What Did Ancient Church Fathers Believe About The Rapture?

 

Who invented the Rapture idea? | What did Church fathers say about the Rapture? | John Darby did NOT invent the rapture

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

What did the first century church fathers believe about the Rapture? Were they pre-tribulation or post-tribulation? What did the disciples of the Apostles of Jesus Christ teach about the Rapture?

This article will present the writings of the early church fathers – from those who learned under the disciples of Jesus Christ, to the church leaders of the second and third centuries, on the Rapture – the supernatural removal of all Bible-believing Christians from Earth to enter Heaven. While the writings of the first, second and third century Christian church fathers are not Scripture and not on par with the Bible in any way, it is informative to see how the early church leaders interpreted Scripture in addition to what the learned directly from those closest to The Lord Jesus Christ. And definitively, the few writings still in existence on the end times, put the timing of the Rapture before the Great Tribulation. This article will also serve to dispel some of the common misconceptions about Rapture theology as being something invented in the 19th century by a man named John Darby.

“John Darby Invented The Pre-Tribulation Rapture”

Ancient writings on the Rapture | Pre-tribulation rapture defended

John Darby has been incorrectly credited with “inventing” the Rapture.

All over the internet there are many articles and videos that claim that the Rapture doctrine was “invented” in 1830 by a man named John Darby. The following is an excerpt that summarizes this theory:

The Rapture doctrine, which was the invention of the Plymouth Brethren led by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), has today been adopted by most Baptist, Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, and a variety of other fundamentalist sects. The idea that Jesus Christ will return for His true Church just before the beginning of the Great Tribulation in a secret gathering or “catching away” was an important part of Darby’s teaching. The movement in which this teaching began originated in small groups in England and Ireland about 1828 and by 1831 was part of the official teaching of the Plymouth Brethren. By 1860 the “rapture” had made its way to the United States.

Today, prophecy pundits and “end-time” revivalists preach the Rapture as if it were established dogma from the time of Christ until the present. The truth is that the first historical reference to the Rapture doctrine comes from the Plymouth Brethren. Not only is the Rapture not found in the teachings of the Church, but even “end-time” heretics throughout the centuries never dreamed of proposing such a novel idea. For example, the 4th century Montanists, who preached both pre-millennialism and that they knew when Christ would return, never ventured so far as to create another 2nd coming of the Lord in a secret rapture.

In all the writings of the Scriptures, the Early Fathers, and the Ecumenical Councils, there is no mention of two 2nd comings of Christ.” (source) [Emphasis added].

 

In short, the objection is that rather than being a real part of the Bible, the entire idea of a pre-Great Tribulational Rapture was just an invention by Darby and “not even heretics” ever used it.  This is very strong language, but is it true? Were there no ancient Christian writings about the church being Raptured before Great Tribulation? An examination of early church writings shows that this charge is false and there were some church fathers who indeed wrote about the Rapture.

Irenaeus

Irenaeus (130 A.D. – 202 AD) was a bishop of the church in Lyons, France. He was an eyewitness to the Apostle John (who wrote the Book of Revelation) and a disciple of Polycarp, the first of the Apostle John’s disciples. Irenaeus is most-known for his five-volume treatise, Against Heresies in which he exposed the false religions and cults of his day along with advice for how to share the Gospel with those were a part of them.

 
In his writings on Bible prophecy, he acknowledged the phrase “a time, times and dividing of times” in Daniel 7 to signify the 3 ½ year reign of the Antichrist as ruler of the world before the Second Coming of Christ. He also believed in a literal Millennial reign of Christ on earth following the Second Coming and the resurrection of the just.

On the subject of the Rapture, in Against Heresies 5.29, he wrote:

“Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance — in fact, as nothing;”(1) so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.”(2) For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.”

Irenaeus in this passage describes the church leaving the sinful world just before unprecedented disasters. Note his use of the term “caught up” which is Rapture terminology as that is the meaning of harpazo, the term for “caught up” in the King James Bible describing the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4. He then quotes Matthew 24:21 where The Lord Jesus Christ says: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” And it is during this time that those who convert to Christianity during the final years will receive the incorruptible crown mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:25. In Irenaeus’ belief, the Rapture took place prior to the end times Great Tribulation.

 

Cyprian
Cyprian (200 AD – 258 AD) – Cyprian was Bishop of the church in Carthage. During his short stint as leader of the church, he guided the flock through intense persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire. In 258 AD after spending seven months of confinement to his home by order of Roman authorities, he was beheaded for his faith. Several of his works still exist today.

In Treatises of Cyprian he wrote in describing the end times Great Tribulation:

“We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world and restores us to paradise and the kingdom.”

Again we see use of language commonly found in reference to the Rapture as Cyprian describes the judgments of the end times as “imminent.” And he makes his belief on the timing of the Rapture when he wrote that Christians will have an “early departure” and be “delivered” from the devastating global judgments that come during the Day of The Lord.
In line with the Apostle Paul who wrote that “God has not appointed us to wrath, but salvation..” Cyprian expressed joy and encourages the believing reader to rejoice that the Church will be “taken away” before the disastrous Great Tribulation. Just as The Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 used the same language of one “taken away” and the other “left.” Additionally Cyprian references the mansions which The Lord Jesus Christ promises to come back and take His believers to in John 14.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” – John 14:1-3.

As Beginning and End detailed in our article “The Red Moon Rapture – The Biblical Timing of The Rapture”, in both the Matthew 24 passages (“one taken, the other left”) and in John 14 (“..receive you unto myself..”) the Greek work paralambanō is used for taken and receive. The meaning of that word is “join to one’s self” indicating that Jesus is coming to fully unify with His church – which takes place at the Rapture.  Clearly Cyprian believed and taught that the Rapture takes place before the Great Tribulation.

Ephraim The Syrian

Ephraim (306 AD – 373 AD) was made a deacon in the church in Syria in 338 and later became the bishop of Nisibis. Although he was made a “saint” in the Roman Catholic Church, he was not involved in Catholicism and did not even live in the Roman Empire until the final years of his life. The book Pseudo Ephraim was one of his still existing works. It was called “Pseudo” because of later dispute over authorship. However the book’s one reference to the rapture is very compelling:

In his work, On The Last Times 2, he wrote:

“We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled (consummated), and there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman kingdom. Why therefore are we occupied with worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that he may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms all the world? Believe you me, dearest brother, because the coming (advent) of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time.

Or do you not believe unless you see with your eyes? See to it that this sentence be not fulfilled among you of the prophet who declares: “Woe to those who desire to see the day of the Lord!” For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of the world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord. And we think that the earth exists with blind infidelity, arriving at its downfall early. Commotions are brought forth, wars of diverse peoples and battles and incursions of the barbarians threaten, and our regions shall be desolated, and we neither become very much afraid of the report nor of the appearance, in order that we may at least do penance; because they hurl fear at us, and we do not wish to be changed, although we at least stand in need of penance for our actions!”

With a sense of urgency and strong warning, Ephraim writes that the end times are upon this world and could start at any moment. This text very clearly states the saints and elect of God, all born again believers in The Lord Jesus Christ, will be “taken to the Lord” before the Great Tribulation. Ephraim also identifies the Old Testament “Day of The Lord” and the end times Great tribulation as the same event (in line with the teachings of the Beginning and End Rapture Series). Ephraim quotes Amos 5:18 which says: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.”

The point he makes is that a Christian should know the Day of The Lord is coming. In the first part of the passage Ephraim notes that:
“We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled (consummated)” And not only that but that true Christians will be taken away before it starts.
Here he is describing the first 3 of the first 4 seals of Revelation 6 – wars, famines and plagues. These are the same end times signs Jesus Christ describes in Matthew 24:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. – Matthew 24:3-8.

Jesus describes these events as “the beginning of sorrows.” He also says that when these things come to pass “the end is not yet.” Ephraim’s writing agrees with this interpretation as he says those same events have been “fulfilled (consummated)” in his day, but it was still not the actual Great Tribulation. This also falls in line with Beginning and End’s Rapture series as explained in our article Who Are The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse? (The first four seals of Revelation 6 were opened at the time Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven. And the rapture itself does not occur until the opening of the 6th Seal.)

Ephraim in very strong language warns the reader not to be consumed with the cares of the world because the world in its current form, is coming to an end. As the Second Advent or Coming of The Lord Jesus Christ grows near, believers are to look to Heaven and set their hearts on pleasing God. It is clear that Ephraim distinguishes the Second Coming of Christ from the rapture, placing the Rapture before the Great Tribulation to come.

The Early Church Believed In The Rapture

Who invented the Rapture idea? | What did Church fathers say about the Rapture? | John Darby did NOT invent the rapture

The ancient writings are clear – the belief in the Rapture has existed since the days of the Apostles.

Although there are not a great number of writings on the end times from the early centuries of the church, there is no question that there was a belief in the Rapture among the church fathers and they taught it with strong language and scriptural support. In terms of the timing of the Rapture, the early church fathers placed it before the end times Day of The Lord/Great Tribulation. The writings of early saints in the church are not Scripture and should not be treated on the same level of the Bible. These writings also do not “prove” that the pre-Great Tribulation Rapture or the Beginning and End Rapture series are correct. Only rightly divided Scripture from the Bible can determine if a specific belief is accurate or in error.  But the writings of church fathers can serve as useful commentaries (just as we use Bible commentaries today in our studies) and certainly prove that the Rapture doctrine existed well before John Darby and has been a part of Christian belief since the earliest days of the Apostles.

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Comments

  1. One other thing that I’ve learned in researching the first century church was that a great deal of what they spoke of regarding the Rapture and End Times comes from a great deal more study of Paul’s words versus the book of Revelation. I truly enjoy the study of early church history, and subjects such as this are often illuminated to a much greater degree as a result.

    Excellent work here.

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    • The writer on this page has made some serious errors.
      I will give the 1. Irenaeus quote as a most likely Yes to a mid trib rapture. But the others as No.

      2. Cyprian was clearly talking about the current deaths due to diseases going around at that time (ie the book is called ‘On the Mortality’) just read the opening paragraph summary. The quote mentioned clearly in context is talking about this issue and being happy to depart early for any individuals who get sick and die – not the church being rapture away from anything.
      Preseding verse – Verse 24 just prior says” laying aside the fear of death, let us think on the immortality which follows. By this let us show ourselves to be what we believe, that we do not grieve over the departure of those dear to us (previous deaths), and that when the day of our summons shall arrive (we get deadly infection), we come without delay and without resistance to the Lord when He Himself calls us.”.
      The writer has actually mis-quoted Cyprian mentioning “early departure” instead of “earlier departure” ie meaning earlier than planned due to sickness & death, not about any rapture at all..

      Opening summary mentions “Them that the Mortality or Plague Was Not to Be Feared, in that It Leads to Immortality, and that Therefore, that Man is Wanting in Faith Who is Not Eager for a Better World” – ie its about dying earlier than due to old age from disease & martyrdom

      3. Ephraim the Syrian – from Nicene & Post Nicene fathers series3 by Philip Schaff mentons that he never became a Bishop but was at most a Priest (maybe) after being made a deacon. So in other words – He was NOT an early church Father (must be Bishop).

      Also this quote cannot be matched to himself as does not show in any of the Early church fathers writings I have ( and I have them all) thats why its called the Pseudo Epistle or supposed but not known. Wikipedia says that “So popular were his works, that, for centuries after his death, Christian authors wrote hundreds of pseudepigraphal works in his name…” So this is most likely one of those cases written by someone else.

      Summary
      So if Irenaeus did mean a mid trib rapture then he would be the only one to do so. The vast evidence goes by far to a post trib rapture with the early Fathers.

      For all that I just said, I do think there will most likely be mid trib rapture to match 5 wise & 5 foolish virgins. Now read the Epistle of The Apostles (very early writing!!) which mention the rapture then the rest who were not ready (5 foolish) must go through some torture before martyrdom to be saved if they are captured. Not a good place to be!! Go and read this for yourself.

      Also as at today looks like Sept 2015 could be the start of the final 7 years so keep an eye on that one !!!

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      • Hi Rob,

        Thanks for your comments. As you might guess, I disagree with them so i’ll just address them as you listed.

        1. Irenaeus – You do not make any substantive argument here so with all due respect, there’s really no way for me to respond. You say it is a mid-trib passage but do not show how by dividing the text. If you do so and can show the mid-trib timeline I’d be glad to respond.

        2. Cyrprian – There are variant translations of his writings that have “early” and “Earlier”. This is fairly common among ancient texts. But the point of chapter 25 does not turn on which form of “Early” it is. The context of that chapter is the end of the world. And Cyrpian is making the case that the world is going to end, “..not by its age but by the end of things.” I read that as an end times reference. He then says believers should congratulate themselves that by an “Earlier departure” they are taken away from the “disasters” that are imminent. This is referring to the end times destruction of the Earth when read in context. I am not sure what chapter 24 has to do with this since it is on a different subject.

        3. Eprhaim – There are numerous sources that say he was a Bishop. Again whether or not he was is really not relevant to the point of the article. Nor is whether he actually wrote Pseudo-Ephraim (which is characterized accurately in the article). The point being made is that over 1,500 years ago Christians were writings about the Pre-trib rapture. So whether it was Ephraim (which many attribute it to) or some admirer of his, it does not change the fact that the pre-trib rapture model existed well before Darby, the 19th century, etc.

        4. Sept 2015 Great Tribulation – What are you basing this prediction on? God bless. -B&E

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      • If you will read The Jewish Wars by Josephus you will see that when the Romans were catapulting large stones into the city of Jerusalem the Jews were yelling “The Son Cometh!” Josephus wrote this in Greek and also in Hebrew and used the appropriate word for “Son” in each language. Revisionist have attempted to say that he meant to say “stones or stone”. There was back then those that thought they were saying that Jesus was leading the Romans in battle against the city. Liberal theologians attempt to deny this, yet that is what Jesus prophesied. “I tell you, this generation shall not pass till these things be.” “Coming on clouds” is OT judgment apocalyptic language. If the Christians were going to be raptured, why did Jesus give them signs to watch for and a command to flee when they saw the signs? That is how the Gospel was spread in the first century. The destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was what Jesus, John, Daniel, and all the OT prophets foretold. There is no better indicator of the timing of Biblical prophecy than Acts 3:24″ Yea, and all the prophets from Samuel and those that follow after, as many as have spoken, have likewise foretold of these days.” Peter was speaking to his contemporaries, not us today. The 10 kings in Johns Revelation were the Caesars. If you will research the Caesars you will see that there were 10 from Julius to Vespasian, Nero was the 6th and the one that began the assault on the Jews. The one that was but for a short time was Galba, that preceded Nero. As a matter of fact, there was a year when there were 3 successive Caesars due to deaths. The name “Neron Kaiser” totaled up to be 666 in gematria. Nero killed is mother and was even said to be a beast by Jospehus and other historical writers of that era. Most men use the teaching of other men as their standard. After Darby most commentators started using the “caught up” as meaning a rapture. Mathew Henry did not believe in a rapture. If he did he does not mention it in his commentary, He lived around 200 years before Darby. Mathew Henry equates the time of anti-christ with the lifetime of John. It is mighty peculiar that he would do this. I believe that anyone that reads the scriptures would equate the time of the anti-christ with the beast. The anti-christ as John described was a spirit that was prevalent amongst the non-believing Jews, but it could have also been used as a particular high ranking Jewish man. Regardless, Mathew Henry associates it with the papacy. It is obvious from this that his thoughts had been tainted with the writings of Calvin, Luther, and possibly others, since that is what they taught. See, his mind had not been tainted with the Rapture Theory of Darby, but it had with Calvin and Luther’s teaching on the beast. The anti-christ and the beast are not separated by centuries. Also, if you believe in the papacy system, then Peter was the anti-christ!! We know that is not correct. That should tell you that the papacy in not the anti-christ. Paul stated that after the prophecies were fulfilled tongues would be annulled, prophecy would be sealed, and knowledge would decrease. Certainly we cannot expect to know for sure who these men were, but the first century knew for sure. Knowledge has certainly decreased on these events. Tongue speaking is a farce today, and all prophets from that time have caused much grief, deaths, and calamity on this world. John was the last prophet. Just think if man truly understood the scriptures. There would be no Muslim religion, no Mormons, no Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc., etc. Jesus did not come to give man a more confused life. He came to give man a more abundant life, and until man understands true history related to His Story this world will be in torment.

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        • I meant all prophets since that time. Also, that the anti-christ and beast were from that 1st century generation. Mathew Henry separates them, the anti-christ and the beast, from the same epoch of time. The beast was not the papacy, nor any system. “You will know him by his number.” That is definetly a man in particular. It was the same man that had Peter and Paul put to death.

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    • Notable quotes compiled by Dave MacPherson of the Early Church Fathers:

      Barnabas (40-100): “The final stumbling-block (or source of danger) approaches…for the whole [past] time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked time WE also withstand coming sources of danger….That the Black One [Antichrist] may find no means of entrance…” (Epistle of Barnabas, 4).

      Clement of Rome (40-100): “…the Scripture also bears witness, saying, ‘Speedily will He come, and will not tarry’; and, ‘The Lord shall suddenly come [Matthew 24:30 coming] TO HIS TEMPLE, even the Holy One, for whom ye look'” (I Clement, 23).

      Hermas (40-140): “Those, therefore, who continue steadfast, and are put through the fire [of the Great Tribulation that is yet to come], will be purified by means of it….Wherefore cease not speaking these things into the ears OF THE SAINTS…” (The Pastor of Hermas, Vision 4).

      Polycarp (70-167): “He comes as the Judge of the living and the dead” (Epistle to the Philippians, II).

      Justin Martyr (100-168): “The man of apostasy [Antichrist], who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against US THE CHRISTIANS…” (Dialogue With Trypho, 110).

      Melito (100-170): “For with all his strength did the adversary assail us, even then giving a foretaste of his activity among US [during the Great Tribulation] which is to be without restraint…” (Discourse on the Resurrection, i, 8).

      Irenaeus (140-202): “And they [the ten kings who shall arise] shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the CHURCH to flight” (Against Heresies, V, 26).

      Tertullian (150-220): “The souls of the martyrs are taught to wait [Rev. 6]…that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the CHURCH of God…” (On the Resurrection of the Flesh, 25).

      Hippolytus (160-240): “…the one thousand two hundred and three score days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the CHURCH, which flees from city to city, and seeks concealment in the wilderness among the mountains” (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, 61).

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    • Cyprian (200-258): “The day of affliction has begun to hang over our heads, and the end of the world and the time of the Antichrist to draw near, so that WE must all stand prepared for the battle…” (Epistle, 55, 1).

      Victorinus (240-303): “…the times of Antichrist, when all shall be injured” (Commentary on the Apocalypse of the Blessed John, VI, 5).

      Lactantius (240-330): “And power will be given him [Antichrist] to desolate the whole earth for forty-two months….When these things shall so happen, then the righteous and the followers of truth shall separate themselves from the wicked, and flee into solitudes” (Divine Institutes, VII, 17).

      Athanasius (293-373): “…they have not spared Thy servants, but are preparing the way for Antichrist” (History of the Arians, VIII, 79).

      Ephraim the Syrian (306-373): “Nothing remains then, except that the coming of our enemy, Antichrist, appear…” (Sermo Asceticus, I).

      Pseudo-Ephraem (4th century?): “…there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one [Antichrist]…” (On the Last Times, the Antichrist etc., 2).

      Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386): “The Church declares to thee the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive…it is well that, knowing these things, thou shouldest make thyself ready beforehand” (Catechetical Lectures, 15, 9).

      Jerome (340-420): “I told you that Christ would not come unless Antichrist had come BEFORE” (Epistle 21).

      Chrysostom (345-407): “…the time of Antichrist…will be a sign of the coming of Christ…” (Homilies on First Thessalonians, 9).

      Augustine (354-430): “But he who reads this passage [Daniel 12], EVEN HALF ASLEEP, cannot fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the CHURCH…” (The City of God, XX, 23).

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    • Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153): “There remains only one thing—-that the demon of noonday [Antichrist] should appear, to seduce those who REMAIN STILL IN CHRIST…” (Sermons on the Song of Songs, 33, 16).

      Roger Bacon (1214-1274): “…because of future perils [for the CHURCH] in the times of Antichrist…” (Opus Majus, II, p. 634).

      John Wycliffe (1320-1384): “Wherefore let us pray to God that he keep us IN the hour of temptation, which is coming upon all the world, Rev. iii” (Writings of the Reverend and Learned John Wickliff, D.D., p. 155).

      Martin Luther (1483-1546): “[The book of Revelation] is intended as a revelation of things that are to happen in the future, and especially of tribulations and disasters for the CHURCH…” (Works of Martin Luther, VI, p. 481).

      Menno Simons (1496-1561): “…He will appear as a triumphant prince and a victorious king to bring judgment. Then will those who PERSECUTE US look upon Him…” (Complete Writings…, p. 622).

      John Calvin (1509-1564): “…we ought to follow in our inquiries after Antichrist, especially where such pride proceeds to a public desolation of the CHURCH” (Institutes, Vol. 2, p. 411).

      John Knox (1515-1572): “…the great love of God towards his CHURCH, whom he pleased to forewarn of dangers to come, so many years before they come to pass…to wit, The man of sin, The Antichrist, The Whore of Babylon” (The History of the Reformation…, I, p. 76).

      John Fox (1516-1587): “…that second beast prophesied to come in the later time of the Church…to disturb the whole CHURCH of Christ…” (Acts and Monuments, I).

      Roger Williams (1603-1683): “Antichrist…hath his prisons, to keep Christ Jesus AND HIS MEMBERS fast…” (The Bloody Tenent, of Persecution, p. 153).

      John Bunyan (1628-1688): “He comes IN FLAMING FIRE [as Judge] and…the trump of God sounds in the air, the dead to hear his voice…” (The Last Four Things: Of Judgment).

      Daniel Whitby (1638-1726): “…after the Fall of Antichrist, there shall be such a glorious State of the CHURCH…so shall this be the Church of Martyrs, and of those who had not received the Mark of the Beast…” (A Paraphrase and Commentary, p. 696).

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    • Increase Mather (1639-1723): “That part of the world [Europe] was to be principally the Seat of the CHURCH of Christ during the Reign of Antichrist” (Ichabod, p. 64).

      Matthew Henry (1662-1714): “Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be kept by Christ IN an hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]” (Commentary, VI, p. 1134).

      Cotton Mather (1663-1728): “…that New Jerusalem, whereto the Church is to be advanced, when the Mystical Babylon shall be fallen” (The Wonders of the Invisible World, p. 3).

      John Wesley (1703-1791): “‘The stars shall…fall from heaven,’ (Revelation, vi. 13)….And then shall be heard the universal shout…followed by the ‘voice of the archangel,’…’and the trumpet of God’…(I Thessalonians iv. 16).” (The Works of the Rev. John Wesley, A.M., Vol. V, p. 173).

      George Whitefield (1714-1770): “…’while the bridegroom tarried,’ in the space of time which passeth between our Lord’s ascension AND HIS COMING AGAIN TO JUDGMENT…” (Gillies’ Memoirs of Rev. George Whitefield, p. 471).

      John Newton (1725-1807): “‘Fear not temptation’s fiery day, for I will be thy strength and stay. Thou hast my promise, hold it fast, the trying hour [Revelation 3:10] will soon be past'” (The Works of the Rev. John Newton, Vol. II, p. 152).

      Adam Clarke (1762-1832): “We which are alive, and remain…he [Paul] is speaking of the genuine Christians which shall be found ON EARTH when Christ comes TO JUDGMENT” (Commentary, Vol. VI, p. 550).

      Charles G. Finney (1792-1875): “Christ represents it as impossible to deceive the elect. Matt. 24:24. We have seen that the elect unto salvation includes ALL TRUE CHRISTIANS.” (Lectures on Systematic Theology, p. 606).

      Charles Hodge (1797-1878): “…the fate of his CHURCH here on earth…is the burden of the Apocalypse” (Systematic Theology, Vol. III, p. 827).

      Albert Barnes (1798-1870): “…he will keep them IN the future trials that shall come upon the world [Revelation 3:10]” (Notes on the New Testament, p. 94).

        (Quote)

    • George Mueller (1805-1898): “The Scripture declares PLAINLY that the Lord Jesus will not come until the Apostacy shall have taken place, and the man of sin…shall have been revealed…” (Mrs. Mueller’s Missionary Tours and Labours, p. 148).

      Benjamin W. Newton (1805-1898): “The SECRET Rapture was bad enough, but this [John Darby’s equally novel idea that the book of Matthew is on ‘Jewish’ ground instead of ‘Church’ ground] was WORSE” (unpublished Fry MS. and F. Roy Coad’s Prophetic Developments, p. 29).

      R. C. Trench (1807-1886): “…the Philadelphian CHURCH…to be kept IN temptation, NOT to be exempted FROM temptation…” (Seven Churches of Asia, pp. 183-184).

      Carl F. Keil (1807-1888): “…the persecution of the last enemy Antichrist against the CHURCH of the Lord…” (Biblical Commentary, Vol. XXXIV, p. 503).

      Henry Alford (1810-1871): “Christ is on His way TO THIS EARTH [I Thessalonians 4:17]…” (The New Testament for English Readers, Vol. II, p. 491).

      John Lillie (1812-1867): “In his [Antichrist’s] days was to be the great—-the last—-tribulation of the CHURCH” (Second Thessalonians, pp. 537-538).

      F. L. Godet (1812-1900): “The gathering of the elect [Matthew24:31]…is mentioned by St. Paul, 1 Thess. 4:16, 17, 2 Thess. 2:1…” (Commentary on Luke, p. 452).

      Robert Murray McCheyne (1813-1842): “Christians MUST have ‘great tribulation’; but they come out of it” (Bonar’s Memoirs of McCheyne, p. 26).

      S. P. Tregelles (1813-1875): “The Scripture teaches the Church to wait for the manifestation of Christ. The SECRET THEORY bids us to expect a coming before any such manifestation” (The Hope of Christ’s Second Coming, p. 71).

      Franz Delitzsch (1813-1890): “…the approaching day is the day of Christ, who comes…for final judgment.” (Commentary on Hebrews, Vol. II, p. 183).

      C. J. Ellicott (1819-1905): “[I Thessalonians 4:17] ‘to meet the Lord,’ AS HE IS COMING DOWN TO EARTH…” (Commentary on the Thessalonian Epistles, p. 66).

      Nathaniel West (1826-1906): “[The Pre-Trib Rapture] is built on a postulate, VICIOUS in logic, VIOLENT in exegesis, CONTRARY to experience, REPUDIATED by the early Church,

        (Quote)

    • CONTRADICTED by the testimony of eighteen hundred years…and CONDEMNED by all the standard scholars of EVERY age” (The Apostle Paul and the “Any Moment” Theory, p. 30).

      Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910): “He will keep us IN THE MIDST OF, and also from, the hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]” (The Epistles of John, Jude and the Book of Revelation, p. 266).

      Adolph Saphir (1831-1891): “…the advent of the Messiah…to which both the believing synagogue and the church of the Lord Jesus Christ are looking…” (The Epistle to the Hebrews, Vol. I, p. 96).

      M. R. Vincent (1834-1922): “The preposition [‘from’] implies, not a keeping from temptation, but a keeping IN temptation [Revelation 3:10]…” (Word Studies…, p. 466).

      William J. Erdman (1834-1923): “…by the ‘saints’ seen as future by Daniel and by John are meant ‘THE CHURCH’…” (Notes on the Book of Revelation, p. 47).

      H. Grattan Guinness (1835-1910): “…the Church is ON EARTH during the action of the Apocalypse…” (The Approaching End of the Age, p. 136).

      H. B. Swete (1835-1917): “The promise [of Revelation 3:10], as Bede says, is ‘NOT indeed of your being immune from adversity, but of not being overcome by it'” (The Apocalypse of St. John, p. 56).

      William G. Moorehead (1836-1914): “…the last days of the CHURCH’S deepest humiliation when Antichrist is practicing and prospering (Dan. viii:12)…” (Outline Studies in the New Testament, p. 123).

      A. H. Strong (1836-1921): “The final coming of Christ is referred to in: Mat. 24:30…[AND] I Thess.4:16…” (Systematic Theology, p. 567).

      Theodor Zahn (1838-1933): “…He will preserve…at the time of the great temptation [Revelation 3:10]…” (Zahn-Kommentar, I, p. 305).

      I. T. Beckwith (1843-1936): “The Philadelphians…are promised that they shall be carried in safety THROUGH the great trial [Revelation 3:10], they shall not fall” (The Apocalypse of John, p. 484).

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      • I find it most interesting that you seem to quote from a great many people from the 1800s on, yet you don’t seem to have anything from the first, second or third centuries.

        It’s just an observation, Madam; no malice or offense intended.

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    • Robert Cameron (1845-1922): “The Coming for, and the Coming with, the saints, still persists, although it involves a manifest contradiction, viz., two Second Comings which is an ABSURDITY” (Scriptural Truth About the Lord’s Return, p. 16).

      B. B. Warfield (1851-1921): “…He shall come again TO JUDGMENT…to close the dispensation of grace…” (Biblical Doctrines, p. 639).

      David Baron (1855-1926): “(Tit. ii. 13), for then the hope as regards the church, and Israel, and the world, will be fully realised” (Visions of Zechariah, p. 323).

      Philip Mauro (1859-1952): “…’dispensational teaching’ is modernistic in the strictest sense…it first came into existence within the memory of persons now living…” (The Gospel of the Kingdom, p. 8).

      A. T. Robertson (1863-1934): “In Rev. 3:10…we seem to have the picture of general temptation with the preservation of the saints” (A Grammar of the Greek New Testament in the Light of Historical Research, p. 596).

      William E. Biederwolf (1867-1939): “Godet, like most pre-millennial expositors, makes NO provision for any period between the Lord’s coming for His saints and His coming with them…” (The Second Coming Bible, p. 385).

      Alexander Reese (1881-1969): “…we quite deliberately reject the dispensational theories, propounded FIRST about 1830…” (The Approaching Advent of Christ, p. 293).

      Norman S. MacPherson (1899-1980): “…the view that the Church will not pass into or through the Great Tribulation is based largely upon ARBITRARY INTERPRETATIONS of obscure passages” (Triumph Through Tribulation, p. 5).

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      • jay adams says:

        1 Thing I’ve learned with disputable/debatable Doctrines of the Bible is that there are some dangers in quoting Early Church Fathers to support one’s position or tear down opposing views.

        Some reasons are the timing of when the writings were posted. Augustine for example changed his views on some doctrines over time.

        Other ECFs wrote some things that were vague about certain subjects.

        Other examples are for example with the Sign Gifts dispute some ECFs wrote they believed it was still in operation but they did not cite examples of where they saw incontrovertible evidence that they saw the Sign Gifts still in action. So we have to carefully analyze what they said.

        This really leads us to always let the best interpreter of Scripture help us to discern which is Scripture itself.

        Blessings to all.

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  2. James Fox says:

    1) The author quotes from Irenaeus who said:

    And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation…. “Against Heresies,” 5.29

    The author says , “Irenaeus in this passage describes the church leaving the sinful world just before unprecedented disasters.” However, it does not say that. It says we shall be “suddenly caught up” and it mentions tribulation but it does not say which comes first. This is unclear.

    Here is another quote from Irenaeus from the same book:

    “For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just which takes place after the coming of Antichrist” Irenaeus, “Against Heresies,” the Ante-Nicene Fathers I, 554.

    The “resurrection of the just” is the rapture and Irenaeus thinks this happens after the coming of Antichrist. It is definitely not pre-trib. This is clear.

    2) The author then quotes from Cyprian:

    “We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? “The Treatises of Cyprian”

    Note, “terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent.” He was one of those church fathers believed that the tribulation had already started. It was too late for a pre-trib rapture.

    Tim LaHaye, a famous pre-tribber, wrote, “Second-century churches were under such severe persecution that they consider themselves already in the tribulation.” “Rapture Under Attack,” p 31. Cyprian died 258 A.D. He was a second century Christian.

    I believe Cyprian’s “delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters” refers to the destruction at the second advent and I believe Cyprian was post-trib.

    3) Finally, the author quotes from Ephraim the Syrian. I agree this is pre-trib and this is the only early church father I know who was pre-trib.

    Here are more quote from the early church fathers:

    4) “… That the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God.” Tertullian, “On the Resurrection of the Flesh,” the Ante-Nicene Fathers, III, 563

    According to pre-trib, the church is not present during the tribulation. Tertullian thinks it will be.

    5) Hippolytus said something similar.

    He [Antichrist] shall stir up tribulation and persecution against the saints…” Hippolytus, “Treatise on Christ and Antichrist,” the Ante-Nicene Fathers, V, 205.

    Later in the same book Hippolytus identifies the saints:

    “Now concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary…”…” Hippolytus, “Treatise on Christ and Antichrist,” the Ante-Nicene Fathers, V, 217.

    The saints are the church which pre-trib says is not present in the tribulation. Hippolytus thinks they will be.

    6) The Shepherd of Hermas states:

    So, tell the leaders of the Church to rectify their ways in justice, that they may fully receive the promises with great glory. Stand firm, then, you who work righteousness and have singleness of purpose, that your entrance into heaven may be in the company of the holy angels. Blessed are you who will endure the great persecution…” “The Shepherd of Hermas,” Second Vision, Chapter 2, page 238.

    The Shepherd thinks the church will go through the tribulation. This is not pre-trib.

    7) Justin Martyr said:

    O unreasoning men understanding not what has been proved by all these passages, that two advents of Christ have been announced: the one, in which he is set forth as suffering, inglorious, dishonored, and crucified; but the other, in which he shall come from heaven with glory, when the man of apostasy, who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians. Justin Martyr, “Dialogue with Trypho,” the Ante-Nicene Fathers, I, 253-54.

    Justin Martyr sees one more coming of Jesus not two.

      (Quote)

    • Hi James,

      Thanks for your comments. I would like to go through all of them as I respectfully disagree with your interpretation of these writings and prophetic Scripture:

      1) Irenaeus

      1) The author quotes from Irenaeus who said:

      And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation…. “Against Heresies,” 5.29

      The author says , “Irenaeus in this passage describes the church leaving the sinful world just before unprecedented disasters.” However, it does not say that. It says we shall be “suddenly caught up” and it mentions tribulation but it does not say which comes first. This is unclear.

      Actually, it’s not unclear at all. This is just basic grammar. He is just stating: “When A occurs, then B.” There is no question that the tribulation would occur after the catching up. Not to mention the rest of the sentence also supports this intepretation: “And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this” — Irenaeus had just described the judgments of the Day of The Lord in the prior sentence and is now explaining that at the time this starts, the church is “caught up [harparzo] from this”. The basic grammar and the use of the same word from Scripture for the rapture, indicate his belief that the church is not going to be a part of this destruction.

      Here is another quote from Irenaeus from the same book:

      “For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just which takes place after the coming of Antichrist” Irenaeus, “Against Heresies,” the Ante-Nicene Fathers I, 554.

      The “resurrection of the just” is the rapture and Irenaeus thinks this happens after the coming of Antichrist. It is definitely not pre-trib. This is clear.

      There are several errors with your use of this quote. You are taking it out of context. Irenaeus speaks repeatedly of the Resurrection of the Just and defines it himself:

      If therefore the great God showed future things by Daniel, and confirmed them by His Son; and if Christ is the stone which is cut out without hands, who shall destroy temporal kingdoms, and introduce an eternal one, which is the resurrection of the just; as he declares, “The God of heaven shall raise up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed,”

      The resurrection of the just is NOT THE RAPTURE. this cannot be said enough. The Resurrection of the Just is the first resurrection that takes place after Armageddon. This is after the Second Coming and Christ ascending to His Throne on Earth. It is clearly described in Revelation 20:

      And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. 2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. 4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.

      The resurrection of the just are those who died during the Day of The Lord/Great Tribulation. They are the martyrs who converted to saving faith in Christ and died for it. Notice it mentions nothing of believers who died before the Great Tribulation. Why? Because they have already been raised from the dead at the Rapture. This group is not the church. Scripture clearly hows that and it is not logical. Clearly the amount of saints who believe and die during the Great Tribulation are a small percentage of all the Christians in the 2,000 years of church history.

      The Rapture has to occur before the Second Coming because we know from Jude that Jesus returns with his Saints. So your interpretation is not supported by Scripture and certainly not by Irenaeus.

      Here is more from him, this one of particular note:

      “For, behold,” says Isaiah, “the day of the Lord cometh past remedy, full of fury and wrath, to lay waste the city of the earth, and to root sinners out of it.”318 And again he says, “Let him be taken away, that he behold not the glory of God.”319 And when these things are done, he says, “God will remove men far away, and those that are left shall multiply in the earth.”320 “And they shall build houses, and shall inhabit them themselves: and plant vineyards, and eat of them themselves.”321 For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one.

      This is the full passage, which you quoted out of context. Irenaeus makes the order of end times events clear: The Day of The Lord and devastating judgments begin, then the Antichrist rules, and then The Lord destroys the Antichrist and His Kingdom. And THEN we have the resurrection of the Just, which is The Millennial Kingdom. You did not even quote the full sentence because it clearly proves Irenaeus was not referring to the Rapture or believers being caught up. Clearly your interpretation of the passage has to be wrong. Because in my quote in the article, Irenaeus states that believers are caught up and “then there is tribulation…” But in these other passages it’s clear that the Resurrection of the Just is after the Tribulation is over and the Antichrist is gone. So the rapture and resurrection of the Just are two different events. Rapture comes first, then the Day of the Lord, then AntiChrist, then Amrageddon and then the Resurrection of the Just/Millennial Kingdom of The Lord Jesus Christ.

      2) Cyprian

      Here is your next quote:

      “We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? “The Treatises of Cyprian”

      Note, “terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent.” He was one of those church fathers believed that the tribulation had already started. It was too late for a pre-trib rapture.

      I find not place in his writings where he says that he was living in the Great Tribulation. Nor do I even find a commentary that says the same. Please provide proof of this.

      3) Ephraim – On Ephraim of Syria we appear to in agreement.

      4) Tertulliand and Hypolyttus – Saying “the Antichrist may wage war against the saints.” is not a post-trib statement. There will be saints during the Great Tribulation. I agree with that statement 100%. And they will indeed be killed by the Antichrist (Rev 13). But these are new believers in Christ. Can you show me any statement about from these men on the Rapture itself and its post-trib timing???

      5) The Shepherd Of Hermas – I am actually surprised you quoted this text. But I will address your point here:

      Here is your quote:

      The Shepherd of Hermas states:

      So, tell the leaders of the Church to rectify their ways in justice, that they may fully receive the promises with great glory. Stand firm, then, you who work righteousness and have singleness of purpose, that your entrance into heaven may be in the company of the holy angels. Blessed are you who will endure the great persecution…” “The Shepherd of Hermas,” Second Vision, Chapter 2, page 238.

      The Shepherd thinks the church will go through the tribulation. This is not pre-trib.

      This is just affirming what Revelation says about the Resurrection of the Just: “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.”

      Notice the passages you keep quoting are not talking about the Rapture. They are talking about other topics, but you are applying them to try and glean a post-trib perspective out of them. Now I will quote from the Shepherd of Hermas:

      “Go therefore and declare to the Elect of the Lord His mighty deeds and say to them that this beast is a type of the Great Tribulation which is to come. If ye therefore prepare yourselves and with your whole heart turn to the Lord in repentance, then shall ye be able to escape it, if your heart is pure and blameless..the golden color stands for you who have escaped from this world…Now ye know the symbol of the Great Tribulation to come. But if ye are willing, it shall be nothing.” – Shepherd of Hermas 2.26.

      Now this passage is clearly talking about the Great Tribulation and escaping it. And that Christians who are pure and blameless (which comes through faith in Christ Jesus) will escape it. This clearly refutes your interpretation of a passage that was not directly discussing the Great tribulation or the rapture.

      You will notice I did left out parts of the passage. I did that because the Shepherd of Hermas is based on a vision and is not a part of Biblical cannon. It also has passages that support unbiblical ideas. But all that aside, it certainly and very clearly describes believers escaping the world before the Great tribulation.

        (Quote)

      • In regards to Irenaeus, if he were alive today, I believe he would be saying something like; “the reports of my believing in a pre-trb rapture have been greatly exaggerated.”

        Let’s take a more thorough look into what he had to say. Irenaeus verifies the words of Paul in that he believed; “Unless there shall come a falling away first, and (then) the man of sin shall be revealed.” (“Against Heresies”, Book V, Chapter XXV, Paragraph 1)

        Then, referencing the falling away, he expounds further in this same chapter XXV, “And…the time that this tyranny shall last, during which the saints shall be put to flight.” He later repeats this same thought when he states that, “And they shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight.” (“Against Heresies”, Book V, Chapter XXVI, Paragraph 1) This is not referring to a “rapture” event.

        Probably the most straight forward explanation of who Irenaeus said were included in the resurrection of the just can be found in Chapter XXXII of Book V. He says regarding “the mystery of the resurrection of the just”….” it behoves the righteous first to receive the promise of the inheritance, and to reign in it, when they rise again…For it is just that in every creation in which they toiled or were afflicted, they should receive the reward of their suffering…and because of their love for God, they should be revived again…” He, therefore, makes it very clear that the resurrectin of the just includes those since creation.

        He once again makes this point very clear when he says, “yet neither Abraham nor his seed, who are justified by faith, do now receive an inheritance, but they shall receive it at the resurrection of the just.” (“Against Heresies”, Book V, Chapter XXXII, Paragraph 2) And who is included in the resurrection of the just?…according to Irenaeus, it is all the righteous from creation till the end.

          (Quote)

        • James Fox says:

          I agree with everything you said, but who cares? The early church fathers, like Iraneaus, are not scripture. I am a post-tribber and I think it is clear the early church fathers were post-tribbers too. However, I never quote early church fathers as evidence for my position because they are not scripture.

            (Quote)

          • I can certainly appreciate your desire to stick to the scriptures. However, who do you let decide what constitutes “the scriptures”?

            The Septuagint LXX was read and in use during the time of Christ and quoted by the church fathers. It contains books the Western church bibles have excluded. Then we have the canon of scriptures from the Ethiopian Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church which include a number of books the Western Church does not include in their Bibles. The early church fathers quoted from these books that we deleted from our Bibles. It is important to make the connection from then up to today by using the church fathers as that connection since our canon of scripture no longer makes that connection. Paul even referred to Greek mythology when he was trying to make a point:

            Quote by Epimenides, a Greek seer and poet; Acts 17:28, Titus 1:12-13
            (*Epimenides was said to have fallen asleep for 57 years in a Cretan cave sacred to Zeus, after which he awoke with the gift of prophecy.)

              (Quote)

            • You are correct. The Apocrypha has a reasonable claim to be scripture too. You mention, “Then we have the canon of scriptures from the Ethiopian Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church” I am ignorant. Do they have books that are not in the Apocrypha?

                (Quote)

              • The Ethiopian “narrow” canon includes 81 books altogether: The 27 book New Testament; those Old Testament books found in the Septuagint and accepted by the Orthodox; as well as Enoch, Jubilees, 1 Esdras, 2 Esdras, Rest of the Words of Baruch and 3 books of Meqabyan (these three Ethiopian books of Maccabees are entirely different in content from the four Books of Maccabees known elsewhere.

                The Eastern Orthodox Church includes all of the Septuagint in addition to our standard OT and NT text. However, the Orthodox Church is made up of several divisions and some have additional books in their canon such as 2 Esdras (4 Ezra). All the Eastern Orthodox Churches include, Bel and the Dragon, The Prayer of Azariah, and Song of the Three Holy Children.

                  (Quote)

            • Hi Tom,

              Thanks for your post. I would like to respond to your question:

              “I can certainly appreciate your desire to stick to the scriptures. However, who do you let decide what constitutes “the scriptures”?”

              “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God..” (2 Timothy 3:16). The Apocryphal books were not written by prophets of God. They are NEVER quoted by Jesus or the Apostles in the New Testament. These 2 points alone are precisely why they were never considered part of the cannon of Scripture (especially since, as you pointed out, The Lord Jesus Christ quoted from the Septuagint and was thus aware of the apocrypha at that time). Even in ancient Jewish culture, they were never an actual part of the Torah (which is why Jewish historians like Josephus and Philo, who lived shortly after the time of Christ on Earth and were thus also using the Septuagint, NEVER quote the Apocrypha and in Josephus’ case, rejected it outright).

              Finally, the Apocrypha contain unbiblical doctrines and historical errors. Again, things you will not find in divinely-inspired Scripture. While they are historical accounts and have value as such, you will not find testimony of any Biblical author or figure calling them Scripture. And the church fathers used that exact same standard when officially listing the cannon of the Bible. Just because a text was read alongside Scripture, does not make it Scripture. The church fathers wrote many epistles, that were often used in church alongside the Bible, but were never received as divinely inspired words.

              As for the quotes of the Greek poet – the Apostle Paul in Acts 17 was quoting a Greek poet to make an analogy to God. Certainly when Epimenides wrote “and we are his offspring” he was not referring to the God of the Bible. Paul was just quoting that line and applying it to the God of the Bible. Just as he used the altar of the “Unknown God” which the Greeks as an object lesson to teach about Jesus Christ, the true God of the Bible. In no way was Paul endorsing the writings of Greek poets as Scripture and to conclude this from one partial quote of a line is really a stretch.

              I hope that clears the issue up. -B&E

                (Quote)

              • First of all, please note in regards to Paul quoting Epimenides, I said that Paul “referred to Greek mythology when he was trying to make a point.” The key phrase is “make a point.” I did not even infer that Paul endorsed the Greek poet.

                You must be aware that the New Testament does not reference several OT books including Nehemiah, Ezra, Esther, Song of Solomon. Should we consider them outside the canon of scripture?

                I am sure you are aware that Jude quoted directly from the book of Enoch (1 Enoch 1:9) in Jude 1:14-15. He actually referred to Enoch as a prophet. Jude also alludes to the book of Enoch in Jude 1:6. Not only that, but in verse 9, Jude alludes to the pseudepigraphal book, The Assumption of Moses.

                I find it highly interesting that out of only 25 verses, Jude uses four verses to either directly quote or reference two books that are outside the Western churches canon of scripture. You must keep in mind that Jude’s purpose for his writing was to “contend earnestly for the faith.” He was writing against false teachers and false teachings. And then he uses his very short letter to bring up what is written in Enoch and The Assumption of Moses. Think about that for a minute.

                I am not sure what books you are calling the Apocrypha because many of the books in the Septuagint are now labeled Apocrypha books by the Western Church.

                You are aware the book of Enoch was not removed from canon until the Council of Laodicea in 364 AD ? It was a part of cannon for over 300 years. Have you read the complete 60 canons they established? Many of them are just plain horrible as well as against scripture. Just their name…Laodicea…ought to tell us something.

                The Council of Trent included 12 books of the Apocrypha in the canonical books.

                “The Elect One” is found at least a dozen times in Enoch. Luke 9:35 (original Greek) “This is My Son, the Elect One.” (eklelegmenos–elect one). This is a direct refernce to the Book of Enoch.

                Barnabas traveled with Paul and wrote the Epistle of Barnabas which was taken out of canon by the Council of Laodicea also. The reason is because Barnabas spoke in favor of observing the Sabbath. The Council of Laodicea outlawed observing the Sabbath.

                Barnabas twice called the Book of Enoch scripture. (Barnabas 4:3, 16:5)

                When Jesus described His coming Kingdom and judgement coming down upon the wicked. These descriptions can be traced directly back to Enoch.

                Jesus quotes directly from 2 Esdras 15:56 in Matthew 24:14.

                Tertullian, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, Barnabas, Clement of Alexandria, and many others considered Enoch holy scripture.

                The Ethiopian Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, Asian Orthodox Church, Syrian Church, Roman Catholic Church and others around the Christian world, include all or most of the so-called Apocrypha in their regular Bibles. And in some cases additional books as well.

                The Western Church does not include the Apocrypha and the Western Church is also a minority in numbers. Because it is not in their canon, only makes it non-scriptural to the Western Church, but not to the majority of the Christian world.

                To say these books were never considered part of canon, history seems to show otherwise. And, it is still active canon in most of the Christian world.

                Take time to discover where the OT writers reference numerous books to read that are outside the canon of scriptures but they have referenced these books and as such, at least parts of these books are now a part of scripture.

                As far as Josephus goes, you are aware he writes about the history of the Jews (The Antiquities of the Jews), starting with creation. It is basically the OT. However, in addition to the stories included in our Bibles, he includes many additional stories not found in our OT. So, if we reference Josephus, do we agree with all his history? Did he actually obtain the original Nehemiah scrolls?

                However, Josephus must not have had too much difficulty with the Apocrypha, considering he frequently referenced the Apocryphal Esdras that was not the Septuagint version.

                It is important that we at least read many of these additional books. They add a richness and bring a more complete understanding. There is a reason Enoch begins his book by stating what he is about to write is for the elect in the days of tribulation. Only the Spirit of the One True God could give him the insight to state that.

                Maybe there is a special message just for the elect at the end of days, just like Enoch states. Has God preserved some special insight to help us in these end days? Enoch says so.

                Maybe the majority of the Christian Bibles around the world contain these additional books for a good reason.

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      • “Great Tribulation” being treated as synonymous with the 70th Week of Daniel or part of it I feel is the great mistake of most fellow Futurists, regardless of their Rapture Position. That’s why I don’t agree with most fellow “Mid-Trib” supporters when they define Tribulations as post Rapture.

        I agree that the opening of the Fifth Seal correlates to a specific End Times Persecution. But regardless the Martyrs seen are defined as ALL martyrs of the Church Age. And when this Multitude is seen again in Revelation 7 we are told they all came out of “Great Tribulation”.

        I think Cyrprain was right that he was already in Great Tribulation, but wrong if he felt that meant the 70th Week. Great Tribulation is the entire Church Age. When Jesus the Paursia happens “After the Tribulation” that means by definition the Tribulation of The Church ends at his Return for us.

