Monday, October 13, 2008

Why I Believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture: Part 1

Nathan JonesPDFBy Nathan Jones

Frequently I am asked to explain or defend the end-time view of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church. For that topic, lots of Bible verses, readings and references rattle around in my skull. I can extract each like a Powerball out of an air machine and present it to the inquiring mind, but never in a linear, comprehensive manner in which I particularly appreciate. And so, this article is my attempt to organize my brain on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view. You’re welcome to come along on the journey!

Taking It to the Bedrock

My belief that there will be a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church stands on the bedrock of the following foundational tenets.

1) The Bible is the Word of God
The 66-book canon called the Bible is God’s inerrant, infallible message to mankind, explaining His purposes and plans for the ages (2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). No other document can be reliably trusted, nor remotely reach the bar for the requirements of authentication that the Bible attains to so easily.

2) The Bible is to be Interpreted Literally
God means what He says and says what He means. God wants His creations to know His will plainly. While God does indulge in picturesque descriptions and parables, an explanation almost always follows or context is provided for explanation. Spiritualization of text, therefore, has no proper place in interpreting Scriptures. Any eschatological viewpoint must then be thrown out if it is based on the reader’s desire to spiritualize the Bible into whatever ethereal meaning they desire. Take the Bible for its plain sense meaning.

3) The Church and Israel Are Separate Entities
Israel is not the Church and the Church is not Israel. A believer in Christ becomes a member of the Church, whether Jew or Gentile (Rom. 1:16), but a member of the Church does not become a form of spiritual Israel. God’s promises to Israel as a people and nation (see next tenet) are not the same as for the Bride of Christ, the Church.

4) A Literal 1000-Year Millennium
The Bible describes a future, literal 1000-year time period. The Greek word "chilias" for "one thousand" appears six times in Revelation 20, clearly marking the time period as having 1000 literal years. The purpose of this time period is for Jesus Christ to have an earthly kingdom from which to base His rule and to fulfill His promises (Gen. 13:14-17; 15:5,18-21; 2 Sam. 7:16-19; Isa. 10:21-22; 11:1-2; Jer. 23:5-8; 30:22; 31:31-34; Ezek. 11:18-20; 34:24; 36:24-28; Mic. 7:19-20; Hos. 3:5; Rom. 11:26-29).

5) A Literal 7-Year Tribulation
An upcoming time period has been set aside for God to pour out His wrath upon the evil of the world, to regather Israel back into its land, to force Israel to acknowledge Jesus as their Messiah, and for the Messiah to return and fight for His believing remnant (Deut. 4:26-31; Isa. 13:6-13; 17:4-11; Jer. 30:4-11; Ezek. 20:33-38; Dan. 9:27; 12:1; Zech. 14:1-4; Matt. 24:9-31). This time period begins with a covenant between Israel and the Antichrist (Dan. 9:27). The length of the Tribulation is seven years long, described in a variety of ways as "one seven" year block (Dan. 9:27), "times, time and half a time" (Rev. 12:14), consisting of two "1260 days" periods (Rev. 11:3), or two "42 month" periods (Rev. 11:2; 13:5).

6) Jesus Will Return Again to Earth
The Bible says Jesus will physically return again to earth (Zech. 14:1-21; Matt. 24:29-31; Mk. 13:24-27; Lk. 21:25-27; Rev. 19). Jesus returns is to defeat His enemies, set up His throne, restore Israel, rule with "a rod of iron" and share His authority with those who overcame in Him (Mat. 19:28; 25:31; Acts 1:3-6; Rev. 2:26-27; 3:21).

7) The Bible Teaches About a Rapture
1 Thessalonians 4:17 speaks of an event called "the Rapture", Latin "rapio," Greek "harpazo," which means "to catch up, to snatch away, or to take out." "After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever." Paul states that the concept of the Rapture is meant to encourage believers during this Age (1 Thes. 4:18). Other references on the Rapture are Jn. 14:1-14; I Cor. 15:51-58; and 1 Thes. 4:13-18.

These bedrock statements about the Bible and its interpretation provide the foundation in which to analyze the reasons for why I believe the Bible teaches a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church, which I will begin over the next 5 entries.

35 comments:

Steve H said...

