Hi to my Forum Friends,

It should come as no shock or surprise to all my Forum Friends that I firmly believe the Bible teaches a PreTribulation return of Jesus Christ, in the clouds (I Thess 4:17), to Rapture His church, the full body of believers.  The PreTrib Rapture is to remove His church, His people, from the earth before the seven year Tribulation, God's refining of His chosen people, Israel.

We are told in Revelation 3:10 that He will keep us, His church, "from the hour of testing."  And, He assures us in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 that God's family, the church, is "not destined for wrath."  Therefore, the PreTrib Rapture is to remove all Christian believers from earth before the beginning of the seven year Tribulation.

And, I firmly hold to the teaching of a PreMillennial Second Coming of Jesus Christ to earth.  Since His Second Coming will be Pre  Millennial -- this tells us that there will be a Millennial Kingdom of Christ on earth.  We read of his Second Coming in Revelation 19.

Then, in Revelation 20 we read that Satan is locked in the abyss for one thousand years.  In Revelation 20:5, we read that the martyred believers from the Tribulation will "reign with Christ for a thousand years."  Therefore Christ must be going to reign on earth for one thousand years.  We call this His Millennial Reign or His Millennial Kingdom -- the perfect theocracy.

The Raptured believers, with the Old Testament saints, and the Tribulation believers will reign, on earth, with Christ for a thousand years.

In Isaiah 9:6 we read, "There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom. . ."   Yes, we see that Jesus Christ will rule the world, the perfect theocracy, during His Millennial Reign on earth -- from the throne of David in Jerusalem.

I realize that many of my Christian brothers and sisters do not view the Bible as the inspired, inerrant, literal Written Word of God.   And, of course, all the atheists, secularists, and vanilla-flavored non-believers are in the stands, cheering them on, yelling, "You go, girl!  You tell them, brother!  Don't let those Fundies tell you that God really inspired the writers of the Bible.  It is just a book of myths and plagiarized stories!  You are better off listening to us!"   And, as Sonny and Cher sang, "The beat goes on!"

When I get my monthly snail-mail issue of The Berean Call Newsletter, I turn immediately to the Q&A Section.  Here, people ask tough questions and I believe that Dave Hunt and Tom McMahon give strong, solid answers.  Do I always agree with them 100%?   No.  But, even when I might disagree with their position -- I learn a lot from reading The Berean Call Newsletter.  If you are not  currently subscribed -- I highly recommend it.  And, the price is right -- FREE.


http://www.thebereancall.org/Newsletter/index.php

Red SUBSCRIBE button in upper right corner

 

I like the following question from the August 2011 issue, for Dave Hunt is not just giving his opinion -- he is defining his belief in a PreTrib Rapture/PreMillennial Second Coming of Christ and supporting this with Scripture.  Regardless of our belief, i.e., theology --  if it cannot be supported 100% from Scripture -- we need to take a second look.


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THE BEREAN CALL NEWSLETTER
Q&A Section, August 2011 Issue
http://www.thebereancall.org/node/9326

 

Question:  Christ said, "No man can come to me except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day."   In view of such scriptures, how can you believe in a Rapture and Resurrection at the beginning of the Great Tribulation?   Doesn't Revelation 20:4-5 teach that the "first resurrection" takes place after the Battle of Armageddon?

Response:  Beware of teaching that is built on one isolated verse.  What do "first resurrection" and "last day" mean?  The answer can only be found in the context of all Scripture.  In John 5:28-29, Jesus spoke of two resurrections:


"The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have  done good, unto the [1]resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the [2]resurrection of da m nation."

 

Undoubtedly Revelation 20:4-5 refers to the resurrection of life.  That the reference is not to the resurrection of all believers, however, but only those martyred by Antichrist during the Great Tribulation, is clearly stated: "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...."

Then what about Abraham, David, Peter, Paul, Spurgeon, Moody, and Christians who have died more recently, none of whom was slain by Antichrist?  When are they resurrected?  At the Rapture, as 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 declares, "the dead in Christ shall rise first: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together...to meet the Lord in the air."  No mention of that in Revelation 20, so it must have already occurred -- another argument for a PreTrib Rapture.

The only resurrection after Revelation 20:4-5 takes place 1,000 years later and must be what Christ called "the resurrection of da m nation."  Those who are raised then are still "dead in trespasses and in sins" (Eph 2:1; Col 2:13): "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened...and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books..." (Rev 20:12).  This is the Great White Throne Judgment of the lost.

As for Christians, they have already "appear[ed] before the judgment seat of Christ" (Rom 14:10; 2 Cor 5:10) right after the Rapture.  In Revelation 19:7-9, we read of "the marriage supper of the Lamb" involving, of course, His bride, the church (Eph 5:23-32).

When and how did she get to heaven?  Obviously, at the PreTrib Rapture!  She is clothed in fine linen, white and clean (v. 8).  Next, Christ descends with "the armies which were in heaven...[also] clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (v. 14) to confront and destroy Antichrist at Armageddon.  Surely the church comprises that army.

Enoch prophesied that Christ would return to this earth "with ten thousands [i.e., an innumerable company] of his saints, to execute judgment" upon Antichrist and his followers (Jude 14-15).  Zechariah 14:4-5 states that when Christ comes to earth to rescue Israel and "His feet stand in that day upon the mount of Olives -- all the saints" come with Him.  Surely these are not disembodied spirits waiting to be resurrected!  The saints who accompany Christ from heaven (Rev 19) to reign on earth must be in their glorified bodies  -- and they must have been taken to heaven previously in order to descend from there with Him at Armageddon.

