Wednesday, July 26, 2006

The pre-Tribulation Rapture

Scriptures showing that the Rapture is "PRE-Tribulation"

[2Thess 2:1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

(The coming of our Lord Jesus, and our gathering together unto him is the rapture.)

[2Thess 2:2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

("The day of Christ is at hand" refers not to the rapture, but to the day of wrath, the seven years of tribulation. {Amos 5:18 below}The church of Thessalonia must have gotten a letter that said they were living in the tribulation--which is shaking and troubling news. They could not have thought that they were living in the rapture, or that it was "at hand" or "now" because the rapture happens suddenly, instantaneously. And if the report was that the rapture was "soon to come", that would not be shaking or troubling, but glorious and wonderful. The only option, for the verse to make sense, is that they thought that the rapture had passed, and that they were in the tribulation.)

They were fearing this: [Dan 7:21] I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

What IS the "day of Christ" anyway, is it the rapture?

[Amos 5:18] Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.

(This "day of the Lord" cannot be the rapture, because we look forward to the rapture. There are many other scriptures that say the same thing. The day of the Lord is tribulation, also known as the time of Jacob's trouble, Isreal's trouble, the days of Awe.)

[2Thess 2:3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [tribulation--the day of Christ] shall not come, except there come a falling away [apostacy--or departure (some assume this means departure from the faith, but it can also mean departure from the earth, as in rapture)] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

(Now, if they were troubled that the rapture had passed, Paul is assuring the Church that they didn't miss anything, saying that that the tribulation that they feared is preceeded by several important key events: First, the rapture, which reveals the antichrist...)

[2Thess 2:4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

(who doesn't even sit in the temple until 3.5 years into the tribulation... See Rev (which they didn't know at the time)-- But this is why this point, of the AntiChrist being revealed after the rapture--who goes on to sit in the temple, is proof that they hadn't missed the rapture. There is no antichrist revealed yet.)

[2Thess 2:5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

[2Thess 2:6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

(In other words, the Christians in Thessalonia couldn't have missed the rapture, because there is no AntiChrist sitting in the temple, claiming to be God, who has yet to be revealed. And that the AntiChrist is still being held back by their presence in the world--since the rapture reveals the antichrist as in verse 3.)

[2Thess 2:7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

(Christians are the "He" who letteth will let and will be taken out of the way. That is, whatsoever we bound on earth will be bound in heaven. And once we are removed/raptured, then the AntiChrist will have the freedom to fulfill his plans. After all, the gates of hell cannot prevail against the Church; (Mat 16:18), and the Church is not destined for wrath (verse))

[2Thess 2:8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

[2Thess 2:9] Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

[2Thess 2:10] And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

[2Thess 2:11] And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

[2Thess 2:12] That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

[2Thess 2:13] But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

[2Thess 2:14] Whereunto he called you by our gospel, to the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[2Thess 2:15] Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.

[2Thess 2:16] Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace,

[2Thess 2:17] Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.

Finally, yes, the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine is accused of being a "comfort doctrine"... Well, it IS, the scripures even say so. It's consolation, hope, comforting for believers.

To recap, and summarize by clarifying the verses with modern terminology:

1 I beg you, by the Pre-Tribulation Rapture promise of Christ,

2 That you don't worry if you "hear by letter" that you are in the 7 year Great Tribulation of God's wrath

3 Don't be decieved. The Tribulation doesn't come until after the world wide events of the Great resurrection and rapture, which removes the righteous and leaves only those in rebellion and apostacy, which allows for the revealing of the AntiChrist,

4 Who says he is God, and who will sit in the temple and declare claim to be God.

5 Don't you remember this doctrine I told you already?

6 And now you know why the AntiChrist is not yet revealed to the world

7 Yes, the AntiChrist is working, but not fully, because you are still here, preventing his works by your prayers, until the rapture, when you will be taken out of the way.

