The Pre-Tribulation Rapture: 19 Reasons Why It Is the Correct View – Part 7

 

Here are the last three reasons for a pre-Tribulation rapture—points 17 through 19.

 

 17. The pre-Tribulation rapture theory agrees with Old Testament Typology—that if one walks by faith he will escape God’s judgment. J. Dwight Pentecost, in his Things to Come, wrote,

While argument from analogy is a weak argument in itself, yet if a teaching is contrary to all typology it cannot be a true interpretation. Scripture abounds in types which teach that those who walked by faith were delivered from the visitation of judgment which overtook the unbelieving.

These types are seen in Noah and his family, in that they were saved from the flood while all others perished (Gen. 6-8); in Rahab and her household, being saved from the Israeli invaders while all others in that city perished (Josh. 6); in Israel as they were all rescued out of the Red Sea, while the Egyptians perished (Ex. 14). But, as Pentecost points out, the clearest illustration is of Lot (2 Pt. 2:6-9; Gen. 19:1-29). Pentecost writes,

If the presence of one righteous man prevented the outpouring of deserved judgment on the city of Sodom, how much more will the presence of the church on earth prevent the outpouring of divine wrath until her removal.

 

18. The church cannot submit to a Satan-controlled government. As it is now in this age of the church, the church has been instructed to pray for and submit to government authorities (1 Tim. 2:1-4), since they are appointed by God and are His representatives, who, according to His sovereign plan, will be used to carry out His will (1 Pt. 2:13-16; Titus 3:1; Rom. 13:1-7).

But during the Tribulation—especially during the second half of the Tribulation—we have an entirely different scenario. God will transfer His authority to Satan, and so the government at that time will be controlled by Satan.

Since God has already designed and commanded the church to submit to the governing authorities, with the understanding that these authorities are controlled by God, we must conclude that the church cannot be present on earth during the Tribulation; for it would be inconceivable for the church to pray for and submit to a Satan-controlled government.

Now since it seems that Satan doesn’t really take control of the government powers until the mid-point of the Tribulation, this point is not the strongest proof of the pre-Tribulation view. In fact, mid-tribbers may like this point. This is why we must examine all the evidence. Daniel 9:24-27 I think is our strongest evidence that the church will be raptured before the entire 7-year Tribulation; for here we read that seventy weeks, including the seventieth week (which is the Tribulation) has been decreed for Israel and not for the church.

 

19. In the Tribulation the object of Satan’s attacks is Israel not the church(Rev. 12). If the church is present in the Tribulation, it is odd that Satan will not also attack her, since it has always been the object of his attacks (Eph. 6:12). This could only mean that the church will not be present but raptured before the Tribulation. Scripture indicates that many Gentiles in the Tribulation will become believers; however, they won’t have any designation other than saints. They will either join the Jewish believers, be scattered and hidden, or be immediately martyred; a very large number will be martyred (Rev. 6:9; 7:9; 20:4).

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Five Future Events: from Now until the Tribulation

 

Ron Rhoads in his book The End Times in Chronological Order, seems to be quite certain of how the next steps of the future, leading up to the Tribulation, will play out. And he is not alone. Others like Joel Rosenberg, Arnold Fruchtenbaum, and Thomas Ice (all whom I admire as prophecy scholars) agree with him. Here are five future events that Ron Rhoads (and myself) sees happening, in Chronological order…

 

FROM NOW UNTIL THE TRIBULATION

1. The rapture of the Church. Nothing needs to happen before the rapture. And it seems that this event will kick off all of the next major end time events prophecies in scripture.

2. Russia and her allies invade Israel (Ezek. 38-39). With the world being in a state of shock and chaos after the rapture, and with Israel’s only true ally, the United States, greatly reduced in number, Russia and her Muslim allies will think to seize the moment by attacking Israel, thinking that the United States is too crippled to lend any support.

Well, as we know from Scripture, these marauders will invade Israel, but will be soundly defeated by the Lord himself, and not a single Israelite will be hurt. An earthquake, infighting, disease, and torrential rain, hail and burning sulfur will all be God’s doing and will bring massive death and destruction so that “no further attack against Israel by these evil forces will be possible!”

3. Possible revival in many nations (Ezek. 38:23). We can’t be sure of any true conversions as a result of the how God will save Israel from certain annihilation; we can only speculate what will happen from what verse 23 says,

“And I shall magnify Myself, sanctify Myself, and make Myself known in the sight of many nations; and they will know that I am the Lord.”‘

4. The rise of a revived Roman Empire led by the antichrist. Indeed, the destruction of Russia and her allies will set the stage for the antichrist and the Tribulation. Thomas Ice writes,

If the tribulation is closely preceded by a failed regional invasion of Israel (by Russia and her Muslim allies), then this would remove much of the Russian and Muslim influence currently in the world today and allow a Euro-centric orientation to arise.