That this resurrection in Revelation 20 involves only "the souls of them" who were martyred by Antichrist is a clear indication that all other saints have been previously resurrected.  Then why wait until after Armageddon for these martyrs to be raised?

We are told why.  Some of these same souls are seen earlier:


"I saw under the altar the souls of them ...slain for the word of God...and it was said unto them, that they should rest...until their fellow servants also...that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled"  (Rev 6:9-11).

 

Since all Great Tribulation martyrs are resurrected together -- and Antichrist kills believers to the very end -- their resurrection must await the end of Armageddon.  If the resurrection of believers who lived and died prior to the Tribulation took place seven years previously, why is the resurrection in Revelation 20 of those slain by Antichrist called "the first resurrection"?

Clearly, it is in order to show that these martyrs are part of that company which has already been resurrected, the church.  It specifically says that they "reign with him [Christ] a thousand years" (Rev 20:6) as do the saints of all ages.

What about Christ raising all believers "at the last day"?  This "last day" is surely not the 24-hour period in which these martyrs are raised, for there are many more days that follow.  The "last day" is a lengthy period of time called "the day of the Lord [God]" (Isa 2:12; Jer 46:10; Eze 30:3; Joel 1:15, etc.) or "the day of Christ" (1 Cor 1:8; Phil 1:10; 2 Thess 2:2).

It "comes like a thief in the night" when men are saying "peace and safety" (1 Thess 5:2-3) and do not expect Christ to return or God's judgment to fall -- but boast that "all things continue as they were from the beginning" (2 Pet 3:3-4,10).

Clearly this day (the day of the Lord) cannot begin with the Millennium, for it involves God's wrath upon mankind prior thereto.  Nor can it begin "as a thief" in the midst of the Tribulation, for by Revelation 6 the world is in ruins and men are crying out to the rocks to hide them from God's wrath.

It (the day of the Lord) can only start at the beginning of the Tribulation with the Rapture and resurrection.  It must also last until the end of the Millennium and the destruction of the old universe, for Peter says, "the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away...the day of God, wherein the heavens...shall be dissolved...we...look for new heavens and a new earth" (2 Pet 3:10-13).


Bold, italic, underline, and some parenthetical emphasis in the article above is mine.

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In closing, I cannot see how any eschatological view can withstand full Scriptural scrutiny except the PreTrib/PreMillennial position.

However, the good news is -- our salvation is not based upon our End Time (eschatological) View.   There is no doubt in my mind  that, when the Rapture occurs, we will see Christians of all flavors -- Premillennialists, Amillennialists, Postmillennialists, Liberals, Conservatives, Legalists, even old dyed-in-the-wool Fundamentalists -- all going up together.

Of course, all but the PreTrib/PreMillennial believers (including Fundamentalists) will be surprised -- astonished at their early ascension.

Just a quick reminder:  "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast"  (Ephesians 2:8-9).

Saved by the grace of God, through sincere faith in Jesus Christ -- PLUS nothing else.

So, if you hold an End Times view other than PreTrib/PreMillennial -- don't blame me when you are astonished by your Rapture.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

1 - Charlie-Brown_Snoopy-2_CLOUDS_IN-WITH

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quote: Originally Posted by Winston Niles Rumfoord:

Bill, you just never quit with this non-scriptural propaganda, do you? 


Hi Winston,

 

It is easy to sit on the sidelines and tell folks they are wrong.  Anyone can be an armchair quarterback.  But, let's go with the assumption that you are right and I am wrong.  I believe in a PreTrib Rapture and a PreMillennial Second Coming of Jesus Christ to establish his 1000 year Millennial Kingdom on earth.  I have shown specific Scripture verses and passages to support that belief.

 

You say you do not believe this End Times scenario.  Okay, tell us specifically what End Time scenario you believe -- and support that belief from Scripture.  I am very interested in your thoughts on this.

 

But, please, do not just sit in your armchair declaring me to be wrong -- without giving specifics.  Tell me where I am wrong, based upon Scripture, and where your view is right, based upon Scripture.

 

While our salvation does not, in any way, depend upon our End Times beliefs -- it is interesting to discuss such issues; for this causes all of us to dig deeper into the teachings of the Bible. 

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

As I posted before, quoting the red-letter words of Jesus Christ:

 

29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall 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 on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send forth 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 ASV)


Clearly, the rapture follows the tribulation.

Hi Winston,

You tell me, "As I posted before, quoting the red-letter words of Jesus Christ:

29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall 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 on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  31 And He shall send forth 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 ASV)

Clearly, the rapture follows the tribulation."

Winston, Jesus Christ, in Matthew 28:15-28, is clearly speaking of His Second Coming.  We know this because, in verses 15 to 28, Jesus Christ is telling about the Great Tribulation which Daniel defines as starting with the Abomination of Desolation, i.e., when the Satan-possessed Antichrist will enter the temple and declare himself to be God.

The Tribulation, which begins shortly after the Rapture, is divided into two 3 1/2 year periods.  In the first 3 1/2 years, Israel will be deceived by the supposed world peace brought about under the rule of the Antichrist.  The Jews will once again be worshiping, in relative peace, in their temple rebuilt upon the Temple Mount.

