-Trib Needs:

What the pre-trib view needs is any verse(s) which explicitly puts the resurrection of any group of blood-bought saints immediately before (or at the start of) the tribulation.
--- This is because the resurrection of the dead in Christ will immediately precede the rapture (according to 1Thess.4:16-17). A resurrection of saints occurs with the rapture, and pre-trib needs some verse(s) to place believers' resurrection at the pre-trib time.

Up to this point, the pre-trib resurrection of believers is only stated to be so, but not shown from scripture.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 ---

In this passage, vs.15 specifically names "the coming of the Lord" as the occasion on which believers will be resurrected and raptured. --- So, whoever might hypothetically disagree that the rapture occurs at the same time as "the coming of the Lord," either does not know this scripture, or is able to mentally rationalize a way to deny direct statements of the Word of God.

Mattew 24:21,29-31 ---

I sympathize that this is one of the "most difficult" passages to deal with for the pre-trib position, ---however, it is one of the best passages for the post-trib position, because Christ's "coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory" is mentioned right along with "the great sound of a trumpet" (see 1Cor.15:51-52) and the angels "gather together" Christ's elect "from the four winds", which is an excellent description of the rapture (see 1Thess.4:15-17).
-- These verses are exactly what the post-trib position requires: Christ's glorious coming, along with the gathering (rapture) of the saints.

What Pre-Trib Needs:

--- What the pre-trib position needs, is any verse(s) which explicitly puts
(1) a coming of Christ just before the tribulation, and
(2) the sound of the heavenly trumpet just before the tribulation, and
(3) a resurrection of saints just before the tribulation, and
(4) a "gathering together" --a rapture-- just before the tribulation.
-- We understand that the pre-trib view posits a "preliminary aspect" of Christ's 2nd Coming just prior to the tribulation, but as a result, the pre-trib view needs a verse to mention Christ's "coming" at that pre-trib point. To merely imply --or to keep insisting-- that it must be there, falls short of actual evidence from scripture.

Reasons for the Tribulation --
I see your "reasons" for the Tribulation, and the Post-tribulationist basically would agree with those reasons.

Revelation 4:1 ---

With this verse, the pre-trib position would like to imply that this "Come up hither" is speaking of the rapture of the Church --but is this a good handling of scripture?
-- Let's deal with some questions about this:
1 - Who is speaking here in 4:1, when he says "After this I looked" ?
2 - Who is called up to heaven?
3 - When does this event occur?
4 - So, what is this speaking of?

Answers:
1 - John the apostle is speaking.
2 - John is called up to heaven.
3 - This occurred 2000 years ago.
4 - This speaks of John being caught up ‚??in the spirit‚?Ě (v.2) into ‚??heaven‚?Ě to receive a supernatural revelation of things to come ‚??hereafter.‚?Ě -- "Hereafter" speaks of things happening after John's revelations 2000 years ago.

--- Rev. 4:1 is talking about John, not the whole Church, and this passage doesn't hint that John somehow even symbolizes all the saints, so we have no right to imply it.
--- "Come up hither" is spoken to the two witnesses during the tribulation (Rev.11:12)... but again, we do not have the liberty to imply that this means a large number of saints will be raptured at this time. -- To be consistent, the pre-tribber must call for another rapture at this point as well. - (And there are a couple of other places).
--- And, more seriously, John does not stay in heaven after the vision in Rev.4:1, but he takes an earthly viewpoint again ---therefore, does this mean that the Church comes back down? ...No.
--- And John is called back and forth several times from earthly viewpoint, to heavenly viewpoint, and then back to earth again ---which also should not be construed to mean various raptures of many saints.

I see your "distinctions between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming" --however, some of these things are precisely what has not been directly and clearly shown from scripture (as I've explained). Other issues will take separate sections, so perhaps we should take them up more individually.

Blessings to you all in the Lord! - R. Totten

#4 Pastorj

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Posted 02 December 2006 - 11:39 PM

1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 ---

So, whoever might hypothetically disagree that the rapture occurs at the same time as "the coming of the Lord," either does not know this scripture, or is able to mentally rationalize a way to deny direct statements of the Word of God.



I will not accept this type of characterization in a debate. As stated privately, this debate will stick to Scripture or it will be over. We will not characterize people with different views in this fashion.

Reasons for the Tribulation --
I see your "reasons" for the Tribulation, and the Post-tribulationist basically would agree with those reasons.



I am glad that you agree with the reasons for the tribulation. If you will notice that none of the reasons had to do with the church because the church is no longer there.

Revelation 4:1 ---

I agree with your analysis of who is speaking, but it is most certainly a picture of what is to come.

I see your "distinctions between the Rapture and the 2nd Coming" --however, some of these things are precisely what has not been directly and clearly shown from scripture (as I've explained). Other issues will take separate sections, so perhaps we should take them up more individually.



We will give you specific references for these shortly.



Let‚??s start with what we agreed upon in my last post. We agreed on the purpose of the tribulation
1. To judge a Christ-rejecting world (Rev. 15:1; 16:1; 19:15)
2. Reveal Satan's Character (Rev. 12:7-12)
3. Demonstrate how much man's sinful heart can imagine and do (Rev. 16:8-11,21)
4. Humble Israel (Jer. 30:7-9; Zech 12:9-14:5)
5. See people saved
a. Early martyrs (Rev. 6:9-11)
b. 144,000 Jews (Rev. 7:1-8)
c. Many Gentiles (Rev. 7:9-17)
d. Two witnesses (Rev. 11:2-14)

Let‚??s discuss this further
1. To Judge a Christ-rejecting world. Let‚??s look at Rev. 3:10

‚??Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.‚?Ě

Notice the church is being kept from the hour of tribulation. John makes a distinction in this verse between the church and those that dwell on the earth. This same phrase is used in Ch. 6:10; 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14; 14:6 and 17:8. Notice in all of these passages there is a distinction between those on the earth and those who are now in heaven (OT Saints and the Church).

We also see in this verse the word try. The word ‚??try‚?Ě according to Thayer means ‚??of God: to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character and the steadfastness of his faith‚?Ě. A reference to the Tribulation in which the church will not be present.

4. To Humble Israel
Scripture makes a clear distinction between Israel and the Church. The tribulation is referred to in Jer. 30:7 as a time of Jacob‚??s trouble.

Jer 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it.

As stated and agreed upon, one of the purposes of the Tribulation is to humble Israel. Since she rejected Christ when he came the first time, she must be prepared for the return of Christ.

Mal 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD:
Mal 4:6 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Since the church will be presented without spot or wrinkle, there is no need for the church to be humbled or prepared for the return of Christ
Eph 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

If we can agree that the church is the body and bride of Christ, then we can move on to showing that the church will not be part of the tribulation and therefore must be raptured out prior to the tribulation as stated in the verses I gave you in my prior post.

#5 pastortotten

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 01:07 AM

My friend, PastorJ,

Hey, my apologies. --I didn't mean that personally at all (as we agreed). --I just meant that all the pre- and post-tribbers (and even mid-tribbers) that I've talked to (or that I have read their books on the subject) agree that the rapture is directly linked to the Lord's 2nd coming, even if the rapture is part of a "preliminary phase" of the 2nd Coming.

-- When you said the following:

1 Thes. 4:15-17 ‚?? Everyone does not agree that the Rapture is at the Lord‚??s coming.


...I thought this didn't refer to your own position at all, but only to some hypothetical individuals who might not know or understand the verse.

It's still my impression that you yourself solidly link the Rapture to the Lord's 2nd coming (even if it is a "phase"), in light of 1 Thess.4 especially.

Anyway, sorry about that.

. . . I'll respond on the actual topic later.

Blessings, - R Totten

#6 Pastorj

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Posted 03 December 2006 - 07:42 AM

Not a problem. I do believe that the Rapture and 2nd coming are two aspects of the return of Christ. It is phrases like "if you don't agree on this, then you must be...." that I don't care for. Whether it is dealing with me or anyone else.

#7 pastortotten

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 01:58 AM

My worthy brothers, the pre-trib defenders, have been asked for (but have not provided) verses which explicitly and specifically put the rapture just before the tribulation --or put there any of its parts (namely, a "coming" of Christ, a resurrection of saints, a catching up of saints, a transforming of saints, or a reception of just-raptured saints in heaven).

Lacking this, we now move on to scriptures which are thought to clearly imply that a pre-trib rapture must be the case.

Revelation 3:10 --

--The first scripture offered is Revelation 3:10, which says, "Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth."
--The question is: To whom does this apply?

In the Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, seven local churches located in seven cities are addressed by the Lord. --This scripture is spoken to "the Church in Philadelphia" (Rev. 3:7), and might conceivably indicate a pre-trib removal of the church if the Church in Philadelphia stood for the generation right before the beginning of the tribulation.

--However, if you take this portion of Scripture in its most straight-forward and normal (literal) way, then the Lord Jesus is talking to a specific local church in Philadelphia (Asia Minor --in today's Turkey) in 96 A.D. --not speaking specifically to some future generation of the church.

In commenting about this passage, Dr. Wilbur M. Smith writes that the interpretation which says these seven churches represent seven successive periods of church history "will reveal confusion upon confusion." (Wycliffe Bible Commentary "Revelation", W.Smith, Moody Press). This is because those seven churches do not match the periods of the history of the Church very well.

--And the most damaging part of this "historical periods" interpretation to the pre-trib view is the fact that since there are some spiritually victorious "overcomers" in the seventh church --the Laodicean "church" (Rev.3:21)-- this would be proof that the Church will be present on earth in the tribulation (since the sixth church --the Philadelphian church-- was presumably the raptured church).

Also, if the Philadelphian church is the raptured generation, then the "lukewarm" church of Laodicea would be the "great multitude" of tribulation saints (Rev.7:9,14)... a conflicting thought. --And, again, this scenario fits quite poorly, because the tribulational saints are fervent, "faithful" witnesses who have "faith in Jesus" (Rev. 14:12), who are "washed in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14), and many of them lay down their lives for Christ and "die in the Lord" (14:13). So, the tribulation saints can't be reasonably described as "lukewarm." --I would rather say, that those seven churches are primarily ancient history in 96 A.D., and that they are then secondarily, perhaps, representative of different kinds of churches (& individual Christians) during any given year down through all the centuries leading up to the end.

Concerning the words "keep from" in Rev.3:10, the word "from" is a translation of the Greek word "ek", which actually means "out from within" a place. In the Greek-English Lexicon by Bauer Arndt & Gingrich, they say that "ek" is used "of situations and circumstances out of which someone is brought" ...and they even cite Rev.3:10 as an example. Because of this, we should recognize that (if this verse did speak about the tribulation) the church must be "within" the tribulation, in order to be brought out at a later time. ---A.T. Robertson, in his Greek Grammar, agrees that the meaning of the Greek word "ek" is "out from within", ---as do Dana & Mantey in their Greek Grammar (p.102).

Concerning the word "keep," ...it is a translation of the Greek word "tere'o", which means "to guard" or "protect". This word conveys the idea of guarding and protecting from danger that is surrounding or nearby in the area. If the church is in heaven, then such "guarding" or "protecting" of the church makes little sense, because there is no nearby danger in heaven. ---If we consider putting the two words, together, then we have the meaning conveyed that the Lord will "guard" and "protect" these believers from nearby danger until they are "out from having been within" the tribulation.

There's only one other verse in the N.T. that uses the above two Greek words ("tere'o" and "ek") together, and it is John 17:15. --In that verse, Jesus praying, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep ("tere'o") them from ("ek") the evil". ---So, in the only other place where these two words occur together in the N.T., Jesus considers the guarding and keeping work of God to be sufficient without removing believers from the world ...and he specifically says so!

All of this makes clear that though Christians will suffer, they will be guarded spiritually if not physically.

The Distinction Between Israel and the Church:

Post-tribbers agree that there is a clear distinction here, and it is seen mainly in the fact that every single individual who is truly part of the body of Christ (the Church in Eph. 1:22-23) is saved and destined for heaven. In contradistinction to that, in the case of Israel, we must see

The Distinction Between Israel and Israel:

In the people of Israel, some are saved and some are not. This is what the apostle Paul refers to when he says: "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" (Rom. 9:6), that is, "They which are children of the flesh, these are not the children of God. The apostle Paul (who is saved) writes that he has "continual sorrow of heart" about his "kinsmen according to the flesh" --which is the Israelites" (Rom. 9:2-4). He has this sorrow because many of them are not saved, due to the rejection of their Messiah, Jesus... and Paul desires and prays "that they might be saved" (Ro. 10:1).
-- However, this dire picture is not the case for all of Israel. Paul asks, "Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite..." (Ro. 11:1). --Paul, who is part of the Church, is clearly part of Israel. So, part of Israel is saved, and God reserves for himself a saved "remnant" (Ro. 11:5).
-- The place where Israel and the Church overlap is with the saved Jews only. The rest of Israel will be lost.

Jacob's Trouble: -- Yes, we read in Jer. 30:7 about "Jacob's trouble," which will come on unbelieving Israel, in order to turn them to God. This particular "trouble" does not focus on anyone else.

The Church: -- I agree, of course, that it is the body and the bride of Christ.

Blessings to you all, - R. Totten

#8 Pastorj

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 10:35 AM

My worthy brothers, the pre-trib defenders, have been asked for (but have not provided) verses which explicitly and specifically put the rapture just before the tribulation --or put there any of its parts (namely, a "coming" of Christ, a resurrection of saints, a catching up of saints, a transforming of saints, or a reception of just-raptured saints in heaven).



I have given you 3 references dealing with the rapture of saints prior to the tribulation. I will discuss them further in my next post.

Revelation 3:10 --

In the Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, seven local churches located in seven cities are addressed by the Lord. --This scripture is spoken to "the Church in Philadelphia" (Rev. 3:7), and might conceivably indicate a pre-trib removal of the church if the Church in Philadelphia stood for the generation right before the beginning of the tribulation.

--However, if you take this portion of Scripture in its most straight-forward and normal (literal) way, then the Lord Jesus is talking to a specific local church in Philadelphia (Asia Minor --in today's Turkey) in 96 A.D. --not speaking specifically to some future generation of the church. I would rather say, that those seven churches are primarily ancient history in 96 A.D., and that they are then secondarily, perhaps, representative of different kinds of churches (& individual Christians) during any given year down through all the centuries leading up to the end.