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        • The term for “come out” in Revelation 7 in Greek refers to “an escape.” Here is an excerpt from our article on the Red Moon Rapture:

          Additionally, the term “came out of Great Tribulation”, used by the angel who is speaking to John, indicates a sudden escape. In Greek the term erxomenoi, is given a special qualification of its tense in Strong’s concordance:

          “5774 Tense – Present

          The present tense represents a simple statement of fact or reality viewed as occurring in actual time. In most cases this corresponds directly with the English present tense. Some phrases which might be rendered as past tense in English will often occur in the present tense in Greek. These are termed ‘historical presents,’ and such occurrences dramatize the event described as if the reader were there watching the event occur. Some English translations render such historical presents in the English past tense, while others permit the tense to remain in the present.”

          In other words, the phrase reads as if John is watching people who are just coming out of the Great Tribulation as it starts, as opposed to seeing saints who were killed during the Great Tribulation (and remember Scripture never says that the saints of Revelation 7 were martyred, or that they died at all). This interpretation lines up with Jesus’ description of the end times in Luke 21:

          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. – Luke 21:36.

          2) 5th Seal – I do not believe the 5th Seal correlates to a specific end times persecution. The text never says or even implies this. I believe the 5th Seal was opened long ago, at the start of the Church age and the martyrs are indeed all martyrs of the church since then.

          3) “Tribulation” vs. “Great Tribulation” – The Lord only uses the term “great tribulation” twice in Scripture in Matthew and Revelation. Matthew 24’s use is a quote of Daniel 12:1 from the Septuagint – in reference to the second half of the 70th week, when the Antichrist is fully revealed. The Second time is in Revelation in another end-times reference. “Great Tribulation” is end times-specific whereas “tribulation” is a universal term for the suffering everyone who follows Christ has and will endure until the end of the age.

          For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know. – 1 Thessalonians 3:4.

          Tribulation is a common noun. It is a not a proper noun or reference to any specific era. And that is what we endure today. When The Lord used the term “Great Tribulation” it was referring to a very specific time period.

          Hope that makes sense. Thanks very much for your posts. It is always a blessing to have iron sharpen iron. God bless.

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          • You can make that Translation work if you want. But ti’s also clearly the same Multitude that was in the 5th Seal. They were martyrdom, they didn’t avoid it. And it still clearly is All Martyrs, not just some.

            The use of the term Matthew can equally mean that the great Tribulation is accelerating at that point. In Revelation 2 he clearly tells the then contemporary Church of Tyatyra they will experience Great Tribulation.

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      • You and I agree there are different phases of the Resurrection of the Saved. But you can’t simply assume Irenaus agreed and read that into his statements.

        To me, the key to deciphering Irenaus Rapture position is when he placed Jesus coming “In the Clouds” or “On a Cloud”. If he considered that the same as the return on a White Horse in Revelation 19 then he was Post-Trib. If he felt it was different but still after the Abomination of Desolation, he was either Mid-Trib or Pre-Wrath. If he placed it soon before the Abomination that’d be another form of Mid-Trib. He’s pre-Trib only if he insists that is the first End Times event o Happen, before any of the Seals or Trumpets.

        Now as far as distinguishing between Mid-Trib and pre-Wrath, the question would be if he placed the 6th Seal before the Abomination of Desolation.

        Sadly, I’m not sure he said anything to clarify those issues.

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        • Hi Jared,

          I don’t think we have to decipher the writings of Irenaeus. He wrote his thoughts in very plain fashion. And he uses terms that are directly from Scripture. The resurrection of the just is not the rapture in Scripture. Here is an example already used in this thread:

          Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. 22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee. 23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. 24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. 25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: – John 11:21-25.

          What was Martha referring to when she referenced “the last day”? Was it the rapture? It could not have been because the Rapture was still a mystery to Israel at that point. We can know this from 1 Corinthians 15:

          Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. – 1 Corinthians 15:51-53.

          The church and the rapture were both mysteries until the resurrection of Christ. So Jewish belief on “the resurrection” would not have been the rapture. The early Church, well aware of this critical distinction, referred to the end times resurrection of Jewish believers as “the resurrection of the just.” Irenaeus, without question, places the resurrection of the just at the Second Coming of Christ, after Armageddon. However, referring to the church he writes:

          And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up [harpazo] from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.’ For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.”

          Using the exact phrase for the rapture (“caught up”) he clearly places the Church’s removal before the Great Tribulation. I just don’t see any confusion here. If you have a specific passage where you think casts doubt on that, please feel free to share it. God bless you abundantly. -B&E

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    • Both Future Comings are the Second Advent. The First Advent had more then 1 coming too. First his Birth, then the Triumphal Entry.

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  3. Well it looks as if there’s always been contention on this subject. But why would God put His own people through WRATH, when He has already delivered us from the “wrath to come”? This isn’t speaking of present wrath (hell) for unbelievers, but the future wrath that we have bodily been delivered from. There are three types of salvation; of the spirit (one time, born-again), of the soul (from the world, ongoing) and of the body at the rapture of the church. The Tribulation is not something anyone would want to experience, so given the choice, I’ll go with pre-trib rapture, thank you very much.

    other studies: replacement theology, the Jewish wedding system, the nature of God, the resurrection of Yeshua Messiah as a first fruit.

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    • Hi Geoff,

      Exactly. Christ saved us from having to suffer the Great tribulation. Also please see my response to James Fox where I address all of his points in detail. God bless.

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    • The biggest problem with this theory that God will Rapture the Church so we do not experience the Wrath of God is highly inconsistant with the Scriptures.

      1) Scriptures always speak of the simultaneous presence of both light and darkness where the people of God are present during times of great trials and tribulations but are under the protection of God. We do not come under His wrath, but we are present to draw others to salvation. Sample scriptures (Proverbs 2:21-22, 10:25,29,30, Psalms 1, Isaiah 60, Matt 7:24-27, 13:24-30, 13:47-50) just to name a few.

      2) In His judgments, He can and does distinguish upon whom His wrath falls. His wrath can fall all around His people without falling on them. The judgment on Egypt at the time of the deliverance of Israel demonstrates this very well. For most of the plagues, the Israelites were spared.

      3) Those who are taken away in the judgment are the wicked, not the righteous. Matt 24:37-40 clearly states that in the time of Noah that it was the wicked who were taken away. So will the coming of the Son of Man be – two men in the field, two women at the mill – the one taken is the wicked one. We must take the passage in context with itself.

      4) If the Tribulation is too difficult for a mature Christian to live through, then why would God allow new Christians converted during the Tribulation to remain? They would be the least equipped to handle this time. This is a logical inconsistency.

      4) I have heard people say, God would never let His children go through such a difficult time as the Tribulation. This is blatantly false! The statement does not line up with Scripture or history. Christians are currently suffering horrible martyrdom and persecution.

      Christianity has always suffered persecution and biblical Christians have stood firm in their faith knowing that in the face of difficult times that God is with them and gives them strength to endure. In both persecution and in prosperity we are to be a light of hope to the world and witnesses for Christ to bring the lost to salvation.

      I am not a person who goes out and looks for persecution, suffering or martyrdom. But Psalms 23 says, ‘though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for Thou art with me, Thy rod an Thy staff they comfort me”. And it is in this valley that God prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies. I would rather stand in the face of tribulation with God at my side than to seek escape and miss His purpose for me or to abandon the lost to suffer His wrath.

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      • You said:

        “3) Those who are taken away in the judgment are the wicked, not the righteous. Matt 24:37-40 clearly states that in the time of Noah that it was the wicked who were taken away. So will the coming of the Son of Man be – two men in the field, two women at the mill – the one taken is the wicked one. We must take the passage in context with itself.”

        Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe the correct context is Mt. 24:31 – angels gathering the elect. I think Mt. 24:31 and “one taken one left” means rapture. The following is a paper I wrote called, How to say Rapture in Hebrew:

        The classic Rapture passage is 1 Thess. 4:17, “We who are still alive and are left will be caught up with them in the clouds.” The Greek word translated “caught up” is “harpazo.” The 909 page Greek dictionary written by Arndt and Gingrich defines it as, “Snatch, seize, ….”

        The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament vol. 1 defines the Hebrew word lakakh as “…seize…take a wife, snatch….” It is an excellent way to translate “harpazo” into Hebrew. Furthermore, the meaning “take a wife” fits perfectly with the Rapture – it is Jesus coming to take his bride.

        There is another reason for seeing lakakh as the best way to translate Rapture into Hebrew. There are 2 Rapture-like events in the OT, Enoch and Elijah, and both are described using lakakh.

        “Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took (lakakh) him away” Gen. 5:25.

        Two companies of prophets approached Elisha and said, “Do you know that the LORD is going to take (lakakh) your master from you today?” 2 Kings 2:3,5

        There are two more interesting uses of this word in the Psalms.

        “But God will redeem my soul from the grave;
        he will surely take (lakakh) me to himself” Ps. 49:15.

        “You guide me with your counsel,
        and afterward you will take (lakakh) me into glory.” Ps. 73:24.

        Pharisees prided themselves on their ability to read between the lines of the OT and deduce hidden treasure. In the generation before Jesus Hillel gave 7 rules to help discover hidden treasure. Longnecker, Biblical Exegesis in the Apostolic Period, describes the second and third rules with:

        2. Gezerah shawah: verbal analogy from one verse to another; where the same words are applied to two separate cases it follows that the same considerations apply to both.

        3. Binyan ab mikathub ‘ehad: building up a family from a single text; when the same phrase is found in a number of passages, then a consideration found in one of them applies to all of them.

        A Pharisee would definitely notice that lakakh was used to describe both Enoch’s and Elijah’s rapture. Take, lakakh, means rapture. It would therefore not be unnatural for him to use Hillel’s rules, especially the third rule, and deduce from the Psalms that the righteous dead will also experience rapture. Since the dead are resurrected when the Messiah comes, this would link rapture with the Jewish coming of the Messiah. If you are a Pharisee, you can find hints of this in the OT.

        It is reasonable to suggest that Paul knew all of this. It is also almost certain that Peter told Paul about the Olivet Discourse (Ga. 1:18). Therefore it is reasonable to suggest that Paul used the OT usages of lakakh, Hillel’s 7 rules, and angels gathering the elect (Mt. 24:31) to deduce that this meant rapture. Paul said the Rapture was “according to the Lord’s own word” (1 Thess. 4:15) and in Mt. 24:31 Jesus did say something that a Pharisee, like Paul, could analyze and deduce meant Rapture.

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        • I appreciate your comments. I actually agree with the Scriptural basis for the saints of God being “caught up” (or “Raptured”) to be with the Lord when He returns. I appreciate the passages you mentioned on this event. I look back and see that my first statement was incomplete for what I was addressing. My emphasis is that we should not look for a pre-Trib Rapture as a form of escape the times of trials and tribulations both present and to come.

          I fully believe in the Gathering together (or Rapture) of the Saints at the time Jesus returns. My primary point of my previous entry was to show that the view of the Scriptures has both the Righteous and Unrighteous present at times of great tribulation. We are present to be a light to the lost and draw them to Him. Even though the wrath of God is falling on them, God can and does protect His people. This is to counteract the argument from the Pre-Trib people that we are Raptured out AHEAD of the Tribulation so we don’t have to suffer God’s wrath. A whole book could be written on this.
          As for the Rapture (I will use the current common term), while the Scriptures correctly do speak of this final Gathering at the end of the age, the majority of Scriptures indicate this is to be a simultaneous event

          The Matt 24:37-41 passage was mentioned to bring out that its immediate context does not allow us to declare the one taken is the Righteous, but the Unrighteous is the one removed. Matt 24:30-31 are clearly the verses referring to the Rapture. Verses 37-41 are referring to the Judgment that is coming. In this Judgment, the Wicked cannot stand but the Righteous stand firm forever.
          When you read Matt 24, Mark 13 and Luke 21, there are several things that must be noticed (not every point is in all three passages):
          1. The sequence of events are consistent. First come the signs of the time, followed by a time of great trials and tribulation, a warning of the rise of a man of unrighteousness (Anti-Christ), THEN the arrival of Christ and his angels to gather the saints. This indicates the Rapture is the Gathering together of the Saints of God to Christ at the point of His Return.
          2. There is no mention of a pre-gathering of the saints in any of these passages. A pre-trib Rapture is not indicated at all.
          3. Jesus keeps saying “you watch, you run, you will see”. Jesus is talking to His Disciples who comprised the Church and He talks to them as if they (the Church) will see and experience these things. Why would He do this if the Church is pre-Raptured and not present?

          II Thess 2 – clearly states the Coming of the Lord and Gathering of the Saints will occur after the rise of the Anti-Christ, but does not teach the pre-trib Rapture. The assumption that the Church is the restraining force that must be removed before the Anti-Christ rises is simply not there. It is an assumption to make the Pre-Trib view work.

          I believe the Scriptures indicate that the Second Coming of Christ, the Rapture of the Saints world-wide to be Gathered together to be with Him in the air, and the Glorification of the Saints (new bodies – when we see Him we will be like Him) are all a part of one event. When Tribulation comes, the Wicked falter and fall but the Righteous stand firm in Christ. When the final Judgment comes, the Wicked are removed and the Righteous remain in His Kingdom.

          The words that are comforting to me are that God is with me in all things both in exaltation and persecution. He is my destiny regardless of what this fleeting life brings me. My business is not to look to get out of trials nor to figure out the minutia of what happens in the future, but to be about the business of my Father in spreading the Gospel of the Kingdom of God to a lost world. This level of the Eschatological studies is not for details but for the mindset of comfort in our Destiny and how we are prepared to handle the journey as we go.

          Sorry for the earlier confusion, I was addressing one thought about our attitude about going thru tribulation and who stands and falls. It was not intended to be addressing the topic of the Rapture itself.

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  4. James Fox says:

    You mention wrath. 1 Thess. 5:9 says, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation.” Wrath is the opposite of salvation. Therefore, wrath means eternal wrath – hell. That is the only wrath we are promised protection from.

    There are two kinds of wrath in the tribulation – God’s wrath and the wrath of the Antichrist. I believe God will protect us from his wrath but he will not protect us from the wrath of the Antichrist. Tens of thousands of people were martyred in the early centuries because of their faith. God did not protect them. Why should he protect us next time? Are we more deserving than the church in the early centuries?

    You wrote, “The Tribulation is not something anyone would want to experience, so given the choice, I’ll go with pre-trib rapture, thank you very much.” I fully agree. I do not want to go through the Tribulation and possibly be martyred. I want pre-trib to be true. Unfortunately, I do not believe it is. Wanting is not a good reason for believing.

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    • Hi James,

      Let’s look at 1 Thessalonians 5 in context:

      But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. 7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. 8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation. 9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

      This passage is about the Day of The Lord. it is not about hell or the lake of fire. It is very specifically discussing the details of the Day of The Lord and explaining why true born again believers will not experience it. So the use of the term “salvation” is the common sense of the word – being saved or delivered from something. In this instance it is the Day of The Lord in view.

      This is why understanding the numerous Biblical passages of the Day of The Lord is so critical to reading and dividing New testament prophetic passages. So I do not believe the Scripture here supports your interepretation.

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      • correct Bible teaching Thank you! 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; in greek it actually means as the remaing ones! Who are the remaing ones those one are not caught or taken by suprise

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        • Hi Bruce,

          You wrote:


          “correct Bible teaching Thank you! 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; in greek it actually means as the remaing ones! Who are the remaing ones those one are not caught or taken by surprise”

          AMAZING point. You are indeed correct that “others” in that verse Greek does mean “remaining ones”. I never knew this until seeing your comment and looking it up. It makes 1 Thessalonians 5 that much more powerful in its clear teaching that born again believers will not experience the Day of The Lord but escape via the rapture.

          It’s also interesting that there was a recent film about the Rapture called “The Remaining.” I will look into this even more and maybe make it an article. I praise God for you helping to edify me. Thanks! God bless. -B&E

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          • James Fox says:

            Bruce wrote

            “correct Bible teaching Thank you! 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; in greek it actually means as the remaing ones! Who are the remaing ones those one are not caught or taken by suprise”

            Paul can be translated as saying, “Do not sleep as the remaining ones.” The remaining ones are asleep. They are caught by surprise. Note my dictionary says the word translated “as” can also be translated “like.” “Do not sleep like the remaining ones.” The remaining ones are asleep.

            Beginning and End wrote:

            “It makes 1 Thessalonians 5 that much more powerful in its clear teaching that born again believers will not experience the Day of The Lord but escape via the rapture.”

            “The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy” edited by Tim LaHaye has an article about the day of the Lord. It climaxes with “Two periods of the day of the Lord are yet to be fulfilled on earth: (1) the judgement that climaxes the Tribulation period (2 Thess 2:2, Rev. 16-18) (2) the consummating judgement on this earth that ushers in the new earth (2 Ptr 3:10-13, Rev. 20:7-21:1).

            If this author, Richard L. Mayhue, Professor of Theology at the Master’s Seminary, is correct, then the day of the Lord is at the Second Advent and escaping the day of the Lord does not mean a pre-trib Rapture.

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            • Hi James,

              Thanks for your comment. As I have said many times to you, this site has no affiliation with Tim LaHaye, and we do not ascribe to any “Tim LaHaye doctrines.” So I am not going to address any point you are making against his writings.

              The point being made here is that “others” means “remaining ones” and I do not think what you posted refutes that. God bless. -B&E

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  5. Wanting is a perfectly good reason for believing. It is Hope. I think the church has a lot to suffer here in the coming years. Man’s wrath or tribulation (thilipsis) will purge the church of unbelievers and make believers of others and help her doctrinal errors. Richard Wurmbrand said we should sit at the feet of persecuted Xians and learn from them.

    I Thes 5.9 wrath in eternity’s lake of fire AND in the great Tribulation. The same thing (orge). And we are delivered from it. It’s future wrath. The salvation we obtain is in the future tense there if I’m not mistaken.

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  6. James Fox says:

    You said, “I Thes 5.9 wrath in eternity’s lake of fire AND in the great Tribulation.”

    How does spiritualization happen? I happens when someone does not like the simple literal interpretation. They go looking for an alternative interpretation that better fits the theology they believe. If they find one, they promote it as the primary interpretation.

    Wrath is contrasted with salvation so it is unquestionable it means eternal wrath. That does nothing useful for pre-trib so they went looking for an secondary interpretation and they found it – it means Tribulation wrath and we will escape it with the pre-trib rapture. Pre-trib books promote this secondary meaning as the primary meaning because it helps pre-trib. I think they are spiritualizing.

    The simple literal interpretation is it means eternal wrath. Be careful about looking for secondary meanings.

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    • I disagree. We must stick with the CONTEXT which is God’s wrath poured out in judgment starting with the great earthquake at the 6th seal, then continuing on through the trumpets and vials. It is this specific wrath that God did not set any appointments with his church. I am amazed at the number of people that choose to set their own appointment. Why not just obey Luke 21:36 and pray to be found worthy to escape? That is the true will of God for His kids.

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      • You said,

        “I disagree. We must stick with the CONTEXT which is God’s wrath poured out in judgment starting with the great earthquake at the 6th seal, ”

        We were talking about 1 Thes. 5:9. Revelation is not part of the context of 1 Thess. 5:9.

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  7. I don’t understand why so many Christians insist on going through the GT when the Scriptures so plainly indicate a Pre-trib rapture. While clearly we grow exponentially through trials and tribulations, the GT is meant for the time when God purifies Israel, not the Gentiles. The rapture makes absolutely no sense whatsoever outside of this context. Keep up the good work, B&E!

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    • Hi Q,

      You said:

      While clearly we grow exponentially through trials and tribulations, the GT is meant for the time when God purifies Israel, not the Gentiles.

      Amen. I agree completely. Thanks for the kind words and God bless.

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  8. James Fox says:

    “the Scriptures so plainly indicate a Pre-trib rapture.”

    Which scriptures so plainly indicate a pre-trib rapture to youj?

    I think Rev 20:4-5 plainly indicates it is post trib. and 2 Thess 2:1-4 indicates the rapture is after the midpoint of the trib.

    Also Paul said the rapture was “the Lord’s own word” and Mt 24 and 1 & 2 Thess have a HUGE number of things in common. I think Mt 24 is “the Lord’s own word” and Mt 24:31, the rapture, is immediately after the Tribulation of those days, Mt. 24:29.

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  9. Rev 20:4-5 is referring to believers killed in the GT, believers converted presumably by the 144,000. 2 Thess 2:1-4 says only that the Rapture will occur before the Anti-Christ is revealed. Matt 24:31 is not referring to the Rapture, but rather the return of Christ *with* His elect.

    Again, I don’t understand the insistence that the Church go through the GT. A post-trib rapture would be pointless. A mid-trib rapture would save us from the worst, but I don’t see it either.

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  10. James Fox says:

    You did not answer. What scriptures so clearly indicate a pre-trib Rapture. The only one I know is Jn. 14:1-3. I grant you that that scripture does fit better with pre-trib. That is the only one I know that is really good for pre-trib. Let’s discuss the other verses that impress you.

    Rev. 20:4-5 is called “the first resurrection.” It is at the second advent. Thus there was no resurrection (or Rapture) 7 years previously. There was no pre-trib rapture.

    Quote scripture. Where does 2 Thess 2:1-4 say the Rapture will occur before the Anti-christ is revealed? 2 Thess 1:1 says Paul wants to discuss the coming of the Lord and the Rapture. He never again mentions either of these events but instead discusses the Day of the Lord. In order for that to make sense, the coming of the Lord and the Rapture must be part of the Day of the Lord. Verse 3 says the Day of the Lord comes after the Anti-christ is revealed. Thus the Rapture is after the Anti-christ is revealed not before.

    There are a huge number of things in common between Mt 24 and 1 & 2 Thess.

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  11. Quackzalcoatl says:

    James Fox:
    You did not answer. What scriptures so clearly indicate a pre-trib Rapture. The only one I know is Jn. 14:1-3. I grant you that that scripture does fit better with pre-trib. That is the only one I know that is really good for pre-trib. Let’s discuss the other verses that impress you.

    Rev. 20:4-5 is called “the first resurrection.” It is at the second advent. Thus there was no resurrection (or Rapture) 7 years previously. There was no pre-trib rapture.

    Quote scripture. Where does 2 Thess 2:1-4 say the Rapture will occur before the Anti-christ is revealed? 2 Thess 1:1 says Paul wants to discuss the coming of the Lord and the Rapture. He never again mentions either of these events but instead discusses the Day of the Lord. In order for that to make sense, the coming of the Lord and the Rapture must be part of the Day of the Lord. Verse 3 says the Day of the Lord comes after the Anti-christ is revealed. Thus the Rapture is after the Anti-christ is revealed not before.

    There are a huge number of things in common between Mt 24 and 1 & 2 Thess.

    James, before I go through the effort of quoting scripture and solidifying my “argument,” I kind of wonder what difference it would make. Would it really convince you? I think we will find out soon enough, and when it happens, I doubt either one of us is going to care about being right on this issue. The Rapture is a bonus, something to be excited about and look forward to, in stark contrast to the great suffering that the Tribulation will bring about.

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  12. James Fox says:

    Ok, if you are busy, let’s drop it. I am busy too. I agree with sentences 3 & 4 of your last text.

    I just like to have intelligent people try to punch wholes in what I believe. It is hard to see what is wrong in what you believe. You need others to point out the weaknesses.

    Also, I try to be open minded. Eg. I fully admit that Jn 14:1-4 works best for pre-trib not post-trib. I like for smart people to point out things I may have overlooked.

    However, I have read & reread books by Walvoord and LaHaye so I do think I know the pre-trib position. I doubt if there is anything new out there. But you never know.

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    • James, I’m game. Discussion is good. I will do a little digging and reread a few things, then put it out there. I’m never too busy for a good Bible study.

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  13. Interesting stuff. Readers might be interested in Googling “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Pride” (Thomas Ice has found some pre-1830 pretribs that even the longtime No. 1 pretrib expert Dr. John Walvoord couldn’t find!), and “Pretrib Rapture Stealth” (two ignored passages which give a death blow to the pretrib theory).

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    • James Fox says:

      Dear Q:

      You may want to quote Rev 3:10, “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth.”

      You ought to be aware of a couple of things. There are two Greek words that are translated from – ek and apo. The primary meaning of ek is “from inside” while the primary meaning of apo is “from the vicinity of.” These meanings are not true in every single circumstance but they are almost always true.

      From in “from the hour of trial” is the word ek. If it has its usual meaning, it means “from inside the hour of trial.” If the church in Philadelphia is inside the hour of trial then they are inside the tribulation and pre-trib rapture cannot be true.

      Jesus said “My prayer is not that you take them out [ek] of the world but that you protect them from [ek] the evil one. John 17:15 ” It sounds like Jesus is saying, “My prayer is not that you give them a pre-trib rapture but that you protect them from the evil one.”

      Tim LaHaye in his book Rapture [Under Attack] discusses Revelation 3:10 and ek. He quotes John 17:15. He goes on to say he could quote “find no more than five occasions when it [ek] could possibly denote “through” or “in,” and only in one instance, it’s second use in John 17:15 to which we have already alluded, in the exact sense that the post-tribulationists suggest for Revelation 3:10. The usual Greek for “through” is dia … If the Spirit of God intended to convey to the readers of this passage the Lord would keep his own through or in the hour of trial he would have used dia….”

      He is correct that the post-tribulationist interpretation would be much better if it said dia. However it says ek and this word usually means “from inside.” If the church in Philadelphia is inside the hour of testing, then they are inside the tribulation and pre-trib is false

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      • Hi James,

        I wanted to reply to the interpretation you made as I disagree with it. You said:

        You ought to be aware of a couple of things. There are two Greek words that are translated from – ek and apo. The primary meaning of ek is “from inside” while the primary meaning of apo is “from the vicinity of.” These meanings are not true in every single circumstance but they are almost always true.

        From in “from the hour of trial” is the word ek. If it has its usual meaning, it means “from inside the hour of trial.” If the church in Philadelphia is inside the hour of trial then they are inside the tribulation and pre-trib rapture cannot be true.

        I believe your interpretation is wrong for 2 reasons. First off here is the full entry for the word ek from Strongs Concordance:

        Strongs G1537 – ek
        1) out of, from, by, away from

        There is nothing in the definition that would require the subject of the verb to be experiencing whatever is taking place in a particular sentence. Furthermore, the context of the verse in Revelation refutes your definition. Look at the Revelation Chapter 2. Our Lord Jesus Christ says:

        Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
        22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

        Notice the conditional nature of this threat. IF they do not repent then Jesus Christ will cast them into the great tribulation. So it is not something they have to experience.

        So when we get to the church of Philadelphia, who only receives praises from Jesus Christ, the verses makes much more sense contextually:

        And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; 8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. 9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

        The wicked are warned to repent or they will be “cast into great tribulation,” while the faithful are promised that they will be “kept from” (tereo ek) the world’s “hour of trial.” They are the group that has “come away from” (erxomenoi ek) the great tribulation. The Greek word ek (Strong’s Concordance: “out of,” “from,” “by,” or “away from”) does not demand that the Great Multitude experienced the great tribulation. A similar use of the word ek appears in the Greek Septuagint translation of Genesis 19:29, translated here in English:

        “So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, he remembered Abraham, and he brought Lot out of (ek) the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot lived.”

        Lot escaped “out of” the catastrophe that destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, but he did not experience the burning sulfur that rained down from heaven. (The death of Lot’s wife was a separate judgment from God). Just as Lot was warned and escaped from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, so will the Church be rescued “away from” or “out of” the “great tribulation.” The rapture of the Church is a “rescue” (Luke 21:36) and an “escape” (1 Thessalonians 1:10). The Great Multitude of Revelation 7:9-17 is a picture of the Church that has “come out of the great tribulation” right as it begins, in the nick of time.

        The second issue with your interpretation is a constant error that is made in the post-tribulation model. Those who support the post-trib model will seem to claim that Christians will be protected during the Day of The Lord/Great Tribulation. However Scripture says the exact opposite:

        “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” – Revelation 13:7.

        “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.” – Daniel 8.

        We also know from Revelation 13 that those who do not take the Mark of the beast will be beheaded. Those who do not worship the Image of the beast will be killed. So to say the church of Philadelphia will go through the Great tribulation but receive some special protection contradicts Scripture.

        Again, this is a major error in the post-trib model and I have seen it stated many times. It’s just another reason why this rapture timing cannot be correct. Just some things for you to consider. God bless.

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        • James Fox says:

          Dear Beginning and End:

          You said, “The second issue with your interpretation is a constant error that is made in the post-tribulation model. Those who support the post-trib model will seem to claim that Christians will be protected during the Day of The Lord/Great Tribulation. However Scripture says the exact opposite: ”

          Can you provide a quote from a post-tribber who says believers will be COMPLETELY protected during the Tribulation. I do not believe there is such a quote. I do believe that post-tirbbers believe that believers will be protected from God’s wrath but they will not be protected from the Anti-Christ’s wrath. Tim LaHaye in his left behind series twice describe believers being supernaturally protected from God’s wrath. I think he is right.

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          • Hi James,

            There is no need to quote any post-tribbers. You are a post-tribber, so you can advocate for your position all on your own. Do you believe Christians will be protected from the Antichrist in the Great Tribulation? If yes, Scripture does not support you because it says the saints will be overcome, killed and destroyed wonderfully by the Antichrist. The Antichrist is specifically given authority to overcome the saints in war. Thus a post-Great Tribulation rapture of the church does not even make sense. If you say no, and agree with what Scripture says, then certainly the promises made to the Church of Philadelphia or Paul’s words in 1 Thessalonians 5 that Christians will not be overcome by the Day of The Lord, suddenly are in contradiction to your model.

            This is just one of the reasons that this model fails. It tries to have it both ways, when Scripture does not allow that.

            You keep citing Tim LaHaye. I am not that familiar with his writings. If you can cite the Scripture that supports the two events of supernatural protection for born again Christians in the Great Tribulation, I would be glad to read them.

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            • The day of the Lord does not mean the Great Tribulation. it means Judgment. The great tribulation is not God’s judgment or wrath. His judgment will be the Bowls of Wrath. Saying that there must be a pre-tribulation because christians will not be overcome by the day of the lord must mean “they must have vanished from the face of the earth, secretly” is not biblical. It means that we overcome our judgment by the Blood of the LAMB, it means that God’s wrath does not abide on us ever in the day of judgment because Christ already suffered the wrath of God for us. How someone turns that into a mass vanishing act boggles my mind. never the less I pray that you will read the scriptures more coherently and praise the Lord that you are eager to serve Christ our Lord and God. Grace to you brothers 🙂

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              • Anonymous says:

                I believe Christians will be protected from God’s wrath – the trumpets and bowls. I do not believe they will be protected from the antichrist. There will be LOTS of martyrs.

                Did you ever notice the things in common between the rapture and the Second Advent?

                1) Jesus is returning

                2) Jesus is in the clouds – Mt. 24:30, 1 Thess 4:17

                3) A resurrection at both. Rev 20 says trib martyrs are resurrected at the Second Advent. Dan 12:1-2 says Old Testament saints will be resurrected after a time of unprecedented distress

                4) A divine trumpet at both. The great trumpet Mt 24:31, and the trumpet of God 1 Thess 4:16

                5) A supernatural gathering of believers at both. Angels gathering the elect in Mt 24:31 is a supernatural gathering of believers. So is the rapture.

                6) If you believe Josephus and Philo who discuss events that surround the coming of the Messiah, there is a shout-of-command at the coming of the Messiah. Greek keleusma. The Jewish coming of the Messiah is the Second Advent. In 1 Thess 4:16 Paul said there was a keleusma at the rapture.

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  14. John Miller says:

    The Lord’s promise to the church in Philadelphia is very clear. It promises deliverance to the faithful, true church before the great tribulation. If we couple that with Paul’s prophetic statement in 1 Thess.4 we see clearly that the Apostle expected to be still alive at the time of the resurrection of the dead, the changing of both those who had been resurrected and the “we” still living. Together he expected to be caught up in the clouds to meet The Lord in the air.

    This is not the second coming. Paul does not here predict Christ’s return to the earth. He is clearly predicting in a brief, simple description the removal of the church from the earth and its translation to glory.

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    • John your understanding of Revelation 3:10 is incorrect Philadelphia is told that they will be kept from the hour of temptation that will come upon all the world to try them that dwell on it, but the Church of Philadelphia that Jesus Christ was talking to there is already long gone and dead. How could Jesus Christ be that uniformed as to the timing of when the Great Tribulation would be if the Hour of Temptation = The Great Tribulation, that makes no sense. In light of all of that you may be happy to notice that this whole section of Revelation where Jesus is simultaneously addressing the seven chruch’s. Check out what Jesus says to one of the other church’s in Revelation 2:8-10

      8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
      9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.
      10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

      So just like to the church of Philadelphia Jesus says to them concerning tribulation and trial that they would endure or be spared. JESUS IS NOT TALKING ABOUT THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE… im not yelling I just don’t want you to miss the point. Its important that we read our bibles in context and stop taking a verse here and there out of context to prove our human reasoning/desires.

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  15. James Fox says:

    Dear Q:

    I relied on Greek grammars for the definition of ek. I later realized I can look at raw data. I have a Greek concordance of the New Testament and I can look up ek. Let’s look at some consecutive entries from the beginning of Matthew using the KJV. Do they usually mean “from inside?” Is something coming from something else that surrounds it?

    1) 1:3 of [ek] Thamar
    2) 1:5 of [ek] Ruth
    3 ) 1:6 of [ek] her that had been the wife of Urias

    In each of these 3 it is the word ek followed by the mother’s name. The child comes from inside his mother.

    4) 1:16 the husband of Mary, of [ek] who was born Jesus. Jesus comes from inside Mary
    5) 1:18 of [ek] the Holy Ghost. Jesus came from inside the Holy Ghost.
    6) 1:20 of [ek] the Holy Ghost. Jesus came from inside the Holy Ghost.
    7) 2:6 out of [ek] thee [Bethlehem] shall come a governor…. Jesus came from inside Bethlehem.
    8) 2:15 out of [ek] Egypt have I called my son. Jesus came from inside Egypt.
    9) 3:9 God is able of [ek] the stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Children come from inside the stones. God can make stones into children.
    10) 3:17 and lo a voice from [ek] heaven. The voice came from inside heaven.
    11) 5:37 whatsoever is more than these cometh of [ek] evil. Anything else you say comes from inside evil.
    12) 6: 27 which of [ek] you. Who, from inside the larger group of those listening to me, can….
    13) 7:4 let me pull out the mote out of [ek] thine eye. The mote comes from inside your eye.
    14) 7:5 first cast out the beam out of [ek] thine own eye. The beam comes from inside the eye.
    15) 7:9 or what man is there of [ek] you. You are from inside a larger group.
    16) 8: 28 two possessed with devils, coming out of [ek] the tombs. They were coming from inside the tomb area.
    17) 10:14 when ye depart out of [ek] that house or city. You go from inside that house or city.
    18) 12:11 what man shall there be among [ek] you. What man from inside the larger group of all men.
    19) 12:33 for the tree is known by [ek] its fruit. Knowledge comes from knowing the fruit, from inside the fruit.
    20) 12:34 for out of [ek] the abundance of the heart. From inside the heart.
    21) 12:35 a good man out of [ek] the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of [ek] the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. The treasure from inside the heart.
    22) 12:37 for by [ek] thy words thou shalt be justified and by [ek] thy words thou shalt be condemned. Justification and condemnation come from inside your words.
    23) 12:42 for she came from the uttermost parts of [ek] the earth. She came from inside a faraway place.
    24) 13:41 they shall gather out of [ek] his kingdom. From inside his kingdom.
    25) 13:47 a net that was cast into the sea and gathered of [ek] every kind. Gathered from inside all the kinds of fish.
    26) 13:49 sever the wicked from [ek] among the just. From inside the just. The wicked are hidden inside, or alongside, the just.
    27) 13:52 which bringeth forth out of [ek] his treasure. From inside his treasure.
    28) 15:5 by whatsoever thou mightiest be profited by [ek] me. Profit that might come from inside me.
    29) 15:11 that which cometh out of [ek] the mouth, this defileth a man. From inside the mouth.
    30) 15:18 those things which proceed out of [ek] the mouth. From inside the mouth.
    31) 15:19 for out of [ek] the heart. From inside the heart.
    32) 16:1 a sign from [ek] heaven. From inside heaven.
    33) 17:5 a voice out of [ek] the cloud. From inside the cloud.
    34) 17:9 until the Son of Man be risen again from [ek] the dead. From inside the group of dead people.

    This is a relatively small sample, but I believe that everyone, without exception, means “from inside.” If this pattern applies to “from” [ek] in Revelation 3:10 then the church in Philadelphia will be inside the hour of testing which seems to mean they will be inside the tribulation. That means pre-trib cannot be true.

    P.S. The grammars do indicate that sometimes ek does not mean “from inside,” but it appears that it almost always means this.

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  16. Great comments and great study everyone. I had a possible new insight if I may. consider this timeline.

    Rev. 10 In heaven “mystery of God should be finished” (The last trumpet, seventh)
    7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

    Now please link the above verse with our I Cor.15:51 “mystery” and “at the last trump vs.52” statement of Paul. Could these two mysteries and last trumpet be the same mystery. mystery of God should be finished = Behold, I tell you a mystery; at the last trumpet. Dead raised, all alive I Cor. 15: 51

    Then in Rev. 11
    In heaven : 15 And the seventh angel sounded; 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.

    18:and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and give reward to thy servants the prophets, and saints, and 24 elders present
    Look at above verse at what happens when the seventh trumpet is sounded. “kingdoms are become” and “rewards given to saints”

    Then jump back up to Rev. 11:12, and we have a literal description of “two saints” “who hear a loud voice” saying “come up hither” and they are “caught up in the clouds” and all the earth watches, couldn’t this be the rapture of the church?

    Then notice what happens next in Revelation 15, the “wrath, begins to be poured out.”

    on earth The 2 witness’s (preaching in Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified.) 12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.
    So:
    {dead in Christ rise first} 
    heard “a great voice” “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel “
     “come up hither” “and the dead will be raised imperishable,”
     “they ascended in clouds before enemies: “will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,
     in that hour a great earthquake “And in that hour there was a great earthquake,”

    Then notice the other possible link to this event that took place at the Lord Jesus resurrection, and look at some of the similar possible “signs.”

    Matt. 27: 51- “the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

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  17. Great study and good post debate. In reading many of these debates about the ‘catching up’ of the Church on-line, I can’t help but wonder if people are actually reading, praying and meditating on the Bible in full context or just running around taking a verse(s) out of context. When you read Revelation from beginning to end, the timeline of events make perfect sense especially when reading OT prophets such as Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. I would suggest all who are truly seeking out truth asking God for wisdom and discernment in this area.

    Other things that I have noticed, people are often confused on ‘Rapture’ versus 2nd coming of Christ, the Church(The Bride) versus the Saints, Grace versus Works.

    I added Grace versus works, because I have seen many times how Christians need to ‘earn’ their Salvation by making it through the GT. This also defies Scripture going against the major theme of our salvation being a free gift. (Ep. 2:8-9)

    B&E – Nice job – (again!) I’m looking forward to meeting you someday.

    As a thought, do you think it would be helpful to post a visual timeline of events with some supporting scripture/explanations? Please forgive me if there is already one.

    God Bless!

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    • Hi Brad,

      Thanks for the comments and encouragement. Maybe we will meet one day.

      As for the timeline, I had honestly been reluctant to do it, but I may put one up as we continue through Revelation. The Multitude of Revelation 7, silence in heaven for a half hour and the Gog Magog war are the next prophetic articles coming up, so it’s going to get a little bit complicated to keep track of the order of events without a visual aid. So in short, it will be forthcoming! God bless.

      P.S. And Happy 2nd birthday to your youngest!

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    • Hi BradS,

      Is sticking out your neck for Jesus Christ an act of faith or good work?

      Is choosing Jesus Christ over the Mark of the Beast an act of faith or good work?

      Is fighting for the cause of the gospel in the tribulation an act of faith or good work?

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  18. Thanks B&E for this excellent article!

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  19. To understand the plan father has for us one must move beyond simply looking for a smoking gun. You do not need to study mathematics to know that 2 comes after 1 and 3 comes after 2 etc. So it is with understanding the plan of the our father. He is surgically systematic! The hebrew mazzaroth can give you some insight into what I am saying. The mazzaroth, (not to be confused with the counterfeit version “the zodiac”) is the redemption plan of father. I could speak on this for days but getting to the point about the rapture. Most of know that Yahushuwah (Jesus) came to pay a debt and fulfill spiritually all of the physical requirements of the old testament with it’s sacrifices, feasts etc. Well…. prepare yourself to meditate on what I’m about to say next about the feasts… What about the wedding feast? Rev. 19:9-6 the wedding feast of the lamb? Who’s with him?

    6 Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,

    “Hallelujah!
    For the Lord our God
    the Almighty reigns.
    7 Let us rejoice and exult
    and give him the glory,
    for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
    and his Bride has made herself ready;
    8 it was granted her to clothe herself
    with fine linen, bright and pure”—

    for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

    9 And the angel said[a] to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” And he said to me, “These are the true words of God.”

    Regarding what I must tell you about the rapture this is only the tip of the ice berg… If you examine Hebrew marriage customs you will see something peculiar.

    1. The groom has to go and make an offer
    2. The bride has to first accept
    3. Upon acceptance of the offer
    4. The groom goes away to prepare for her to come with him
    5. The bride has to keep her clothes and her self ready because she does not know when he will come.
    6. When he comes he comes with a shout for her
    7. She is then to rush out to meet him
    8. Once together he takes her to his fathers house for a wedding feast
    9. After the feast they present themselves to the world dressed in white

    I couldn’t make this up if I tried for those of us who know the Word well the similarities are startling.

    1. Jesus paid for us
    2. We have to accept his offer
    3. If we accept Jesus stated I go to prepare a place for you that where I am etc…
    4. We are constantly warned throughout the bible to stay ready because we know not when….
    5. For in that day the lord will descend with a shout and we who remain will be caught up…..
    6. Where? Rev 19: the wedding feast of the lamb
    7. After the feast ?
    11 Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. 12 His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. 13 He is clothed in a robe dipped in[d] blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses.

    The armies of heaven dressed in white returning to the world to do battle with satan an his minions.
    That my family is the proof of a pre-trib rapture. What groom would leave his wife (the church) to be raped again…. I must sign off for now but I will log in again for more discussion.
    Godspeed…

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    • Hi Sifu,

      You said,

      “That my family is the proof of a pre-trib rapture. What groom would leave his wife (the church) to be raped again…. I must sign off for now but I will log in again for more discussion.”

      This is what most pretribbers say that Jesus does not want a beaten up bride.

      What then is transforming our bodies in to glorified and incorruptible bodies for?

      Can we dare say that the early christians who died from being fed on the lions and torching their bodies as lamps on the street of Rome, while smiling and singing praises to God, deserved that kind of death because their faith is so small compare to us?

      What makes us so very special and so exceptional compare to them who suffered so much for the faith?

      Why would God go against His principle, this time just for us, in molding His children through fire, prunings, and trials in order to bring out the best in us?

      All I know is, when we get to our Father’s house, He will run towards us joyfully, embrace us so tight, kiss us gently and lovingly, and wipe every tears in our eyes. I hope this kind of treatment of our Father will not make us spoiled brats and lead us to a second rebellion again in Heaven : )

      YBIC,

      Eaglet
      A Post-Tribber who will be raptured also if the Pretrib rapture happens : )

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  20. [Hi BAE. Saw this think-piece on the net. Also Google “Famous Rapture Watchers.” Lord bless.]

    PRETRIB RAPTURE STEALTH !

    Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father “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. See also Heb. 10:12, 13. (“The Rapture Question,” by longtime No. 1 pretrib expert John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above Acts verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    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 end of trib “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 Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
    Many don’t know 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 an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly 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 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!). Google “Walvoord Melts Ice” for more on this, and also Google “Pretrib Rapture Pride.”
    Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).
    PS – For some final shocks Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”

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    • Hi Martin,

      Thanks for your comments. but with all due respect, did you read this article? It directly addressed and refutes everything you posted. The church fathers clearly wrote about a pre-tribulation rapture. Well before John Darby was every born. Like 1600 years before he was born. So at that point, it’s either a question of whether they actually wrote or whether you think someone else wrote the texts and attributes it to the church fathers. So I am very confused by your post. -B&E

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  21. You are missing the point of Cyprian in Treatise 7

    He’s not talking about a pre-tribulation rapture at all. Cyprian is merely expressing how we should desire to be freed from the world.

    24. It is for him to wish to remain long in the world whom the world delights, whom this life, flattering and deceiving, invites by the enticements of earthly pleasure. Again, since the world hates the Christian, why do you love that which hates you? And why do you not rather follow Christ, who both redeemed you and loves you? John in his epistle cries and says, exhorting that we should not follow carnal desires and love the world. Love not the world, says he, neither the things which are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, which is not of the Father, but of the lust of the world. And the world shall pass away, and the lust thereof; but he who does the will of God abides for ever, even as God abides for ever. 1 John 2:15 Rather, beloved brethren, with a sound mind, with a firm faith, with a robust virtue, let us be prepared for the whole will of God: laying aside the fear of death, let us think on the immortality which follows. By this let us show ourselves to be what we believe, that we do not grieve over the departure of those dear to us, and that when the day of our summons shall arrive, we come without delay and without resistance to the Lord when He Himself calls us.

    His point is this: don’t desire the world desire when you will be set free from it, the day when you are transformed and we will all be in the presence of God and our brothers in Christ.

    It seems eisegetical to say Cyprian is excited about leaving before the great tribulation…… especially when he’s not even remotely close to saying that.

    Read
    18. We ought to remember that we should do not our own will, but God’s, in accordance with what our Lord has bidden us daily to pray. How preposterous and absurd it is, that while we ask that the will of God should be done, yet when God calls and summons us from this world, we should not at once obey the command of His will! We struggle and resist, and after the manner of froward servants we are dragged to the presence of the Lord with sadness and grief, departing hence under the bondage of necessity, not with the obedience of free will; and we wish to be honoured with heavenly rewards by Him to whom we come unwillingly. Why, then, do we pray and ask that the kingdom of heaven may come, if the captivity of earth delights us? Why with frequently repeated prayers do we entreat and beg that the day of His kingdom may hasten, if our greater desires and stronger wishes are to obey the devil here, rather than to reign with Christ?

    Is not his point to depart from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, if we are asking God to manifest His will in our lives. That we be not hypocritical and double minded, praying for God’s kingdom to come with our hearts still set on the kingdom of this world. It is odd to say the least, to see fellow brothers in Christ who take great pleasure in sifting Not only the Word of God to please their lust for a doctrine that is absent in scripture but to then sift other brothers in Christ to incoherently appease a unbiblical doctrine such as this pre-tribulation rapture. I understand that you really want there to be a pre-tribulation rapture, it offers a dodging of the GREAT TRIBULATION that Christ says we will endure in Matt 24, and that finding evidence for something you have defended for such a long time in the presence of other brothers with far more biblical exegetical understanding of the scriptures than you, will help you maintain your false sense of exhortation and reproval that you have painted over your pride. This is however not a dividing line and I cherish your desire to serve Christ, but this whole pre-tribulation battle is nonsense. The Bible simply does not teach it…. so why do you want it to be there???

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  22. Whenever someone to whom I am speaking vehemently defends the pre-tribulation Rapture, citing that God wouldn’t allow the “true” Christians to suffer, I have to ask if that is true, then why are people martyred in God’s name? It has happened throughout history, and still occurs today. I believe if God would allow a martyr to be tortured and killed in His name, why do people think that the average church going Christian today will somehow be swept up and spared the reality of end time suffering? Though God is mysterious in His ways, far more saintly Christians have died painful and violent deaths in the name of their faith. I doubt Christians living in the end time are going to be conveniently swept up in a pre-emptive escape plan when the final battles are fought. As such, I am not a believer in a convenient, pre-tribulation Rapture, no matter how defensively or belligerently it is presented to me.

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    • Hi Lorie,

      All who believe in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. I agree 100%. The Lord said that in this world we will suffer tribulation. It is a certainty. But this is far different than the Great Tribulation. Jesus said it will be unlike anything ever seen in this world. So comparing it to the Christian persecution of today or earlier centuries is not accurate.

      There are many Biblical reasons for believing that the Rapture precedes the Great Tribulation/Day of The Lord.

      But since you do not believe in a pre-Great Tribulational Rapture, I am curious – do you believe that we can know the exact date for the Lord’s Second Coming? Because once the signs of Revelation commence (trumpets and bowls, the 2 witnesses, reign of the Antichrist for 1260 days, etc.), it will be VERY easy to know the exact day that Second Coming will take place. So what are your thoughts on that?

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      • Nephesh roi says:

        According to Jesus Christ, any house that is built on sand will fall down and the falling shall be very great. But the house built on rock will stand and survive any shock (Luke 6:48-49).

        Every doctrine that is built on rock solid Scripture will stand and survive all shocks. But all claims built on theories will fall and the falling shall be very great!

        The claim that the early church fathers like Irenaeus, Cyprian and Ephraim taught any type of Rapture (pre, mid, post) theories is built on sand and will fall.

        After reading through this article I went through their works cursorily and found that they know nothing about any Rapture!!!

        IRENAEUS

        The very quote you have used here proves just the opposite of Rapture!!! (Only you have emphasised the wrong parts)

        “Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance— in fact, as nothing; Isaiah 40:15 so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be. Matthew 24:21 For this is the LAST CONTEST of the RIGHTEOUS, in which, when THEY OVERCOME they are crowned with incorruption.” – Irenaeus, :”Against Heresy”, Book V, Capter 29, Section 1

        Frankly I did not find any rapture in the above text! What I found is the following:

        1. The nations of unbelievers are useful to the just as the stubble is to wheat and as straw for combustion so that the Christians can be proven pure as gold is purified in fire!

        The fire and purifying of gold in that fire shows the ordinary tribulations of the righteous!!

        2. “Suddenly the Church shall be caught up from this” – whatever this phrase means, it does NOT mean Rapture at all unless we have to force interpret it so!!

        The very next sentence as explained in point #3 proves that the Church will have a final Great Tribulation!!!