Then, in the middle of the 7 year Tribulation, the Antichrist will enter and defame the temple of God.  Then, begins the Great Tribulation, 3 1/2 years of pure hell on earth under the heel of the Antichrist.

And, in this Scripture passage, Jesus Christ is describing the events: "the sun shall 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."  These things will happen during the Tribulation.

And, we are told, "And He shall send forth His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."

This tells us that "His elect" -- in other words, the church, the Bride of Christ -- is already in heaven.  Notice this verse says "from one end of HEAVEN to the other."  It does not say, "from one end of the EARTH to the other."

The church is already in heaven.  How did the church happen to be in heaven during the Tribulation?  We are Raptured before the Tribulation begins.

And, this passage tells us,"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 on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

At His Second Coming, ALL the world will see Him.  Yet, at His imminent Rapture, only the believers will see Him.   How do I know  this?  Think about it.  If a person is a non-believer, even a devout atheist -- and sees the Lord Jesus Christ coming in the air, in all His glory -- that person would have to be either brain dead -- or be the world's greatest masochist or sadomasochist -- to deny Him at that time.

No, at the Rapture, many millions will suddenly disappear -- and the rest of the world will be concocting stories in an attempt to explain or rationalize what caused this to happen.  But, Matthew 28:30 tells us that all the tribes of the earth, every single person, will see Him coming at His Glorious Second Coming.

And, finally, we read in Revelation 19:6-9 of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.  "Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready" (Revelation 19:7).

This is occurring in heaven during the Tribulation.  For the Bride to have made herself ready -- she would have already have stood before Christ for the Believers' Judgment (2 Corinthians 5:10, 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 , 1 Peter 5:4).  Until the Bride has undergone this judgment, she will not be ready for her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ.

When did this Believers' Judgment happen?  Obviously during the Tribulation, before the Wedding.  How did the Bride, the church, get to this Believers' Judgment?  It was Raptured BEFORE the Tribulation began.  There can be no other explanation.

Therefore, the only viable sequence of events can be:  (1) the Imminent Rapture, (2) Believers' Judgment, (3) Wedding Feast of the Lamb, (4) Second Coming of Jesus Christ.  These all happen just before and during the seven year Tribulation.

Then, upon His Second Coming, we will see the Judgment of the surviving Remnant of Israel (Ezekiel 20:32-38), the Sheep and Goat Judgment of the surviving Gentile nations (Matthew 25:31-46), the Battle of Armageddon (Rev 16:14-16, 19-17-19), the Antichrist and False Prophet cast into the Lake of Fire (Rev 19:20), Satan cast into the abyss for 1000 years (Rev 20:1-3), and Christ will establish His Millennial Kingdom on the Throne of David in Jerusalem, where He will rule, the perfect theocracy, the world for 1000 years.

Winston, Biblically, there can be no other viable End Times scenario.

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Originally Posted by Winston Niles Rumfoord:

As I posted before, quoting the red-letter words of Jesus Christ:

 

29 But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall 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 on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he shall send forth 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 ASV)


Clearly, the rapture follows the tribulation.

Winston, clearly you are not using the Bill approved version.  I don't have the time now, but will later, address this very passage.  YOU ARE RIGHT though, I BELIEVE, and context is a very important thing when you read scripture and the context of this passage clearly indicates you have it right.  Christ was directly ask by the apostles how to recognize the end times, how to know it's legit, and what will happen.  IF you take Bills approach, which he believes what other Pre-Trib folks preach, then you need to reconcile why Christ doesn't mention and indicate the Rapture in this passage of Matthew.  IF indeed Bill is right, and verses 29-31 deals with the 2nd Coming ,and the Rapture occurs before this 2nd coming, then where in Matthew 24 does Christ reference the Rapture, the Hope of the Church where the Church is removed???  It's simply not there because of either one of two options.  Either there is no rapture, taught by Christ, or verses 30&31 refer to the Rapture and Bill is wrong, as are the other Pre-Trib Folks.   If Christ did not speak about the Rapture in Matthew 24 then why not?  I say, as you indicated, He did talk about the Rapture and that was in Verses 30 & 31.  Note it fulfills the description exactly down to the "Trumpet blast" and in the air.  The only reason Bill rejects what is clearly taught is because it doesn't confirm to HIS belief or what he has been taught by other pre-tribulationist pastors and teachers.  Careful examination of scripture along with prayer I fully believe will reveal, through the Holy Spirit giving peace about, that the church and Christians will endure hard times before the rapture and extremely hardships at the hands of those under the antichrist.

 

Additionally using the verse Bill highlighted in his first post (Revelation 3:10 & 1 Thessalonians 5:9) do not eliminate other Rapture timing positions.  What those verse say is that the Church will not enter into GOD'S Wrath.  The Pre-Trib folks wrongly associate Revelation 6 (Seals) with God's Wrath but they are not.  Pre-Trib advocates, like Bill, have to reference Revelation 4:1 as symbolic of the Rapture ( I say symbolic as there is no literal reference) because there is no other place, in Revelation, that pre-trib advocates can put the Rapture.   God said that the Church will not go through God's wrath and they wrongly say Rev 6 is God's wrath.  Revelation 6 is predicting of events that will happen during those last days preceding the cosmic signs of Revelation 6:12, the same as in Matthew 24:29.  The Church won't go through God's wrath but will go through parts of the Tribulation and through harsh tribulation brought on by the Antichrist against God's people.  

