Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Pre-tribulation Rapture Has Serious Problems and Is Not Scriptural

As anyone who reads my other blog endtimesstudies.blogspot.com (where I lay out an extensive Bible study on the end times) knows, I am not a pre-tribulationist. I turned from this belief a number of years ago when I actually took out my Bible and started studying it. I came across numerous, nay, a multitude of problems and conflicts between the belief and Scripture. That led me to asking questions. Questions of Sunday school teachers, questions of church elders, questions of pastors. Today, even after changing my view due to years of intensive studies, I am still asking questions and still cannot find a single person who can give me answers to these conundrums. What I do run across is animosity, anger, being told off, and arrogance. It seems that honest questions that challenge one's beliefs, especially when one knows there are no answers, is not an acceptable practice, even though we are told in the Bible that we should study to show ourselves approved, rightly dividing the Word of truth, 2 Timothy 2:15 and be able to give an answer with the reasons why we believe as we do, 1 Peter 3:15.

Having given up on finding someone who could answer my questions, and not finding any sites on the internet that answered them either, I came across a Bible study on the pre-trib rapture belief, written by Dr. Jerry Falwell of the famous Lynchburg, Virginia church. While it does not answer all the questions I would like to put to pre-tribulationists, it does give me some answers as to the timeline they give. This in and of itself gave me some ammunition to write this article showing how the pre-tribulation arguments for their belief is completely illogical and quite incorrect.

I cannot cover every problem, as there are so many, but I will try to show how a few are in complete opposition to Scripture.

First let us start by laying out some facts about this belief. These facts are found in the study manual Dr. Jerry Falwell Teaches Bible Prophecy. The first fact is that they call the seven year period otherwise known as Daniel's 70th week, by these other optional names. The Tribulation, the Day of the Lord, the Day of God's Vengeance, the Time of Jacob's Trouble, the Great Day of His Wrath, the Hour of Judgment, the end of This World, The Time of Trouble such as Never Was, the Indignation of the Lord, and the Time of the End.

This seven year period will be kicked off by the rapture. Revelation 4:1 where John is called up to heaven is said to be the verse that shows a pre-tribulation rapture. This is followed in heaven by the Bema Seat Judgment. This is a time of rewarding the saints, which is then shortly followed by the wedding of the Lamb to the Church. The Church consists of all those saved after Pentecost up until the time of the rapture. (The disciples apparently didn't merit being part of the Church) The wedding of the Lamb occurs after the Bema Seat judgment for rewards. The guests at the wedding are 1) “all believing Gentiles who were converted prior to Pentecost or after the Rapture.” and 2) “all saved Israelites everywhere.” (both quotes taken from pg. 27 of the study guide). While the wedding takes place after the rapture, the actual wedding supper does not occur until seven years later (Rev. 19)

The 70th week of Daniel is for several purposes, several of which are listed below.

1) It is a time of punishment against the Gentiles. One of the Scriptures used for this is 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12. “And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” So they do not believe Gentiles are the ones targeted for believing in God after the pre-trib rapture. It is a time strictly for Israel as the Gentile Church is complete.

2) It is a time of purging Israel so that they will rid themselves of rebellion and sin and accept their Messiah.
3) It is a time of harvesting between the wheat and the tares.

The following are all events associated with the first half of this seven year period.
1) The two prophets prophesy.
2) The 144,000 from the tribes of Israel will be saved and commissioned to preach the gospel in the first half of the tribulation.
3) The first six seals are poured out.
4) The rebuilding of the Jewish temple.

The second half of the seven year period sees the abomination of desolation at the start, and antichrist setting himself up as God.
1) Israel is persecuted with 1/3 surviving having believed the 144,000 martyred preachers.
2) The pouring out of the seven trumpet and bowl judgments.
3) The battle of Armageddon.
4) The Second Coming

Concerning the Second Coming, the verse in Revelation 11:15 is given, as a verse that refers to the Second Coming “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.” This will be referenced later.

Matthew 24:29 & Luke 21:25-26 are given as the first sign in the chronology of the Second Coming. “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 there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.” This too will be referenced later.

These signs are followed by the Second Coming and the Christ gathering and restoring Israel to faithfulness. The verses given for this are Zechariah12:10-12, Revelation 1:7 and Romans 11:26. As this fact is not in dispute, it is correct, it will not be covered below.

After this, the Old Testament and Tribulation saints are resurrected. Pre-tribulationalism sees three resurrections. The resurrection of the Church at the beginning of the seven years, the resurrection of the Old Testament and Tribulation saints (also Israelites) at the Second Coming and the resurrection of the wicked dead at the end of the millennium. Scripture clearly teaches two resurrections. Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.” Revelation 20:5 “But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.” Daniel 12:2 “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.”

They see a 75 day period between the Second Coming and the start of the millennial reign based on Daniel 12:11-12. That puts the Second Coming around the end of the 1260 days. That is basically correct.

Now that we have established what some of the beliefs of the pre-trib view are, we can show how they are contradictory and illogical.

As pre-tribulationalism calls the entire 70th week the Day of the Lord, we need to see what the Scriptures say about the Day of the Lord. The important phrases or words in each verse is in bold print.

Isaiah 2:10-12 “Enter into the rock, and hide thee in the dust, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty. The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, and the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low.”

Isaiah 13:9Behold, 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.”

Joel 1:15 “Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

Joel 2:31 “The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.”

Isaiah 13: 6-13 “Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. 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. 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. 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. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. 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.”

Malachi 4:5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.

Acts 2:19-20 “And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come.” (This is a quote from Joel 2:31 by the apostle Peter.)
Another term that is synonymous is the Indignation of the Lord.

Isaiah 34:1-4 “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the LORD is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcases, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig tree.

So the Day of the Lord and the Day of His Indignation have these following characteristics. They are a day of God's wrath and anger. They are a day of destruction of both land, sinners, and nations when all will be destroyed. There will be heavenly signs that come before that day arrives. Specifically the sun will go dark, the moon will not give its light/turn blood red, the heavens will shake and be rolled up like a scroll, and the stars will fall like figs from a tree. Men will tremble with fear and hide themselves when they see those signs. God alone will be exalted.

So we do know that the Day of the Lord is the Day of Indignation, because the stellar signs are the same for both. The sun goes dark, moon goes red/dark, stars go dark and fall. This would be like the heavens dissolving and the stars falling like figs from a tree. The sky would appear to roll up like a scroll as they all disappear from view. The one thing that is easily recognizable in all of this is that the heavenly signs are very distinctive, and we know men will be fearful and try to hide knowing that God's wrath will be following these signs that herald its approach.

Now we need to look to the New Testament to see where these distinctive signs are found in the eschatological passages so that we might determine when the Day of the Lord is to begin.

First we see that the Olivet Discourse in the gospels, which is about the Lord's return, clearly shows these heavenly signs.

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. “

Mark 13:24-26 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.”

Luke 21:25-27 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: 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.”

We can clearly see that these passages that are found in the New Testament are the same signs of the Day of the Lord, as described by the Old Testament passages. Therefore, we have a place that clearly delineates a point which the Day of the Lord cannot precede. In other words, everything that comes chronologically before these passages in the New Testament must precede the Day of the Lord and not be a part of it, as these signs must come before the Day of the Lord commences. Let us see what precedes these passages chronologically.

Matthew 24: 15-21 “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:) Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

Mark 13:14-19 “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be.”

Luke 20:20-21 “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
We see that in the three gospels, the armies surrounding Jerusalem, the abomination of desolation, those in Judea fleeing to the mountains and great tribulation such as have never occurred since creation will occur. That is verified by the fact that both passages of the signs in Matthew and Mark start with respectively “Immediately after the tribulation of those days" and "but in those days, after the tribulation.”

Clearly the Day of the Lord, according to the most simple, clear, and concise understanding of Scripture, comes not only after the abomination of desolation, which occurs 3 ½ years into the 70th week, but it also comes after the tribulation which is an unspecified period of time during the second half of the 70th week. So the Day of the Lord commences somewhere in the midst of the second half of the 70th week.

This development clearly presents a major problem for pre-tribulation as the Day of the Lord is God's wrath and it does not begin until sometime in the second half of the 70th week. If Christians are only supposed to be taken out right before the wrath of God, then why put it at the beginning of the 70th week, years before the Day of the Lord begins? The whole reason for putting the rapture at the beginning of the 70th week is because pre-trib believes God's wrath begins then and Christians are not appointed to wrath. But God's wrath does not begin then, it begins at the Day of the Lord much later. We are supposed to be taken out, just as Noah and Lot were, right before the wrath of God begins. If God's wrath, (the Day of the Lord according the the clear teachings of Scripture), does not occur until after the Great Tribulation, then Christians are not exempt from the Great Tribulation. But how can that be, as the Great Tribulation is God's wrath, is it not? Not according to Scripture. Then whose wrath is it? Revelation 12:7-17 tells us what this time is. “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

Again, according to the Scriptures, Satan is cast out of heaven at the mid-point of the 70th week and comes down having great wrath. How do we know it is at the mid-point. First because he takes over the antichrist at that point, and second, because Israel is protected for 3 ½ years from him, until the Second Coming. This fact is verified in Daniel 12:1-2 “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” This also says that Michael will be responsible for this event. He throws Satan out of heaven. This event begins a time of trouble (Jacob's trouble, otherwise known as the Great Tribulation) and Daniel's people (the remnant of Israel) will be delivered out of Satan's hand, just as this passage says in Revelation. First Satan goes after Israel, (a remnant) but she is taken to the wilderness and hidden from him for 3 ½ years (second half of the week). So then whom does he go after? He goes after her spiritual seed. We are spiritual Jews, the spiritual seed of Abraham. Galatians 3:28-29 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Romans 2:28-29 “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God”. This remnant has a particular mark. They are those who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ. In other words, Christians. Christians are the focus of the wrath of Satan during the Great Tribulation. So the Great Tribulation is not God's wrath, it tells us right here it is Satan's wrath. This makes sense, as in the Day of the Lord we are told that God will be exalted. But who is exalted during the Great Tribulation? Satan.