In the church age calendar, the Philadelphia and the Laodicean church are both present through to the Rapture (Pre-Tribulation). Which describes the current age we are in. An age of lukewarm Christianity with a remnant of Philadelphian churches proclaiming the Gospel fervently. Let‚??s say for arguments sake that your interpretation is correct. If all 7 churches are represented at all times, we would still need to have a rapture of God‚??s true church prior to the tribulation in order to that his church would be kept from the tribulation.

As to the words ‚??Kept From‚?Ě. We agreed to use the literal common sense reading of a passage. A plain reading of this verse would take us to an understanding that the church would be ‚??kept from‚?Ě the hour of tribulation.
We also agreed that hermeneutically speaking, the word would be compared to the penman‚??s other writings. Here is how John uses this same word

Joh 17:6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.

Joh 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

In addition, Peter uses it the same way in 2 Peter 2:9

2Pe 2:9 The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

There's only one other verse in the N.T. that uses the above two Greek words ("tere'o" and "ek") together, and it is John 17:15. --In that verse, Jesus praying, "I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep ("tere'o") them from ("ek") the evil". ---So, in the only other place where these two words occur together in the N.T., Jesus considers the guarding and keeping work of God to be sufficient without removing believers from the world ...and he specifically says so!



The two words appear in 9 different passages. I have given the passages from John and one from Peter. The other times the word ‚??from‚?Ě is translated ‚??of‚?Ě

In the John 17:15 passage, Christ is speaking about his disciples. He is praying that they would not be taken by death, but would be kept while they continued to serve the Lord. In the same verse the word is translated ‚??out of‚?Ě. Therefore, In context the Rev. 3:10 passage is dealing with the church being ‚??kept out of‚?Ě the tribulation.

The Distinction Between Israel and the Church:

Post-tribbers agree that there is a clear distinction here, and it is seen mainly in the fact that every single individual who is truly part of the body of Christ (the Church in Eph. 1:22-23) is saved and destined for heaven. In contradistinction to that, in the case of Israel, we must see

The Distinction Between Israel and Israel:

In the people of Israel, some are saved and some are not. This is what the apostle Paul refers to when he says: "For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel" (Rom. 9:6), that is, "They which are children of the flesh, these are not the children of God. The apostle Paul (who is saved) writes that he has "continual sorrow of heart" about his "kinsmen according to the flesh" --which is the Israelites" (Rom. 9:2-4). He has this sorrow because many of them are not saved, due to the rejection of their Messiah, Jesus... and Paul desires and prays "that they might be saved" (Ro. 10:1).
-- However, this dire picture is not the case for all of Israel. Paul asks, "Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite..." (Ro. 11:1). --Paul, who is part of the Church, is clearly part of Israel. So, part of Israel is saved, and God reserves for himself a saved "remnant" (Ro. 11:5).
-- The place where Israel and the Church overlap is with the saved Jews only. The rest of Israel will be lost.

Jacob's Trouble: -- Yes, we read in Jer. 30:7 about "Jacob's trouble," which will come on unbelieving Israel, in order to turn them to God. This particular "trouble" does not focus on anyone else.

The Church: -- I agree, of course, that it is the body and the bride of Christ.



I am glad that you are in agreement on the Church and Israel. Since you are in agreement here, then will you kindly respond to my previous posts giving the purpose of the tribulation. Since the Tribulation is for the lost and for Israel (lost Israel) and that the church is not mentioned in Chapters 4-22 of revelation, then the church must be raptured out prior to the Tribulation as given in Rev. 4:1; 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15.

#9 Calvary

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Posted 05 December 2006 - 12:19 PM

Neither is there any specific verse that has the word cat, trinity, chalkboard, bus, car, etc‚?¶ yet these things are so and do in fact exist. The pre trib position needs no such thing as you claim. We need the doctrine, not a verse. To suggest that the rpe trib posiiton has no one verse to simply say "The Lord Jesus will rapture his Body before the Time of Jacob's Trouble" is a straw man. Please folks, ignore the faulty premise of not having a solid one verse statement, it has no need to be answered. An argument from silence is no argument at all. From the lack of a specific verse we can prove just about anything we like from the Bible.

Now, I apologize for the late post, I was waiting for pastorj , and so I‚??ll step in for a moment.

I will give you all a passage that demonstrates a pre trib rapture.

First, let me say that the rebuttal on Rev 3 is weak beloved. If we argue that way, one would have no business citing passages from Ephesians, Colossians, or any other book addressed to a ‚??local church‚?Ě. A principle is stated in Rev 3 that cleary states the time of God‚??s wrath is not designed for the Body of Christ. That alone should suffice. 1 Thess. 5 also states that we are not appointed to wrath.

Let me exegete a passage. Then we‚??ll see. But first let me say, in all frankness, I need merely demonstrate that the Second Advent and the Rapture of the Body of Christ are not the same event. This alone leaves a reasonable doubt on your position that forces the post trib school to admit that theses are two separate and distinct events, thereby allowing for the possibility the church (The Body of Christ) will not enter into the time of Jacob‚??s trouble and I rest my case. The burden of proof lies with you my brother. That much has already been demostrated in this thread.

Let‚??s look at 1 Thess. 4 for a second.

1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

BY THE WORD OF THE LORD. The problem lies in trying to find these words of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus speaks of some being resurrected, but he does not speak of anyone being translated in the air, nor did he ever imply a thing. Some believe they can find the passage in Matthew 24:40,41, but they ignore the fact that Jesus is explaining events to take place on earth on the day of his return, which of course would place the rapture after the Second Advent, which our beloved Pastor T would not accept. Also the fact that believers and non believers are sent somewhere, with believers received by him and the non believers sent away. The greek ‚??paralambano‚?Ě is translated taken, while ‚??alphiemi‚?Ě is translated left. A simple search of a lexicon will show what these words mean. The post trib follower will see a group in Matthew 24 taken and another group left and assume that these are the Lord‚??s words referred to in 1 Thess 4. But the two passages are not parallel. They speak of two different events and the post trib position goes no further then to cross reference these two passages and thereby are lead into a false conclusion. In Matthew 24 the word ‚??taken‚?Ě speaks of those that have endured the tribulation period and are entering into the kingdom of the Lord, the word ‚??left‚?Ě is a reference to those are sent to hell. (Matthew 25:31-46)
No rapture view includes the disposition of non believers, nor does it mention them.

So if the Lord never taught a rapture, what is 1 Thess 4:15 talking about. Where can we find the ‚??word of the Lord‚?Ě that Paul makes mention of? Some might say Paul was referring to a previous conversation he had with the resurrected Lord, yet but another argument from silence! We need something more tangible.
Besides, if we allow the classic dates for the writings of the New Testament to lead us we can hardly use Matthew as a source point for 1 Thess. as it was probably being written at just about the same time. If we look to Mark‚??s gospel which most claim to be the first gospel account written, we see it does not include the parallel passage of Matthew 24. So much for cross references huh?
So if the word of the Lord reference by Paul indicates scripture it must be the Old Testament.


I believe we find said passage in the book of Isaiah.

Isa 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.


Let‚??s notice the pronouns in the passage. They reveal two groups are being referenced. God speaks in the second person when addressing his people and then speaks in the third person when addressing the people of the earth. Therefore there are two distinct groups in the passage.
The Lord tells his people ‚??enter thou into thy chambers‚?Ě (Perhaps a cross reference to John 14?). But the purpose of this command of the Lord is because the people of the earth are going to be punished. This time is called the indignation. Sort of sounds familiar doesn‚??t it?
Notice also the text says ‚??come‚?Ě my people. Just like Rev 4 where it says ‚??come‚?Ě up hither.
Take notice that the Lord comes out of his place to punish the people of the earth only AFTER His people have been hidden ‚??for a moment‚?Ě. This theme rings true all through the Bible, in type and in plain statement. Why would be believe it to be any different for the Body of Christ? To accept a post trib rapture one must discard all typology of the word of God and force a novel idea on the Body of Christ. One that has us going up and then taking a direct u-turn to come back to the earth and execute judgment over its inhabitants. Makes me dizzy!

This post trib position also has no time for the Judgment seat of Christ, has a purpose for only part of the Body of Christ and not all of it thereby effectively dividing the Body of Christ into two groups. The post trib position also fails to help the Bile student understand any reasoning for God sending a small remnant of believers (in comparison to the entire Body, the end time church is a small remnant) through the time of Jacob‚??s trouble. A time that has been prophesied and is no mystery at all to any Bible student! But I digress.

Continuing with the passage in Isaiah 26 we will note the parallels with 1 Thess. 4
First of all we can find no fulfillment of the passage in Isaiah 26. It is a prophecy that promises a resurrection of the dead and a hiding of God‚??s people from wrath poured out on the earth, more precisely the people of the earth. Exactly the pre trib position. To look for a future fulfillment in the hiding of the Jews as referred to in Rev 12 (the woman is indeed Israel) lacks a resurrection for there is none in that passage.
My position is that Isaiah 26 is the passage referred to by Paul in 1 Thess 4:15.

Let‚??s make a side by side comparison.

Isa 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past.
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Hmm. Sure looks familiar to me, and of course now it does to every one reading this post. These two passages are dealing with the same event. A hiding of God‚??s people while DURING THAT TIME THE WRATH OF GOD IS VISITED ON THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH.

In all honesty, I still can‚??t understand what is the purpose of the church which is his body entering into the tribulation period known as the Time of Jacob‚??s Trouble. The stated and implicit purpose in the scriptures for that time are found in Jeremiah 30; Ezekiel 20. Not one statement made in those passages deal with the church which is his body. Simple logic makes the post trib position a faulty position. Simple scripture with scripture makes the post trib position a faulty position.
So before you say we have no one verse that explicitly states such and such, hold on to that thought. Isaiah 26 certainly does say that God‚??s people will be hid during that time of wrath being poured out on the people of the earth.

Thank you for your time and please consider this study as being made in earnest and honest searching for the truth, not to convince anyone I am right and they are wrong. Brother Trotter, if you are found unable to answer several inconsistencies found in the post trib position that are all easily answered by a pre trib position shouldn‚??t the honest and logical response be to abandon what has too many glaring inconsistencies and adopt what flows with the plain sense of the scriptures? In the final analysis the post trib position is a leaky boat that sinks under the simplest scrutiny. Way too many faults in the position over all, and therefore I count it as a novel idea but nothing more.

God bless,

Calvary

#10 pastortotten

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Posted 07 December 2006 - 02:14 AM

Greetings to you, PastorJ, and to you "Cavalier" ... (just a joke, Calvary, from "Trotter").

PastorJ, ...yes, you did give 3 scriptures. --Thank you. They were Rev.3:10, Jer. 30:7, and Malachi 4:5-6.

--- However, those verses were not at all explicit, --because they did not have any terms to depict the rapture in even semi-specific or clear terms (eg, "catching up" of the saints, "gathering," or any such terms), nor to a resurrection (or "came to life"), nor to a "coming" of the Lord (or "descent") before the tribulation. ---Calvary basically admits this lack of explicitness is the case in what you provide, when he says, "Neither is there any specific verse that has the word cat..." etc.

--- Ahhh, but there are quite explicit and specific verses for the post-trib position!

But it is revealing when Calvary says, "We need the doctrine, not a verse." -- And such thinking is the source of problems: To start with a doctrinal system, and to then comb through the Bible for supporting proof-texts to fit and maybe force them into that pre-conceived viewpoint.

--I think pre-millennialism flows most naturally and straight-forward out of scripture, with no interpretive fancy-footwork on the text (Rev.20:2-5). ---And post-trib is the same way. ---The same with the trinity, because it is just a convenient term to describe the fact that the deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all clearly and explicitly spelled out in Scripture.

--But I think the pre-trib position does not flow naturally out of the text of scripture. . . .For example: If you took a middle-mature, intelligent young Christian who has read through the Bible several times and understands well the fundamentals of salvation and how to properly understand scripture in context and in history, --and if you then gave them on paper all of the relevant passages on the 2nd Coming, resurrection and rapture (but did not coach them about its placement pre- or post-trib), -- I think there is virtually no way that they would come up with a pre-trib rapture. (I wish somebody would try this.) -- Pre-trib must be indoctrinated into people, because it is not from direct scriptural statements, but is only an inferrence from several passages, which are all disputed as to how to properly understand them.
--- "Moreover, even if one believes this doctrine to be in Scripture, it is taught with such little clarity that it was not discovered until the nineteenth century. This does not make it seem likely" (from Systematic Theology, 1994, Dr. Wayne Grudem).

-- On Rev. 3:10, fundamentally, the "church age" idea of the seven churches (as seven ages in church history) is a very iffy interpretive scheme with which many don't agree because it doesn't fit history very well, --and we only know for sure that Rev.3:10 specifically applies to the local Philadelphia church of 96 A.D. in Asia Minor. Period. That's the bottom line of Rev. 3:10. --The "hour of trial" need not refer to the great tribulation, but is fairly clearly the Roman persecution of that local church around 100 A.D.

(Regarding the phrase "kept from" (Grk. "tereo ek") in Rev.3:10 ...the verses you supply (Jn. 17:6 & 2Ptr.2:9) do have the two words but they are separated by so many other words, that they do not appoximate that phrase "kept from", because they're not tied closely together grammatically. --Thus, I was correct in saying that Jn. 17:15 is the only other verse which uses the two words "tereo" and "ek" together ---connected in a phrase.)

-- Jeremiah 30:7 concerns the time of "Jacob's Trouble," which would be a time to humble Israel --granted--, but it says and proves nothing about the rapture, or who else may be present on earth at the time. There will be undeniably many "saints" on earth during the tribulation (Rev. 7:9,14; 17:6) who will be serving, trusting, and witnessing about Jesus. They are blood-bought saints, and the burden of proof is on the pre-tribber to show that it is possible for them to be saved without being "in Christ" which is the same as being "in" Christ's body (the Church)... when John says tribulation saints who die are "in the Lord" (Rev. 14:12-13).

By the way --An analogy to the "Jacob's Trouble" issue: --- Let's say I am part of a class of students, but one student named Jacob has gotten in big trouble, so Jacob (and a couple of accomplices) will now get very negative consequences from the teacher --this will be a time of "Jacob's Trouble." But during that time the rest of the class may have to suffer to some degree by missing out on some nice things that would have happened to the whole class but will be canceled --and at the same time, the "star" student of the class --a guy named "Christian"-- will still have some special privileges and rewards from the teacher. But Christian will be scorned and resented by some bad students and maybe attacked by the school bully. -- This excellent teacher is smart enough to sort these different purposes out: discipline to one; and reward to another.