        Most importantly, Irenaeus says the Antichrist will make the Church flee into wilderness:

        “It is manifest, therefore, that of these [potentates], he who is to come shall slay three, and subject the remainder to his power, and that he shall be himself the eighth among them. And they shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and PUT THE CHURCH TO FLIGHT. After that they shall be destroyed by the coming of our Lord.” – Irenaeus, “Against Heresy”, Book V, Chapter 26, Section 1

        So here Irenaeus says that the Church will be on the earth during the GT. It will not be raptured into heaven!! But it will be on flight, according to him!!!

        3. Finally, Irenaeus says that the Great Tribulation will be the LAST CONTEST (meaning the Church has faced several earlier tribulations before) of the righteous in which they will have to overcome to be crowned with immortality!

        Now, when we read together the phrases, ‘the anti-Christ will “put the Church to flight” (without any Rapture) and GT will be “the last contest of the righteous”, things become clear that Irenaeus believed in Church being on earth during the GT!

        Simply put, Irenaeus did not know anything about a Rapture!!!

        CYPRIAN

        I am really surprised as to how one could make such a great error in understanding what is so plain in Cyprian; the “departure”!!!

        What is the “departure” Cyprian is talking about?!

        Certainly it is NOT any Rapture!!

        “Departure” in Cyprian means “DEATH” or “MARTYRDOM”!!!

        Here are some evidences: (in fact his entire Treatise 7 is addressed to Christians to strengthen them against struggles and martyrdom):

        “Many of our people die in this mortality, that is, many of our people are liberated from this world. This mortality, as it is a plague to Jews and Gentiles, and enemies of Christ, so it is a departure to salvation to God’s servants.” – Cyprian of Carthage, “Treatise 7, Section 15.

        “That in the meantime we die, we are passing over to immortality by death; nor can eternal life follow, unless it should befall us to depart from this life. That is not an ending, but a transit, and, this journey of time being traversed, a passage to eternity.” – Cyprian of Carthage, “Treatise 7, Section 22.

        “Rather, beloved brethren, with a sound mind, with a firm faith, with a robust virtue, let us be prepared for the whole will of God: laying aside the fear of death, let us think on the immortality which follows. By this let us show ourselves to be what we believe, that we do not grieve over the departure of those dear to us, and that when the day of our summons shall arrive, we come without delay and without resistance to the Lord when He Himself calls us.” – Cyprian of Carthage, “Treatise 7, Section 24.

        It must be amply clear from the above quotes that for Cyprian, “early departure” means early DEATH or MARTYRDOM and NOT any Rapture!

        Here is a final and clear evidence from another of his teatises:

        ” In persecutions, earth is shut up, but heaven is opened; Antichrist is threatening, but Christ is protecting; death is brought in, but immortality follows; the world is taken away from him that is slain, but paradise is set forth to him restored; the life of time is extinguished, but the life of eternity is realized. What a dignity it is, and what a security, to go gladly from hence, to depart gloriously in the midst of afflictions and tribulations; in a moment to close the eyes with which men and the world are looked upon, and at once to open them to look upon God and Christ! Of such a blessed departure how great is the swiftness! You shall be suddenly taken away from earth, to be placed in the heavenly kingdoms.” – Cyprian of Carthage, “Treatise 11, Section 13.

        Now notice here in the above quote, you will find several words and phrases that we usually see in a Rapture literature! But a thorough reading will make it very clear that Cyprian is talking about early DEATH or MARTYRDOM!!

        It is in this sense ONLY that he says, “you shall be suddenly taken away from the earth”!!!

        Cyprian is totally unaware of any Rapture!!!!!

        EPHRAIM THE SYRIAN

        First, since this is called “Pseudo”, not much weightage is to be given to it.

        Again, it fails to show that the way “all the saints and elect of God are gathered prior to the Tribulation” is through a Rapture!!

        Such gathering, in the early century writings, is through DEATH and MARTYRDOM!!! Irenaeus and Cyprian are the best examples of such early writings!

        But even Ephraim proves the same in his “On the Last Times 1”:

        “People will flee to cemeteries And hide themselves among the dead, Pronouncing the good fortune of the DECEASED Who had avoided the calamity: ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions! But as for us, woe is us! For when we die, Vultures will serve as escort for us!’ And if the days of that time were not shortened, The elect would never survive The calamities and afflictions. For Our Lord revealed (and) disclosed to us In his Gospel when He said: ‘Those days will be shortened For the sake of the elect and the saints.'”

        So you see, even Ephraim says the elect or the Church is “gathered to the Lord” through DEATH and not by any Rapture!!!

        But even in his “On the Last Times 2” he shows us where the Church still is in the GT:

        ” In those days people shall not be buried, neither Christian, nor heretic, neither Jew, nor pagan, because of fear and dread there is not one who buries them; because all people, while they are fleeing, ignore them.” – Section IV.

        “But those (ie Church) who wander through the deserts, fleeing from the face of the serpent, bend their knees to God, just as lambs to the adders of their mothers, being sustained by the salvation of the Lord, and while wandering in states of desertion, they eat herbs.” – Section VIII.

        (Note:- See, the Church is NOT Raptured but escapes to the deserts from the anti-Christ, wandering there (not in heaven) “being sustained by the salvation of the Lord”!!!)

        CONCLUSION

        None of the early Church fathers ever taught any form of Rapture. They are completely oblivious to that term!

        Yes, they talk a lot about “gathering to the Lord”, “suddenly taken to the Lord” etc but these are in terms of DEATH or MARTYRDOM and NOT by any Rapture!!!

        Rapture is a forced interpretation from their works!

        A DOUBT

        If the Rapture (which includes resurrection of the dead) occurs prior to the second coming of Christ, then why Revelation 20:5 and 6 says FIRST RESURRECTION regarding the rising of the dead at the second coming?!

        It should be SECOND resurrection!!!

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        • Hi Nephesh Roi,

          As you may have guessed, I completely disagree with everything you wrote. lol. The main distinction I would make is that there are Christians who will be saved during the Great Tribulation. These are the ones who are being referred to in this passage. Now, I know you will come back and completely disagree with me, because those who adhere to a post-trib model constantly overlook this clear fact from Scripture.

          but as I have said to others, since, by your interpretation, we are going to experience all these things, then you can sleep well tonight, because you KNOW for a fact that Jesus cannot return tonight., Because the Antichrist is not ruling, the false prophet is not here, there is no mark of the beast etc.), right? So Jesus cannot come tonight or any time in at least the next 3 1/2 years, by your belief, correct? I look forward to your response.

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          • Nephesh roi says:

            Hi B&E, thanks for the reply after some time!

            “Now, I know you will come back and completely disagree with me” — B&E.

            Ha, ha, it seems by now you know me very well!

            But please note that I do not disagree for the sake of disagreement. My policy is “wherever the evidences take me I go there without any personal antagonism”.

            (I like you very much and there are a lot of places where we do agree strongly. But for the sake of brevity I only share my differences of views)
            **********************************************

            “As you may have guessed, I completely disagree with everything you wrote.” — B&E.

            You are welcome.

            But what I did here is only to show you that NONE of the early church fathers held any view of any type of Rapture.

            Yes, they may have used some common words or phrases that we usually find in Rapture literature like “departure”, “suddenly taken” etc etc. But these are used by them in reference to “death” and “martyrdom”!!!

            This was my whole point under this heading.
            *********************************************

            “The main distinction I would make is that there are Christians who will be saved during the Great Tribulation.” — B&E.

            Yes, I strongly agree with you here because the Bible teaches this very clearly!

            But that does not prove that the rest of the Church is raptured into heaven during the GT!!

            I will tell you where the main Church will be during the Great Tribulation as per the Bible. Let us read it carefully because this also covers your point that in the GT many will be saved!

            So where is the Church during the GT?

            Rev 12:14 – The Church is PUT TO FLIGHT into the WILDERNESS/DESERT, “to her place, where she is nourished there” for exactly 3 1/2 years!!!!!!

            Rev 12:15 – Satan takes all his might to destroy this Church!

            Rev 12:16 – But “the EARTH” (note carefully it is the EARTH and NOT a rapture into heaven that helps the Church) “helped the woman”.

            Rev 12:17 – Satan shamefully gets furious at his failure and goes out to “make war with the rest of her seed” (these are exactly the people YOU say are saved through the Great Tribulation and as I have agreed)!!!!!!

            So you see, according to the Bible it is NOT the mid-heaven but it is the very EARTH that helps the Church during the GT.

            (Also I have shown you that early church fathers believed that the Church will be PUT TO FLIGHT into the wilderness during the GT)!

            So there is no rapture into a heaven!
            *****************************************

            “So Jesus cannot come tonight or any time in at least the next 3 1/2 years, by your belief, correct? I look forward to your response.” — B&E.

            What is so surprising to you is not at all surprising to me!

            Jesus Himself says that when you see some signs, do NOT think the end is near!!! (Mat 24:6)

            Yes, Jesus says that when you see ALL of the signs (“ALL these things”) He has described then we need to think that the end is “NEAR”!!! (Mat 24:33)

            So according to Jesus, a true Christian should be able to see when the end is NOT anywhere near and when the end is NEAR!

            And what cannot be known is the exact “day and that hour” (Mat 24:36)!!! That is, we will not know the exact year or day!

            So you are right, I do NOT think Jesus will come tonight or this year!!!

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            • Again, you did not show that these early Christians did not believe in a pre-trib Rapture. You are just ignoring the fact that they are referencing the saints who will come to know Christ during the Great Tribulation and die for their faith. In no place whatsoever is there any reference to the rapture taking place at Armageddon or “just before Armageddon” in any of those writings and I challenge you to show that.

              But much more importantly you wrote this:


              “So you are right, I do NOT think Jesus will come tonight or this year!!”

              Jesus Christ The Lord said:

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

              You have just proven that you are in contradiction to clear Scripture. You have proclaimed not that you think, but that you “know” Jesus will not return this year. Scripture refutes you. And this is one of the many inherent flaws in the post-trib model. You actually believe you “KNOW” that Jesus will not and presumably, in your eyes, cannot return now or 3 1/2 years from the time of the rule of Antichrist. Yet Jesus specifically said He will come in an hour you think not. Your argument fails on this point alone.

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              • James Fox says:

                Dear B&E

                Jesus said we do no know what hour he IS coming. Nephesh roi said she knew what hour he was not coming. Both those statements can be true at the same time.

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                • “Jesus said we do no know what hour he IS coming. Nephesh roi said she knew what hour he was not coming. Both those statements can be true at the same time.”

                  No, they absolutely cannot be true at the same time. Why? Because you are conveniently ignoring the other critical point our Lord said:

                  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. 43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up. 44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

                  As soon as anyone says “I KNOW Jesus is not returning this year.” or “in the next 3 1/2 years” or any duration of time, they are contradicting Scripture and their interpretation fails. This is plainly and abundantly obvious.

                  James, I have to say I am very surprised you agree with Nephesh Roi on this point. So you too “know” that Christ will not, and in your mind, cannot, return for the next several years??

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                • Nephesh roi says:

                  “Nephesh roi said she knew” — James Fox.

                  Oops, James, I am a “he”! Grrrrr.

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                  • James Fox says:

                    Are we agreed that Rev 14:14-20 is the Second Advent and the destruction in v. 20 is the same as that spoken about in Zechariah?

                    The 6’th bowl is preparation for Armageddon. Do you think Armageddon is after the Second Advent?

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                    • James,

                      I think the Second Advent will happen after armageddon/defeat of the beast and the false prophet. The Rapture of the Alive and the resurrection of the Dead in Christ could happen before the Seventh Bowl, because the key verse there is “Behold I come like a Thief!”.

                      Also another thing, about the trumpets, I believe it will happen at the end of the millennium. My key point here is the “angel of the abyss”. It is clearly said in Rev. 19 & 20 that Satan was locked up in the Abyss and will be released and come out of it at the end of Millennium.

                      The Abyss were mentioned in Trumpets, but not in the Bowls Judgement. What significant about the Bowls Event is the mention of the Mark and the Beast. So this will make you conclude the exact location of the Trumpet and Bowl events in the Prophetic End Timeline.

                      What could be the surest way to understand the timeline and the exact location of the events is to make a parallel comparison on the Prophecy in the Book of Daniel about the End Times with the Prophecy of Jesus Christ on the Book of Mathew about the End Times, and with the Book of Revelation.

                      One key point is the location of the first resurrection and the second resurrection:

                      Daniel: Ancient of Days/Kingdom handed to the Saints – 1st Resurrection
                      Multitudes who sleep in the Dust – 2nd Resurrection

                      Matthew: Ten Virgins/Talents – 1st resurrection
                      The Sheep and the Goat – 2nd resurrection

                      Revelation: Rapture of those Alive and Resurrection of the Dead in Christ – 1st resurrection
                      Resurrection of the Rest of the Dead from the sea, land, grave, hades – 2nd resurrection

                      By the way, I believe in just one general resurrection for all the Saints before the Second Advent. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is distinct from it because He is the Firstfruit among the dead. So no Old Testament Saints have not gone to Heaven yet. So I believe that the 24 elders are Higher Angelic Beings.

                      Those who came out of the grave at the death of Jesus cannot be considered as part of the First resurrection. It is not clearly stated that they ascended into Heaven. If so, they where the firstfruit among the dead. This will be contrary to Christ as being the Firstfruit.

                      Their case would probably like the case of Lazarus, the girl, and others that were raised from the dead and would also die or fell asleep again at their appointed time.

                      You may want also to consider the case of Daniel, what the Angel told him that he will rest and at the end of the days (it did not say his days, it could mean after the end of thousands of years) he will rise to receive his inheritance.

                      God Bless.

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              • James Fox says:

                Dear B&E,

                You asked Nephesh roi for quotes from the early church fathers about their view of the rapture. Let me supply some.

                “So, tell the leaders of the church to rectify their ways in justice …. Blessed are you who will endure the great persecution….” The Shepherd of Hermas, Second Vision Ch II , The Fathers of the Church: The Apostolic Fathers, p238

                So he thought the church would endure the great persecution. He is not pre-trib.

                “…the man of apostasy, who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians. ” Justin Martyr Dialogue with Trypho, The Ante-Nicene Fathers I, ,p, 253-254

                Isn’t the Christians the same thing as the church? Especially because he says “us” which includes himself.

                “…the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the church of God.” Tertullian, On the Resurrection of the Flesh, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, III, p, 563

                So the antichrist will make war on the church. Not pre-trib.

                “Now concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the church from the adversary….” Hippolytus, Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, V, p 217

                The book is about antichrist. Note its title. The tribulation is the great tribulation. He thinks the church will be there. Not pre-trib.

                “For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist and the destruction of all nations under his rule.” Ireneus, Against Heresies, The Ante-Nicene Fathers, I, p. 565

                When will the nations allied with antichrist be destroyed? At the Second Advent. Ireneus thinks that is when the resurrection of the just will take place. Isn’t that the rapture?

                P.S. Warning. I did not look up any of these in the original sources. I am quoting from a book I own. I assume his quotes are correct. Many are quite long so you can get the context.

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                • James – we have already had this conversation. You are quoting the Shepherd of Hermas out of context the exact same way you did before. I am going to cut and paste my response:

                  Here is your quote:


                  The Shepherd of Hermas states:

                  So, tell the leaders of the Church to rectify their ways in justice, that they may fully receive the promises with great glory. Stand firm, then, you who work righteousness and have singleness of purpose, that your entrance into heaven may be in the company of the holy angels. Blessed are you who will endure the great persecution…” “The Shepherd of Hermas,” Second Vision, Chapter 2, page 238.

                  The Shepherd thinks the church will go through the tribulation. This is not pre-trib.

                  This is just affirming what Revelation says about the Resurrection of the Just: “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.”

                  Notice the passages you keep quoting are not talking about the Rapture. They are talking about other topics, but you are applying them to try and glean a post-trib perspective out of them. Now I will quote from the Shepherd of Hermas:

                  “Go therefore and declare to the Elect of the Lord His mighty deeds and say to them that this beast is a type of the Great Tribulation which is to come. If ye therefore prepare yourselves and with your whole heart turn to the Lord in repentance, then shall ye be able to escape it, if your heart is pure and blameless..the golden color stands for you who have escaped from this world…Now ye know the symbol of the Great Tribulation to come. But if ye are willing, it shall be nothing.” – Shepherd of Hermas 2.26.

                  Now this passage is clearly talking about the Great Tribulation and escaping it. And that Christians who are pure and blameless (which comes through faith in Christ Jesus) will escape it. This clearly refutes your interpretation of a passage that was not directly discussing the Great tribulation or the rapture.

                  As for the other sources, you are once again just quoting passages that talk about the saints who come to Christ during the Great Tribulation. I agree and Scripture is clear – the Antichrist will conquer the saints of Christ during the Great Tribulation. It will be unprecedented persecution. But this is not the Raptured church. You continue to try and prove the post-trib Rapture by using passages that are not even talking about the Rapture. Go into any of these sources and show me a passage that confirms the post-tribulation rapture model. That shows a rapture at Revelation 19 or the 7th trumpet. There are none. But if I am wrong, simply provide the passages that support your position.

                    (Quote)

              • Nephesh roi says:

                “Again, you did not show that these early Christians did not believe in a pre-trib Rapture.” — B&E.

                Oh, that is a bit cruel on your part!

                First of all, none of the early church fathers believed in any type of rapture. Then how can I show you that they did not believe in a “pre” or “mid” or “post”-trib raptures?!!!

                Of all the several early church fathers, you could show only THREE fathers who were projected as believers of rapture when they used certain words and phrases like “departure”, “suddenly taken” etc which later 20th century Rapture advocates twisted to suit their theory!

                I have shown to you from these three specific fathers that they did not believe in any rapture; pre, mid or post. When they used terms like “departure” and “suddenly taken” etc, they meant DEATH or MARTYRDOM!

                Now it is my turn to request you to show me from these fathers that they believed in any type of rapture at all!

                I have gone through your series of articles under the Rapture heading and have observed that you take this theory for granted and have not explained how a rapture is possible before the second coming. You talk about Rapture as if it is already established in the Bible without ever trying to prove it!
                **********************************************

                “You are just ignoring the fact that they are referencing the saints who will come to know Christ during the Great Tribulation and die for their faith.” — B&E.

                I have already agreed strongly to you that all fathers talk about saints who are converted and saved in the GT. But they do not talk about a Church ever taken up into heaven!

                Instead they talk about the anti-Christ “put the church to flight” (Irenaeus) and the Church “wander through the deserts, fleeing from the face of the serpent” (Ephraim the Syrian) etc.

                This is in line with the Biblical prophecy as I have shown in my previous post. I will explain it one more time:

                A. The main Church – is put to flight into the wilderness/deserts “to her place, where she is nourished” for exactly 3 1/2 years (Rev 12:14)!!! This main Church is more or less protected from the GT by God Himself. So, this Church is still on Earth (Rev 12:16) and NOT in mid-heaven in a rapture!!!

                B. The Christians who are converted during the GT – All indications show that these Christians will have to face the full fury of an enraged Satan (Rev 12:17)!!! (God save them!!)

                So, you, church fathers and I all agree to part B!

                But you differ and disagree with church fathers and me on part A!!
                ***************************************************

                “In no place whatsoever is there any reference to the rapture taking place at Armageddon or “just before Armageddon” in any of those writings and I challenge you to show that.” — B&E.

                I would say it is better to leave that infatuation with anti-Biblical “rapture” and hold on to the Biblically accurate Second Coming and the Resurrection of the saints!
                *************************************************

                “You have just proven that you are in contradiction to clear Scripture. You have proclaimed not that you think, but that you “know” Jesus will not return this year. Scripture refutes you. And this is one of the many inherent flaws in the post-trib model. You actually believe you “KNOW” that Jesus will not and presumably, in your eyes, cannot return now or 3 1/2 years from the time of the rule of Antichrist. Yet Jesus specifically said He will come in an hour you think not. Your argument fails on this point alone.” — B&E

                Wow, please be patient, I will explain.

                I said Jesus will not come this year because of the following points:

                1). Jesus clearly has said to the effect that ‘many will come in His name and will say He is in the mid-heaven in a Rapture but the true Christians should not believe this!!! Just as a lightning flashes from the east to west, so the coming of the Son of man’ (Mat 24:26-27)!!!!!

                Please read it carefully. Jesus says very clearly that many will say that Jesus is in inner room or in wilderness or in mid heaven (rapture) etc. There is NO secret coming of Jesus. He will come very visibly and powerfully like a lightning that stuns your eyes!!!

                2). Jesus asks us to learn from the fig tree. When it becomes tender and produces leaves, we need to learn that summer is “NEAR” (Mat 24:32). Once we know that the summer is NEAR, we do not know exactly which day Summer starts!! It could be any day!!!

                Again, when the fig tree is NOT tender we will know that the summer is NOT NEAR! Then it is unrealistic to expect the summer in the next day!!!! Then I can say that summer will not appear in the next day!

                (Nevertheless, a Christian needs to be always watchful because though Jesus may not come this year, our death can happen anytime!)

                3). Jesus’ advice to expect His coming any time like a thief is applicable only once the End is “NEAR” not before that.

                4). How do we know that the end is NEAR? Yes, when we “see ALL these things” happen (Mat 24:33)!!! What are “all these things”? Yes, the rise of the anti-Christ, Great Tribulation, Sun Moon darkening etc etc!

                5). When we see Jerusalem encircled by armies of the beast (Luke 21:20) “let the reader TAKE NOTE” (Mark 13:14) and when we see the anti-Christ placing the abomination of desolation in the Holy Place (Mat 24:15), that is a powerful warning about the nearness.

                “Whoso readeth let him understand”!

                (In AD 70, several of these prophecies came to pass in Jerusalem when the Temple was destroyed and many Christians believed the Second Coming will occur then. But importantlly “ALL these things” did not come to pass then and so there was no Second Coming at that time. So ***”ALL these things”*** are very important!!!)

                  (Quote)

          • James Fox says:

            Dear B&E,

            Yes Jesus said he would come at at hour when we do not expect him, Mt. 24:44. That fits well with pre-trib. However, he also said, “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Lk 21:28. This means once end times things start to happen, we will be able to recognize it and know that he is coming soon. So we will have some idea when he is coming once things start to happen.

            You may assert that Mt 24:44 is the pre-trib rapture while Lk 21:28 is the Second Advent. However, I do not see anything in the Gospels that suggest 2 separate comings.

            By the way the great John Walvoord said that most pre-tribbers believe there is no reference to the rapture in Mt. 24. Verse 44 is after verse 31 which is the Second Advent. The antecedent of the coming Jesus is describing in verse 44 should be verse 31. There is nothing pre-trib in Mt. 24 that could be an antecedent.

            Mt 24:44 may mean that today, when things have not started, we will have no idea. Indeed I have no idea if he is coming in 20 years or 200 years. So this statement does not necessarily imply pre-trib.

            Every eschatological position has difficult verses – weak points. The best we can do is find the position with the best strong points and the fewest weak points.

            Would you care to discuss what I think are some of the strong points of post-trib.
            —————————————————–

            Rev 20:4-5 is discussing a resurrection after the Second Advent is described. It is called “the first resurrection.” If it is first then there was no resurrection 7 years previous or 3.5 years previous or 1.5 years previous. Seemingly post-trib must be true.

            The only alternative explanation I have read is the first resurrection takes place in 2 stages. Stage 1 is before the trib starts and stage 2 is at the Second Advent. There are 2 problems with this explanation. 1) Rev 20 gives no hint of 2 stages. 2) Stage 1 is not mentioned in Revelation.

            —————————————————–
            2 Thess 2:1-4 begins with Paul saying he wants to discuss the Lord’s coming and the rapture. He never again mentions either of those 2 things and instead discusses the day of the Lord/Christ. In order for that to make sense the Lord’s coming and the rapture must be part of this day. Paul says this day will come after the antichrist is “revealed.” What does that mean? Reading it in context, the next sentence where the antichrist proclaims himself to be God is extremely revealing. This is the middle of the trib. So apparently the day is after the middle of the trib. That seems to mean the rapture is after the middle of the trib.

            I believe a pre-tribber is forced to claim that Paul only discussed the Second Advent which is after the middle of the trib but he forgot to discuss the rapture. Accusing Paul of forgetfulness is unpleasant.

            —————————————————–

            2 Thessalonians 1:7
            and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,

            Every commentator I have read said angels in flaming fire is the Second Advent. That is when the church will get relief. If the rapture is pre-trib shouldn’t we get relief at the pre-trib rapture?

            —————————————————–

            There are 6 things in common between the rapture and the Second Advent. Four of them are in Mt. 24.

            1) Jesus is returning

            2) Jesus is in the clouds – “one like a Son of Man coming on the clouds” “gathered together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

            3) A divine trumpet – “a great trumpet” “the trumpet of God”

            4) A supernatural gathering of believers. Angels gathering the elect is a supernatural gathering and so is the rapture

            5) Resurrection. Because of Dan 12:1-2 everyone agrees the Old Testament saints are resurrected at the Second Advent. Rev 20 says trib martyrs are resurrected then too. There is resurrection at the rapture.

            6) Philo and Josephus discuss events that happen when the Messiah is revealed. Both say there will be a keleusma which is Greek for shout of command. The Jewish coming of the Messiah is the Second Advent.

            Paul said there was a keleusma at the rapture, 1 Thess 4:16

            That is an awful lot of things to have in common and not be the same thing. However you can argue they are both comings of Jesus so it is not surprising if they have a lot in common. Still it is more natural to say they are the same thing.

              (Quote)

            • Nephesh roi says:

              Mat 24:25 – Listen, I have told you well in advance

              Mat 24:26 – So if they say to you, ‘Look, Christ is coming in the mid-heaven in a secret Rature!’ do not believe; or if they say, ‘Look, Christ is hiding here!’ do not go there.

              Mat 24:27 – There is no secrecy in my Second Coming. The Son of Man will come as visibly and as powerfully as a strong lightning that flashes from east to west.

              SIGNIFICANCE

              It is very important that the above saying of Jesus (to that effect) occurs exactly during the Great Tribulation!!!

              Jesus says that during the entire Great Tribulation many will say Jesus will be somewhere around. But a true Christian need not believe any of them!

              So this proves that there are NO “pre-“, “mid-” or “post-” trib raptures!!

                (Quote)

              • James Fox says:

                You said, “So this proves that there are NO “pre-”, “mid-” or “post-” trib raptures!!”

                Does this mean you do not believe in any rapture? What about 1 Thess 4:16 which seems quite clear.

                  (Quote)

                • Nephesh roi says:

                  “Does this mean you do not believe in any rapture?” — James Fox.

                  It depends!

                  If, by rapture, you mean the Second Coming and the Resurrection of the saints, then yes I definitely believe in it.

                  But, personally, I refrain from using that term because it is NOT found in the Bible! So I use this incident as the Second Coming and Resurrection of the saints.

                  But importantly whichever way you use “rapture”, it has NOTHING to do with the Great Tribulation!! Jesus, when He described about the Great Tribulation, emphatically stated that He will not be anywhere near the earth SECRETLY!!!

                  No, before the GT, during the GT and after the GT, Jesus will NOT be anywhere around – neither in the wilderness, nor in the inner chambers nor in the mid-air rapture – in a SECRET manner.

                  His Second Coming will be so powerful and visible like a lightning that nobody will have to tell others, “hey, look, Jesus is here or there”!!!

                  “Behold, He comes with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, and those who pierced Him will see Him, and ALL the kindreds of the earth will wail because of Him. Even so, Amen.” (Rev 1:7).

                  The Bible does not talk about any SECRET second coming!

                  The Second Coming and the Resurrection is clearly much away from the GT. The GT is followed by the dreaded Day of the Lord that starts with a black Sun and a red Moon and the falling stars. Then comes a series of trumpet events. And after or at the seventh and the last Trumpet is the Second Coming!

                  So you see, the Second Coming is much away removed from the Great Tribulation.

                  So all these talks about “pre-trib”, “mid-trib” and “post-trib” are meaningless!!

                  Besides, the Church is never taken off the earth until the visible and powerful Second Coming of Christ. As I have shown from the Bible, during the GT, the Church is ON FLIGHT into the wilderness, a place where God will nourish the Church for 3 1/2 years!
                  ***********************************************

                  “What about 1 Thess 4:16 which seems quite clear.” — James Fox.

                  This is what I have never grasped!

                  How does 1 Thess 4:16 prove a rapture?!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                  It does NOT prove any rapture. It is in fact talking about the visible Second Coming of Christ and the Resurrection of the saints!

                  “For the Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a SHOUT, with the VOICE of the archangel and with the TRUMPET of God.” (1 Thess 4:16).

                  Trust me, that is hardly a “secret” and “silent” coming!!!

                  (Remember how the same Lord shouted the Ten Commandments to the entire Israel from the mount which incident was neither silent nor secret!!! The people were terrified and shaken thoroughly)

                  Do you know what is “quite clear” in 1 Thess 4:16-17?

                  Yes, what is clear in that verse is that this Coming is neither silent nor secret.

                  Again, let us look at verse 17 carefully:

                  “Then we who remain alive will be caught up together with them in the clouds to a meeting with the Lord in the air. And so we will ALWAYS be with the Lord.” (1 Thess 4:17)

                  I invite your attention to 2 things here:

                  1). If Jesus and the resurrected saints are meeting in a rapture and if Jesus is going to take the saints to heaven during the GT, then He will have a big problem! The Scripture says that the saints will be with the Lord “ALWAYS” in mid-air or heaven (or wherever Jesus takes them)!!

                  This means Jesus is trapped and He can never come down onto the earth!!!

                  But Biblical prophecy in Zechariah 14:4 says Jesus will stand on Mount of Olives in Jerusalem at His Second Coming!

                  But if Jesus takes the Church in a rapture into heaven then 1 Thess 4:17 says they (Jesus and saints) will ALWAYS be in heaven!!

                  But the correct understanding is that Jesus is coming down to the earth. On His way down the saints, after the Resurrection, will meet Him in mid-air and ALL of them will come down to Jerusalem where Jesus is going to be always ruling the earth. So the saints also will be in Jerusalem ruling the earth together with the Lord. They will always be together!

                  So 1 Thess 4:16-17 should be added after Rev 14:14 giving more details of the Second Coming, instead of thinking this is a separate private, secret and silent coming!!!

                  (Remember the Word of God is “here a little and there a little”. We need to collect all such littles and we must place them “line upon line and precept upon precept” to get the whole and correct picture – Isaiah 28:13)!

                  2). Again look at the word “clouds”!

                  This is talking about the visible and powerful Second Coming of Christ when the Son of Man comes in the clouds and all the earth – every eye will see Him and all tribes including the people who pierced Him will weep etc.

                  In short there is NO secret Second Coming!

                  CONCLUSION –

                  So 1 Thess 4:16-17 is giving more details about the one and only Second Coming of Christ instead of explaining one more Second Coming!!!

                    (Quote)

                  • James Fox says:

                    Dear Nephesh Roi,

                    I am a post-tribber. I definitely do not believe in a secret coming. I also do not believe that after we meet Jesus in the air we go to heaven. Instead we go to Isreal.

                    You said, “But the correct understanding is that Jesus is coming down to the earth. On His way down the saints, after the Resurrection, will meet Him in mid-air and ALL of them will come down to Jerusalem where Jesus is going to be always ruling the earth. So the saints also will be in Jerusalem ruling the earth together with the Lord. They will always be together!”

                    I fully agree.

                    Meeting Jesus in the air is what everyone calls the rapture. I do not know why you seem to dislike the word.

                    We agree on most things. However I do not think the bowls are after the Second Advent.

                    Revelation is clearly not chronological. Eg. Jesus is pictured symbolically as being born in the middle of the book. Also Babylon is twice described as destroyed chapters before the official description of its destruction. You and I agree the 7’th trumpet is the Second Advent which is officially described several chapters later. Thus there is no reason to assume the bowls are after the 7’th trumpet.

                    The 7’th seal, 7’th trumpet, and 7’th bowl all mention 1) peals of thunder, 2) rumblings, 3) flashes of lightning, and an 4) earthquake. That strongly suggest they are the same event. I accept that.

                      (Quote)

                  • Nephesh roi says:

                    Hi James Fox,

                    Glad to know that we agree on many points.

                    “I am a post-tribber.” — James Fox.

                    That is okay with me. In one sense you are right also.

                    Then I consider myself as a “post-tribber”, “post-Day of the Lorder”, “post- Seventh Trumpeter” etc!!
                    ****************************************

                    “I definitely do not believe in a secret coming.” — James Fox.

                    I see your point.

                    However, the original Rapture theory believes in and teaches a secret coming and removal of the Church off the earth. They talk a lot about world news papers with startling headlines like “Millions Missing Overnight”, “Sudden Mysterious Disappearance” etc etc!
                    ***********************************************

                    “Meeting Jesus in the air is what everyone calls the rapture.” — James Fox.

                    I have used rapture in that very sense in discussions. But the truth is the rapture is “more” than that. It teaches about a secret coming and whisking away the Church from the earth that creates headlines in newspapers across the world etc.

                    (It is often troublesome and awkward to keep on opposing the other party in a discussion! So I do use the term rapture (to mean resurrection only) in such instances not to antagonize the other party. I don’t know whether it is unfair!)
                    **********************************************

                    “We agree on most things. However I do not think the bowls are after the Second Advent.” — James Fox.

                    The Second Advent and Resurrection happens after the seventh and the last Trumpet. In chapter 15:2-4 we see clearly the resurrected saints praising and worshipping God!

                    Now read the very next verse 5: “And AFTER these things I saw”. And what John saw was the very 7 angels with the 7 bowls!!!

                    Besides, Rev 14:10 says clearly that the bowls will be poured “in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb”.
                    *************************************************

                    “Revelation is clearly not chronological. Eg. Jesus is pictured symbolically as being born in the middle of the book.” — James Fox.

                    When we understand that Revelation uses a few “INSET” chapters or portions, much of the trouble could be cleared. When John explains the future incidents in a sequential manner, he sees something astonishing and takes a break in the flow to explain a little more on that thing!

                    Chapter 12 is a good example.

                    In the flow of Revelation’s advanced history, John takes a pause and explains the general history of God’s church!! It starts with the spiritual Israel (as woman with 12 stars) who gave birth to Jesus. After Jesus Ascension, the woman continues as the spiritual Israel or now the Church of God.

                    Here you see an advanced full history of the Church from Ascension to the Second Coming!

                    If we find out which are the INSET portions of Revelation, then we will understand where the time flow paused and where the flow resumes.
                    ***********************************************

                    “That strongly suggest they are the same event. I accept that.” — James Fox.

                    It is true that the seventh bowl is PART of the seventh Trumpet which in turn is PART of the seventh Seal.

                    But they do not symbolise the same events!

                    Example

                    The fifth trumpet (part of the 7th seal) – shows the Beast with its air force surging ahead in war conquering world and turning to the east.

                    The sixth trumpet (part of the 7th seal) – shows a retaliatory war from the eastern power Bloc which is 200 million strong military. They cannot cross Euphrates to the west.

                    The fifth bowl (part of the 7th trumpet) – The empire of the Beast is plunged into darkness (massive power failure).

                    The sixth bowl (part of the 7th trumpet) – Astonishingly the great river Euphrates gets dried up so that this time the military from the eastern power Bloc is able to cross the river and come to Armageddon in Israel.

                    So we see that, though part of the seventh seal, fifth trumpet and fifth bowl are not the same events. The fifth trumpet and the fifth bowl are not the same events.

                    So neither could seventh seal, seventh trumpet and seventh bowl be the same event!

                      (Quote)

                    • Hi Nepesh,

                      Try positioning the Bowl Judgement on the Great Tribulation, and the Trumpet Judgement at the end of the Millennium.

                      The Key in the Bowl Judgement is the “Mark” and the “Beast”.

                      In the Trumpet Judgement is the “Abyss”. Rev. 19 and 20

                      I hope this will clear up things for you. It’s a heck of a new eschatology : )

                        (Quote)

                  • If you believe in the Trinity, and this word cannot be found in the scriptures, then why can you not believe the rapture?

                    God Bless

                      (Quote)

  23. So, it makes perfect sense that Jesus comes back again for his saints then comes back again to judge the world and sort out the evil reigning on earth??? No it doesn’t, that’s what “pretrib” is saying which doesn’t make any sense and scripture makes it very plain Jesus comes back once
    1 Thess 5 talks about being awake and alert because Jesus will come back at anytime, (Day of the Lord)
    being Christians we shouldn’t be taken by surprise as the non christains are, it doesn’t indicate rapture or any thing else like that, it’s also the about gathering together of the living and the dead, also 1Thess 4.13 clearly states Jesus will gather his elect both living and dead, neither shall miss out, then all meet him in the air, no indication this is pre or post trib at all. Matt 24 is very clear, “just as in the days of Noah..” judgement came upon the earth , this passage is about judgement NOT rapture. This getting “caught up” is like a king returning for his coronation and being lead to the city and the throne room for coronation, the greek word Harpazo got mistranslated into ratpus from the vulgate, hense where the word rapture came from and where this very baffling theology came about.

    The rule for understanding scripture is context context context

    What makes sense to me is Jesus will come back at any time, any moment any hour, we as Christains need to be watchful and work out our salvation given to us be grace and not be lackse in our walk , so his comming is no surpise , what doesn’t make sense is jesus comming to take us away come back again when it’s over, publically having taken the church out of the way, how would those left behind know the gospel? Revelation was written to encourage those being persecuted , and in poetic language describing the end result ..I don’t think it is meant to be fully understood right now…

      (Quote)

    • Hi Gertrude,

      Thanks for your comments. I would just like to ask a question. You believe Jesus will come as a thief. Isn’t it obvious that if we, the Church are to endure the endtimes Great Tribulation, then Jesus CANNOT come back at any time? Since the Antichrist is not ruling, there is no False prophet, no Mark of the Beast, etc., isn’t it obvious that Jesus cannot come back this week, because none of those things have come to pass? I would really like to know your thoughts on this because it seems that those who follow a post-trib model overlook this point. Thanks and God bless.

        (Quote)

      • James Fox says:

        I do not understand what you think post-trib is overlooking. Their position indeed is that Jesus can not come until the antichrist is ruling etc. The post-trib position indeed is that Jesus can not come this week.

        What did you mean by ” then Jesus CANNOT come back at any time?” Are you saying the post-trib position means that Jesus can never return? Why would you think that? Or do you have a different meaning?

        You started by saying, “You believe Jesus will come as a thief. ” I assume you are referring to 1 Thess 5:2-3, “the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3 While people are saying, “Peace and safety,” In 2 Thess 2:3-4 Paul said the day of the Lord will come after the antichrist is “revealed.” What does that mean? Probably the next sentence where the antichrist proclaims himself to be God. Thus the day of the Lord will come after the mid-point of the trib.

        It should be noted that the KJV says day of Christ and not day of the Lord so some will object that 2 Thess 2 does not apply.

          (Quote)

        • The first to come who will claim he is the Christ, with all the wonders and miraculous signs he is doing, the Pretribbers will be in danger of this and possibly be deceived.

          In the case of Post-Tribbers, they will not easily be deceived because they know the prophetic event time lines. The first one to come and claim that he is the christ even with signs and wonders, will be denied by the Post-Tribbers. They know the position of the Second Advent, many absolute signs and events will occur prior to it, so there will be many checks and balances.

          Post-Tribbers are Bereans! Most Pretribbers are not. They are contented to hold on to their belief that they will have an easy way out of the testings that will come and no need to study anymore prophecy.

          Ask other christians if they study prophecy and also ask their rapture position, and you will be surprised to know that they believe in a pretribulation rapture (because of the movies?) but they have no interest in studying prophecy. Pretribulation Rapture is the most popular view. (Narrow Gate and Broad Gate?)

          God Bless.

            (Quote)

          • Hi Eaglet,

            Thanks for your comments. At what chapter and verse does the Rapture take place in Scripture? -B&E

              (Quote)

            • It is in Revelation 16:15, ” Behold I come like a Thief!…” right after the Sixth Bowl.

              Also in Revelation 7, The Sealing of the 144,000 and the Great Multitudes in White Robes, right after the end of the sixth seal which is the great tribulation, and before the start of the Seventh Seal which is the Millennium.

              Here is my take on the timeline:
              Seals 1 to 5 – Gospel preached throughout the world from Pentecost up to end of the Great Tribulation.
              Peace was taken from the earth, Economic woes continues on, slaughter of men
              through wars, famines, plagues, and wild beasts continues on from Pentecost up to the
              end of the Great Tribulation.
              Seal 6 – Bowl Judgement, Resurrection of the Dead in Christ, Rapture of those who are still Alive (First
              Resurrection, Ten Virgins/Talents), Armageddon, Second Advent
              Seal 7 – Start of the Millennium, Trumpet 1 to 6 Judgement (Satan came out of the Abyss), The Little
              Scroll unsealed for the Two Witnesses to prophesy again to the nations, The Saints, the royal
              priesthood, offer their prayers to God for Him to intervene and pour out His Wrath (Rev. 8:3,
              Rev. 11:19)
              White Throne Judgement – The rest of the dead (Old Testament to Millennium) from the sea, land, ,
              and Hades resurrected. The Sheep and The Goat (Second Resurrection)

              Eternity – New Heaven and New Earth, The Wedding of the Lamb and the Bride, New Jerusalem

                (Quote)

              • Hi Eaglet,

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

                Where is the Raptured church in this passage? I am not sure where you see any rapture taking place here.

                You also said:


                Also in Revelation 7, The Sealing of the 144,000 and the Great Multitudes in White Robes, right after the end of the sixth seal which is the great tribulation, and before the start of the Seventh Seal which is the Millennium.

                Are you saying that the sixth seal and the sixth bowl are the same event? Because it appears from the plain meaning of the text that the sixth bowl comes very far after the opening of the sixth seal. So by this reasoning, they could not both be the time of the Rapture. Just looking for clarity on your interpretation. It is very possible that I have read your comments wrong. God bless. -B&E

                  (Quote)

                • Hi B&E,

                  Jesus Christ will not come as a thief if he has no plans of snatching or to take away something. (book of Matthew and Thessalonians)

                  With regards to the sixth seal and the sixth bowl judgement, you thought of it as far off from one another because of the many events that goes between them, you have not understood very well my timeline.

                  I showed there that the Seventh Seal is the Millennium, and the Trumpets is located at the end of the Millennium.

                  The 144,000 and the Great Multitude is the First Resurrection and the Rapture, which comes after the six bowls, and before the seventh bowl..

                  The six bowls also comes after the last part of the sixth seal in Rev. 6:17.

                  Rev. 8 to 11, and Rev. 20 is the Millennium.

                  Rev. 6:12 to Rev, 7, Rev. 12 to 19 is the entire Great Tribulation, the Bowl Judgement, Resurrection and Rapture, Armageddon, Second Advent

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              • I placed the Resurrection of the Dead in Christ and the Rapture of the Alive in Christ in between the Sixth Bowl and the Seventh Bowl. Here are the Key Verses:

                Rev. 21:9 is about The New Jerusalem, the Bride, the Wife (Married already) of the Lamb (this is after the end of the Millennium, and start of the New Heaven and New Earth)

                9 One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”
                (I hope you don’t have another bride in mind, like what pretribbers did to Matthew 24:29,30, making it the second rapture/resurrection, which they say is still an integral part of the first resurrection of Rev. 20. Jesus will get His Bride one time only, not several times)

                Question:
                Why does it have to be ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS WHO HAD THE SEVEN BOWLS, be the one appointed by Jesus to show to John the Bride? Why not one of the seven angels who had the trumpets, or Michael, or Gabriel, or any other angel?

                Answer:
                Checkout Rev. 16:12-15
                12 THE SIXTH ANGEL POUR OUT HIS BOWL on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. 13 Then I saw three impure spirits that looked like frogs; they came out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 They are demonic spirits that perform signs, and they go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them for the battle on the great day of God Almighty.

                15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake (WISE VIRGINS? AND/OR THE WEDDING GUESTS?) and remains clothed (OIL/HOLY SPIRIT), so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.” Matthew 22

                Please study who is the Bride. Make a comparison on the description of the 144,000 as the Bride and as Virgins in its natural and spiritual sense, then the description of the New Jerusalem in its sense of 12’s. Study also who are the Wedding Guests and who are the Nations that will be ruled by the kings (Saints?) in the New Heaven and New Earth.

                Here are the verses that supports my claim that the bowl judgement is part of the sixth seal:

                Rev. 6:14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; AND EVERY MOUNTAIN AND ISLAND WERE MOVED OUT OF THEIR PLACES.

                Rev. 16:20 And every island fled, and mountains were not found;

                Was there still islands and mountains left from the event of Rev. 6:14 so that the same event can happen again in Rev. 16:20? Definitely Rev 21 is entirely different and is to far off from this two same event.

                The Book of Revelation is the story of God’s plan of salvation, grace, and justice to humanity in the end times and through eternity. This is where we can truly see the big picture. Match it with Jesus Christ’s Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24. Then the 10 Virgins (144,000/Tribulation Saints?), the Talents of the Servants (Wedding Guests/Dead in Christ?), The Sheep and the Goats (Risen Dead Sheep judged and saved in the White Throne Judgement/The Risen Dead Goats thrown in the lake of fire/The Nations in New Heaven and New Earth?) in Matthew 25.

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  24. No one want to to mention where the “Church Fathers” got these doctrines from or why they were not taken seriously back then?

    Or explain the evil behind men like John Nelson Darby?

    Sadly most Christians do not even know what the word Dispensationalism means..
    When (IMO) it is the cornerstone of the great deception!

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    • Hi Tony,

      Thanks for your comments. Where the church fathers got these doctrines from is not relevant. The point of the article is to demonstrate that belief in a pre-Great Tribulation rapture existed since the start of the church.

      If you are trying to imply that these men were sinners or that John Darby was a sinner, please add me to your list. I am a sinner and struggle with sin on a daily basis. Should everything I write be rejected for this reason as well? I pray that’s not the case.

      It would be much more fruitful and edifying if you would just show through Bible Scripture what proper end times doctrine should be. If you know, then go into our Holy Scriptures and rightly divide them so we can be edified. Pointing out sins of people who lived 1700 years and 150 years ago, respectively, is one-speculative and two-stating the obvious. So please know that your interpretation and explanation of the Scriptures in question is welcome.

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  25. Gertrude says:

    Beginning and End, Scripture makes it very clear that we as Christians are to live out our walk so that Christ’s retrurn is no surprise , being caught unawares in other words, we are to live as if he,were to come back today or tomorrow, as for your comment, Jesus cannot come back at any time if we are to endure the tribulation, he can, come back at anytime pre, mid , or post, Scripture doesn’t say when regarding the tribulation, that’s my point !

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    • Hi Gertrude,

      Thanks for your comments. I think there is a difference between living as if Christ can return at any time and KNOWING with certainty that for example “Jesus will not return this year.”

      I believe it’s clear that the post-tribulation model goes goes the latter route. If you believe that you are going to live on Earth during the Great Tribulation, then you must know the Antichrist is going to rule right? And that there will be the Mark of the Beast, 2 witnesses, etc, correct? This is pretty basic end time concepts that we should all agree on.

      And this also shows how the post-trib model fails. Because if you agree on the above that means you know The Lord cannot return any time soon because NONE of those things have happened yet. That’s just the basic, logical conclusion. And the problem is that it shows how the post-trib model contradicts Scripture since The Lord said He can return at any time, no one knows the day or hour and it will be an unexpected hour. Is the point I am making clear? I think it shows a glaring hole in the post-trib model and this one simple point refutes it all on its own.

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  26. Nowhere does the Bible speak of a “tribulation” period. Rather, the Bible speaks of the beginning of sorrows, Great Tribulation, and the outpouring of the wrath of God. If you compare Matthew 24 with the seals of Revelation 6, they parallel each other exactly. What happens in the seals of Revelation is the wrath of man against man, this wrath ORIGINATING WITH MAN. Christians are not immune to this–Look at the martyrs throughout the centuries. No different except more devastating but still originating with man.

    With the 6th seal in Revelation 6: 12-17, something very different happens. As in Matthew 24 when the disciples asked, What will be the sign of Your coming?” Jesus told them in Matthew 24: 29-31 the exact same words mentioned in Revelation 6:12-14. Revelation 6: 15-17 speaks of the kings of the earth and every person will hide in caves and plead, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the WRATH OF THE LAMB! For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?” This scenario directly precedes the revealing of the Lord from Heaven for all the world to see. Two things will happen simultaneously–the rapture of the church and the opening of the 7th seal described in Revelation 8. The 7th seal contains the trumpet and bowl judgments which are the wrath of God poured out on an unrepentant world. Paul in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” This is the blessed hope, that the church will be raptured and then the pouring out of God’s Wrath in the Trumpets and Bowls commences.

    My Sisters and Brothers in the Lord, prepare and do not be surprised when the afflictions of the seals of Revelation and the reign of anti-Christ commence. We who belong to Jesus will see these things come to pass. Jesus promised that in this world His followers WILL FACE PERSECUTION, even the persecution of the anti-Christ. These things ARE NOT THE WRATH OF GOD. THEY ORIGINATE FROM THE HAND OF MAN. The Great Tribulation under the anti-Christ will be so devastating, that if it were not cut short, no flesh would survive. Matthew 24: 15-22.

    Just as God spared righteous Noah and his family when God rained judgment on the earth by flood, so His children will be spared the outpouring of God’s Wrath in the Trumpet and Bowl judgments. The church will be raptured the same day these judgments begin, for it is these JUDGMENTS THAT ORIGINATE WITH GOD. Man has no part in instigating these. God has promised His children escape from these, but not escape from the wrath of man pitted against man.

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    • James Fox says:

      Dear Evelyn:

      You said the blessed hope is the rapture. I disagree. I wrote an essay about this:

      Titus 2:13 and Imminence

      Introduction

      Consider,

      “… looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, [Titus 2:13 NASB].