Yes, as I see it, Isis, and all the other extreme Muslim groups, along with Russia will be wiped out, leaving the antichrist plenty of space and freedom to conquer the world.

5. The signing of a peace pact with Israel (Dan. 9:27). With Russia and the extreme Muslims out of the picture, a peace pack with Israel will be easy; the new world leader (the antichrist) will be the one to sign that peace treaty. But it will be a treaty that he will not intend to keep; for in the middle of the 7-year treaty he will break it and strike against Israel and seek to destroy them.

Also, we know that the day the treaty is signed is the very day that the Tribulation begins, referred in Daniel 9:27 as the 70th week. I personally think this will be the beginning of world War III (see Revelation 6:1-4). But Israel will be safe (protected by the antichrist) for the first three and one-half years.

Posted in Antichrist, Bible Passages on Prophecy, Daniel 9:24-27, Europe On the Rise, Ezekiel 38-39, Indicators of His Coming, Prophecy Topics, Rapture, The Antichrist, The Tribulation, The World Turns Against Israel | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture: 19 Reasons Why It Is the Correct View – Part 6

 

Here are two more reasons for a pre-Tribulation rapture—points 15 through 16.

 15. The day of the Lord will not overtake the church (1Thess. 5:3-5). I am not sure what the “day of the Lord” is referring to here. It is either the entire 7-year period of Tribulation, the last 3 ½ years of great Tribulation, or the very last day (or few days) when the Lord actually comes in judgment. We know that all of the Tribulation is a time of judgment; and that the last 3 ½ years is a greater judgment; and the last few days is the greatest time of judgment. But whatever the “day of the Lord” means here, we can be certain that the church will not go through it, because they are all believers, or sons of the light and sons of the day (v. 5). Thus, being His sons who have been delivered out of the domain of darkness and into the kingdom of light (Col. 1:13), we now have no part in that evil realm. Likewise, we will have no part in the day of the Lord; for the day of the Lord is a judgment only on the unbelievers.

The statement that the day of the Lord should not “overtake you like a thief,” is obviously an understatement, because the church won’t even be there. That is the entire point; it will not overtake them because they won’t be there! The unbelievers who are in the realm of darkness will be overtaken, but not the church.

Now, if it is the case that the “day of the Lord is the last half of the Tribulation or even the last day of the Tribulation, there may be a case that the rapture is mid-Tribulation or pre-wrath—if this was the only reference we use. However, I am not basing my case on only this passage.  We must take all passages together before we decide.

Also, just because we are saying here that the church will miss the day of the Lord (if it is does not include the entire 7-year Tribulation), it does not mean that the church will not also miss all of the Tribulation. In fact, I believe that the rapture will occur even before the Tribulation starts. But that is another topic.

16. The announcement of peace and safely (1 Thess. 5:3). The announcement of peace and safety will no doubt be followed by a consensus that there will, in fact, be peace and safety. This will probably be due, first of all, to the rapture of the church; for indeed, they will agree that since the believers are gone, they will no longer stir up divisive messages, causing trouble.

This feeling of peace I think will also be due to the 7-year peace treaty made with Israel (Dan. 9:27). But of course it will be a false peace proclaimed by false prophets. In fact, not too long after this peace treaty is signed, while everyone is saying “peace and safety,” the Tribulation will begin as the seven seals are opened and war breaks out all over the earth—world war III! Then, in just 3 ½ years the antichrist will break the peace treaty and this is when things start to get really bad.

But the point we are making here is that this declaration of peace—a false peace—will not transpire until the rapture occurs. And since immediately after they say “peace and safety,” the destruction of the Tribulation begins, this means that the rapture must occur before the Tribulation.

 

Posted in 1 Thessalonians 5:3-5, Bible Passages on Prophecy, Prophecy Topics, Rapture, The Tribulation | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

10 Element of Making a Deal — from Trump: The Art of the Deal

The last few lines of the book were quite prophetic. He wrote, “The biggest challenge I see over the next twenty years is to figure out some creative ways to give back some of what I’ve gotten…In my life, there are two things I’ve found I’m very good at: overcoming obstacles and motivating good people to do their best work.

Wow! I see this all happening now. His service as president is what he has been preparing for his whole life. And don’t we see that he is so good at overcoming many obstacles and also motivating good people to do their best work. We can give praise to God for preparing this man to serve in such an evil time as this.