In the same way, God is able to accomplish many things at the same time during the tribulation: He can humble and discipline Israel with "Jacob's Trouble," while at the same time bringing hard times on various peoples of the world and preparing some others for the gospel, and (as Revelation 9:4 etc. indicates) focusing his wrath on the people of the beast (but not on the saints), and also at the same time using his saints in reaching the various peoples of world with the gospel. But while the saints are protected totally from God's wrath, they will be hit by the resentment and hatred of the bully (Antichrist). Christians are not promised exemption from Antichrist's persecution, ...in fact, Paul writes to Christians and says that we are to expect Antichrist's coming before the "day of the Lord" can occur (2Thess. 2:1-4).
--Jacob's trouble focused on Israel does not limit God from accomplishing many things around the rest of the world. --God is highly capable of multi-tasking.

As for Mal. 4:5-6 about the sending of Elijah before the "day of the Lord," . . . there is no problem here for the post-trib position, since it fits right in with 2 Thess. 2:1-4 given just above.

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Next, Member "wpm" next has a few thoughts (mainly to Calvary, whose quotes are in blue):

I would like to thank the board and Pastor Totten for allowing me the opportunity to engage in this debate, and I trust that I can at very least lay out the Posttrib in a simple, fair, and understandable manner. I appreciate the efforts of the other participants and can see that they all sincerely hold their views.

Calvary: First, let me say that the rebuttal on Rev 3 is weak beloved. If we argue that way, one would have no business citing passages from Ephesians, Colossians, or any other book addressed to a ‚??local church‚?Ě. A principle is stated in Rev 3 that cleary states the time of God‚??s wrath is not designed for the Body of Christ. That alone should suffice. 1 Thess. 5 also states that we are not appointed to wrath.

I have to disagree with your dismissal of Pastor Totten‚??s outline of Revelation 3. First of all, you say that you base your interpretation of this chapter upon a Pretrib ‚??principle‚?Ě namely that ‚??the hour of temptation‚?Ě represents an end time 7 years tribulation. Before building your argument on this ‚??principle‚?Ě you have to prove that it actually exists. I would like at the outset therefore to establish your proof texts for the Pretrib paradigm, because without a foundation, every other supposed support reference could be viewed as faulty. My question is: Can you show me anywhere in Scripture that you consider indicates (1) a rapture of the Church, (2) immediately followed by a tribulation (or period of wrath), (3) immediately followed by a Coming of Christ?

Daniel 9 (which many Pretribs allude to) makes no reference to a Coming of Christ in the sky, the wrath of God or a tribulation period, or a further Coming of Christ to the earth. What you need to prove is that a tribulation comes immediately after the next Coming of Christ.

I don‚??t believe there is any contextual reason for placing Revelation 3:10 in a period at the end of time. What‚??s more, the narrative doesn‚??t in any way refer to the Coming of the Lord; neither does it in the slightest describe a ‚??rapture‚?? of the saints. Moreover, nothing in the detail of the reading indicates that the ‚??hour‚?Ě mentioned represents a tribulation period. What Pretribulationists forget is the fact that the counsel contained within this letter was actually written to Philadelphian believers in John‚??s day, and primarily related to the brutal persecution of the Christians by the Romans in that day. The Philadelphians were simply promised divine protection in the time of trial in their day. This is a common promise for faithful believers throughout all time. 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 similarly declares, ‚??that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.‚?Ě This letter was therefore specifically written to the believers in Philadelphia 2,000 years ago as a means of comfort in a day of undoubted trial. This, once again, proves that the Church of Jesus Christ has been in the tribulation period from the time of the early Church. Satan has always persecuted the Church of Jesus Christ at it advances the glorious Gospel of truth. The people of God have thus always been accustomed to tribulation.

BY THE WORD OF THE LORD. The problem lies in trying to find these words of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus speaks of some being resurrected, but he does not speak of anyone being translated in the air, nor did he ever imply a thing. Some believe they can find the passage in Matthew 24:40,41, but they ignore the fact that Jesus is explaining events to take place on earth on the day of his return, which of course would place the rapture after the Second Advent, which our beloved Pastor T would not accept. Also the fact that believers and non believers are sent somewhere, with believers received by him and the non believers sent away. The greek ‚??paralambano‚?Ě is translated taken, while ‚??alphiemi‚?Ě is translated left. A simple search of a lexicon will show what these words mean. The post trib follower will see a group in Matthew 24 taken and another group left and assume that these are the Lord‚??s words referred to in 1 Thess 4. But the two passages are not parallel. They speak of two different events and the post trib position goes no further then to cross reference these two passages and thereby are lead into a false conclusion. In Matthew 24 the word ‚??taken‚?Ě speaks of those that have endured the tribulation period and are entering into the kingdom of the Lord, the word ‚??left‚?Ě is a reference to those are sent to hell. (Matthew 25:31-46)
No rapture view includes the disposition of non believers, nor does it mention them.


Please enlarge on your point? I am not sure why you believe these two Second Coming passages are not referring to the same event.

if the Lord never taught a rapture, what is 1 Thess 4:15 talking about. Where can we find the ‚??word of the Lord‚?Ě that Paul makes mention of? Some might say Paul was referring to a previous conversation he had with the resurrected Lord, yet but another argument from silence! We need something more tangible.
Besides, if we allow the classic dates for the writings of the New Testament to lead us we can hardly use Matthew as a source point for 1 Thess. as it was probably being written at just about the same time. If we look to Mark‚??s gospel which most claim to be the first gospel account written, we see it does not include the parallel passage of Matthew 24. So much for cross references huh?
So if the word of the Lord reference by Paul indicates scripture it must be the Old Testament.


One of the first truths we encounter in this passage, and which immediately eliminates much of the debate which exists in relation to 1 Thessalonians 4, is the fact: when Christ comes again it is with and for His saints in one glorious single Second Coming. Verse 14 of our reading explicitly states, ‚??them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.‚?Ě This is the dead in Christ returning "with" Jesus to be re-united with their bodies. Furthermore, the second party of Christians at this great climatic event are those believers that are ‚??alive‚?Ě are said to ‚??remain.‚?Ě Interestingly, when we examine the meaning of the word ‚??remain,‚?Ě we find it is the Greek word perileipo, which means ‚??to survive.‚?Ě Therefore, we can deduce from this meaning that the Lord is returning for those who remain by surviving.

--- (PastorTotten adds: Those wpm talks about above are surviving Christians. --And then, in fact, Zechariah chapter 14 also describes how the non-believing nations gather to attack Jerusalem at the time of the "Day of the Lord" (2nd Coming) when he comes and fights against those nations (vs. 3) and then stands on the Mount of Olives (vs. 4), and the Lord will strike those nations with a deadly plague (vs. 12) and they will kill each other (v. 13), and then, finally, there will be "survivors" from those nations who came up against Jerusalem (v. 16) at the time of the 2nd Coming, the "day of the Lord." These will be non-believers who will enter the millennium in their natural bodies.)

I believe we find said passage in the book of Isaiah.

Isa 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Let‚??s notice the pronouns in the passage. They reveal two groups are being referenced. God speaks in the second person when addressing his people and then speaks in the third person when addressing the people of the earth. Therefore there are two distinct groups in the passage.
The Lord tells his people ‚??enter thou into thy chambers‚?Ě (Perhaps a cross reference to John 14?). But the purpose of this command of the Lord is because the people of the earth are going to be punished. This time is called the indignation. Sort of sounds familiar doesn‚??t it?
Notice also the text says ‚??come‚?Ě my people. Just like Rev 4 where it says ‚??come‚?Ě up hither.
Take notice that the Lord comes out of his place to punish the people of the earth only AFTER His people have been hidden ‚??for a moment‚?Ě. This theme rings true all through the Bible, in type and in plain statement. Why would be believe it to be any different for the Body of Christ? To accept a post trib rapture one must discard all typology of the word of God and force a novel idea on the Body of Christ. One that has us going up and then taking a direct u-turn to come back to the earth and execute judgment over its inhabitants. Makes me dizzy!


Interestingly, you have Isaiah ‚?? an Old Testament saint ‚?? being brought into the chamber along with the Church. This is a new variant on Pretrib to what I know.

Also, your last comment could be returned over the net to yourself. You have Christ coming down ‚??and then taking a direct u-turn to come back to‚?Ě heaven to wait for this supposed 7 years, which incidentally isn‚??t mentioned in Isaiah 26. I could reason: Makes Christ dizzy!!!

I think that argument doesn‚??t hold weight.

This post trib position also has no time for the Judgment seat of Christ, has a purpose for only part of the Body of Christ and not all of it thereby effectively dividing the Body of Christ into two groups. The post trib position also fails to help the Bile student understand any reasoning for God sending a small remnant of believers (in comparison to the entire Body, the end time church is a small remnant) through the time of Jacob‚??s trouble. A time that has been prophesied and is no mystery at all to any Bible student! But I digress.

I am sorry. You will have to elaborate, I honestly don‚??t know what your are suggesting.

Continuing with the passage in Isaiah 26 we will note the parallels with 1 Thess. 4
First of all we can find no fulfillment of the passage in Isaiah 26. It is a prophecy that promises a resurrection of the dead and a hiding of God‚??s people from wrath poured out on the earth, more precisely the people of the earth. Exactly the pre trib position. To look for a future fulfillment in the hiding of the Jews as referred to in Rev 12 (the woman is indeed Israel) lacks a resurrection for there is none in that passage.
My position is that Isaiah 26 is the passage referred to by Paul in 1 Thess 4:15.

Let‚??s make a side by side comparison.

Isa 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past.
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Hmm. Sure looks familiar to me, and of course now it does to every one reading this post. These two passages are dealing with the same event. A hiding of God‚??s people while DURING THAT TIME THE WRATH OF GOD IS VISITED ON THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH.


You actually corroborate the Posttrib position. Isaiah is speaking to Israel, and Paul is speaking to the Church, you have both rightly being caught up at the one final Coming of Christ before God destroys the wicked at His return. Isaiah 26:21 proves that this is the end and that the day of the wicked is to finally punished. Pretrib has the wicked continuing their wickedness. According to the Pretrib doctrine, this is not the day that ‚??the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain‚?Ě this occurs 7 years later.

In all honesty, I still can‚??t understand what is the purpose of the church which is his body entering into the tribulation period known as the Time of Jacob‚??s Trouble. The stated and implicit purpose in the scriptures for that time are found in Jeremiah 30; Ezekiel 20. Not one statement made in those passages deal with the church which is his body. Simple logic makes the post trib position a faulty position. Simple scripture with scripture makes the post trib position a faulty position.

I feel you are simply stating an opinion. I don‚??t see an argument. You will have to add meat to the bones. Again, where are your 2 Comings in Jeremiah 30 and Ezekiel 20 and where is your 7 years trib?

So before you say we have no one verse that explicitly states such and such, hold on to that thought. Isaiah 26 certainly does say that God‚??s people will be hid during that time of wrath being poured out on the people of the earth.

Thank you for your time and please consider this study as being made in earnest and honest searching for the truth, not to convince anyone I am right and they are wrong. Brother Trotter, if you are found unable to answer several inconsistencies found in the post trib position that are all easily answered by a pre trib position shouldn‚??t the honest and logical response be to abandon what has too many glaring inconsistencies and adopt what flows with the plain sense of the scriptures? In the final analysis the post trib position is a leaky boat that sinks under the simplest scrutiny. Way too many faults in the position over all, and therefore I count it as a novel idea but nothing more.


If your post embodies the supposed ‚??several inconsistencies found in the post trib position‚?Ě (as you claim) then I believe post-trib remains on solid ground. I don‚??t feel there is anything in your post that would put a question mark over the biblical credentials of that position. All your charges against Posttrib are futile unless you can back it up by solid Scripture.
-- WPM.

Thanks, my dear brothers "in Christ."
- PastorTotten


#11 Calvary

Calvary

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Excellent

Posted 07 December 2006 - 11:49 PM

Part 1 of a two part post. Part 2 will accept the challenge of Pastor Trotter. Please give me the night to put it together, I almost have it, but this post is long enough for now.

[quote]
Greetings to you, PastorJ, and to you "Cavalier" ... (just a joke, Calvary, from "Trotter").

PastorJ, ...yes, you did give 3 scriptures. --Thank you. They were Rev.3:10, Jer. 30:7, and Malachi 4:5-6.

--- However, those verses were not at all explicit, --because they did not have any terms to depict the rapture in even semi-specific or clear terms (eg, "catching up" of the saints, "gathering," or any such terms), nor to a resurrection (or "came to life"), nor to a "coming" of the Lord (or "descent") before the tribulation. ---Calvary basically admits this lack of explicitness is the case in what you provide, when he says, "Neither is there any specific verse that has the word cat..." etc.
[/quote]

No sir, there was no such admission. What there was however was a statement that said for lack of a explicit statement, I do not lack for the doctrine itself. In as much as I lack for the word Trinity in the Bible, I do however lack nothing in the way of proving said teaching from the scriptures. I hope that clarifies that for you.

[quote]
--- Ahhh, but there are quite explicit and specific verses for the post-trib position!
[/quote]

Again, what you have are clear and explicit verses that according to you are clear and explicit. In fact I could just as easily say, you have no ‚??one verse‚?Ě that explicity teaches the rapture of the Body of Christ at the edn of a trib period. What you do have are various verses that according to you are in fact speaking of the Body of Christ. Therein lies some of the problem. Where you see a rapture or a resurrection, you assume it is the Body of Christ. We however assume no such thing. We maintain the distinction between the church which is His body and the nation of Israel in the prophetic plan of God.

[quote]
But it is revealing when Calvary says, "We need the doctrine, not a verse." -- And such thinking is the source of problems: To start with a doctrinal system, and to then comb through the Bible for supporting proof-texts to fit and maybe force them into that pre-conceived viewpoint.
[/quote]

See above. You take me out of context and you add an interpretation to my words that never existed. I will say again brother, I need to teach the doctrine, not look for an ‚??explicit and clear verse‚?Ě. In fact I could go on to say more about harmonization of the scriptures, but I will forbear as the following statement made by you shows that you do indeed understand the basis of my statement.