      Pre-tribbers routinely cite this verse as evidence for pre-trib. Why? First, with litle evidence, they interpret “blessed hope” as the rapture. Then they note we are looking for the blessed hope. In pre-trib theology, “looking for” is evidence for imminence. Imminence is evidence for the pre-trib rapture. Hence they think this versus is teaching pre-trib.

      They are missing something important. If the NASB translation is correct, and that is not a given, then we are looking for two different things. We are looking for the “blessed hope,” and we are looking for “the appearing of the glory” which New King James translates as “glorious appearing.”

      What is the “glorious appearing?” Chapter 7 in LaHaye’s book, Rapture [Under Attack], is titled The Glorious Appearing. In it he repeatedly says the glorious appearing is the Second Coming, i.e. the Second Advent. In his article, Rapture, in The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, p. 311, he said, “In the second phase of Jesus’ second coming (the glorious appearing), He will return to earth in great power and glory to set up His millennial kingdom.” In another book he says, “Both phases of Christ’s return are mentioned in Titus 2:13, which refers in a single verse to the Rapture as the “blessed hope,” and the coming to earth as the “glorious appearing.” I agree that the glorious appearing is the Second Advent.

      Note carefully. This is important. If NASB’s translation is correct, we are looking for the glorious appearing. If LaHaye’s interpretation is correct, the glorious appearing is the Second Advent. Therefore, we are looking for the Second Advent. However, in pre-trib theology, “looking for” is an indicator of imminence so the Second Advent would be imminent and imminence would be useless for pre-trib.

      The meaning of “and” in Titus 2:13

      This is not the end of the story. There is another very different way to translate Titus 2:13. The difference centers on how you translate the word “and” which in Greek is “kai.” The small dictionary in the back of my Greek New Testament defines kai as: and, also, but, even; that is, namely. Therefore it is legal to translate Titus 2:13 as “while we wait for the blessed hope, namely the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus.” If this is the correct translation, then the “blessed hope” is the “glorious appearing.” I think this is correct.

      This alternate translation would make the interpretation much easier. “The blessed hope” is very cryptic. It could mean the rapture, but it could also mean the glory of Jesus – “the glorious appearing.” It would be nice if the verse explained itself instead of leaving us to figure out what blessed hope is.

      Translations of Titus 2:13

      There is no translation that says the blessed hope is the rapture. There is no translation that says, “While we wait for the blessed hope, the rapture, and the appearing of the glory….”

      However, at least 14 translations agree that the blessed hope is the glorious appearing:

      NIV: “while we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and savior.” They did not translate kai as “and.” They translated it as a dash which means it is an appositive. “Nonrestrictive appositives are usually set off by commas, parentheses, or dashes.” An appositive is, “A noun, noun phrase, or series of nouns placed next to another word or phrase to identify or rename it.”

      God’s Word Translation: “At the same time we can expect what we hope for – the appearance of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Another appositive with a dash.

      Revised Standard Version: “awaiting our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” “The appearing of the glory” is set off by a comma. It is an appositive that identifies “blessed hope.

      English Standard Version: “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.” Another appositive with a comma.”

      Mounce Reverse-Interlinear New Testament: “waiting for the blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” Another appositive with a comma.

      Orthodox Jewish Bible: “ Awaiting the tikvah hameashsheret (the blessed hope), the appearing of the kavod HaEloheinu HaGadol and Moshieynu Rebbe, Melech HaMoshiach Yehoshua,” Another appositive with a comma.

      Amplified Bible: “Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” Another appositive with a comma.

      The Complete Jewish Bible: “while continuing to expect the blessed fulfillment of our certain hope, which is the appearing of the Sh’khinah of our great God and the appearing of our Deliverer, Yeshua the Messiah.”

      Good News Translation: “as we wait for the blessed Day we hope for, when the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ will appear.”

      New Living Translation: “while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed.”

      Easy To Read Version: “We should live like that while we are waiting for the coming of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. He is our great hope, and he will come with glory.” Note, “He is our great hope.” So they think “the blessed hope” is Jesus, not the rapture.

      The Message: “This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears.” Apparently he rendered “blessed hope” as “whetting our appetites.”

      New English Translation: “as we wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

      The Voice: “Watch for His return; expect the blessed hope we all will share when our great God and Savior, Jesus the Anointed, appears again.”

      Granville Sharp’s rule

      A large commentary on 1, 2 Timothy and Titus has this footnote about “the blessed hope:”

      [Granville] Sharp’s rule reads, “when two nouns in the same case are connected by the Greek word ‘and’ and the first noun is preceded by the article ‘the,’ and the second noun is not preceded by the article, the second noun refers to the same person or thing to which the first noun refers, and is a further description of it.” (K. S. Wuest, Treasures from the Greek New Testament, p. 31.) That is exactly the kind of construction we have in the phrase being commented upon.”

      In other words, “the blessed hope” has the word “the” in front of it in Greek, but “glorious appearing” does not, so by Granville Sharp’s rule, they are the same thing. LaHaye thinks the blessed hope is the rapture and the glorious appearing is the second advent. Granville Sharp’s rule says they are the same thing so post-trib would be true. Titus 2:13 would be powerful evidence for post-trib.

      LaHaye does know about Granville Sharp’s rule. He and Thomas Ice co-edited a book called The End Times Controversy. Ice commented, “I believe that there are two basic questions [in Mt. 24:3] because of the grammar of the passage as explained by Craig Blomberg: ‘The sign of your coming and of the end of the age’ in Greek reads, more literally, the sign of your coming and end of the age. By not repeating the definite article (‘the’) before ‘end of the age,’ Matthew’s rendering of Jesus’ words is most likely linking the coming of Christ and the end of the age together as one event (Granville Sharp’s rule).”

      Wikipedia has an interesting article about Granville Sharp. He was apparently a devoted Christian because, “Granville Sharp (10 November 1735 – 6 July 1813) was one of the first English campaigners for the abolition of the slave trade. He also involved himself in trying to correct other social injustices.” “He was regarded as the grand old man of the abolition struggle.” “Sharp ardently sympathized with the revolt of the American colonists. He believed in peace in America, but he also believed they were entitled to ‘Equitable Representation’, an idea repeated in the famous phrase ‘No taxation without representation.'” He was also an excellent scholar of the Greek language and a talented musician.

      Aside: There is a second example of Granville Sharp’s rule in Titus 2:13 – “our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” In Greek it says literally, “of the great God and savior of us, Jesus Christ.” By Sharp’s rule, “God” and “Savior” are the same thing so Jesus is called God. However some commentators and translators think that God is a reference to God the father. I suspect they do this for dogmatic and not linguistic reasons. They do not want to call Jesus God. I do not believe it because I do not believe God the Father will have a glorious appearing.

      Granville Sharp said there was not a single exception to his rule in the New Testament. However, LaHaye will probably disagree and those who think Jesus is not God will disagree. Also, the Wikipedia article indicates there are a few counterexamples in classical Greek and in the early church fathers. Therefore I think it is safe to say that Granville Sharp’s rule is almost always true but may not always be true. LaHaye will probably seize on this and say that the rule does not apply to the first part of Titus 2:13. However, I bet he will not have a good reason linguistically. I also doubt that he will have a good rebuttal to the next section.

      Dr. Charles Ryrie and Titus 2:13

      In Dispensationalism Today Dr. Charles Ryrie said,

      The dispensationalist sees a broader purpose in God’s program for the world than salvation, and that purpose is his own glory. For the dispensationalist the glory of God is the governing principle and overall purpose, and the soteriological [salvation] program is one of the principal means employed in bringing to pass the greatest demonstration of his own glory. ….

      How do we know that the glory of God is the purpose of God above and beyond His saving purpose? First, the plain statement of Scripture declares that salvation is to the praise of God’s glory which simply means that redemption is one of the means to the end of glorifying God (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14).

      I agree. Even though I am not a dispensationalist, I agree with many dispensationalist teachings.

      Suppose a Christian is contemplating the phrase “the blessed hope.” He may think about it self centeredly – what is best for him – and decide it means the rapture. This is LaHaye’s interpretation. However, if Ryrie and the dispensationalists are correct and if the Christian takes God’s point of view on what is important, he may decide “the blessed hope” is the glory of Jesus – the glorious appearing. This agrees with Granville Sharp’s rule.

      You can translate it either as “the appearing of the glory” or as “the glorious appearing.” This first is more literal. In Greek it is a noun “glory” and not an adjective “glorious.” “The appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus,” NASB, can be shortened to “the appearing of the glory of Jesus.” The glory of Jesus is what Ryrie was so concerned about. It is not the appearing that it glorious, it is Jesus who is glorious.

      Ryrie was a professor at LaHaye’s seminary. I bet he is one of LaHaye’s heroes.

      Walvoord’s interpretation

      John Walvoord disagrees with LaHaye. He believes the “glorious appearing” is the pre-trib rapture.

      However, the church will see the glory of Christ at the coming of the Lord for his church before the Tribulation, and there is no valid reason the term glorious appearing should not be a reference to the Rapture.

      I looked at 14 commentaries that included a section on Titus. One probably agrees with Walvoord although he does not explicitly say it. He said, “Blessed hope. A general reference to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.” That sounds like Second Advent. However his discussion includes references to 1 Cor. 15 and 1 Thessalonians 4 which are rapture passages and his discussion of 1 Thessalonians 4 shows that he is pre-trib. The rest, , disagreed with Walvoord that the glorious appearing is a pre-trib Rapture. His interpretation is not likely, so why did he adopt it? I believe it is because he thinks “looking for” means imminence and he does not want the Second Advent to be imminent so he is willing to accept a much less likely interpretation of glorious appearing.

      We know the Second Advent is glorious. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory. Mt. 24:30.

      So Walvoord believes in two glorious appearings, one at the beginning and one at the end of the Tribulation. Since he is a pre-tribber he also believes in two comings of Jesus, two resurrections, two divine trumpets, and twice that Jesus is in the clouds – one at the beginning and one at the end of the Tribulation. Pre-trib makes things much more complicated than they need to be. This violates Occam’s razor.

      There is no evidence that the alleged pre-trib rapture is glorious, but Mt. 24:30 says the Second Advent is glorious. Thus I think the simple literal interpretation of “glorious appearing” in Titus 2:13 is that it is the Second Advent. Dispensationalists and pre-tribbers always say they are consistent literalists. Therefore I think they should say the “glorious appearing” is the Second Advent, as LaHaye says, and admit that we are looking for the Second Advent, even though this means the Second Advent is imminent which is very damaging to pre-trib.

      Titus 2:13 and pre-trib

      No matter what, Titus 2:13 is a problem for pre-trib. The question is whether it is a big problem or a more modest problem.

      If LaHaye is correct and the glorious appearing is the Second Advent then this is a big problem for pre-trib. It does not matter whether you translate kai as “and,” like NASB, or whether you translate kai as “namely.” In either case we are looking for the Second Advent and this means the Second Advent is imminent.

      If Walvoord is correct then the problem would be more modest. Still it is a problem because “glorious appearing” sure sounds like the Second Advent and I cannot find any commentator who agrees with Walvoord that it is a pre-trib rapture. Also, Mk. 13:26 suggests that LaHaye and I are correct in interpreting “the glorious appearing” as the Second Advent.

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  27. Who cares! Old Testament prophets did not see the church age either. Paul said, “Behold, I show you a “MYSTERY.” Paul revealed it for the first time, not Darby. I believe Paul over you, he got it at the feet of JESUS. On the way up I will say,”I told you so”, unless you believe your works can save you.

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  28. Fellow Christians,

    Why do we argue over scriptures that can be interpreted several ways? Let us rather focus on scripture that clearly states it’s meaning to describe the rapture and when it comes.

    I think we all can agree this passage describes that lifting up of those Christians who are alive into the clouds with the Lord, or the “Rapture”:

    “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.” ( 1 Thess 14-17) NIV

    Paul clearly states the dead in Christ will be resurrected BEFORE living Christians are raptured. Remember this because it is very important!

    Please read this passage very carefully. John describes what he sees after Jesus destroys the anti-Christ:

    ” I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony about Jesus and because of the word of God. They[a] had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.” (Revelation 20:4-5) NIV

    Notice how John, through inspiration from the Holy Spirit, mentions this resurrection to be the first. Notice that this first resurrection includes those Christians who died at the hands of the anti-Christ.

    Now, let’s put these two passages together- If Paul clearly states that the resurrection of the saints will happen just before the “rapture”, and the FIRST resurrection of Christians includes those who were martyred by the anti-Christ, this tells us the rapture will happen after the rule of the anti-Christ.

    A case can be made that the first resurrection mentioned by John in Revelation 20:4-5 contains only those saints who died at the hands of the anti-Christ. This very well may be true, since it cannot clearly be disproved or proven. However, it still does not disprove the fact that the rapture occurs after the anti-Christ is destroyed, since this FIRST resurrection at least includes Christians who were martyred by the anti-Christ.

    The argument I have encountered by people who believe in a “pre-trib” rapture is they believe in the notion that there are more than the two resurrections mentioned in Revelation. They will say there are 5 resurrections or some other nonsense like this. All of this is an attempt to cause confusion and pervert the word of God. Here is proof:

    If somebody wants to believe there were multiple resurrections, fine. But it is irrelevant in regards to the truth given in Rev 20:4-5 and 1Thess 4:14-17. John refers to the resurrection including Christians martyred by the anti-Christ as the first. But Jesus was the “first” person resurrected (as well as some Jews after the resurrection of Christ, mentioned in Matthew 27). Since the bible cannot lie, what does John mean by it being the “first” resurrection?

    “First” in this context means the first resurrection of the enormous amount of people that have ever died in Christ. It doesn’t matter how many resurrections we are told to believe in. The word “first” was used for a reason, the bible cannot lie. If there were 5, 100 or 1,000 resurrections, this doesn’t explain why the word first was used. Do not be deceived by these “teachers” of the word of God, who are either knowingly or unknowingly casting confusion into the scriptures by using made up theories to try and distract us from the truth.

    They will make these elaborate charts using all kinds of scriptural references. On the surface they look very impressive and are very persuasive. They will list Jesus as the first resurrection, the Jews in Matthew 24 as the second, the pre-trib rapture as the third, the post-trib rapture as the 4th and then the final resurrection of those unsaved as the fifth. They will have all of these fancy interpretations and charts, pictures and the like. But how does all of this explain why John uses the term “first?”

    But do not be deceived! The Lord himself told us not to judge by mere appearance but judge based on what is right.

    Often times these false teachers will make a claim and then give a scripture reference without giving the actual words. When this happens, make sure you read the scriptures they give as a reference, don’t just take their word for it.

    Secondly, when you refer to the bible and read the scripture, it may seem to back their claim. Be careful to read the surrounding scriptures!! Many will take one scripture that seems to prove their claims but in fact is being taken out of context. This happens MANY times!! I will give a classic example:

    Nowhere in the bible does it mention believers will be raptured before the anti-Christ comes to power. Still, people will claim this scripture as proof that Christians will indeed be raptured before the tribulation, or the rule of the anti-Christ:

    “Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.” (Revelation 3:10) NIV

    I will admit this scripture seems to suggest that the church will be raptured before the Tribulation. But when we read the WHOLE chapter 3 of Revelation, we see that it is taken out of context.

    In verse 7 of Revelation chapter 3, Jesus is instructing John to deliver this message to the church of PHILADELPHIA! Nowhere does he mention the church that will exist right before the Tribulation. Remember, there was an actual church that existed during the time this book was written. The message was clearly meant to edify those people, as clearly noted by Jesus’ command to ” To the angel of the church of Philadelphia write.”

    I believe that the mistakes or positive accomplishments made by earlier people of faith can be used as an example for future believers. I believe that is the purpose of these scriptures. Regardless of what you believe, Rev 3:10 does not CLEARLY say the church will be raptured before the Tribulation.

    Besides this, it clearly conflicts with scripture that is CLEAR and INDISPUTABLE, namely 1Thess 4:14-17 and Rev 20:4-5. Therefore we can confidently disprove the theory given by pre-Trib believers that Rev 3:10 proves their theory.

    Finally, let me use another passage in the bible which clearly elaborates on the resurrection:

    ” But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-24) NIV

    Paul describes the order of the resurrection- First Christ, who is described as the first fruits, then the dead in Christ (those who belong to him). When will the resurrection of those dead in Christ happen? At his Second Coming, (when he comes).

    One could argue, “when he comes” doesn’t necessarily mean the “Second Coming.” This is true. This is why it is important to have a full grasp of the WHOLE bible and what it says. Refer back to what the bible says in 1 Thess 4:14-17 and Rev 20:4-5. As I stated earlier, these passages prove the resurrection of the dead in Christ happens AFTER the Tribulation. From this we can determine that “when he comes” in 1 Corin 15:22-24 cannot be different from his Second Coming. This disproves the theory of more than one resurrection of the dead in Christ.

    So then, this is further proof the rapture will happen after the Tribulation. The bible clearly states Jesus’ Second Coming will happen after the anti-Christ rules. Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:20-24 CLEARLY says that the resurrection of those dead in Christ will rise when Jesus comes back for us.

    In summary, when reading the bible we can CLEARLY see that the church will be raptured after the resurrection of the dead in Christ, which will happen during the Second Coming of Christ, after the rule of the anti-Christ.

    We can believe all sorts of things that are NOT clearly interpreted. That is your right. As a rule, I stay away from hidden meanings for scripture that cannot CLEARLY be proven.

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  29. [Moneychangers are even into revisionism. Here’s an exposure of them I found on the net.]

    Pretrib Rapture Pride

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” and journalist/historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Stealth,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Open Letter to Todd Strandberg,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” –
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

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    • Hi Stuart,

      Thanks for your comments. But just because a person who advocated a certain Biblical interpretation got caught up in some scandal does not make the Biblical interpretation wrong. If you have a substantive, Biblical interpretation to offer, I would be glad to read it.

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  30. I just have a question for the post-trib believers. It’s a fair question and I’m not being dismissive, or argumenitive, I truly want to know about this. For me it would help greatly. The one thing I really don’t get or understand is, what the point is to a post-trib rapture. We all go up and come right back down. Makes no sense to me. I could understand not having any rapture at all, if we were just changed in the twinkling of an eye, as Jesus returns. A post-trib rapture just seems kind of silly to me, like a holy roller coaster ride. It’s one of the few things I just can’t get past. God doesn’t do anything that is meaningless and there is such a big deal made in scripture about there being a rapture, that to be so anti climactic just seems pointless. There must be something that I am missing. To state my position, I lean toward the Pre-Trib, but that’s just my current belief. I need more evidence so I am honestly am not sure either way. Thanks.

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    • James Fox says:

      What is the point of a post-trib rapture? There are at least 2 answers.

      1) Jesus wants everyone in Israel. In the post-trib rapture we meet Jesus in the air and then follow him as he descends to the Mount of Olives. Do you expect Jesus to send out a proclamation to every believer – catch the next plane to Israel? No. He does it for us.

      2) The Greek for 1 Thess 4:17 is the key. it says “to meet the Lord in the air.” “To meet” can be a technical term in Greek. It does not have to be but it can be. As a technical term it means when some important dignitary, such as the emperor, is going to visit a city, the leaders of the city walk several miles down the road to meet the dignitary and escort him on the last leg of his journey. Jesus is the visiting emperor. If we are to meet him on his way here, then we must meet him in the clouds. We are his royal escort on the last leg of his journey.
      —————————————————————————————-

      Abraham Malherbe notes that apantesis was so well known as a technical term for formally going out to welcome a dignitary that not only was it taken directly over into Latin but also by the Jewish rabbis.

      From the above quotations, which could be multiplied greatly, it is abundantly clear what apantasin meant to people in the Greco-Roman world. It was because of that meaning Paul deliberately chose it for Jesus. The true King is coming … not from Rome but from Heaven … to settle the score and right the wrongs (i.e. particularly the wrongful deaths at the hands of the faux king Caesar!). The king is coming in glory and the people rush out to meet him as he makes the final leg of his journey to the city (i.e. earth!).

      In 4.17 Paul draws on the traditions of Hellenistic formal receptions of kings, conquering generals and the like. Where a town or city goes out to greet and escort escorting the monarch into his destination. In our day it would be like when President Obama flew into Tucson with every politician in the state, city and county along with thousands of others going out to “meet” him and escort him into the city. When Paul used apantasin it had as distinct meaning to the Thessalonians as when we use the word “inauguration!”

      Paul did not mean the people leave or abandon their town or city and no Thessalonian would have dreamed he meant that by that term. [i.e. we are not going to leave our home and go to heaven JWF] Christians are not said to either “fly away” or be “raptured” in this text. The term means the believers would go to greet King Jesus, join his entourage and escort him into the city. That this was so understood by the folks in the first century is clear from the remaining uses of the term apantasin in biblical Greek. There are only two other examples in the New Testament but I will include the other from Tobit. ….

      http://stonedcampbelldisciple.com/2011/03/10/paul-the-roman-imperial-cult-the-return-of-king-jesus-and-flying-away-in-1-thessalonians-4-17/

        (Quote)

      • Hi James,

        You said:

        In 4.17 Paul draws on the traditions of Hellenistic formal receptions of kings, conquering generals and the like. Where a town or city goes out to greet and escort escorting the monarch into his destination. In our day it would be like when President Obama flew into Tucson with every politician in the state, city and county along with thousands of others going out to “meet” him and escort him into the city. When Paul used apantasin it had as distinct meaning to the Thessalonians as when we use the word “inauguration!””

        Where do you have any evidence for Paul’s motivation and state of mind when writing that epistle? How can you possible speak to his motivation aside from what Scripture tells us – “all Scripture is by inspiration of God..”? There is no warrant for this whatsoever and asserting that Paul was writing based on his own ideas rather than Divine inspiration contradicts The Scripture. It’s just a private interpretation.

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        • James Fox says:

          Where did you get that I was speculating about Paul’s motivation? I did not say Paul was writing about his own ideas. You are putting words in my mouth.

          I simply said that in the first century “go to meet” could be a technical term meaning that when an important dignitary was going to visit a town, the town leaders would walk several miles down the road to meet him and escort him on the last leg of his journey.

          I have seen several scholars cite this in books. It is not my idea. I quoted from a web page that said the same thing because everyone can get to a web page but not every one can get to the books.

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  31. Do you expect Jesus to send out a proclamation to every believer – catch the next plane to Israel? No. He does it for us.

    No need to be snarkie…. You really have not sufficiently answered my question. If we are changed in the twinkling of an eye, we can immediately be in Israel, we don’t need a plane or to fly up to a meet and greet. He is the Lord of All things and yet he does not need you or I to escort Him anywhere. You and I can bow our knee to the Lord on the ground to greet him when He arrives in Israel. If we can fly through the air then we can also be instantly present where ever.
    I gather by your answer, that the Post-Trib Rapture is really more of a formality. A meet and greet with the King and an escort like the President and a motorcade…. No real function, except pomp and circumstance. I would like to believe that in a Post-Trib scenario you would have more to offer than that.

      (Quote)

    • James Fox says:

      You said, “No real function, except pomp and circumstance.” What is wrong with a little pomp and circumstance? That is the way they did it in the first century and Paul said that is what would happen at the Rapture. Doesn’t the returning King of Kings deserve an escort?

        (Quote)

  32. Kim L'Hote says:

    I have not seen one person refer back to the original Greek as they explain their views and interpretations of scripture. I will not live in fear of the future or in hope of being rescued out of it. I believe that the things Jesus did we will do and greater. I believe in a powerful church here on earth. I believe that Matthew 24 and the great tribulation and Christians fleeing to the hills and many other verses that have been quoted are in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD. I will refer you to one book because it’s free online, but there are many more if you are interested. Believe it or don’t, it won’t determine your salvation, but it may determine the way you choose to live…as the Victorious Church here on earth. http://raptureless.com/

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  33. Daniel 12 foretold that Knowledge of God’s word would Increase, so an interpretation being new doesn’t invalidate it. I’m Mid-70th Week

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  34. I’m afraid the Ephream the Syrian reference is really not a solid source to use.
    http://midseventiethweekrapture.blogspot.com/2014/07/ephraem-syrian.html

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    • Thanks for the link. I agree that the authorship of Pseudo-Ephraim is questionable (and acknowledge same in the article). But it does not affect the point of the article – that pre-Great Tribulation rapture theology was not invented by John Darby and existed well before his lifetime.

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  35. RAPTURE – pre- trib
    John 14:1-3 states: Jesus said,
    “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s
    house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a
    place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive
    you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.”

    Bible scholars concur that the Jewish marriage consisted of several parts. First, there was the betrothal period (Deut.20:7), which would last a year before the actual wedding. Remember the problems that developed with Mary becoming pregnant before the consummation of the marriage, thus leaving her guilty and open for putting her away until the news came from the angel that she was carrying the Son of God (Luke 1:26-38; Matt. 1:18-25). Scholars noted that this part which was called the marriage contract was established and paid for by the parents because the parties to the wedding were young and had not reached a responsible age. At a later time, when the couple became responsible, the wedding ceremony took place. Finally, the marriage supper celebrated the consummation of the marriage. According to Steve Herzig, author of Jewish Custom and Culture, the Talmud gives details and guidelines for the ceremony. Herzig commented, “Long ago, a year separated the betrothal from the consummation, allowing the groom to prepare the home and the bride to validate her virginity. Today, these stages are combined into one ceremony called kiddushin.”
    With that in mind, one can picture the bride and groom, after making the contract, departing from each other and going their separate ways until the appointed time. On the
    one hand, the groom goes back to his father’s house to prepare a place for his bride. Jesus said those exact words to His disciples (John 14:1-3). Paul likens the Church to the bride of Christ (Eph. 5:23-32). Meanwhile, the bride must watch and wait for her bridegroom to return for her. She would be preparing constantly for the anticipated return of her groom. When the Father was finished with the preparations that allowed the bride to be brought home, He would say to his son, “Son, go get your bride!” Even though it may have been at midnight, the bride must be ready and watching every moment with eager anticipation. What a beautiful picture of the Church waiting for her bridegroom.
    Starting with the wedding procession at the father’s house, the groom with his guests would march toward his bride’s house shouting, “Behold the bridegroom cometh!”This would continue until they reached the bride’s home. Upon arriving, he would enter the home and sweep up his bride into his arms and away they would go to his father’s house to consummate the marriage. Seven days of celebration would commemorate this special occasion.
    There is a beautiful parallel between not only Jesus and His bride, which is the Church but also between husbands and wives as depicted in Ephesians chapter five and Colossians chapter three. According to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, this heavenly relationship which exists between Jesus and His Church is compared with husbands and wives. Thus, the practical aspect of the righteous acts of the saints on earth – the Church – will be revealed later in Heaven as she is dressed in fine linen at the marriage to her Groom, namely Jesus. This also can be seen in an earthly marriage by the way each spouse relates to the other. Revelation 19:7-8 states, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

    A contrast between His glorious appearing in the rapture and His second coming in glory and power reveals several distinct differences indicating these are two events rather than one. Dwight Pentecost noted that in the rapture Jesus comes and meets the saints in the air (1Thess.4:16-17). Yet, at His second coming His feet will return to the earth (Zech.14:1-4). In the rapture, Jesus comes for His bride (John 14:1-3; Eph. 5:25). At His second coming, He returns with the Church, His bride (1Thess. 3:13; Jude 14; Rev. 19:11-14). The translation of the believers in the rapture is referred to as “the Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5). Paul was writing to the Church of Philippi. They were told to wait for the rapture (Phil 3:20, 21). But the second coming Christ has to do with the kingdom of God (Rev. 20:1-4; Matt.24:14). Jesus will set up His kingdom on earth and will rule and reign while fulfilling His covenants with the Jewish people. The expectation of the Church at the rapture is to be taken to be in the Lord’s presence (1Thess. 4:13-18), but at the second coming of Christ, the expectation of Israel will be to enter into the Kingdom (Matt.25; Rev. 20:1-4). His glorious appearing brings a message of hope and comfort to believers (1Thess. 4:18), yet His second coming brings wrath and judgment (Rev. 19:15-16). Clearly, a careful study of Scripture indicates these are two different events which will be fulfilled in the future.

    According to a study of the Scriptures, the rapture will take place before the tribulation. Thus, the Church does not go through the tribulation. John wrote to the church of Philadelphia, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). Notice that John stated this trial would come upon “all the world.” Plus, God’s promise is to “keep” the Church “from” this terrible time. The word “keep” is the word ἐκ which is a preposition that means “out of, from.” In other words, God is saying He will keep His Church “out of – from” the tribulation.

    Comparing Scripture with Scripture also reveals this same literal interpretation. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians in the context of the day of the Lord and the second coming of Christ, not the rapture, “For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” (1Thess. 5:9). God’s wrath will be poured out during the tribulation upon those who follow the beast and do not repent (see wrath of the lamb- Rev. 6:16-17). God’s wrath will not be for the Church. Another text indicates this truth. Paul wrote to the Church of Thessalonica, “For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God; And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come” (1Thess. 1:9-10).
    Still another proof that the Church will be raptured before the tribulation can be found in examining the tribulation period from Revelation chapters six through eighteen. There is no mention of the word “Church”-ἐκκλησία,(from ἔκκλητος called out or forth, and this from ἐκκαλέω); properly, a gathering of citizens called out from their homes into some public place; an assembly. However, the word church appears both before and after the tribulation and can be found in Revelation chapters one, two and three, as well as Revelation 22:16.

    To insinuate the Church goes through the tribulation is to miss the mark of the purpose of the tribulation. Evangelization of the Jews (Rev. 5, 7), an end to the times of the Gentiles (Dan. 2, Luke 21:24), an overthrow of the satanic trinity (Rev. 20:10) are all God’s purposes for the tribulation. Prophecy students concluded from this study the doctrine of the imminence of Christ. Renald Showers was interviewed by DeYoung on this subject. He stated that this truth (the imminence) can be compared to the phrase “Hanging over Head.” Jesus could come back in His glorious appearing any moment.

    With precise accuracy, the words of the book of Revelation in chapter four cover these areas. Revelation 4:1-2 states:
    After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice
    which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up
    hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. And immediately I was
    in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

    The words “after this” are the Greek words μετά, οὗτος, αὕτη, τοῦτο. Chronologically speaking, the Spirit of God is preparing the reader for what is to come after the Church age (Rev. 2, 3). This is a picture of the rapture of the Church. The believer is admonished to stop and look for the “opened door in heaven.” Then listen for “the voice” which will call, “Come up hither.” Notice in the context, John mentioned that the voice sounded as if it was a “trumpet” talking. Everyone knows that trumpets do not talk literally. The correct literal, historical method of interpretation of this Scripture recognizes this is what is called apocalyptic literature. Apocalyptic literature uses symbols to reveal truth but uses other Scripture to explain the truth.

    In this case, there are several of passages of Scripture that need to be used to find the real meaning of the text. First, Paul wrote in 1Thessalonians 4:16-17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Clearly, this passage is dealing with the rapture of the Church as if it has already been established. Another Scripture can be used in this process of interpretation of apocalyptic literature. The theological term for the study of proper interpretation is called hermeneutics or the science of interpretation.

    Second, writing to the church of Corinth, Paul under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit wrote, “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1Cor. 15:51-52).Again, notice the words “trumpet shall sound.” This futuristic event is the rapture of the Church. The conclusion of this study leads one to return to the original passage in Revelation 4:1.

    Other Scriptures which have been used in finding the correct approach for interpreting the talking trumpet are in the context of the rapture of the Church. Therefore, the passage in Revelation 4:1 is a description of what is going to take place when the Church is “caught up.”

      (Quote)

    • Everything you said about Jewish weddings is correct and it implies post-tribulationism.

      As you said,

      “Upon arriving, he would enter the home and sweep up his bride into his arms and away they would go to his father’s house to consummate the marriage. Seven days of celebration would commemorate this special occasion.”

      The day the groom goes to get his bride is the day the wedding is consummated and the day the wedding feast begins.

      Rev 19:9 says, “Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” Five sentences later begins the description of the Second Advent. Jesus’ wedding supper happens at the Second Advent. If it is a Jewish wedding, this is the day Jesus comes to get his bride which is the Rapture. So the Rapture is at the Second Advent. It would be contrary to Jewish practices for Jesus to get his bride pre-trib and then wait 7 years to have the wedding feast. The wedding feast happens the same day he gets his bride.

      Also, you quote Rev. 19:7-8

      “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.”

      John does not identify the bride/wife but Paul says Jesus’ bride is the church. The church is wearing the “righteousness of the saints.” If the church is wearing the righteousness of the saints then the church owns the righteousness of the saints. She would not be allowed to wear something that is not hers. This seems to imply that the saints are part of the bride. The saints is the term for believers during the Tribulation. Thus the church is present during the Tribulation.

      You also say,

      “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Rev. 3:10). Notice that John stated this trial would come upon “all the world.” Plus, God’s promise is to “keep” the Church “from” this terrible time. The word “keep” is the word ἐκ which is a preposition that means “out of, from.” In other words, God is saying He will keep His Church “out of – from” the tribulation.”

      There are two Greek words that are translated “from” – apo and ek. A Manual of Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey page 101 states, ” Apo may include the idea expressed in ek, but its usual significance is from the edge of , while ek has the idea from within.” It is not hard and fast but ek usually means from within.

      I once looked at a Greek grammar in the book store but I did not write down its name, It discussed apo and ek and it agreed that apo meant from the edge of while ek meant from within. They had a picture to show the difference. A man was standing on the sidewalk looking at a house with flames coming out of the roof. Another man was running out of the house. The man running from out of the house was coming ek the house. The man standing on the sidewalk was apo the house – separated from the house. ek means from the middle of.

      Rev 3:10 promises we will be kept from, ek, the hour of testing.That means the church will be saved from the middle of the hour of testing. We will be in the hour of testing. There will not be a pre-trib Rapture. If pre-trib were true John should have said apo.

      I have a lot more to say but it is now 29 minutes after midnight.

        (Quote)

    • James Fox says:

      I have some comments about your discussion of Jewish weddings.

      You said:

      “According to Steve Herzig, author of Jewish Custom and Culture, the Talmud gives details and guidelines for the ceremony.”

      I long ago read a book about Jewish weddings and the author said ceremonies are a modern tradition. There was no rabbi saying “Do you take this woman….?” The couple having sex was the only ceremony.

      Note what http://www.bible.ca/marriage/ancient-jewish-three-stage-weddings-and-marriage-customs-ceremony-in-the-bible.htm said.

      Ancient Jewish weddings never involved a wedding ceremony like we see today with the bride walking down the aisle to be married in the synagogue.

      The “wedding ceremony” is something that did not develop for hundreds of years after Jesus rose from the dead.
      Modern Jewish weddings are as removed and different from the ancient Jewish marriage culture of the first century as Christian weddings are.
      If you want to understand the many metaphors, illustrations and figures of speech used by Jesus about “the wedding feast” and the church as the “bride of Christ”, you must learn the ancient culture and forget everything you know about modern marriage ceremonies.
      There were three states of a marriage in the Bible:

      Stage 1: signing the “ketubbah” contract (Creating the marriage bond)
      i. The bride would chose her husband and her father would sign a legal contract with him called a “ketubbah”.
      ii. Once this is signed the couple is 100% married but do not have sex yet.
      iii. Young children were often married, (arraigned marriage) but did not consummate until of age.

      Stage 2: The “chuppah”: sexual consummation.
      i. Up to 7 years later, the groom is able to raise the money as set out in the ketubbah contract and notifies the father of the bride, who then sets a date to consummate the marriage at the bride’s home.

      ii. The bride waits with her maidens, for the arrival of the groom and his companions.

      iii. The couple enters the chuppah room and consummates the marriage while the companions of the bride and groom wait and celebrate outside or in the next room.

      iv. The groom hands the bloodied “proof of virginity cloth” to the witnesses chosen by the bride’s parents, who then give it to the bride for safekeeping.

      Stage 3: The wedding feast

      i. After consummation, the entire wedding party walks to the house of the groom in a procession for a wedding feast.
      ii. At the conclusion of the wedding feast, the couple has completed the ancient ritual of marriage.

      There was no “wedding ceremony” in the synagogue in the first century, performed under a canopy where the bride and groom would hold hands and say, “I do” before an audience of friends and family. This didn’t develop for hundreds of years after Jesus died on the cross as the Passover lamb for the sins of mankind

      ========================================================================
      You said:

      “Upon arriving, he would enter the home and sweep up his bride into his arms and away they would go to his father’s house to consummate the marriage.”

      The web site I quoted said the sexual consummation happened at the brides house. This makes more sense to me. Brides were supposed to be virgins. Their hymens were intact and the first time they had sex they bled onto the sheets. This is what the above web site called “the bloodied ‘proof of virginity cloth’.” This item was precious to the parents of the bride because it proved that their daughter was a virgin on her wedding night. If the husband ever claimed “My wife was not a virgin on our wedding night” the parents could provide the ‘proof of virginity cloth.’ They would not want to lose this precious item so they would want the sexual consummation to happen on their property. The could not trust the groom to give it to them, but if the consummation happened at their house they could be assured of getting it.

      However another web site agreed with you that the consummation happened at the groom’s father’s house. Maybe both happened. I do not know.

      ========================================================================
      ========================================================================
      Note how the above quoted web site implies the consummation, which is the real marriage, happens on the same day that the groom goes to get his bride.

      You seemed to agree when you said, “Upon arriving, he would enter the home and sweep up his bride into his arms and away they would go to his father’s house to consummate the marriage.”

      If the wedding happens with the sexual consummation and the consummation happens the same day that the groom goes to get his bride, then post-tribulationism must be correct. Why?

      Rev 19:7 is 4 verses before the description of the Second Advent. It says the “marriage of the Lamb is come.” Jesus’ marriage to the church happens at the Second Advent. If this is a Jewish wedding the Second Advent is the day he comes to get his bride. That is the rapture. So the rapture is at the Second Advent.

      ========================================================================

      You said, “A contrast between His glorious appearing in the rapture and His second coming in glory and power reveals several distinct differences indicating these are two events rather than one.” For example,

      You said,

      “Dwight Pentecost noted that in the rapture Jesus comes and meets the saints in the air (1Thess.4:16-17). Yet, at His second coming His feet will return to the earth”

      Why can’t Jesus first come into the air and then come to earth. They can both easily happen on the same day.

      You said

      “In the rapture, Jesus comes for His bride (John 14:1-3; Eph. 5:25). At His second coming, He returns with the Church, His bride”

      He can come first to get his bride and then come to earth with his bride. They can both easily happen on the same day.

      You said,

      “The translation of the believers in the rapture is referred to as “the Lord is at hand” (Phil. 4:5). Paul was writing to the Church of Philippi. They were told to wait for the rapture (Phil 3:20, 21). But the second coming Christ has to do with the kingdom of God”

      Why can’t Jesus Rapture the church and set up the kingdom on the same day? I can do two things at once. I can walk and chew gum. Can’t Jesus do two things at once too.

      You said,

      “The expectation of the Church at the rapture is to be taken to be in the Lord’s presence (1Thess. 4:13-18), but at the second coming of Christ, the expectation of Israel will be to enter into the Kingdom ”

      Why cant we, the church, be taken to the Lord’s presence on the same day that the kingdom is established? Jesus can do two things at once.

      You said,

      “His glorious appearing brings a message of hope and comfort to believers (1Thess. 4:18), yet His second coming brings wrath and judgment (Rev. 19:15-16)”

      At the Second Advent why can’t the church be comforted while unbelievers experience wrath on the same day? Two different groups get treated differently.

      Speaking of believers being comforted. note 2 Thess 1:6-8

      “6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you;7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

      We, the church, will get our rest when Jesus is “revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on then that know not God.” The last part of this is surely the Second Advent. The gospels mention angels throwing people into the fire at the last harvest. When do we get our rest? Surely that is at the Rapture. So the Rapture is at the Second Advent.

      ========================================================================
      You mention Rev 3:10 and you said,

      “The word “keep” is the word ?? which is a preposition that means “out of, from.” In other words, God is saying He will keep His Church “out of – from” the tribulation.”

      You are missing a finer point of Greek. There are two Greek words that mean “from” – apo and ek. Dana and Mantey “A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament” p. 101 says, “Apo may include the idea expressed in ek, but its usual significance is ‘from the edge of,’ while ek has the idea ‘from within.’ Got that? apo usually means from the edge of while ek means from within.

      I long ago looked at a Greek grammar in a bookstore. They discussed apo and ek and said apo meant separation from while ek meant from the middle of. They illustrated this with a picture. A man was standing on the sidewalk looking at a house. Flames were shooting out the roof. A man was running out the front door. The man on the sidewalk was apo the burning house – we was separated from the house. The man running out of the house was ek the house – he was coming from inside the house.

      I recently used my Greek concordance and looked up the first 19 occurrences of ek. It was either Mt or Mk. Every one without exception meant from within. From the middle of.

      Rev 3:10 says, “I also will keep thee from [ek] the hour of temptation” This means from the middle of the hour. I.e. we will be in the hour of testing. We will not be raptured before the hour. If pre-tribulationism were true, then John should have said apo and not ek. Rev 3:10 implies we will be in the tribulation at least for a little while.

      ========================================================================

      I have a LOT more to say but I will call it a day.

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  36. Luciferians await the pretrib rapture. They plan political moves and mass deception around it. Antichrist forces are not stupid.

    http://www.henrymakow.com/the_cabalist_plan_to_harvest_y.html
    http://www.itsagodthingproductions777.com/rapture.shtml

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    • Reader,

      No, the Luciferian will come up with their own fake pre-trib rapture. Satan knows his destiny, he is just full of pride that he still wants to twarth God’s plans in the end times.

      Satan’s objective is to deceive as much and as many christians as he can in the end times. Even now at present and times passed,it has been his battle plan, to deceive, steal, kill, and destroy mankind and God’s people.

      Remember that the Bible said that their will be a great delusion that Satan will make that God will allow. The fake pretrib rapture could be it.

      Pretrib rapture is the most popular view nowadays. With the help of books and movies (Technology, False Teachers, and Hollywood is his deception tools) it gained so much awareness among all christians and some non-believers who saw the movies. The sad thing about christians who hold to a pretrib rapture view, most of them don’t have much deeper knowledge about prophecy, its not an interesting subject for them, they don’t want to study prophecy because anyway they believe that the rapture is imminent, and no one knows the day or the hour.

      In the case of Post Tribbers, most of them study prophecy. They could have not been convinced of their view if they had not studied carefully and deeply the prophecy of the end times. There are many signs and events that they need to see that must happen first before the rapture, like the rebuilt temple, the emergence of the antichrist, the mark, the unfolding of the bowl judgements, the fall of babylon, etc. They don’t know the day or the hour, but they know maybe the week or the month before it.

      Anyway if the pretrib rapture happens, both pretrib and postrib believers will be raptured. What if the pretrib rapture did not pan out? will both be raptured still after the great tribulation? Given that prior to it the deceptive works will be unleashed and the mark of the beast will be introduced that time on?

      God Bless,

      Eaglet

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  37. I thought I would bring closer by posting an article that proves the early church believed in the departure and how it was changed by one bible translator enjoy Gods goodness
    The Rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3
    Dr. Thomas Ice
    Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction. (2 Thessalonians 2:3)
    I believe that there is a strong possibility that 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is speaking of the rapture. What do I mean? Some pretribulationists, like myself, think that the Greek noun apostasia, usually translated “apostasy,” is a reference to the rapture and should be translated “departure.” Thus, this passage would be saying that the day of the Lord will not come until the rapture comes before it. If apostasia is a reference to a physical departure, then 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is strong evidence for pretribulationism.
    The Meaning of Apostasia
    * The Greek noun apostasia is only used twice in the New Testament. In addition to 2 Thessalonians 2:3, it occurs in Acts 21:21 where, speaking of Paul, it is said, “that you are teaching all the Jews who are among the Gentiles to forsake (apostasia) Moses.” The word is a Greek compound of apo ” from” and istemi “stand.” Thus, it has the core meaning of “away from” or “departure.” The Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon defines apostasia first as “defection, revolt;” then secondly as “departure, disappearance.”[1] Gordon Lewis explains how the verb from which the noun apostasia is derived supports the basic meaning of departure in the following:
    *The verb may mean to remove spatially. There is little reason then to deny that the noun can mean such a spatial removal or departure. Since the noun is used only one other time in the New Testament of apostasy from Moses (Acts 21:21), we can hardly conclude that its Biblical meaning is necessarily determined. * The verb is used fifteen times in the New Testament. Of these fifteen, only three have anything to do with a departure from the faith (Luke 8:13; 1 Timothy 4:1; Hebrews 3:12). The word is used for departing from iniquity (2 Timothy 2:19), from ungodly men (1 Timothy 6:5), from the temple (Luke 2:27), from the body (2 Corinthians 12:8), and from persons (Acts 12:10; Luke 4:13).[2]
    “It is with full assurance of proper exegetical study and with complete confidence in the original languages,” concludes Daniel Davey, “that the word meaning of apostasia is defined as departure.”[3] Paul Lee Tan adds the following:
    What precisely does Paul mean when he says that “the falling away” (2:3) must come before the tribulation? The definite article “the” denotes that this will be a definite event, an event distinct from the appearance of the Man of Sin. The Greek word for “falling away,” taken by itself, does not mean religious apostasy or defection. Neither does the word mean “to fall,” as the Greeks have another word for that. [pipto, I fall; TDI] The best translation of the word is “to depart.” The apostle Paul refers here to a definite event which he calls “the departure,” and which will occur just before the start of the tribulation. This is the rapture of the church.[4]
    So the word has the core meaning of departure and it depends upon the context to determine whether it is used to mean physical departure or an abstract departure such as departure from the faith.
    Translation History
    * The first seven English translations of apostasia all rendered the noun as either “departure” or “departing.” They are as follows: Wycliffe Bible (1384); Tyndale Bible (1526); Coverdale Bible (1535); Cranmer Bible (1539); Breeches Bible (1576); Beza Bible (1583); Geneva Bible (1608).[5] This supports the notion that the word truly means “departure.” In fact, Jerome’s Latin translation known as the Vulgate from around the time of a.d. 400 renders apostasia with the “word discessio, meaning ‘departure.'”[6] Why was the King James Version the first to depart from the established translation of “departure”?
    Theodore Beza, the Swiss reformer was the first to transliterate apostasia and create a new word, rather than translate it as others had done. The translators of the King James Version were the first to introduce the new rendering of apostasia as “falling away.” Most English translators have followed the KJV and Beza in departing from translating apostasia as “departure.” No good reason was ever given.
    The Use of the Article
    It is important to note that Paul uses a definite article with the noun apostasia. What does this mean? Davey notes the following:
    Since the Greek language does not need an article to make the noun definite, it becomes clear that with the usage of the article reference is being made to something in particular. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the word apostasia is prefaced by the definite article which means that Paul is pointing to a particular type of departure clearly known to the Thessalonian church.[7]
    Dr. Lewis provides a likely answer when he notes that the definite article serves to make a word distinct and draw attention to it. In this instance he believes that its purpose is “to denote a previous reference.” “The departure Paul previously referred to was ‘our being gathered to him’ (v. 1) and our being ‘caught up’ with the Lord and the raptured dead in the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:17),” notes Dr. Lewis.[8] The “departure” was something that Paul and his readers clearly had a mutual understanding about. Paul says in verse 5, “Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I was telling you these things?”
    The use of the definite article would also support the notion that Paul spoke of a clear, discernable event. A physical departure, like the rapture would fit just such a notion. However, the New Testament teaches that apostasy had already arrived in the first century (cf. Acts 20:27-32; 1 Timothy 4:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Jude 3-4, 17-21) and thus, such a process would not denote a clear event as demanded by the language of this passage. Understanding departure as the rapture would satisfy the nuance of this text. E. Schuyler English explains as follows:
    Again, how would the Thessalonians, or Christians in any century since, be qualified to recognize the apostasy when it should come, assuming, simply for the sake of this inquiry, that the Church might be on earth when it does come? There has been apostasy from God, rebellion against Him, since time began.[9]
    Whatever Paul is referring to in his reference to “the departure,” was something that both the Thessalonian believers and he had discussed in-depth previously. When we examine Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians, he never mentions the doctrine of apostasy, however, virtually every chapter in that epistle speaks of the rapture (cf. 1:9-10; 2:19; probably 3:13; 4:13-17; 5:1-11). In these passages, Paul has used a variety of Greek terms to describe the rapture. It should not be surprising that he uses another term to reference the rapture in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Dr. House tells us:
    Remember, the Thessalonians had been led astray by the false teaching (2:2-3) that the Day of the Lord had already come. This was confusing because Paul offered great hope, in the first letter, of a departure to be with Christ and a rescue from God’s wrath. Now a letter purporting to be from Paul seems to say that they would first have to go through the Day of the Lord. Paul then clarified his prior teaching by emphasizing that they had no need to worry. They could again be comforted because the departure he had discussed in his first letter, and in his teaching while with them, was still the truth. The departure of Christians to be with Christ, and the subsequent revelation of the lawless one, Paul argues, is proof that the Day of the Lord had not begun as they had thought. This understanding of apostasia makes much more sense than the view that they are to be comforted (v. 2) because a defection from the faith must precede the Day of the Lord. The entire second chapter (as well as 1 Thessalonians 4:18; 5:11) serves to comfort (see vv. 2, 3, 17), supplied by a reassurance of Christ’s coming as taught in his first letter.[10]
    Departure and the Restrainer
    Since pretribulationists believe that the restrainer mentioned in verses 6 and 7 is the Holy Spirit and teaches a pre-trib rapture, then it should not be surprising to see that there is a similar progression of thought in the progression of verse 3. Allan MacRae, president of Faith Theological Seminary in a letter to Schuyler English has said the following concerning this matter:
    I wonder if you have noticed the striking parallel between this verse and verses 7-8, a little further down. According to your suggestion verse 3 mentions the departure of the church as coming first, and then tells of the revealing of the man of sin. In verses 7 and 8 we find the identical sequence. Verse 7 tells of the removal of the Church; verse 8 says: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed.” Thus close examination of the passage shows an inner unity and coherence, if we take the word apostasia in its general sense of “departure,” while a superficial examination would easily lead to an erroneous interpretation as “falling away” because of the proximity of the mention of the man of sin.[11]
    Kenneth Wuest, a Greek scholar from Moody Bible Institute added the following contextual support to taking apostasia as a physical departure:
    But then hee apostasia of which Paul is speaking, precedes the revelation of Antichrist in his true identity, and is to katechon that which holds back his revelation (2:6). The hee apostasia, therefore, cannot be either a general apostasy in Christendom which does precede the coming of Antichrist, nor can it be the particular apostasy which is the result of his activities in making himself the alone object of worship. Furthermore, that which holds back his revelation (vs. 3) is vitally connected with hoo katechoon (vs. 7), He who holds back the same event. The latter is, in my opinion, the Holy Spirit and His activities in the Church. All of which means that I am driven to the inescapable conclusion that the hee apostasia (vs. 3) refers to the Rapture of the Church which precedes the Day of the Lord, and holds back the revelation of the Man of Sin who ushers in the world-aspect of that period.[12] Conclusion
    The fact that apostasia most likely has the meaning of physical departure is a clear support for pretribulationism. If this is true, (Dr. Tim LaHaye and I believe that it is), then it means that a clear prophetic sequence is laid out by Paul early in his Apostolic ministry. Paul teaches in 2 Thessalonians 2 that the rapture will occur first, before the Day of the Lord commences. It is not until after the beginning of the Day of the Lord that the Antichrist is released, resulting in the events described by him in chapter 2 of 2 Thessalonians. This is the only interpretation that provides hope for a discomforted people. Maranatha!
    Endnotes
    [1] Henry George Liddell and Henry Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, Revised with a Supplement [1968] by Sir Henry Stuart Jones and Roderick McKenzie (Oxford, Eng.: Oxford University Press, 1940), p. 218.
    [2] Gordon R. Lewis, “Biblical Evidence for Pretribulationism,” Bibliotheca Sacra (vol. 125, no. 499; July 1968), p. 218.
    [3] Daniel K. Davey, “The ‘Apostesia’ of II Thessalonians 2:3,” Th.M. thesis, Detroit BaptistTheological Seminary, May 1982, p. 27.
    [4] Paul Lee Tan, The Interpretation of Prophecy (Winona Lake, IN: Assurance Publishers, 1974), p. 341.
    [5] H. Wayne House, “Apostasia in 2 Thessalonians 2:3: Apostasy or Rapture?” in Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy, eds., When the Trumpet Sounds: Today’s Foremost Authorities Speak Out on End-Time Controversies (Eugene, OR: Harvest House, 1995), p. 270.
    [6] House, “Apostesia”, p. 270.
    [7] Davey, “Apostesia”, p. 47.
    [8] Gordon R. Lewis & Bruce A. Demarest, Integrative Theology 3 vols in 1 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996), vol. 3, p. 420.
    [9] E. Schuyler English, Re-Thinking the Rapture (Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1954), p. 70.
    [10] House, “Apostesia”, pp. 275-76.
    [11] Allan A. MacRae, Letter to E. Schuyler English, published in “Let the Prophets Speak,” Our Hope, (vol. LVI, num. 12; June 1950), p. 725.
    [12] Kenneth S. Wuest, Letter to E. Schuyler English, published in “Let the Prophets Speak,” Our Hope, (vol. LVI, num. 12; June 1950), p. 731.

