This is a response to the comment from dispositor on a youtube video entitled “the post trib rapture is bogus” in which dispositor gave a weblink to an article written by Richard Mayhue. This article answers statements made by Prof. Mayhue which can be accessed at this site.Why a Pretribulation Rapture?
While I cannot address every single statement made, not because I cannot, but because it simply gets too lengthy to refute every single sentence and point, I will take on a great many statements and show how they are inaccurate or unScriptural.
Prof. Mayhue begins by making several statements, some of which are below, of problems in people's approaches to the subject of the rapture. The statements are as follows with my comments in italics following his statement. The problems he sees are as follows:
Inserting one's predetermined position, without first proving it, into a Scripture passage to gain apparent biblical support.
This is most certainly true and the pre-trib rapture position is one of the worst offenders of this. They approach all the Scriptures with a predisposed bias toward making them prove a pre-trib position even if it means spiritualizing them or reading them grammatically incorrectly to achieve that result. One instance is the assumption (and it is an assumption not a Scriptural premise), that John represents the Church in Revelation 4:1. A reading of this Scripture, by someone who is not predisposed to a pre-trib view, would never ever lead them to the conclusion that John represents the church. The reading of the chapter simply indicates that John is called up to heaven for the pure purpose of writing down what he views there. There is no other way for him to do this than to go up there. Hence he is called up. There is nothing in this passage that indicates that it means the church. That is taking a preconceived idea and applying it to a verse that can be spiritualized to construe that the event happens there, because they are looking for something to show that it will happen there. That is adding to the Scriptures, something of which we are specifically warned against in the book of Revelation 22:18.
In fact, they show a contradictory stance on John, as they teach that the Olivet Discourse found in Matthew 24 is Jesus speaking to the Jews (unbelieving), not His followers (Christians) of which John is one of the listeners. In this passage they literally insist that Jesus is not speaking to Christians or the church, as again, their preconceived idea of a dispensation will not allow an overlap of Israel and the church. Consequently they cannot accept that Jesus is speaking to His followers who are Christians, but turn the believing disciples into unbelieving Jews. But then when they need John to represent the church in Revelation, suddenly without any precedent, he represents the church. How convenient.
As for deliberately taking things out of grammatical context, one need only look at 2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 which says “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 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; 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. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? ”
They agree that the terminology the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is speaking of the Second Coming, but then when it follows up that our gathering together unto Him comes after that, they deny that the event happens in that order, when clearly that is the order given. The Thessalonians were concerned that the Second Coming, which they understood would happen right before the Day of the Lord, as Scripture teaches, had occurred. They expected to be gathered at that Second Coming before the Day of Christ (same as Day of the Lord) , which was why they were upset. Someone had told them that the Day of the Lord was about to begin. Paul's response makes it clear that these events are all the same "day" as in "event" of which he reminds them that he had taught them this. They were speaking of the coming and gathering, he responds by calling it "the Day of Christ" making it clear that this is what he had taught them, that they are part of one and the same event. The Thessalonians must have thought that the Second Coming either did not happen as they had been taught, or He was not taking them which is why they were so upset. Paul points out to them that none of these events, NONE OF THESE EVENTS, the Second Coming, their being gathered unto Him, or the Day of the Lord would occur until after the apostasy (the falling away is by definition from truth – it is not a description of the rapture as some say, for we do not 'fall away' when we are raptured. We go up to meet Christ in the air.), and after the son of perdition, antichrist, sets himself up as God in the temple. We know from other Scriptures that this occurs at the abomination of desolation. So there are two errors in the way they interpret this verse. They rearrange the order of events, then they change the meaning of the phrase falling away to mean something entirely different from what it means. They do this because they look at this Scripture not as written, but force themselves to see a pre-trib rapture in it. They conform the Scriptures to their viewpoint, not their viewpoint to the Scriptures. Think of what they are saying when they say that both the gathering and the falling away mean the rapture. Paul's statement would then read like this paraphrased when you replace "that day" as meaning the 2nd Coming/rapture/Day of Christ with just the word "rapture" - "Now I want to reassure you brothers, of the Second Coming and rapture, that you not be upset that the rapture has occurred, for the rapture won't happen until after the rapture and the abomination of desolation have occurred. How can the rapture not happen until the rapture has happened? Grammatically that is what one is saying if one makes the phrase "falling away" the rapture. So now if you make the falling away the apostasy of the church and say, "Now I want to reassure you brothers, of the Second Coming and rapture, that you not be upset that the rapture has occurred, for the rapture won't happen until after the apostasy of the church and the abomination of desolation have occurred," does it not read coherently? You tell me, which one makes more sense. And it shows that a straight reading puts the rapture at the time of the Second Coming.
Employing selective data to make one's point, when full disclosure would have actually weakened the conclusion.
One verse in particular that is constantly edited by pre-tribulationists is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:2-4. Verses 2 and 3 are quoted all the time. “For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 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.” They always manage to leave out verse 4 when they are discussing these verses. “ But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” In other words, it will not come as a thief, unexpectedly and suddenly to Christians, because they should know it is about to happen. How can one expect something for which there are no signs? One can't. But then, Christ gave us a ton of signs for which to watch to expect His coming. This is just one example of this ignoring Scriptures happening, there are many more and I will show another example later in this article where Prof. Mahue has done exactly this in his article.
Drawing unwarranted and erroneous implications from the Greek NT text that are used to override the more obvious and determinative conclusions derived from the passage's context.