 

The actual Rapture is shown in Revelation 7, verse 9.  The fact is that, although Bill will deny it, the Pre-Trib Rapture timing position has no scriptural basis.  The Church and Christians are cautioned to endure and persevere through tribulation ( see each letter to each of the 7 Churches) and at the end of the letters they are told to overcome.  If they are to be gone before any tribulation then why overcome?  Also if the Church is to be out of the world before the Antichrist (which is what Pre-Trib folks teach) then why worry about having to deny and reject the mark of the beast?  Why worry about 666 for the Church won't be here.  IF however the Antichrist comes before the rapture and the Church has to endure persecution under the Antichrist then there is very good reason to advise about not accepting the mark of the beast.    There are other verses that indicate that the Rapture will occur after the Antichrist is on the scene also:

 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 (AMP)
{1} BUT RELATIVE to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and our gathering together to [meet] Him, we beg you, brethren,
{2} Not to allow your minds to be quickly unsettled or disturbed or kept excited or alarmed, whether it be by some [pretended] revelation of [the] Spirit or by word or by letter [alleged to be] from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has [already] arrived and is here.
{3} Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first [unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come], and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perdition),
{4} Who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, [even to his actually] taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God.
{5} Do you not recollect that when I was still with you, I told you these things?

 

Note also those that like to say no one knows the time it will happen also have a hard time reconciling that believers/Christians are told that they are NOT in Darkness that the day should overtake them as a thief.  They aren't in darkness because it's laid out in Scripture and by Christ when to expect the Rapture.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 (NLT)
{1} Now concerning how and when all this will happen, dear brothers and sisters, we don’t really need to write you.
{2} For you know quite well that the day of the Lord’s return will come unexpectedly, like a thief in the night.
{3} When people are saying, “Everything is peaceful and secure,” then disaster will fall on them as suddenly as a pregnant woman’s labor pains begin. And there will be no escape.
{4} But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief.
{5} For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night.
{6} So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded.

Don't worry Winston you may not have Bill on your side but you do have Scripture, at least as far as what you posted on Matthew 24:30 & 31 goes.

There is a principle known as Occam's Razor, that states that the simplest solution in a controversial situation, is most likely to be the right solution.

 

I quoted the simple, straight-forward words of Jesus, and the pre-trib rapture crowd wander all over the Bible picking a phrase here, a bit there, to establish their thesis. 

 

Not buying it.

 

Are they suggesting there will be a Coming, Version 1.5 ? Sort of a flyover coming? 

 

quote:  Originally Posted by Winston Niles Rumfoord:

There is a principle known as Occam's Razor, that states that the simplest solution in a controversial situation, is most likely to be the right solution.   I quoted the simple, straight-forward words of Jesus, and the pre-trib rapture crowd wander all over the Bible picking a phrase here, a bit there, to establish their thesis.   Not buying it.   Are they suggesting there will be a Coming, Version 1.5 ?  Sort of a flyover coming?

 
Hi Winston,

 

Now, you are dancing.  If you have an End Times belief, MidTrib, PostTrib, Amillennial, etc. -- then, you should be able to support that belief with Scripture.  I have stated that I believe in a PreTrib Rapture and a PreMillennial Second Coming of Christ -- and, I have supported this belief with Scripture.

 

All you have done is say you do not believe in my position -- but, you cannot tell me why.  And, you toss out the old "two stage return" smoke screen.  No, the Second Coming is not a two stage event.  At the Rapture, He does not return to earth, but comes on in the clouds (1 Thess 4:17) to Rapture His church.

 

After the Tribulation, He will return to earth in power and glory.  We find this in Revelation 19 -- also Revelation 1:7.  Two separate events -- one Second Coming.

 

So, once again, I have given you my position and Scriptural support.  What do you believe -- and can you support that belief from the Bible?   No dancing!  "Just the facts, ma'am, just the facts," as Sgt. Joe Friday of Dragnet used to say.  

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Originally Posted by DarkAngel:

I read this stuff and I sincerely can't believe that rational, intelligent people believe it. It sounds like something out of a Sci-Fi novel.

 

I am asking you sincerely and seriously, do you believe this?

-----------------------------------

I would ask you sincerely and seriously, why do you ask?

.

Hi Winston,

In my earlier post, I wrote,  "All you have done is say you do not believe in my position -- but, you cannot tell me why."

And, all you can say in response is, "I did, and quite succinctly.   All you do is continue to muddy the clear water."

No, Winston, you quoted me Matthew 24:29-31.  That passage is referring to His Second Coming -- not to the Rapture.  I gave you abundant Scripture to prove my PreTrib/PreMillennial position -- and all I get from you is a misinterpretation of Matthew 24.

Am I muddying the water?  Only if giving you Biblical support for my belief is considered muddying the water.

So, Winston, precisely, what is your End Times position?  And, what Scripture supports that position?

If the church is not Raptured and in heaven during the Tribulation -- how can the Marriage Feast of the Lamb (Rev 19:6-9) take place? 

 

Are you saying that the Marriage Feast of the Lamb takes place without the Bride?

Are you saying the Bride is not properly prepared (Believers' Judgment) to be wed to her Bridegroom, Jesus Christ?