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    • Bruce,
      the “apostasia” mentioned in 2 Thess. 2:3 is clearly a falling away, a defection, or revolt from the faith.
      Jesus mentions this in Matt 24:10-11 Jesus lets the disciples know of the falling away and many being lead astray. In addition, 1Tim 4:1 says “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons”

      Before the coming and the gathering 2 things MUST TAKE PLACE FIRST:
      1 the defection from the faith
      2 the man of lawless must be revealed.

      The antichrist must be revealed.
      To put it as clear as possible. You must have a defection from the faith and the revealing of the antichrist before the coming and the gathering to the Lord.

      Concerning what you call “the RESTRAINER” that word is “katechon” it is a VERB. It is an ACTION not a person, place, or thing. It is describing the holding back of the antichrist until the antichrist’s proper time. What is the antichrist’s proper time? 2 Thes. 2:4 ” (the antinchrist) opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God”.

      The antichrist is restrained at the present time until he is allowed to exalt himself and sit himself in the temple proclaiming himself to be God.

      Daniel 9:27 “The ruler will make a treaty with the people for a period of one set of seven, but after half this time, he will put an end to the sacrifices and offerings. And as a climax to all his terrible deeds, he will set up a sacrilegious object that causes desecration, until the fate decreed for this defiler is finally poured out on him. = Matt 24:15

      In the middles of the 7 years the antichrist stops the daily sacrifice the antichrist himself want to be worshipped and this begins the 3 1/2 year great tribulation.

      There must be a falling away first 2 Thess. 2:3 = Matthew 24:10-11
      antichrist revealed 2 Thess 2:3= Matt 24:15

      After these things take place than you have the coming of the Lord and the gathering which = Matt 24:30, 1 Thes 4:13-18, John 6:39,40,44,54

      For those who have ears to hear and eyes to see. Let GOD be true and every man be a liar.

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      • Hi Jody,

        I would like to raise a question from the passage in 2 Thessalonians 2 :

        Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; – 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.

        What is “the day of Christ” listed in verse 2? I welcome your thoughts on this. God bless. -B&E

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    • James Fox says:

      Dear Bruce,

      You stated in your article about apostasia,

      “The Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon defines apostasia first as “defection, revolt;” then secondly as “departure, disappearance.””

      Can you please quote the entire dictionary entry for apostosia. Dictionaries sometimes discuss aphistaymi in the same article as apostasia.They have the same root. Aphistaymi does indeed mean departure. I wonder if you were so excited when you saw the word departure that you failed to notice that they were discussing aphistaymi and not apostosia.

      I do not have access to Liddell and Scott.

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  38. Bro. Nick Nicholas says:

    Thank you so very much for the article – truly “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Prov 27:17 [KJB])
    .
    The one comment about how ‘Ephriam the Syrian’ understood Amos 5:18 “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.” is a great help in the meaning of the verse and why it was inspired to be placed there
    – but it also confirms my Biblical understanding – along with the other references in “the word of God” – for the ‘pre-‘Great Tribulation’ Rapture of all those few that are truly “born again” followers of “our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ”.

    I had wondered about why “the LORD God” had placed Amos 5:18 specifically there – for I am a believer that literally:
    5) Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
    6) Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar.
    (Prov 30: [KJB])
    .
    17) Bow down thine ear, and hear the words of the wise, and apply thine heart unto my knowledge.
    18) For it is a pleasant thing if thou keep them within thee; they shall withal be fitted in thy lips.
    19) That thy trust may be in the LORD, I have made known to thee this day, even to thee.
    20) Have not I written to thee excellent things in counsels and knowledge,
    21) That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth; that thou mightest answer the words of truth to them that send unto thee?
    (Prov 22: [KJB])
    .
    ” And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”
    (1 Cor 8:2 [KJB])
    .
    “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”
    .
    While there has been much “persecution” and “tribulation” recorded in “the word of the LORD” – and in mans records of ‘history’
    – there has NEVER BEEN “great tribulation”, “the day of the LORD”, “the time of Jacob’s trouble”
    – and my Biblical understanding is that – only because of the Continuous Wondrous Love Mercy and Grace of “the only wise God” – none of the ‘Church Saints’ will have to see that time when there will be ‘hell on earth’ such as NEVER BEEN!

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  39. Irenaeus Book V Chapter X111 Verse 1 “that His words concerning its [future] resurrection may also be believed; so also at the END, when the Lord utters His voice “by the last trumpet,” the dead shall be raised, as He Himself declares: “The hour shall come, in which all the dead which are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the Son of man, and shall come forth; those that have done good to the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the resurrection of judgment.”

    1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 according to Irenaeus happens at the End. In addition Iranaeus makes it clear when this happens while those who do good go to the resurrection of life, those that have done evil go to the resurrection of judgment.

    So this proves:
    1. It is not pre tribulation but at the end
    2. So this day when He comes is not just for the Church alone, when He comes on that day the good go to resurrection of life while the bad go to resurrection of evil.

    1Corinthians 15:23-24 “But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 24Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

    Let GOD be true and every man (and there theories) be a liar!!!

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  40. John 6:39,40,44,54 ALL and EVERYONE who believes in Jesus that is of the Father will be raised on the LAST DAY

    Hebrew 9:28 “so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him”

    Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other”

    2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 1Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction”

    Matthew 13 Parable of Weeds and Net the gathering is at the END of the age.

    John 11:24 “Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the LAST day.”

    Revelation 20:4-5 the FIRST resurrection is when Jesus back with the saints that are asleep absent from the body and present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:9) to receive the glorified bodies and the living and remaining will be caught up to meet them in the air.

    Daniel 12:1-2 “At that time shall arise Michael, the great prince who has charge of your people. And there shall be a time of trouble, such as never has been since there was a nation till that time. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone whose name shall be found written in the book. 2And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt”
    This happens at a time of trouble such as never been ever.

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  41. The most important fact that most people miss is the church is grafted into Israel not the other way around. We all make up the body both Jew and Gentile believer are one.

    Once you understand that the Gentiles and the Jews together make up the body and Jesus is coming back for one completed perfect body/bride you will understand that the tribulation is not only for the Jews.

    Ephesians 2:14-16 “For Christ himself has brought peace to us. He united Jews and Gentiles into one people when, in his own body on the cross, he broke down the wall of hostility that separated us. 15He did this by ending the system of law with its commandments and regulations. He made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in himself one new people from the two groups. 16Together as one body, Christ reconciled both groups to God by means of his death on the cross, and our hostility toward each other was put to death.

    Ephesians 3:6 “6And this is God’s plan: Both Gentiles and Jews who believe the Good News share equally in the riches inherited by God’s children. Both are part of the same body, and both enjoy the promise of blessings because they belong to Christ Jesus”

    Galatians 3:6-9 “In the same way, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”The real children of Abraham, then, are those who put their faith in God. What’s more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, “All nations will be blessed through you.”9So all who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith.

    Romans Chapter 4 and Chapter 9 Sum it up perfectly, All who believe in faith on the one to come (Jesus Christ) whether it was an the past or the present, whether Jew or Gentile, Old or New Testament is from the seed of Abraham (the seed that believes in faith) and it is accredited to them righteousness because they believed in faith.

    Bottom line all who believe in faith on the promise given to Abraham that through his line would come Messiah believe in faith and it is accredited to them as righteousness. We today believe that Jesus is the Christ and it is accredited to us as righteousness. And together Jesus will come back for His one completed perfected body both Jew and Gentile old and new testament believers.

    For those that have ears to hear let them hear and eyes to see let them see.
    Let GOD be true and every man a liar.
    Amen and Amen!

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    • Hi Jody,

      We are indeed grafted into CHRIST as wild branches. And Israel is the natural branch. However the church receives salvation first. This is the mystery that Paul is revealing in Romans 11:

      For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. – Romans 11:25.

      Israel, corporately today walks in spiritual blindness. They do not believe in Christ as the Savior. However the Church does. And thus we have obviously received the blessing of the New Covenant first. The believing remnant of Israel receives it second – during the Great Tribulation. The Day of The Lord/Daniels 70th week is about Israel, not the church. And that will not start until the “fullness” of the Gentile church comes in – i.e., the number of the church is complete and we are raptured.

      How else do you interpret Romans 11:25 in the context of that chapter? Thanks again and God bless you abundantly. -B&E

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      • Is the new born again believer in the great tribulation not part of the fullness of the church? Will they belong to the second rapture? or third if there will still be another? Or are they just the wild olive branch that will be grafted to the natural olive branch (Israel)? if this is so, then the remnant of Israel will also be part of the second rapture and they won’t be living in the millennium? Or the wild olive branch will be living in the millennium together with Israel. But the wild olive branch are the great tribulation saints and they will resurrect also after the armageddon war??????

        YBIC
        Eaglet

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        • There is no “Second rapture.” I have not made this assertion so I don’t see that statement as more than a straw man argument. The church reaches its fullness at the 6th Seal. That is the end of the Church Age. God then turns His face towards Israel and its redemption. We are gone for that time.

          Romans 11 is clear – The Jews are in spiritual blindness until the Church reaches fullness. So how do you interpret that passage if my timing is incorrect? I welcome your thoughts. -B&E

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  42. The Didache or early Christ Father teachings said the antichrist will come before the Lord comes to for the resurrection and gathering of the saints
    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/didache-roberts.html

    Chapter 16. Watchfulness; the Coming of the Lord. Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come. But come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time. For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead — yet not of all, but as it is said: “The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.” Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

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    • Hi Jody,

      Thanks for your comments. I don’t see in the passage where it says that Antichrist comes before the Rapture. As I have stated earlier, there will be born again believers on Earth during the Great Tribulation. This is of course the result of the Gospel being preached by the 144,000, angels, the Two witnesses and other supernatural signs from Heaven. They will suffer persecution at the hands of the Antichrist. However, this all takes place after the church is Raptured. God bless. -B&E

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      • What kind of Spirit will the born again believers in the Great Tribulation be indwelt with?

        YBIC

        Eaglet

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      • We must remember that the bible supersedes all other writings.

        So lets go over this together. This is what is part of chapter 16.

        For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead — yet not of all, but as it is said: “The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.” Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

        Lets go over this in order:
        First: then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning.

        Next: Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself.

        Lastly: And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead — yet not of all, but as it is said: “The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.” Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

        So we clearly have the antichrist coming first, next the persecution, lastly the sound of trumpet the resurrection of the dead and the gathering of all the saints with JESUS in the clouds.

        Read 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
        2 Thessalonians 2
        Matthew 24

        The antichrist comes before His COMING and the Resurrection of the saints both asleep in the ground and those who are alive and remain.
        Hope this gives you understanding.
        Blessings!

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        • Phyglenaut says:

          Jody,

          Do you understand the pre-Tribulation Rapture viewpoint?

          Pre-Tribulation Rapture believers have the same Bible you do. We read the same passages you read. We believe it supersedes all other writings ourselves. However, we have a more systematized view of those Scriptures than you seem willing to see and acknowledge.

          For every passage you bring up and quote, there is a pre-Tribulation Rapture exegesis of that Scripture, that fits with, not only that passage in its context, but also comprehensively fits with all other cross-referenced, relevant Scriptures and when concatenated with those Scriptures doesn’t contradict them. This systematized viewpoint also takes into account more than just Christians, as it considers Jewish believers, tribulation saints, the 144,000, those who survive the Tribulation period in the natural, the Millennial Kingdom, and those who are eternally lost.

          You use the word “clearly” a lot, but obviously there is a lot that is unclear which is why there are debates over this.

          Pre-Tribulation Rapture believers, believe that we come with the Lord back from heaven after the seven year Tribulation period / seven year marriage ceremony in heaven.

          If you believe that the Rapture is at the end, then when does the marriage ceremony take place?

          On Jesus’ way back with us? If He’s coming with His saints, it implies that He left the place He is coming from, with the people He’s coming with.

          We go to meet Him in the clouds. Yet you make this and the 2nd Coming of Christ to be the same thing. We meet Him in the air, while He’s on His way back to the earth?

          When, I ask you, do we as the Church spiritually unite in Holy, Eternal, Spiritual Matrimony to Him?

          With your interpretation of this passage, you must have the marriage supper of the Lamb, happening almost like a Las Vegas drive through marriage business, which is one of many flaws in the Post-Tribulation Rapture viewpoint.

          A marriage that has been planned for 1983 years and counting will most certainly be more extravagant, customary, and traditional than that, with all the accoutrements and regalia of ceremony, ritual, and tradition, and more so than we can even currently picture and imagine.

          You say the anti-Christ comes first, and next the persecution?

          Whom, do I ask you, sends forth the “persecution” as you call it? Jesus Christ opens the seals and sends forth the anti-Christ and God’s Judgment on an unbelieving world in the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments.

          Jesus is the One Who instigates it. Jesus does not persecute Christians, Satan does.

          So in your estimation Jesus sends forth God’s wrath upon us Christians, and by our works we who endure and persevere this persecution from Jesus upon us, are saved?

          Your interpretations of these things don’t just have eschatological problems, but soteriological ones as well.

          God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining Salvation through Christ Who died for us.

          And once more, Jesus does not persecute Christians, Satan does.

            (Quote)

          • James Fox says:

            You said,

            “If you believe that the Rapture is at the end, then when does the marriage ceremony take place?….When, I ask you, do we as the Church spiritually unite in Holy, Eternal, Spiritual Matrimony to Him?”

            Rev 19:7 clearly says this is at the Second Advent.

            You mentioned marriage ceremony. A Jewish wedding today is just like a Christian wedding. A rabbi stands in front of a couple and asks questions. Family and friends sit in pews behind. Not so 2,000 years ago. Then, on a certain day, the groom went to the brides house to pick her up and take her to his house where they had sex. Having sex was the only wedding ceremony. The day he picked her up was the day of the wedding.

            Rev 19:7 says the wedding will be at the Second Advent. This is the day Jesus will come to pick us up and join intimately with us which I think is the equivalent of having sex. The day Jesus comes to pick us up is surely the Rapture. Thus the Rapture is at the Second Advent.

            You said,

            “For every passage you bring up and quote, there is a pre-Tribulation Rapture exegesis of that Scripture”

            So what is the pre-Tribulational response to the fact that Jesus’s wedding is at the Second Advent and that is the day he will pick us up which is the Rapture.

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            • How foolish :
              There are 3 parts two a Jewish wedding 1) contract or Dowery 2) claiming of the bride or consummation 3) Ceremony

              Part 1) Jesus provides salvation! Part 2) claims his bride at rapture! Part 30 wedding ceremony at 2nd advent

                (Quote)

              • Jim Fox says:

                You left off the paying of the bride price. Jesus paid the bride price with his blood.

                No there was no ceremony:

                http://www.bible.ca/marriage/ancient-jewish-three-stage-weddings-and-marriage-customs-ceremony-in-the-bible.htm

                Ancient Jewish weddings never involved a wedding ceremony like we see today with the bride walking down the aisle to be married in the synagogue.
                The “wedding ceremony” is something that did not develop for hundreds of years after Jesus rose from the dead.
                ….
                There was no “wedding ceremony” in the synagogue in the first century, performed under a canopy where the bride and groom would hold hands and say, “I do” before an audience of friends and family. This didn’t develop for hundreds of years after Jesus died on the cross as the Passover lamb for the sins of mankind.

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  43. I recently ran across two articles on Google and would love your reaction to them. They are “Grant Jeffrey’s Apocalypse Debacle” and “Pretrib Rapture Pride.” Thank you, God bless.

      (Quote)

    • Hi Earl,

      I googled both titles you listed and could not find either. Do you have links to them?

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      • They are on several search engines including Yahoo. The one on Jeffrey is by Florida teacher Tim Warner (click on his name for much good material).

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      • I have often wondered how you remain patient in the face of so many who debate you! I have posted some solid post hear in the past and the dissenters do not give facts a moment of their time only opinion’s The 1st mention of the rapture comes from Paul in cor 15 it was a mystery kept hidden and reveled to him and the body of Christ for today ! If one takes it from their and studies Pauls letter in thess. it is most certainly a no brainier

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  44. Phyglenaut says:

    B and E,

    Thanks for the great article and for your defense of the positions that many have challenged. Also thank you to Q, Sifu, BradS, R.D.R, et al, for your additions and defenses of the article and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture viewpoint in general, and especially to Bruce for your additions. I had heard of the “apostasy / apostasia / departure” argument before, but I was afraid of using it because I hadn’t really searched it out. Bruce, you really thoroughly brought that possibility out with a great amount of research and excellent sources and excellent explanation.

    Since that “falling away” / “departure” word in 2 Thessalonians is in one of the biggest verses used by Post-Trib believers, I think the departure translation should be taken into consideration, in the very least to say that verse shouldn’t be used wholesale to denounce the Pre-Trib viewpoint, because it can be seen quite clearly that departure is a valid translation, and that if that is the correct translation, it actually supports the Pre-Trib viewpoint for 2 Thessalonians tremendously and turns the tables on that entire argument completely. To just insist that it means falling away from the faith doesn’t do much good in my opinion anyway, because all through the New Testament Paul and John are pleading with people not to fall away from the faith and make mention several times of people who’d already fallen away from the faith, so who decides when the BIG “falling away” happens? If it is a “falling away” from the faith, the Catholic Church could argue that happened when the Protestant Church “fell away” from the teaching of their “One true Church” or that it happened when the Orthodox Church broke off from them in the 11th century, or we could say it was when people started watching T.V. and eating McDonald’s more than going to Church, or someone could arbitrarily say it was when worldwide Church attendance hit less than 18%, or when Church leaders got caught in some great scandal, or we could say it was when the Church became institutionalized by the state in the 4th century, or we could Americanize it, as Americans are wont to do, and say it was when abortion was legalized, or when so and so was voted into office, etc.

    In short, “the falling away” is completely subjective, arbitrary, and non-descript. Who gets to decide? Me? You? Jody?

    The definite article “the”, being there, as in “the departure”, meaning rapture, actually makes much more sense, as that will be a very distinct, definite precursor event.

    “The falling away,” as in, from the faith, has slowly been happening for 1983 years. Pretty much impossible to lock that down to any specific point in time.

    To add my two cents to some other arguments and comments that have been posted:

    First and most importantly:

    As far as us not being destined for wrath, please understand we are not destined for God’s Wrath because God’s Wrath against sin, was already poured out on the person of Jesus Christ as He hung on The Cross for us. The unseen part of His suffering was the greatest part of His suffering and something that neither those who physically witnessed the crucifixion could see, nor Mel Gibson, nor any visual depiction could ever do justice–Christ became sin for us so that sin could be punished in Him, and He took the full force of God’s Wrath against the sin that He became for us. You might even say that Christ suffered all the horrors of the seven year Tribulation period by Himself, for us, in a moment of time.

    We are not destined for that wrath, thanks be to God and Jesus Christ, but many have rejected that good news and in fact have scorned it, and that same wrath will be poured out on those who have refused the Gospel.

    Who opens the seals that send forth the anti-Christ and God’s wrath? Jesus Christ, The Lamb does. It is He Who opens the seals and sends forth God’s wrath on an unbelieving world.

    This is completely different from persecution. It has absolutely nothing to do with persecution. It is God’s wrath poured out on an unbelieving world, and Jesus, The Lamb, instigates it. God and Jesus don’t persecute Christians, Satan does.

    Let me say that again . . . God and Jesus don’t persecute Christians, Satan does.

    Who instigated the coliseum persecution of Christians? Jesus? Who had Christians brutally murdered during the first century? Jesus? Who persecutes Christians through hate zealots like ISIS today? Jesus?

    NO, it is not Jesus.

    Who sends forth God’s wrath on those types of people in The Book of Revelation? Jesus does.

    They are two totally and completely different and opposite things.

    It has nothing to do with statements like “Him not wanting a beaten up bride” it has to do with Who is doing the beating. Christ unleashes God’s wrath by opening the seals. He lets loose the terror and destruction, not on Christians, but on an unbelieving world.

    Yes, Jesus tells us that the world will hate us because it first hated Him and to endure all measure of persecution, and that we will be persecuted. Revelation describes the opposite and final last word of God though, that the world that hated and persecuted Him and us, is now the one that will get its just desserts, namely His wrath and judgment. Yes, after a certain amount of time of the seven years has gone by, there will be those who realize they don’t want God’s wrath and want Jesus instead, so yes, they will be persecuted for their faith and they will be martyred by the anti-Christ.

    Those who seem to want to so desperately endure persecution don’t have to wait until the Great Tribulation. Again, this is a Westernized / Americanized misunderstanding. If you want to endure persecution, it is alive and well, right here and now. Pick up and move to Indonesia, Africa, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and start living for God and preaching His Word in those places, and you will suffer the same persecution that all Christians since the first century and the coliseum days have endured. Some of us, in modern western civilization, and various points and places in history, thanks be to God, have escaped such harsh conditions, but even we have endured persecution to a degree–I’ve been laughed at, made fun of, and mocked for my beliefs. I’ve had very hurtful things said to me and done to me because of my faith–thank God nothing physically speaking, and I certainly don’t claim persecution on the same level as those who’ve obviously endured much, much worse, but it does not mean that I haven’t suffered persecution, because I have.

    The Great Tribulation is NOT that though. It is God’s wrath and vengeance, instigated by Jesus Christ, and poured out on an unbelieving world, not on believers, and Jesus Christ has the power and the Sovereign choice of whom He will keep from that time and whom He will allow to go through that time as He clearly says and teaches in His letters to the Churches.

    This leads to my second point and one that I haven’t heard anyone debate on this subject here, or anywhere else, so I thought I’d throw it out there.

    Revelation 6

    12 I looked when He broke the sixth seal, and there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth made of hair, and the whole moon became like blood; 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth, as a fig tree casts its unripe figs when shaken by a great wind. 14 The sky was split apart like a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the great men and the commanders and the rich and the strong and every slave and free man hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains; 16 and they *said to the mountains and to the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

    Particularly look in verse 15 where it uses the word “every” as in every slave and free man. The kings of the earth are included (notice the all inclusive plural there), great men are included, commanders are included, the rich are included, then “every” slave and free man are included. That sounds all inclusive to me. It sounds like every single person who is alive and on the planet at that time is included. And what are they saying?

    “Hide us from the presence of Him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb.”

    Now to you Post-Trib believers, who if the Great Tribulation, seven year time period, seal judgment time, or however you want to define it, started tomorrow, how do you expect to react to seeing Jesus Christ in His Glory?

    With joy? With immeasurable gladness? With wonder? Or would you be in caves and rocks hiding from Him and not wanting to have anything to do with Him? Because according to your beliefs, you’ll be there during the events of Revelation 6 if this all started tomorrow, and according to Scripture everyone who is on planet Earth at that time will be hiding in caves and in rocks from His presence and not wanting to have anything to do with Him.

    Doesn’t make much sense to me.

    What does make sense is Jesus coming for His faithful Bride (The Church) before He unleashes His wrath on an unbelieving world. That especially makes sense in terms of the traditional Jewish marriage custom, mentioned by many, and it makes sense in the pattern of Scripture where we see Enoch taken out of the way (raptured) before the judgment of the flood, and Lot taken away before the judgment of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    As far as the Rapture being taught and understood by the early Church fathers, I suppose it is an important subject. In fact searching on that is what led me to this site, because I knew there was some early Church father literature on the subject, I just couldn’t remember their names.

    I would say this though in defense of Darby and of a late nineteenth / twentieth / twenty-first century Futurist, Pre-Tribulation Rapture explosion: Bible study tools have slowly manifested themselves over the course of Church history, and the Bible was largely kept away from the layman and even the Church leaders of all but the highest ranks for centuries. Areas, other than Eschatology were hotly debated by the top Church leaders and theologians, such as Soteriology, Christology, Ecclesiology, Pneumatology, etc. as Eschatology was the hardest to get a handle on back in those burgeoning days of the Church.

    It was like a massive jigsaw puzzle, with pieces strewn all over Daniel, Isaiah, Zechariah, Matthew, Corinthians, Thessalonians, Genesis, Revelation, et al, and there was no picture on the top of the box to see how the finished product was supposed to look, so with Israel seemingly gone and seemingly permanently out of the picture, the only way those early Church theologians could figure things was to make huge, giant allegories and turn Revelation into basically one, giant compendium of practically meaningless metaphors, allegorizing everything in it and not taking any of it literally.

    But then, some interesting things began to happen. Chapter divisions finalized in 1205, Verse divisions finalized in 1555, mass printing and Protestant reformation in the 1600’s, Strong’s concordance in the 1800’s, and Thompson’s Chain Reference in the early 1900’s.

    So I can definitely see how, when the puzzle pieces were finally properly indexed, ordered, numbered, and dare I say, rightly divided, and given to Church leaders and lay scholars alike that the jig-saw puzzle of Eschatology finally started to come into much sharper focus. So it does not surprise me one bit that Nelson and Larkin et al started to emerge with their Eschatological viewpoints and charts at a time when the tools to do so were finally easily accessible and the over-arching Church authority to prevent them from expressing free thought and postulating their work was finally curbed. When Israel was reformed as a nation in 1948, I practically can’t even fathom how amillennial Preterists and Historicists have annoyingly persisted in their so obviously wrong beliefs about Eschatological matters, which leaves us with more or less the three variations of Futurist belief, pre, mid, post Tribulation Rapture.

    I guess I can see that due to pride and arrogance, once presented with a very clearly finished and very nice and polished, glued jig-saw puzzle, (i.e. Larkin’s charts) that those who had this embarrassingly misshapen, horribly put together, and awfully and obviously wrong jigsaw puzzle that made no sense whatsoever (i.e. Preterism / Historicism) that out of pride and arrogance and jealously, they then started ripping into Darby / Larkin and trying to poke holes and find errors in their work in order to cling to their misshapen traditional views, and went back to and lauded the theologians who gave them those views and/or credited some contrived Jesuit conspiracy with the various beliefs presented.

    Point being, that even if Iraneus and the others didn’t explicitly and directly come out and teach Pre-Tribulation Rapture, which I don’t believe due to this article, and other instances on this subject I have bumped into along the way, but regardless, I believe Paul and John did teach it in the Scriptures they were inspired to write, and the theologians who were finally enabled with and empowered with the right tools, at the right time, were Inspired to finally concretely lock it down and map it out in a systematic Theology sort of way. When? Directly in advance of the time when it was going to start mattering the most–to the people that were actually going to experience it (i.e. us). And when has it finally reached a fever pitch of debate and argument and consideration? Right now, 1983 years after the Resurrection, exactly 17 years before the 2000 year anniversary of Christ’s Crucifixion / Resurrection.

    In regards to those who point to two comings of Christ, therefore there cannot be a two-part coming to His second coming, this is easily resolved, especially for those used to working with patterns and super-patterns.

    The Jews had the Scriptures that prophesied of Christ’s coming (The Old Testament) and it didn’t make sense to them because half of those Scriptures seemed like He was going to be a conquering warrior Messiah, and half seemed like He was going to be a suffering servant Messiah that even could be ‘defeated’ in a sense. So, as per usual–human nature, they ignored the one’s they didn’t like and focused on the ones they did like, but little did they know that both the suffering servant Messiah, and the conquering warrior Messiah passages were correct, simply spread across two separate comings.

    Interesting to note which one was so cloudy to most and the one that most got wrong, isn’t it?–His first coming.

    So pattern is clear–His coming would be spread across two parts

    Now, for the super-pattern–His second coming will be in two parts as well–Rapture of the Church and Judgment of the unbelieving world of unsaved sinners–as we look to the Scriptures that prophesy of His Second Coming, we see two very different aspects to His Second Coming–everything from “comfort one another with these words” to “if those days had not been cut short no one would survive”, just like the Jews saw two vastly different aspects to what they thought was His one and only Coming. Just apply the super pattern to the already known pattern and the issue is resolved–Second Coming is in two parts, just like His overall Coming was in two parts.

    Interesting to note which part of His Second Coming seems so cloudy to most and the one most won’t have right — the first part of the Second Coming–The Rapture

    It is downright absurd how Christians who are post-Trib just excoriate pretribbers due to so-called ‘escapism’ or unpreparedness, or fanciful thinking, or wishful thinking, or whatever, and all but turn it into a Salvation issue and some even seem to do that. They talk about pretribbers as troublemakers, who’ve bought into the false teachers (i.e. Darby) who would arise in the last days, as the Bible prophesied (that last part is meant to be read, dripping with MST3K sarcasm). This is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Pre-Tribulation Rapture is obviously the best possible way it could play out. That is undeniably obvious. It is the absolute best way it can go for all of us Christians.

    If it goes that way and us Pre-Tribbers are right, we’ll give you Post-Tribbers a wink on the way up, and that’ll be the end of it and we’ll never worry about it again.

    If it doesn’t go that way, the beginning of the seven year Tribulation period is clearly defined in numerous ways. We’ll all know if the Pre-Trib viewpoint isn’t right immediately.

    If that is the case, Pre-Tribbers and Post-Tribbers alike, after a few weeks/months have gone by will indiscriminately become Mid-Tribbers / Pre-Wrathers and we’ll all desperately be hoping that the Mid-Tribbers / Pre-Wrathers are correct, and if I have some extra water bottles and some MRE’s and some shelter, during that time, I’ll gladly be sharing them with any former Post-Tribbers (newly converted Mid-Tribbers) out there, and you won’t be telling me I told you so, you’ll be telling me, “man, I wish you pre-tribbers were right, you have no idea how I wish you guys were right.” Much like there are no atheists in foxholes, there will be no Post-Tribbers in the Tribulation period if the Pre-Tribulation Rapture isn’t correct–we will ALL be Mid-Tribbers at that point, and desperately so.

    If the 3.5 year mark rolls around and there is no Mid-Trib / Pre-Wrath Rapture, then those of us who are still alive, which won’t be very many, will know there is a 3.5 year / 42 month / 1260 day endurance race to the end, and practically none of us will make it–which is another fallacy of the post-Tribulation viewpoint, because how will any Christians survive not taking the mark of the beast? Who in the world will be left to be “raptured”? No one–all the faithful have already died by this point.

    Ergo, Pre-Tribulation Rapture Eschatology is the only viable Eschatology that has a first chance of being right. If it isn’t, then it makes absolutely zero difference if I believed it or not before the Tribulation period starts, because there is no way possible to physically or emotionally prepare for 66.6% of the earth’s population dying in less than seven years, in cosmically cataclysmic, earth shaking conditions with demonically empowered creatures and the anti-Christ roaming around persecuting us. All that could be done is to pray and die in martyrdom, neither of which requires a post-Tribulation Rapture belief as a prerequisite to the Tribulation period, to accomplish.

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    • James Fox says:

      Bruce wrote advocating that the Greek word apostasia means departure and actually means rapture. I ignored it because I thought it clearly wrong. Now you wrote saying the same thing. You have stimulated me to do some research to address this idea.

      ************************************************************

      1) Bruce quotes Kenneth Wuest who is a well known scholar. He agrees that apostasia means rapture. However there is something critical that you and Bruce and Wuest fail to do. You fail to cite a single ancient example where apostasia means departure in a neutral sense with no negative connotations. I will cite 4 dictionaries, one that is gigantic and 2 that are huge, and in each the only definitions they give are political rebellion and religious apostasy. If you are going to disagree with big dictionaries then you need examples to show that the word can mean what you say it means. If you can not cite an example then no one should believe you.

      Bruce stated in his article about apostasia,

      “The Liddell and Scott Greek Lexicon defines apostasia first as “defection, revolt;” then secondly as “departure, disappearance.”

      I just wrote a response to him:

      “Can you please quote the entire dictionary entry for apostosia. Dictionaries sometimes discuss the verb aphistaymi in the same article as the noun apostasia because they have the same root. Aphistaymi does indeed mean departure and it does not necessarily have negative connotations. I wonder if you were so excited when you saw the word departure that you failed to notice that they were discussing the verb aphistaymi and not the noun apostosia. I do not have access to Liddell and Scott.”

      If he fails to quote the entire dictionary entry then I will suspect it is because Liddell and Scott were indeed discussing aphistaymi and not apostasia.

      If he does quote it then we may learn something. Whenever a big dictionary gives a definition they always list examples. If Liddell and Scott said “departure, disappearance” then they should have given examples.

      ************************************************************

      2) Bruce said,

      “Gordon Lewis explains how the verb from which the noun apostasia is derived supports the basic meaning of departure in the following: *The verb may mean to remove spatially. There is little reason then to deny that the noun can mean such a spatial removal or departure.”

      He is half right and half wrong. He is right that the verb aphistaymi from the same root as apostosia does mean depart and can be used without negative connotations. He is wrong to assert that the noun apostasia from the same root can have the same meaning as the verb.

      Different words from the same root will have different ranges of meaning. Consider apostasion which has the same root as apostasia and aphistaymi. My 909 page Arndt and Gingrich Greek dictionary define it as, “A legal technical term .. in the sense of relinquishment of property after sale, abandonment, etc. The consequent giving up of one’s claim explains the meaning which the word acquires in Jewish circles … give (one’s wife) a certificate of divorce.” It does have the basic idea of departure but it has a tiny range of meaning compared to the verb aphistaymi. I believe that apostasia also has a tiny range of
      meaning – it means political revolt or religious apostasy and nothing else.

      ************************************************************

      3) I have access to 4 Greek dictionaries.

      a) Theological Dictionary of the New Testament by Kittel. 10 volumes and 8,420 pages plus a 661 page index. This is the Bible of Greek dictionaries. Can you imagine – 8,420 pages!

      They first discuss aphistayami and agree that it can mean to remove spatially. However the only meanings they give for apostasia are political rebellion and religious apostasy.

      b) Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament by Balz and Schneider. 3 volumes and 1,584 pages.

      The only definition they give is apostasy. The previous reference implied it meant apostasy much more than rebellion so perhaps that is why this dictionary did not even mention rebellion however they say of 2 Thess 2:3 “the Antichrist causes rebellion before the end.”

      c) A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature by Arndt and Gingrich. 909 pages. “Rebellion, abandonment, in religious sense apostasy. … Of the rebellion caused by the Antichrist in the last days 2 Th 2:3.” This is the only definition they give. The ellipsis, …, was
      examples they gave.

      d) The Greek dictionary in the back of my Greek Bible. 203 pages . “apostasy, rebellion” That is the complete definition.

      All 4 dictionaries say apostasia means rebellion or apostasy. No other meaning is given. If you are going to disagree with all these dictionaries and say it has an additional meaning then you must supply examples. If you cannot supply examples it is probably because there are no examples and your suggestion is wrong.

      ************************************************************

      4) Apostasia only occurs twice in the New Testament – 2 Th 2:3 and Acts 21:21. In Acts Paul is accused of teaching apostasy [apostasia] from Moses. In this one other time it definitely means apostasy. However one time is not statistically significant. The fact that it only happens once gives you room to argue that it might have other meanings. But there is more evidence. For Greek speaking Jewish Christians the Bible was the Septuagint. We need to look for instances of apostasia in the Septuagint. I will quote from my Septuagint because it disagrees somewhat with the Hebrew.

      a) God even God is the Lord, and God even God himself knows, and Israel he shall know;if we have transgressed before the Lord by apostasy [apostasia], let him not deliver us this day. Joshua 22:22

      b) and all the vessels which king Achaz polluted in his reign, in his apostasy [apostasia], we have prepared and purified: 2 Chron 29:19

      c) And all his sins and all his backslidings [apostasia] and the spots on which he build the high places and set the groves and graven images before he repented 2 Chron 33:19

      d) Thine apostasy [apostasia] shall correct thee, and thy wickedness shall reprove thee: know then and see thy forsaking me has been bitter to thee saith the Lord. Jeremiah 2:19

      e) In the meanwhile the king’s officers, such as compelled the people to revolt [apostasia] 1 Maccabees 2:15

      f) I consulted 2 concordances of the Septuagint. One said there was another instance of apostasia in 1 Kings 20:13. Another said there was another instance in 3 Kinds 20:13. The Septuagint has 1, 2, 3, and 4 Kings. The second concordance said “katemarturaysan andres tays a.” The “a” means apostasia which is what this section is about. This means “men witnessed against the apostasy.” My copy of the Septuagint says “katemarturaysan autou” which means “they witnessed against him.” There is more than one version of the Septuagint and mine disagrees with the concordances. Here is what the verse says in my version, “And two men, sons of transgressors, came in and sat opposite him and bore witness against him.” Apparently other versions of the Septuagint say “bore witness against the apostasy.”

      So there are 6 instances of apostasia in the Septuagint. 5 mean apostasy and one means revolt. These 6 together with Acts 21:21 give 7 instances which is statistically significant. They agree with the 4 dictionaries I cited in the previous section. Apostasia means revolt or apostasy and there are no other
      meanings. If you think there is another rare meaning then you must supply examples where it means what you say it means. If you cannot supply examples then you should not be believed. I do not believe there are examples, but perhaps Liddell and Scott will prove me wrong.

      ************************************************************

      5) Bruce makes much of the fact that the word “the” is in front of apostasia. He says this means this is something they already know about and he thinks it is “our gathering together unto him” in verse 1. Recall that in 2 Thes 2:5 Paul said, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things.” I think they did indeed already know what apostasia meant because Paul had told them about it when he was with them.

      I think a better explanation comes from the 8,420 page Theological Dictionary of the New Testament when they discuss apostasia and specifically 2 Thess 2:3.

      “Here a Jewish tradition is adopted which speaks of complete apostasy from God and His Torah shortly before the appearance of the Messiah.”

      Here is what Everyman’s Talmud pp. 349-350 has to say about this.

      “On the principle that the night is darkest before the dawn, they [the Rabbis] taught that the world would show signs of utter demoralization before his [the Messiah’s] arrival and the conditions of life prove well-nigh unbearable. … Meeting-places for study [of Torah] will be turned in to brothels, the learning of the scribes will decay and sin-fearing men will be condemned. …A tradition relates: ‘During the period of 7 years in which the son of David will come … In the third year famine will be severe, and men, women, and children, and pious and saintly men will perish and Torah will be forgotten by its students.”

      So indeed Jews believed there would be an apostasy in the years immediately before the Messiah arrived. This idea did not contradict the Gospel so Paul would have believed it and conveyed it to the Thessalonians. This is the reason for “the” before apostasia. Jews knew all about an apostasy before the Messiah arrives.

      ************************************************************

      6) The 4 dictionaries listed above also list other examples of apostasia that are not in the New Testament or the Septuagint. Josephus in Antiquities 13,219 mentions an apostasia against Rome. Another reference which I am not familiar with mentions an apostasia against Nero.

      Greek speaking Jewish Christians, including Paul, would have been extremely familiar with the Septuagint. They would know about the 5 times the Septuagint uses apostasia for apostasy and the one time it is used for revolt. It is impossible that Paul would have used such a horrible word for the blessed rapture. Even if Liddell and Scott can come up with one example where apostasia is used without negative connotations, the overwhelming usage is for apostasy and revolt. Paul would not have used such a bad word for the rapture.

      ************************************************************

      7) You assert that there has always been apostasy so if apostasia means apostasy how will anyone be able to recognize it. Read this verse in context. The next verse, verse 4, is about the Antichrist proclaiming himself to be God. That is extreme apostasy. I believe that is the apostasy in verse 3. The rapture and the Day of the Lord happen after the Antichrist proclaims himself to be God.

      ************************************************************

      I believe The idea that apostasia means rapture is a fantasy created by pre-tribulationists to avoid the fact that 2 Thess 2:1-4 teach that pre-tribulationism is wrong. They cannot stand the truth so they have desperately latched on to this as a way out even though no one can cite an example where apostasia means departure without negative connotations. However, perhaps Liddell and Scott can provide an example. We will see if Bruce answers my call to quote Liddell and Scott’s entire definition of apostasia.

      Psychologists say that people tend to believe what they want to believe. Pre-tribulationists are going to believe that apostasia means rapture because they want to believe it even if they cannot cite an example where apostasia does not have negative connotations. They have to believe it in order to save pre-tribulationism.

      How does 2 Thess 2:1-4 disprove pre-tribulationism? Verse 1 said Paul wanted to discuss the rapture. He then discussed the Day of the Lord which implies the rapture is part of the Day of the Lord. He then said the Day of the Lord will happen after the Antichrist is revealed. The revelation of the Antichrist is
      surely the next sentence where the Antichrist declares himself to be God. This happens at the midpoint of the Tribulation. So the rapture and the Day of the Lord happen after the midpoint of the Tribulation. Pre-tribulationism is false.

      ************************************************************

      I hope you will respond to my comments. It took several hours to write them.

        (Quote)

      • Phyglenaut says:

        Hey James,

        Thanks for your contributions and keeping us Pre-Tribbers honest. Good research and in depth analysis of the word in question as far as Greek dictionaries / lexicons go. I don’t have similar research tools as I don’t quite go that deep. The extent of my library / desire to investigate in that realm of Bible study is a Strong’s Concordance with a Hebrew / Greek dictionary in the back (NASB ’77 translation). To honor the time and effort you put into researching it, I went ahead and looked it up and found it mostly as you described. It led me to Strong’s #646 which said, defection, revolt and that it was derived from Strong’s #868 which was the aphistaymi word you mentioned, only it was spelled with an “I” instead of a “y” (not sure of the significance of that minor difference) and had as a definition for that word, “to lead away” or “depart from” or “departure”.

        So, while I definitely see your point, and appreciate your candidness, and your willingness to divulge your findings in a fairly objective way, and appreciate the thoroughness of your research, as I am one to be thorough myself, and I really liked the way you broke down the words into their potentially “tiny range of meanings” which are based on the same roots but with the augmentations of their additional characters have become their own specific words, I would say this in defense of the argument Bruce made and that I also latched on to myself, is that the word was translated by the original English translators in Tyndale, Geneva, et al as “departure”

        You might argue “bad translators” and if so, o.k. but that is the way they translated it. So, I don’t speak for Bruce, but I speak for myself in the sense that you wanted an example–The examples presented are all the original English translations of the Bible. That is what I submit as example.

        God’s Word, in my opinion, is a higher authority than a dictionary.

        If you feel 1611 = “good translators” and Tyndale, et al = “bad translator(s)” based upon your Greek dictionary research, then o.k. but we’re talking about the semantics of words in ancient/modern versions of ancient/modern languages and their subtle connotations. You used the word combination of “negative connotation” numerous times in your argument to the point where I feel you might be a little too hung up on “connotation” rather than simply the denotative use of a word. Since when did God have to worry about the connotations of words He was going to use in His Word? (i.e. “Not again! I really wanted to use that word but in the 16th century, the English translation of that word is going to develop a negative connotation, so I guess I have to pick a different word again”–God)

        So to go back to some other arguments, first I never looked at 2 Thessalonians 2:3 as the end all / be all of pre-tribulation Rapture belief, as I clearly indicated. I had heard the “apostasia” argument before but hadn’t searched it out and it sounded a little on the weak side to me when I first heard it so I never really bothered with it. Additionally, I never needed the 2 Thessalonians 2:3 passage to be twisted out of its intended shape to believe in the pre-Tribulation Rapture. When Bruce brought out that it was actually the way the original English translations of the Bible were translated and provided all his research, and cross-references, I found the “apostasia” argument to be more possible / probable / legitimate, and simply stated due to that, that 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (as translated in KJV and subsequent) shouldn’t be used wholesale to denounce pre-tribulation Rapture belief because there is a legitimate enough argument that it could be seen in a completely opposite way depending on translation and the first English translations of the Bible did in fact translate it that way.

        We could go back and forth for days and hours on that, but I’ll just add a few wrinkles to the equation here:

        According to your post, and my own Greek dictionary/concordance, defection is one proper translation based on Greek Dictionaries.

        A “defection” is “the desertion of one’s country or cause in favor of an opposing one.”

        Or as you might put it as you did in your post, “rebellion” and/or “political revolt”

        The oppressed people of Soviet Russia, were “Russian” because of where they were, and where they were compulsorily forced to be, not because of who they were internally. Some, not all, desperately wanted to “defect” to western nations during the height of the cold war, because at heart, those western nations represented who they were internally. However, It took a willing and inviting western nation (i.e. Jesus) to invite (i.e. come up here), bring safely across and into (i.e. meet the LORD in the air), and forever harbor (i.e. thus we shall be with the LORD forever) those former “Russians” for a successful defection to take place. Now the word “defector” and its connotation, negative or positive completely and totally depends on from whose perspective you’re using the word from. A Russian “defector” might have been really, really proud of that term, as it showed their courage, their ability to stay true to who they knew they were internally, despite a great unknown that they were going into, while the Soviet Russian government used the word as the greatest of insults in as negative way as possible.

        So, point being, even if “departure” is not as accurate as “defection” which I’m not completely sure of, but if it is true, I’m completely O.K. with “defection” as I wait with great anticipation my/our “defection” invitation from Jesus Christ to leave this place we are compulsorily forced to be in, because who we are internally and eternally, is not compatible with where we are temporarily. For this reason, I also disagree that your opinion of Paul’s usage of the word would be an impossibility if that were the intended meaning. It is actually quite fitting indeed if used with a rapture connotation.

        As far as anti-Christ / Satan “defecting” or “falling away” as it were, I do not see that argument at all. “Defecting” from what? From God? From righteousness? From holiness? If that has to happen “first” then I think that already happened a LONG, LONG, time ago, so reading it in context as you suggested doesn’t really work in my opinion, because it says unless “defection / falling away / departure / however you want to translate that” comes first, AND the man of lawlessness is revealed, etc. etc. It doesn’t say unless “defection / falling away / departure / etc.” comes first which will be accomplished by the man of lawlessness. They are two distinct events / conditions. So it comes back to my original argument–how does “falling away” as in “from the faith” get denotatively objectively quantified? What point in time do we look to, to say, “yep, that’s what Paul was talking about! THAT is the ‘falling away’ for sure, no question about it”?

        If you say, it is that very act of the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple at the 3.5 year mark, how is that “the falling away”? The Abomination of Desolation in the Temple is what Satan / anti-Christ are all about. It is simply the consummation of who they are, not the moment where they finally defect / fall away from God. Those who have gone after them have long since abandoned God by that point, and it won’t be at that moment when their hearts are finally changed to unrighteousness, and in fact, it is that moment when the Jews will actually wake up and realize they’ve been snookered–in effect, that event that you are referring to actually causes the Jews to repent from their apostasy in following after the anti-Christ and being deluded by him, when they will flee from Judea and his wrath and persecution and find safe harbor in modern day Jordan. You claim that if Paul meant to use apostasia as Rapture that it was one of the worst words he could have used, and Paul was an expert in Greek, therefore it is an impossibility that that is what he meant. Well, if you claim that apostosia means the abomination of desolation, then likewise I would argue that is one of the worst words he could have used to describe the abomination of desolation. If he meant abomination of desolation, why wouldn’t he have just said abomination of desolation? Because forcing apostasia to mean abomination of desolation infers that, that abomination of desolation is the moment when Satan / anti-Christ “falls away” from God and/or causes others to do so. Satan and those who follow him have long since fallen away from God at this point in time, and the abomination of desolation is not the falling away, but the consummation and full measure of who Satan is and has long since been internally.