Nathan - I appreciate your thoughts. There is plenty to discuss here! I'll start with the subject that prompted our conversation on this topic: the pre-trib rapture. I was particularly hoping for something more on point #7. While I can agree that the Bible teaches that we will be 'caught up with Jesus in the clouds,' I don't see any references in the passages you gave that hint at this happening prior to the tribulation. John 14 talks about the idea of Jesus coming back after preparing a place for the disciples, but I see no mention of the timing of any rapture. 1 Corinthians 15 talks about us being transformed at the last trumpet, but nothing about this happening before a time of suffering. 1 Thessalonians 4 talks about the return of Christ and Him gathering all (living and dead) believers together at that point, but again I do not see where this hints at a pre-trib rapture position. In fact, wouldn't this timing make more sense if it refers to Jesus' triumphal return? Am I missing something obvious? If those are the only verses that point to the pre-trib position, I'm unsure why it is such a key part of your end times scenario. I'll look forward to your upcoming post to give me some more insight! :)

Nathan Jones said...

Good to hear from you Steve! #7 concerning the timing of the Rapture is what this article series is all about. This first post was just to lay the groundwork of Bible interpretation.

Anonymous said...

Steve, why don't YOU explain the following: 1. The Bible clearly says believers are not destined for wrath so why do you think we would have to go through the most horrific suffering ever in history? God spared Lot. God spared Noah. I believe He will spare those who have placed their trust in Jesus from the tribulation as well. WHY WOULD CHRISTIANS, SAVED AND FORGIVEN BY JESUS, HAVE TO SUFFER IN THE TRIBULATION??? 2. The Bible says Christians should give hope and encouragement to each other over the return of Jesus to rapture believers and save us from the wrath to come. HOW CAN WE ENCOURGE EACH OTHER WITH HOPE IF WE ARE DESTINED FOR GOD'S WRATH? I look with hope every day for the return of the Lord. If I believed I had to go through the unimaginable suffering of the tribulation before Jesus' return I wouldn't be hopeful, I'd be wondering "Why, Jesus, why?" Are we not forgiven by the BLOOD OF THE LAMB? Or do you think we have to go through some extra suffering (like the Catholic's purgatory) in order to be fully saved? My total faith, hope and trust is in Jesus who DOES NOT LIE to us. He said we are not destined to experience wrath and I believe HIM!!! The purpose of the end times is to bring Israel to the acceptance of the Messiah. The age of the Gentiles will have ended. I'm sorry, but you are just plain WRONG.

Anonymous said...

Do not take MY word for it, read The Word of God and believe for He does not lie to us: "For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ. He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing." WE ARE NOT DESTINED TO SUFFER THE WRATH OF GOD. WE ARE DESTINED TO BE HOPEFUL AND ENCOURAGED THAT JESUS WILL RETURN, RAPTURE THE CHURCH, AND WE SHALL ESCAPE THE TRIBULATION. Don't be alarmed by what some may post in these comments. Be hopeful, encouraged and overwhelmed with joy for our Lord Jesus Christ is coming to take us soon to be with Him forever.

Tom said...

Nathan,

Thank you for your post and emails. What are you thoughts on the timing of the 7 year tribulation after the rapture? Does the Bible give any indication? I always expected the antichrist would surface shortly after the rapture in the ensuing chaos, but is it possible that there may be years between the two events?

paul said...

since Jesus said we need to pray that we will be counted worthy to escape (Luke 21:36), I really think the rapture has to happen before the Tribulation

Martha said...

Truly we live in interesting times! I believe that we are very close to the rapture. In studying the events to come, I can imagine this scenario:The attack of Ezekiel 38 taking place almost simultaneously with the rapture--during the night in America-the attack, immediately followed by the rapture, would have americans waking up in confusion, and certainly leave the world ready for the antichrist!!

solitude said...

more than 50 million people were slaughtered for keeping the true sabbath and were called heretics by the evil antichrist papacy during the middle ages. Did God not love them enough to rapture them out of it?? Christ will come once in the future, not twice, and its at the last trumpet, not the trumpet before it.

solitude said...

Paul wrote in language too plain to be misunderstood, “Behold, I show 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.” (1 Corinthians 15:51-53).
Here are the facts:
This event takes place “at the last trump,” not seven years before it.
When this happens, “the trumpet shall sound.” It will be loud, not quiet.
It is not the return of Jesus Christ that takes place in the twinkling of an eye.
Rather, it is the changing of the bodies of believers from mortality to immortality.