Prayer for Trump and Country

 

I just finished reading Trump: The Art of the Deal. The first chapter, A Week in the Life, was captivating. I couldn’t believe how busy and how hard Donald Trump has worked—every minute of the day. Every half-hour or so he makes another deal, on the phone or in person. You can tell he loves his work.

In the second chapter, The Elements of the Deal, he goes over many principles he uses to make deals. This I think was the best chapter of the book. Here are…

10 Elements of Making a Deal (mostly Trump quotes)

1. Think Big. Trump wrote, “If you’re going to be thinking anyway, you might as well think big.” I like that!

2. How to Think Big.Trump said, “I think of it as a controlled neurosis, which is a quality I’ve noticed in many highly successful entrepreneurs. They’re obsessive…

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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture: 19 Reasons Why It Is the Correct View – Part 5

 

Here are four more important reasons for a pre-Tribulation rapture—points 11 through 14.

11. Important events for the church must transpire in heaven before the Second Advent of Christ. Two important events, the judgment seat of Christ (2 Cor. 5:10; 1 Cor. 3:11-16; Rev. 4:4; 19:8, 14), and the consummation of the marriage union between Christ and the church (Rev. 19:7-9), takes place before the Second Advent. I suppose it is conceivable, by the miracle of God, that these events could take place very quickly (within minutes) after the Tribulation, thus making possible the Post-tribulation view of the rapture (that the church would be raptured after the tribulation, only to immediately return again with the Lord to the earth); however, it is hard to conceive of these two important events as taking place without the passing of some time. It is more probable that these events would transpire during the Tribulation, thus to make the pre-Tribulation rapture view more likely.

12. The bible gives no instructions to the church on how to prepare for the Tribulation. Bible passages that are particularly written to Israel have included teachings and warnings in regard to the Tribulation; however, all the scriptures that were written to the church, including all the Epistles, have not included any such teachings. There are numerous teachings in the Epistles on how to endure hardship, persecution, and false teaching; but that can hardly compare to the wrath of the Tribulation. This lack of teach would argue strongly that the church will not need to be prepared for this time—because she will be absent, raptured.

13. The rapture and the Second Advent are two separate events or two phases of His coming. As I have shown in the previous chapter, there is ample evidence that there are two phases of His coming. In the first phase He comes in the air to claim His bride, to take her to His Father’s house, and to give her rewards. And in the second phase He comes to the earth with His bride (and all the saints), to judge the world and to establish His kingdom. These facts are indisputable according to the biblical evidence.

There is also much evidence that there is a gap of time between the two phases; that after the church has been raptured to the Father’s house, the church will stay there for a period of time to receive her rewards and to consummate her marriage union with Christ. This evidence must lead us to believe in a pre-Tribulation rapture.

14. The appearance of the 24 elders in heaven (Rev. 4:4; 19:4). The 24 elders in heaven represent the church. They appear in heaven before the seals were opened (Rev. 4:4) and they appear again at the close of the Tribulation (Rev. 19:4), after which they are seen (in Rev. 19:7-11) ready to go with Christ into the millennial kingdom to eat the marriage supper. This appearance in heaven at the beginning and end of the Tribulation on earth, shows us that they will be in heaven during the entire 7-year span of the Tribulation, and likewise proves the pre-Tribulation theory.

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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture: 19 Reasons Why It Is the Correct View – Part 4

 

Here is the fourth installment of this series—points 7 through 10.

7. The church should not be described as those who dwell upon the earth (Rev. 3:10). Earth dwellers (katoikeo) in this verse are those who have associated themselves with the world. All the references where this word (katoikeo) is used (Rev. 11:10; 13:8, 12, 14), refers to those who worship the antichrist, who will rejoice over the death of the two witnesses, and who are deceived by the false prophet. This expression can have no reference to the church. Therefore, we must conclude that the church is gone during the Tribulation. As is the promise here, God will keep them (the church) from the hour of testing.  He will rapture them all before the Tribulation comes.

8. The church cannot go through the Tribulation because that would subject Christ to judgment. Since we the church are of one body with Christ and can’t be separated from Him, if the church is subjected to the wrath of God in the Tribulation, so will Christ. This can never be! The church, with Christ, cannot be subject to judgment or the promises of God would be of none effect, and the death of Christ would be ineffectual (promises: Rom. 8:1; Jn. 5:24). Thus the church cannot go through the wrath of the Tribulation.

9. The church is absent in Revelation 4 through 18. The church is mentioned several times in the first three chapters of Revelation, but is not mentioned at all from chapters 4 through 18, which are the chapters which describe the Tribulation.