        If you go with your argument based on Jewish Tradition, that Torah study halls would be turned into brothels, etc. etc. and that would be “THE falling away,” that is actually exactly what I’m talking about–it is non-descript and unquantifiable. Those things are just hearsay and opinion. We could easily say the falling away has long since happened. There have been study halls that have been turned into brothels. I live about 600 feet away from a totally nude bar (as the crow flies). We could go on and on and every generation could say “it’s never been this bad” and every generation has said, “it’s never been this bad” going back to before the flood, and Sodom and Gomorrah, as an entire city perhaps 10,000 strong surrounded Lot’s house to homosexually rape his guests. That sounds worse than anything I’ve ever heard of happening in modern times, yet every generation gets worse in some ways and there are pockets of revivals in each generation where the ebb and flow of degradation and revival, would make this nebulous “falling away” as in “from the faith” completely impossible to identify, thus a useless precursor event made by Paul. I don’t believe Paul/God’s Holy Spirit made/makes useless unidentifiable prophetic markers, so, the pre-tribulation Rapture viewpoint of “apostosia” makes much more sense in my mind. This also fits somewhat with what Paul follows up with, that the people left behind will have zero Spirit-filled Christians on the planet praying, witnessing, evangelizing, bearing the Presence of God’s Holy Spirit on earth, restraining, frustrating, and thwarting Satan and anti-Christ’s attempts to take total control, and once God’s Holy Spirit indwelling us is removed from that equation, at the Rapture, (2 Thessalonians 2:6) depraved humanity will have zero restraint left to keep them from marching head-long into their natural tendency toward apostasy from God. In that sense, although, perhaps a stretch, “apostosia” actually could be stating quite a bit with an extreme economy of words –departure / defection of the Church from the earth in the Rapture coupled with the immediate super-accelerated depravity of the remainder of humanity, without any ambassadors from the Kingdom present to restrain their inherent apostasy. In this way and in this way only would I agree with your viewpoint that there would be a great, undeniably identifiable, “falling away” before Jesus Christ returns with us, His Church–in that the Rapture had already happened, and humanity without any Christians on earth would tail-spin into an identifiably worse state than ever seen before in all of history

        As far as Day of the LORD and Rapture being one and the same, for Futurists, like us, it would seem it all comes down to that argument doesn’t it?

        You used the word “infer” and I’m glad you did, because you have to infer to force “Day of the LORD” and “Rapture” to be one and the same in this passage, even if every single argument you made is spot on and 100% accurate. In the absolute last stand against your arguments, in the event that they are 100% right regarding “falling away” the anti-Christ ushering in that “falling away” etc., it can still be seen that Paul was addressing Christians who were afraid that they’d missed the Rapture and were suffering or about to suffer the events of “The Day of The LORD” In the passage it says the gathering together (Rapture), and later it says, The Day of The LORD. If you want to make that mean the two are one and the same, then that is an interpretation. I, in my right to interpret and infer, take it to mean two separate events. Paul uses the “Day of The LORD” terminology to indicate to them that, “The Day of the LORD,” had not come yet, as they were fearing. Why would they be fearing that it had come? I can think of no other reason, other than that they had missed the precedent Rapture. 2 Thessalonians was written at a time when persecution was high, and Jerusalem and the Temple’s fate in 70 A.D. were imminently approaching in the not too distant future, and as some perceptive believers at that time, realizing things were getting very dicey in Jerusalem and in Rome, might have believed that due to Jerusalem’s impending doom prophesied by Christ Himself almost being at hand, and all the brutal persecution of Christians by Rome / Jews, that it must therefore be the great “Day of the LORD”. If, however they thought the Rapture and The Day of the LORD were one and the same, why wouldn’t they have been glad that they thought “The Day of the LORD” was at hand? Because if they believed in Rapture equaling Day of the LORD, then they shouldn’t have been disturbed, but glad, because it simply would have meant to them their deliverance was at hand.

        I’m firmly on the side of the fence that believes they are the two bookend portions of the seven year tribulation period. I believe that for the diligent student of God’s Word, that can be seen, just like Daniel’s 70 week prophecy, diligently studied by the likes of Sir Robert Anderson for instance, did predict the very day Messiah would be presented to Israel, and could have been used by the Jews to predict it and know for certain the exact and precise day.

        As I already iterated, the coming of Christ was cloudy to the Jews because they couldn’t get a comprehensive grasp that His coming was in two parts. I believe the second part of His coming will likewise be in two parts, and for that reason, those who don’t recognize that, likewise don’t have a comprehensive grasp of Christ’s second coming, and have a clouded viewpoint on these matters and try to rationalize things that don’t make sense.

        Such as, the Marriage Supper of the Lamb: it will be more like a snack lunch, if we’re Raptured, go to the Marriage Ceremony really quick up in heaven, then instantly come back down again with Christ. That sounds like more of a shotgun wedding to me than a wedding ceremony that has been planned for 1983 years.

        God’s wrath poured out on an unbelieving world–where will we be? We are believers, not an unbelieving world?

        The erroneous question that gets asked over and over again to mock pre-tribulation Rapture belief is:

        Why should the last days Church, be the ONLY Church to escape persecution and tribulation, etc.?

        I’ll answer with a question:

        Why should the last days Church, be the ONLY Church to suffer God’s wrath poured out on an unbelieving world?

        I’ll also answer with an answer:

        The last days Church does not escape persecution and tribulation–right now, as we speak, Christians are being murdered, mocked, tortured, and humiliated for their beliefs–right now, this very moment.

        If your lucky enough to be in a temporarily safe pocket of the world, then be grateful for that, don’t develop some sort of non-persecuted Christian guilt complex that says “bring on the tribulation period”

        To wrap up my points here, I just feel like 2 Thessalonians “falling away / departure” translation was never the end all / be all for me.

        I came to faith in Christ through Pastor’s that taught pre-Tribulation Rapture belief. So, no, it is not because it was something I wanted to believe. When I was younger, I didn’t even care about that sort of thing. I jokingly referred to myself as “pan-trib” (A wait and see how it all pans out Christian). As I grew older and matured in the faith, I realized it actually is a really important teaching, because we are not destined for God’s wrath and that is what “The Day of the LORD”, the Book of Revelation, and other passages are all about.

        So, I put my stock in Enoch, Lot, as pre-Tribulation Rapture pattern establishing events, Jewish marriage ceremony as many have brought up, Ephesians “mystery” of our marriage to Christ, Paul’s “mystery” about we shall not all sleep, (notice the repetitive mystery of it all–where it will be a surprise and not completely clear until it happens) John’s recounting of Christ’s words about Him going to prepare a place for us, Thessalonians being caught up together in the air with Him, Revelation’s clear outline of things John had seen, things that are–the Church, and things that would take place after these things, Revelation’s letters to Churches where Christ clearly iterates that some faithless “believers” will be allowed to go through the Tribulation period, while those who overcome various forms of faithlessness, will be spared from that time, and the concept that we are the Bride of Christ, which is marrying into His Jewish family.

        There is more than enough Scripture to support the pre-Tribulation Rapture belief, and even if 2 Thessalonians 2 is exactly as you say it is, linguistically speaking anyway, it still doesn’t prove post tribulation Rapture, because you still have to infer to do so. It could very well be that the Christians Paul was writing to were afraid they’d missed the boat, and Paul uses it to again clearly express what will happen during the Tribulation period with the anti-Christ / abomination of desolation, etc. and follows that up at the end of the chapter mentioning how “they” not “us/we” would be deluded and fooled and caught off guard–why? Because they will be there, and we’re simply not going to be there.

        You also didn’t answer my strong points regarding the difference between persecution and God’s wrath and Jesus Christ the Lamb instigating the tribulation period. Jesus Christ does not persecute Christians, Satan does. I really, really want that to be iterated as many times as possible, so I will state it once more: Jesus Christ does NOT persecute Christians, Satan does. It is the Lamb, Jesus Christ, Who sends forth the anti-Christ and releases the Judgments of God of the Great Tribulation upon an unbelieving world.

        And who will be part of the Rapture if all those who haven’t taken the mark of the beast are executed/martyred starting around the 4 – 4.5 year mark?

        Also, another point we pre-tribbers never hear a good answer from the post-trib camp. How is it that Scripture will be violated if the Rapture happens at the end of the Tribulation period, and we will literally be able to know the very day Jesus Christ will come for us when not even Jesus Himself knows the Day or the hour? How can that be? Suddenly once the last 7 years have begun, that Scripture, for some reason is no longer valid? That Scripture only makes sense in a pre-tribulation Rapture viewpoint, as in we don’t know when the Rapture is and neither does Christ as it is up to the Father to determine when the place He prepares for us is ready and sufficient and gives the go ahead for the marriage ceremony. After that happens, the day and the hour are easily predictable.

        I would also really, really like to hear what you feel about Revelation 6. Are you going to somehow not be one of every king, commander, rich, poor, free man, slave, etc. on the entire planet that is hiding from the wrath of the Lamb and is terrified of His Presence, etc.? Or do you somehow make that a localized event that only happens to one specific area where there happen to be a couple of kings and commanders and some rich people and poor people?

        So, I ask you, what good are you doing in promoting this post-tribulation belief to me and criticizing my pre-tribulation view? What good is it to be a post-Tribulation believer? So I can sit around and wait for the anti-Christ or try to guess who he might be? So I can get prepared? Is that what you are currently doing? I would really like to know what it is like to be a post-Tribulation believer. What are you currently doing to get prepared for 66.6% of the world’s population dying in less than 7 years in cosmically cataclysmic, earth shaking conditions with demonically empowered creatures and the anti-Christ roaming around? Do you honestly believe that I am deceived? If so, how? I obviously know the tribulation period very well. If the pre-tribulation Rapture does not occur, there will be no possible way for me not to know that, and not to know that the seven year tribulation period has begun. Will I somehow be less prepared than you are to face that? If so, in what way and how so?

        Because if you believe we go through the Tribulation period as the Church, then you somehow must believe that the Church is somehow protected through it else why would Paul write the rest of Chapter 2 as well as the rest of 2 Thessalonians and the Rapture passages in 1 Thessalonians et al? If we do go through the Tribulation period as you claim, then, I’m assuming you must believe the Church is protected through it–so do you think I will be excluded from that protection since I believed wrong and you believed correctly in advance of it happening?

        I included you in my pre-Tribulation Rapture defenses, when I said, that if Pre-Trib is correct, we pre-tribbers will give you post-tribbers a wink on the way up and that will be the end of it.

        Do I not receive the same courtesy from you if I’m incorrect?

        Or possibly do you believe the Tribulation is some sort of Soteriological proving ground where we have to prove ourselves worthy of Christ to survive / be martyred / be raptured? Like our faith in the worst lowliest conditions has to be tested to the uttermost so that He can see if we are really worthy enough to be His Bride? If so, you’re really getting into dangerous Soteriological territory, because it was Christ who proved Himself worthy in the worst, lowliest conditions, with intense testing to the uttermost, on our behalf to make us worthy–it is not something we can do on our own.

        It’s a fun debate, so I don’t really want to get ugly about it, because I think that breaks the spirit of Fellowship we are called to, but I can defend my opinions and positions with Scripture, logic, reason, etc.

        These aren’t just things I invented, or let people invent for me so I can feel better about myself, or what I want to believe, because it psychologically makes things easier for me to deal with.

        I truly believe these things based on Scripture, reason, logic and the pattern God established for these things long ago–taking Enoch before the flood; taking Lot before Sodom and Gommorah’s destruction, etc.

        I’m also level headed enough to understand that it is possible pre-tribulation Rapture might not be exactly right, and maybe it turns out to be more of a mid-Trib or pre-Wrath type of scenario that plays out, or somehow, even though I really, really, really don’t see it, somehow it is a post-Tribulation event–and I know Revelation very, very well and it will be easy to identify the primary events as they’re taking place, so how am I at any disadvantage in having a pre-Tribulation Rapture viewpoint in the here and now?

          (Quote)

        • James Fox says:

          I once wrote a long post and they rejected it as too long. I am surprised they accepted yours. It was so long I could not read it in one sitting. Let me make a couple of comments. I will try to come back and make more comments.

          You said.

          God’s Word, in my opinion, is a higher authority than a dictionary.

          God’s word is written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. We have no idea what what God’s word said without dictionaries.

          You said

          If you say, it is that very act of the Abomination of Desolation in the Temple at the 3.5 year mark, how is that “the falling away”? ….. Well, if you claim that apostosia means the abomination of desolation, then likewise I would argue that is one of the worst words he could have used to describe the abomination of desolation.

          I never said that apostasia meant Abomination of Desolation. I think apostasia means apostasy. The Antichrist declaring himself to be God is apostasy.

          I gave 2 possible explanations for what the apostasy meant: 1) the Antichrist declaring himself to be God 2) A general apostasy from Torah predicted by Jews to happen just before the Messiah appears. The gigantic 8,000+ page dictionary took option 2. I like option 1 because that is reading it in context. I prefer that a text explain itself rather than needing information from other sources.

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        • James Fox says:

          In my research on this topic I discovered another fabulous resource: “A Patristic Greek Lexicon” G.W.H. Lampe, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1961. This is a dictionary, not a concordance, based on the writings of the church fathers. The writings of the church fathers take up an entire shelf in the seminary library I use. These writings are surely 10 times bigger than the Bible. If there were 6 or 7 instances of apostasia in the Greek NT and OT then there will be 60+ instances in the writings of the church fathers.

          The entry for apostasia is 37% of one of the two columns. It is big. Mostly it is the names of church fathers and their writings and chapter and verse and brief quotes in Greek. Let me give you all the English.

          1. Revolt, defection, esp. spiritual; a. of fallen angels; of Devil and demons; b. of man, by original sin, by sin in gen

          2. Apostasy; from paganism; from Judaism, an accusation against S., Paul; from Christianity, under persecution; from orthodoxy of Theodotus the cobbler; of Arians [recognized heretics]; of Eunomius [Wikipedia says he was an Arian who were heretics]; from the Church, secession, schism; of Julian [the apostate]; from the Church; of Novatian [Wikipedia says he was excommunicated ]

          3. Divorce

          4. Departure; a. removal; b. defection from a monastery

          5. Standing aloof

          The other 3 huge dictionaries I consulted did not have meanings 3, 4, or 5. The writings of the church fathers is so huge that they will contain rare meanings. If you are researching a rare word in the NT, like apostasia, then “A Patristic Greek Lexicon” is the place to go to look for rare meanings. This will give you reference to a huge number of instances of your word.

          It is useful to note how many references he cited for each meaning
          menaing
          1. a 4 references
          ,b 5 references
          2. 15 references
          3. 1 references
          4. a 1 reference
          b 1 references
          5. 1 references

          Meanings 3, 4a and 4b, and 5 are extremely rare with one reference for each. Meanings 1 and 2 are the normal meanings with apostasy being more common than revolt. Apostasy has 15 references while revolt has 9 references.

          What about meaning 4a, removal. The rapture is certainly a removal. Could this meaning support defining apostasia as rapture?

          Here is the Greek for this reference. “tain … a. eis Ierousalem.” The “a” means apostasia which is what this section is about. “tain” is feminine accusative singular for “the.” Since it is singular it probably means the removal of one person or one thing. Unfortunately there is an ellipsis, …, which means they left something out. This is the person or thing that was removed. Maybe it was a word like crowd which might be singular but really means more than one. We will never know. eis” means into and “Ierousalem” means Jerusalem. So probably one person or one thing, feminine, was removed to Jerusalem.

          What is the reference. Can we look it up and read it in context? The reference is: Dormitio Mariae, C. Tischendorf Apocalypses Apocryphae, Leipzig 1866. My 2 libraries will not have a German book printed in 1866. It was apparently an extremely rare church father. Unfortunately we will never be able to find it and read it in context.

          We can say one thing though, this dictionary cites 28 references to apostasia and 27 of them – 1, 2, 3, 4b, and 5, all have bad connotations. Thus it is highly likely that 4a also had bad connotations.
          Therefore, it is highly like that every reference to apostasia had bad connotations and it is inconceivable that Paul would use this word to mean rapture.

          We now have access to a large number of references to apostasia

          Comments Phyglenaut? Bruce, will you comment?

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          • Phyglenaut says:

            Hey James,

            As far as a comment . . . I’m really not sure what you are asking me to comment on. You just elaborated on your previous points with further research and information that you feel continues to support your viewpoint. You didn’t really respond to the way I already commented on your points and your viewpoint. You just provided additional examples.

            I don’t really see how you’ve added any significant point in your latest posts that I haven’t already addressed.

            My comments stand from my previous two posts. I understand what languages the Bible was written in. As I indicated, the original English translators / translations translated it using the word that could very well indicate/infer Rapture and even if that word is wrong and one of the other words you indicated is more appropriate, I even explained at some length how that could easily still be seen with a Rapture connotation. You either disagree with those translators or possibly disagree with the inference we’re making regarding their translation.

            If so, as I already iterated, o.k., but that is how it was translated and/or how we are inferring it.

            And regardless of that, I also already mentioned how even if your “apostosia” arguments are right on the money and perfectly accurate, how it could still be easily seen how the gathering together of the saints (i.e. the Rapture), and The Day of the LORD are two separate events, which is the way I previously resolved the 2 Thessalonians argument, before I took stock in the “apostosia” debate. So to help you understand the way I view this, is before the “apostosia” debate, I felt this was a stalemate, where it just came down to how one inferred the passage, and how one looked at Rapture and Day of the Lord being one and the same or two separate book end events of the Tribulation period. Pre-Trib believers went on the offensive with “apostosia” to cut into Post-Trib believers territory. Even if you’ve successfully defended Post-Trib believers territory with your dictionary research on “apostosia”, which I’m not confident in, as you haven’t replied to 90% of my points, then all you’ve done, if successful, is brought things back to stalemate.

            So, does a dictionary define God’s Word, or does God’s Word transcend human language?

            In the beginning, there was the dictionary?

            If you’re trying to keep this on point by sticking to simply the “apostosia” argument alone, then O.K., I can respect that, but even if so, there were about 5 points I made regarding that particular portion of the discussion that you did not address in your replies.

            Otherwise there were about 10 other points I made on other relative topics on the Rapture debate in general that you also did not address in your replies.

            And you are asking me to comment on what you basically already iterated and what I already replied to?

            I would say the ball is still soundly in your court.

            The only reason I replied in the first place, is you went to all the trouble to look up the words in all your research material, and you asked me to reply because of how long it took you to write it and research it etc.

            So, if it is turning into an argument, and a repetitive debate, then perhaps it is time we move on from this.

            If you care to reply to my other arguments and points, then I’d be interested to hear your viewpoint, but I know what I believe, and why I believe it–I’m quite certain, that our debate will not end with me changing my beliefs regarding this matter.

            The anti-Christ declaring himself to be God in the Temple is the Abomination of Desolation, so I’m not sure what you mean there.

            You believe the anti-Christ declaring himself to be God is apostasy, and before this debate started, I would generally have agreed with you, yet after all your definitions and examples of apostosia, I would now, kind of find that to be a clumsy use of language, as revolt / defection / falling away / divorce / departure / etc. all seem to fall shy of describing that because the anti-Christ / Satan long, long, long since past revolted, defected, fell away, divorced, departed from God. Declaring himself to be God is not the moment when that happens, when he has revolted, defected, fell away from, divorced, departed from God, it is simply the full measure, or the pinnacle or consummation of who he ultimately is.

            When you use the example from Judaism against S. Paul as in he apostosia from Judaism, then you are actually helping me to make one of my previously iterated points for me–whose “negative connotation” are we using here?

            Paul’s “apostosia” from Judaism was a very GOOD thing. The enemies of God might have used it with a negative connotation, but I would think that S. Paul would be very proud of his “apostosia” from Pharisaic Judaism, much like us Christians will be very proud of our “apostosia” from planet earth’s Satanic system at the “apostosia”, sorry Rapture.

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  45. Google has a couple interesting articles – “Pretrib Rapture Pride” and “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart.” Reactions to them would be most welcome. Lord bless.

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  46. Irv Spielberg says:

    Catholics know that the bestselling “Left Behind” books and movies have grossly perverted Catholicism’s biblical “rapture” doctrine – the only “rapture” view before 1830.
    The 2000-year-old Catholic “rapture” occurs AFTER the final “tribulation” (post-tribulation) while the 185-year-old evangelical Protestant “rapture” supposedly occurs BEFORE it (pre-tribulation) and is said to be “imminent.”
    All Catholics should read journalist Dave MacPherson’s “The Rapture Plot” (available by calling 800.643.4645) – the most accurate documentation on the history of the pretrib rapture which began in British cultic circles in 1830. By twisting Scripture, this new doctrine gave folks the (false) hope of being evacuated from earth before the chaos found in the book of Revelation.
    “The Rapture Plot” reveals, for the first time, how a Plymouth Brethren historian, after John Darby’s death, secretly and dishonestly changed the earliest “rapture” writings of the Irvingites (the first group publicly teaching a pretrib rapture) so that he could wrongfully credit P.B. leader Darby with “dispensationalism” as well as with that rapture view! (Some still view Darby as the “father of dispensationalism” even though MacPherson’s book amply proves that Darby wasn’t first or original with any crucial aspect of that system but subtly plagiarized others!)
    The leading pretrib rapture merchandisers (Scofield, Lindsey, LaHaye etc.) are openly anti-Catholic and believe that the Antichrist during the coming tribulation will be headquartered in Rome (and you can guess where!).
    For more shocks Google “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Pseudo-Ephraem Taught Pretrib – NOT!,” “John Darby Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart” (she originated the pretrib rapture!), “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Evangelicals Use Occult Deception,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.”

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  47. I’d just like to pass on another way to help spread the gospel and it’s simply this:-

    Include a link to an online gospel tract (e.g. http://www.freecartoontract.com/animation) as part of your email signature.

    An email signature is a piece of customizable HTML or text that most email applications will allow you to add to all your outgoing emails. For example, it commonly contains name and contact details – but it could also (of course) contain a link to a gospel tract.

    For example, it might say something like, “p.s. you might like this gospel cartoon …” or “p.s. have you seen this?”.

      (Quote)

  48. In your quote of Irenaeus, he never wrote “the church leaving the sinful world…” He’s not writing about the “rapture” but the end of times. He even quotes the correct passage to prove his intention. If you read Matthew 24: 26-31 you would understand Irenaeus understanding of that verse with respect of when tribulation is the occur. Also, scripture supports this by Mark 13: 24-27 and 2 Thessalonians 2: 1-12.

    Cyprian is writing about those who want to die before the tribulations and encourages those who during the tribulation, it will set them free from death and restore them.

    Ephraim of The Syrian in the first paragraph writes about the tribulations that the followers of Jesus Christ we will endure. He’s strengthening his readers to prepare ourselves to be focused on Jesus not of worldly things. At the last sentence in that paragraph Ephraim writes exactly what is biblical “because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time”. Ephraim puts the end of time with Christ’s coming. Christ was born into this world and will come again the very last time not three times. In the second paragraph, he writes that believers will escape the tribulation by death not a rapture. Syraic Pseudo Ephraem quote: “Pronouncing the good fortune of the deceased Who had avoided the calamity: ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions! Latin Pseudo Ephraem quote: “For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”

    The “rapture” is not support either by scripture or by the early Christians. Christians who believe in the “rapture” are mistaken and every Christian should reject it because we should believe in things that are objectively true and not based on what we think or want to be true. God Bless!

      (Quote)

    • You said,

      “Latin Pseudo Ephraem quote: ‘For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.'”

      That certainly sounds like pre-tribulationism to me.

      What do you mean by, “The “rapture” is not support either by scripture or by the early Christians.”

      “Gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air” 1 Thess 4:17 sure seems like Rapture to me.

        (Quote)

      • Thank you for replying James. I gave you the Syraic translation so people can understand what was being translated into latin and this is how the Syrain Christians would understand what was being written. “Pronouncing the good fortune of the deceased Who had avoided the calamity: ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions! Also, Ephraim The Syrian was Catholic because Catholic don’t canonized non-Catholics. That’s just a fact.
        In 1 Thess. 4:17 there is no data that explains any pre-tribulation before the gathering. Some Christians add this view because of the traditions they were taught by their church. Scripture is clear though in Mark 13:24-27; Matthew 24:26-31 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-12 when Jesus will gather the elect.- at the end of times. God Bless you James.

          (Quote)

        • Let me lay down my cards. I am post-trib. However your quote from Pseudo Ephraim says,

          “’For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”

          That certainly seems like pre-trib to me. Even though I am post-trib I am willing to believe that one early church father believed in pre-trib.

          Tim LaHaye edited The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy. On p 317-318 he lists 3 ancient authors who he says are pre-trib. He agrees with your Pseudo Ephraim quote. One of the three does not look anything like pre-trib to me. The other two do. The third is from 1307 AD so I do not call that an early church father. LaHaye was extremely eager to present evidence that pre-trib was not a new idea. I think he could only come up with 2 good examples. Pretty sparse evidence for pre-trib.

          Will you comment. Doesn’t Pseudo Ephraim look like pre-trib? Is there more to the quote from Pseudo Ephraim that LaHaye did not mention. Did Pseudo Ephraim also say,“”‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions!”

          I bet Pseudo Ephraim did not say (to the grave). That is your interpolation isn’t it? If so, I do not think that that is what he meant. I think he was pre-trib. Even though I am post-trib.

          You said,

          “In 1 Thess. 4:17 there is no data that explains any pre-tribulation before the gathering.”
          Explain yourself. You seem to be post-trib from your comments at the end. Post-trib does believe in tribulation before the gathering.

          Pre-tribbers do not believe this. They believe there is gathering before the tribulation.

            (Quote)

  49. Thanks again James for replying. “As Iron sharpens iron…”- Don’t you think? No I’m not a pre, mid or post. I do not believe in the “rapture”. I believe what scripture teaches us. I believe that Jesus’ second coming will occur at the end of times and those Christians who are alive will witness the Second Coming and will live eternally with Jesus in His kingdom. His church will suffer during this tribulation, as He suffered when He became man. Scripture supports this view in Mark 13: 24-27 “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. And then they will see the Son of man coming in clouds with great power and glory. And then he will send out the angels, and gather his elect from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.” Here is more data from scripture to support this view Matthew 24: 26-31 and 2 Thess. 2:1-12.

    Also, where is the “tribulation” in 1 Thess. 4:17. It’s not there. Christians add this believe into 1 Thess. 4:17

    The writer sited these Ancient writers in the article: Irenaeus, Ephraim of Syrain, and Cyprian. They’re all Catholic Bishops that teach Catholic Doctrines. Here are some examples of their writings about the real presence of the Eucharist. If we holding onto their writings about the “rapture” should we do the same about the real presence of the Eucharist? I believe the writer is desperate because the doctrine of “rapture” is bankrupted and is not supported either in scripture or early Christian writings.

    “The priest who imitates that which Christ did, truly takes the place of Christ, and offers there in the Church a true and perfect sacrifice to God the Father.”,
    Source: St. Cyprian wrote to the Ephesians circa 258 A.D:,

    “The priest who imitates that which Christ did, truly takes the place of Christ, and offers there in the Church a true and perfect sacrifice to God the Father.”,
    Source: St. Cyprian wrote to the Ephesians circa 258 A.D:,

    “So then, if the mixed cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, that is to say, the Blood and Body of Christ, which fortify and build up the substance of our flesh, how can these people claim that the flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life, when it is nourished by Christ’s Blood and Body and is His member? As the blessed apostle says in his letter to the Ephesians, ‘For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones’ (Eph. 5:30). He is not talking about some kind of ‘spiritual’ and ‘invisible’ man, ‘for a spirit does not have flesh an bones’ (Lk. 24:39). No, he is talking of the organism possessed by a real human being, composed of flesh and nerves and bones. It is this which is nourished by the cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the bread which is His Body. The stem of the vine takes root in the earth and eventually bears fruit, and ‘the grain of wheat falls into the earth’ (Jn. 12:24), dissolves, rises again, multiplied by the all-containing Spirit of God, and finally after skilled processing, is put to human use. These two then receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ.”
    -“Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation of the Falsely

    God Bless You

      (Quote)

    • Sorry James, I forgot the quote from Ephraim of Syrain:

      “After the disciples had eaten the new and holy Bread, and when they understood by faith that they had eaten of Christ’s body, Christ went on to explain and to give them the whole Sacrament. He took and mixed a cup of wine. The He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy, declaring that it was His own Blood, which was about to be poured out….Christ commanded them to drink, and He explained to them that the cup which they were drinking was His own Blood: ‘This is truly My Blood, which is shed for all of you. Take, all of you, drink of this, because it is a new covenant in My Blood, As you have seen Me do, do you also in My memory. Whenever you are gathered together in My name in Churches everywhere, do what I have done, in memory of Me. Eat My Body, and drink My Blood, a covenant new and old.”,

      -“Homilies” 4,6 ca. 350 A.D.,

        (Quote)

      • You said,

        “No I’m not a pre, mid or post. I do not believe in the “rapture”

        What about “gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thess. 4:17. Isn’t that the very definition of rapture? How else can you interpret this?

          (Quote)

  50. This was Irenaeus quote about the real presence of the Eucharist.

    “So then, if the mixed cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, that is to say, the Blood and Body of Christ, which fortify and build up the substance of our flesh, how can these people claim that the flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life, when it is nourished by Christ’s Blood and Body and is His member? As the blessed apostle says in his letter to the Ephesians, ‘For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones’ (Eph. 5:30). He is not talking about some kind of ‘spiritual’ and ‘invisible’ man, ‘for a spirit does not have flesh an bones’ (Lk. 24:39). No, he is talking of the organism possessed by a real human being, composed of flesh and nerves and bones. It is this which is nourished by the cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the bread which is His Body. The stem of the vine takes root in the earth and eventually bears fruit, and ‘the grain of wheat falls into the earth’ (Jn. 12:24), dissolves, rises again, multiplied by the all-containing Spirit of God, and finally after skilled processing, is put to human use. These two then receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ.”

    -“Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation of the Falsely

      (Quote)

  51. James, Great questions. The very definition of the “rapture” is almost always refers to a secret snatching away of “true believers,” prior (mid or post) to the “tribulation”. This belief is not there in 1 Thess. 4:17. You look at this beautiful piece of scripture as the “rapture” but it’s limited to “gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.”

    To interpret 1 Thess. 4:17 we have to look at the context of 1 Thess. Nowhere in 1 Thess. does Paul teach a secret coming of Christ. Furthermore, It appears, when reading 1 Thess. that Christians at the time were worried that those who died before Christ’s second coming would not share in His triumphant return. Paul assures them that when the time comes, they will join the resurrected to meet the Lord and will share in Christ’s triumphant descent from heaven to earth.

    God Bless You

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  52. James, what do you think of the writers use of quoting the Catholic Bishops in the article?

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    • Actually I did not pay any attention to Catholic quotes because I am not Catholic. I am interested in why anyone would say 1 Thess. 4:17 is not the Rapture. I can not fathom what other interpretation you could give.

        (Quote)

      • You replied to me on September 3 with this:
        “Let me lay down my cards. I am post-trib. However your quote from Pseudo Ephraim says,

        “’For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”

        That certainly seems like pre-trib to me. Even though I am post-trib I am willing to believe that one early church father believed in pre-trib.”

        You called Ephraim who believes in the real presences of the Eucharist an “early church father”. The author of this article called it “What Did Ancient Church Fathers Believe about the Rapture”. It follows if we are using their (Ancient Christians) writings to establish a historical “rapture” from early christian believers then we should believe in everything they believed and wrote about. Is that being logical?

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        • “Everything they believed and wrote about”

          I mean everything that was essential to the Christian faith. Sorry about that.

            (Quote)

        • I know of ONE and only one early church father who believed in a pre-trib rapture. The early church fathers (plural), if they spoke about it at all, believed the church would go through the Tribulation. No one else was pre-trib that I know about.

          However, what the early church fathers believed is weak evidence. What we care about is what does the Bible say.

          You did not answer my question. If 1 Thess. 4:17, “gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” does not mean Rapture, what does it mean? Do you have an alternate interpretation?

            (Quote)

          • James, great questions and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

            You wrote: “I know of ONE and only one early church father who believed in a pre-trib rapture. The early church fathers (plural), if they spoke about it at all, believed the church would go through the Tribulation. No one else was pre-trib that I know about.”

            Who is the ONE and only one early Church Father then? Your second sentence is unclear and circular. Are you saying that the early church fathers believed in the rapture because how… because they believed in the rapture? It’s easy to clarify. Just give me evidence from an early church father who wrote about it and then it would prove the view of “rapture”.

            You wrote: “However, what the early church fathers believed is weak evidence. What we care about is what does the Bible say.”

            How is it weak evidence what they wrote about? Wouldn’t that be historical evidence? Isn’t this article about the evidence of the church fathers writings to support the rapture view. I agree with you, we should care about what the Bible says but wouldn’t it shed light by reading historical documents that supports a view point. Would it be true, if Ephraim wasn’t a Catholic Bishop and wrote about the real presences of the Eucharist you would be using his writings as historical prove of “rapture”?

            You also reference a book called “The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy” edit by Tim Lahaye. I viewed pages 317 and 318. Their is a host of problems starting from the beginning of title “Early Church Fathers” but I found something even worse – Brother Dolcino that Lahaye quotes is troubling. Brother Dolcino forms his own short lived sect called Dolcinist. The quote that is used in the book is not one of Dolcino’s own writings, but a passage from an anonymous book about the Dulcinians, called The History of Brother Dolcino. Futhermore, the Dulcinist “rapture” view includes the prediction that “when the Antichrist is dead, Dolcino himself, who then would be the holy pope, and his preserved followers, will descend on the earth, and will preach the right faith of Christ to all, and will convert those who will be living then to the true faith of Jesus Christ.” Is this your view of a “rapture”?

            You wrote: You did not answer my question. If 1 Thess. 4:17, “gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” does not mean Rapture, what does it mean? Do you have an alternate interpretation?

            I did give you my interpretation twice. Paul is writing to Thessalonians who are concerned about people who have already died (falling asleep – verse 13) so they don’t have to “grieve” like others who have no hope in the resurrection. Jesus resurrection is an example in how we will resurrect (Jesus died and rose again – verse 14) and reassures them that God will bring who have falling asleep with Him. Paul then in verse 15 makes a distinction that those who fall asleep (died) and those who are alive – left behind. In verse 16 when Jesus second coming, He will bring the resurrected first as Paul explains in verse 14 and will gather who have falling asleep (verse 13 and 14) and who were left behind to be with him forever.

            Conclusion: Paul is writing to assure those who are left behind (living) that they will be gathered together with the one’s who have falling sleep in the second coming.

            In 1 Thess. 4:17 there is no tribulation and no secret snatching but in Matthew 24: 26-31; Mark 13: 24-27 and 2 Thess. 2: 1-12 we have actually what will happen at Jesus’ second coming.

            God Bless You

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            • I said,
              “I know of ONE and only one early church father who believed in a pre-trib rapture.”

              You said,
              Who is the ONE and only one early Church Father then?

              The one is Pseudo-Ephraim. Tim LaHaye p 317 quotes him as saying, “All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the Tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.”

              That is clear pre-tribulationism. Do you deny that? I do not like it because I am post-trib but the evidence is clear.

              However, this is one and only one early church father. I do not know of any other direct reference to Rapture in the early church fathers. What I do know is that many said the church would participate in the Tribulation. They are not pre-trib. They are an indirect reference to the Rapture. I suspect you are correct. No one else specifically mentioned the Rapture.

              You said,
              “The quote that is used in the book [by Tim LaHaye] is not one of Dolcino’s own writings, but a passage from an anonymous book about the Dulcinians, called The History of Brother Dolcino.” That is interesting. Thank you for finding that.

              You asked, ” Is this your view of a “rapture”?” about other views of Brother Dolcino. Of course not. As I told you I am post-trib. I will not believe in pre-trib or anything else Brother Dolcino said.

              I said,

              “You did not answer my question. If 1 Thess. 4:17, “gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air,” does not mean Rapture, what does it mean? Do you have an alternate interpretation?”

              You said.

              I did give you my interpretation twice.

              You have 4 more sentences in that paragraph and you mention verses 13, 14, 15, and 16 but you do not mention 17.

              Two paragraphs later you say,

              “In 1 Thess. 4:17 there is no tribulation and no secret snatching….” I agree it is not secret but verse 17 says we will be “caught up” which is a snatching. You still have not given an alternate interpretation to 1 Thess 4:17.

              P.S. I agree with almost everything in the above 4 mentioned sentences. My one possible disagreement is when you say, ” He will bring the resurrected first …” Do you think this means the dead will be caught up into the clouds first. I and several translations think it means the dead will rise from the dead first.

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              • James, great questions again and a good exchange of thoughts.

                Here is the problem with the interpretation of Pseudo-Ephraim that you are using. When you translate the quote from Syriac to Latin and then to English it has a different translation from the original Syriac. When you translate from the original Syriac to English it reads: ““Pronouncing the good fortune of the deceased Who had avoided the calamity: ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions! So this is the correct way to read it. Pseudo-Ephraim is talking about the deceased who “avoided the calamity”. Plus, if you’re going to believe in a quote that Pseudo-Ephraim, shouldn’t we take into account all of his writings or do we get to pick and choose the ones we like and don’t like. I say this because he wrote strongly about the real presents of the Eucharist. Here is his quote: “After the disciples had eaten the new and holy Bread, and when they understood by faith that they had eaten of Christ’s body, Christ went on to explain and to give them the whole Sacrament. He took and mixed a cup of wine. The He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy, declaring that it was His own Blood, which was about to be poured out….Christ commanded them to drink, and He explained to them that the cup which they were drinking was His own Blood: ‘This is truly My Blood, which is shed for all of you. Take, all of you, drink of this, because it is a new covenant in My Blood, As you have seen Me do, do you also in My memory. Whenever you are gathered together in My name in Churches everywhere, do what I have done, in memory of Me. Eat My Body, and drink My Blood, a covenant new and old.”,
                -“Homilies” 4,6 ca. 350 A.D.,

                I wrote: “Conclusion: Paul is writing to assure those who are left behind (living) that they will be gathered together with the one’s who have falling sleep in the second coming.”

                Sorry about the way I wrote. I should of added in my conclusion; “that I conclude that in 1 Thess. 4:17 Paul is writing to assure those who have falling a sleep will be “gathered” together with the one’s who were left behind (living) in the second coming.

                God Bless You

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                • You said,

                  ” ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions!”

                  You put “to the grave” in parenthesis. Why? I bet it was because it was not in the original Syriac. You added that because you want it to say that.

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                  • James,

                    Thank you for the reply. No, I didn’t add anything to the original Syriac. We should never make people believe in something that is false. That would be dishonest and leading them away from truth.

                    Also, parentheses are used in original texts all the time. Read Matthew 24:15 “So when you see the desolating sacrilege spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),” Parentheses are used to clarify information.

                    I hope you read back and look at our exchange of thoughts. There are no good reasons to believe in the “rapture”. I’ll be praying for James.

                    God Bless You.

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                    • You did not answer my question. Do you know the name of a book in English that is Pseudo-Epharaim directly translated from the Syriac with no Latin intermediary. Or do you know Syriac and you read it in the original Syriac.

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                • You asked,

                  “Plus, if you’re going to believe in a quote that Pseudo-Ephraim, shouldn’t we take into account all of his writings or do we get to pick and choose the ones we like and don’t like.”

                  I am a post-tribber. I hate Pseudo-Ephraim. I am not picking what I like. I am evaluating the evidence. I am reluctantly willing to admit that a few people before Darby believed in a pre-trib rapture.

                  You said,

                  “When you translate from the original Syriac to English it reads: ““Pronouncing the good fortune of the deceased Who had avoided the calamity: ‘Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions! ”

                  LaHaye quoted him as saying,

                  “All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the Tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.”

                  Those two statements are a lot different. The first does not mention “gathered together before the Tribulation.” Are they really the same thing but LaHaye is using a Syraic to Latin to English version? Is there nothing in the Syriac that looks like what LaHaye said?

                  I am wondering if this is not two different sections in the same document.

                  I presume you do not read Syriac which I think is Aramaic. Can you give me the name of a book in English that is Pseudo-Ephraim from Syriac directly into English? I am getting curious and want to look this up.

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                • You said,

                  “Sorry about the way I wrote. I should of added in my conclusion; “that I conclude that in 1 Thess. 4:17 Paul is writing to assure those who have falling a sleep will be “gathered” together with the one’s who were left behind (living) in the second coming.”

                  I fully agree. But Paul says more, he said we will be gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

                  http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/rapture defines:

                  4. the Rapture, Theology. the experience, anticipated by some fundamentalist Christians, of meeting Christ midway in the air upon his return to earth.

                  So gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air is the very definition of Rapture. Paul said that is going to happen. How can you say there is no Rapture in 1 Thess. 4:17?

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          • Thank you for asking me for my interpretation. I did give you my interpretation twice. Paul is writing to Thessalonians who are concerned about people who have already died (falling asleep – verse 13) so they don’t have to “grieve” like others who have no hope in the resurrection. Jesus resurrection is an example in how we will resurrect (Jesus died and rose again – verse 14) and reassures them that God will bring who have falling asleep with Him. Paul then in verse 15 makes a distinction that those who fall asleep (died) and those who are alive (left behind). In verse 16 when Jesus second coming, He will bring the resurrected first as Paul explains in verse 14 and will gather who have falling asleep (verse 13 and 14) and who were left behind to be with him forever.

            Conclusion: Paul is writing to assure those who are left behind (living) that they will be gathered together with the one’s who have falling sleep in the second coming.

            In 1 Thess. 4:17 there is no tribulation and no secret snatching but in Matthew 24: 26-31; Mark 13: 24-27 and 2 Thess. 2: 1-12 we have actually what will happen at Jesus’ second coming.

            God Bless You

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          • Thank for asking for my interpretation. I did give you my interpretation twice. Paul is writing to Thessalonians who are concerned about people who have already died (falling asleep – verse 13) so they don’t have to “grieve” like others who have no hope in the resurrection. Jesus resurrection is an example in how we will resurrect (Jesus died and rose again – verse 14) and reassures them that God will bring who have falling asleep with Him. Paul then in verse 15 makes a distinction that those who fall asleep (died) and those who are alive (left behind). In verse 16 when Jesus second coming, He will bring the resurrected first as Paul explains in verse 14 and will gather who have falling asleep (verse 13 and 14) and who were left behind to be with him forever.

            Conclusion: Paul is writing to assure those who are left behind (living) that they will be gathered together with the one’s who have falling sleep in the second coming.

            In 1 Thess. 4:17 there is no tribulation and no secret snatching but in Matthew 24: 26-31; Mark 13: 24-27 and 2 Thess. 2: 1-12 we have actually what will happen at Jesus’ second coming.

            God Bless You

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            • I agree with everything you said, but you seem to be missing the key point. You said we will be gathered together. That is true. But 1 Thess. 4:17 says more. It says we will be gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.

              I gave you a definition of Rapture from an online dictionary. They said the theological definition was that Christians would meet Jesus in the air. 1 Thess. 4:17 says we will meet Jesus in the air, It is the very definition of Rapture from a dictionary.

              You never addressed the fact that we will meet Jesus in the air which is the definition of Rapture. You never discussed these critical words.

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              • Hi James and Greg,

                I think we should not rely anymore on what the early church fathers has said about the rapture. God did not gave us the bible that complicated to understand. To a simple christian who desires to know the truth with the right heart and spirit, God will reveal to him everything he needs to understand simply and clearly. Not all christian has the privilege of having knowledge of church history and original Hebrew and Greek meanings. God will not require that christian to go to the trouble of needing to acquire first those knowledge only to confirm or validate the Truth. We should rely only on the leading of the Holy Spirit and what Jesus had revealed in the Gospels and the Book of Revelation. Other Scriptures from the Old and New Testament shall be taken as just additional value to the context of Jesus’ words.

                I will give you scriptures here that I have been throwing to the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Argument, that non so far had given me a better counter explanation. To my own conviction, this is the right scriptures that will truly destroy the pretrib view. No right kind of twisting or allegories can be applied to it. It is simple common sense, logic, and scripture interpreting itself kind of understanding it. Here they are:

                Revelation 21:1-2
                21 And I saw a NEW HEAVEN and a NEW EARTH: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
                2 And I John saw the HOLY CITY, NEW JERUSALEM, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a BRIDE adorned for her HUSBAND.

                Revelation 21:9-10
                9 And there came unto me ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS which had the SEVEN VIALS full of the SEVEN LAST PLAGUES, and talked with me, saying, COME HITHER, I WILL SHEW THEE the BRIDE, the Lamb’s WIFE.
                10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that GREAT CITY, the HOLY JERUSALEM, descending out of heaven from God,

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

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

                (This is right after the Bride was taken up and now Jesus will turn and deal with the Prostitute)

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

                Revelation 17:12-16
                1 And there came ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS which had the SEVEN VIALS, and talked with me, saying unto me, COME HITHER; I WILL SHOW UNTO THEE the judgment of the GREAT WHORE that sitteth upon many waters:

                The Revelation of Jesus Christ according to His own Word.

                BOOOM!!!! There you have it.

                The Bride will be snatched and stolen by the Thief right between the sixth vial judgement and the seventh vial judgement.

                Revelation 3:3, “Remember therefore what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. If therefore you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.” (Jesus here talking to and warning the overcomer candidates)

                A Thief in our secular understanding is more known as someone who snatch or steal. But in eschatology it has been abused to this understanding that a Thief is someone who comes at a time we do not know, they ignored the other important characteristic.

                Worst, there is one commentator who said that the angels referred here are the raptured saints. He said they are not angel who had wings and halos, but messenger angels, like the ones described in the old testament time appearances (does that mean that Jesus Christ is not the firstborn among the dead, and they will say yes, because Enoch and Elijah got there first in Heaven). He even cite a scripture that said we will become like the angels. So its like he is telling me that their will be several sets of Bride that will be caught up with the Lord together with their corresponding sets of Dead in Christ. So what he is meaning to say also is that there are several rapture/resurrection events that will happen in the end times. This is how ridiculous they twist and speculate on the scriptures.

                God help us all in this very deceptive end times.

                YBIC,
                Eaglet – A former Pretribber

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                • Eaglet,

                  Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Do you believe in the “rapture”?

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                  • I believe in the term Trinity, Millennium, and the Bible, even though it is not found in the scriptures.

                    So I believe in the raising of the Dead in Christ together with catching up of the Alive in Christ in the air at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ prior to the punishment of the Great Whore and the start of the battle of Armageddon.

                    If the Prophecy Scholars termed it as Rapture, so be it.

                    God Bless.

                    Eaglet – A Prophecy Student

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              • James, good questions
                You wrote, “I am a post-tribber. I hate Pseudo-Ephraim. I am not picking what I like. I am evaluating the evidence. I am reluctantly willing to admit that a few people before Darby believed in a pre-trib rapture.”
                Good, I’m glad you’re evaluating the evidence from a “ancient Christian” but Pseudo-Ephraim was Catholic Bishop who the Catholic Church canonized as a saint and we know that Catholic’s don’t believe in the “rapture” doctrine. Does that make any sense? But you won’t evaluate the real presence of the Eucharist because??? As a matter of fact the “Ancient Christians” the writer uses in this article all have quotes about their belief in the Eucharist. If your going to use Pseudo-Ephraim as your chief witness for evidence then you should believe in other doctrines he wrote about. If not, you’re just picking and choosing. It’s just logical.
                You wrote,
                “4. the Rapture, Theology. the experience, anticipated by some fundamentalist Christians, of meeting Christ midway in the air upon his return to earth.
                So gathered in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air is the very definition of Rapture. Paul said that is going to happen. How can you say there is no Rapture in 1 Thess. 4:17?”
                You’re getting confused about your belief of rapture and what the bible is stating. You have to separate the two. Lets look at why they are “gathering”. It’s because it’s going to be the second coming of Jesus but it’s the final coming. How do we know it’s the final coming of Christ because the bible says so in Matthew 24: 26-31; Mark 13: 24-27 and 2 Thess. 2: 1-12. Why does Paul write this in 1 Thess. 4:17 because he’s assuring the Thessalonians that those who have falling a sleep (who have died) will be “gathered” together with the one’s who were left behind (living). Let’s compare that to the “rapture” doctrine. It’s when true followers of Jesus will be transformed into their spiritual bodies in the Rapture and taken from the Earth to be in Heaven with God. Non-believers will be left behind to face severe tribulation. Where does it say non-believers will be left behind? Noah and his family were saved and left on earth.
                Also, If I told you that I speak Syraic would you “trust” my translation of Pseudo-Ephraem? Probably not. But what I can recommend is for you to search out the “truth”. God wants us the search for Him because He is already there waiting for us

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          • Hey James, thanks for asking me about my interpretation of 4:17 Paul is writing to Thessalonians who are concerned about people who have already died (falling asleep – verse 13) so they don’t have to “grieve” like others who have no hope in the resurrection. Jesus resurrection is an example in how we will resurrect (Jesus died and rose again – verse 14) and reassures them that God will bring who have falling asleep with Him. Paul then in verse 15 makes a distinction that those who fall asleep (died) and those who are alive (left behind). In verse 16 when Jesus second coming, He will bring the resurrected first as Paul explains in verse 14 and will gather who have falling asleep (verse 13 and 14) and who were left behind to be with him forever.
            Conclusion: Paul is writing to assure those who are left behind (living) that they will be gathered together with the one’s who have falling sleep in the second coming.

            In 1 Thess. 4:17 there is no tribulation and no secret snatching but in Matthew 24: 26-31; Mark 13: 24-27 and 2 Thess. 2: 1-12 we have actually what will happen at Jesus’ second coming.

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      • I also gave my interpretation of 1 Thess. 4:17. I copied and pasted from above: “Furthermore, It appears, when reading 1 Thess. that Christians at the time were worried that those who died before Christ’s second coming would not share in His triumphant return. Paul assures them that when the time comes, they will join the resurrected to meet the Lord and will share in Christ’s triumphant descent from heaven to earth.