We are now living during the time of Laodicea, when the majority of Christians are lukewarm and half-hearted. Soon the final “hour of temptation” will burst upon us. Only those who are truly faithful to Jesus Christ and to the Word of God will “stand in the evil day” (Ephesians 6:13). The Master said, “He that endures to the end, the same shall be saved” (Matthew 24:13). Through Christ’s love and the power of the cross, may we each be among those who “overcome” (Revelation 3:12, 21).

Anonymous said...

All i can say is Christians who do not believe in the Rapture can take the long way home. But as for me I'll take the pre-trib Rapture not only because it makes more sense but also because it's more in line with the nature of our merciful God.

Steve H said...

Hey, Nathan. I've been looking over some of the verses and some of your points. I'm having a hard time with some of your conclusions after reading the Scriptures you listed. I won't hit all of them at once, but I would love clarification.

For example, you say in point #2 that in the rapture, the "Mount of Olives is unchanged." Yet in the scriptures you reference as describing the rapture, the Mount of Olives is not mentioned! What, then, is the basis for that claim? If the verses describing the rapture don't mention the Mt. of Olives, how can you say that the verses describe "two very different scenarios"?

For another example, you say in point #7 that "no signs proceed [the rapture]." But again, in the verses listed, I can't see any discussion about what does or doesn't come prior to the rapture. They say that it will happen in a moment, but they don't say that the moment will occur without signs. So again, I'm a little confused about your assertion. What is your basis for that point?

Thanks in advance for letting me know what you think. - Steve

Nathan Jones said...

Hey Steve, good to hear you're digging into the proof texts. I'd be happy to clarify any points.

Concerning Part 2 Reason #1 listing the differences in the verses between the Rapture and Second Coming of Christ, that the Mount of Olives is not mentioned in the Rapture verses is just one example that shows that the two scenarios are different. Also missing from the Rapture verses are Jesus on earth, Jesus waging war, Jerusalem being attacked by the nations, Satan and the evil world system being defeated and most importantly signs leading up to the event. Missing from the Second Coming verses is the surprise to believers' of Christ's return, believers meeting Christ in the air, and believers given glorified bodies.

Concerning the presence or absence of signs in Reason #1 Point #7, reference Zechariah 14 for example. The nations surround Jerusalem, Jesus returns to earth to wage war, the Mount of Olives splits in two, the day's weather is unique, and Christ's victory is a turning point for world worship of Him. Jesus in Matthew 24/Mark 13/Luke 21 describes the odd weather and signs that proceed his Second Coming. Jesus also gives us a little more info in those verses in that He will collect the living and resurrect the dead of those who believe in Him in a gathering of those who came to faith, which would be according to Daniel 12:1-2 refs OT Saints and Revelation 20:4 refs Tribulation Saints. This is in preparation for the Sheep/Goats Judgment (see Part 5 Reason #9).

How could Jesus come "like a thief in the night" if we're given a 7-year countdown, or a particularly strange day, or the Antichrist, or the Abomination that Causes Desolation, or the judgments? We would then know to the day when the Rapture would happen. And Jesus stated in Matthew 24:36 that even He didn't know the day.

"For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man." - Matthew 24:38-39

The challenge with Bible prophecy is that people are looking for one tidy verse that explains in intricate detail step-by-step what will happen. It takes the whole book of Revelation to do most of that. I think God gives us enough verses to leave us hope, but scatters references all over the Scriptures to get us to really get in there and study. And, it's not just Bible prophecy, but on many other doctrinal topics as well - even salvation.

Steve H said...

I agree that we can't have a "one verse says it all" mentality. And I think that is the key to my questions on this particular subject. Why can't the verses you list as 'Rapture' passages be sharing details about the same event that your 'second coming' passages describe? It just feels like you are reading much more into those three passages in John, 1 Cor, and 1 Thess than they contain. Sure, they don't share the same details as the other passages, but I don't see a contradiction that would lead us to obviously see them as two separate events.

Point #1: Yes, we meet in the air, but couldn't we come back down to the Mt. of Olives with him immediately after?