However, we may notice that immediately after John is called up to heaven in chapter 4, he sees the church represented figuratively by the twenty-four elders (v.4), which suggests that the church has been raptured to heaven just before the Tribulation begins. Then also, notice that just before Jesus comes to the earth in chapter 19:11, we again see these 24 elders in heaven worshipping God (v. 4).  They have been in heaven with Jesus all during the Tribulation, and are ready to follow Him to earth and into His kingdom (v. 14).

10. Signs of Christ’s Second Coming were not given to the church. Many signs were given to Israel (e.g. Matthew 24), so that they would be prepared and ready for His second coming, but the church was given no such signs. In all of Paul’s Epistles, which were written to the church, there are no signs of His coming; rather the church was instructed to be watchful for His coming—that He could come at any time (1 Thess. 5:6; Titus 2:3; Rev. 3:3).

Therefore, for Israel, certain things need to happen according to signs before He will come; but for the church, nothing needs to happen. This clearly tells us that Israel will be living during the Tribulation, for it is during the Tribulation that the fulfillment of the signs are to take place.  But since there are no signs for the church, this means that He will come for us at any time, which will be before the Tribulation.

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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture: 19 Reasons Why It Is the Correct View – Part 3

 

The third installment of this series is on the subject of wrath—that God will not allow the church to go through His wrath.

 

4. God has not destined the church for wrath but for obtaining salvation through Christ (1 Thess. 5:9-10).

Some would say that the wrath in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 refers to eternal wrath. But it seems clear to me that the context of this passage is speaking of “the day of the Lord,” which “will come just like a thief in the night” (v. 2). This clearly speaks of the wrath of the Tribulation.  And we must make no mistake that there will be wrath during all of the 7-years of Tribulation.  The following references indicate this: Zephaniah 1:15, 18; Revelation 6:16-17; 11:18; 14:19; 15:1, 7; 16:1.

Edmond Hiebert, a respected Bible Scholar and author, comments well on 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10:

Negatively, God’s intended goal for us believers is “not unto wrath.” The not is emphatic by position.  As in 1:10 wrath here is used in its eschatological sense, the wrath of God upon the sinner in the coming day of judgment. God wills not our destruction but our salvation. He has no intention that we should become the subjects of His wrath, fall under its punitive action, when the day of “sudden destruction” (5:3) falls upon the unsaved. He cherishes no angry purposes toward His redeemed children; the divine wrath against sin was diverted from us when by faith we were united with “the Son of his love” (Col.1:13). Wrath is the destiny of Christ-rejecting souls.[i]

 

In light of this teaching, we have to conclude that since God has not destined the church for wrath, all members of the church will be raptured before the day of wrath (the Tribulation) comes upon the earth.

 

5. God will keep the church from the hour of testing (Rev. 3:10).

The word “from” in Revelation 3:10 is literally “out of,” and so, it can be translated “out of the hour of testing.” A similar phrase in 1 Thessalonians 1:10, says, “…Jesus, who delivers us from the wrath to come.” In this verse “wrath” is used instead of testing, but it is speaking of the same thing. In fact, the one passage describes what the other is: the wrath to come is an hour of testing; likewise, the hour of testing is a time of wrath.

But the point we are making here is that God will keep us (the church) out of the hour of testing and wrath. And since the Tribulation is called a “day of wrath,” we can believe that God will rapture us to safety before it begins.

 

6. The hour of testing does not fit the church (Rev. 3:10).

Here the promise for the church is that God will keep her from the hour of testing, to test those who dwell on the earth. This word “test” (peirasai) is in view here. Dwight Pentecost comments:

Thayer defines this word [peirasai], when God is its subject, “to inflict evils upon one in order to prove his character and the steadfastness of his faith.” Since the Father never sees the church except in Christ, perfected in Him, this period can have no reference to the church, for the true church does not need to be tested to see if her faith is genuine.[ii]

 

Yes, the church does not need to be tested in this way any more than Christ needs to be tested; for if we are in Christ, we are made perfect in Him.

Conversely, the testing described here is to prove that those unbelievers who dwell on the earth during the Tribulation are in fact unbelievers and without a true faith in God and Christ.

Therefore, since this testing is not a valid test for believers, we must regard that the church will not go through the Tribulation.

 

[i] D. Edmond Hiebert, The Thessalonian Epistles: A Call to Readiness (Chicago, Illinois: Moody Press, 1971) p. 223.

[ii] J. Dwight Pentecost, Things To Come, p. 197.

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