--I think pre-millennialism flows most naturally and straight-forward out of scripture, with no interpretive fancy-footwork on the text (Rev.20:2-5). ---And post-trib is the same way. ---The same with the trinity, because it is just a convenient term to describe the fact that the deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are all clearly and explicitly spelled out in Scripture.

Exactly, except for the part where you said ‚??post trib‚?Ě. :D

[quote]
--But I think the pre-trib position does not flow naturally out of the text of scripture. . . .For example: If you took a middle-mature, intelligent young Christian who has read through the Bible several times and understands well the fundamentals of salvation and how to properly understand scripture in context and in history, --and if you then gave them on paper all of the relevant passages on the 2nd Coming, resurrection and rapture (but did not coach them about its placement pre- or post-trib), -- I think there is virtually no way that they would come up with a pre-trib rapture. (I wish somebody would try this.) -- Pre-trib must be indoctrinated into people, because it is not from direct scriptural statements, but is only an inference from several passages, which are all disputed as to how to properly understand them.
--- "Moreover, even if one believes this doctrine to be in Scripture, it is taught with such little clarity that it was not discovered until the nineteenth century. This does not make it seem likely" (from Systematic Theology, 1994, Dr. Wayne Grudem).
[/quote]

Uh, several thoughts going on there at once, but I don‚??t want to splice and dice your paragraphs which easily enough can force contexts that do not exist.

For the last part, the quote by Wayne Grudem, let me just say, Psuedo-Ephraem. Or may I quote John Gill? Though not a pre trib man, he did understand the position. How could that be in the 1700‚??s? Or perhaps Joseph Mede? Please, you and wpm make mention of a unfounded surmise and I wish either of you to put up proof for the statement of a novel and new doctrine or cease to use said fallacy as an argument. OK?
I will end this particular post by taking a gander at your challenge to come to the conclusion of a pre trib rapture of the Body of Christ with scripture. It should prove interesting.


[quote]
-- On Rev. 3:10, fundamentally, the "church age" idea of the seven churches (as seven ages in church history) is a very iffy interpretive scheme with which many don't agree because it doesn't fit history very well, --and we only know for sure that Rev.3:10 specifically applies to the local Philadelphia church of 96 A.D. in Asia Minor. Period. That's the bottom line of Rev. 3:10. --The "hour of trial" need not refer to the great tribulation, but is fairly clearly the Roman persecution of that local church around 100 A.D.
[/quote]

Again, to regulate the text to a historical position denies the truth that ALL scripture is for doctrine. Besides, if we are at odds over the interpretation of a passage, where will find relief? I find the historical outline of the passage as it applies to ‚??ages of church history‚?Ě a fair system of homiletics that does no damage to the texts in question (Rev. 1-3) Simply because the post trib position is at odds with the outline is no reason for me to discard it. So, we both have used this passage as a rallying point, yet neither side I think needs it as foundational. Agreed?

[quote]
(Regarding the phrase "kept from" (Grk. "tereo ek") in Rev.3:10 ...the verses you supply (Jn. 17:6 & 2Ptr.2:9) do have the two words but they are separated by so many other words, that they do not appoximate that phrase "kept from", because they're not tied closely together grammatically. --Thus, I was correct in saying that Jn. 17:15 is the only other verse which uses the two words "tereo" and "ek" together ---connected in a phrase.)
[/quote]

Posited and answered by pastorj. I am satisfied he (pastorj proved his point)

[quote]
-- Jeremiah 30:7 concerns the time of "Jacob's Trouble," which would be a time to humble Israel --granted--, but it says and proves nothing about the rapture, or who else may be present on earth at the time. There will be undeniably many "saints" on earth during the tribulation (Rev. 7:9,14; 17:6) who will be serving, trusting, and witnessing about Jesus. They are blood-bought saints, and the burden of proof is on the pre-tribber to show that it is possible for them to be saved without being "in Christ" which is the same as being "in" Christ's body (the Church)... when John says tribulation saints who die are "in the Lord" (Rev. 14:12-13).
[/quote]

Well, it does in fact give us ample evidence that Israel will be there. You see the whole point in going to these obvious prophetic passages is to demonstrate that they have no context as far as the church which is his body are concerned. So, are we to assume that it‚??s ok for the post trib to assume while our arguments are assumption? (We both play the side of the fence we are prone to live on brother) Your suggestion that the pre trib position makes many assumptions is just as true of your position.

So, I guess we are saying that the ‚??nature‚?Ě of the trib precludes the necessity of the church which is his body being there during it. I would like to add this remark in this point, the study of the prophetic plan of the ages as it deals with the nation of Israel is a study of the OT in the main. I am sure you would agree to that. Our position is that since the trib (or the Time of Jacob‚??s Trouble) or the Day of the Lord or any other nomenclature you see in the OT is that it has purpose behind it. That purpose is to purge the nation of Israel of its unbelievers and re-gather the nation into one place where the Lord will plead with them face to face. I believe that is seen from Ezekiel 20, Jeremiah 50, Rev. 12, Micah 7 and other passages we are fond of citing. I am sure you can deduce the logical conclusion of studying the said passages and seeing that they are a part of God‚??s plan that deal with his elect, his chosen, his nation that he is not done with. They are no mystery, they are not concealed, and they are not a part of the dispensation of the mystery given to Paul. Need I clarify? Or can‚??t I assume that intelligent folks such as you can see where that is going?

:D

[quote]
By the way --An analogy to the "Jacob's Trouble" issue: --- Let's say I am part of a class of students, but one student named Jacob has gotten in big trouble, so Jacob (and a couple of accomplices) will now get very negative consequences from the teacher --this will be a time of "Jacob's Trouble." But during that time the rest of the class may have to suffer to some degree by missing out on some nice things that would have happened to the whole class but will be canceled --and at the same time, the "star" student of the class --a guy named "Christian"-- will still have some special privileges and rewards from the teacher. But Christian will be scorned and resented by some bad students and maybe attacked by the school bully. -- This excellent teacher is smart enough to sort these different purposes out: discipline to one; and reward to another.
[/quote]

Your analogy falls apart as it is basically an opinion of yours that this scenario is what in fact the Bible teaches. But, I don‚??t know who the ‚??accomplices‚?Ě are, I can‚??t see why the ‚??excellent teacher‚?Ě punishes the whole class for what one obviously guilty party has done and besides, the policies of the school district prohibit the detaining of innocent Christian while bad Jacob is in trouble as is so stated in 1 Thess 5
:D

[quote]
In the same way, God is able to accomplish many things at the same time during the tribulation: He can humble and discipline Israel with "Jacob's Trouble," while at the same time bringing hard times on various peoples of the world and preparing some others for the gospel, and (as Revelation 9:4 etc. indicates) focusing his wrath on the people of the beast (but not on the saints), and also at the same time using his saints in reaching the various peoples of world with the gospel. But while the saints are protected totally from God's wrath, they will be hit by the resentment and hatred of the bully (Antichrist). Christians are not promised exemption from Antichrist's persecution, ...in fact, Paul writes to Christians and says that we are to expect Antichrist's coming before the "day of the Lord" can occur (2Thess. 2:1-4).
--Jacob's trouble focused on Israel does not limit God from accomplishing many things around the rest of the world. --God is highly capable of multi-tasking.
[/quote]

You‚??ll get no argument from me on that statement, but no pre trib position I ever heard of has ever stated that it is a necessity that the church be taken up in order that God can deal with Israel. We are simply stating that God‚??s prophetic plan has no such statements in it as we read the OT.

[quote]
Next, Member "wpm" next has a few thoughts (mainly to Calvary, whose quotes are in blue):

I would like to thank the board and Pastor Totten for allowing me the opportunity to engage in this debate, and I trust that I can at very least lay out the Posttrib in a simple, fair, and understandable manner. I appreciate the efforts of the other participants and can see that they all sincerely hold their views.
[/quote]

Calvary: First, let me say that the rebuttal on Rev 3 is weak beloved. If we argue that way, one would have no business citing passages from Ephesians, Colossians, or any other book addressed to a ‚??local church‚?Ě. A principle is stated in Rev 3 that cleary states the time of God‚??s wrath is not designed for the Body of Christ. That alone should suffice. 1 Thess. 5 also states that we are not appointed to wrath.


[quote]
I have to disagree with your dismissal of Pastor Totten‚??s outline of Revelation 3. First of all, you say that you base your interpretation of this chapter upon a Pretrib ‚??principle‚?Ě namely that ‚??the hour of temptation‚?Ě represents an end time 7 years tribulation. Before building your argument on this ‚??principle‚?Ě you have to prove that it actually exists. I would like at the outset therefore to establish your proof texts for the Pretrib paradigm, because without a foundation, every other supposed support reference could be viewed as faulty. My question is: Can you show me anywhere in Scripture that you consider indicates (1) a rapture of the Church, (2) immediately followed by a tribulation (or period of wrath), (3) immediately followed by a Coming of Christ?
[/quote]


I did in Isaiah 26. Thank you.


[quote]
Daniel 9 (which many Pretribs allude to) makes no reference to a Coming of Christ in the sky, the wrath of God or a tribulation period, or a further Coming of Christ to the earth. What you need to prove is that a tribulation comes immediately after the next Coming of Christ.
[/quote]

Actually you assume too much brother as to what needs to be proved. The truth is that we have already proven that there is a possibility that the Second Advent and the ‚??Rapture‚?Ě of the church which is his body are two distinct and separate events. That is enough to say that there is a possibility then that the pre trib scenario is possible. As far as Daniel 9, then I guess neither you nor I can use this scripture to bolster our case, since according to you the Second Advent is not seen there or the fact that Christ is coming to the earth. I humbly allow you to forgo citing this passage for the rest of the debate as I neither need it as foundational to my pre trib position. God bless.

[quote]
I don‚??t believe there is any contextual reason for placing Revelation 3:10 in a period at the end of time. What‚??s more, the narrative doesn‚??t in any way refer to the Coming of the Lord; neither does it in the slightest describe a ‚??rapture‚?? of the saints. Moreover, nothing in the detail of the reading indicates that the ‚??hour‚?Ě mentioned represents a tribulation period. What Pretribulationists forget is the fact that the counsel contained within this letter was actually written to Philadelphian believers in John‚??s day, and primarily related to the brutal persecution of the Christians by the Romans in that day. The Philadelphians were simply promised divine protection in the time of trial in their day. This is a common promise for faithful believers throughout all time. 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 similarly declares, ‚??that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith. But the Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, and keep you from evil.‚?Ě This letter was therefore specifically written to the believers in Philadelphia 2,000 years ago as a means of comfort in a day of undoubted trial. This, once again, proves that the Church of Jesus Christ has been in the tribulation period from the time of the early Church. Satan has always persecuted the Church of Jesus Christ at it advances the glorious Gospel of truth. The people of God have thus always been accustomed to tribulation.
[/quote]

A basic preterist position. So since both sides have hacked that issue away to a standstill, I guess we will have to agree to disagree on the interpretation of Rev 3. I can live with that. God bless.

BY THE WORD OF THE LORD. The problem lies in trying to find these words of the Lord Jesus in the New Testament. Jesus speaks of some being resurrected, but he does not speak of anyone being translated in the air, nor did he ever imply a thing. Some believe they can find the passage in Matthew 24:40,41, but they ignore the fact that Jesus is explaining events to take place on earth on the day of his return, which of course would place the rapture after the Second Advent, which our beloved Pastor T would not accept. Also the fact that believers and non believers are sent somewhere, with believers received by him and the non believers sent away. The greek ‚??paralambano‚?Ě is translated taken, while ‚??alphiemi‚?Ě is translated left. A simple search of a lexicon will show what these words mean. The post trib follower will see a group in Matthew 24 taken and another group left and assume that these are the Lord‚??s words referred to in 1 Thess 4. But the two passages are not parallel. They speak of two different events and the post trib position goes no further then to cross reference these two passages and thereby are lead into a false conclusion. In Matthew 24 the word ‚??taken‚?Ě speaks of those that have endured the tribulation period and are entering into the kingdom of the Lord, the word ‚??left‚?Ě is a reference to those are sent to hell. (Matthew 25:31-46)
No rapture view includes the disposition of non believers, nor does it mention them.


[quote]
Please enlarge on your point? I am not sure why you believe these two Second Coming passages are not referring to the same event.
[/quote]

I am making the point that I don‚??t see that they are speaking of the same event. It is you brother that sees them as parallel not I.

if the Lord never taught a rapture, what is 1 Thess 4:15 talking about. Where can we find the ‚??word of the Lord‚?Ě that Paul makes mention of? Some might say Paul was referring to a previous conversation he had with the resurrected Lord, yet but another argument from silence! We need something more tangible.
Besides, if we allow the classic dates for the writings of the New Testament to lead us we can hardly use Matthew as a source point for 1 Thess. as it was probably being written at just about the same time. If we look to Mark‚??s gospel which most claim to be the first gospel account written, we see it does not include the parallel passage of Matthew 24. So much for cross references huh?
So if the word of the Lord reference by Paul indicates scripture it must be the Old Testament.

I believe we find said passage in the book of Isaiah.

Isa 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Let‚??s notice the pronouns in the passage. They reveal two groups are being referenced. God speaks in the second person when addressing his people and then speaks in the third person when addressing the people of the earth. Therefore there are two distinct groups in the passage.
The Lord tells his people ‚??enter thou into thy chambers‚?Ě (Perhaps a cross reference to John 14?). But the purpose of this command of the Lord is because the people of the earth are going to be punished. This time is called the indignation. Sort of sounds familiar doesn‚??t it?
Notice also the text says ‚??come‚?Ě my people. Just like Rev 4 where it says ‚??come‚?Ě up hither.
Take notice that the Lord comes out of his place to punish the people of the earth only AFTER His people have been hidden ‚??for a moment‚?Ě. This theme rings true all through the Bible, in type and in plain statement. Why would be believe it to be any different for the Body of Christ? To accept a post trib rapture one must discard all typology of the word of God and force a novel idea on the Body of Christ. One that has us going up and then taking a direct u-turn to come back to the earth and execute judgment over its inhabitants. Makes me dizzy!


[quote]
Interestingly, you have Isaiah ‚?? an Old Testament saint ‚?? being brought into the chamber along with the Church. This is a new variant on Pretrib to what I know.
[/quote]

No sir, I have said no such thing. I have merely quoted Isaiah with a prophetic statement, the which if we read 1 peter 1:11 will show that although an OT saint could prophesy about an event, it by no means makes him a participant or such a one that could even understand said event.