Interestingly, these very passages in the gospels about the heavenly signs that signal the day of the Lord are said to be the passages that pre-trib use as the first signs in the chronology of the Second Coming. In other words, they say that the Day of the Lord signs, are the first signs before the Second Coming. By their own associations, they equate the Second Coming with the pouring out of God's wrath. But then they say that the Second Coming is at the end of the 70th week. This is very true. The Day of the Lord and Second Coming are at the same time, but this proves to be problematic for pre-trib.

The next passage we need to look at is the one in Revelation. Revelation 6:12-17 “And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; 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. And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 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; 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: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?”

This passage even says that they are the signs heralding the “great day of his wrath” or Day of the Lord. The signs are clearly the same signs as found in the Old Testament. They are unmistakeable. According to pre-trib, the seals are God's wrath and occur in the first half of the 70th week, which is why the rapture occurs pre-trib. The problem becomes, the seals are obviously not God's wrath. They precede the Day of the Lord. Therefore, again, God's wrath does not occur at the beginning, or during the first half of the 70th week. There is no reason, according to Scripture to rapture God's people out, as His wrath is not beginning.

But, the argument becomes, John is called up to heaven before the seals are opened. Yes, he is. So what? John has to go to heaven, because it is his job to record all that Christ is showing him so that we will know what is coming. Pre-tribs teach to take the Bible literally, but then this passage, which has no reason to be taken as anything but literally, is spiritualized to such an extent that they have John representing the church. By what precedent is this jump made? John has never represented the church before. In fact the only reason for making John be the church, is that this pre-trib belief had come about, and they needed to find Scriptures that could be used to verify the belief. Anybody can make Scripture mean anything they want when they spiritualize it, which is why it is taught that you should take it literally. So in desperately searching for a passage that could be made into a pre-trib rapture, they came upon this verse and decided that if they spiritualized it, they could make it work for them. There is no reason to make this mean anything other than John being called to heaven. The excuse then follows that the church is not mentioned after that point, so that proves it as the church is not seen on earth. In fact the opposite is true in that this does not prove their point. They are not using their heads. John is no longer on earth. He has been called to heaven, and everything that follows is what he sees in heaven, not on earth. The fact that the church is not mentioned or seen is an argument against a pre-trib rapture, not for it. The fact is, John is describing heaven and everything he sees there. And the church is not there. Totally missing. Well, that is not exactly true. The 5th seal has martyrs under the altar, and the sea of glass has a multitude of Christians who----come out of the tribulation. Surprise. The church is there, in the form of martyrs. (and later they are called saints) Multitudes of them from the tribulation martyrdom. Which brings up another dilemma for pre-trib. They say the seals are the wrath of God, and Christians are not appointed to wrath, yet the fifth seal is aimed only at Christians. It is not aimed at unbelievers at all. If it is God's wrath, then God is pouring out a whole seal's worth of wrath upon the very people that He said are not appointed to wrath. Problem!

Now we come to the teaching that the time of rewarding the saints (the Bema seat) judgment comes right after the pre-trib rapture. What does Scripture say? Revelation 11:15-18 “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. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” This tells us that at the time of the sounding of the seventh angel, the seventh trumpet, the time for judging the dead, rewarding God' servants, and God's wrath has come. Wait, the Bema seat judgment occurs at the seventh trumpet? God's wrath begins at the seventh trumpet? This is very late in the game. Most certainly not at the beginning of the 70th week. Why would Christ rapture the saints years before God's wrath and the Bema seat judgment? He doesn't. That's the point.

What about the wedding ceremony? The rewarding of the saints has to come before that, so the wedding can't happen until after the last trumpet. It is strange that pre-trib teaches that the Old Testament and Tribulation saints are supposed to be witnesses to this marriage, yet according to pre-trib, they are not resurrected until the Second Coming. How can they be witnesses if they aren't there? Problem! We are told in Revelation 19, during the vial judgments that the Bride has made herself ready for her marriage supper. She follows her groom down at Armageddon for this supper. This is when the wedding will occur. At the end of the 70th week after the last trump. The last trump is when the Church is supposed to be raptured according to Paul. 1 Corinthians 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.”

Now let's talk about the two witnesses. According to pre-tribulationalism, they prophesy during the first half of the 70th week. But can they? First of all, Elijah is supposed to come and witness before the great and terrible Day of the Lord. If the Day of the Lord were to start at the beginning of the 70th week, then Elijah must come some time before that, which means that pre-tribbers would actually see Elijah before the rapture. Therefore the rapture cannot be imminent, as according to their own theology, Elijah would have to come before a pre-trib rapture. Worse, the forty-two months of the temple courtyard and city of Jerusalem being trodden underfoot by the Gentiles is tied to the 1260 day ministry of the two witnesses. They are at the same time. That means that the temple would have to be up before the rapture could occur, as Elijah would have to come before the Day of the Lord, which according to pre-trib starts at the beginning of the 70th week. Both the temple and Elijah have to precede the Day of the Lord, so if the Day of the Lord were to begin at the start of the 70th week, both have to make an appearance before a pre-trib rapture. Thus there cannot be imminence. Problem!

But do the witnesses prophesy during the first or second half of the 70th week. We are told that during this forty-two month period, the city will be trodden underfoot by the Gentiles. We are also told that elsewhere. Luke 21:24 mentions this time also “Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” What is the timing Luke gives for this? Right before this verse we read in verses 20-21, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.” We know from earlier that this is the abomination of desolation. Following this trodding of Jerusalem by the Gentiles we find these verses 25-27 “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: 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.” So this trodding down of Jerusalem occurs between the abomination of desolation and the Second Coming. According to Revelation 11, the witnesses prophesy during this same time. Is there anything else to confirm this? After the two witnesses are resurrected, this announcement is made. Revelation 11:14 “The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.” what is the significance of this verse? Just this. Revelation 8:13 “And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!” Revelation 9:12 “One woe is past; and, behold, there come two woes more hereafter.” These verses tell us that the fifth, sixth, and seventh trumpet judgments are “woes.” We are told that when the fifth trumpet woe is past that there are two more woes to go. The sixth trumpet is that second woe. According to Revelation 11:14 right after the witnesses resurrection, the last woe will sound. The last woe is the seventh trumpet. Therefore unless all the seals and six trumpets come before the abomination of desolation, the witnesses cannot be witnessing in the first half of the 70th week. We already know from previous exegesis, that the trumpet judgments come after the Day of the Lord signs. And we already know that the Day of the Lord comes after the tribulation. And we know that the tribulation comes in the second half of the 70th week. Therefore by logical deduction, the witnesses must witness during the second half of the 70th week. Again, not what pre-trib teaches. Problem!

So now what have we got so far? We know that there will be a wrath of Satan called the Great Tribulation wherein he will go after Christians to martyr them (and unbelieving Jews) while God protects a remnant of Jews in the wilderness for 1260 days. This Tribulation is followed by the Day of the Lord signs and the trumpet judgments. The sixth trumpet judgment ends at the same time as the witnesses' resurrection. Their ministry lasts 1260 days. At the end of that time the seventh or last trumpet sounds. We know that Paul has told us that the rapture will occur at the last trump when the dead in Christ will rise and we who are left will be raptured. Soon after the witnesses' resurrection at the end of the 1260 days the dead are judged and the saints are rewarded. 

According to pre-trib Revelation 11:15 is speaking of the Second Coming, and for once they are right. “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.” This would indicate that the Lord's Second Coming, the rapture, and the beginning of the Day of the Lord would happen within days of the end of the 1260 days after the abomination of desolation, and at the time of the last trump, when the final bowl judgments of God's wrath are poured out on the rest of the world. But does not the 70th week end at the 1260 days? No. We are told in Daniel 12:11 “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” The 70th week of Daniel ends 1290 days after the abomination of desolation. The bowl judgments are poured out during that thirty day period.