How does your End Times position handle this?

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

Originally Posted by Winston Niles Rumfoord:

I'm saying, take the straightforward words of Christ, and forget all that other obfuscation.

 

Where is the word "rapture" found in the Bible?

 

It is a concept manufactured by  modern fiction writers.

 

It's on the same level as the Da Vinci Code.

____________

Actually, the Da Vinci Code is more clever and written by someone who was awake, and not stoned, at the time he wrote it.

Originally Posted by Winston Niles Rumfoord:

I'm saying, take the straightforward words of Christ, and forget all that other obfuscation.

 

Where is the word "rapture" found in the Bible?

 

It is a concept manufactured by  modern fiction writers.

 

It's on the same level as the Da Vinci Code.

Winston,  there are many Christians who share your belief/opinion that there is no Rapture.  Some believe that because there is no literal word "Rapture" in the scriptures that the event doesn't happen.  


I do though, as a Christian, believe in what is termed as the Rapture even though the word does not appear in scripture.  I do believe that the event is described in no less than three areas for what it is.  Here are three of the verses that I personally believe describe and predict the Rapture.  One (the first) is from Christ own words and the second is Paul's writings then the Apostle John.


from Christ Words in Matthew 24

Matthew 24:30-31 (NLT)
{30} And then at last, the sign that the Son of Man is coming will appear in the heavens, and there will be deep mourning among all the peoples of the earth. And they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
{31} And he will send out his angels with the mighty blast of a trumpet, and they will gather his chosen ones from all over the world—from the farthest ends of the earth and heaven.

from the words of Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (NLT)
{16} For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves.
{17} Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

then from John in Revelation the reporting of seeing the actual results of the Rapture or above two verses played out before his own eyes.

 

Revelation 7:9-14 (NIV)
{9} After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
{10} And they cried out in a loud voice: "Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb."
{11} All the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures. They fell down on their faces before the throne and worshiped God,
{12} saying: "Amen! Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!"
{13} Then one of the elders asked me, "These in white robes--who are they, and where did they come from?"
{14} I answered, "Sir, you know." And he said, "These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.


I will agree that the word Rapture does not appear as such however what it means, to be caught up is what I believe the above verses attest to and reflect.  These are some of the reasons that I personally believe the Rapture to be a valid New Testament teaching but just as there is much debate among Christians as to if it will occur or if that's what the scriptures mean there is much debate about the timing of the rapture.  

 

The rapture is considered, by many including myself, to be a fulfillment of God's promise, to the Church and His Saints, that we/they will not enter into His wrath or see God's wrath but that we will be protected from it, in much the same way that Noah and his family were offered protection from God's wrath (and judgment) of the flood against mankind and the world then.   It is my personal belief that in much the same way as God protected Noah and his family God's people, in the end days before God releases His wrath upon the world again, His protection will be given.  To the Jews first, in their sealing, foretold in Revelation 7:1-8 and then to the Church and body of believers both those who have passed (died) and those that remain alive till that day (that generation) when the cosmic signs (Revelation 6:12 & Matthew 24:29) occur signifying the Day of the Lord has come when God's wrath will yet again be released upon those unfortunate ones that are alive to experience it.

 

I'm sure you have reasons you believe there will be no rapture and for the sake of curiosity and my own knowledge I'd love to hear what is the most convincing points or Scriptures that lead you to believe there will not be a rapture.

Hi Winston,

You tell me, "I'm saying, take the straightforward words of Christ, and forget all that other obfuscation.  Where is the word "rapture" found in the Bible?   It is a concept manufactured by modern fiction writers.  It's on the same level as the Da Vinci Code."

Not a problem.  Many people believe what others have told them is true -- but, cannot prove their own belief from the Bible.  So, in that, my Friend, you are not alone.  But, one word of warning -- not all pastors have well grounded theologies based upon the full Bible either.  Pastors, like all folks, are human and prone to error and misinterpretation.  So, the best advice I can give is to do as the apostle Paul suggests in Acts 17:11 and test all teachings against Scripture.

Do we find the Rapture in the Bible?  Yes, both the word and the concept.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18, "For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the  Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.  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. 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.  Therefore comfort one  another with these words."

The Greek word for "caught up" is "harpazo."   In 405 AD, when Jerome was translated the Bible into Latin, the Greek word "harpazo" was translated to the Latin word "rapiemur."   And, from the Latin word "rapiemur" we get our English word -- rapture.

So, as you can see from this Scripture passage, and others, the concept of the Rapture is clearly taught in the Bible.

 

And, how can we "comfort one another with these words" -- if these words, this writing, is not true?


You declare, "It is a concept manufactured by modern fiction writers."

No, as you can see, the Rapture is clearly found in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 -- which the apostle Paul wrote and taught somewhere around 50 AD.   So, I would not say that the Rapture is from modern writers, fiction writers or otherwise.

Once again, Winston, I will ask you.  What are your beliefs about the End Times?  Since you do not believe in a PreTrib/PreMillennial scenario -- which do you believe -- MidTrib, PostTrib, Amillennialism, etc.?  Being a Christian, we all must believe something about the End Times -- even though our salvation is not, in any way, based upon that belief.  We do know that God will one day end this world and create a New World, New Heaven, and New Jerusalem.  What do you believe about this and when it will happen?