[quote]
Also, your last comment could be returned over the net to yourself. You have Christ coming down ‚??and then taking a direct u-turn to come back to‚?Ě heaven to wait for this supposed 7 years, which incidentally isn‚??t mentioned in Isaiah 26. I could reason: Makes Christ dizzy!!!

I think that argument doesn‚??t hold weight.
[/quote]

Well, you are entitled to disagree; I would think that is the point of the debate. However, I do not have Jesus coming to the earth. You do. I have him dealing with a people in a chamber (i.e. heaven) while other people are being dealt with on the earth.


This post trib position also has no time for the Judgment seat of Christ, has a purpose for only part of the Body of Christ and not all of it thereby effectively dividing the Body of Christ into two groups. The post trib position also fails to help the Bile student understand any reasoning for God sending a small remnant of believers (in comparison to the entire Body, the end time church is a small remnant) through the time of Jacob‚??s trouble. A time that has been prophesied and is no mystery at all to any Bible student! But I digress.


[quote]
I am sorry. You will have to elaborate, I honestly don‚??t know what your are suggesting.
[/quote]

Read it again. Those are some of the problems I have in fully understanding the issues of the post trib position. When does the Judgment of believers take place? Why does only a small portion of the church which is his body need to go through the trib in the first place? Why does the post trib position ignore the mysteries of the Apostle Paul as if they don‚??t exist? The rapture being one of them.

Continuing with the passage in Isaiah 26 we will note the parallels with 1 Thess. 4
First of all we can find no fulfillment of the passage in Isaiah 26. It is a prophecy that promises a resurrection of the dead and a hiding of God‚??s people from wrath poured out on the earth, more precisely the people of the earth. Exactly the pre trib position. To look for a future fulfillment in the hiding of the Jews as referred to in Rev 12 (the woman is indeed Israel) lacks a resurrection for there is none in that passage.
My position is that Isaiah 26 is the passage referred to by Paul in 1 Thess 4:15.

Let‚??s make a side by side comparison.

Isa 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. 1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be over past.
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

Hmm. Sure looks familiar to me, and of course now it does to every one reading this post. These two passages are dealing with the same event. A hiding of God‚??s people while DURING THAT TIME THE WRATH OF GOD IS VISITED ON THE PEOPLE OF THE EARTH.


[quote]
You actually corroborate the Posttrib position. Isaiah is speaking to Israel, and Paul is speaking to the Church, you have both rightly being caught up at the one final Coming of Christ before God destroys the wicked at His return. Isaiah 26:21 proves that this is the end and that the day of the wicked is to finally punished. Pretrib has the wicked continuing their wickedness. According to the Pretrib doctrine, this is not the day that ‚??the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain‚?Ě this occurs 7 years later.
[/quote]

Actually no I do not. The reason being is that it is an assumption on your part that this event in Isaiah 26 is in fact the Second Advent. There is nothing more than the anticipatory statement of what is to pass in verse 21. For BEHOLD, in other words, LOOK at what the Lord is going to do.

In all honesty, I still can‚??t understand what is the purpose of the church which is his body entering into the tribulation period known as the Time of Jacob‚??s Trouble. The stated and implicit purpose in the scriptures for that time are found in Jeremiah 30; Ezekiel 20. Not one statement made in those passages deal with the church which is his body. Simple logic makes the post trib position a faulty position. Simple scripture with scripture makes the post trib position a faulty position.

[quote]
I feel you are simply stating an opinion. I don‚??t see an argument. You will have to add meat to the bones. Again, where are your 2 Comings in Jeremiah 30 and Ezekiel 20 and where is your 7 years trib?
[/quote]

Well, Ezekiel 20 is my trib with its purpose clearly stated, Jeremiah 50 as well, along with Revelation 12 in addition with Micah 7. In all of these prophetic passages that deal with the nation of Israel during a time of wrath, indignation or trouble and perplexity I see God‚??s stated purposes for such. In all the trib passages cited by the post trib raptures I see no purpose whatsoever ever being stated as to why the church which his body is there! I am sorry; I just can‚??t seem to get past that detail. If you could just show me why the Lord wants to take a small remnant of the church in the end times through that time, I will try to make peace with it. But as I study the OT texts that deal with Israel, the troublesome time to come upon the earth I see over and over again that the Lord in fact is doing something that is in concert with His plans. Namely to gather the nation, plead with them, prepare the way for the nation to accept the Messiah, purge out the rebels, cleanse the land of the occupants before Israel will occupy said land grant and to allow for the enemies of Israel to be destroyed in order that they might worship Jehovah God in peace and dwell in their land.
Now, with that many stated purposes of the day of the Lord in the OT, why is that no post trib paper that I have read even come close to helping me understand why I might have to go through this terrible time if I am in fact alive when the Lord comes? Sorry brothers, but this detail is on no small import. God does not do things without telling us why. Lamentations 3 says that the Lord does not afflict people for no reason.
If the church which is his body needs to be purged, then that is an insult to the cross of Christ. I the church which is his body need to be prepared to occupy a land, which again is a new doctrine I have never heard of. If the church which is his body needs to be led into the wilderness in order that Jehovah plead with us face to face, I would just like one verse.


So before you say we have no one verse that explicitly states such and such, hold on to that thought. Isaiah 26 certainly does say that God‚??s people will be hid during that time of wrath being poured out on the people of the earth.

Thank you for your time and please consider this study as being made in earnest and honest searching for the truth, not to convince anyone I am right and they are wrong. Brother Trotter, if you are found unable to answer several inconsistencies found in the post trib position that are all easily answered by a pre trib position shouldn‚??t the honest and logical response be to abandon what has too many glaring inconsistencies and adopt what flows with the plain sense of the scriptures? In the final analysis the post trib position is a leaky boat that sinks under the simplest scrutiny. Way too many faults in the position over all, and therefore I count it as a novel idea but nothing more.


[quote]
If your post embodies the supposed ‚??several inconsistencies found in the post trib position‚?Ě (as you claim) then I believe post-trib remains on solid ground. I don‚??t feel there is anything in your post that would put a question mark over the biblical credentials of that position. All your charges against Posttrib are futile unless you can back it up by solid Scripture.
-- WPM.

Thanks, my dear brothers "in Christ."
- PastorTotten
[/quote]


Well, of course you feel vindicated brother. Do you think that we believed this was a quest for truth on your part the first time we read your post? It is evident you seek a vehicle to postulate your doctrine. I am glad that Matt has the grace to allow you to do so, and that he has the confidence that in the end, you will probably solidify the pre trib position in the minds of many. For that I am grateful to you both.

God bless.

Calvary


#12 Calvary

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Posted 08 December 2006 - 11:15 AM

Part 2 - responding to Pastor Trotter's challenge.


Let‚??s allow our student who never read a commentary to study the word of God.
If he read the whole Bible he would eventually read these two passages.


Isa 13:9 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it.
Isa 13:10 For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light: the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to shine.
Isa 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.
Isa 13:12 I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir.
Isa 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the LORD of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

Amo 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
Amo 5:19 As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him; or went into the house, and leaned his hand on the wall, and a serpent bit him.
Amo 5:20 Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?



What would he learn from these verses? That God is going to judge the earth and that this judgment is called ‚??the day of the Lord‚?Ě.

Sooner or alter he would cross paths with this verse.

Mat 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.


In fact when our student who never read a commentary read this passage he might conclude that this time of judgment is so bad that if the Lord didn‚??t stop it short, no one would make it through alive. Not only that, he would conclude that this judgment is only going to be stopped by the Lord coming Himself and putting a stop to it. This then would allow the student to observe that since the Lord has not yet returned, this judgment is still in the future.

Sooner or later he would get to this verse as well.

1Th 1:9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.


In this passage he would be relieved to know that Jesus is going to rescue him from this judgment.

So as any good investigative student might do he would ask the right questions.

He would ask ‚??Who?‚?Ě And the answer would be Jesus. ‚??What?‚?Ě Rescues us. ‚??When?‚?Ě From the time of the coming wrath. So what about the where and the why?

1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.


Ahh, there it is. Where? From the earth to the clouds. And the why?

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

Because I am not appointed to be there. Let me remind you that no one is going to miss any heavenly appointment. Ever.

So from there he might continue and conclude that since we‚??ll be rescued around the time of this judgment, yet we are not really appointed to be there for it, he would be rescued from it before it began (the day of the Lord).

Then he would read Paul‚??s words where he told him under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Wherefore comfort one another with these words, and say ‚??amen‚?Ě.


Or you could try to find some comfort in the post trib position, knowing that if you are fortunate enough to be alive just before the Lord comes to judge this earth, you will not be spared from this day of the Lord and the terrible judgments that are described in the book of Revelation.

I guess if you look hard enough, you can find some comfort in knowing that you are appointed to endure the vials, the bowls, the trumpets and the seals.

God bless,

Calvary

#13 pastortotten

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Posted 09 December 2006 - 03:58 AM

Hello to PastorJ, and Cavalier (hah), ...and all my dear friends in Christ!

Before we start looking at scripture, let's all remember a couple of principles of how to understand and interpret the Bible:

--- 1. Every verse should be taken in its immediate context. -- The nearby verses are usually more relevant to each other than verses further-away; also, verses (or word-usage) on a topic by the same human writer are more closely related than verses (or word-usage) by a different human writer. And N.T. Greek verses are more closely related and relevant to each other than to verses in the O.T.

--- 2. Clear, direct and explicit statements of scripture take precedence over unclear and implied ideas (e.g. theological "systems") which a reader might impose on the text. -- This basic perspective on how to properly interpret the Bible, is very much in accord with the statement: "When the plain sense of Scripture makes common sense, seek no other sense."

--- OK, I'm going start with the clearest and most direct things first, and work out from there (trying to answer questions that have been raised).

POINT ONE, 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17

The chief and the clearest rapture passage in the Bible is 1 Thess. 4:15-17 : "15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming (Gk = parousia) of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

--- Note: The Greek word "parousia" (pronounced pah-roo-SEE-ah), means "coming" and "arrival." Parousia is called a "technical term," ...meaning that when it talks about Christ it basically only refers to "his Messianic advent in glory to judge the world at the end of the age" -- in fact, 16 of the 17 usages carry this meaning. (ref.: "Greek-English Lexicon," of Bauer, Arndt & Gingrich, p.635 ).
-- The "parousia" is Christ's glorious 2nd Coming.
-- (A Suggestion: Write "parousia" in your Bible by the verses wherever it occurs).

-- Because of this direct and clear scriptural statement, it must be beyond dispute that at the same time as the coming (parousia) of the Lord there will also be the resurrection of "the dead in Christ," as well as the "catching up" (rapture) of those resurrected believers, along with other believers who had not died up until the coming of the Lord. (There will also be angels, a shout, a voice, and a trumpet.)
-- So, Resurrection and Rapture are linked closely together, and they are both linked to the Parousia of Christ. --All three happen on the same day (...maybe separated by some minutes, or so).
--To link this passage to other relevant passages, we seek 3 main elements: the Parousia, resurrection & rapture. (The other elements would be very good to find as well). :mrgreen:

POINT TWO, Matthew 24:21,27-31

This second passage, involves several of the key elements from 1Thess.4.

(Please see your Bible).
-- Vs. 21 tells us that this passage is the time of the "great tribulation," so we know the time-frame.
-- Vs. 27 = "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming (Gk = parousia) of the Son of man be." -- So, we know this is the parousia of Christ ...his glorious coming.
-- Vs. 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:" -- So, we know that the parousia of Christ happens just after the tribulation. -- (The darkening of the sun and moon, etc., is a quote from Joel 2:30-31.)
-- Vs. 30b = "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." -- This will be Christ's coming in power & glory.
-- Vs. 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."
--- So, we have the "gathering" of the "elect" as part of the parousia of Christ, which comes just after the tribulation. As we see that the angels "gather" the "elect" at this time, it is a very good description of the rapture. (As a bonus, we also have the "trumpet" and angel involvement.)

POINT THREE, 1 Corinthians 15:21-24, 51-52

This passage also involves several of the key elements from 1Thess.4.

(Please read these verses in your Bible)
-- Vs.21-22 - Informs us that this passage refers to the resurrection of the dead in Christ.
-- Vs. 23 = "But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ‚??s at his coming (parousia)."
-- So, the resurrection of the dead in Christ will happen at his parousia.
-- Then Paul explains a number of things about the nature of the believer's resurrection body.
-- Vs. 51-52 = "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
-- So, the resurrection will not only happen at the time of the parousia, but a trumpet will sound, and bodies will be "changed" (called "translation").


POINT FOUR, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3,8

Vs. 1 = "Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming (parousia) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him," -- Paul's topic is the glorious coming (Gk = parousia) of Jesus, and he includes "our gathering together unto him," which is a good description of the rapture.
Vs. 2 = "that ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ (Gk = "the Lord") is at hand."
-- This is all one sentence from vs.1 thru 2, and this makes a direct linkage between the Parousia (glorious coming in judgment) and the "day of the Lord" (the actual Greek wording is "the Lord"). They are the same event.

--- The "day of the Lord" is a famous "day" of God's judgment and wrath. It is mentioned often in scripture, and I would especially note Joel 2:30-31, which is quoted in the Matthew 24 passage discussed above. So, at the time of the Parousia of Christ, the awesome heavenly portents of Joel 2 will occur: These heavenly signs or "portents" are : the darkening of the sun and moon, along with the "falling" of stars, and the "shaking" of other heavenly bodies. Joel 2 specifically says that these heavenly portents will occur before the great day of the Lord. So, the parousia of Christ --his glorious coming in judgment-- is the beginning of the awesome day of the Lord.
-- This all matches up without contradiction.

-- Vs. 3 = "Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;"
-- So, that "day" of the Lord (and the day of his parousia) will not come, except that the "man of sin" (the Antichrist) is revealed first. -- Thus, Antichrist must be revealed on earth before the parousia and rapture can occur.

-- Vs. 8 = "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (parousia):" -- This awesome and bright coming (parousia) of the Lord will be the event which shall destroy and consume that Wicked Antichrist. Antichrist's destruction will be part of the judgment brought by Christ at his parousia, when Christ will tread the winepress of the wrath of God (Rev. 19:15).

So, all of these four passages of scripture are in remarkable agreement. No conflicts. -- It's amazing.