Now a pre-trib will say, but if we know the time of the Lord Second Coming 1260 days after the abomination of desolation, then what Christ said about nobody knowing the day or hour is not true. Ah, but it is. You see, it does not say that Christ returns exactly on the day the witnesses are resurrected. For anyone who understands the Feasts of Israel, we know that the spring feasts had to do with Christ's First Coming. The fall feasts have to do with Christ's Second Coming. Rosh haShanah is called the Feast of Trumpets (as in last trumpet). But it is a feast day that can never have its day known, as it is the first of the month, and the new moon had to be seen by two witnesses and told to the authorities of the temple before the day could be declared. One of its nicknames is “The Day which no man knows.” The other important thing to know is that Rosh haShanah and Yom Kippur all have to do with the crowning of the Messiah as King, the resurrection of the dead, and the Books being opened for people to be judged. The Feast of Tabernacles has to do with the wilderness experience, and the ingathering of the grape harvest, as well as a wedding celebration. In ancient wedding traditions, the groom goes back to his home after a betrothal to build a house for them. When his father approves the structure as finished, he then gives permission for his son to go get his bride. There is a procession which is a big hoopla. The bride is given some advance warning of his impending arrival by all the signs. People coming ahead to tell her (Elijah), the hubbub going on (the heavenly signs) so that she is ready and waiting when he gets there to take her back for the marriage ceremony and supper. He cannot leave though to go get her until his father actually gives permission, and only his father knows exactly the moment he will do that, even though the groom may suspect that he is about to be sent, because everything is ready. So although he is ready to go, it still takes the father actually sending him, so he cannot say he knows when that will happen. We are told we will not know the day and hour. Christ specifically meant the literal day and hour. Just as nobody knows exactly which of two days Rosh haShanah will fall on until the authorities declare that two witnesses (notice two witnesses are required) have seen the new moon. We will however know the year and season, as we know it must come at the end of Daniel's 70th week. 

What Paul said to the Thessalonians “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,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 is at hand,” makes much more sense now and can be taken exactly as meant. The coming of the Lord and our gathering to him happens at the Day of the Lord. They were concerned that the Day of the Lord had come and somehow they had missed the Second Coming and rapture. They understood that all three events happened at the same time. All of the Scriptures make much more sense when it is understood that the Second Coming, the resurrection/rapture, and Day of the Lord all begin at the last trump or seventh trumpet. We then return with Christ at Armageddon at the end of the thirty day period. The wedding probably takes place during that very literal seven day Feast of Tabernacles week. The rapture can be found in Revelation 14. That is the harvest of the tares and wheat, the ingathering of the grape harvest and treading out of the winepress. This is why we are told to “endure to the end” and that this is the “patience of the saints.” We must go through the entire 70th week, or at least that is what those who have been Philadelphians and who have kept the word of His patience, so that they have been protected to survive the Great Tribulation will do. This is why the rewards and marriage come at the time of the seventh trumpet, according to Scripture. Jewish tradition holds that the Messiah comes at the last trumpet, which is exactly to which Paul was referring when he said that the rapture occurs at the last trump. He knew that we were going to be raptured when the Lord made his Second Coming, and that this would occur at the last trumpet, which would announce the Day of the Lord. All of this was understood in Jewish teachings and traditions. Very clear. Very simple.

There are many more problems, such as, how could multitudes of people be saved during the tribulation when we are told that God will send a delusion so that everybody who has not believed will not be able to believe? How could people be saved if it is the Holy Spirit who draws them, and pre-tribs say He is removed? Why would any Christian be denied the indwelling of the Holy Spirit? It is not Scriptural. Why have they called Daniel's 70th week, the Great Tribulation, and the Day of the Lord the same thing when Scripture clearly teaches otherwise? It has led to many erroneous conclusions by not understanding the difference and misusing the terminology. Pre-tribulation is very wrong and completely unscriptural. Any questions or comments that pre-tribbers might have to refute this, I will be happy to address.

*It's been a while since I posted this, but  I became aware of something that I had to add to this article, as I found it quite a dilemma for pre-tribs.  Pre-tribs will tell you that Matthew 24 is addressed to Jews and that the passage in verses 29-33 refer to the gathering of the "tribulation saints" who lived through to the end of Daniel's 70th week until the Lord returns. They will say that this passage is strictly about the Second Coming and that in fact, the rapture is not mentioned in this chapter at all as it was not revealed until Paul told the churches about it.  So let us look at these verses. 


"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.  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."  

Again, they teach that these verses are NOT about the rapture, but about the gathering of the tribulation saints at the end when the Lord's Second Coming occurs.  So what is the problem?  The problem is in the verse that follows and uses this event described above as its antecedent.  In other words, the verse I am about to quote refers directly to the event above, which happens to be the gathering of the saints at the Second Coming.  This must be clearly understood.  Remember, pre-trib says that the rapture is not mentioned here, and that the above event is NOT the rapture as it is not pre-tribulational.  So now here is the verse that I want you to read.  Remember, this verse follows and refers back to the above passage. 

Matthew 24:36 "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
Wait.  Isn't this one of the verses that pre-trib uses to prove that the rapture is imminent and can happen at any time?  Yes, it is.  But this verse does not refer to a secret pre-trib rapture that occurs before the 70th week of Daniel.  This verse clearly and unmistakably refers to the gathering of the saints at the Second Coming of Christ AFTER the tribulation.  The event in verses 29-33 are the antecedent to this verse.  In fact, if pre-tribs do not believe the rapture is mentioned at all in the gospels, then how could this possibly be referring to a pre-trib rapture?  It couldn't.  Therefore the whole premise that there is a pre-trib rapture that will happen unexpectedly, because of this verse, is entirely undone. Think about it.

* Some time after writing this article, I got into a discussion with someone on Youtube.  He sent me to a website which he felt proved the pre-trib stand.  As Youtube is seriously limited in its ability to write a detailed rebuttal, I left a link to my response to this pre-trib proof.  As it shows how many of their assertions are very unscriptural and incorrect, I am including a link to my article as an addendum to what I have written above which further proves how pre-trib is inaccurate.

63 comments:

  1. And because you completely ignored 2 Thes 2:3-8, your interpretation is flawed and incorrect. You have ignored the word of God that tells us we are to be gathered up to meet Christ in the air before the son of perdition is revealed.

    The bible also makes it clear that the 70th week of Daniel is all about God's wrath. The world will not fully know it is God's wrath until the Day of the Lord, when their will be a sign in heaven for all to see.

    How could our rapture, our blessed hope, come halfway through the tribulation when 3/4 of the world's population has been killed. How could these word comfort a fellow believer? All of God's word must fit, and a pre-trib rapture is the only thing that fits perfectly in the word of God.

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    2. No need to ignore it. 2 Thess.2:3-8 says that they should not be upset by thinking that the Lord's 2nd Coming and our rapture has occurred & that the Day of the Lord is at hand.It clearly establishes the rapture w/ the 2nd Coming & the Day.Then it says that the Day (& 2nd Coming & rapture) cannot come until the antichrist is revealed. He is revealed when he sets himself up as God in the temple which is the abomination of desolation. That is simple English grammar. It doesn't say we will be raptured before. It says after. Second there are no Scriptures saying God's wrath is the 70th week of Daniel.Give me one please to prove your point. There's none. It will be a blessed hope much more when you have endured through all that will come.

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    3. Pre-trib is an escape doctrine, that was made up by men, which I use to believe 40 years ago; until I got into the Word of God for myself, and realized none of it was true. True Christians need to realize, we are going to have to endure much before Jesus returns.
      This false doctrine, has been a profitable business for the writers of these fantastic stories; that we will all disappear suddenly. When Jesus comes back, it won't be a secret rapture. It's going to be loud, when that shout is made and the trumpet blown.
      The pre-trib was Satan inspired, due to the fact this false doctrine robs Jesus of his glorious return for his bride.

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  2. I also have to state that your findings, for the most part, are very good. The day of the Lord being in the second half of the 7 years is what I also believe to be true.

    I also agree that the Holy Spirit will not entirely be removed. The church will be removed. Those who have the Holy Spirit will be removed. The Holy Spirit will still reside on earth, but the hole made by the removal of the church will make the needed environment to bring about the antichrist.

    And please stop comparing the last trump of revelations to the one talked about in regards to the rapture. There is no biblical doctrine to show that those are the same. But much to show they are separate.

    And I still don't get how you think the four horsemen are not God's wrath. It is God who hands the power over to the rider on the horses. It is obviously God's wrath.

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    1. You contradict yourself.You say that the 70th week is God's wrath but that the Day of the Lord is only in the Second half. The Day of the Lord is God's wrath. It comes at the end.The Holy Spirit is not removed at all, how can He be partially removed? That's unScriptural.The last trump IS the last trump.Read Rev.11. That is at the last trump and it is the time for the dead to be judged, the saints rewarded, etc. In other words, the resurrection/rapture. The signs heralding the Day of the Lord (God's wrath are in the 6th seal, that's why. Read my endtimesstudies.blogspot.com site. It is a book's worth of meticulous detailed exegesis explaining all this.Start at the beginning to understand fully.

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    2. So you must not believe the judgements are in Chronological order?