        God Bless You

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      • I believe the scriptures teach that the rapture is after the tribulation period and the following are reasons why.

        The apostle Paul states it will be at the last trump when the dead will be changed and we shall be changed. So when is that?

        1 Corinthians 15:51 ¶ Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 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.

        My understanding is that the last trumpet of Revelation is the last trumpet or rapture of the church and the mystery that is finished.

        Revelation 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

        Revelation 11: 15 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. 16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, 17 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. 18 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.19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

        What Jesus said “after the tribulation of those days” …sound of a trumpet and gathering of his elect from four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. Gathering of believers is after the tribulation.

        Matt 24:29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

        God used trumpets for specific reasons in the Old Testament that connect the significance of the trumpets to Israel. We see the significance of the trumpet call to the calling in of the assembly, for journeying of the camps and even war.

        Numbers 10: 1 ¶ And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, 2 Make thee two trumpets of silver; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. 3 And when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 4 And if they blow but with one trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee. 5 When ye blow an alarm, then the camps that lie on the east parts shall go forward. 6 When ye blow an alarm the second time, then the camps that lie on the south side shall take their journey: they shall blow an alarm for their journeys. 7 But when the congregation is to be gathered together, ye shall blow, but ye shall not sound an alarm. 8 And the sons of Aaron, the priests, shall blow with the trumpets; and they shall be to you for an ordinance forever throughout your generations. 9 And if ye go to war in your land against the enemy that oppresseth you, then ye shall blow an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies. 10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

        We see the Trumpets used when God had Joshua circle Jericho which may be figurative final trumpet salvation of believers but God’s wrath on the unbeliever.

        Joshua 6: 12 And Joshua rose early in the morning, and the priests took up the ark of the LORD. 13 And seven priests bearing seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark of the LORD went on continually, and blew with the trumpets: and the armed men went before them; but the rereward came after the ark of the LORD, the priests going on, and blowing with the trumpets. 14 And the second day they compassed the city once, and returned into the camp: so they did six days.
        And Joshua 6: 16 And it came to pass at the seventh time, when the priests blew with the trumpets, Joshua said unto the people, Shout; for the LORD hath given you the city. 17 ¶ And the city shall be accursed, even it, and all that are therein, to the LORD: only Rahab the harlot shall live, she and all that are with her in the house, because she hid the messengers that we sent. 18 And ye, in any wise keep yourselves from the accursed thing, lest ye make yourselves accursed, when ye take of the accursed thing, and make the camp of Israel a curse, and trouble it. 19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD. 20 So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city.

        The interesting part about this event is Rahab is brought out of the city saved by a Scarlet cord hanging from her window Joshua 2:18 the agreement of her salvation for theirs but the entire city was destroyed. Here at the 7th trumpet blast by 7 priests comes salvation for Rahab and her family but Judgement upon the unbelievers.

        Enoch who did not die but was taken by God was the 7th from Adam a picture of Rapture
        1 Chronicles 1:1-2 1 ¶ Adam, Seth, Enosh,2 Cainan, Mahalalel, Jared,3 Enoch, Methuselah, Lamech,

        There are those who teach the Holy Spirit is gone during the tribulation and church leaves before the tribulation begins. The problem with this is that these passages teach us the church is here during the tribulation. We know the Holy Spirit is here during this time because these people cannot be saved apart from the work of the Holy Spirit.

        Revelation 7: 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; 10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb. 11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God, 12 Saying, Amen: Blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever. Amen. 13 ¶ And one of the elders answered, saying unto me,What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me,These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
        I believe there is a distinction between the word tribulation and wrath. If you look at the seal, trumpet and bowl judgements of Revelation you will see that the last trumpet or 7th trumpet leads to the beginning of the bowls of wrath. They are distinctly different.
        The word tribulation “2347 θλῖψις thlipsis thlip’-sis from 2346; n f; TDNT-3:139,334; {See TDNT 311} AV-tribulation 21, affliction 17, trouble 3, anguish 1, persecution 1, burdened 1, to be afflicted + 1519 1; 45 1) a pressing, pressing together, pressure 2) metaph. oppression, affliction, tribulation, distress, straits

        Are believers expected to go through tribulation? What does the bible tell us about believers and tribulation? Some examples:

        Mt 13:21 “yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles.

        Mt 24:9 “Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.

        Joh 16:33 “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

        Ro 5:3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

        Ro 8:35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

        Ro 12:12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

        2Co 1:4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

        2Co 7:4 Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.

        1Th 3:4 For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.

        Re 1:9 I, John, both your brother and companion in the tribulation and kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was on the island that is called Patmos for the word of God and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.

        Re 2:9 “I know your works, tribulation, and poverty (but you are rich); and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.

        Re 2:10 “Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

        The bible does make a distinction between Tribulation and Wrath. The problem comes when people mix the two. As Romans states Ro 5:9 Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him.

        Wrath 3709 ὀργή orge or-gay’

        from 3713; n f; TDNT-5:382,716; {See TDNT 560}

        AV-wrath 31, anger 3, vengeance 1, indignation 1; 36

        1) anger, the natural disposition, temper, character
        2) movement or agitation of the soul, impulse, desire, any violent emotion, but esp. anger
        3) anger, wrath, indignation
        4) anger exhibited in punishment, hence used for punishment itself
        4a) of punishments inflicted by magistrates

        My own understanding is the tribulation period is a time of testing of all believers on the earth which will show everyone’s true heart, our values whether for God – world, flesh or devil. A choice must be made.

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

        This passage also speaks about the trump of God for the rapture and again 1 Corth 15:51-52 tells us it is at the last trump.

        Notice in the following passage where the Apostle Paul uses the word “rest with us”, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. It appears that as the rapture is happening retribution is happening at the same time. We see this with the last trumpet judgement of Revelation and then the bowls of wrath begin to be poured out

        Take a look at 2 Thess 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
        8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
        9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
        10 When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.

        Blessings in your studies

        Chris

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  53. Google “Grant Jeffrey’s Apocalypse Debacle,” “Pseudo-Ephraem Taught Pretrib – NOT!,” “Chuck Missler – Copyist,” “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Pretrib Rapture Stealth,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Evangelicals Use Occult Deception,” “Pretrib Rapture: A Staged Event,” “Pretrib Rapture Pride,” and (last but not least) “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” – most of these by journalist Dave MacPherson, author of “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history – available by calling 800.643.4645).

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  54. Question – Why do so many of the folks that believe in ‘the post-tribulation Rapture’ make it a militaristic mission to go around campaigning to correct everyone else with their personal interpretation of that which is written in “the word of the Lord”?
    Unfortunately – often making ‘statements of fact’ and demeaning everyone that does not believe as they do.

    It would do each of us well to most seriously remember and think about that which Pastor Charles H. Spurgeon wrote over 100 years ago –
    “DISCERNMENT is not knowing the difference between right and wrong.
    It is knowing the difference between RIGHT
    – and ALMOST right.”

    As it is written in “the word of the LORD”:
    “Then shall ye return,
    and DISCERN between the righteous
    – and the wicked,
    between him that serveth God
    – and him that serveth him not.”
    (Malachi 3:18, KJB)

    – Capitalization and emphasis mine – Bro. Nick

    ======================================================

    Prayerfully, the following article will be of interest to some –

    The Trial Of Spirits – Both In Teachers And Hearers
    Wherein Is Held Forth The Clear Discovery, And Certain Downfall, Of The Carnal And Anti Christian Clergy Of These Nations

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    The Trial Of Spirits – Both In Teachers And Hearers
    Apologetics Coordination Team (ACT)
    http://www.deceptioninthechurch.com/thetrialofspirits.html
    .

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    • Hi Bro. Nick,

      Because we care and are worried for the pretribbers. If the pretrib are correct, then there is no harm for the post-tribber, because we know that our salvation is rooted on our faith on Jesus Christ through the grace given to us by our Heavenly Father.

      If the pretrib did not pan out, the pretribbers will be the first in line to be tested for the great delusion, given the high tech signs and wonders of this days.

      If there will be a deceptive scenario wherein there will be a dummy antichrist, a fake rapture, and a fake 3.5 years great tribulation, to make it appear that the true antichrist is the promised messiah; the pretribbers, the midtribbers, and the prewrath will be tested to this great delusion, given again a more high tech signs and wonders reserved for this final deceptive scenario.

      If the Post Tribulation is correct, then the pretribbers, the midtribbers, the prewrath, and the post-tribbers will all be subjected to this great following tests:

      1. Mark of the beast can be mistaken as the seal of God on the forehead, with so much promises to it such as the fountain of youth, miracle cures, new heaven and new earth. But the Post-Tribbers know that if we have a choice to have it on our right hand, then they know its from the antichrist.
      2. The dreadful beheading of the overcomer candidates especially for nursing mothers and pregnant women. they get to choose their life or the life of their child. In the case of men, use your creative imagination
      3. The antichrist lie that the coming of Jesus Christ with His angels and His chosen in the battle of Armageddon, is an alien invasion. Those who have the mark will be convinced by this lie.
      4. The rapture lie event is the making of the Aliens.
      5. Satan has all the counterfeit personality, symbols, signs, wonders, faith, salvation, timelines, and events to introduce the great deception. Start with this: King of the North vs. King of the South, Two Witnesses and Two Horns of the Lamb who spoke like a dragon, and there are more.

      So why not study all the different views for a much safer fate? I hope we don’t fall to this kind of reasoning, “I was born a Catholic, I will die a Catholic”, no offense, but just trying to make a point here.

      Are all pretribbers, which most christians are, study prophecies? (make a survey in your church)

      Most Post-tribbers are either originally as suchand some are former pretribbers. Because they are bereans, they are not spoon-fed by pulpit teachings about end times, by holywood prophecy movies, by famous authors and best selling prophecy books.

      God help us all in this trying and deceptive end times.

      Loving the One Body of Christ,

      Eaglet – A former Pretribber

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      • Hi Eaglet – The Bible teaches that true Christians living in the Great Tribulation will be attacked, defeated and killed by the Antichrist:

        And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. – Revelation 13:7.

        And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, And cause that AS MANY AS would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. – Revelation 13:15.

        The term “as many as” in verse 15 is the Greek word hosos, which means as far as, whatsoever. The Lord uses the term hosos in the Gospel frequently meaning everything. Here are some examples:

        Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as [hosos] ye shall find, bid to the marriage. – Matthew 22:9.

        Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever [hosos] I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

        So from the plain meaning of the text in Revelation 13, all Christians will be killed by the Antichrist in war or by virtue of rejecting the Mark of the Beast. From the way I read your beliefs it appears that you believe true Christians will survive the Antichrist reign and then all be raptured at its close. What Scripture do you base this on? How do you reconcile this belief with the verses above? God bless. -B&E

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        • Daniell 11:33-35

          33 Those who are wise will instruct many, though for a time they will fall by the sword or be burned or captured or plundered. 34 When they fall, they will receive a little help, and many who are not sincere will join them. 35 Some of the wise will stumble, so that they may be refined, purified and made spotless until the time of the end, for it will still come at the appointed time.

          Rev 13:7-10

          7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

          8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

          9 If any man have an ear, let him hear.

          10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

          Matthew 24:22

          “If those days had not been cut short, no one would survive, but for the sake of the elect those days will be shortened.

          Rom 11:7

          What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

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          • Hi Eaglet,

            Thanks for your response. Let’s look at these passages in context and see how they line up with the clear teaching of Revelation 13 that all true Christians will be killed (and I emphasize “true” because there will certainly be many apostate Christians who will fall away and worship the Antichrist in the Great Tribulation, thus they will survive).

            Daniel 11:

            21 And in his estate shall stand up a vile person, to whom they shall not give the honour of the kingdom: but he shall come in peaceably, and obtain the kingdom by flatteries. 22 And with the arms of a flood shall they be overflown from before him, and shall be broken; yea, also the prince of the covenant. 23 And after the league made with him he shall work deceitfully: for he shall come up, and shall become strong with a small people. 24 He shall enter peaceably even upon the fattest places of the province; and he shall do that which his fathers have not done, nor his fathers’ fathers; he shall scatter among them the prey, and spoil, and riches: yea, and he shall forecast his devices against the strong holds, even for a time.
            25 And he shall stir up his power and his courage against the king of the south with a great army; and the king of the south shall be stirred up to battle with a very great and mighty army; but he shall not stand: for they shall forecast devices against him. 26 Yea, they that feed of the portion of his meat shall destroy him, and his army shall overflow: and many shall fall down slain.

            27 And both of these kings’ hearts shall be to do mischief, and they shall speak lies at one table; but it shall not prosper: for yet the end shall be at the time appointed. 28 Then shall he return into his land with great riches; and his heart shall be against the holy covenant; and he shall do exploits, and return to his own land. 29 At the time appointed he shall return, and come toward the south; but it shall not be as the former, or as the latter. 30 For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. 31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate. 32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. 33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days. 34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

            You’ll notice that I went much father back into the chapter in order to capture the full context of the passage. Daniel 11 is one of the most difficult chapters in the Bible. It is because it is covering several centuries of history over across various empires. And it is of course incredibly accurate in its description of the Medo-Persian and Greek kingdoms. The passage in question details the career of Antiochus IV more infamously known as Antiochus Epiphanes.

            In verse 27 it refers to “both kings” speaking from “one table.” Antiochus IV basically adopted young King Ptolemy IV and let him rule with him out of Egypt. Antiochus used bribery, sold political offices and even put the role of Jewish High Priest up for auction during his reign. He literally scattered prey, spoil and riches in order to bribe and weave his way into power.

            “For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant.

            31 And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”

            After being betrayed by the Roman Senate and forced into retreat in Syria Antiochus vented his rage against the Jews in Judea. He ordered the Jewish religion to be outlawed and enforced pagan worship. He killed all who refused this edict. He banned the Jewish sacrificial system and Sabbath observance.

            He is most famous for the original abomination of desolation when he desecrated the Holy Temple by sacrificing a pig and setting up an idol to Zeus on the altar of Our Lord. This was in 168BC and is recorded in 1 Maccabes in addition to other secular histories.

            “And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. 33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.”

            At this point Jewish people were faced with two choices: convert to paganism or go underground as fugitives. Apostate Jews were rewarded with positions of influence. Faithful Jews were killed )notice that this mirrors the endtimes). 2 Maccabes records the story of Eleazar the scribe who refused to eat pork and was killed on a torture wheel. A mother and her seven sons were skinned and dismembered for not bowing to paganism. All this in face of bribes from Antiochus. Like the Antichrist he tried to win people over with power and riches.

            “Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.”

            Clearly during the reign of Antiochus, “wise” Jews, who clung to their faith, were killed. The ones who fell for the flatteries of Antiochus, lived. After the Maccabean revolt, the temple was recaptured, cleansed and rededicated to God. The sacrifice and oblation was restored. This is what the Jewish holiday of Hannukah commemorates. Jesus Christ confirmed the validity of this holiday by attending a Hannukah celebration in John Chapter 10:

            And it was at Jerusalem the feast of the dedication, and it was winter. 23 And Jesus walked in the temple in Solomon’s porch. 24 Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly. 25 Jesus answered them, I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. 26 But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. 27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me: 28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.

            29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and my Father are one. 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone him.

            It was at Hannukah the feast of the Dedication that not only did Jesus attend but boldly proclaimed that He and the Father are one. So we can know that the Dedication Feast is indeed affirmed by Our Lord.

            So this passage is not a reference to the church in the end times. It is describing the persecution of Jews in the 2nd century BC under the reign of Antiochus. So I believe we can remove that passage from the discussion.

            2) Revelation 13:7-10:

            7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. 9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. 10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

            I am not sure why you cited this verse. It affirms my point – the Antichrist is going to successfully wage war, conquer and kill all the Christians on Earth. How are you interpreting this passage?

            3) Matthew 24:22:

            15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: 21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

            Here The Lord is clearly referencing the midpoint of the Great Tribulation/70th week where the Antichrist will perform the second abomination of desolation in the temple. Setting up the image of the Beast and proclaiming himself to be god. The warnings here are for Jews to flee at this time (which the faithful remnant will do). The references here are clearly Jewish (Sabbath day, praying on rooftops, etc.). This is not talking about the church in the end times. And verse 22 says that if those days had not been cut short, NO FLESH would survive – meaning no human being, saved or unsaved. Nothing in this verse says that the church in the Great Tribulation will somehow avoid the onslaught of the Antichrist. As for the “elect” in verse 22, I believe it is a clear reference to the believing remnant of Israel who will indeed survive the Great Tribulation:

            “And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days.” – Revelation 12:6.

            Just like the Israelites in Goshen during the 10 plagues in Egypt, the Israelites in the end times will be spared from the judgments of the trumpets and bowls for 3 1/2 years.

            4) Romans 11:7

            “7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.”

            This verse completely supports my point – the elect is ISRAEL. This passage is explining that Israel corporately has not received the Gospel of Grace through faith in Jesus Christ. But the elect among Israel have obtained it (i.e., Abraham, Moses, David and other believing Jews) – the rest were blinded (hence their rejection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

            This is fully confirmed later in the chapter:

            25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: 27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins. 28 As concerning the gospel, they are enemies for your sakes: but as touching the election, they are beloved for the father’s sakes.

            Most of Israel is “blind” to the Gospel today. But once the fulness of the Gentiles comes in (i.e., the end of the church age which is at the Rapture), then the believing remnant of Israel will come to fruition and be saved. This is when ALL of Israel will be redeemed (the believing church AND the believing remnant). That is Israel, spiritually speaking. This is an amazing, beautiful passage and it fully confirms a pre-Great Tribulation rapture. It is basically screaming that the Church must go and then Israel will be redeemed. And again it confirms that the elect is believing Israel.

            So I must repeat my original point to you: Scripture clearly states that the Antichrist will kill all Christians. And yet your position seems to be that Christians will survive the Antichrist reign and get raptured at the end of it – which is in clear contradiction with the text. How do you reconcile this? It just seems to only require a very plain reading of the text to see that your end times doctrine is not in line with Scripture. Thanks again for your response and I welcome any more comments you have. God bless you abundantly. -B&E

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            • Hi B&E,

              Going to the scriptures I used to counter your belief that all the true christians/great tribulation saints will be killed, I would like to ask you if all the words and phrases below, from the scriptures I cited , you understood it to mean as “All will be killed”:
              1. Captured, Lead into Captivity
              2. Plundered
              3. When they Fall / are all Killed, they WILL receive a little help
              4. Some of the wise will Stumble / will all be killed
              5. Overcome (Jesus said He had overcome the world)
              6. To make war (many survived world war 1 & 2)

              Unless you will say that the scripture I cited is for the jews or remnant Israel only, then its going to be a long discussion about election, chosen, predestination, dispensation, the old covenant, and the new covenant…….

              Or perhaps if it’s for the great tribulation saints whom Pretribbesr claimed they are not part of the Pretrib Raptured Body of Christ, and not part of the Pretrib Raptured Bride, because they are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and were all killed because of their good works and not by faith, then I rest my case for this matter only.

              Please read my reply post above to james and greg last September 24, 2015. It is the case I usually push for the post tribulation rapture doctrine. If this is not convincing enough still, then what else would.

              The book of Revelation is the end of the story, it is the finishing touches for the big picture. So all the answers about the end times re in this book. It is Jesus Christ Himself who revealed everything to John about the end times.

              God. Bless.

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              • Hi Eaglet,

                With all due respect, I do not understand your post. I asked you about 2 very specific verses that say in very certain terms that all Christians will be killed by the Antichrist. I’ve asked you several times how you interpret these verses and how you reconcile them with your rapture doctrine. You replied by listing verses with no explanation of exegesis of them. So I showed that will all due respect, you are pulling those verses out of context and that they are not applying to the Rapture. So with that being the case, there is no point in discussing individual words. The meaning of the individual words are not relevant because I respectfully disagree with your application of those passages. You should be showing me, by examining those passages in context – what they actually mean if you disagree with me.

                This has nothing to do with election or predestination. I’m not a Calvinist or a dispensationalist (and I honestly don’t even really know what that term means), etc. I am simply trying to look at Scripture in context and rightly divide it.

                The Bible says in very clear terms that the Antichrist will kill all true Christians. Do you agree with this interpretation of the 2 verses I quoted? Is the Bible saying something else? You are not providing an explanation of your conclusions so it’s hard to advance the discussion. But I welcome your thoughts if you want to share how you divide these passages. God bless. -B&E

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        • I would base it on these three readings that the Church will suffer through the tribulation and then the second and final coming of Christ – Mark 13:24-27, Matthew 24:26-31 and 2 Thess. 2:1-12?

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          • Hi Greg,

            Thanks for your comments and welcome to the discussion. If you have time, please see my response to Eaglet as I went into detail on the verse he offered to support the post-tribulation rapture model. I would like to address the ones you provided now to see if they support the notion that Christians will survive the reign of the Antichrist:

            1) Mark 13:24-27:

            24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

            As I have said in my response to Eaglet, the “elect” is the believing remnant of Israel who will indeed survive the Great Tribulation (as per Revelation 12:6). But verse 27 actually provides even more confirmation that the “elect” is Israel. First off – notice that the description in verse 27 does NOT match the description of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:

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

            In Mark 13:27 Jesus sends angels to gather the elect. In 1 Thessalonians 4 Jesus HIMSELF descends from Heaven. This is a very, very, very important difference. These are not the same event. Additionally we see that in 1 Thessalonians 4 the church is “caught up” and brought to the clouds. There is no mention of angels gathering us. The term “caught up” of course is the very famous Greek work harpazo. This same word is used to describe the ascent of Our Lord to Heaven in Revelation 12:

            “And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up [harpazo] unto God, and to his throne.” – Revelation 12:5.

            Now we know that Jesus ascended to Heaven all on His own. With no angelic assistance and He entered into a cloud. This is precisely what will happen to the church at the Rapture. Angels are not descending to get us. Jesus is descending for us.

            Furthrmore, Mark 13:27 provides even more confirmation that the elect being discussed here is Israel, not the church. Let’s look at it again:

            “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven

            Notice the portions I highlighted. We must always let Scripture define Scripture. And studying the Old testament we see this passage is definitely describing the end time regathering of the Jews in Israel:

            And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, 2 And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3 That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: 5 And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. 6 And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. – Deuteronomy 30:1-6.

            This is clearly speaking about the end times remnant of Israel who will believe upon the name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And they will be “GATHERED” from the “OUTMOST PARTS OF HEAVEN.” The Lord is clearly quoting this passage in Mark 13. And thus the elect is the believing remnant of Israel.

            Here’s more:

            11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. – Isaiah 11:11-12.

            12 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt, and ye shall be gathered one by one, O ye children of Israel. 13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem. – Isaiah 27:12-13.

            Again in these passages we see 1) gathering 2) a trumpet blown 3) a people who were spread to the four corners of the Earth 4) a return to worship in Jerusalem.

            Scripture confirms Scripture. I do not know what other possible conclusion we can have but that Mark 13:27 is referring to the end times gathering of the remnant of Israel.

            2) Matthew 24:26-31.

            ” 29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

            See my analysis above. Matthew 24:31 is a mirror of Mark 13:27. But just to provide more scriptural confirmation I will reference another prophetic Old testament passage:

            4 And said unto him, Run, speak to this young man, saying, Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein: 5 For I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her. 6 Ho, ho, come forth, and flee from the land of the north, saith the Lord: for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven, saith the Lord. 7 Deliver thyself, O Zion, that dwellest with the daughter of Babylon. – Zechariah 2:4-7

            Here we have reference to the “four winds of the heaven”. And this is again referring to Israel and their endtime regathering in Jerusalem. It is not a reference to the church. We are gone when this takes place.

            So neither of this passages reconcile the words of Revelation 13 that clearly teach Christians will not survive the Antichrist reign.

            3) 2 Thessalonians 2

            Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

            I did an entire article on this passage explaining why it is not a post-trib passage. You can find it here.

            I hope you and Eaglet can both see that these passage do not explain a post-trib rapture. The Bible confirms it self and never contradicts. Revelation 13 says the Antichrist will overcome all Christians. Do you agree with this reading of the text? It seems to be quite plainly stated:

            “7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: ..”

            “15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.”

            As I asked Eaglet, I ask you: how do you reconcile the church surviving the reign of the Antichrist with these passages? I welcome your explanation. God bless and thanks again for joining this discussion. -B&E

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            • B&E

              Thank you for your response back. Can we pray together that the Holy Spirit leads us to one truth and be as one.

              You wrote,

              “In Mark 13:27 Jesus sends angels to gather the elect. In 1 Thessalonians 4 Jesus HIMSELF descends from Heaven. This is a very, very, very important difference. These are not the same event. Additionally we see that in 1 Thessalonians 4 the church is “caught up” and brought to the clouds. There is no mention of angels gathering us. The term “caught up” of course is the very famous Greek work harpazo. This same word is used to describe the ascent of Our Lord to Heaven in Revelation 12”

              In Mark 13 you missed verse 26, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” Who is going to “see” the Son of man? The angels – No. We will see the Son of man. How? Because He is “coming”. Not later, but know. In His great power and glory then “he send his angels”. God shares His glory. In John 17:22 “the glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.”

              You wrote:

              “notice that the description in verse 27 does NOT match the description of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:”

              In 1 Thessalonians 4 it doesn’t match your account but doesn’t conflict with my account. There is no tribulation and no secret snatching. Paul is giving an account and assurance for that those who are left behind (themselves-the living) that they will be gather together with the one’s who have falling sleep (died) in the second coming – the final coming
              In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,” We have the same account in Mark 13 and Matthew 24. Then we have another “being” present, “the voice of the archangel”. It’s not just our Loud as you said. We have another “being” who is not God. Then we have the “sound of the trumpet” both in 1 Thessalonians 4 and Matthew 24. In Matthew 24 and Mark 13 scripture records the “tribulation”, it records our “Loud coming” with power and glory, the “sound of the trumpet” and we have the “elect” that is gathered.

              You wrote:

              “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven”
              Notice the portions I highlighted. We must always let Scripture define Scripture. And studying the Old testament we see this passage is definitely describing the end time regathering of the Jews in Israel:”

              Where in the highlighted scripture is it written that this passage is describing the end time “regathering” of the “Jews in Israel”? It doesn’t say that. Your adding words to scripture that isn’t there.

              In Deuteronomy 30 is referring to Israel disobedience and to return to the Lord. He is given them a promise if they “obey his voice”. In Deuteronomy 30, where in Mark 13 is there “captivity”? Where in Mark 13 will we be “driven out”? Where in Mark 13 will the Lord “circumcise thine heart”?

              There are so many fallacies in your interpretation that I’ll stop here and focus on Matthew 24, Mark 13 and 1 Thessalonians 2.

              I also have a couple of questions about the three Catholic Bishops you quoted in this article. That is just a historical fact. Do Catholic’s believe in the “rapture”? Do Catholic’s canonize non-catholic’s as saints?

                (Quote)

              • James Fox says:

                You said,

                “In Mark 13:27 Jesus sends angels to gather the elect.”

                That is surely true but are you aware that Jesus does the gathering? In Mt. 24:31 the word “gather” is third person plural in Greek because it refers to the angels. In Mark 13:27 the word “gather” is third person SINGULAR. It refers to Jesus.

                Look at the English: “And he will send his angels and gather …” He, Jesus, is doing the sending and the gathering.

                Obviously the angels are doing the heavy lifting but Jesus orders it to happen so Mark gives Jesus the credit for doing the gathering.

                Angels do the gathering. Jesus does the gathering. It is all the same thing.

                  (Quote)

                • Revelation 14:14 says,

                  14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man[b] with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

                    (Quote)

            • B&E

              Thank you for your response back. Can we pray together that the Holy Spirit leads us to one truth and be as one.

              You wrote,

              “In Mark 13:27 Jesus sends angels to gather the elect. In 1 Thessalonians 4 Jesus HIMSELF descends from Heaven. This is a very, very, very important difference. These are not the same event. Additionally we see that in 1 Thessalonians 4 the church is “caught up” and brought to the clouds. There is no mention of angels gathering us. The term “caught up” of course is the very famous Greek work harpazo. This same word is used to describe the ascent of Our Lord to Heaven in Revelation 12”

              In Mark 13 you missed verse 26, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” Who is going to “see” the Son of man? The angels? No. We will see the Son of man. Why? Because He is “coming”. Not later, but know. In His great power and glory then “he send his angels”. God shares His glory with others – John 17:22 “the glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.”

              You wrote:

              “notice that the description in verse 27 does NOT match the description of the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:”

              In 1 Thessalonians 4 it conflicts with your account but doesn’t conflict with my account. There is no tribulation and no secret snatching. Paul is giving an account and assurance for that those who are left behind (themselves-the living) that they will be gather together with the one’s who have falling sleep (died) in the second coming – the final coming
              In 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven,” We have the same account in Mark 13 and Matthew 24. Then we have another “being” present, “the voice of the archangel”. It’s not just our Loud as you said. We have another “being” who is not God. Then we have the “sound of the trumpet” both in 1 Thessalonians 4 and Matthew 24. In Matthew 24 and Mark 13 scripture records the “tribulation”, it records our “Loud coming” with power and glory, the “sound of the trumpet” and we have the “elect” that is gathered.

              You wrote:

              “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven”
              Notice the portions I highlighted. We must always let Scripture define Scripture. And studying the Old testament we see this passage is definitely describing the end time regathering of the Jews in Israel:”

              Where in the highlighted scripture is it written that this passage is describing the end time “regathering” of the “Jews in Israel”? It doesn’t say that. Your adding words to scripture that isn’t there.

              In Deuteronomy 30 is referring to Israel disobedience and to return to the Lord. He is given them a promise if they “obey his voice”. In Deuteronomy 30, where in Mark 13 is there “captivity”? Where in Mark 13 will we be “driven out”? Where in Mark 13 will the Lord “circumcise thine heart”? There are so many fallacies in your interpretations

              I also have a couple of questions about the three Catholic Bishops you quoted in this article. That is just a historical fact. Do Catholic’s believe in the “rapture”? Do Catholic’s canonize non-catholic’s as saints?

              God Bless You

                (Quote)

              • James Fox says:

                You said,

                “In Mark 13:27 Jesus sends angels to gather the elect.”

                Are you aware that in Mark Jesus does the gathering? In Matthew in Greek, the word “gather” is third person plural and it refers to the angles (plural). In Mark in Greek, “gather” is third person singular. Mark means, “He will send out his angles and HE will gather ….”

                Obviously the angles are doing the heavy lifting in Mark but Jesus orders it to happen so Mark gives Jesus the credit for doing the gathering.

                  (Quote)

              • You said,

                “In 1 Thessalonians 4 Jesus HIMSELF descends from Heaven. This is a very, very, very important difference. These are not the same event.”

                Are you saying that Jesus is not descending from heaven in Mark 13:27? Look at Mark 13:26, “At that time men will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with power and glory.” Jesus IS descending from heaven in Mark 13:27.

                I think they are the same event.

                  (Quote)

                • Hi James,

                  As I explained to Greg I believe Mark 13:26 and 27 are two different events. The coming in the clouds of verse 26 is the “sign of the Son of Man” in Matthew 24 which gives more confirmation that it is separate from Mark 13:27.

                  And I will pose the same question to you that I did to Greg and Eaglet. How do you interpret these passages:

                  And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. – Revelation 13:7.

                  And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as [hosos] would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. – Revelation 13:15.

                  The plain reading of these passages concludes that the Antichrist and False Prophet will kill all true Christians. The Greek for “As many as” is used throughout the New Testament to indicate “all” or “however many” or “what ever.” In every use it means “all” in Scripture. Yet the post-tribulation rapture model seems to be premised on the notion that Christians will survive the Antichrist reign and be raptured at the tail end. How do you interpret what seems to me to very clear verses above? God bless. -B&E

                    (Quote)

              • James Fox says:

                You said,

                “Where in the highlighted scripture is it written that this passage is describing the end time “regathering” of the “Jews in Israel”? It doesn’t say that. Your adding words to scripture that isn’t there.”

                It may say it in Matthew. “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn.” Mt. 24:30 NIV.

                My 909 page Greek dictionary gives tribe as the first meaning and nation as the second meaning of this word. It is used over 200 times in the Septuagint. In early Genesis, before Jacob, it means nation or family. After Jacob it seems to always mean a tribe of Israel. So Mt. 24:30 may mean “all the tribes of the earth will mourn.”

                The Hebrew word, aretz, land/earth means
                1) The earth as opposed to the sun and moon and stars
                2) the land as opposed to the ocean and the sky

                However in Hebrew “the land” could have a special meaning. If you are a Jew and you say “the land” without any qualifier like “the land of Egypt” what do you think it means. Obviously it means Israel. In Hebrew “the land” can be a synonym for Israel. It is used that way frequently in the Old Testament.

                This Hebrew word is always translated into the Greek word gay which means earth or land. It is the word in Mt. 24:30.

                I think Mt. 24:30 should be translated “all the tribes of The Land [of Israel] will mourn.”

                So the gathering in Mt. 24:31 and Mark 13:27 may be a gathering of Jews.

                I personally think it is first to the Jews and then to the gentiles. Is. 11 is talking about the coming of the Messiah. Is. 11:12 says the Jews will be gathered from the 4 quarters of the earth. Doesn’t that seem like “from the 4 winds” in Mt. 24:31. Jews pray about this verse 3 times a day 6 days a week. It is constantly on their minds. I think Jesus was alluding to this extremely famous verse when he said “4 winds.”

                But Is. 11:10 says “the nations will rally to him [the Messiah].” So Jews and gentiles will be part of this famous gathering. I think Jesus was referring to this passage.

                  (Quote)

                • Hey James,

                  Always great to see you brother. I wanted to comment on this:

                  “It may say it in Matthew. “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky and all the nations of the earth will mourn.” Mt. 24:30 NIV.

                  My 909 page Greek dictionary gives tribe as the first meaning and nation as the second meaning of this word. It is used over 200 times in the Septuagint. In early Genesis, before Jacob, it means nation or family. After Jacob it seems to always mean a tribe of Israel. So Mt. 24:30 may mean “all the tribes of the earth will mourn.”

                  The Hebrew word, aretz, land/earth means
                  1) The earth as opposed to the sun and moon and stars
                  2) the land as opposed to the ocean and the sky

                  However in Hebrew “the land” could have a special meaning. If you are a Jew and you say “the land” without any qualifier like “the land of Egypt” what do you think it means. Obviously it means Israel. In Hebrew “the land” can be a synonym for Israel. It is used that way frequently in the Old Testament.

                  This Hebrew word is always translated into the Greek word gay which means earth or land. It is the word in Mt. 24:30.

                  I think Mt. 24:30 should be translated “all the tribes of The Land [of Israel] will mourn.”

                  So the gathering in Mt. 24:31 and Mark 13:27 may be a gathering of Jews.”

                  I looked this up and you were absolutely right. I was never aware of this. Thank you for sharing this astonishing insight. It brings a lot more clarity to the verse. God bless. -B&E

                    (Quote)

              • Hey Greg,

                What’s up. Thanks for your response and breaking it up by passage so it’s easier to discuss:

                1) Mark 13:27

                You wrote:


                “In Mark 13 you missed verse 26, “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory” Who is going to “see” the Son of man? The angels? No. We will see the Son of man. Why? Because He is “coming”. Not later, but know. In His great power and glory then “he send his angels”. God shares His glory with others – John 17:22 “the glory which you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one.”

                Let’s look at Mark 13:26-27 in context:

                23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. 24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, 25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. 26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. – Mark 13:23-26.

                Notice The Lord is giving a sequence. The celestial signs of God commencing the Great Tribulation occur. And THEN Jesus comes in glory in the clouds. AND THEN He sends His angels to gather His elect. I would submit that verses 26 and 27 are separate events. This is supported by matthew 24:

                29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. – Matthew 24:29-31.

                What is the “sign of the Son of Man”? We are told in Mark 13. It’s Jesus coming in clouds. This is the Rapture. The Church is going to be caught up to the clouds. We will meet Jesus there. Again, nothing in Scripture about angels gathering or escorting us. We are going to go there ourselves. We are going to ascend just as Christ gets “caught up” in Revelation 12.

                Additionally, you and Eaglet have both ignored the various Old Testament passages that confirm that the gathering from the “four winds of heaven” are clearly in reference to Israel, and specifically the believing remnant of Israel. Our Lord is quoting these very passages in Mark 13! Shouldn’t that be compelling proof of what the meaning of the verses are?? But since you reference one let’s discuss it next.

                2) Deuteronomy 30

                You wrote:


                “Where in the highlighted scripture is it written that this passage is describing the end time “regathering” of the “Jews in Israel”? It doesn’t say that. Your adding words to scripture that isn’t there.”

                Let’s look at the passages again, which I sincerely attempted to put in context:

                First off, the address in Deuteronomy 30 actually begins in chapter 29, so let’s just look at the first couple of verses in chapter 29:

                These are the words of the covenant, which the Lord commanded Moses to make with the children of Israel in the land of Moab, beside the covenant which he made with them in Horeb. 2 And Moses called unto all Israel, and said unto them, Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and unto all his servants, and unto all his land;– Deuteronomy 29:1-2.

                Contextually, this is a clear address to Israel. Moses is speaking to the Israelites about their future, in short term and long term (end time prophecy). So now let’s move forward to chapter 30, and the passage in question:

                And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee, 2 And shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; 3 That then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations, whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee: 5 And the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. 6 And the Lord thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. – Deuteronomy 30:1-6.

                Now it seems quite clear that this is an address to israel specifically regarding their future in the Promised Land (which their fathers possessed). God in the end times, will ultimately return the believing remnant of Israel to their land. And this will happen after God circumcises their hearts. This is precisely what Romans 11 is saying, which is why I referred you to my response to Eaglet. Israel walks in blindness in part until the fullness of the Gentiles come in. We are the Gentiles. The Church’s completion will lead to us leaving and then Israel being saved by The Lord who will remove their blindness. This is taught all throughout Scripture:

                The Lord also shall save the tents of Judah first, that the glory of the house of David and the glory of the inhabitants of Jerusalem do not magnify themselves against Judah. 8 In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem; and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them. 9 And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. 10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn. – Zechariah 12:7-10.

                David. The House of Judah. The inhabitants of Jerusalem. These are clearly JEWISH referents. The end time salvation poured out by God is upon Israel. The Lord will turn His face back towards Israel to redeem His believing remnant. This is the spirit of GRACE and supplication. That is the New Covenant. This is what is taking place in the end times. And this is what Jesus is referencing. After Israel is awoken they will be regathered. This works in harmony with the passages I cited regarding the end times regathering from the four winds, four corners and outermost parts of Heaven. All the passages I cited are actually quoted by The Lord. What passages are you using to confirm your interpretation?


                In Deuteronomy 30 is referring to Israel disobedience and to return to the Lord. He is given them a promise if they “obey his voice”. In Deuteronomy 30, where in Mark 13 is there “captivity”? Where in Mark 13 will we be “driven out”? Where in Mark 13 will the Lord “circumcise thine heart”? There are so many fallacies in your interpretations

                If Jesus is sending angels to gather His elect, by implication they were scattered. Scattering and gathering are repeated all throughout the Old Testament in God’s warnings to Israel. This was one of the main punishments they would receive – being scattered and losing physical, geographic Israel. Similarly, if Jesus is referring to “mine elect” by implication they must be believers. And the reason why these things are stated in detail in Mark 13 is because we as believers should be reading the Old Testament to understand the references Jesus Our Lord is making. It is our responsibility to search the Scriptures. The Lord commands us to. So when He quotes a passage we should be searching eagerly for the fuller meaning. And in this case it appears that you and Eaglet are not persuaded by the very passages Jesus quotes. So I do not know how that can be a harmonious interpretation.

                3) Catholic Bishops – I can’t speak on the eschatology of a whole denomination. The “Catholic Church” in the early centuries was probably composed of people with many different, varying end times views.

                I hope that I have conveyed my thoughts clearly. I still honestly do not see at all how you or Eaglet divide the teaching in Revelation and Daniel that the Antichrist will conquer and kill all true Christians? So I cannot conclude there being a rapture of the Church after the antichrist reign. God bless and thanks again for the great discussion. -B&E

                  (Quote)

                • What a powerfull teaching that is rooted in Hewbrews 6:1 The Doctrine of christ on resurection that you revieled about Dt. 30 concerning mark 13:27. Most People do not understand pauls teaching on the 6 doctrines in christ Keep the good word up Bruce

                    (Quote)

                • BE

                  Everything is going well. Thank you for asking and thanks for this forum to share our thoughts. As Christians we need to talk and write more intimately with one another. Thank you for being so charitable in your writings.

                  You wrote:

                  “Notice The Lord is giving a sequence. The celestial signs of God commencing the Great Tribulation occur. And THEN Jesus comes in glory in the clouds. AND THEN He sends His angels to gather His elect. I would submit that verses 26 and 27 are separate events. This is supported by matthew 24:”

                  I think you’re using your interpretation of 1 Thessalonians 4 as being correct and your presupposing it on Matthew 24, Mark 13 and 2 Thessalonians 2. Another way of saying it, is your first premise is mistaken. Even in your “2 Thessalonians 2” article you make this same mistake. You’re taking this scripture to mean something that is different then what it reads. So lets begin with 1 Thessalonians 4:

                  In verse 16 “the Lord himself” will descend “in the same way” (Acts 1:11) that he ascended into heaven in a cloud . The “cry of command” is the voice of our Lord that calls the dead and judgement (John 5:28-29). The “archangel’s call” is archangel Micheal who is the guardian of God (Dan. 12:1). The archangel Micheal is also the leader of the angelic army (Jude 9 and Rev. 12:7). And with “the trumpet” the final blast (“the last trumpet” 1 Cor. 15: 52) which starts the resurrection and glorification of the saints. And then “the dead in Christ” who were deprived of their bodies will live on in spiritual union with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). In verse 17, all believers that are living will be “caught up” (Latin word “rapture”) when Christ returns and will be joined with the saints from the ages as they ascend. It doesn’t seem that these people will die and then be raised, but instantly made immortal. We share some beliefs in this scripture but scripture supports that this is the of end times. Scripture doesn’t support pre, mid or post raptures. So, when you write that we should read scripture contextually, we share the same view point.

                  I agree with you that Mark 13 is a sequence. But these aren’t celestial signs in a sense. These are things that will occur in order but not signs. What s it describing? We have “after that tribulation” in verse 24 that can occur for a time period. We have other data from OT oracles of God’s dreadful judgements (Ezek 32:7-8, Is 13:9-10 and 34:4). This is the end of times. This is God’s final judgement and it won’t be pretty. But what happens next after the tribulation? By the way, their is no “tribulation” in 1 Thessalonians 4 but it’s in Matthew 24, Mark 13, and 2 Thessalonians 2. After the tribulation it reads “and then”. Isn’t this a conjunction that continues a thought? Where in scripture is it written that when the writer uses “and then” means this… But even so, notice that there is no “gathering” and there is no gathering yet in 1 Thessalonians 4 so it completely matches. Then verse 26 “they will see the Son of man coming in the clouds”. We have the same account in 1 Thess. 4 that “the Lord himself will descend from heaven”. The “Son of man” is in a cloud and they will also be “caught up” in the clouds. I have to add that it’s very interesting that we have a cloud in both accounts. And then the “trumpet” blow from Matthew 24 which we have in 1 Thess. 4 and we learn it’s from an archangel. Why the trumpet blow? Because it summons “the angels” that Jesus sends out. And then finally, Jesus is coming in a cloud which the elect will be caught up in a cloud. It matches 1 Thess. 4 and doesn’t conflict the way pre, mid, and post “rapture” accounts are explained. It’s more reasonable to believe that Matthew 24 and Mark 13 are the same account as 1 Thessalonians 4 than the “rapture” account with the data from scripture. Also, you agree that Matthew 24 and Mark 13 are the same account even with the lack of the “trumpet” in Mark 13.

                  You wrote:

                  “Additionally, you and Eaglet have both ignored the various Old Testament passages that confirm that the gathering from the “four winds of heaven” are clearly in reference to Israel, and specifically the believing remnant of Israel. Our Lord is quoting these very passages in Mark 13! Shouldn’t that be compelling proof of what the meaning of the verses are?? But since you reference one let’s discuss it next.”

                  I didn’t ignore the “four winds of heaven”. It’s not clearly referenced to Israel in Mark 13. I didn’t comment on it because it’s such a far stretch from the truth and the scripture you’re using doesn’t support it. The “four winds of heaven”(Zechariah 6:5; Ezek. 37:9) is another words for the “four corners” of the earth which just means “all of heaven” (Rev. 7:1).

                  BE, I agree with you OT scriptures foreshadows the NT but the scriptures your using clearly doesn’t support any of your claims. The way you write it seems like you study scripture a lot but your premises are mistaken and then you try to support a claim that isn’t there. I asked you a few questions about Deuteronomy and you failed to answer them.

                  You wrote:

                  “Now it seems quite clear that this is an address to israel specifically regarding their future in the Promised Land (which their fathers possessed). God in the end times, will ultimately return the believing remnant of Israel to their land. And this will happen after God circumcises their hearts. This is precisely what Romans 11 is saying, which is why I referred you to my response to Eaglet. Israel walks in blindness in part until the fullness of the Gentiles come in. We are the Gentiles. The Church’s completion will lead to us leaving and then Israel being saved by The Lord who will remove their blindness. This is taught all throughout Scripture:”

                  In scripture the Promise Land clearly foreshadows heaven. Where is it written that God will return Israel to their land at the “end of times”? God circumcises our hearts is a foreshadowing of baptism which now saves us. We are not the Gentiles. We were the children of God. The new Israel brought through by Jesus (Galatians 3:26-27). Israel foreshadowed the Church in the new covenant. Where is it written that the Lord will remove Israel blindness? It’s clearly a stumbling block for them (1 Peter 2:7-8; Is 8:14).

                  You wrote:

                  ” 3) Catholic Bishops – I can’t speak on the eschatology of a whole denomination. The “Catholic Church” in the early centuries was probably composed of people with many different, varying end times views.”

                  You didn’t answer the question. You used three Catholic Bishops in this article to support your claim. Catholic Bishops are in communion with the pope who is in line of the Catholic Church’s teachings. They all were canonized as saints by the Catholic Church. Do you see how that contradicts what you wrote. Either you didn’t do your research or reaching for any type of evidence and missed where the evidence is coming from. Would you support and believe any of their other writings? I also encourage you to read their writings since you quoted them in this article.

                  You wrote:

                  “how you or Eaglet divide the teaching in Revelation and Daniel that the Antichrist will conquer and kill all true Christians?”

                  I’m not dividing the teachings. Scripture doesn’t support your interpretation of scripture. Can we pray together for the “true” Christians who are being persecuted and dying in the Middle East for believing in the Gospel?

                  I also believe that we are coming to an impasse but what are Christians to do when that happens?

                  You’re probably enjoying this too so thanks again. “Iron sharpens Iron” God Bless you!

                    (Quote)

                  • Hi Greg,

                    Thanks again for the responses and apologize for the delay in getting back to you:

                    1) 1 Thessalonians 4:

                    You wrote:

                    “In verse 16 “the Lord himself” will descend “in the same way” (Acts 1:11) that he ascended into heaven in a cloud . The “cry of command” is the voice of our Lord that calls the dead and judgement (John 5:28-29). The “archangel’s call” is archangel Micheal who is the guardian of God (Dan. 12:1). The archangel Micheal is also the leader of the angelic army (Jude 9 and Rev. 12:7). And with “the trumpet” the final blast (“the last trumpet” 1 Cor. 15: 52) which starts the resurrection and glorification of the saints. And then “the dead in Christ” who were deprived of their bodies will live on in spiritual union with the Lord (2 Cor. 5:8). In verse 17, all believers that are living will be “caught up” (Latin word “rapture”) when Christ returns and will be joined with the saints from the ages as they ascend. It doesn’t seem that these people will die and then be raised, but instantly made immortal. We share some beliefs in this scripture but scripture supports that this is the of end times. Scripture doesn’t support pre, mid or post raptures. So, when you write that we should read scripture contextually, we share the same view point.”

                    With all due respect, I don’t completely follow your explanation here. For one, I don’t see Biblical confirmation that the shout of the archangel will be Michael. Furthermore, I do not see how your explanation confirms a post-tribulation rapture.

                    2) Old Testament Passages:

                    You wrote:

                    I didn’t ignore the “four winds of heaven”. It’s not clearly referenced to Israel in Mark 13. I didn’t comment on it because it’s such a far stretch from the truth and the scripture you’re using doesn’t support it. The “four winds of heaven”(Zechariah 6:5; Ezek. 37:9) is another words for the “four corners” of the earth which just means “all of heaven” (Rev. 7:1).

                    This is a micharacterization of what I wrote. Mark 13:27, which I very clearly and accurately quoted says:

                    “And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.”

                    I already provided the verses The Lord quotes that references “four winds” and “outermost part of Heaven” and even more specifically a GATHERING. They were 2 different passages. You have yet to list those verses and provide any explanation of them in context at all. I then quoted Matthew 24 and provided the Old testament passages that detail the “four corners” of the earth. All of those passages are explicit references to end time believing Jews returning to geographic Israel. You are making conclusions about these passages without putting the verses out clearly in context and then dividing them. Of course one can say: “those verses are not about Israel” when there is no actual analysis of the Scriptures. If you disagree with my interpretation that is more than okay. But you should provide an analysis of those same passages. Just asserting that “I’m wrong” does not advance the discussion.

                    And one more thing – regarding the Promised Land. Yes, it is definitely a type and foreshadow of Heaven and the Eternal Kingdom of Christ on the New Earth. However, there are many, many prophecies that deal with geographic Israel in Scripture. The believing remnant will indeed be GATHERED and returned to geographic Israel in the end times. It is prophesied many times in the Old Testament. And these are the exact passages The Lord is quoting in Mark 13 and Matthew 24 in reference to the gathering of the elect.

                    Again, I am more than welcome your disagreement with me but you I would also welcome you rightly dividing the passages you believe I have misinterpreted so we can truly learn in the discussion. God bless. – B&E

                    BE, I agree with you OT scriptures foreshadows the NT but the scriptures your using clearly doesn’t support any of your claims. The way you write it seems like you study scripture a lot but your premises are mistaken and then you try to support a claim that isn’t there. I asked you a few questions about Deuteronomy and you failed to answer them.