So, why would the Lord let his saints (the Church) go throught the tribulation?
-- Because they (we) will testify for Jesus (Rev. 17:6; 20:4).
-- Because they (we) will remain faithful to Jesus (Rev. 14:12).
-- Because they (we) will patiently endure (Rev. 13:10).
-- Because they (we) will die in the Lord (Rev. 14:13).
-- Because precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints (Psa. 116:15)
-- Because they'll be "faithful unto death" and he'll "give thee a crown of life" (Rev. 2:10)
-- Because we are "partakers of Christ‚??s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy." - 1Peter 4:13.
-- "because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:" 1 Peter 2:21
-- "ye shall be hated of all men for my name‚??s sake: ...The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord." - Mat. 24:22,24
-- Because they (we) will take the gospel to "all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come." Matt. 24:14

Be strengthened. Jesus reassures us, "surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age" Mt.24.

*


Those whom the apostles personally instructed --and those taught in turn by them-- were most likely to know and adhere to the original teachings of scripture. -- They taught that the Christian Church will encounter the Antichrist:

Justin Martyr (100 to 167 A.D.) lived near the time of the apostle John (who died in 100 A.D.); Justin taught the resurrection and rapture of believers would occur at the beginning of the millennium (Christ's 1000-year reign, which starts just after the glorious Second Coming). This is the post-trib position. Justin also wrote, "the man of apostasy [Antichrist] ...shall venture to do unlawful deeds on earth against us the Christians" (Trypho cx).

Irenaeus (130 to 200 A.D.) who said he held the actual apostles' teaching, wrote, "they [the ten kings of Rev. 17:1-13] shall ...give their kingdom to the beast [Antichrist], and put the Church to flight" (Against Heresies V, 26, 1). Irenaeus also said : "but he [John] indicates the number of the name [666 of Antichrist] now, that when this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is" ( Against Heresies V, 30, 4).

Tertullian (150 to 220 A.D.) attached the rapture of 1 Thessalonians 4, to the start of Christ's millennial kingdom on earth. Tertullian said the tribulation situation will be such "that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God" (On the Resurrection of the Flesh xxv).

Cyprian (200 to 260 A.D.) writes, "Nor let any of you, beloved brethren, be terrified by the fear of future persecution by the coming of the threatening Antichrist" (Epistle 55,7). And we do well to take Cyprian's advice, since the Lord's grace is sufficient for true believers to be victorious in any situation.

Pseudo-Ephraem (between 400 to 600 A.D.) --was a man who "borrowed" materials from the real Ephraem of Syria, ---and from this Pseudo-Ephraem some pre-tribulationists have taken a couple of sentences out of context in an attempt to say that there was an early date for the pre-tribulation rapture teaching. The two sentences of Pseudo-Ephraem which are often quoted, state: "Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare oursleves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that He may draw us from the confusion which overwhelms all the world? ... For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they ever see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins."

--Observe, that these quoted sentences do not mention a "coming" of the Lord, or a resurrection of the dead or a glorification (translation) or a heavenly destination of believers. Further study of Pseudo-Ephraem's writing shows that his terms "gathered" and "taken to the Lord" actually meant "evangelized," "saved" or "brought to Christ."
Further, in a solid and thorough analysis of the writings of both Pseudo and real Ephraem, Dr. Robert Gundry (in his book, "First the Antichrist", '97, Baker, p.161-188) demonstrates that in reality, "Pseudo-Ephraem urges Christians to forsake worldliness in preparation for meeting Christ when he returns after the great tribulation. Meanwhile, Christian evangelism is taking people to the Lord and gathering them into the Church. ... This interpretation takes account of Pseudo-Ephraem's leaving the corpses of Christians unburied during the tribulation, putting the resurrection of Christians and their meeting Christ at his coming after the tribulation to destroy the Antichrist, making imminent the advent of Antichrist rather than that of Christ, and utilizing the plainly and heavily post-trib tradition of true Ephraem, who repeatedly portrayed present-day evangelism as a gathering" (my emphases).

--This exposes the pre-tribulationist's out-of-context statements from Pseudo-Ephraem's writings.

*

Not only did the early Church teach that the Church would face Antichrist, and that Christ would return at the beginning of the Millennium, but in all of Church history, there is never a pre-tribulation rapture teaching, until Edward Irving writes of it in the 1830s A.D. ---So, the pre-trib rapture teaching is only 170 years old (and the mid-trib teaching is even more recent).

Outstanding Bible Teachers in subsequent generations of Church history, who taught that the Church would encounter the persecution of the Antichrist here on earth before the Second Coming, include : John Calvin, Martin Luther, John Knox, John Bunyan, Isaac Newton, George Whitefield, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Hodge, Henry Alford, J.Sidlow Baxter, F.F. Bruce, Thomas Chalmers, Adam Clarke, Jonathan Edwards, Jim Elliott, W.J. Erdman, Robert Gundry, Carl F. Henry, Matthew Henry, John Huss, Orson Jones, C.S. Lovett, J.Gresham Machen, Peter Marshall, Walter Martin, Gary Matsdorf, G.Campbell Morgan, Leon Morris, George Mueller, Ian Murray, B.W. Newton, John Newton, H.J. Ockenga, Bernard Ramm, Alexander Reese, A. Saphir, Demos Shakarian, A.B. Simpson, Oswald J. Smith, Jim Spillman, R.C. Sproul, Corrie TenBoom, S.P. Tragelles, William Tyndale, B.B. Warfield, Charles Wesley, R.F. Youngblood, ---and premillennial posttribulationists also include : Bengel, Brooks, Cameron, Delitzsch, Derstine, DeWette, Ellicott, Ewald, Frost, Godet, Godwin, Wayne Grudem, Joyner, Kellogg, Moorehead, Orelli, Robertson, Rothe, Ryle, Spener, Stier, Trench, Volck, Van Ostersee, West, Whiston, Zahn, and many more.
---In looking at the whole history of the Christian Church, the overwhelming majority of great Bible-teachers have believed that the Church would encounter Antichrist, and that the rapture and the glorious Second Coming would happen at the same time ...just after the tribulation.


Blessings to you all, my dear friends in Christ! - Pastor T O T T E N

#14 Calvary

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Posted 13 December 2006 - 02:54 PM

Hello brother,

I was still waiting for the rebuttal to our last three posts before we respond to this post. As it stands, this post has answered nothing in the way of our previous posts, all this post has done is to state and clarify your already stated position.
Your position is in fact quite clear to all of us following this thread brother, what we would like is an answer to the previously made statements in order to continue this debate.

If you are going to use this thread only as a platform to propagate your position, I will humbly and respectively withdraw myself from any further posting.

God bless,

Calvary

#15 Pastorj

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 11:03 AM

I am going to deal with Pastor Totten‚??s last post. Part of studying the Bible is knowing who the author is speaking to, as agreed upon earlier. Matthew is speaking specifically to the Jews, Daniel is specifically speaking to the Jews, while Thessalonians and Corinthians are speaking to the Church. We have agreed upon the fact that Israel and the church are separate. We have also agreed that the Tribulation is specifically for the Jews and for the unsaved. We have also established that the outline of the book of Revelation is dealing with the past, present and future according to: Rev. 1:19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter;

The problems come in the interpretation of Chapter 2&3. Pastor Totten believes that chapters 2&3 are only for the 7 literal churches in John‚??s day. I have expressed that these are dealing with the church age. Whether they are 7 different ages or whether these 7 churches are just representative of the entire church age is irrelevant. Since in either case, Rev. 3:10 clearly and explicitly states that the church will be saved from the ‚??hour of temptation‚?Ě which is otherwise known as the Tribulation.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

We have also clearly shown that the church is not seen in Rev. chapters 4 through 22. Calvary has stated that there are many witnesses during this time, but the church is not one of them. Why is this? Clearly, the church is not here.

We have also demonstrated that there are differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming. At the Rapture, we meet Christ in the air. At the 2nd Coming, Christ returns to earth to establish his Kingdom. At the Rapture, Christians are taken, At the 2nd coming, we return. There are numerous other differences that have already been stated.

Pastor Totten loves his Matt. 24 passage as a 2nd coming passage. He is absolutely correct. Matt. 24 was written to who? The Jews. As Daniel does not refer to the Church age in the 70 weeks, Matt. Does not refer to the rapture. Why? These authors are not writing to the Church, they are writing to the Jews. The next prophetical event for them is the Tribulation, while the next prophetical event for the church is the Rapture.

We on the other hand have shown that Rev. 4:1, 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15 all are in agreement that we will meet Christ in the air and will be transformed. Who are these passages written to? The Church. These passages describe what takes place prior to the Tribulation. We compare them to the book of Revelation and there is clear proof that the Rapture occurs prior to the Tribulation. We also see the church in Heaven throughout the book of Revelation, while the Tribulation is going on. During the Tribulation, those that are saved appear at the Bema Seat Judgment (Judgment Seat of Christ) and at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.

It will be at the Bema Seat that we receive our Rewards. Take a look at the following passages:
1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his comingJam 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.

Notice who the recipient of these verses are. The Church. Now let‚??s look at Rev. 4:10-11 We will see that those that are in heaven (represented by the 24 elders) cast their crowns at the feet of Christ.

Skipping over to Ch. 19 (a passage Pastor Totten has used as proof of a post-trib rapture.
Notice in Verses 1-9 we see that Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Then after this event in Verse 11, we see the 2nd Coming. If the Post Trib argument is correct, then the marriage supper would be for those who have died and that those of us who make it to the end times, will not get to participate, nor will we get our rewards or our robes.

When we look at the chronology of the end times as given to us in the Book of Revelation, we can come to no other conclusion than the church will not be part of the Tribulation.

#16 wpm

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Posted 15 December 2006 - 08:40 PM

Brethren

Thanks for your response.

Could I remind you? You have yet to address my crucial question. Can you show me a clear passage in Scripture that you consider indicates (1) a rapture of the Church, (2) immediately followed by a literal seven-year tribulation, (3) immediately followed by a Coming of Christ?

The problems come in the interpretation of Chapter 2&3. Pastor Totten believes that chapters 2&3 are only for the 7 literal churches in John‚??s day. I have expressed that these are dealing with the church age. Whether they are 7 different ages or whether these 7 churches are just representative of the entire church age is irrelevant. Since in either case, Rev. 3:10 clearly and explicitly states that the church will be saved from the ‚??hour of temptation‚?Ě which is otherwise known as the Tribulation.



Revelation 3:10 declares, speaking to the first century believers at Philadelphian church, ‚??Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.‚?Ě

There is no mention of a 7 yrs trib here. There is no mention of 2 Comings. What Pretribulationists forget is the fact that the counsel contained within this letter was actually written to Philadelphian believers in John‚??s day, and primarily related to the brutal persecution of the Christians by the Romans in that day. The Philadelphians were simply promised divine protection in the time of trial in their day. This is a common promise for faithful believers throughout all time.

We believe it is the nature of God in Scripture and Church history to preserve His elect people in the midst of adversity rather than remove them from it. We see that throughout Scripture. Why would he not do it during a final period of tribulation. Our brethren suggest that ‚??keep thee from the hour of temptation‚?Ě is referring to the catching away of the saints from the earth at the Coming of Christ. However, there is not the slightest mention of the Lord‚??s appearing in the wording of this expression nor is there even a hint of the rapture of the saints. It is rather speaking of the preservation of these first century Philadelphian saints from the impending evil. The same assurance is found in our Lord‚??s prayer in John 17:15 (a few years before), when he says, ‚??I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.‚?Ě

Christ doesn‚??t ask the Father to ‚??take them out‚?Ě of the world with its existing tribulation and inherent evil, as the Pretrib imagines, rather the opposite, but that by the power of His Spirit, He would ‚??keep them from‚?Ě the surrounding evil. This is the same thought that Christ is presenting in Revelation 3:10. Interestingly, a careful comparison between these two passages reveals the remarkable similarity in their import and construction.

‚??keep (tereo) them from (ek) the evil‚?Ě (John 17:15)

‚??keep (tereo) thee from (ek) the hour of temptation‚?Ě (Revelation 3:10)

In fact, these are the only two places in Scripture that the Greek words tereo and ek are found together. Not only do these two passage not indicate an escape for the Church from this world, but Christ plainly and succinctly proclaims the contrary. Whatever ‚??the hour of temptation‚?Ě represented to the Philadelphian church they knew that they would be sheltered from its awful throes.

We on the other hand have shown that Rev. 4:1, 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15 all are in agreement that we will meet Christ in the air and will be transformed



Notice who the recipient of these verses are. The Church. Now let‚??s look at Rev. 4:10-11 We will see that those that are in heaven (represented by the 24 elders) cast their crowns at the feet of Christ.



I don't believe Revelation 4:1-2 has anything to do with a secret rapture. In fact, note what it actually says and how it compares to similarly worded passages in Revelation. Remember, the safest way to understand Scripture is to compare Scripture with Scripture.

Revelation 4:1-2 commences, ‚??After this (speaking of his supernatural encounter with Christ on Patmos) I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.‚?Ě

Nowhere in this chapter do we find any description of, or allusion to, the rapture of the saints. Rather, in contrast, it is a record of the catching away of John ‚??in the Spirit‚?Ě (4:2) to receive further revelation. In fact, chapters 4 & 5 in their totality outline a detailed description, by John, of the heavenly court and the One who sits upon the throne. Moreover, nowhere in this chapter is there even the slightest allusion to the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ or the Church of Jesus Christ ‚?? generally.

(1) Who was this command addressed to?
(2) When did, or will, this event occur?
(3) What was it specifically speaking of?

(1) John
(2) It occurred 2,000 years ago
(3) John being caught up ‚??in the spirit‚?Ě into ‚??heaven‚?Ě to receive a supernatural revelation of things to come ‚??hereafter.‚?Ě

In this reading, the Lord simply commands John to ‚??Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.‚?Ě The revelation that he would now receive would thus relate to events from this time (2,000 years ago) forth. The same idea and similar wording is found in two other passages in this apocalyptic book, after he had been caught up:

Revelation 17:1-3 in the same way says, ‚??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 ‚?¶ So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.‚?Ě

Revelation 21:9-10 in the same way says, ‚??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. 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.‚?Ě

Three times John is commanded ‚??come hither‚?Ě and all three times he is expressly ‚??in the spirit.‚?Ě All three passages closely mirror each other, in the sense that they describe the same supernatural manner in which John received the visions. Notwithstanding, none of them make the slightest allusion to the catching away of the saints.