One of the most over-argued about words in the Greek is found in the letter to the Philadelphians, where it is argued what the meaning of the preposition “ek” is and whether it means that people will be removed “out of” as in raptured, or “kept through” as in remaining on earth during the 70th week. When one's arguments to defend one's position gets to the point where a great deal of the evidence rests on how to interpret a preposition, instead of a preponderance of Scriptures that give evidence to a position, one has very little to stand on. We should be able to come to the truth simply from reading the Scriptures, not having to examine the tense of every little verb or every article and preposition in a Greek sentence. While that may be helpful at times, it is not the determining factor in an argument when there are multitudes of verses that reject the argument for the particular meaning of a part of speech. This particular verse will be addressed below and shown that the argument over this word is irrelevant in light of the rest of the context of the verse.
Prof. Mayhue makes the following statements “However, the term itself (harpazo) contains no hint of the rapture's time in relationship to Daniel's seventieth week..... ..neither of these foundational texts contains an explicit time indicator.”
He admits that the actual verses speaking about the rapture, and that two of the foundational texts for the pre-trib rapture do not contain any explicit indication of the timing of the rapture. A good portion of their defense is not explicit, but assumed. It is assumed, because it is looked for, not derived from Scripture. Coming to the Scriptures looking to find a defense is much different from reading the Scriptures and getting one's exegesis from a literal, comparative reading of the verses. When one looks to find a defense, one reads whatever one wants to into the meaning. Look at Harold Camping and how he read things into verses that simply are not there. People do it all the time.
The statement is made “The rapture will be full and complete, and not just partial.”
I am very glad to see that Prof. Mayhue at least believes this truth. Many in the pre-trib camp are starting to say that only those who believe in a pre-trib rapture are worthy to be raptured in a pre-trib rapture, that the rest, by virtue of not believing this will be left behind to suffer the tribulation that they so richly deserve. Some have even gone so far as to say that to not believe in a pre-trib rapture is committing the unpardonable sin. Yes, really. I have actually read that. So much for Christian love. Those who do not believe in a pre-trib rapture are not motivated simply as an academic exercise to prove they are right. They are motivated because they know pre-tribs are simply not ready to face what lies ahead, as they are so certain it will not be asked of them. This will lead to terrible mental anguish when it all hits the fan. Those of us who once believed pre-trib found that going through the process of changing to a belief that we will suffer through the tribulation, was not made without a great deal of distress. It was a time of anguish and terrible pain for most of us, first dealing with the idea that we had been lied to, then dealing with the truth. It left one feeling that the rug had been ripped out from under them. It was painful, terribly painful. To go through this in advance was hard enough, but to have to suffer it after it has already begun and the truth comes as a horrible shock will leave people either 1) devastated beyond belief that one has been completely wrong and faces probable martyrdom or 2) refusing to believe the truth and continuing to accept lies, the worst being that antichrist is not the antichrist. Non pre-tribs are seeking to prevent that as much as possible out of love. We may not always approach it in the best possible way, but our motives are pure. It is like seeing a person lying on a train track with a train coming at them, and they are refusing to believe the train is about to run them over. In our zealousness to get people off the track, we may lose our patience in our desperation to save them from themselves.
Prof. Mayhue says that there are indicators that point to a pre-trib rapture. Some are as follows.
The church is not mentioned in Revelation 6-18 as being on earth.
Then it is not the church who marries Christ as it clearly states in 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.” The bride of Christ, the wife of the Lamb is called the saints. So if the saints are not the church, then who is this wife of Christ? The word “saints” is found beginning in Acts 9:13, after the formation of the church. It is found from the book of Acts through the book of Jude forty-seven times. In each and every case without exception, it is referring to the church. In the book of Revelation the word “saints” is used thirteen times. Does it not seem that the precedent of this word in the rest of the New Testament means that we should continue to understand that this is referring to the Church? It is used to refer not just necessarily to a local assembly, but to the Church Universal. This word “saints” is found in Revelation beginning at...Hmmmm...chapter 5. The argument is that the church is not mentioned after chapter 4, but each of those letters were originally addressed not to the Church Universal, but to specific local assemblies. They could have just been addressed to the saints, but I think the term "church" was used to make the point that in each of these local assemblies, God was still looking at them as individuals, not as the Church Universal. After all, there were seven different typologies, and not every typology referred to the entire world of Christendom. The rest of Revelation however speaks to all Christians, the entire realm of Christendom or the Church Universal at the time of the end. Therefore it is most likely that God made the switch in terminology so as to distinguish between local churches in the first few chapters and the Church Universal or the entire body of saints in the rest of the book.
The saints do not refer to Jewish unbelievers, which is what is taught that the tribulation is for. Notice in chapter 12 that Satan makes war against those who keep the testimony of Jesus Christ. This clearly is speaking of Christians. The women (Israel) has been put in a place of safety. That is the exact opposite of what pre-trib says is going on during the tribulation - that the church is safe and Jews are being persecuted. Revelation 13:7 says that antichrist first goes against the Jews to persecute them, but when they escape he makes war against the saints, not Israel. This is born out in Daniel 7:21 and 25 where it says that the horn will make war against the saints and prevail against them, and then that he shall wear out the saints of the Most High and they shall be given into his hand for time, times, and the dividing of a time. Here is a case of clearly ignoring verses which over and over indicate that the church will be on earth during the time of Daniel's 70th week. This is exactly what Prof. Mayhue warned against, employing selective data. Just because the church is referred to as “saints,” suddenly they are no longer there? In fact, the reality that John only sees martyred saints in heaven gives credence to the idea that the church as a raptured group before the seals is a false teaching. The church in all its resurrected glory should have been there at the throne of God along with John, but they are conspicuously absent from that very scene.
Pre-trib addresses the word “saints” by saying they are tribulation saints or by necessity of their belief that the 70th week is for Jews and therefore they are saved Jews, but Scripture teaches that Jews will not be saved until after the 70th week. This will be covered further below.
Most interesting is the fact that nowhere during the period of Daniel's seventieth week is the term “church” used for believers on earth.