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    3. Connie you seem to be saying above that the 6th seal is not God's Wrath even Revelation: 6:16 and 17 say that they are could you please clarify?
      Thank you

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    4. You have the fifth seal wrong as there is nothing that says those martyred are Christians God's wrath is poured out in the seals and than they become believers they are not the church

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    5. If you are asking do I believe the seals, trumpets, and vials are in chronological order, yes, absolutely they are. There is nothing in the fifth seal that says they are Christians? Please let me quote, " And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held." I think it is pretty clear they are Christians. They are slain for the testimony they hold of the Word of God. If that's not Christians, then what is your definition of a Christian?

      Revelation 6:16-17 says that the people on earth are crying out that God's wrath has come. Whenever they is any great disaster, and this will be pretty bad, people say it is God's wrath. And in a way, it is in that God often punishes countries and geographic areas through weather and natural disasters, but this is not the beginning of the Day of the Lord's wrath. Heaven is the one who announces the start of that, and heaven does not announce its arrival until Revelation 11:15-19, which comes at the last or seventh trumpet. The vials, which are God's wrath are given to the angels to be poured out in Rev. 15-16 where again these judgements are referred to as the wrath of God. Except for the people exclaiming in the sixth seal that they believe it is God's wrath, nowhere throughout the seals or trumpets does heaven ever refer to those things as God's wrath. Heaven only refers to the vials as God's wrath. The seals and trumpets are part of the scroll agreement for the redemption of the mortgage on the earth. It too has to be redeemed as any mortgaged property does.

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    6. If you want to understand the Seals, Trumpets and Bowls, you need to look at the typology of the Exodus of Israel. The 7 Seals are not the jusgement or wrath of God. They are prerequisites that must be met before God's judgement and wrath are poured out. The 7 Seals must be removed before the scroll can be opened.
      The Seals correspond to the slavery and oppression endured by Israel. The Trumpets correspond to the plagues being poured out on Egypt. Israel was not removed from Egypt during these plagues, but was protected from them. The purpose of these plagues was to bring Pharaoh and the Egyptians to repentance. During the trumpets judgements, God is extending His grace, in hopes that some will come to repentance. Most however refuse to repent and harden their hearts, in the same way Pharaoh hardened his heart. The Bowls of God's wrath are then poured out on the earth, on those who refuse to repent. This pouring out of God's wrath beings at the same time as the rapture/resurrection. This corresponds to the children of Israel coming up out of the Sea and Pharaoh's army being drowned. many don't understand what the flood of Noah and the Red Sea symbolize. Peter says that the flood represents baptism that saves us. In other words, Jesus suffered the wrath of God on the Cross, and our being baptized in His death symbolizes the wrath of God poured out on us. In Christ all have died, but all will be made alive. The same waters through which we will pass will be the same waters which destroy the unrepentance.
      Many PreTribbers be
      ieve the rapture of Enoch symbolizes a rapture before the wrath of God is poured out. They are partially correct. The wrath of God is poured out after the tribulation. They fail to see the big picture, how God reveals "the end from the beginning." Scripture says that Enoch is "the seventh from Adam." Interestingly, there are a couple of events that occur during this "seven," prior to Enoch's rapture. First, there is a brother who murders another brother and then receives a mark. Then there is also a very boastful man, who boasts arrogantly against God's judgement on Cain. These events parallel the end. There will be a false church that persecutes and kills their "brothers," the true Church. Mystery Babylon vs. The Woman clothed with the Sun..."
      Then there will be an Antichrist who boasts arrogant against God. Then there will be a rapture, followed by wrath.
      So the typology of the rapture of Enoch actually disproves a pretrib rapture.

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    7. p.s.
      The different between the Trumpets Judgements and the Bowls of wrath. God's judgements are not final and are an expression of God's mercy. The purpose is to bring one to repentance. They are poured out on 1/3 of the earth and on the ones who have made their choice against God. Repentance is available, and freely offered.
      God's wrath is different. It is poured out with speed and quickness, with no chance of repentance. It is poured out only when God's mercy and patience has been exhausted and there is no longer any chance of repentance.

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  3. [Bravo, Connie, for your first-rate blog. I saw this goodie on the net and want to share it. Lord bless.]

    PRETRIB RAPTURE SECRETS

    How can the “rapture” be “imminent”? Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven (He's now at the Father's "right hand," Acts 2:34) “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. ("The Rapture Question," by long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn't dare to even list, in its scripture index, these too-hot-to-handle verses!) Since Jesus can’t even leave heaven before the tribulation ends, which is also when His foes are finally put down (made His "footstool," Acts 2:35), the rapture therefore can't take place before the end of the trib! (The same Acts verses were also too hot for John Darby - the so-called "father of dispensationalism" - to list in the scripture index in his "Letters" which covers Acts 2 and 3 much more comprehensively than Walvoord's!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The "rest" for "all them that believe" is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who'd be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the posttrib end of “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which is Israel's posttrib resurrection!)
    Many are unaware that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this "rapture" was stretched forward and turned into a separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which the mass of evangelical scholars rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so some pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” ["gathering"] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!).
    Here are some Google articles on the 182-year-old pretrib rapture view: "Pretrib Rapture Politics," "Pretrib Rapture Scholar Wannabes," “Famous Rapture Watchers,” "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," “X-Raying Margaret,” "Edward Irving is Unnerving," “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” "Walvoord Melts Ice," “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” "Thieves' Marketing," "Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy," “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" – all by the author of the extremely accurate and highly endorsed book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books).

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    1. Thank you for the compliment. I appreciate it. Thank you for all the links too. It will take me quite some time to view all them. I prefer to stay away from the McDonald/Darby argument as it's not an argument from Scripture.It's harder for them to argue against God than argue about Darby's validity.

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  4. Hi, I found that some of the articles listed by Rocky2 are concerned with what the Bible says, namely, "Walvoord Melts Ice" (the "falling away" = the rapture) and "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy." Would love anyone's comments on them. God bless.

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  5. Marylee,

    I don't know how many people are reading this blog, and seldom have people comment, so I don't know if you'll get much response. Here is mine at least. The Walvoord Melts Ice article shows that Walvoord, who believed in pretribulationalism in fact believes that the generally accepted scholarly interpretation of the word "apostasia" indeed means a doctrinally falling away of the church. Oddly enough this is not a defense of pretribulationalism, but against it, which makes it strange that pretrib uses this verse as one in their defense.

    They separate themselves from that apostate church by saying that they are gone, but in fact the Scripture in Thessalonians indicates that before the Day of the Lord(God's wrath)can occur, (and which is equated as being at the same time as the return of Christ, and followed by our gathering unto him (the rapture)) there will be an apostasy and the antichrist will declare himself God in the temple (3 1/2 years into the 70th week). The fact that the first three things (2nd Coming, rapture, and Day of the Lord) must be preceded by the apostasy of the church and the abomination of desolation seems to escape the notice of pretribbers. I don't know why. I guess they just don't want to believe it.

    Most of these articles by MacPherson focus a great deal on discrediting Margaret McDonald and the Irvingites, and by extension Thomas Ice, etc. Personally I think it is a waste of time to discredit people, as that amounts to ad hominem arguments. I prefer to show that Scripture shows that a pretribulation rapture is quite impossible simply because the Bible says so, not by discrediting the person teaching the belief or its origins. I don't think the person or origins of the belief has as much to do with what the subject matter is as how scriptural or unscriptural it is. What matters is the subject itself and can it be proven or disproven by the Bible. In this case, the Bible teaches no pretribulation rapture. Notice my article above deals with their defense, not the people teaching it. Their reasoning and use of Scripture is faulty, and that is what I show. The only purpose for mentioning Jerry Falwell above is that I needed a bona fide known teacher of the belief so that I could use the teachings and Scriptural defense they use to show how it is faulty. Jerry Falwell is irrelevant to the subject except for being an acceptable source of the theology so that it could not be said I was misrepresenting their beliefs.

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  6. St Loont needs to read 2 Thess. 2:3 again. It DOES NOT say the church is taken BEFORE he is revealed. It says "THAT DAY (coming of the Lord) SHALL NOT COME" except there is first a falling away AND THAT SON OF PERDITION BE REVEALED.

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    1. Also, the falling away and the revelation of the man of sin is intimately connected. The falling away results in the revelation. The Church loses its saltiness and its light goes dim, which reveals the man of sin. The restrainer is not the Holy Spirit, or the Church. The mystery of iniquity is the restrainer. "And now you know what withholds, that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity is already at work...
      A mystery is something hidden which is later revealed. During the falling away, when iniquity is made apparent, the man of sin will be revealed.

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  7. I find it a little ironic that in your other post on the other article you tell me that the Bible is never linear and things are NEVER in order, yet you insist (as is correct) that this verse be kept in order. Can't have it both ways.

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  8. Yes I have been post trib since 1990 and not very popular. many shall lose their faith if pre trib does not happen.

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    2. Amen, Bob. And many will be angry with God, when they find out they will suffer for the gospel and their faith; and not just escape it all.