Revelation 4:1-2 ‚??come up hither‚?Ě ‚??in the spirit‚?Ě
Revelation 17:1-3 ‚??come hither‚?Ě ‚??in the spirit‚?Ě
Revelation 21:9-10 ‚??come hither‚?Ě ‚??in the spirit‚?Ě

We have also clearly shown that the church is not seen in Rev. chapters 4 through 22. Calvary has stated that there are many witnesses during this time, but the church is not one of them. Why is this? Clearly, the church is not here.



The idea that the Church must be absent from the earth between Revelation 4‚??19 because of the fact that the word ecclesia is not mentioned in those chapters is totally illogical, and ignores the many clear and explicit varying terms and descriptions that God employs to describe His beloved people the Church in these passages. The Holy Spirit uses many names to describe God‚??s elect between Revelation 4 and 19, as He does elsewhere in Scripture; the word ‚??ecclesia‚?? or ‚??called out ones‚?? or ‚??Church‚?? being just one of many.

The word ecclesia is also not found anywhere in the New Testament books of Mark, Luke, John, 2 Timothy, Titus, 2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John and Jude, yet the Church is undoubtedly the recipient of these inspired books and is continually referred to under many varying descriptions throughout them. Like the whole book of Revelation, these books use varying descriptions of the Church of Jesus Christ such as ‚??saints,‚?Ě ‚??elect,‚?Ě ‚??redeemed,‚?Ě ‚??brethren‚?Ě and ‚??servants.‚?Ě

Notwithstanding, if the Pretrib logic is correct, and if its adherents are consistent, then the Pretribber must believe that the aforementioned New Testament books have absolutely no relevance whatsoever to the Church of Jesus Christ in this day of grace, but are rather only applicable to the Jews in a supposed seven-year tribulation period? Ironically, the one gospel that our Pretrib brethren contend is written exclusively to the Jews, and has therefore an important relevance to them in the Great Tribulation, is the only gospel that mentions the Church ‚?? Matthew. Even then, it is worth noting, we see no mention of the word Church after Matthew 18. Does this mean that Matthew 19-28 relates specially to the tribulation period after the supposed secret rapture?

Moreover, the word ‚??Church‚?? is also not used in relation to the overall body of Christ in Romans, 2 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, 2 Thessalonians, Philemon and I Peter, but is only used in the context of the local visible gathering of God‚??s people, a number that quite often included professors and false-professors alike. However, the true Church ‚?? the body of Christ ‚?? relates solely to Christ‚??s blood-bought alone.

Notably, in the other New Testament books that do use the word ‚??Church‚?Ě in relation to the whole body of Christ, we find only one reference in Galatians, Philippians and James and only two verses in Matthew, Colossians and Hebrews. In the remaining books we have no mention of the Church after Acts 20:28, 1 Corinthians 15:9, Ephesians 5:32, 1 Timothy 5:16 and 3 John 1:10. Do all these particular passages reveal the actual demarcation line between the so-called Gospel age and the supposed Church-free Great Tribulation period?

We have also demonstrated that there are differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming. At the Rapture, we meet Christ in the air. At the 2nd Coming, Christ returns to earth to establish his Kingdom. At the Rapture, Christians are taken, At the 2nd coming, we return. There are numerous other differences that have already been stated.



I don't believe so. I refer you to my opening question.

Pastor Totten loves his Matt. 24 passage as a 2nd coming passage. He is absolutely correct. Matt. 24 was written to who? The Jews. As Daniel does not refer to the Church age in the 70 weeks, Matt. Does not refer to the rapture. Why? These authors are not writing to the Church, they are writing to the Jews. The next prophetical event for them is the Tribulation, while the next prophetical event for the church is the Rapture.



The NT is for the NT Church. The Bible informs, ‚??all scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works‚?Ě (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

We on the other hand have shown that Rev. 4:1, 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15 all are in agreement that we will meet Christ in the air and will be transformed. Who are these passages written to? The Church. These passages describe what takes place prior to the Tribulation. We compare them to the book of Revelation and there is clear proof that the Rapture occurs prior to the Tribulation. We also see the church in Heaven throughout the book of Revelation, while the Tribulation is going on. During the Tribulation, those that are saved appear at the Bema Seat Judgment (Judgment Seat of Christ) and at the Marriage Supper of the Lamb.



Revelation 19:7-10 tells us, ‚??Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God. And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See thou do it not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.‚?Ě

I believe this is the one final Coming of Christ. This relates to the rapture of the Church.

It will be at the Bema Seat that we receive our Rewards. Take a look at the following passages:
1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
1Co 9:25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Th 2:19 For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his comingJam 1:12 Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.



Please clarify your point.

Skipping over to Ch. 19 (a passage Pastor Totten has used as proof of a post-trib rapture.
Notice in Verses 1-9 we see that Marriage Supper of the Lamb. Then after this event in Verse 11, we see the 2nd Coming. If the Post Trib argument is correct, then the marriage supper would be for those who have died and that those of us who make it to the end times, will not get to participate, nor will we get our rewards or our robes.



I have already addressed this.

When we look at the chronology of the end times as given to us in the Book of Revelation, we can come to no other conclusion than the church will not be part of the Tribulation.



Jesus said in John 16:33, "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Acts 14:22 says, "we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."

God bless,

Paul

#17 pastortotten

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 01:56 AM

My friends, PastorJ and Calvary,

Since wpm has covered most other things, I will further address a couple issues (Calvary).

God's Purposes in the Tribulation:

I agree with you, that one of the purposes of the tribulation is to deal with rebellious Israel and purge out the rebels, and to turn Israel to seek the Lord accept the Messiah, which is a major reason why it is called the time of "Jacob's Trouble." I also agree that another purpose is to allow for the enemies of Israel (especially the Antichrist and his people) to be destroyed.

---But then, there are other people on earth during the tribulation besides Israel ...and the most notable group among the other people is the "saints" who believe in Jesus. It is beyond dispute that there is a huge multitude of these believers in Jesus who come from every nation in the world (Rev. 7:9-14). Since they are from "every tongue" and "every nation," many --if not most-- of these saints are not Jews.

God has purposes for these Gentile tribulation saints. ---What are some of these purposes?

1. - To Patiently Endure - (Rev. 13:10; 14:12). - This will be a very tough time to endure, so it will require spiritual strength and power, which is only possible through the Holy Spirit.

2. - To Obey and keep their faith in Jesus. - (Rev. 14:12). These saints have saving "faith" in Jesus. Such faith means they are justified because they trust and rely on Christ. Through their faith in Christ alone --by grace-- they are saved, and their "robes" are washed in "the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14)

3. - To be tremendously victorious and successful witnesses (Rev. 14:6,13; 7:9)

4. - To Die "in" Christ - (Rev. 17:6). - Not only do they die, but it is very important in what state and position they die: they die "in" Christ.
--- What is the significance of being "in" Christ? . . . the scriptures say:

-- In Christ the trib saints have redemption and forgiveness (Eph. 1:7).
-- In Christ the trib saints are "new creatures," meaning they are born again (2 Cor. 5:17).
-- In Christ the trib saints are "sealed with the Holy Spirit" (Eph. 1:13).
-- In Christ the trib saints have "all spiritual blessings" (Eph. 1:3).
-- In Christ their blessings include being part of Christ's body, the Church (Eph. 1:22,23)
-- In Christ they, "being many, are one body in Christ" (Romans 12:5), which is the Church.
-- In Christ they are part of the "same body" of Christ, which is the Church (Eph. 3:6).
-- In Christ they share "one faith, ..."one Spirit," ... and "one body," the Church (Eph. 4:4-5).

Because of what Revelation 17:6 says, it is beyond dispute that multitudes of Gentile saints are "in" Christ on earth during the tribulation. --In addition, the overwhelming teaching of the apostle Paul demonstrates that people who are "in Christ" are part of the "body of Christ," which is the Church. --Therefore, it is unavoidable, that a part of the Church must be on earth during the tribulation, and this fact deletes the main reason for needing a pre-tribulation rapture.

IF someone thinks that these tribulation believers who are "in Christ" will not be part of Christ's body, what is the adequate scriptural reason to say that this particular provision is withheld from them? ...and what other "spiritual blessings" (Eph. 1:3) in Christ are also withheld from them, and for what scriptural reason?

--Whatsmore, any Jew who is saved during the tribulation (or at the time of the 2nd Coming) must become part of the body of Christ (the Church), because being "in Christ" is the only provision God has for a person to be saved.
--- If there could be any other way, I would like someone to specifically spell out the "tribulation gospel" message to be preached during the tribulation ---including: how it is that a person will be justified, redeemed and have their sins paid for during the tribulation (if not in Christ), and how will they take part in the death, burial and resurrection from the dead (if it is not by being part of the body of Christ)? --- Please see Romans 6:1-10.


It is for such reasons that I am a "progressive dispensationalist," which means that once God's provision for salvation has progressed to the point it is at, there is no going back to the old inadequate ways of an earlier dispensation. They are gone permanently. --- Please read the book of Hebrews, chapters 7, 8, 9 and 10.

-- So, God's purposes for physical Israel will continue during the tribulation alongside God's purposes for the Church --just as they continue right now, with the Lord gathering Israel back into their land, and with the ungodly nations gathering their anger and power against Israel.

About God's Tribulation Wrath . . .

... It is true that no believer will ever be subject to God's wrath (1 Thess. 5:9), even during the tribulation. This is true because wherever God's wrath (particularly the vials of wrath) is poured out in the tribulation, it affects either non-human objects such as trees and grass (Rev. 8:7), sea-creatures (Rev. 8:9), the sun, moon and stars (Rev. 8:12), the sea and rivers turned to blood (Rev. 8:8; + 16:3,4), the river Euphrates (Rev. 16:12) ---OR, God's wrath is targeted to affect only "earth-dwellers" (8:13) (as opposed to saints), and it will target Antichrist and his evil followers (16:2,6,10), and non-believers who refuse to repent and also "blaspheme God" (16:9,11), and who gather to fight the Lord (Rev. 16:14).

--- Though non-believers will persecute tribulation saints, it should be evident that God's wrath affects only unrepentant non-believers and never God's saints.

Blessings, my friends in Christ. - Pastor Totten

#18 Pastorj

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 07:57 AM

I am going to post a short rebuttal of Pastor Totten's last post.

We agree that there will be tribulation saints and therefore your post is irrelevant to the conversation. These tribulation saints however, are not the church and they are saved after the rapture. All of the verses you gave are after Rev. 4:1 which I have already demonstrated as the Rapture.

Calvary will be posting a rebuttal of wpm.

#19 Calvary

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 09:54 AM

Rev 17:6 And I saw the woman drunken with the blood of the saints, and with the blood of the martyrs of Jesus: and when I saw her, I wondered with great admiration.


Just a quick question to pastor Totten.

Where does it say these folks are "in" Christ? Furthermore ewvery reason you stated for a child of God being in the Time of Jacob's trouble is the same reasoning that can apply to me today as a memeber of the Body of Christ. All of the reasons that God wants me to be more like Christ are evident today in several countries around the world this moment as Christians are persecuted. Your answer is lacking in my opinion.



I will let pastorj respond to this post. My response is to wpm's post.


___________________________________________________

Our brother has asked twice for a single passage that has a rapture of the church, a 7 year tribulation period after said rapture and a Second Coming of the Lord Jesus.
Sadly we have yet to agree on the fact that there really is no such need for a single verse. I have the whole Bible. Fact is, there is no single verse that says there will be a rapture of the church which is his body at the end of a 7 year period called the tribulation, however that hasn‚??t deterred our brother from believing in a post tribulation calling up of the saints.

He has stated that the believer will indeed suffer tribulation in the world, and we whole heartedly agree. Believer‚??s have been tortured, martyred, burned alive and boiled in cauldrons, yet that is not what the term tribulation means here in this debate and I believe it a smoke screen argument that needs no further mention.

I would like to say that Matthew 24 and 1 Thess. 4 have been and will be the foundational texts for either position to make their case from. It would seem we stand at a cross road of unwilling agreement as to the context of the verses.

May I suggest however that our brother wpm has stated a poor exegetical hermeneutic that demands a text be held to some dead orthodox past? His insistence upon Revelation 3 being held to one local church in Philadelphia is at best a pretext for disannulling the scriptures and their prophetic intent as the book of Revelation is in fact prophetical by its very nature. Neither you nor I could ever point out with any certainty the actual local church referred to, yet you insist that it is in fact a church that at one time existed, yet we can have no access to its admonition. That is a double standard, and I have addressed that problem before with Pastor Totten. Also, pastorj has stated with accuracy that whether it is a local church or a time of the church age, the fact remains the focus is on being kept from the hour of temptation. It would behoove both sides to amply prove the definition of what ‚??the hour of temptation‚?Ě really is, since the post trib side has not done so, and to our regret, neither has the pre trib side. So, I would ask for a definition supported by scriptures as to what the Bible deems the hour of temptation is. I will say this however, no Christian is promised to be kept from temptation in the sense of life‚??s trials, temptations and its designs upon our lives as children of God. We are given blessed promises that will succor help in our time of need, yet no scripture will be found that states the Christian will be exempted from the toils of life. Therefore the reasoning given by pastor Totten for the church to be in the Time of Jacob's trouble would be the same reasons why the Lord does not call home a beleiver the moment he accepts teh finished work of Jesus as saviour. So in that respect, I would like to see a fuller treatment by the post trib rapturist on Revelation 3 in that light. You might find yourself preaching a Charismatic gospel that God wants us all to be healthy, wealthy and wise! In other words, if the hour of temptation is not a certain event, what is it? Why did the local church in Philidelphia have this promise and not the church of today? May I claim this verse as a promise to me? These are actually legitamte questions wpm as you desire to force the verse into a historic narrative and nothing more. Unless you can show us why this verse need be a historical narrative and nothing more, then you must show it to be thus from the word of God and not from your own opinion.

So we are now going to answer the question raised by brother wpm as to the distinctions between the Second Coming and the Rapture of the church which his is Body. The list was presented in the opening argument of pastorj and has of yet to be dealt with by either of the post tribulation supporters.

If these events are one and the same, we of course must cede, stand corrected and change our doctrinal position. Yet if we can demonstrate that the Second Coming of Christ establish his reign, his throne in Jerusalem and His coming for the Bride of Christ, the church which is His body, then there should be no more debate. I think this issue is much more important that you may realize.
Things different are not the same. That is a Sesame Street lesson and one that every child can discern. Things similar are not the same.

R = RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH SC = SECOND COMING OF CHRIST IN POWER AND GLORY

CHRIST COMES FOR HIS OWN ‚?? R
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

CHRIST COMES WITH HIS OWN - SC
1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.


CHRIST COMES IN THE AIR - R
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

CHRIST COME TO THE EARTH - SC
Zec 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


BELIEVERS ARE TAKEN - R
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

CHRIST IS MANIFEST - SC
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

CHRIST IS ONLY SEEN BY HIS OWN ‚?? R
1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

CHRIST IS SEEN BY ALL - SC
Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

BELIEVERS SAVED FROM WRATH ‚?? R
1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

UNBELIEVERS EXPERIENCE WRATH ‚?? SC
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

NO SIGNS GIVEN ‚?? R
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

SIGNS GIVEN FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST IN GLORY ‚?? SC
Luk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.


CHRIST‚??S CHURCH IN VIEW ‚?? R
1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

ISRAEL AND THE KINGDOM IN VIEW ‚?? SC
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

WORLD IS DECEIVED ‚?? R
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

SATAN CAN NO LONGER DECIEVE ‚?? SC
Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
(for a 1000 years at least)



Pastor Totten made great use of the greek word paraousia and determined to show that it is the phrase that defines the Second Coming. Extrapolating the word and using a narrow and inflexible definition (aptly provided for through his lexicon of choice :lol: ) we can point to verses in Timothy that would support the false teaching that every time a sinner is saved we witness the Second Coming of Christ.

I would like to give the reader a few more verses and some other words that were sadly, left out of Pastor Totten‚??s argument.

The New Testament clearly teaches that Jesus Christ will "come again" (John 14:3) and "appear the second time" (Hebrews 9:38). At least nine biblical terms are used in the New Testament to describe the return of Christ. Paraousia is only one of many words that denote the coming of Christ. That said, we again refer the reader to the crux of the argument. There is no debate as to the fact the Lord is coming again. There is no debate as to whether or not Matthew 24 or 1 Thess 4 or any host of other passages are referring to the Second Coming of Christ. The real issue is; are there two phases to His coming or is it all one big ball of wax? Paraousia in and of itself proves nothing. No more so than the other 8 words listed. Let‚??s stick to the KJB folks. Running to a lexicon is a sham and is a forsaking of our final authority. Thayer, Mantey, Robertson, Young or any other greek expert is not the final court of appeals. Can you prove that Revelation 3:10 doesn‚??t mean what it says without trying to prove what ‚??ek‚?Ě means? Of course you cannot. In fact, you are only mimicking what others have written. We can all find experts to sport our cause, yet what can we prove by sticking to the KJB text as was stated from the beginning of this debate? I think that it will change the color of the debate greatly.



1. Ho erchomenos. "The coming one," as in Hebrews 10:37, "For yet a little while,
and he that shall come will come."

2. Erchomai. The act of coming. Used often of Christ's return. Cf. Matthew
24:30; John 14:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; Jude 14; Revelation 1:7; 22:20.

3. Katabaino. To "come down" or descend, as in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, "For the
Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout."

4. Heko. Result of one's coming, to have "arrived," as in Revelation 3:3, "I will
come as a thief."

5. Parousia. Denotes arrival and presence (of a ruler), as in 1 Thessalonians 2:19,
"For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?"

6. Apokalupsis. Meaning to "unveil" or "uncover." Rendered "appearing"
(1 Peter 1:7) or "coming" (1 Corinthians 1:7) or "revelation" (Revelation 1:1). Involves the unveiling of His divine glory.

7. Phaneroo. To "appear" (John 21:1) or be "manifest" (1 John 3:5). As in
1 John 3:2, "It is not yet made manifest what we shall be. but we know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is."

8. Epiphaino. To "appear" in full light or visibility. Denotes the "brightness" of
His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8) and the glory of "that day... unto all them that love his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8).

9. Horao. To "see with the eyes," or to "appear" visibly, as in Hebrews 9:28, "and
unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time."


So what did we learn from the 9 words? Not much really.

What does 1 Thess 1:10 say? In English it says what it says doesn‚??t it?

1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.


Amen and hallelujah!

God bless,

Calvary

#20 wpm

wpm

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Posted 16 December 2006 - 02:54 PM

Calvary

Thanks for taking the time to respond.

Our brother has asked twice for a single passage that has a rapture of the church, a 7 year tribulation period after said rapture and a Second Coming of the Lord Jesus. Sadly we have yet to agree on the fact that there really is no such need for a single verse. I have the whole Bible. Fact is, there is no single verse that says there will be a rapture of the church which is his body at the end of a 7 year period called the tribulation, however that hasn‚??t deterred our brother from believing in a post tribulation calling up of the saints.



I am glad that we have established that there is not one single passage in Scripture that teaches a rapture of the Church, immediately followed by a seven-year tribulation, immediately followed by a further Coming of Christ. I believe this alone is adequate grounds to question the Pretrib paradigm. As for your assertion that ‚??there is no single verse that says there will be a rapture of the church which is his body at the end of a 7 year period called the tribulation.‚?Ě I totally agree. I would go further: there is no single verse that says there will be ‚?¶ a 7 year period called the tribulation. Scripture states that nowhere. The fact is, there is only one reference to the term seven-years in the New Testament in Luke 2:36. It describes ‚??Anna‚?Ě living with her ‚??husband seven years from her virginity.‚?Ě No other reference!!! There is no existing scriptural basis for insisting on this seven-year tribulation idea.

I believe the tribulation period is undefined; it commenced with the first martyr Stephen and will end at the one final Coming of Christ. The end will see a period of intense tribulation. I don‚??t believe the length of that is stated.

I would like to say that Matthew 24 and 1 Thess. 4 have been and will be the foundational texts for either position to make their case from. It would seem we stand at a cross road of unwilling agreement as to the context of the verses...

So we are now going to answer the question raised by brother wpm as to the distinctions between the Second Coming and the Rapture of the church which his is Body. The list was presented in the opening argument of pastorj and has of yet to be dealt with by either of the post tribulation supporters.

If these events are one and the same, we of course must cede, stand corrected and change our doctrinal position. Yet if we can demonstrate that the Second Coming of Christ establish his reign, his throne in Jerusalem and His coming for the Bride of Christ, the church which is His body, then there should be no more debate. I think this issue is much more important that you may realize.
Things different are not the same. That is a Sesame Street lesson and one that every child can discern. Things similar are not the same.

R = RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH SC = SECOND COMING OF CHRIST IN POWER AND GLORY

CHRIST COMES FOR HIS OWN ‚?? R
Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
2Th 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

CHRIST COMES WITH HIS OWN - SC
1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
Jud 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
Rev 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.


CHRIST COMES IN THE AIR - R
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

CHRIST COME TO THE EARTH - SC
Zec 14:4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
Act 1:11 Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.


BELIEVERS ARE TAKEN - R
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

CHRIST IS MANIFEST - SC
Mal 4:2 But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

CHRIST IS ONLY SEEN BY HIS OWN ‚?? R
1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

CHRIST IS SEEN BY ALL - SC
Rev 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.

BELIEVERS SAVED FROM WRATH ‚?? R
1Th 1:10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

UNBELIEVERS EXPERIENCE WRATH ‚?? SC
Rev 6:13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
Rev 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
Rev 6:15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains;
Rev 6:16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
Rev 6:17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

NO SIGNS GIVEN ‚?? R
1Th 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
1Th 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1Th 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

SIGNS GIVEN FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST IN GLORY ‚?? SC
Luk 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.


CHRIST‚??S CHURCH IN VIEW ‚?? R
1Th 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
1Th 4:14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
1Th 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1Th 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

ISRAEL AND THE KINGDOM IN VIEW ‚?? SC
Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
Mat 24:16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

WORLD IS DECEIVED ‚?? R
2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6 And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
2Th 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

SATAN CAN NO LONGER DECIEVE ‚?? SC
Rev 20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.
Rev 20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,
(for a 1000 years at least)



One Redeemed People

Before you list what you have listed, you have to prove that the redeemed in the OT and the redeemed in the NT are not one. The New Testament makes clear; there is only one elect people. There is only one good olive tree, not two; one body, not two; one bride, not two; one spiritual temple, not two; one people of God, not two; one household of faith, not two; one fold, not two; one man, not ‚??twain,‚?Ě and one elect of God throughout time!!!

The Last Trumpet

There is no 7 year tribulation period mentioned in either 1 Thessalonians 4 or Matthew 24. You would have to insert it in. Whilst we acknowledge that both of these readings refer to the Coming of Christ, we suggest that they both refer to the same Coming (after the tribulation). We don‚??t see a third Coming of Christ mentioned or intimated anywhere in Scripture (including these two passages). Rather, Scripture shows us that Christ comes with and for His elect (the redeemed of God) at this one final Coming.

1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 confirms this saying: ‚??if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the Coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.‚?Ě

We believe this is a record of Christ‚??s one and only future Coming. This reading describes how Christ comes with and for His saints the next time. Verse 14 of our reading explicitly states, ‚??them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.‚?Ě Our Pretrib brethren have yet to acknowledge this point. This is the final uniting of the elect on earth (the live in Christ) and in heaven (the dead in Christ). It is accompanied by the great sound of the trump ushering in the end. We have previously highlighted the fact the word rendered ‚??remain‚?Ě (which relates to those that are alive at Christ‚??s Coming) in our King James Version is the Greek word perileipo, which means ‚??to survive.‚?Ě Thus, we can assume from this meaning that the Lord is returning for those who remain by surviving. These are tribulation saints.

Jesus says of His Coming, in Matthew 24:29-30, "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.‚?Ě

We believe this is referring to the exact same event as is described in 1 Thessalonians 4. It is the Coming of the Lord that is signalled by the sound of the last trump and the uniting of the elect both on earth and in heaven. Christ tells us that the angels ‚??shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.‚?Ě This agrees with Paul‚??s assertion in 1 Thessalonians 4 that Christ will come with and for His saints at His Coming. Those saints that the angels shall gather in heaven are the "dead in Christ," those that are gathered from the four winds of the earth are 'the live in Christ'. This seems to be describing the same event.

Not only does 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 and Matthew 24:29-30 correlate, but we get further detail in 1 Corinthians 15:51-53. There Paul says of this final Coming, ‚??Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.‚?Ě

The word rendered "last" in ‚??last trump" is the Greek word eschatos meaning end, last, farthest or final. This negates the Pretrib idea of a further trumpet seven yrs later. We are therefore looking at the final trumpet sound at the one final Coming of Christ. What is more, by clear implication, if the last trump relates to the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ there must be others that precede it. Revelation seems to support this weighty inference. Moreover, the seven trumpets outlined in Revelation chapters 8 to 10 are the only set of prophetic trumpets in Scripture. In the light of the explicit teaching and consistent pattern relating to the last trump elsewhere in the New Testament, and in order for our viewpoint to be true, accurate, compatible and complete (and all truth must fulfil this demanding criteria), the last trumpet in Revelation ‚?? number seven ‚?? must be a clear, vivid picture of the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Bible student carefully analyses the graphic descriptive detail of the seventh trumpet in Revelation in the light of other like Scripture he is left in no doubt to its subject matter and its startling cohesion with other prophetic readings. The last trumpet outlined in Revelation 10 seems to be referring to the same last trumpet outlined in other New Testament passages and a beautiful symbolic picture of the one final glorious Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 10:1-11 declares, describing the seventh trumpet, ‚??And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire: And he had in his hand a little book open: and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot on the earth, And cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth: and when he had cried, seven thunders uttered their voices. And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not.‚?Ě

The symbolism and authority surrounding this great heavenly angel proves beyond a doubt that it is none other than the Lord Jesus Christ and a picture of His glorious Second Coming. Firstly, The angel comes clothed with a cloud. Significantly, the Lord prophesied of His return, ‚??for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.‚?Ě Please refer also to Mark 14:61-62, Acts 1:9-11, 1Thessalonians 4:16-17, Revelation 1:7). Secondly, the angel comes crowned with a rainbow. The rainbow crowned upon this great angel‚??s head reminds us that we serve a mighty covenant keeping God. It is clearly a marvellous symbol of providential nature of God and His faithfulness. None but Christ would be qualified to adorn such a symbol, being the bodily manifestation of the living holy God. We see the same symbolic rainbow surrounding Christ when John was caught up in the Spirit into heaven in Revelation 4 to receive the revelation about the Church and the end times. John explicitly says, ‚??there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald‚?Ě (v3).

Thirdly, the angel's face shines as sun. Malachi 4:2 confirms our Lord is ‚??the sun of righteousness.‚?Ě Fourthly, the angel comes with fire. Jesus said, in Luke 17:29-30, ‚??the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.‚?Ě This agrees with Revelation 19, 2 Peter 3 and countless other similar texts that show this fiery end to the tribulation period. Finally, the angel cries ‚??with a loud voice, as when a lion roareth‚?Ě Christ is symbolically likened unto a Lion in Revelation 5. He is called ‚??the lion of the tribe of Juda, the root of David.‚?Ě It seems quite evident that we are looking at the only and only last trump which sounds at Christ one future Coming, which witnesses the end of the tribulation. This is in stark contrast to (what we strongly believe) are weak claims made by our Pretrib brethren that Revelation 4:1 is a record of the rapture. We have repeatedly shown this was referring a record of John being caught up in the Spirit into heaven 2,000 yrs ago.

Our understanding is further reinforced by the detail attached to this reading in Revelation 10:5-7. It says of last trumpet, ‚??And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.‚?Ě The unquestionable finality surrounding the echo of the seventh trumpet proves beyond doubt that it is the last trump ‚?? the final trumpet sound for all mankind. ‚??The kingdoms of this world‚?Ě have finally ‚??become the kingdoms of our lord, and of his Christ‚?Ě and ‚??he shall reign for ever and ever.‚?Ě

Revelation 11:15 also makes reference to the seventh angel with the last trump, again being in complete agreement with consistent New Testament teaching (including the conclusion of the second parallel in Revelation 10) on this single final Second Advent, saying, ‚??And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.‚?Ě The Holy Spirit could hardly have made this more final.

Finally I agree with your ouline of the fact there are different words referring to the Coming of Christ.

Blessing,

Paul

P.s. I may respond to your points re Revelation 3:10 on another post.




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