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

Bill

quote:   Originally Posted by Winston Niles Rumfoord:

As Jesus said, first the tribulation, then he takes us up, if you want to call that a rapture.   There is no escaping the tribulation if you are living at that time.


Hi Winston,

 

You are still trying to equate Matthew 24:29-31 with the Rapture.  In this passage, as in Matthew 24:15-28, Jesus Christ is speaking of the Tribulation, not the Rapture.  In these passages, He speaks of the Abomination of Desolation (Daniel 9:27).  He tells us, in verse 22, "Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short."   He tells us of false prophets and false christs (verse 23 and 24).  In verse 29, He tells us of cataclysmic events in the heavens.  All of these things happen during the Tribulation -- not during the Rapture.

 

Revelation 3:10 tells us that believers will be kept from the hour of testing, i.e., the Tribulation.

 

1 Thessalonians 5:9 tells us that God has not destined us (believers) for wrath, i.e., the Tribulation.

 

And, finally, Revelation 19:6-9 tells us of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb which takes place in heaven during the Tribulation.   Is there going to be a Wedding -- without the Bride?  If the Bride, the church, is not Raptured before the Tribulation -- how can she be at her own wedding?  Can you explain that?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

I promised that I would post regarding my belief concerning the Rapture timing but will first visit the term "Rapture" itself.


I would say that the term Rapture did not exist.  The term/concept however did and was described within the Scriptures.  As the Bible was assembled and then translated into various languages then the words of that particular language was used so that the meaning would carry through and be understood for what the original manuscripts said. 

 

Those that say that the word Rapture does not appear in the Bible are correct in their statement for it doesn't however the concept of what the word Rapture describes and what it is used for does exist in Scriptures.  It's basically a matter of semantics where two people can be correct although it appears they are talking about two different things.  At least that is the way I see it with regards to the term Rapture.

 

As for the discussion regarding the timing of the event I fully believe Scripture and Jesus Christ as well as the Disciples taught and believed that the Church body, Christians alive when those end days come (that generation) will endure extremely hard times and tribulation under the Antichrist as the Day of the Lord nears.  There is nothing about that statement that invalidates Revelation 3:10 or the other verses that promises that the Church will not enter into God's Wrath. 

 

The difference comes in regarding various scriptures and how they are interpreted.  Scriptures such as Matthew 24:30 & 31, Revelation Chapter 6 and whether the six seals are considered to be part of God's Wrath.  The tendency though is for many who preach to take scripture literally have to change that to figuratively or symbolically when it comes to the Rapture for IF Revelation 6 is God's Wrath then they have to find some where to fit the Rapture in and the only or closest place they can do that is Revelation 4:1.   They are forced to make scripture fit their doctrine rather than take it literally for what it says.  They also have to change other scriptures, such as Matthew 24:30-31 to apply to something I do not believe it applies to.  

 

I fully believe that Scripture backs itself up throughout scripture (old & new testaments) and that both teach the same story regarding the end times and the Day of the Lord. 

 

Bill was right when he typed in the following:

Many people believe what others have told them is true -- but, cannot prove their own belief from the Bible.  So, in that, my Friend, you are not alone.  But, one word of warning -- not all pastors have well grounded theologies based upon the full Bible either.  Pastors, like all folks, are human and prone to error and misinterpretation.  So, the best advice I can give is to do as the apostle Paul suggests in Acts 17:11 andtest all teachings against Scripture.

I fully believe those who so adhere to the Pre-Tribulation teaching should do just that.  The pretribulation doctrine found it's backing in the 1800's and was greatly spread with the popularity of the Scofield Study Bible and it's notes.  Conservative seminaries also picked up this teaching and taught it as the only accepted truth regarding the timing of the Rapture. 

 

Many use the verse in 1 Thessalonians 5:1 against any timing theory of the Rapture other than the Pre-tribulation theory (that the rapture will occur before the 7 year period or more appropriately the 70th week of Daniel)

1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 (CEV)
{1} I don't need to write you about the time or date when all this will happen.
{2} You surely know that the Lord's return will be as a thief coming at night.
{3} People will think they are safe and secure. But destruction will suddenly strike them like the pains of a woman about to give birth. And they won't escape.
{4} My dear friends, you don't live in darkness, and so that day won't surprise you like a thief.
{5} You belong to the light and live in the day. We don't live in the night or belong to the dark.
{6} Others may sleep, but we should stay awake and be alert.

The two, highlighted, verses above appear to be a contradiction and those who adhere to the Pre-Trib position love using verse 2 to say we cannot know the time.  They also use the following verse from Matthew 24 to reinforce that statement:

Matthew 24:36 (CEV)
{36} No one knows the day or hour. The angels in heaven don't know, and the Son himself doesn't know. Only the Father knows.

The real difficulty comes in though when you try to apply that teaching but fail to consider the context that these verses are in and consider the adjoining verses and what they attempt to say and teach.

 

In the passage from 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 it isn't difficult to see that it is being written to believers/Christians and the teaching is that the rapture/catching-up will happen catching the unbelieving people unawares and "as a thief in the night".   To the believers though the instructions and teaching is that they (believers/Christians) are not in the dark that it will surprise them as a thief (vs 4).  Why?  Christ reveals this in Matthew 24 where He answered the Disciples request to reveal to them just how to recognize the actual end times and how to know it is upon them (that Generation). 