Point #2: If the Mt. of Olives is divided, do the John, 1 Cor, and 1 Thess passage have to describe that detail? It seems unrelated to the author's intent.

Point #3: I can't see where it says believers will have the "same bodies" at the second coming... Where do you get that?

Point #4: See point #1. Believers aren't necessary coming from heaven. They could be doing the 'meet in the air' U-turn.

Point #5: Focus on believers doesn't mean that judgment isn't implied... Even in the 1 Cor 'rapture' passage, it talks about victory over sin and death.

Point #6: Not really mentioned in these passages - seems to be reading your viewpoint back into the text

Point #7: Jesus said no one knows the day or the hour. But even in the days of Noah, there was warning for the ones being saved. Noah knew it was imminent, even if he didn't know the exact day/time. And believers can see signs, know it is coming, yet not know the exact day/time in the end, can't they?

Point #8: If it's all talking about the same event anyway, then it IS mentioned in both OT and NT.

Sorry for such a long post... I just wanted to show why I look at these passages and see things that can be harmonized into one event.

I'll look forward to your response!

Nathan Jones said...

Because, Steve, the Rapture and Second Coming verses don't exist in a vacuum. They corroborate with other verses and fit into thematic threads within the Bible. For those other verses and threads, see Reasons #2-10.

If you're going to go the Post-Tribulation Rapture "u-turn" route, then you need to answer for yourself some questions (and, please do).

1) How can Jesus tell us we can't know when to expect Him in Matthew 24:42,44, but then give us a 7-year countdown? Wouldn't Armageddon tip us off?

2) Why is the Tribulation called the "time of Jacob's trouble" in Jer. 30:7? Why single out Israel?

3) What about Rom. 5:9, 1 Thess. 5:9, Eph. 5:6, Col. 3:4 and Rev. 3:10 where the Church is told that we will not experience God's wrath?

4) Why was the church in Thessalonica (ch 2) worried they missed being "gathered to Him"? If the Rapture and Second Coming are one and the same, they wouldn't be around to worry, right?

5) If believers are raptured, receive their imperishable bodies (1 Cor. 15:51-53), and then immediately head back to earth - who is left to bear children into the Millennium?

6) If every remaining believer is raptured, who are left to be sheep in the Sheep/Goat Judgment (Matt. 25)?

7) If God rescued Noah, Lot and others from His wrath (His, not the daily sufferings of man due to our sin nature), why would He leave the Church to suffer "great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again" (Matt. 24:20)?

Nathan Jones said...

Whoops, didn't copy this one in:

8) If the Church has to suffer the horrors of the Tribulation with Israel and the rest of the unbelieving population, how could the Rapture at the end of the Tribulation be any encouragement (1 Thes. 4:18)?

Laura said...

I too, eagerly look forward to this hope of the Rapture. I do have a question:
1) What does it mean by the "last trumpet" in 1 Co 15: 51-52? There is a trumpet mentioned @4 times in Revelation alone.

1Co 15:51-52 Behold, I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

2) I believe in the rapture. But when I read the letters to the 7 churches (Rev 2&3), I wonder if it is for part of the church only. It seems that not all the churches are protected from the tribulation. For example:

SPEAKING OF THYATIRA
Rev 2:21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent.
Rev 2:22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.

SPEAKING OF PHILADELPHIA Rev 3:10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.

It seems that the tribulation could be used as a time of testing (refiner's fire) for some. Maybe that is why he says, Php 2:12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

What do you think?

Nathan Jones said...

For an answer to the trumpet, see Part 4.

The seven churches of Rev. 2 and 3 were real churches during the Apostle John's time, but also indicative of eras in the Church Age (see The Letters to the Seven Churches. They can even be symbols of different types of churches today, though we are primarily in the age of the apathetic Church of Laodicea.

The Church will not exist in the Tribulation due to the Rapture that happens just before the 7-year Tribulation, though there will be believers who accept Jesus during that time.

Andy said...