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  9. Connie: Have you noticed that in the gospels, Jesus never said that his coming would be after or during this time of trouble that the world will never have known since the beginning or ever shall? Didn't Jesus liken his coming to the times of Noah and Lot, in which people were living in drunkenness like today? In Noah's day people were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage until the day that Noah and his family went into the ark and the flood came and destroyed everyone. In Lot's day, people were eating and drinking and marrying and giving in marriage until Lot and his family left Sodom and Gomorrah and God rained down fire and brimstone upon everyone. Jesus then declared, "So shall the coming of the Son of man be." He also said that his coming would be as the lightning. This will be a lightning fast coming. We that are currently living a holy, sold out life in Christ are going to receive white glove service from Michael the Archangel upon being snatched out of here before the tribulation. The seventh trumpet of the seventh angel, which is the last vial of God's wrath, will be sounded by an angel, not the Archangel Michael who will stand up for the people of God in the last day. Dan 12:1
    Before the tribulation the Lord will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and the trump of God. This will be the trump of God's love. The dead in Christ will rise first. This will be every forgiven soul from Abel to whomever and of all nations, for all nations were Israelites during the Old Testament times if they believed on the God of Abraham, like Moses' Ethiopian wife, Ruth, the men of Ninevah, and the Queen of Sheba. We which are alive and remain will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air at the last trump. Michael's trump. The Archangel's trump. The trump of God. The trump of God's love. Not the trump of God's wrath that will be sounded by a lesser ranking angel toward the end of the tribulation. All of us will then have assumed the role of the 24 elders and the 4 beasts who represent fallen humanity that was redeemed back to God by the Lamb. The 24 elders and the 4 beasts represent those that have partook of the Berma Seat Judgment Rev. 5:8 - 10. If there is no pre-tribulation rapture then the 24 elders should still be asleep in their graves and not around the throne of God decked with white robes and crowns of gold, waiting for the Lamb to loose the first seal. If there is no pre-tribulation rapture or, if Jesus wants the faithful to stay down here with the Israel, the wicked, and the apostate church, to endure the tribulation, then why in Luke 21:36 does he exhort us to, "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.", considering everything that he said from verses 20 to 35?

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    1. David, you said, ": Have you noticed that in the gospels, Jesus never said that his coming would be after or during this time of trouble that the world will never have known since the beginning or ever shall?" Let me introduce you to a passage in Matthew 24:29-31 "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." This is the rapture of the church. The elect are gathered in the clouds to meet Christ. It clearly states that is comes after the tribulation. In Daniel 12, which you referenced, you need to continue further. The rest of verse 1 and verse 2 says, "and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." This also speaks of the tribulation and puts the resurrection (which precedes the rapture) AFTER that time of trouble. As for the 24 elders, they do not represent the church or anyone else. They are the order of Melchizadek. I would refer you to my article on Melchizadek and the 24 elders to be found in my archives in January of 2011. There are not multiple last trumps. The last trump which is the initiation of God's wrath, not the finish of it, is also the last trump of which Paul said that we would all be changed or raptured.

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    2. Note what Rev. 11 14,15 and 16 says. Rev. 11:15-18 "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. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and THY WRATH IS COME, and THE TIME OF THE DEAD, THAT THEY SHOULD BE JUDGED, and that thou shouldest GIVE REWARD UNTO THY SERVANTS the prophets, and to THE SAINTS, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." Rev 14:14-19 " And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe.] And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (the rapture) And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle.
      And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 15:1 "And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for IN THEM is filled up the WRATH of God." vs. 7 "And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the WRATH of God, who liveth for ever and ever." 16:1 "And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the WRATH of God upon the earth."

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    3. The Greek words for tribulation and wrath are distinctly different. We are told in many places that we will undergo tribulation (thlipsis) in fact Peter tells us to not be surprised at the fiery trial we must endure because judgement starts with the House of God (us). Note that in the letters to the churches, they are all warned of what will happen if they do not listen to what the spirit says. In on case they are specifically told they will be thrown into the great tribulation. Wrath on the other hand is completely different, and heaven does not announce it's commencement until the last trumpet. I explain this in much more detail in my blog endtimesstudies.blogspot.com.

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    4. As to our worthiness, we are to pray that we might be found worthy for protection through this time. Only one group of people are so blessed, the Philadelphians. The other seven churches must endure the great tribulation's persecution by Satan. We have NEVER been promised freedom from Satan's persecution in this life. And that is what this is. Rev. 12:12,17 "Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time....And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. (us)

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    5. Both Daniel and Revelation agree that God will HAND OVER the saints (the saints are the church according to Scripture) to the antichrist or beast or horn as he is called in Daniel. Daniel 7:21, 25 "I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;.... And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." This is reiterated in Rev.13:7 "And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them." and Rev 12:11 "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." Satan's wrath is not God's wrath. It is the persecution of the saints. Why should any particular group of Christians in history (and the present day church is in great apostasy so why should it not be purged and refined?) be exempt from the persecution that the rest of the Christians in history have endured? What is the most antichrist can do? He can kill the body. He can only kill the soul if the saints turn away from God because they were not prepared to die for God. Persecution of the saints, and God's wrath are two very different things.

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    6. Actually Jesus did say His coming would be "after the tribulation of those days" which He had just described as being like no time before or after. He also said that this coming would be like a thief in the might, because most would be distracted by the cares of life. Like a frog sitting in water that is gradually heated to boiling point, these people will be oblivious to the distress occurring around then. It will be business as usual.
      His coming will be just as in the days of Noah. The watched Noah build the ark and they saw the storm clouds gathering, but still they didn't understand until the flood took them away,
      It's interesting that you believe you are living a holy sold out life and that you will receive "white glove service." As for me...well I believe that I am wretched and sinful. I desperately need the be purified through the fires of tribulation. What is interesting is that just prior to Jesus temptation in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus had told His disciples that He was going to be taken away and that they would fall away. Peter in his arrogance and pride declared, "Never Lord. These may, but not I. I will die with you."
      Shortly afterwards, during His "hour of trial," Jesus urged His three disciples to pray lest they fall into temptation. Well, they asleep and Peter denied His Lord three times.
      There is coming an "hour of trial" for the entire Church. It will be a time of testing, through which many will be purified, but many will fall. The New Testament repeatedly tells us that we are destined for trials and trubulations, and that these come to test our faith and to purify us. But we are also warned to watch and pray. The Tribualtion will be a time of separation, when the foolish virgins will be separated from the wise. The wise will be those who keep the Word as a Lamp unto their feet and a Light unto their path during the darkness of the Tribulation, when God will send a famine, not of bread, but of the Word. Amos tells us that many (foolish virgins) will stagger from sea to sea looking for bread, and they will not find it. They will miss the Wedding Feast because they were not ready.
      Jesus also says that Satan will snatch the Word from the hearts of many, because of the cares of the world, the decietfulness of sin, and persecution.
      We are in the Age of Laodicea, where we thing we have need of nothing. Most in the Church,especially in America are completely blind to their own sinfulness, worldliness and apathy, consumed by all manner of distractions and entertainments. Many sit night after night watching mindless television programs, spend hours upon hours shopping on the weekend, all the while expecting God to come and snatch them away like a Bride. Well, the Bride is far from ready.

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  10. You haven't completely read verses 20 to 36 in Luke 21st chapter, which is the same account as Matthew 24:29-31. Of course Jesus is going to come back in the clouds with great power and great glory after the tribulation. He is going to be coming downward to earth with the church to defeat the beast and the false prophet. This is a particular time to be expected after most of the world will have been beheaded. There will be nothing imminent about this second coming, and it will not be fast as lightning. Also, there will be no reason for anyone to knock on heaven's door in prayer, pleading, "Lord, lord, open to us." Isn't it obvious then that Jesus' warning to watch, along with the parable of the ten virgins and his warning in Luke 13 to the man on the ship to strive to enter in at the straight gate referring to some particular event that is totally different from his second coming in the clouds after the tribulation? When Jesus, in the same account found in the first three gospels, talks about how his coming will be as lightning, and how he will reward that servant that he finds doing the right thing when he comes, he is referring to a totally different event from his second coming. He is talking about the rapturing of the church and the resurrection of the righteous that will imminently occur in a moment in the twinkling of an eye. This is the white glove service from Michael with the trump of God, before the tribulation. We will all be changed. We will then receive that white stone from Jesus that will have both our new name and his new name written on it. We will receive a golden crown of life and a robe of fine linen. We will all be seated around the Lord, occasionally casting our crowns before us in worship of the Lamb that sits upon the throne. We will be watching from heaven as the Lord pours out his fierce wrath upon the earth, shaking the powers heaven also. The Lord says that we are going to tremble at the outpouring of his wrath while we are watching him in heaven. We will be one gathering. Then there will be another gathering.
    This will be those that decide to become faithful to the Gospel during the tribulation, realizing that they blew it, during this present dispensation of grace that will have immediately expired after the rapture. They will all be seated under the throne of the Lamb after they have been beheaded. These are going to be the multitude that no man will be able to number who will have to be beheaded for refusing to worship the beast and to take his mark. These are going to be they who will come out of great tribulation because they did not make the rapture that Jesus told us to watch for. These will be given white robes and will sit it out throughout the remainder of the tribulation until they are joined by everyone else who must also be killed in like manner. If you go to the 12th and 13th chapters of Revelation and read them in their entirety you will see that the tribulation saints are the remnant of the women's seed that the dragon went to make war with after he was cast down to the earth. He decided to make war with this particular remnant because they missed the rapture. We the faithful who are vigilantly waiting to be snatched out of here are the manchild of the woman in the vision of Revelation 12th chapter. Because the dragon will fail to get us after the Lord, with the service of Michael and his angels, take us out of here, Satan the dragon will make war with everyone else who will be left down here to suffer the wrath of God at his hands.