 

Matthew 24:32-34 (CEV)
{32} Learn a lesson from a fig tree. When its branches sprout and start putting out leaves, you know that summer is near.
{33} So when you see all these things happening, you will know that the time has almost come.
{34} I can promise you that some of the people of this generation will still be alive when all this happens.

 

What things is he talking about happening that are so significant and unique that they will sure signify that the time is upon us and the end/catching-up/rapture near?   Christ Himself gives that answer right before the parable cited above and is copied below:

 

Matthew 24:29-31 (CEV)
{29} Right after those days of suffering, "The sun will become dark, and the moon will no longer shine. The stars will fall, and the powers in the sky will be shaken."
{30} Then a sign will appear in the sky. And there will be the Son of Man. All nations on earth will weep when they see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
{31} At the sound of a loud trumpet, he will send his angels to bring his chosen ones together from all over the earth.

 

Believers/Christians are taught this and it's reinforced by the Apostles in 1 Thes 5:1-4 and in 2 Thessalonians 2:2

 

2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 (CEV)
{1} When our Lord Jesus returns, we will be gathered up to meet him. So I ask you, my friends,
{2} not to be easily upset or disturbed by people who claim that the Lord has already come. They may say that they heard this directly from the Holy Spirit, or from someone else, or even that they read it in one of our letters.
{3} But don't be fooled! People will rebel against God. Then before the Lord returns, the wicked one who is doomed to be destroyed will appear.

 

The Antichrist will be on the scene before the Lord comes to catch-up/Rapture His Church/People (first the dead saints then those alive at the time who have gone through the first seals of tribulation time and hardship).   It was not to be a hidden mystery so that the Church/Christians would be caught unaware like a thief in the night.  They had the teachings of the Apostles which were also written down and carried forward and for us in the Scriptures of the Bible as reflected in the manuscripts. 

 

Those in the Pre-Tribulation timing corner cannot provide a scriptural reference to prove their position from a literal reading of Scripture.  They have to manipulate some verses (Matthew 24:30 & 31) to say it refers to one thing when it doesn't then they have to take other literal verses as symbolic (Revelation 4:1) in order to manufacturer a Rapture happening before the 70th week begins.  The actual Rapture/Catching-up though will be before God's Wrath, before the Day of the Lord comes upon the world and John discusses this Rapture/Catching-up of the Church and saints (dead first then the living) from all over the world, in Revelation 7:9:-17.

 

Revelation 7:9-17 (CEV)
{9} After this, I saw a large crowd with more people than could be counted. They were from every race, tribe, nation, and language, and they stood before the throne and before the Lamb. They wore white robes and held palm branches in their hands,
{10} as they shouted, "Our God, who sits upon the throne, has the power to save his people, and so does the Lamb."
{11} The angels who stood around the throne knelt in front of it with their faces to the ground. The elders and the four living creatures knelt there with them. Then they all worshiped God
{12} and said, "Amen! Praise, glory, wisdom, thanks, honor, power, and strength belong to our God forever and ever! Amen!"
{13} One of the elders asked me, "Do you know who these people are that are dressed in white robes? Do you know where they come from?"
{14} "Sir," I answered, "you must know." Then he told me: "These are the ones who have gone through the great suffering. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and have made them white.
{15} And so they stand before the throne of God and worship him in his temple day and night. The one who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them.
{16} They will never hunger or thirst again, and they won't be troubled by the sun or any scorching heat.
{17} The Lamb in the center of the throne will be their shepherd. He will lead them to streams of life-giving water, and God will wipe all tears from their eyes."

 

Contrast Revelation 7:9 with Matthew 24:30 and also 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17 then contrast Matthew 24:29 with Revelation 6:12-14.  Note that these cosmic signs precede the gathering of Christ's people (both in Matthew 24:30-31 and in Revelation 7:9-17).  That placement and timing of Scripture is no accident for they refer to the SAME Events.  The Pre-Tribulation theory for rapture timing is simply not backed by scripture and is not a correct doctrine.  It is though the most accepted and prevalent doctrine being taught by Conservative ministers who went to Conservative seminaries which taught the same thing without consideration otherwise.  Likewise it's accepted by most Christians who hear their pastors teach and preach it without actually studying the scriptures for themselves and praying for the Holy Spirit's revelation and peace about the teaching. 

 

The Pre-Trib advocates though are too busy trying to defend a doctrine that was taught to them by pastors and teachers that received the same teaching/indoctrination than to go back and actually look at the supporting scriptures and answer the questions what if the verses do mean this?  Why don't verses the Pre-Trib folks use fit together with literal reading like those who say the Church/Christians will go through tough times during the 7 year period at the end of times?   If Christ taught about the end days so specifically as to reveal what would happen, to the disciples, in Matthew 24 did he not specifically speak about a pre-trib rapture?  Why would he talk about 2nd Coming (as the pre-trib folks believe vss 30-31 teaches) and somehow leave out something as important and significant as the Rapture of the Church from the disciples in this passage (Matthew 24)?  The advocates of the pre-trib position have so convinced themselves that they are right that they cannot conceive that they might be in error or be chasing a rabbit down an empty hole, so to say.    Simply put, their dog don't hunt.