It has already been shown that the word “saints” is employed instead in the book of Revelation. There is also the use of the word “elect” in other passages in the New Testament that refer to the church.. The word “elect” is used sixteen times in the New Testament. The word “election” is used six times, and the word “elected” used once. In one case the word “elect” refers to Jesus, and in another it refers to angels. One use of election is to say that Israel is destined for it (therefore also speaking of believing in Christ). Of the entire twenty-three times the word “elect” and its variations are used, in fourteen cases (after subtracting the former three that do not refer to the Gentile Church) there is no question it refers to the Church. The other six all are found in the passages of the Olivet Discourse. Pre-trib is the only group who say that in these six cases it does not refer to the Church. In each and every other case (minus the three) the words “elect,” “elected,” and “election” refer to the church, but to uphold their viewpoint, they say that in these six cases it does not. In these six cases, they say that it refers to the believing Jews during the 70th week, but not the bride. By insisting they are believing Jews, they end up in another dilemma, because then the disciples hearing the Olivet Discourse to whom this was said, were believers, and therefore by definition, Christians. So it was aimed at Christians, which is what they want to deny. It is a vicious cycle. But in the New Testament, Jews as a national entity are not referred to as the elect. There are Messianic Jews in the elect as a remnant, yes, and they are also the bride of Christ, but Jews as a national entity are not referred to in this way except for the one verse that says that Israel is eventually destined to be elected. Therefore when we see the word elect used, we should from the usage of the word in the rest of the Scriptures understand that this also refers to the Church. Again, the point Prof. Mayhue made about inserting one's predetermined position to interpret Scripture would seem to be self-applying in this case, as it is not born out by Scripture to take the view that the elect referred to in the Olivet Discourse are not Christians.
It is remarkable and totally unexpected that John would shift from detailed instructions for the church to absolute silence about the church in the subsequent 13 chapters if, in fact, the church continued into the tribulation.
John did not shift remarkably and totally unexpectedly from instructions to the church to absolute silence. The only reason pre-trib sees silence is that they refuse to acknowledge that John IS talking about the church when he refers to the saints. It is their predisposed view that forces them into this position, not the Scriptures themselves. The Scriptures bearing each other out tell us that the saints of Revelation are the saints that the rest of the New Testament speaks about, who are the Church.
If the church will experience the tribulation of Daniel's seventieth week, then surely the most detailed study of tribulation events would include an account of the church's role.
The role of the church during the tribulation is to be martyred. I believe that is made quite clear in the three gospels readings of the Olivet Discourse,(Matt 24, Mark 13, Luke 21), Daniel 7, and Revelation 6, 7, 12, and 13. How much more detail is required for this?
..nowhere in Scripture is it taught that the church and Israel would coexist as the center for God's redemptive message and yet remain mutually exclusive.
The temple coexisted with the start of the church for 40 years before God said it was time to dispense with the temple. This is a simple historical fact. He obviously saw a need for a time of transition rather than just leaving people who had not yet heard the gospel message without a place to worship Him, otherwise He would have had an abrupt line of demarcation by destroying the temple right then and there after Christ's death. All He did was rent the veil, but He did not remove the temple. By the same token, there needs to be a time of transition back, rather than some abrupt line of demarcation. The church and the temple will again overlap, as the temple will be built before the church disappears. When the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled (which is at the end of the 1260th day after the abomination of desolation) and Israel is ready to accept her Messiah, the church will be removed as abruptly as the temple was destroyed, but only after a time of transition. Above it was said that Israel would not be the saints of the tribulation, because they do not accept their Messiah until the end of the 70th week. Now this will be shown Scripturally why this is so. Paul tells us in Romans 11:7-27 “What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day. And David saith, Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumbling block, and a recompence unto them: Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway. I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness? For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office: If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them. For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree; Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee. Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be graffed in: for God is able to graff them in again. For if thou wert cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and wert graffed contrary to nature into a good olive tree: how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be graffed into their own olive tree? 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.. 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: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.”
On what day does this event occur? We are told in Scripture exactly what day that will happen. Zechariah 12:4 “In that day, (Day of the Lord) saith the LORD, I will smite every horse with astonishment, and his rider with madness: and I will open mine eyes upon the house of Judah.” Zechariah 12:9-10 “And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (Armageddon) 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,” Compare this to Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.” Both of these put this event at the Second Coming. Even pre-trib says that this is the Second Coming, as every eye sees Him, while the pre-trib rapture is supposed to be secret. We are told more. Zechariah 13:1-2 “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.” Compare this to Daniel's prophecy of the 70th week. Daniel 9:24 “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.” The end of the 70th week will make an end of the sins of Israel, will make reconciliation and bring in everlasting righteousness. These things happen at the end because the Scriptures say they happen at the end. They happen at the time Christ makes His Second appearance. Zechariah 13:8-9,14:1-2a,3-4 “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God. Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle......Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives.” Yet here is more proof that this is speaking of the very end of the 70th week when Christ will stand on the Mount of Olives.
Now getting back to Paul's comment on the blindness of Israel happening until the fulness of the Gentiles comes in and then all Israel will be saved. These verses in Zechariah show us that this blindness will be lifted at the Second Coming. Are there yet further verses to bear this out? Yes. Keep in mind the phrase “fulness of the Gentiles.” We find a similar phrase coming in another place. Luke 21: 20-24 “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judaea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck, in those days! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” This passage is the same one found in Matthew 24 and Mark 13. It is the Olivet Discourse about the time of Daniel's 70th week. Luke tells us that the times of the Gentiles being fulfilled will come after the abomination of desolation, and until that time is fulfilled, Jerusalem will be trodden underfoot by the Gentiles. Now God gives us another clue, for we find another passage telling us how long Jerusalem will be trodden down by the Gentiles. Revelation 11:1-2 “And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein. But the court which is without the temple leave out, and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months.” We are told that the temple (which is already up and running) and altar are to be measured, but the rest should not be, for it and the city of Jerusalem will be trodden underfoot by the Gentiles for forty-two months. This is the same time period as the second half of the 70th week. As we know from Luke that this occurs after the abomination, this forty-two months goes until the 1260th day after the abomination. Then and only then will the fulness of the Gentiles have come in, and then and only then will the blindness be lifted from the eyes of Israel and they will see their Messiah whom they pierced. As a side note, it should be noted that in Rev 11:3-4 it tells us that at the same time Jerusalem is being trodden upon, the two witnesses will witness for 1260 days. This means that they are also in the second half of the 70th week. If pre-trib is to argue this, then they find themselves not only having to deny all the above Scriptures, but they are then stuck with the problem that Rev. 11 teaches that the temple and altar are already up and working when all this starts, which means if they were to be in the first half of the 70th week as most pre-tribbers teach, then the temple and altar must be up before the 70th week even commences which then shatters imminence.