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  11. Let's forget about the seventh angel in the 11th chapter of Revelation. You mentioned very early in your article that you understand that we pre-tribulationists believe that the rapture occurs in Revelation 4:1. You are right. The church is never mentioned again until we all come back to earth in the 19th chapter. We are the manchild saints that are to rule the nations in Revelation 12. We will be caught up to God and unto his throne. Jesus has taken us out of here and we have all become the 24 elders. Satan will have to make war with the tribulation saints, the remnant of the woman's seed that was not caught up with the manchild. We are going to watch in horror as everyone else who will come out of great tribulation will be killed and will come and join all the rest of us as an innumerable company. The trump of God, that the Archangel Michael will sound has nothing at all to do with the seventh trumpet of God's wrath in the tribulation that a lesser angel is going to sound some 6.5 yo 7 years later.

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    1. Give me one scripture verse that states that John is a "type" of the rapture.
      Give me one verse that states that the Manchild is the Church and that this catching up occurs before a tribulation.
      Give me one verse that states the "saint" and the "elect" are Israel and not the Church.
      Give me one verse that states the 24 elders are the Church.
      Give me one verse that states that the seventh trumpet has nothing to do with the last trumpets.
      These are specpulation based on an a priori assumption that the Church is raptured before the Tribulation.
      The Bible warns: "Do not go beyond what is written."

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  12. Connie: Don't get me wrong. Of course we will undergo trials and tribulations during this dispensation of grace. This has always been the case, as most of those in the east have suffered sever persecution and death for preaching Christ and even for just having Bibles. They have not known the peace that we have known here in the west. We have our own type of inner trials and tribulations here in the west. Don't think that because you are not beheaded or physically tortured that you have not been tried in some fashion as Peter has prophesied. Maybe you have suffered sexual abuse or spousal abuse or maybe even having to live on the street. Struggling to forgive the unforgivable is in itself a tribulation. And your right, wrath and tribulation are two different words, and we the faithful, have not been appointed to wrath.
    The bride has not been appointed to undergo the tribulation. We the faithful are the Church of Philadelphia. We are the Philadelphian Christians. If we are to remain down here then there will be no elders around the throne of God, for they represent the resurrected righteous dead and the raptured church. And so, for the purpose of my point, I will refer to the 24 elders and the 4 beasts as the Philadelphian Church that is caught up in Revelation 4:1. Philadelphia has no business down here during the tribulation. In Revelation the 3rd chapter when Jesus speaks of keeping her from the hour of temptation that is to try everyone that dwells upon the earth, do you notice the distinction that God makes between Philadelphia and the everyone who will be left here on earth to suffer his wrath at the hands of Satan? Jesus is talking about rapturing Philadelphia out of here with the white glove service of Michael and his angels before the tribulation. There are going to be two classes of people. His redeemed and they that dwell upon the earth. The church of Philadelphia is the manchild of Revelation the 12th chapter. Lastly, have you not notice in Revelation that NO church is mentioned. There is NO faithful bunch that is given any recognition in the book of Revelation. Everyone is beheaded! Two thirds of humanity will be killed! The blood will rise to the level of a horse's bridle! The Lord is going to send an angel to the sun to scorch men with fire from the sun that will cause them to gnaw their tongues for pain! Where is Philadelphia? Up in heaven where she belongs, crowned and robed, kept from the great tribulation as promised in Revelation 3. Revelation is the promise of the pre-tribulation rapture.

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    1. If you are not seeing the church in Revelation, it is because you are blind to it. We are called the saints and the saints are mentioned quite a bit throughout Revelation. I have learned that it is a fruitless effort to convince pre-tribbers (I was raised one by the way) to believe the truth, for they choose to believe the lie. Just as evolutionists will not see the truth either. You have made the error of believing that tribulation is the same as God's wrath. Nowhere in the Bible is that taught. Nowhere is it taught the tribulation is seven years. Nowhere is it taught that there is a separate group of elect that are called tribulation saints. Nowhere is it taught that there are two gatherings of the elect and more than two resurrections that of the righteous and that of the unrighteous. Nowhere is it taught that Jesus comes back secretly. John is said to represent the church in Rev. to force a place for a rapture to occur, yet the same theology teaches that he is a Jew who is not a part of the church in the Olivet Discourse because they don't want that Scripture to refer to them when Christ tells them that they will undergo these things. So which is it? All of these things are teachings that were created as assumptions to fit a scenario that was pre-conceived, not the reverse. Believe what you will. God says those who have an ear to hear will hear and the rest will suffer for their lack of knowledge. "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." Hosea 4:6 The Laodicean church cannot see that they are blind. They believe they are perfectly righteous and in no need of refining. This description fits the pre-trib rapture theology to a "T". And yet where have they put Christ? Outside the door knocking to be let back in. My beliefs are founded on a face value or literal interpretation, a chronological interpretation, and taking scripture in context with no twisting or spiritualizing of what it says. I understand that God must refine an apostate church, which is the vast majority of Christians (at least in America and some other countries with a certain amount of religious freedom) today. Very few qualify as Philadephians, and I would never be so arrogant as to place myself in that very special blessed group which is hand-picked by God to survive the tribulation until the rapture, because of their uncompromised spiritual walk. Why do you think Christ said, "Will I find faith when I return?" Because there will be very few left with faith. There will be very few period. As for the parable of the virgins, does it not come to your attention that ALL were virgins (hence all believers) and it is only those who understand that they will have to wait for His return and are prepared to wait it out having supplied themselves with what they know they will need (spiritually, as well as possibly physically), who get into the wedding. It isn't those who aren't prepared to wait who make it. Those who aren't prepared to have to wait and endure represent those who think they would never be asked to suffer for Christ. Those who think they will be raptured out. These people may well be deceived or fall away when they find being persecuted and martyred is asked of them. They won't be spiritually and mentally prepared to face it. But God allows us to believe what we want, so if this belief makes you feel good, you go ahead and believe it. I am called to warn people it's not the truth, not to force them to accept the truth.

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    2. Amen, Connie, pre-trib is such a BIG LIE; that was inspired by the devil. We are not going to escape what is coming, before Jesus returns. We better be mighty prepared spiritually, by keeping in the word of God and our garments clean. By God's grace, we will endure until we hear that shout. Glory to God!

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    3. Have you notice that "Church" is not mentioned after the third chapter..at all. This must mean that the Church is not present for the Wedding of the Lamb, that the Church doesn not accompany Christ as He comes on the white horse, that the Church does not inhabit the New Jerusalem...how sad. The Church is nowhere to be found.

      Do you see the complete idiocy of this belief? The Book of Revelation is written FOR the churches and TO the churches, and yet most of the Book has nothing to so with the Church? All through the NT believers are called saints and the elect, but now, all of a sudden the definition has changed. An example of how NOT to rightly handle the Word of God.

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    5. I believe I mention this briefly in both the article and my response above that the church is called the saints and elect after chapter 4.

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  13. You have declared that nowhere in the Bible is it taught that the tribulation is the wrath of God. We have a problem. Please explain Luk. 21:22-24, Rev. 6:12 - *17, Rev. 12:7 - 12, Rev. 15:1, and Rev. 16:1. You have also declared that nowhere in the Bible is it taught that the tribulation is seven years. We have a problem. One week is seven years, 42 months plus 42 months or 1,260 days plus 1,260 days. The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ was the 69th week. Messiah was cut off in the 69th week. The tribulation is Daniel's 70th week. Please explain Daniel 9:24 - 27 and Rev. 12:5 - 7. The abomination of desolation will occur right at the midpoint of the tribulation when the beast will require everyone to take his mark. You have also declared that nowhere in the Bible is two resurrections taught, one for the righteous and one for the wicked. Now we have a serious problem. Please explain Rev. 20:4 - 6 and Rev. 20:7 - 15.

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  14. Luke 21:22-24 "For these be the days of vengeance....and wrath upon this people" Answer: Rev. 12:12 "for the DEVIL is come down unto you having great WRATH." Luke does not say whose wrath this is. You are assuming what is not said. We are told in Rev. 12 whose wrath the tribulation actually is. No assumption necessary. In Rev. 6, the people of the earth claim that the catastrophe befalling them must be the wrath of God, but then every natural catastrophe that befalls man, man calls the wrath of God. HEAVEN does not announce God's wrath until Rev. 11:18 at the last trumpet. Heaven should know when God's wrath begins and it does not announce it at the sixth seal. It announces it in Rev. 11 at the last trumpet. Rev. 15:1 and 16:1 are the same time as Rev. 11:18 - at the last trumpet when the seven angels are given their vials OF GOD'S WRATH to pour out. The rapture can clearly be seen in chapter 14 just before these vials are poured out. I agree with heaven and the Word of God. God's wrath occurs at the last trumpet. Christ's return occurs at the last trumpet when he takes His kingdoms back and reigns. Rev. 11:18. The time of the dead saints to be judged and rewarded (the resurrection/rapture) comes at the last trumpet, when Christ returns to reign. Rev. 11:15-18. Paul tells us that we are changed at the last trumpet. There is only ONE last trumpet.