8 And then the AntiChrist will come out of hiding, and the Lord will destroy him.

I can hear Paul thinking to himself... how could my diciples have been so easily misled, decived and troubled that they missed the rapture? And by a mere letter? It's a world-wide gospel-promoting supernatural event that no person could miss who was looking forward to it! They know it includes people rising from the dead, the last trump, and all the rest. I told them that in my first letter to them in Chapter 4, in fact, it was the only doctrinal teaching in my entire letter! Sheesh! I'd better make another journey back to Thessalonia to set these guys straight and reassure them, just in case my letter doesn't do it!

Now, I'm not ignorant of the fact that post trib rapture believers interpret 2 Thess 2 in the opposite way,

and use it to prove a post trib rapture... here's how they do it.

[2Thess 2:1] Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

(they say this is the rapture, correctly, but then say the next verse "day of Christ" refers to the rapture as well.)

[2Thess 2:2] That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

(Obviously, the Post Tribulationists are afraid of the Rapture, because this is the only way that that verse makes any sense. Yes, fear of the Lord is a good thing, but you should not let it affect your theology to the point where you are praying for the Lord to not come until after 7 years of tribulation!.... Also, being a post tribulationist, if you disbelieve Christ's ability to cleanse you of sin, and believe you need further cleansing through tribulation, being a post trib believer, there is plenty of extra time to repent, 7 years, and/or simply stand up for Christ and accept a beheading to achieve "trib saint status", which may give one a full licence to sin all they want until that time, since the imminency of the rapture, which comes first, is removed. Perhaps the post tribulationists feel they deserve punishment for their sins, because they have a hard time accepting the free gift of salvation through Christ. I'm speculating that IF the post tribulationists really want to go through the tribulation, Christ may let them. After all, one may be able to disobey when the trumpet call goes out to "Come up here!")

[2Thess 2:3] Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [rapture--which they fear] shall not come, except there come a falling away [they assume means "from the faith"--which, they say, includes false doctrine, such as pre-trib rapture teaching, which somehow leads one to worship Satan through complacency and laziness, but I've never seen how that is possible if one is truly focused on Christ and knows the Bible, since the Antichist cannot deceive the elect--so their fears of the AntiChrist's deception are also baseless (man, these post trib guys fear a lot... consider Rev which says the fearful have thier lot in Hell)] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

[2Thess 2:4] Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

[2Thess 2:5] Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

[2Thess 2:6] And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.

[2Thess 2:7] For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

(Since this further explanation of Christians being removed disproves what they are saying, they say the "he" is undefined, and may mean "Michael, the chief/arch angel, whose removal allows for the rising of the Antichrist, although there is no other scripture anywhere in the Bible to support this teaching, other than the fact that Michael is a strong and powerful Angel, able to aid the delivering of a message to Daniel.)

[2Thess 2:8] And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

Now, as for mid trib or pre trib. If the rapture reveals the antichrist, is the antichrist revealed when he sits in the temple or earlier? Well, in Daniel, the antichrist is revealed when he acts in front of "many"

[Dan 9:27.6] And he [antichrist] shall confirm the covenant with many for one week [of years]: and in the midst of the week [of years] he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

And in Rev. he breaks the covenant 3.5 years into it when he sits in the temple and says he is God and receives power to make war against the saints, and make the mark of the beast mandatory.

[Rev 13:5] And there was given unto him [antichrist] a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies;

and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. [3.5 years]

[Rev 13:6] And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and

his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.

And when does the antichrist reveive power to continue for 3.5 years?

[Rev 11:7] And when they [the two witnesses] shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit [antichrist/Satan Rev 9:11, 17:8, Rev 20:3] shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.

The antichrist receives power after he kills God's two witnesses who prophesy for the first half of the 7 year trib, 1260 days...

[Rev 11:3] And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth.

I believe that Satan is cast down to earth at the time of the beginning of the 7 year tribulation, after all, the antichrist is revealed after/at the rapture, and I don't think the rapture would occur while Satan is still in Heaven--we Christians, who will judge angels, would slaughter him (and the Bible never describes a heavenly conflict between the raptured humans and Satan in Heaven), so, instead, the angels throw him out, just in time for our arrival in Heaven.