The unbiased reader would certainly be impressed by the abrupt shift from the “church” in Revelation 2-3, to the 144,000 Jews from the twelve tribes in Revelation 7 and 14. He would certainly ask, “Why?”
First of all, there is not an “abrupt” change. The letters of warning to the churches are over. These are not events of the 70th week as much as warnings to all the churches down through the ages who fall into one of these seven categories, although I do believe it is directed specifically not only to the original church, but to the last days churches. They are warnings, not events. Now God is going to get into the events of what the future holds, so the next order of business is for John to come up to heaven to witness what is happening in heaven. He describes heaven, then Christ starts opening the seals as that was the whole purpose of John coming up. To record what will be happening in the end times. Before the 144,000 are mentioned, note that the 5th seal has a group of saints, more specifically martyred saints. We have already shown that saints are Christians. Herein also lies a problem for pre-trib who say that the seals begin God's wrath at the beginning of the 70th week. If Christians are not appointed to wrath, and I whole-heartedly agree on this point, and the seals are God's wrath, then please explain why the 5th seal, instead of being God's wrath on the wicked, is a seal that is only and specifically aimed at Christians? Does this not completely negate the verse that is constantly thrown at non pre-tribbers to prove that the rapture must occur before then? You can't have it both ways. Christians are Christians, and NO Christian is appointed to GOD'S wrath. Therefore there are only two possibilities. Either this is not God's wrath and is someone else's (Satan's perhaps? - See Rev. 12:12) or these are not Christians. But they are called saints, and they are in heaven, so they must be Christians. Therefore this cannot be God's wrath. If it is not God's wrath yet, then there is no need for a rapture before this point as we were only told we are not appointed to His wrath, not anybody else's.
Second point, although probably irrelevant to this discussion at the moment, is that these 144,000 are not all Jews. They are from all twelve tribes of Israel, which means ten of them come out of the Gentile nations (10 lost tribes) as Jews are only from the tribe of Benjamin and Judah, although there were Levites in both the two tribes of Israel and Judah.
Further because Revelation 12 is a mini-synopsis of the entire tribulation period and because the woman who gave birth to the male child (Rev. 12:1-13) is Israel, then logically and topically the Tribulation period focuses on the nation of Israel and not the church.
I agree up to a point. Logically and topically it does teach about Israel up to verse 13. But then we have that pesky old problem of which Prof. Mayhue warned us at the beginning. I again quote, “Employing selective data to make one's point, when full disclosure would have actually weakened the conclusion.” The selective data is to ignore the rest of the verses in that chapter. Let us read them. Rev 14-17 “And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, FROM the face of the serpent. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Whoops. It seems that the women is given an escape clause, for three and a half years, This angers the dragon (Satan) and whom does he go after? He goes after the seed (we are the spiritual seed of Abraham) who do what? Who have the testimony of Jesus Christ. And who might they be? Christians of course. Again, it must be pointed out that God tells us that this period is the time of Satan's wrath, not His. His comes later. Rev. 12:12 tells us whose wrath this time of tribulation is,“ Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.” This occurs at the abomination of desolation.
The rapture is rendered inconsequential if it is postribulational.
As the tribulation is cut short of the three and a half years, for the express purpose of saving the “elect” I might add, why would a post-tribulation rapture, which would come before the Day of the Lord when He will pour out His wrath, as opposed to the world's suffering Satan's wrath in the tribulation, be inconsequential? Has not God promised us that we are not appointed to wrath? Managing to survive Satan's wrath against the world and mankind will be hard enough, and impossible for most, but why should we be exposed to God's wrath when He has specifically promised us that we shall not be. It is called keeping a promise, not being inconsequential.
First, if God miraculously preserves the church through the tribulation, why have a rapture?
For the express purpose just mentioned above.
Further, if the purpose of the rapture is for living saints to avoid Armageddon, why also resurrect the saints who are already immune at the same time?
Uhh, because there is only one resurrection of the righteous and this is it, and we have been told they will precede those who are alive. Again, it's called keeping God's Word. Rev. 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
...the subsequent separation of the sheep from the goats will be redundant.
No, it will not. The sheep and goat judgment is to separate those who have not taken the mark from those who have. There will be survivors from both camps after Armageddon, probably because if they are not Jews whom God has protected, they will be nowhere near the Middle East where it will be the worst.
If one is under the impression that everyone will take the mark if they are not a Jew, one is wrong. It says in Rev 13:8 “ 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.” Rev. 17:8 " The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." First, a person being written in the Book of Life does not mean that they have to have accepted Christ before the Second Coming, but God knows they will after, hence they are in the Book of Life written before the foundation of the world. This is called foreknowledge. Obviously if it were true that they had to accept Christ before the Second Coming to be in the Book of Life, then all Israel would be saved not after they see their Messiah, but before, thus making them part of the bride of Christ. Then there would only be one kind of people left – those who took the mark - and nobody to enter the millennium, thereby not needing a sheep and goat judgment. But we know that Israel will not accept her Messiah until she sees Him come in His glory and by then it will be too late to be a part of the bride. They will not have accepted the mark or they would 1) not be able to accept Him as their Savior, and 2) would not be able to enter the millennium, which clearly they do. It also tells us that there will be some from every nation in the millennium. Zechariah 14:16 “And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles,” so we know that there will be some in every nation who, while not having accepted Christ as their Savior before His return, have not taken the mark of the beast and have merited God's favor in some way, so as to have gotten into the millennium.