    One week is seven years, but there is not a single scripture that says that this entire seven years is tribulation. In fact, just the opposite. Christ tells us in the Olivet Discourse that the great tribulation (and this is the only reference using the term tribulation in this context, nowhere is this entire seven year time frame EVER called a time of tribulation anywhere - give me a scripture if you think it is) begins at the midpoint of that seven year period and continues until the signs of the sixth seal in Revelation (sun and moon signs) occur. Daniel tells us that there will be a seven year period and in the midst of that the sacrifice will cease and an abomination will be set up. Christ tells us that this is the commencement of the tribulation. Hence the second half of the seven years is tribulation. Where do you see him calling it ALL a tribulation? I see that nowhere. You are assuming something that is not there, again. The 1260 days in all it's references only ever refers to the second half of that seven year time period, not the two halves of it. Antichrist only reigns during the second half, and all the references regarding 42 months, 1260 days, or 3 1/2 years, revolve around that same time period - the second half of the seventh week.

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    1. Rev. 20 tells us that the righteous who were martyred are resurrected right before the millennium. I concur. All the righteous dead from the beginning of time are resurrected then, including those who were beheaded before or during the tribulation. Vs. 7-15 refer to the second resurrection, that of the unrighteous, after the millennium. There are two resurrections spoken of here, I don't see what your problem is. I agree with Scripture. The righteous who live during the millennium do not die, so they have no need of resurrection. Only the unrighteous from the beginning of time will be resurrected at the end of the millennium. There is no other resurrection listed here. Two and only two resurrections are taught. That of the righteous which is the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6) and that of the unrighteous, which is the second and only other resurrection spoken of. We know this is ONLY the judgement of the unrighteous because they are judged according to their WORKS, which we are not. We are judged by the blood of Christ. Rev. 20:6,13 "and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works..... and DEATH and HELL delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged EVERY man according to their works."

      Daniel is told he will be resurrected AFTER the time of Jacob's trouble (the great tribulation) Dan. 12. This fits with my understanding of Christ's return. But it does not fit with yours. You have to alter the scriptures to make your theory fit. I do not.

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  15. O.K. I wish you all the best. May you enjoy yourself down here during the great tribulation. May you be beheaded as you wish, for the glory of God, and join the innumerable multitude that will come out of great tribulation. I'll see you in Mount Zion at the throne of God afterward. Then we will all come back down to earth to reign for a thousand years. Take care!!

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    1. I must say that your reaction to my giving you valid answers to your queries is the response I see so often. A rather arrogant attitude that because I don't believe pre-trib, I 1) want to get my head chopped off and desire to go through the tribulation. Really? Do you really think anybody WANTS to get their head chopped off? Do you think anybody WANTS to go through the tribulation? What a ridiculous attitude you express. Can you hear how you sound saying that? It's just dumb to think that people who feel they must live righteously, because they will be asked to suffer for Christ look gleefully forward to it. We SUBMIT to this, knowing this is part and parcel of choosing Christ. If you haven't, then you are not all out for Christ, because nobody can know when they may have to give their life for Him. Just because I'm not afraid to accept the truth of Scripture doesn't mean I have to like what I read any more than a homosexual likes reading that it is a sin. It doesn't change what God has said, and 2) that God's criteria for rapturing people is not that they be saved, but that they believe a doctrine which flies in the face of what the Scriptures say. Even when I was pre-trib, I never was arrogant enough to think that THAT was the criteria that God used. Salvation is not based on someone's view of the rapture. It is based on a relationship with Jesus Christ. How arrogant to think that you somehow are better than another Christian and entitled to a special privilege because of a difference in opinion on the timing of the rapture? Really? Seriously? The fact that you think you do not need to be prepared to suffer for Christ, when all of Scripture tells us that this is what we are to expect when we accept Him as our Savior makes you sound exactly like a Laodicean. You have been warned. And you have been shown the Scriptures. I can do no more.

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  16. If you are truly sincere in your walk with Christ, and there is a pre-trib rapture, and you are snatched out of here in it, are you going to ask the Lord to send you back down here to suffer?

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  17. If you find yourself in the tribulation, are you going to let them chop your head off?

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    1. And if I am wrong? Glory, glory hallelujah. But I know from Scripture I'm not.

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  18. If I find myself in the tribulation because, for whatever ungodly reason, I failed to make it out of here with the manchild saints of Rev. 12, I will go ahead and take my beheading. However, I know that the faithful manchild saints are going to be taken out of here to meet the Lord and the righteous dead in the air before Daniel's Seventieth Week, otherwise God will not have any elders around his thrown cheering him on and worshipping him as in Rev. 5:8-10. Your words, "And if I'm wrong? Glory, glory hallelujah." are the most sensible thing that I have heard so far throughout our dialogue.

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  19. Well of course no idiot WANTS to go through it and be beheaded. For the life of me I cannot understand why pre-tribbers insist that anyone who is not pre-trib is believing this because they feel they MUST suffer for Christ. It has nothing to do with that. It has to do with the fact that we do not see a pre-trib rapture in the scriptures when we read it as written. We see that God is telling the church to prepare to suffer. I simply cannot ignore what the Scriptures say will happen. I'm more interested in the truth than feeling comfortable. I'm glad you are willing to get your head taken off, because given the odds of how few escape, based upon what Scripture says, you are pretty much guaranteed to have to die by that way or some other for Christ if you don't die before we reach that point. Sorry, but the man child you speak of in Rev. 12 is not the church. It is Christ. Christ is the one who will rule all nations with a rod of iron. We merely assist. It says that Satan will go after Israel and when they escape him he will go after those who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ. That is Christians. We are the saints referred to from chapter 4 on. Does it not seem odd, that after the church supposedly is called up with John, (and that is a stretch of a spiritualization if ever there was one) the church is not seen in heaven. The comment is made that the church is gone because it isn't seen anymore. Well the problem is, you aren't seeing the earth, you are seeing what is going on in heaven and guess what, the church ISN'T there. From that point on, Christ is not addressing certain congregations that represent different types of churches and peoples in Christendom, He is addressing Christians individually, so from chapter four on, we are called the SAINTS. And if the seals are God's wrath, why is the fifth seal aimed ONLY and SOLELY at CHRISTIANS but NOT at unbelievers? I thought Christians were not appointed to God's wrath. ANY Christians. Is that Scripture a lie?

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  20. If there is a pre-trib rapture, surely everyone is not going to make it. Many so called ministers will knock on heaven's door, crying, "Lord, Lord open unto me. What did I do wrong why you didn't take me.", along with many other like statements. Matthew 25, Luke 13. These individuals along with those in the east who will either become newly converted or turn their lukewarm lifestyle into a holy lifestyle, will end up being killed, even during the first of Daniel's 70th Week. Especially those in the east. These are the saints of the 5th seal. Those who will not have made the rapture. They, along with Israel, will be killed and will ask the Lord how long he will tarry without avenging their blood.

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  21. As it seems is usual when I bring this dilemma up, you have completely ignored the problem and given me the pat answer you have been taught to say. The fifth seal is the tribulation saints. That DOES NOT negate the problem that if this is God's wrath, and you teach it is, why are ONLY CHRISTIANS being asked to endure it? God's wrath is NOT for Christians, yet you are saying that one of his judgements is aimed strictly at them, leaving the unbelievers alone. Does that make any sense when you say YOU won't be here because Christians are NOT appointed to wrath? Your logic is flawed. Your theology is flawed if you would only take the time to look at it rationally. Everything you believe is based upon ASSUMPTIONS, NOT Scripture. You are saying there is a second chance for salvation. Where does the Bible teach that? You are assuming a whole lot of things to believe this theory. I believe we need to take Christ and God at His Word. He tells us He gathers His people (us) when He returns AFTER the tribulation. The tribulation is NOT God's wrath. How many times can that be stated and you not understand. The Hebrew words for wrath are not the same as the word for tribulation. We are supposed to endure tribulation. NO Christian of any kind who is truly of the elect is to endure God's wrath, yet you persist in saying some of the elect must endure God's wrath. NO they must not. Satan's wrath yes. God's wrath, NO. I guess you never will understand and accept it until you are in it and see that what I am saying is the truth. I only hope you have the strength to endure, seeing as you are not prepared to do so.

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  22. You too have ignored an awful lot of what I have written to you in my responses. The knowledge of any outsider looking in on our dialogue, who is truly hungry for an explanation of why he should believe that the coming of the Lord is before the tribulation, has probably already been blessed. Such an individual has probably been enlightened many times over. And so, until either the day that you are snatched out of here in the rapture or left behind after hearing the news of the departure of the saints that were ready to meet the Bridegroom, all that I can tell you is God Bless, and Take care!!