[Rev 12:7] And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,

[Rev 12:13] And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.

[Rev 12:6] And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. [3.5 years]

[Rev 12:14] 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 [the other way to say 3.5 years], from the face of the serpent.

In other words, Satan cannot make war against these saints (Isreal, the woman, and all who obey the commandments) for the first half of the 7 year tribulation, before he has any real power to do so, and while the woman is still being protected by God.

So, therefore, since the antichrist is revealed at the 7 year covenant, and he will need the 3.5 years just to solidify his world political power as well, the rapture MUST take place prior to the confirmation of the 7 year covenant, which represents the 7 year tribulation, or final week of Daniel's prophesy, the 70th week:.

[Dan 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.

[Dan 9:25] Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

Satan receives power just as God's wrath is being poured out in full, the last half of the 3.5 years of tribulation...

Here are a few verses that show the rapture takes place *prior* to the wrath of the tribulation: (just in case the previous exposition was not enough to convince you). There are many more verses that talk about the rapture, but I'm only listing a few that show "PRE" tribulation below:

[Isa 26:20] Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee:

hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.

[Isa 26:21] For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the

earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

[Isa 57:1] The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come.

[Mal 3:16] Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD

hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that

feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.

[Mal 3:17] And they shall be mine, saith the LORD of hosts, in that day when I make up my

jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him.

[Pss 97:10] Ye that love the LORD, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.

[Luke 21:36] 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.

[1 Thessalonians 1:10] And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.

[1 Thessalonians 5:9] For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

[Rom 5:9] Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

[2Pet 2:9] The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished:

[Rev 2:22] Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

[Rev 3:10] Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth.

[Revelation 4:1] After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

[Rev 8:13] And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth [those not raptured?] by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

[Rev 19:1] And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven [the raptured?], saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

Finally, read all of Psalm 27, which is supposed to be read daily, every day for 30 days, during the 30 day time period of repentance that come prior to the Feast of Trumpets, also known as 'the last trump' the 'day that no man knows but the father', the day that comes 'like a thief in the night', also known as the 'wedding of the messiah', --and the Church is the Bride of Christ (Ephesians 5)

[Pss 27:1] The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

[Pss 27:2] When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell.

[Pss 27:3] Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

[Pss 27:4] One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

[Pss 27:5] For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

[Pss 27:6] And now shall mine head be lifted up above mine enemies round about me: therefore will I offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy; I will sing, yea, I will sing praises unto the LORD.

[Pss 27:7] Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

[Pss 27:8] When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek.

[Pss 27:9] Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation.

[Pss 27:10] When my father and my mother forsake me, then the LORD will take me up.

[Pss 27:11] Teach me thy way, O LORD, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.

[Pss 27:12] Deliver me not over unto the will of mine enemies: for false witnesses are risen up against me, and such as breathe out cruelty.

[Pss 27:13] I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.

[Pss 27:14] Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

And there are many, many more verses that show that God saves his people during all kinds of trouble and tribulation. In fact, you could say that God's mercy and deliverance is a major theme of the Bible. There are no less than 6 examples of the pre-tribulation rapture in Genesis alone; (Noah and Lot are only two).

Not to mention the examples from the stories and accounts of Joshua, Esther, Ruth, David, Sampson, Jacob, and more!

1. Joshua marches against Jericho with trumpets, and the walls fall down, and the people rise up to enter the city to conquor it, symbolic of entering New Jerusalem, or going up in the rapture. (Joshua 6)

2. Esther, the bride, marries king Mordechi, who, through marriage, is exalted, enabling her to aid and interceed on behalf of the Jews before their tribulation at the hands of Haman, who is defeated. (Esther)

3. Ruth, a woman/bride, a gentile, who is so dedicated to Naomi and says "whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: Thy people shall my people and thy God shall be my God

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