There are some who will refuse the mark for other reasons than God's instructions. For anyone in America, I am sure you are aware of the anti-New World Order movement that consists of groups of people who are banding together as militias. They are survivalists who have created places of safety and stored away supplies and munitions. They have no intention of succumbing to the New World Order. We are told about some of these people in Daniel 11:32-35 “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. 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. Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries. 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: (note this says that some who understand God's Word will not be protected because some need to be tried, purged, and made white up until when? Up until the end.) because it is yet for a time appointed.” We are told in these verses that those who understand what is happening during the Great Tribulation (2nd half of 70th week) will instruct those who have no idea what is happening and they will do exploits. Some of them will fall in “battle” but there will be a little help from those who will cleave to them with flatteries. In this case we only need to look at the previous verses to see that flatteries refers to insincere deceptions. Some who help true Christians will not be true Christians themselves. But we are told this again in Matt 25:31-46 “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me. Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink? When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee? Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee? And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.” These are not people who have had a relationship with Christ and they cannot figure out why He thinks they did anything for Him. He points out that they did it for His brethren (believers in Christ or Christians) so therefore they did it for him. They have not received the mark (or they would automatically be tossed into the fire) so they get to go into the kingdom, although they did not know Christ. They come out of the nations.
..if all tribulation believers are raptured and glorified just prior to the inauguration of the millennial kingdom, who then will populate and propagate the kingdom?
We are not raptured just prior to the inauguration of the kingdom, we are raptured just prior to the pouring out of God's wrath. As to who will populate the kingdom, that has already been explained in the previous explanation.
The Scripture indicate that the living unbelievers will be judged at the end of the tribulation and removed from the earth.
The living unbelievers will be judged at the end of the 70th week, agreed, but as pre-trib erroneously calls the entire 70th week of Daniel the tribulation (there is absolutely no Scriptural justification for doing so) then by their terminology that would be correct. They are judged at the end of the 70th week as explained above.
The posttribulation paradigm of the church being raptured and then immediately brought back to earth leaves no time for the Bema i.e. the Judgment Seat of Christ to occur or the Marriage Supper.
There is a misconception that is brought about by people not having the same definitions of terms. We are told in Matt 24 that the tribulation is cut short of the 70th week, so for a rapture to be post-trib would only require that it be after that cut short tribulation. However the rapture occurs at the Second coming which is at the last or 7th trump. Therefore there is time between that and the end of the pouring out of God's wrath for the Bema Seat Judgment and Marriage. In fact there is a thirty day period between the end of antichrist's reign and the end of the pouring out of God's wrath. Antichrist reigns for forty-two months (Rev. 13:5) which amounts to 1260 days. In Daniel 12:11 we are told that from the abomination the 70th week will run 1290 days. As the two witnesses were also shown to witness in the second half of the 70th week, and their witness lasts 1260 days, (same as antichrist) we can determine the time frame of the trumpet judgments. The seventh trumpet is the third woe (Rev. 11:14) which occurs after the two witnesses are resurrected (so after the 1260 days) That the seventh trumpet is the third woe is confirmed in Rev 9:12 where the fifth trumpet is called the first woe, and the sixth and seventh trumpet referred to as the last two woes, meaning the second and third woe. So the third woe, the seventh or last trumpet comes after the 1260 day witness of the two witnesses. This puts the seventh and last trumpet in those thirty days of Daniel which finish up the 70th week at 1290 days. As in heaven time does not pass the same way as here, thirty days would be more than sufficient time for the judgment of the saints and the marriage, and in fact that is exactly what we are told in Rev. 11:15-18 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. This tells us that at the time that the seventh and last trumpet sounds sometime after the resurrection of the witnesses, that the kingdoms of the world become Christ's and he will begin His reign, the dead (resurrected) will be judged, the saints will be rewarded, God's wrath is finally come, and God will destroy the wicked.
God's instructions to the church through the epistles contain a variety of warnings, but never do they warn believers to prepare for entering and enduring the tribulation of Daniel's seventieth week.
One has to ask, “Are we reading the same Bible? Did you read the seven letters in Revelation? Do you not understand that they are warnings about the tribulation? Thyatira is promised she will be thrown into Great Tribulation. That term only is applied in one other place, and that is the Great Tribulation of Daniel's 70th week. How about Luke 21:26 in the Olivet Discourse where Christ tells us, '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?' How many times does Jesus say 'do not be deceived' in the Olivet Discourse? How about the blessings and warnings in the book of Revelation.
Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.” If we aren't going to be here, how can we keep those things which are written, since they are about the 70th week?
Revelation 14:13 “ And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”
Revelation 16:15 “Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.”
Revelation 19:9 “And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.”
Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
Revelation 22:7 “Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” Again why should we worry about keeping the sayings of the prophecy of this book if we aren't going to be here during it?
Revelation 22:14 “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.”
Revelation 22:18-19 “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” We need to be very careful to take everything in this book at face value and not add or delete from it.
How about enduring to the end?
Matthew10:22 “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
Matthew 24:13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Mark 13:13 “And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”
Here we are told to have patience (to wait upon the coming of the Lord).
Revelation 13:10 “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.”
Revelation 14:12 “Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.”
How about the fiery trial (tribulation) we are told we might endure?