                    You wrote:

                    “Now it seems quite clear that this is an address to israel specifically regarding their future in the Promised Land (which their fathers possessed). God in the end times, will ultimately return the believing remnant of Israel to their land. And this will happen after God circumcises their hearts. This is precisely what Romans 11 is saying, which is why I referred you to my response to Eaglet. Israel walks in blindness in part until the fullness of the Gentiles come in. We are the Gentiles. The Church’s completion will lead to us leaving and then Israel being saved by The Lord who will remove their blindness. This is taught all throughout Scripture:”

                    In scripture the Promise Land clearly foreshadows heaven. Where is it written that God will return Israel to their land at the “end of times”? God circumcises our hearts is a foreshadowing of baptism which now saves us. We are not the Gentiles. We were the children of God. The new Israel brought through by Jesus (Galatians 3:26-27). Israel foreshadowed the Church in the new covenant. Where is it written that the Lord will remove Israel blindness? It’s clearly a stumbling block for them (1 Peter 2:7-8; Is 8:14).

                      (Quote)

                    • BE,

                      Thank you for your thoughts.

                      You wrote:

                      “With all due respect, I don’t completely follow your explanation here. For one, I don’t see Biblical confirmation that the shout of the archangel will be Michael. Furthermore, I do not see how your explanation confirms a post-tribulation rapture.”

                      Sorry, I wasn’t clear. I don’t believe in a post tribulation rapture. I was pointing out that the data from 1 Thessalonians 4 points towards the end of the world. No one will be left behind.

                      In 1 Th. 4:16 we know that Jesus is descending in a cloud because Acts 1:11 states “the Lord himself” will descend “in the same way” that he ascended into heaven in a cloud. My point is that it matches the accounts in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. We have a “cloud” that people will be “caught up” in 1 Thess. 4:17. It makes sense. It’s logical.

                      The “cry of command” in 1 Th. 4:16 is the voice of our Lord that calls the dead and the final judgement. It matches John 5:28-29 with hearing “his voice”. “His voice” is the “cry of command” that scripture records as the final judgement after hearing “his voice” that “those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of judgment”. This is the final judgement with the “cry of command” in 1 Thessalonians 4:16.

                      In Dan. 12:1, archangel Micheal is the “great prince” who “has charge” of God’s people that when “there shall be a time of trouble” will “deliver” those whose name is “written in the book”. Do we have a good idea who this archangel is in 1 Th. 4:16? Archangel Micheal is also the leader of the angelic army. Scripture clearly describes who’s the leader, it’s “Michael and his angels” in Revelation 12:7. Does Jesus need the “archangel call” or does the angelic army need it? Scripture doesn’t describe how at the end of times Christians will be caught up. I’m assuming it’s by the power and authority of Jesus. Why can’t the “archangel’s call” be from the authority of Jesus to send out an army of angels? 1 Th. 4:17 is silent about how that will be done? It just says “caught up”. We have reasonable data from scripture that it’s Michael who is present with his army of angels by Jesus’ authority.

                      Finally, we have the “sound of the trumpet”. In 1 Cor. 15:52 scripture records that the “trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised”. This is the “last trumpet” and we have it recorded in 1 Th. 4:16 and Matthew 24:31 but not in Mark 13.

                      Scripture is clear that in 1 Th. 4 this is not a rapture that is secretly snatching people during pre, mid or post tribulation. It’s describing the end. The judgement of the living and the dead.

                      If you have time, I would still like to hear your thoughts where my reasoning is mistaken. Thanks again for this website. You are truly blessed.

                      God Bless You,

                        (Quote)

                    • James Fox says:

                      You said,

                      The “cry of command” in 1 Th. 4:16 is the voice of our Lord that calls the dead and the final judgement. It matches John 5:28-29 with hearing “his voice. “His voice” is the “cry of command….”

                      That is not a given, but I think you are correct. It makes sense to me.

                      You said,

                      “Does Jesus need the “archangel call” or does the angelic army need it? Scripture doesn’t describe how at the end of times Christians will be caught up….. Why can’t the “archangel’s call” be from the authority of Jesus to send out an army of angels?

                      I think you are correct. The archangel’s call sends out an army of angels. The army of angels does the gathering at the Rapture. It is the same thing as the angelic gathering in Mt. 24:31. I think scripture does describe “how at the end of times Christians will be caught up.” It is described in Mt. 24:31. The Rapture is post-trib

                        (Quote)

                • BE,

                  I hope you finished reading my last post written on October 5th. I hope your having a blessed week. I wanted to move into some of the statements in your original article.

                  You wrote in this article about Ephraim The Syrian:

                  “Although he was made a “saint” in the Roman Catholic Church, he was not involved in Catholicism and did not even live in the Roman Empire until the final years of his life.”

                  Did you know that Ephraim The Syrian was a Catholic Bishop when you wrote this article or did you miss it when you were do your research?

                  Also, I’m guessing that you equate to being a Roman Catholic, you had to live in the Roman Empire? Do you understand what it means to being Roman Catholic? I think you have a misrepresentation of what it means to be Roman Catholic.

                  You wrote in this article:

                  “it is informative to see how the early church leaders interpreted Scripture in addition to what the learned directly from those closest to The Lord Jesus Christ.”

                  I agree with this statement. We can learn a lot about authentic Christianity from early church leaders who learned it directly from those closest to our Lord.
                  Here’s one from Ephraim The Syrian who believed in the real presence of the Eucharist:

                  “After the disciples had eaten the new and holy Bread, and when they understood by faith that they had eaten of Christ’s body, Christ went on to explain and to give them the whole Sacrament. He took and mixed a cup of wine. The He blessed it, and signed it, and made it holy, declaring that it was His own Blood, which was about to be poured out….Christ commanded them to drink, and He explained to them that the cup which they were drinking was His own Blood: ‘This is truly My Blood, which is shed for all of you. Take, all of you, drink of this, because it is a new covenant in My Blood, As you have seen Me do, do you also in My memory. Whenever you are gathered together in My name in Churches everywhere, do what I have done, in memory of Me. Eat My Body, and drink My Blood, a covenant new and old.”,

                  -“Homilies” 4,6 ca. 350 A.D.,

                  This was Irenaeus quote about the real presence of the Eucharist.

                  “So then, if the mixed cup and the manufactured bread receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, that is to say, the Blood and Body of Christ, which fortify and build up the substance of our flesh, how can these people claim that the flesh is incapable of receiving God’s gift of eternal life, when it is nourished by Christ’s Blood and Body and is His member? As the blessed apostle says in his letter to the Ephesians, ‘For we are members of His Body, of His flesh and of His bones’ (Eph. 5:30). He is not talking about some kind of ‘spiritual’ and ‘invisible’ man, ‘for a spirit does not have flesh an bones’ (Lk. 24:39). No, he is talking of the organism possessed by a real human being, composed of flesh and nerves and bones. It is this which is nourished by the cup which is His Blood, and is fortified by the bread which is His Body. The stem of the vine takes root in the earth and eventually bears fruit, and ‘the grain of wheat falls into the earth’ (Jn. 12:24), dissolves, rises again, multiplied by the all-containing Spirit of God, and finally after skilled processing, is put to human use. These two then receive the Word of God and become the Eucharist, which is the Body and Blood of Christ.”

                  -“Five Books on the Unmasking and Refutation of the Falsely

                  St. Cyprian wrote to the Ephesians circa 258 A.D.

                  “The priest who imitates that which Christ did, truly takes the place of Christ, and offers there in the Church a true and perfect sacrifice to God the Father.”,

                  Would you use these writings to interpret scripture?

                  As always, God Bless you.

                    (Quote)

            • Please search the following words in the dictionary if it means “all were Killed”:
              1. Overcome
              2. Captured
              3. War
              4. Plundered
              5. Should (if it is done with already, completely, and with finality)
              6. Must (if it is done with already, completely, and with finality)

              Search also in the writings of Peter and Paul about who the elects are.

              Ask a 12 year old and make him read Revelation 13:7 and 13:15. Ask him if the scriptures implies that all the saints will be killed and none of them will survive..

                (Quote)

          • Greg,

            You are making many assumptions and statements about how and why I have come to the personal conclusion that ‘the rapture’ is before “the great and dreadful day of the LORD” – none of which are the case with me.

            I am not a ‘pretribber’ – I am one who after much personal reading, prayers, and really studying over a period of several years believes that, only by the Continuous Wondrous Mercy and Grace of “the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy” that none of “the bride, the Lambs wife” will go through a time of evil and suffering that this world has never ever known.

            It is your choice to believe as you will – but as such a strong believer in ‘the post-tribulation rapture’ you personally desire to go through that which is written in “the word of the Lord”?
            [21] For then shall be great tribulation,
            such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time,
            no, nor ever shall be.
            [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:
            but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
            (Matthew, Chapter 24, KJB)

            I personally have now come to the point of wondering if those that believe, and thus desire to go through either part {‘mid-tribulation Rapture’}, or all {‘post-tribulation Rapture’} of “the day of the wrath of the LORD” – will “the Lord God Almighty” honour their personal choice and desire?
            The only thing that I do know absolutely is “the certainty of the words of truth”:
            “Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” – Genesis 18:25b, KJV
            .

              (Quote)

            • Bro. Nick

              Thank you for your reply.

              I don’t think I made any assumptions or statements about your particular beliefs in the “rapture”. I did make statements about your physiological comments. I believe you replied to the wrong post. The post you replied to was my reply to BE. If I’m wrong please correct me.

              You wrote:

              “I am one who after much personal reading, prayers, and really studying over a period of several years believes that..”

              Okay, we share the same discipline. We read scripture daily, we pray daily and really study the scriptures hard to understand the Word of God to become holy but so does a lot of other Christians but why do all Christians have different beliefs then? Is one of us mistaken? Is the Holy Spirit doing a bad job in leading us?

              You wrote:

              “It is your choice to believe as you will”

              Correct. We have the freedom to make our own choices but can our choices be mistaken? If they are mistaken should we change them?

              You wrote:

              “[21] For then shall be great tribulation,
              such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time,
              no, nor ever shall be.
              [22] And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved:
              but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.
              (Matthew, Chapter 24, KJB)”

              Notice that it “shall be shortened” but not taken away or gathered or eliminated. What do you think verse 22 reads?

              Also, if you read a little further down in Matthew 24, scripture is clear that the Church, the elect, will go through the tribulation. In verse 29 “the tribulation”; verse 30 “the Son of man coming on the clouds”; verse 31 “trumpet call” and then finally “gather his elect”. Do you see the order? Tribulation is first and gathering his elect is last. All Christians who are alive during this time will go through the tribulation just as Jesus suffered.

              God Bless You

                (Quote)

    • Bro. Nick,
      Maybe a question for you to ask yourself is it important to believe in truth or false beliefs? What would you say to a person who denies the holocaust ever happened? Better yet what would you think about a person who made that statement? A matter of fact Pilate faced a dilemma that was so profound, “Pilate said to him,”What is truth?” John 18:38

      Should we change our beliefs if we are presented with reasonable evidence that shows our belief to be false?

        (Quote)

      • I am always interested in learning that which is “the truth” – but I am not interested when people make personal ‘statements of fact’ based upon their interpretations of what the words that are written in “the word of the Lord”.
        If you and they would say – it is my personal understanding that ….. – then there is the possibility of a meaningful dialog.
        When someone says – you are wrong – they are seldom, if ever – interested in my personal understanding, or point-of-view.

        I am in the process of compiling various references to ‘the Rapture’ that I am personally led to throughout the entire Holy Bible, KJV. It is turning out to be much more of an undertaking than I had ever thought it would be. Reading in context what the many different Bible verses and phrases actually say – in context – I am personally coming ever more to the conclusion that the rapture is indeed before “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.

        If you wish to believe in the ‘post-tribulation rapture’ – that is absolutely your choice – but you do not have the authority to tell me – and all of the others that disagree with you – that we are wrong.

        Again – what is the agenda of those that are so aggressive?
        It is my personal reaction that when so many make as ‘a statement of face’ their personal beliefs that I am wrong – with no meaningful conversation – I think that they have a deliberate agenda – which includes demeaning statements and ‘verbally bullying’ of anyone that disagrees with their specific and particular beliefs – with some telling me that I believe a lie – and even questioning my personal salvation – which means that there indeed is an agenda – very similar to the the agenda of the many that demean the Holy Bible, King James Version (KJV | KJB | AV).

        I personally know that I know very very little of “the scripture of truth”, for “the only wise God” inspired that which is written in “the word of the Lord” for His reasons:
        Ҧ For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
        neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
        For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
        so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
        (Isaiah 55:8-9, KJB)

        “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”
        (1 Corinthians 8:2, KJB)

        “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him:
        but the just shall live by his faith.”
        (Habakkuk 2:4, KJV)
        .

          (Quote)

        • Bro. Nick

          I’m happy that you’re interested in learning which is truth but why? You didn’t answer any of my questions that I posed on the last post or just choose to ignore them.

          I agree that we should all have an open dialog of thoughts. We should share and exchange ideas. But if our ideas are mistaken, should we change them? In this dialog someone is wrong whether it’s my position or your position and it does matter because we shouldn’t believe in false beliefs. Truth is truth. That’s what’s lost – truth, and that hurts everyone because in a sense we are all separated from one another.

          You wrote:
          “If you wish to believe in the ‘post-tribulation rapture’ – that is absolutely your choice – but you do not have the authority to tell me – and all of the others that disagree with you – that we are wrong.”

          So we can believe what we want even though it’s false? Another words, there isn’t absolute truth because we get to pick and choose what is truth. This is what the secular world believes. It’s also very destructive.

          People get aggressive on either side of any issue because they hold their believe as truth and they try to defend their position. I would agree with you that we should love one another and show that by the way we speak or write.

          You wrote:
          Ҧ For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
          neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
          For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
          so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
          (Isaiah 55:8-9, KJB)

          “And if any man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.”
          (1 Corinthians 8:2, KJB)

          “Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him:
          but the just shall live by his faith.”
          (Habakkuk 2:4, KJV)”

          “Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” John 7:24. So our God gives us words to judge others correctly with our own intellect but we shouldn’t judge someone’s salvation. “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” James 2:17 Is “believing” works? How about loving God? Is that required? Are these works?

          How can we proclaim and be witnesses to the world that Jesus is our Lord, the One and True God when we may have mistaken beliefs?

          God Bless You

            (Quote)

          • Bro. Nick says:

            Greg – I have had the opportunity to do a fair amount of thinking about what and why you are so militaristic in your agenda to ‘convert’ me to your ideas about what and why you believe is the truth of ‘the post-tribulation Rapture’?

            I have just had a rather unpleasant conversation with a man that believes that the earth is flat – and has told me categorically that his belief is ‘Biblical truth’ – and has also basically told me that I am going to hell because I do not believe as he does.
            His comments to me are strikingly similar to what many of the believers in ‘the post-tribulation Rapture’ have said.

            Indeed there is an exponential increase of Luciferian confusion going on.

            I have been working for several months on a personal Biblical word and phrase study about ‘the when of the Rapture’ – and the more that I study and Pray – the clearer that it becomes to me that “the remnant” – the true Church will be removed, only by the Mercy and Grace of “the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” in ‘the pre-tribulation Rapture’ from “the time of Jacob’s trouble”. My personal choice is to trust and believe “the certainty of the words of truth” (Proverbs 22:21a, KJB)

            There is a very valuable lesson to be learned in 1 Kings, Chapter 13, Verses 1-32, KJV – which I will follow and believe. My choice is not to listen to “the old prophet”.

            I do wish you well in your search for “the certainty of the words of truth” – Nick
            .

              (Quote)

            • Bro Nick,

              I’m sorry you feel that I’m “so militaristic”. Can you share with me what statement or phrase that I made that makes you feel this way?

              You wrote:

              “why you believe is the truth of ‘the post-tribulation Rapture’?”

              I don’t believe in a post tribulation rapture because scripture doesn’t teach it.

              The man with the belief that the earth is flat is a false belief despite his rational of biblical texts. We have good reasons to believe that the earth is a sphere. Did you share your belief with scientific facts to support that the earth is a sphere to help him? Don’t you think that would help him have a better understanding of the realities of the world?

              You wrote:

              “Indeed there is an exponential increase of Luciferian confusion going on.”

              When I have made a statement about “hell”?

              You wrote:

              “and the more that I study and Pray – the clearer that it becomes to me that “the remnant” – the true Church will be removed, only by the Mercy and Grace of “the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” in ‘the pre-tribulation Rapture’ from “the time of Jacob’s trouble”.”

              You are making a declarative statement about a believe that I don’t hold to be true. If your believe is true then my believe is false. That means my reality of Christianity is wrong. Shouldn’t all Christians be united as one as Jesus prayed for in John 17:20-21 “I do not pray for these only, but also for those who believe in me through their word, that they may all be one;”? Shouldn’t we be brothers and sisters in Christ and help one another to the fullness of truth? Or should we be Lone Rangers?

              How important is it to have the correct teachings. Paul argued for three weeks from the scriptures Acts 17:2.

              God Bless You

                (Quote)

              • Bro. Nick says:

                Greg – You ask why I believe that you are very ‘militaristic’?
                Because you state as a fact – ‘I don’t believe in a post tribulation rapture because scripture doesn’t teach it.’
                – I do presume that you meant that you do not believe in the ‘pre-tribulation Rapture’ –

                Where is the dialogue when –
                I state my personal understandings.
                You state your ‘facts’.

                The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:
                “Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
                a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
                rightly dividing the word of truth.
                – But shun profane and vain babblings:
                for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
                (2 Timothy 2:15, KJB)

                I have nothing more to say to you, for the answer to the question asked some 2,500 years ago will eternally be – NO:
                “Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”
                (Amos 3:3, KJB)
                .

                  (Quote)

                • Bro Nick,

                  You wrote:

                  “I do presume that you meant that you do not believe in the ‘pre-tribulation Rapture’ –”

                  You presumed incorrectly. I meant post tribulation as I wrote it. I responded to you when you mistakenly presumed my belief was a post-tribulation rapture. I stated that I don’t believe that because scripture doesn’t support. You were mistaken.

                    (Quote)

                  • Bro. Nick says:

                    Greg – I owe you MY SINCEREST APOLOGIES – and I ask for your forgiveness.

                    In my haste – I responded to another persons comments – and DID NOT VERIFY who wrote to – I AM WRONG.

                    Will you please delete my error filled confusion causing responses to you?

                    Brother Nick

                    To clarify my personal Biblical understanding – I more and more believe in ‘the pre-tribulation Rapture’ of “the church”
                    .

                      (Quote)

  55. I love the last comment! Sounds very much like you are Catholic. I think it is very good to stay focused on what he said. We are not the final judge, nor do we know when the end of times will be. Maybe we shall not focus so much on that, but rather following the Holy Spirit on a daily basis, and supporting others to do so. And I also agree in one authority, one church, United. To leave interpretation up to each individual is a very scary and dangerous thing.

      (Quote)

  56. James Fox: Lyle

    1 Thes. 4 & 5 are talking about the rapture and then the Day of the Lord (and His Wrath) that are triggered by the rapture. These events will certainly take place at the 6th seal where John shows us the beginning of God’s wrath at the earthquake.

    This earthquake at the 6th seal, according to John, is the beginning of The Day of the Lord, or the Day of His wrath……they are the same thing. Paul’s “sudden destruction” is the beginning of God’s wrath. Therefore it is wise to include what Revelation has to say on the subject.

      (Quote)

  57. Rev Nathan Thompson says:

    I write this more for those willing to read all of the comments than to convince the author. I’m sorry, but the idea that there is any sort of Patristic consensus on the “Rapture” does not hold water. First of all, finding three quotes does not make for a patristic teaching. One can cherry pick the Fathers and make almost any argument. However, there could not be a consensus among the early Church Father’s of the East due to the fact that the canonicity of the Apocalypse of St John was questioned late enough in the East that it didn’t even make it into the lectionary. To this day, it is the only book of the Holy Scriptures that is not read in the Eastern Orthodox Church. Secondly, the Orthodox Christian Church (unarguably the Christian body that holds closest to the teachings of the Early Church Fathers) teaches that these are the end times and always have been. When St John was writing this, he was in exile, the Church had been declared a religio illicita, several Christians had been martyred and the persecutions of Nero had already occurred. They did not teach of a literal 1,000 years to occur later. To put a literal 1000 years on something is to miss the symbolic use of numbers by the Hebraic writers. Do we believe that only 144,000 will be saved or that you only have to forgive someone 539 times, of course not. Then why do we ascribe mathematical literalism to 1,000 years. Finally and much more importantly to the second largest group of Christians in the world (the Eastern Orthodox Church), it fails the Vincentian canon of being ‘…believed everywhere, always, and by all’. There are plenty of things that are taught by a handful of Fathers that are to be understood as theologumina or just a holy opinion, not taught as doctrine or dogma. If the rapture had been either of those, it would have been addressed in a council, but the only references to it in the early councils (sorry to busy to check references) are condemnations of some heretical groups holding to chialism. While the EO Church did not condemn chialism the Roman Catholic Church has specifically condemned it. So no, it cannot be said that the rapture is a patristic teaching (i.e. that there is a patristic consensus), only a handful of early Church Fathers who make comments that can be interpreted in support of it.

      (Quote)

  58. I would like reactions to some Google articles I found, namely, “Grant Jeffrey’s Apocalypse Debacle,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “Pretrib Rapture: how WHAT becomes WHEN,” “John Darby Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “Pretrib Rapture: A Staged Event,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Prof. William L. Craig Leaves Tim LaHaye Behind,” “C. I. Scofield’s Hidden Side,” “Evangelicals Use Occult Deception,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.”

      (Quote)

  59. S anderson says:

    You can not twist 2 thessalonians 2 that day the gathering together to our Lord WILL NOT COME TILL A. FALLING AWAY , B. THAT MAN OF SIN BE REVILED WHO EXALTS HIMSELF ABOVE ALL THAT IS CALLED GOD AND SITS IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD SHOWING HIMSELF AS GOD ..that’s not pre it’s after the AC is in full power . As Paul sayed do not be decieved ….I already told you this

      (Quote)

    • Hi S Anderson,

      Here is 2 Thessalonians 2:

      2 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

      The operative phrase in this passage is “day of Christ.” It really comes down to what you believe the day of Christ is as revealed in Scripture. What do you believe it is? God bless. -B&E

        (Quote)

      • King James version and New King James Version and 1599 Geneva Bible and BRG Bible say day of Christ.

        NIV, NASB, American Standard Version, Common English Bible, Complete Jewish Bible, Darby Translation, Disciples Literal New Testament, Douay-Rheims 1899, Easy to Read Version, English Standard Version, Expanded Bible, God’s Word Translation, Good News Translation, Holman Christian Standard Bible, International Children’s Bible, say Day of the Lord.

        I only looked up NIV, NASB, and Bibles beginning with A-I. I got tired and did not look up J-Y.

        Overwhelmingly that vast number of Bibles think it is Day of the Lord and not Day of Christ.

        It does make a difference and the overwhelming number of scholars think it is Day of the Lord.

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        • Hi James,

          Merry Christmas and God bless you in the New Year. I actually don’t think it makes a difference that most of the versions say “Day of The Lord.” As you know the versions you cite are based on the TWO manuscripts (both of which are full of errors), while the KJV and Geneva are based on 95% of the available manuscript evidence. So by your own logic, the overwhelming number of manuscripts support “Day of Christ” and therefore I am correct.

          But beyond that analysis, Paul uses the term “Day of Christ” two other times in Scripture. And both times it refers to the Second Coming. Are those mistranslations as well??? The context of 2 Thessalonians 1 is all about the Second Coming of Christ. This is what the Thessalonians thought was going to happen next. They thought they were in the Great Tribulation. Paul’s counsel is showing them the clear things that must happen before the Second Coming. and the use of the phrase “day of Christ” is in harmony with the other two uses in Scripture.

          Also consider that Paul uses the phrase “day of Christ Jesus” as well. And it has the exact same meaning:

          “3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; 6 Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” – Philipians 1:3-6

          Is The Lord going to to perform a good work in us until the start of the Great Tribulation? No. He is going to do so until His Second Coming, when all will be reconciled unto Him.

          “12 For our rejoicing is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by the grace of God, we have had our conversation in the world, and more abundantly to you-ward. 13 For we write none other things unto you, that what ye read or acknowledge; and I trust ye shall acknowledge even to the end; 14 As also ye have acknowledged us in part, that we are your rejoicing, even as ye also are our’s in the day of the Lord Jesus.” – 2 Corinthians 1:12-14.

          Once again, when will all believers rejoice? At the Second Coming. Paul clearly and contextually views the “Day of Christ” or the “Day of The Lord Jesus Christ” as something vastly different from the “Day of The Lord” – a term with clear and obvious meaning from its numerous uses in the Old Testament as the descriptive term for the Great Tribulation. I have detailed the term Day of The Lord enough to show Paul describes as ominous time of darkness and wrath. The Day of Christ is one of rejoicing and happiness.

          Thus there are several compelling reasons to use the term day of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 2:2 is just one example. And really either phrase does not change Paul’s overall point: Christians are not appointed to wrath. There will be no Great Tribulation experience for those who believe before it commences. Why? Because we will have been raptured. God bless. -B&E

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          • You said,

            “As you know the versions you cite are based on the TWO manuscripts (both of which are full of errors)”

            Indeed textual critics do pay special attention to 2 manuscripts, – Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. However, I am sure there are a lot more than 2 manuscripts that say Day of the Lord.

            I can not tell. I use the United Bible Societies Greek New Testament. They are so sure that Day of the Lord is correct that they do not even list Day of Christ as an alternative. Pity. It would be nice to know if anything other than Textus Receptus says Day of Christ.

            I agree with you that Paul is discussing the Second Advent in 2 Thess. 2.

            Do you agree that 2 Thess. 2:1 says “Now we beseach you, bretheren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Rapture?” If so, Paul says he want to discuss the Rapture and then he discusses the Second Advent. The conclusion is the Rapture is at the Second Advent.

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            • Rob Bednarik says:

              S Anderson you left out one very important part of the passage discussing 2 Thess 2:

              (ESV) And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed IN HIS TIME. For the mystery of lawlessness is ALREADY AT WORK. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. AND THEN THE LAWLESS ONE WILL BE REVEALED, whom the Lord Jesus will kill…” vs 6-8

              Who is the Restrainer? Paul says they “knew who it is”. Paul never told them in either letter so this is evidently part of the apostles’ doctrine which would have referred to this verse:

              For if I do not go away, the Helper WILL NOT COME TO YOU. But if I go, I will send Him to you. And when He comes, He will CONVICT THE WORLD CONCERNING SIN AND RIGHTEOUSNESS AND JUDGMENT; concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me: concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no longer, concerning judgment BECA– USE THE RULER OF THIS WORLD IS JUDGED. John 15:7-11

              Its evident that the role of the Holy Spirit is to prevent the “great rebellion” which 2 Thess 2 speaks of. He is also the one who holds Satan, the ruler of this world, from advancing his plan precipitously and indwelling a man to make him the antichrist. All three of these roles will be relinquished when He is taken “out of the way”. Strong delusions will replace conviction of sin and unbelief, anarchy will replace the moral example Christ left on earth and the Spirit upholds, and the antichrist will be allowed to come in.

              Now, if the departure of Christ precipitated the giving of the Paraclete, its obvious that to remove Him in that role must require the gathering of the Lord’s people to Himself. The Holy Spirit is sent to the Church in that particular role and if the tripartate role of reproof is tied to His title of Helper, then He is no longer here as such and we MUST LEAVE.

              Simple reasoning from the scripture.

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              • I can see some squirming on that one if they follow your logical progression. But for those who hold to Post-Trib they will just continue to go to their pet verses that are either mis-read or taken out of context.

                Good job explaining.

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                • Dear Jay Adams:

                  So what did you think of my response that the restrainer is Michael?

                  Doesn’t it make sense that a Godly angel would be the restrainer of the evil angel?

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                  • Thanks for your ? In reading the 2 Thes. 2 text I did a look up on the Greek word for restrainer and it is katechon.

                    So upon further review there seems to have been as many as 9 views identifying this person or thing, some being supernatural, some being Worldly powers but the powers on earth could certainly not fit here.

                    Let’s try to break the Greek word down:

                    The Restrainer is referred to both in the neuter (what) and masculine (he) gender. This mix of gender appears in relation to the Holy Spirit Who is a person, but also described using a Greek term which is neuter in gender (πνευμα [pneuma] ). It is also said that the Restrainer “now restrains” and will continue to do so until “He is taken out of the way.” Since the man of sin has yet to be revealed,1 we can infer that the Restrainer, whoever or whatever he is, has been effectively suppressing the revelation of the man of sin for over 2000 years. When we collect the pieces of evidence concerning the identity of the Restrainer, we find:
                    The Restrainer is referred to as both neuter (τὸ κατέχον [to katechon] , “what is restraining”) and masculine (ὁ κατέχων [ho katechōn] , “He who now restrains”).
                    The Restrainer existed in Paul’s day.
                    The Restrainer has been continually and effectively restraining for nearly 2,000 years so far.
                    The Restrainer is powerful enough to suppress the spiritual powers of darkness seeking to promote the man of sin.
                    The restraint is global.

                    1 other thing to add is that when the Restrainer, the Holy Spirit is removed he certainly would not leave believers behind because we are promised the indwelling of the Holy Spirit so when the Rapture does occur the progression would naturally be we are taken up with or possibly right before the Holy Spirit is also removed.

                    Certainly, Michael is 1 of many interpretations but it doesn’t have strong legs on this.

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                    • The Great Tribulation Saints then will not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit?

                      What sort of power will they have to endure the tribulation? Faith? Good Works?

                      Here is a quick explanation of the rapture happening at the Sixth Bowl Judgement:

                      Rev. 21:9
                      9 ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the BRIDE, the WIFE of the Lamb.”

                      Rev. 16:12-15
                      12 The SIXTH ANGEL poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up to prepare the way for the kings from the East. ……..13………….14…………..
                      15 “Look, I come like a thief! BLESSED IS THE ONE who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

                      Who among the angels in Heaven best qualify to introduce the Bride?

                      Not yet convince? here is another simple logic:

                      Rev. 16:17-19
                      17 The SEVENTH ANGEL poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, “It is done!” …………….19 The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered BABYLON THE GREAT and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.

                      Rev. 17:1
                      17 And there came ONE OF THE SEVEN ANGELS which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will shew unto thee the judgment of the GREAT WHORE that sitteth upon many waters:

                      See the logic?

                      The Sixth Angel who holds the Sixth Bowl Judgement introduces the Bride

                      The Seventh Angel who holds the Seventh Bowl Judgement introduces the Great Whore

                      With millions of angels in Heaven, Why them ?

                      Please tell me if I am just speculating or allegorizing.

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                    • There are perhaps several views on this, some that in the Dispensation of the Age of Grace it ends with the rapture, some view as it ending at the end of the tribulation.

                      But either way, this dispensation of Grace to the church will be affected by the removal of the Holy Spirit as he operates now. But recall that the OT Saints also came to Faith and proved it by their obedience. So during the Tribulation yes there will be some coming to Faith in the Lord and the Holy Spirit will still operate in their hearts towards repentance to Faith, but not in the same operation as it is today.

                      Not having the luxury of time to spell this out with scriptures but at least I wanted to bring out the general concepts.

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                    • I think it is impossible that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit and when he is taken away we must go with him. Why ? The Holy Spirit is omnipresent. Always has been. Always will be. It is physically (spiritually?) impossible for him to leave the earth. He will ALWAYS be on the earth (and inside the earth too). He is everywhere and can not be removed. He can not be taken away if he is omnipresent.

                      Can you comment on this?

                      You did say one, and only 1 thing, that might not apply to Michael. The restrainer is described using a neuter word. Are angels ever described using a neuter word. Could be. I do not know.

                      Everything else you said is also true for Michael.

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                    • Of course we can agree the Holy Spirit is omnipresent. What I had mentioned before was the “operation” of the Holy Spirit as he is now.

                      Let me put it another way. When Jesus said “16 And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever” in John 14:16 did this mean the Holy Spirit was not already here? Of course he was here to open the eyes of those who would believe in Jesus during his 3 year ministry. Likewise in John 16 Jesus said “7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth: it is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8 And when he comes, he will convince[a] the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment.”

                      So was the Holy Spirit not here even though v.7 says ‘the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.” Yes he was here, but he was not here in the Operation of the Dispensation of the Age of Grace.

                      In the Strongs this is what we find for angels:

                      aggelos: an angel, messenger
                      Original Word: ἄγγελος, ου, ὁ
                      Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine

                      I haven’t done a deep dive study on Angels although that is on my list for certain and expect it to be very time-consuming, but all pure joy.

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                    • I agree with everything you said.

                      However you did not address my key contention. Because the Holy Spirit is omnipresent it is impossible for him to be taken away. It is possible for MIchael to be taken away.

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              • You said,

                “Who is the Restrainer? Paul says they “knew who it is”. Paul never told them in either letter so this is evidently part of the apostles’ doctrine which would have referred to this verse:”

                No it is not evident. I think it is something that Paul told them. See 2 Thess 2:5, “Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?”

                Where would Paul have gotten this information. He could have gotten this by special revelation. However it is better if we can find the source of his doctrines in the Old Testament and we can find the doctrine of the restrainer in the Old Testament.

                Consider Daniel 12:1:

                “And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time”

                This appears to say that Daniel is currently “standeth for” Israel and in the future he will “stand up” also. Even though he is standing guard, there will be a time of unprecedented distress. Daniel appears to be a terrible guardian.

                There is an explanation of why Daniel is not a terrible guardian. The Hebrew word “stand,” amad, does indeed appear twice in this verse. However the second time, which discusses what he is doing now, is “amad al.” My Hebrew dictionary defines “amad al” as stand guard over. The first instance is simply the word “amad.” Since the first instance is not “amad al” perhaps it does not mean “stand guard over.” My Hebrew dictionary says that “amad” can mean “stop.”

                For example Jonah 1:15, “So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging” The word translated ceased is amad. The sea stopped raging.

                Another example Joshua 10:13, “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed.” Stayed is “amad.” NIV translates it “stoppped.”

                Therefore it is perfectly legal to translate Daniel 12:1 as

                “And at that time shall Michael stop [standing guard], the great prince which [currently] stands guard over the children of they people.”

                Michael stops standing guard and that is why there comes a time of unprecedented distress. Michael is not a terrible guardian. While he is currently standing guard everything is fine. But when he stops standing guard all hell breaks loose.

                Michael is the restrainer.

                Satan is an angel. It makes sense that an angel would be the one restraining him. Michael is the chief of the angelic armies, Rev. 12:7, so he would be that natural angel called to restrain the angel Satan.

                This is even better “Simple reasoning from the scripture” which you said.

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                • Rob Bednarik says:

                  James Fox (I moved my comment to this position as it didn’t work when I hit reply on my iPhone earlier today)

                  Thanks for your response. Here’s some problems with it that I see, hopefully you will too:

                  1. 1&2 Thess was not written only for the Thessalonians. It was included in the canon. So whoever the Restrainer is – it would have to be plain to all of us.

                  2. Paul was a steward of the apostles doctrine just as much as the twelve. That’s evident when he quoted the Lord’s words in 1 Cor 11 regarding the Lord’s Supper. So it would be foolish to overlook the gospel accounts of the Lord’s teaching because Paul wasn’t there.

                  3. You have assigned a definition (for amad) of your choosing. Forgive me for accepting the interpretation of “amad” that EVERY translation out there uses – the equivalent of “rise up”. He also “has charge” or “has watch” (also “amad”) in the same verse.

                  4. Michael stands up on behalf of someone – nowhere in Daniel 12 is there the thought of him standing against something. You have introduced a thought and an entity in Daniel 12:1 that God did not.

                  5. Michael’s job (along with the other angels) in Dan 12 was plainly taught by the Lord:

                  Matthew 13:41-43

                  The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will SHINE like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Whoever has ears, let them hear.

                  This quotation is strikingly similar to Daniel 12:2-3:

                  Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise will SHINE like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.

                  Daniel 12:1-4 has to do with final jjudgment – raising dead people to either everlasting life or everlasting contempt. In 2 Thessalonians the Restrainer relinquishes His role well before that time – before the antichrist in fact, a good 1000 years before Dan 12 occurs.

                  Hoping my response is met with careful consideration.

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                  • Rob Bednarik says:

                    Eaglet and Jay Adams,

                    Regarding the Holy Spirit’s role Jay is absolutely right. In the time before Acts 2 the Holy Spirit “came upon” those He wished to influence. Baalam was one of them, as was Saul as was a donkey Baalam rode. I venture to say that 2 of the 3 were never believers, the 3rd is debatable.

                    John the Baptist taught that one coming after him would baptize with the Holy Spirit. The Lord Himself said in Acts 1 this would be fulfilled “not many days hence”. 1 Cor 12:13 says “For by one Spirit ARE WE ALL BAPTIZED into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.” This certainly was never true of the nation of Israel before the Lord came, and even less so of the Gentile nations that were “strangers to the covenants of promise” (Eph 2). So the only way this is true is of the church. This baptism in the Holy Spirit happened in Acts 2 and was a once and for all event as other translations correctly use the word “were” baptized.

                    The Holy Spirit is omnipresent. He was in the world when the Lord Jesus was on earth for “The Spirit drove Him into the wilderness”, and the Spirit appeared like a dove and descended on Him at His baptism by John. But the Lord says He must send Him and unless Christ “goes away” He cannot come to them. This is because in His role as Comforter He is actually a substitute or “another” Comforter like the Lord Himself. So His role as Comforter can only be exercised in the absence of Christ among us. This is why when He is removed as Restrainer, a role tied directly to His advent as Comforter, this necessitates the return of Christ for His Church.

                    Tribulation saints, those saved after the rapture, will indeed be saved by the work of the Holy Spirit, but He is not promised to them as Comforter. I realize following this line of thinking requires viewing it from a pre-trib view.

                    If I can offer a little help? Note the 144k that are saved during the tribulation. They are the firstfruits of the Lamb. This is in stark contrast to Christ being the firstfruits of them that slept, ie the Church. How can there be two “firstfruits”? Only if there are separate harvests. We know that there were two harvests on the Israelite calendar.

                    Harvest #1 (Barley harvest) Christ and the Church. He is the firstfruits and when He returns to the air all the Church follow in resurrection as the great ingathering at end of harvest during this day of grace. The Church is associated with Pentecost, the 50 days after the waving of the sheaf of firstfruits and is the first harvest.

                    Harvest #2 (Wheat harvest) The nation of Israel. The 144k of the tribes are the firstfruits and when Christ returns to the earth in glory the rest of the nation sees Him “and all Israel shall be saved” for “every eye shall see Him, and they all shall mourn for Him as one mourns for an only son”. This is harvest #2.

                    Its clear that the two harvests have to occur at different times because there are separate firstfruits.

                    Hope this is thought provoking!

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                    • Rob, Jay, James,

                      I don’t know what can you make of this,

                      1 Corinthians 15:23
                      But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

                      It does not say Christ’s at his several comings. So I strongly believe the rapture and resurrection will simultaneously happen just once.

                      Can anyone of you agree on my stand that the Rapture/Resurrection will happen at the Sixth Bowl Judgement?

                      Is it not obvious that the Sixth Angel witnessed this event that’s why he was the one given the task by Jesus to introduce the Bride to John? The same case also for the Seventh Angel who introduces the Great Whore?

                      I tell you, I would rather delve on what Jesus revealed than rely on what Paul, Peter, or Early Church Fathers, or any other Prophets, had testified.

                      The Olivet Discourse of Matthew 24 & 25 and the Book of Revelation is central to the teaching of the Prophetic End Time Events because it was Jesus himself who testified on this. The testimony of others with their limited human knowledge and imagination are just added values.

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                    • Rob Bednarik says:

                      Eaglet,

                      I’m certainly open to not discussing what the early church fathers (non-canonical) said. But to limit the discussion only to what Jesus said in the gospels and Revelation is in my mind a dangerous and unbiblical suggestion. You are classifying some of God’s word as “more true” and some as “less true”.

                      Consider that the Lord Jesus Himself said that further revelation would be given equal to what He told them:

                      John 16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth, for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will declare to you the things that are to come.

                      Paul, Peter etc wrote as the Holy Spirit gave them words to speak:

                      2 Tim 3:16-17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

                      1 Pet 2:20-21 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

                      Peter – to whom the Lord gave the keys to the kingdom and declared to him that whatever he was to bind on earth would be bound in heaven said this of Paul’s writings:

                      2 Peter 3:15-16 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the OTHER SCRIPTURES.

                      Peter considers Paul’s writings to be scripture, equivalent to “other scriptures”.

                      So on this point sadly I will not negotiate. The Word of God is complete and indivisible.

                      As to the firstfruits, in 1 Cor 15 Christ is the firstfruits. In Rev 14:4 the 144k are the firstfruits. This is a discrepancy that demands separate instances of offering firstfruits. When Christ ascended into heaven in Acts 1 He was that green sheaf, cut off before its prime and waved before God. 50 days later there are two baked loaves waved before God on the feast of Pentecost which is Acts 2. The Jewish and Gentile aspects of the Church are combined into one offering. The loaves are symbolic of the great harvest which the Church is at the rapture. Christ is the firstfruits “of them that slept” 1 Cor 15:20. It is resurrection in view.

                      The 144k stand with the Lamb on Mt Zion when He returns. These men are a firstfruits of a different kind. This is evidenced by the fact that they have not died, they are not resurrected. They have never defiled themselves with women (not sure you want to try and interpolate that with the Church do you?) and they are only men. They are likewise Israelites, which in the Church there is no Jew or Gentile, male or female. This completely confirms these are saints, but from outside the Church. The only way this is possible is if the Church was raptured before they are sealed.

                      With respect to the “two raptures” comment, I don’t see them as two, but one coming in two phases. To the air for the Church, to the ground for Israel. I believe in a post-trib appearance of the Son of Man, so does every pre-trib person. We simply believe the Church is snatched away before His coming to earth – at least 7 years before. At that time Satan is cast down from the airy heavens. We the Church are with Christ as the heaven of God begins to approach the earth. God’s throne and Satan’s domain cannot cohabit the same space. No, I simply do not believe the rapture is at the 6th bowl. His coming to the earth I am fine with.

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                    • jay adams says:

                      Thumbs up to your reply Rob. I agree on the 2 part 1 coming view as well. This expression is not given very often but it seems to be more exegetically sound than 2 comings.

                      To the web administrator is there a way you could find another Hosting company that will upload lengthy replies faster and not have to re-type the Catcha code more than once? I’ve had to this on several occasions and there are much better Hosting companies where we won’t see this happening.

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                    • Rob,

                      THIS IS WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT THE RESURRECTION AND THE RAPTURE:

                      Matthew 24:29-31 -The Resurrection
                      29 “Immediately after the distress of those days

                      “‘the sun will be darkened,
                      and the moon will not give its light;
                      the stars will fall from the sky,
                      and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.’[b]
                      30 “Then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then all the peoples of the earth[c] will mourn when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.[d] 31 And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.

                      Revelation 14:14-16 – The Harvest
                      14 I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man[b] with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested.

                      Revelation 16:15 – The Bowls Judgement
                      15 “Look, I come like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake and remains clothed, so as not to go naked and be shamefully exposed.”

                      Revelation 3:3 – The Church
                      Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.

                      Matthew 24:42 – The Day Unknown
                      “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come. 43 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming,

                      THIS IS WHAT PAUL SAID, INSPIRED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, ABOUT THE RESURRECTION AND THE RAPTURE:

                      2 Thessalonians 2:3
                      Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

                      1 Thessalonians 4:16
                      For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.…

                      1 Corinthians 15:51-53
                      Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.…

                      1 Thessalonians 5:1-3
                      Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3While they are saying, “Peace and safety!” then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape.…

                      With all the scriptures above which one will you make central to your study of end time prophecy? And which one will be the parallels and validation only?

                      And please tell me plainly why does it had to be the Sixth Angel who holds the Sixth Bowls Judgement be the one asked by Jesus to show to John the Bride? the same also for the Seventh Angel who holds the Seventh Bowl Judgement?

                      Why and where in scriptures does it says that there are two rapture events? Would that mean there will be two resurrection of the dead in Christ?

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                    • Rob Bednarik says:

                      Eaglet,

                      I’m going to counter and suggest you reexamine your argument about which verses are “central” to doctrine. Would the doctrine of the Church be something I would focus on the gospels, or as Paul indicated – I might do “better” to work with the “mystery” that was NEVER BEFORE (Eph 3) revealed to man? So then having accepted that Christ spoke only briefly indeed about the Church His Body, might I not be wise to pay as much (or more) attention to Paul’s writings about the Church to base my doctrine on? Well as logical as that might seem I will say no, because after all “in the beginning was the Word…and the Word was God”. It’s all relevant, although I grant you that some passages contain more information than others.

                      So using this statement by Paul I’m going to suggest to you that if the Church was indeed a mystery that granted firstly and more fully to him than anyone else this requires we read the gospels with a very wary eye on inserting the Church into them willy-nilly. It’s not good exegesis. And if we recognize that we hold in our hands a work of God that is complete and will have to also contain information relevant (more relevant in fact) to millennial Saints than for us we will be more careful about assuming it’s all about us. That’s because there is nothing to add – and they will live in a day far different than our present one.

                      So here is the other difficulty with discussing something with someone from a post-trib persuasion. You are right. And I agree with you. There IS a coming in glory. There IS a resurrection at His coming. I don’t deny this. The scriptures are very clear about these things. However the pre-trip scriptures are equally compelling and require an honest heart to accept there are two very different “phases”.. And your persuasion that there is only one coming in glory frankly doesn’t bother me – because you are right but you are only seeing half the picture.

                      At His coming to the air He receives us unto Himself – to enjoy the place He went on to prepare for us – in His Father’s house. At His coming to earth His saints will rule with Him on earth. The Father is NEVER on earth. At His coming to the air the dead in Christ all rise first, those alive and remain are caught up together with them. At His coming to the earth those alive stand with Him on Mt Zion and the dead who were beheaded are raised up afterwards. At His coming to earth it’s a time of rejoicing for His own, at His coming to earth His own (Israel) mourn His coming in repentance for the sin of rejecting Him when He came the first time. At His coming to the air ALL His are changed and have glorified bodies. At His second coming there are many who enter the kingdom with unregenerated bodies – some are old and some are only children.

                      These are a few of the main differences between the the two stages of His coming that frankly are irreconcilable. They demand two separate aspects separated by some period of time to allow for agent multitude to be saved and martyred for their faith in Christ.

                      Hope this is thought provoking. I challenge you to study the differences as I’ve identified them – you can find them quite easily and probably know the references already? Worth a look IMHO.

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  60. Excellent article of the refutation of all these allegations of Darby being the inventor of the Rapture. When Paul tells us in Titus 2:13 “waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,”.

    He uses the word “we” in v.12 which is an inclusive word indicating himself is included in waiting for the blessed hope and appearing of Jesus. There would be no implicit, explicit or inference that the Great Tribulation was their blessed hope they were to be waiting for.

    What everyone though should focus on is this is a Disputable (Debatable) doctrine like Calvinism. Different views and not 100% clear because of so many scriptures about the subject. So none of us should think less of anyone who holds to a different view.

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    • Jay,

      I agree, with so many scriptures aligned, definitely there will be several different views.

      It’s like what my lawyer cautioned me when we were preparing my counter affidavit. He told me not to put too much detail on the accounts, for the prosecution might see an opportunity that they can use against our case, knowing how crafty lawyers are in going around with the laws.

      In the case of the Holy Scriptures, Jesus taught the principles, and the Apostles explained it in detail, especially the Churches that time was experiencing already much confusion and disorder when it comes to applying the principles, because traditions and philosophy still persists and gets in the way with the christians that time.

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  61. for Cyprian, “…by an early departure you are taken away…each of us…etc.” He is clearly talking about each individual’s death as taking him to God and out of the troubles of this world. Nothing to do with rapture.

    Also, I read the quote from Irenaeus as also having nothing to do with the rapture.

    I did not read more as you are obviously working overtime to find ‘rapture’ in these texts.

    I congratulate you on reading up on the early church fathers though – most don’t know there is anything prior to the ‘reformation’ of the 1500s or even the ‘enlightenment’ of the 1800s when a lot of ‘crazy’ ideas entered into many denominations of christianity (and many, many small and new denominations were created).

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  62. Michael Woodland says:

    You yourself stated early in your article that the writings of the early church fathers should not be considered to be of equal importance with the Bible. So, my first comment is this: take your own advice. The Bible clearly teaches a post-trib rapture alone. Read Rasmussen and Gundry for complete exposition of the post-trib superiority. Then, I would also mention that I’ve read other writers who interpret the same early church fathers as having been post-tribulational. My point is I believe it’s possible their writings may be vague enough to be interpreted either way. Regardless the Bible itself is fully post-tribulational with the Day of the Lord, and God’s wrath, coming after the great tribulation which true Christians will go through, just as they are already going through tribulation today. Have you ever read Rasmussen or Gundry? If so please tell me where they’re wrong. If not I highly recommend them.

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    • jay adams says:

      You are so right that the writings of the ECFs to support a position of a Debatable doctrine on either side. With that being said we can’t just make claims that the Bible clearly teaches a post-trib, mid-trib, pre-trib or pre-wrath rapture.

      There are many verses that all interpreters use to support their positions and for every exposition of the post-trib that has been written you can easily just as many pre-trib exposition articles/books as well. Not so many for mid-trib or pre-wrath (Marv Rosenthal).

      One can argue which view seems to have the most & best scriptural support. I personally after having read several articles on the subject still lean to the pre-trib view but I won’t split hairs with those who differ and we can agree to disagree, still be brothers/sisters in the Lord.

      1 aspect that really puts post-trib in a box that cannot be easily escaped from is that since Jesus will be coming 1st in the air for His Saint