 

Now if Bill wants to refute this post and mention it's length and citations then I suggest he also check out the word hypocrisy and examine his own post before making such a statement.

quote:   Originally Posted by Winston Niles Rumfoord:

Bill, don't let your faith fail you if the tribulation comes, and you are still here.    We can compare notes while we're in the gulag.


Hi Winston,

 

I have shown you from Scripture why I believe in a PreTrib Rapture and a PreMillennial Second Coming of Christ.  I have shown you that the phrase "caught up" (harpazo in Greek, rapiemur in Latin, rapture in English) comes from Scripture (1 Thessalonians 4:17) written by Paul about 50 AD.  I have told you my beliefs and supported it completely with Scripture.

 

All you offer are cute comments and evasions.  Can you not tell us what End Time scenario you believe?   Do you even have a belief?  Or, do you just want to argue that my beliefs are wrong?

 

If you were on a debating team and your opponent made a statement supported by facts -- would your only reply be, "I don't believe you!"  From that, the only conclusion a person could draw would be to ask the question -- what is that person doing on the debating team?

 

And, when all you can give are cutesy and curt responses -- to avoid answering questions; I have to ask the same question -- why are you jumping into this discussion of the End Times if you have no personal beliefs regarding the End Times? 

 

If you have no belief regarding the End Times, I can understand you are coming into this discussion to learn.  But, if you are coming here to learn -- why are your only comments, "I don't believe you!"?    When you took classes in high school and college -- is that what you did in your classes -- just keep telling the instructor, "I don't believe you" -- even though you had no solid facts to support your disbelief?

 

Winston, what is your End Time belief?  Do you stand on a MidTrib Rapture, a PostTrib Rapture, no Rapture?  Do you believe there will be a Millennial Reign of Christ on earth?  Do you believe there will be a Millennial Kingdom, but, Christ will stay in heaven during that 1000 years?   Do you believe there will be no Millennial Kingdom, that we are living in the Millennium at this time.

 

These are some of the current beliefs; although not Biblical.  But, what do YOU believe?  If you have no belief -- then, why are you telling me I am wrong in my belief?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:
<Omitted for brevity and not due to content>

 

Winston, what is your End Time belief?  Do you stand on a MidTrib Rapture, a PostTrib Rapture, no Rapture?  Do you believe there will be a Millennial Reign of Christ on earth?  Do you believe there will be a Millennial Kingdom, but, Christ will stay in heaven during that 1000 years?   Do you believe there will be no Millennial Kingdom, that we are living in the Millennium at this time.

 

These are some of the current beliefs; although not Biblical.  But, what do YOU believe?  If you have no belief -- then, why are you telling me I am wrong in my belief?

 

God bless, have a wonderful, blessed day,

 

Bill

Bill, 

You mention four Rapture beliefs:

Pre-Tribulation: Rapture occurs prior to the 7 year period (Daniel's 70th Week).

Mid-Trib:           Rapture occurs at exactly the halfway point 3 1/2 years into the 70th week.

Post-Trib          Rapture occurs at the end of the Tribulation Period

No belief in a Rapture at all

 

I would like to add one additional choice that has been termed the Pre-Wrath Rapture which many confuse with the Mid-Trib Rapture position but it is not. 

 

The Pre-Wrath position is one I laid out above, in prior post, which believes the Rapture occurs prior to God's Day of Wrath.  Teaching is that the Seals of Revelation 6 are moments in time that are highlighted and as these moments in time occur the events of Revelation 6 are not God's Wrath but descriptions of terrible hard times that the Church will endure.  Pre-Wrath teaches that the Church/Christians alive during that determined period of time (Daniel's 70th week) will endure severe tribulation/persecution under the Antichrist but will be Raptured (Caught up) right before God unleashes His Wrath in the Day of the Lord.  Hence the terminology Pre-Wrath.

Originally Posted by Bill Gray:
Hi Winston,

All you offer are cute comments and evasions

And, when all you can give are cutesy and curt responses -- to avoid answering questions

Bill

_____________________________

Bill, I wish I had a Nichol for every time you've avoided mine & other people's questions. You call it a spitting contest & run make another topic.

You also evade questions by calling us children & telling us to behave. And you have the nerve to accuse Winston of giving what you call cutesy & curt responses?

Kinda like the pot calling the kettle black, ain't it?

You, Bill, are a pitiful little man that builds himself up by putting others down.

 

Originally Posted by Contendah:

The End Time, by Russell Boatman--best book available on the subject.  The chapter entitled "The Rupture of the Theory of the Rapture" alone is worth the price of the book. Boatman kicks triburapturist butt!

One crazy person saying that other crazy persons are crazy. Now that is worth buying!

Originally Posted by JimiHendrix:
Originally Posted by Contendah:

The End Time, by Russell Boatman--best book available on the subject.  The chapter entitled "The Rupture of the Theory of the Rapture" alone is worth the price of the book. Boatman kicks triburapturist butt!

One crazy person saying that other crazy persons are crazy. Now that is worth buying!

Do you have any constructive reply that would either add to the dialog/debate or present some substantial case that would reinforce your opposition to the subject at hand or are you just interested in calling names and heckling as someone who knows not why they believe as they do and cannot adequately refute  those who believe differently?  Engaging on the field of intellectual debate or just setting behind a rock popping in/up every now and again in a topic you have zero knowledge about just to demean and attack those who do participate in the discussion?  Sort of like a bobble headed dog on the dash.

 

 

 

 

 

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