1 Peter 4:12 "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you."
If one starts looking with an eye to seeing the warnings that we will enter and endure the tribulation (although most Christians will not survive it, they will be martyred – Rev.13:7, Dan 7:21,25) one starts to realize that the Scriptures are full of them. But only if one has ears to hear and eyes to see.
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 demands a pre-tribulation rapture.
Let's really take a look at those Scriptures and see if they give a time for the rapture.
“But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words.”
This says that Jesus died and rose, and that those who sleep in Jesus (the dead) will be brought with Jesus (their souls need to come back to be reunited with their bodies) when He returns. For Those who are alive and remain (is there some reason why there should be emphasis to add the word “remain” to “alive,” as if there is some reason many won't remain to be alive?) until the What? The COMING OF THE LORD (the last I knew the Coming of the Lord was always known as the Second Coming, not a secret rapture) will not be ahead (be caught up in the clouds) of those who need to have their bodies resurrected. For the Lord will descend with a shout, the voice of the archangel , and with the trump of God and then the dead will rise first. Then the rapture of the living will occur. They will meet the Lord in the air.
Now I have heard the argument that the trump of God has to be God blowing his own horn, not the angels. Really? Do we really want to use this silly defense as one of our foundations for a theology? If we must address this, then let us look at it realistically. Royalty does not have to blow their own horn. Think about who this is. I mean come on, really? People honestly think God gets up off his throne, asks for someone to hand him a trumpet and wails? This is the majestic Creator of the universe whom people are constantly bowing to and praising. He has a myriad of servants to carry out His every command. What on earth do people think the angels are for? All, I repeat, all of the trumpets sounded in heaven are trumpets of and for God. Whose trumpets would they be, for heaven's sake, if not His? A trumpet of God is a trumpet sounded for God no matter who blows it, so to have to rest the argument for a pre-trib rapture on this flimsy argument only shows that there are no real arguments or Scriptures to back up this belief. Matthew 24 gives us the same picture as does Revelation 14. Let's really compare all of these pictures. First here are the Scriptures.
Matt 24:30-31 “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Mark 13:26-27 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 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.”
Luke 21:27-28 “And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”
Revelation 11:15, 14:14-16, 15:1 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God.” These verses while not right after each other can be shown to be in chronological order by the events surrounding them, so it is not out of line to put them together in this way.
Now let's compare the events of the verses.
1 Thess. - The Lord descends with a shout, the the voice of the archangel, with a trumpet, the dead are resurrected and the living raptured to meet the Lord in the clouds in the air.
Matt – The sign of the Son of man appears and the earth mourns. The Lord appears in the clouds with great glory and power, there is a trumpet blast and the angels help to gather the elect.
Mark – The Lord appears in the clouds with glory and power and the angels gather His elect.
Luke – The Lord appears with glory and power and we are told to look up (in the air) for our redemption (the rapture) draws near.
Revelation – The last trumpet blows,the Lord is proclaimed King of kings in glory and power. He appears in a cloud crowned (with glory and power), an angel shouts, the elect are reaped.
They all sound remarkably similar and in four of the five cases, the timing is relegated to the Second Coming, at the seventh trumpet.
Another passage that needs to be compared is 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
This passage tells us that we will not all die, but some will be changed (raptured) at the last trump. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be resurrected first. The only timing we are given for this is (other than the last trump which is obvious to some of us, but rejected by many) that corruption must put on incorruption, mortality must put on immortality and death will be swallowed up. Is death swallowed up in victory at the beginning of the 70th week? No it is not. In fact there is more death and destruction in this seven years than has ever been seen in such a period of time before. Death is most certainly not swallowed up in victory before the tribulation. Again we see that the verses that are part of this passage that negate a pre-trib view simply get dropped from the equation.
What about Acts 3:20-21 “And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.” God does not send Jesus Christ back until it is the time for the restitution of all things. Does the 70th week start with the restitution of all things? No, of course not. The restitution of all things does not come until the end of the age. And the end of the age does not come until after the 70th week. It says that heaven must receive (and keep) Him until that time. In other words, He must stay in heaven until then. Acts 2:34-35 reinforces that idea. “ The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy foes thy footstool.” As long as antichrist reigns, he is not the footstool of Christ. Christ has to sit at the right hand of God (and not leave) until all his foes become his footstool. Are we to just ignore these passages? It is clear that 1 Thess. 4:13-18 in no way demands a pre-trib rapture whatsoever. One only sees it there because one wants it there. This verse tells us that at "the coming of the Lord", which the last time I knew that phrase is always used to refer to the Second Coming, there will be a resurrection and rapture. If anything, it is an argument against pre-trib, as it says it will happen at the Second Coming, not some secret rendez-vous.
John 14:1-3 parallels 1 Thess. 4:13-18
Let's see what John 14:1-3 says. “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.” Okay, and your point is? This does not disagree with anybody's viewpoint. We all believe Jesus went to prepare a place for us and will come back and receive us so that we may be there also. That's what the rapture is, no matter where you put it. It proves absolutely nothing as far as timing goes. It is this sort of “proof” that makes it hard to take a pre-trib defense seriously. A person coming with no background in this at all would simply be shaking their head trying to figure out how such a jump to this conclusion could possibly be made. The parallel is accurate in that it certainly teaches a Second Coming and rapture, but pre-trib does not believe in a Second Coming/rapture event, so these verses do not work for them.
A post-tribulation rapture demands that the saints meet Christ in the air and immediately descend to earth without experiencing what the Lord promised in John 14.
Who meets Christ? The saints? Why are they saints now, but there weren't in Rev. 5-19? As already pointed out, no it doesn't demand that. Not if the definition of post-trib is after the tribulation, but before the wrath of God. There is a thirty day period after the Second Coming (rapture) and the end of the 70th week. It is not an immediate turn around.