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    1. If you had read my extensive article, and I don't believe you did with any real attention, if you read it at all, you would have seen that I lay out a very logical exegesis for the fact that there is no pre-trib rapture. I addressed a number of your questions and comments, but apparently you were unable to understand my answers. I guess that might be because you are so sure of the lies you have been taught that you cannot grasp the Scriptures that I used to show why pre-trib is wrong. Where I didn't address something (like the 24 elders) I referenced you to my other articles and also my entire other blog which starts in Genesis and goes through the Bible to Revelation discussing all of the Scriptures about the subject. Hopefully if someone comes to my blog and reads the article it will convince them that the problems with pre-trib are insurmountable, and that the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of the fact that the church must go through the great tribulation. And if they read my other blog, they will be convinced by Scripture that this is indeed the truth. As I am not worried about hearing that I have been left behind, since Scripture does not teach that, I will not be distressed by the lack of it happening. I will however be spiritually preparing to meet the great test of our faith that God is going to ask of the apostate Christian church to refine His Bride before He comes to collect her. You take care too. I hope your faith does not fail you when you need it the most.

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  23. Connie: How is your spiritual life? Are you aware that the both of us are sinning, just going on and on in this disagreement. Neither of us are serving God to continue in this discussion. Nothing is getting accomplished, and this is very unedifying. Let's bring everything to a close.

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  24. My spiritual life is a constant striving to keep it right with God, as should every Christians be. And yours? That's a rhetorical question. Do not feel the need to respond. As for our debating, this is my blog, so I do think I have the right to the last word. If you feel we should discontinue, then I believe it would be best if you stop commenting here, don't you? I thought the last interchange saying "Take care" meant that the discussion was over. I'm assuming that as you want it brought to a close, you will not be back.

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  25. Yes, I do think that it would be a good idea for me to stop commenting. I do apologize for offending you with my question. That was not my intention. This has been a learning experience for me. Now I see why a certain evangelist acquaintance of mine, who does not believe in a pre-trib rapture, always refused to get into this particular discussion with me. He said that he has seen it bring nothing but division. I was not feeling him at the time, but now I feel him 100% per cent.

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  26. I bear no ill will, I truly hope the best for you, but I do hope that if you take nothing else from this conversation you will realize that the timing of the rapture is not a measuring guide for someone's salvation. I don't believe in pre-trib anymore, but I never believed that God would judge our salvation upon that particular doctrine. It seems to have become the rod by which people in the pre-trib camp determine if a person is truly a Christian or not. I may believe the pre-trib theory is wrong, but I do not judge other's Christianity by it, and I don't think pre-tribs should judge mine or anyone else's for that matter, who does not believe it.

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  27. I take Revelation in chronological order. The world goes through horrible misery during the first half and many could be killed at the 5th seal. That would correspond with many being offended, or fall away, as Matthew, Mark, and Luke spoke of, also in chronological order. Has a 6th seal rapture ever been considered? The last half of the tribulation seems to be mainly persecution of the Jews after Satan is kicked out of Heaven and many beheadings of those who refuse the mark and just for his hatred of the Jews. There will be some left because they are told to flee into the vallely when Jesus touches down on the mount and it splits. I believe in pretrib rapture of the church because we meet him in the air and return with him to the earth after a week in his Father's house as is the wedding custom as I understand it.

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    1. Thank you for your comment.

      A 6th seal rapture is the pre-wrath rapture position. I was that for a number of years, (after being brought up pre-trib) but I could never really reconcile the Scriptures with that position. Nor could I reconcile it with the post-trib position. There were still some snags and bumps that didn't fit right with all of those positions. When I moved the rapture to Rev. 11:15-18 (also seen at the end of chap. 14) at the last trump, (which I call the last trump position for lack of a better term) then everything fell into place.

      While I agree Revelation is basically chronological, there are some recap chapters for the purpose of showing the history of another factor. Just as the Creation has an overview, and then a detailed view, giving us the same event, but from different perspectives. I believe Revelation is sort of like the strings on a guitar. God takes one subject (the first string) and follows it up to the point of His return. Then he goes to the next string and gives the info on that subject up to His return, and etc. Chapters 1-3 show us a history and present day status (as well as the present different typology of individual Christians – hence the address to individual overcomers) of churches in existence up until He opens the scroll. Then 5-9 show us what happens during the opening of the seals and trumpets (the 7th seal being the 6 trumpets) which takes us up to the last and 7th trump.

      Chap. 11 gives a history of the temple and 2 prophets (from the mid-point to the end of the 42 weeks/1260 days) but ends at the 7th trump, (just as chap. 10 ended just before the 7th trumpet sounds). Chap. 12 is a sort of history of Christ, Israel, and Satan's war on both, plus the Church, during the tribulation (those with the testimony of Christ). Chap 13 is the history of the beast from olden times through the tribulation, 14 continues that chronology up to the Return of Christ (at the 7th trumpet/rapture again). Now that the history of the Church, Christ, Israel, the scroll, and the beast have been all brought up to the same point - Christ's return (like following 5 separate strings up to a bridge of a guitar where they converge) now all of their stories continue together chronologically through the vials in 15-16. That takes us up to Armageddon. Then we get a history of Babylon in 17-18 which takes us up to the last vial (which is where the narrative left off) which is Armageddon which we then see in 19 and then on with the rest of the future. At least this is how I have been able to understand it most clearly from all the studying I have done. It is the only view in which everything has made total sense.

      As for after Satan being kicked out and persecuting the Jews, it isn't just the Jews he ends up going after. Read Chapter 12:14-17. The woman (a chosen remnant of Israel/Jews) are protected from him during this time in the wilderness. When he can't get at her, who does he go after? Those who are followers of Christ - ergo Christians. It is Christians who are going to be losing their heads. I believe the multitude on the sea of glass before the trumpets begin are the martyrs that those in the fifth seal are told they must wait for, before God can wrap things up to send down His wrath. Notice the difference between that group and the second group on the sea of glass (Chapt. 15). The first group have come out of the great tribulation. There is only one way people are coming out of that. By death. In the second group, they got victory over the beast. He didn't get them. They are those who have been overcomers, and who show up only after Christ returns and raptures the remnant at the end of Chap. 14.

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    2. As for the wedding custom, when Christ came to fulfill the spring feasts, He fulfilled them all in one year. So it will be when He fulfills the fall feasts. Rosh HaShanah is the Feast of Trumpets (7th when Christ is crowned King?), Yom Kippur is the Day of Judgment and Resurrection, Sukkot represents not only the wilderness wanderings (which is where the woman, Israel, is for 1260 days) but it also represents a marriage feast in Jewish tradition. it is fulfilled much more literally (and all in the same year as the spring feasts were) when you realize Christ will be returning on the fall feasts . The marriage week is not a seven year feast, marriages were celebrated over a literal week. And this week will fall after Christ returns (you won't know the actual day or hour, but you will know the watch – Matt. 24.)

      It is during this time (after the last trump (sometime after day 1260) but before Armageddon in the last vial (around day 1290 according to Daniel 12) when the saints are judged and rewarded (rapture/Bema seat during that month between the 1260 and 1290 days), the kingdoms of the world become Christ's (He is anointed King of Kings) and God's wrath is about to be poured out (vials). Rev. 11:15-18. We are not appointed to wrath (which are the vials) but we are not promised freedom from the persecution of Satan. Christ even warns one specific church that they will be thrown into the GREAT TRIBULATION. There is only one of those. The only people to escape the martyrdom are the Philadelphians, who are a select group who have filled a very specific criteria to qualify. They are one of seven churches. So six churches (or representation of types of Christians) will be persecuted during this time. Apostasy needs chastisment. The only thing the beast can do is kill us, as long as we stay faithful and don't fall away or be deceived (something Christ warned strenuously about). When have we ever been promised freedom from being persecuted? Never. It is not God's wrath to have Satan mad and killing us. It is Satan's wrath, as specifically mentioned in Chapter 12.

      If you go over to my other blog http://endtimesstudies.blogspot.com/ you will find a detailed verse by verse showing of the Scriptures on this subject from Genesis through Revelation throughout my archives to see why I come to these conclusions.

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    3. Sorry, up above that should have read Chap. 4-9 tell us about the seals.

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  28. Pretribbers believe that the church at Philadelphia is raptured because they have kept the word of Christ's patience. They also believe the seven churches represent seven church ages. And they believe the Church will not be present during the tribulation.
    If the Church is raptured before the tribulation, how is it that the Laodicean church IS present during the tribulation?
    Those who overcome from this church are granted to sit on Christ's throne, to reign with Him.

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  29. I have never seen where, anywhere in the Bible after chapter three of Revelation, the church is ever mentioned. Toward the end of Chapter 3 Jesus expresses his contempt toward the Laodicean church who, like many of those of the other six churches who do not live faithfully in Christ like Philadelphia, will be left behind. These will end up becoming tribulation saints who will have to be beheaded and then go on to join the multitude which no man will able to number.

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    1. Saints = Church. Look for the word saints after chapter 3. BTW, if there church were in heaven when John went up there, where are they? They are conspicuous by their absence. He doesn't see them there, because he describes what he sees and there is no church mentioned. We've gone around this block before. You might not remember that you have been here before. Let's not do it again.

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