The nature of events at Christ's post-tribulational coming differs from that of the rapture. At the rapture, Christ comes in the air and returns to heaven, but at the final event of the Second Coming, Christ comes to the earth to dwell and reign.
The key is in the words used here. At the rapture, Christ comes in the air and returns to heaven. Agreed. but at the final event of the Second Coming. Exactly. At the final event of the Second Coming which is Armageddon, Christ comes to earth to dwell and reign. Actually this is not the final event, as the final event of the Second coming is the Great White Throne Judgment, just as the final event of the first coming was not His birth, but His ascension. However for the sake of this dialogue, we will say that Armageddon is the final event, as it is the final event of the 70th week. He is covering both things at the same time, rewarding the saints in heaven, and allowing His wrath to be poured out on earth during the same time period. This thirty day period does not indicate how long each of these events takes. They can be simultaneous or if not, if each thing (the rewarding, the wrath (vials) and Armageddon) took, say for instance, one week, there would still be week to spare for the thirty days. Everyone assumes Christ returns to the same heaven He is in now, but we know that He has made New Jerusalem, an entire city, for us and that He will be bringing this city with Him, as it will be our home during the millennium. If He is bringing this very physical city with Him, then it stands to reason that it will be just outside earth's orbit in space, not in some distant, different dimension. We know it is a physical place, because the nations of the world will walk in its light that comes from the glory of God (as it is a crystal city). Rev.21:2, 23-24 “And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven …...And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.” The city comes down out of heaven (2nd heaven) after the Great White Throne judgment, which is after the millennium. Where is it before that? As we are supposed to be judges during the millennium, one assumes we can't be too far away, ergo it seems that the answer is that it is a satellite city in orbit as that is the only solution that presents itself to fit the information we are given.
At the rapture Christ gathers His own, but at the final event of the second coming, angels gather the elect.
Is there some reason both can't be going on? Some passages say it is just Christ, some say angels. They are all on the same side after all and they are His servants to help out and do His bidding. Is it really so hard to think that both are gathering the elect, since Scripture seems to indicate this? Christ will probably be gathering people from over Jerusalem, the angels will be gathering people from the four corners of the earth.
At the rapture, Christ comes to reward, but at the final event of the second coming, Christ comes to judge.
As just mentioned above, both things are going on at the same time. He is judging and rewarding the elect at the Bema Seat, and judging the wicked on earth. He is God, He is perfectly capable of doing both at the same time if necessary. But wait a minute. I thought pre-trib taught that the tribulation is God's wrath. Then isn't it going on at the same time of the rewarding of the saints by pre-trib standards? Or is it that the rewarding is done before the tribulation begins? But then, I thought the whole seven years were tribulation by pre-trib standards. And if God's wrath does not really begin until the mid-point, then why would Christians need to be rapture 3 1/2 year in advance of that. Noah and Lot weren't. But then again if God's wrath starts with the seals, and they start at the beginning of the 70th week, then the whole thing is God's wrath and He is pouring it out while He is rewarding the saints. Gets all very confusing doesn't it?
At the rapture, resurrection is prominent, but at the final event of the second coming, resurrection is not mentioned.
The two are inexorably linked in several passages and we are told that the rapture cannot occur until the dead rise first, so wherever we see a passage talking about the rapture, we should understand if we have bothered to study Scripture at all that the resurrection will occur first. In Rev. 11 it only talks about the dead but doesn't mention a rapture. Does that mean there is no rapture? Of course not. Scripture needs to be taken as a whole, not sliced and diced to make it fit a preconceived theology.
At the rapture, believers depart the earth, but at the final event of the second coming, unbelievers are taken away from the earth.
Rev. 14 shows us that the elect are harvested, then the wicked are harvested and thrown into the wrath of God. If it seems to be in different orders at different times the only indication is that they are happening simultaneously, and therefore the order is not crucial as both are occurring.
At the rapture, unbelievers remain on earth, but at the final event of the second coming, believers remain on earth.
There will be both unbelievers and believers left on earth at the rapture and Second Coming as that latter two happen at the same time. The unbelievers are the wicked who will endure God's wrath, and the believers are the Jews who have just realized that they missed knowing their Messiah, but now accept Him, as well as Gentiles who have not taken the mark. God will protect them during His wrath so that they may enter into the millennium. That is why in one place it appears it is unbelievers and in another it is believers. Both are left behind, but the church is not.
At the rapture, there is no mention of establishing Christ's kingdom on earth, but at the final event of the second coming, Christ has come to set up His kingdom on earth.
That all depends on how you interpret the Scriptures. For those who understand that the rapture is at the Second Coming, it is clearly understood. Rev. 11:15-18 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.” Here we have the very thing for which Prof. Mayhue looks. The kingdoms of the earth have become the kingdoms of our Lord (Christ's kingdom established on earth) and the time for judging the dead (resurrection) and rewarding the saints (rapture) has come. It's all in what you are willing to accept.
At the rapture, believers will receive glorified bodies, but at the final event of the second coming, no one will receive glorified bodies.
As the resurrection/rapture is at the Second Coming, it is assumed that from putting all the Scriptures together there is no question that one gets one's glorified body at this event. Again, it is there if you are willing to see it. The final event is Armageddon and no, nobody will be receiving a glorified body then, as the resurrection will have already occurred.
Rapture is unmentioned in Matt 24 and Rev. 19
The rapture can be found in Matt 24:30-31. The rapture has occurred by Rev.19, (occurs in Rev. 14, the raptured saints are seen on the sea of glass in Rev. 15) but 19:8 lets you know it has just happened. “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.” She has just received her white linen robe to wear to her wedding. It is not seen because eyes are blind, not because it is unmentioned.
Rev. 3:10 promises that the church will be removed prior to Daniel's 70th week.
No, it says that those few who have kept the word of His patience will be kept from the hour of wrath...whoops, no it doesn't say wrath, it says temptation. Rather than spending so much time trying to prove what the word “from” means, how about looking at the word "temptation". A temptation is not wrath, so being kept from it does not require being removed from the earth in fulfillment of a promise to not let God's children suffer His wrath. He's not talking about wrath here, he's talking about temptation. Has everyone missed that point? The Greek word for temptation is “peirasmos” which means to put to the proof. In other words, to test something. The tribulation is a TEST people, a TEST. To see who is faithful. For those who have been faithful, they are exempt from the test. Haven't you ever had a professor who exempted you from a final exam because you did your homework and passed all the quizzes to that point, so you didn't need to prove yourself. This is about proving ourselves and our faithfulness. The Philadelphians have been faithful and kept the word of His patience; they have already proven themselves. This is not the entire Church, this is a remnant in the Church. They will be protected through the tribulation while those Christians who have been lax and/or need refining (as Daniel, Peter, and Christ in the 7 letters tell us) will get refined. The word "tribulation" in Greek is "thlipsis." It means "persecution." Since when is persecution equated with God's wrath? The early church saints were persecuted. That was not God's wrath. Through the last 2,000 years people have been persecuted for their faith in Christ. Has that been God's wrath? Of course not. God's wrath is not aimed at Christians. God does not persecute Christians, Satan persecutes Christians. God punishes the wicked. That is God's wrath. The tribulation is the persecution of the saints. Not the punishing of the wicked. It is Satan's wrath, not God's. There is a huge difference between the two. The tribulation is a time of persecution by Satan. It is a time of testing of the saints, not the time of God's wrath. Why do people insist on not understanding this?
If it is argued that Revelation 3:10 means total immunity, then of what worth is the promise in light of Rev 6:9-11 and 7:14 where martyrs abound?
The promise in Revelation 3:10 is to the remnant who have been faithful that they will not be put to the test to prove themselves. Those who have been carnal, lax, Laodicean will. There has been no promise made that God will not test our faithfulness, only that we are not appointed to wrath, but it has been shown that this is not God's wrath, it is Satan's. Rev 12. Others in the Church are told that in fact they will be thrown into Great Tribulation. There is only one Great Tribulation, so these letters are descriptions of types of churches and Christians that will exist at the end of the age, or now. Only a small remnant from each will be overcomers, and in the church of Smyrna, in spite of the fact that they have done nothing to merit God's disapproval, He allows them to be martyred. God does want a battered and bruised bride, if that is what is required to get a pure bride.
Prof. Mayhue included some questions that had been put to him. One was - why then is the church not mentioned in heaven in chapters 4-19 the reply comes, “It is true that the word for 'church' is not used of the church in heaven in Rev 4-19. However, that does not mean the church is invisible. There are at least two distinct appearances of the church in heaven.” The first appearance is given as the twenty-four elders. Rev. 18:20 refers to the church.
As shown above, the church is mentioned in the form of saints. As for the twenty-four elders, there is nothing that indicates that they are the church. This is a gross spiritualization. The better explanation for them is that they are the order of Melchizadek. [See post at Who is Melchizadek?] Rev. 18:20 speaks to the apostles and prophets. The apostles were most certainly part of the church, but the prophets were also part of the O.T. They have all had to deal with Babylon, so it is not unexpected that they should be told to rejoice over her. This of course puts her demise at the end after they are resurrected, unless they are still in just a pre-resurrected state as are the martyrs in the fifth seal. It doesn't represent the church though. That would be another gross spiritualization.
The question is asked if the DOL is at the end of the seventieth week does not the chronology of 1 Thess 4 and 1 Thess 5 teach postribulation. The answer comes “First, regardless of whether the DOL comes at the beginning or the end of Daniel's seventieth week, this point does not necessarily determine the time of the rapture. “ The grammar of 1 Thess 5:1 argues against a close chronological sequence with 1 Thess 4:13-18.
Whether the Day of the Lord comes at the beginning or end of the 70th week is of paramount importance. It is one of the things that helps us to rightly divide the word and get the chronology of events correct. And yes if the DOL is at the end, it does teach post-trib in the sense that it is after the tribulation (however before God's wrath, which is in the DOL). The grammar when left to be read correctly instead of manipulated always agrees with the rest of the Scriptures.
Question: Does not the promise of deliverance for church saints in 2 Thess. 1:6-10, at the time when Jesus returns with his angels to judge the world, point to a later rapture time that pretribulational?”
Answer: “Paul is not writing a detailed chronological, or even precise prophetic treatise here....Paul has compressed the details so that the range of time is not apparent...This text really has no bearing on determining the time of the rapture.”
Of course Paul was writing a detailed chronology. Would he have had some reason for messing things up so we couldn't understand how things were to occur? That would not have been very productive or reasonable on his part and I'm sure God would not have wanted to deliberately confuse us. He has not compressed the details, this is the correct order of events. It is simply that people don't want to accept what he said, as it does not fit their preconceived theology.
The use of the phrase “first resurrection” in Rev 20:5-6 refers specifically to the post-tribulational resurrection of those who will believe in Christ during Daniel's seventieth week.
It also refers to those who have ever believed in God and Christ, both Old and New Testaments as well as the Church since Pentecost. The O.T. saints looked forward to Christ. We look back. We'll all be resurrected at the same time, along with raptured survivors of the tribulation. There is only one first resurrection. That is what first means (one). Second means two. The second is the resurrection of the wicked. Cardinal and ordinal numbers go like this, one, two, first, second. One means one, two means two. First means first, second means second. That does not mean the 5th or 6th or 9th as I have heard some people say. How much clearer can God be?
I think I have covered enough although I could continue to write a book. In fact I virtually have elsewhere, and this is only the tip of the iceberg that refutes a pre-trib rapture. Hopefully this will show that the proofs for pre-trib are not proofs at all and really do not line up with Scripture.