A close comparison of Matthew 24:29-31 and the sixth seal events of Revelation 6:12-17 will clarify what Jesus said about the rapture. Many people have a problem with that comparison because Matthew 24:29 would seem to indicate a post-tribulation rapture when it states "immediately after the tribulation of those days". A full consideration of Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 17:20-37, and Luke 21 would be necessary to understand why I say that the phrase "immediately after the tribulation of those days" refers to the these days of tribulation we are living in now (John 16:33), and before the actual 7 year tribulation period. According to Jesus, the rapture will happen during the sixth seal events Rev. 6:12-17/Matthew 24:29-31, and this is still BEFORE the 7 year tribulation period. Theologians who follow ancient thoughts on the rapture at Rev. 4:1 should take a long consideration about Jesus' words in the gospels. If you are interested in a fuller discussion of the events, contact me at josephsmithauthorbyproxy@gmail.com. I believe in a pre-trib rapture because the Bible teaches it, but I have to believe Rev. 4:1 does not in fact typify the rapture. Jesus said differently!
The last trumpet may be the last trumpet of the Jewish feast of trumpets on earth. Jesus was crucified at the feast of Passover, The Holy Spirit came at the feast of Pentecost, The Feast of Tabernacles is representative of the time when Jesus will come to earth to dwell (tabernacle) with men, why not suspect that the rapture will happen at one of the Jewish feasts?- i.e. the feast of Trumpets! (Leviticus 23:24)

Anonymous said...

There are good arguments for holding that Jesus was not talking about the rapture at all in Matthew 24. The identity and gathering of the elect can be seen as Israel’s regathering into the land based on OT promises. Some pretribulationists (Goodgame & Lowe) do suggest these verses to be precursors to a rapture parallel to the cosmic events of the sixth seal (like the pre-wrath view), but that relationship is unnecessary in light of the disciples’ questions and expectations.

Anonymous said...

I know that you are not a christian if you erase scriptures.

Romans 9:6-8 (King James Version)
6Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
7Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
8That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Galatians 3
28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.
Romans 2:17, 25, 26, 28, 29
“Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest on the law, and makest thy boast of God ... For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision. Therefore if the uncircumcision [Gentiles] keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision? ... For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God”
Matthew 3: 8, 9
Bring forth therefore fruits meet [worthy] for repentance: And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.”
John 8:39, 44
“They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham … Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do.”
Galatians 3:7
“Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.”
Acts 10:34, 35
“Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
Matthew 8: 10 -12
“Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness.”
Acts 13:46
“Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”

Nathan Jones said...

Clearly, Anonymous, you haven't read Romans 9-11, but I won't go as far as holding you to your own standard by saying you're not a Christian.

Nathan Jones said...

Motherofmany, some will misquote Rev. 3:10 to say that only those who are waiting for the Rapture and who are especially good will only be included in the Rapture, but the Partial Rapture Theory view is a false one. If one is saved they are part of the Church, and as the Bride of Christ the Church will experience the Rapture. And so, I'm not sure where you're getting that I am supporting a Partial Rapture Theory view.

As for your notion that believers have to suffer to be purified and can't see that the Tribulation is a separate set apart time like the Flood, see my article Kamikaze Post-Tribulation Rapturists.

Anonymous said...

Wrath of God which is the 7 last plagues, will be poured on the wicked. Tribulation is what christians go through before christ's return. They are seperate things and are not the same.

Tribulation
Matthew 24:21-22 - Jesus said there would be “great tribulation” which His followers (the “elect”) must endure. Yet for “the elects sake, those days shall be shortened.”
John 16:33 - Jesus Christ said to His followers, “In the world YOU shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
Acts 14:22 - Paul told Christians, “WE through much tribulation must enter the kingdom of God.”


Wrath
“If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God” (Revelation 14:9, 10).

who are those who do not face wrath of GOD?

“Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus” (Revelation 14:12).
Those who keep God's commandment, will be persecuted. This is why God is asking them to be patient.

Anonymous said...

I made that statement, "You are not a christian if you erase scriptures," because I posted these same scriptures on August 30, 2009 and behold they were erased. Therefore, since I know someone in your office has to do the erasing, I just wanted to know for myself. If the scriptures were erased again, then I would know for a fact that you-all are not christians.

Nathan Jones said...

We haven't had to delete any inappropriate comments in months, Anonymous, so sorry if your past comment didn't post properly.

Your Tribulation verses are out-of-context. Christians do endure hardships, but are exempt from the direct outpouring of God's wrath upon the world which will occur during the upcoming 7-year period called "The Tribulation."

Anonymous said...

Matthew 24:37-39 - “But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be, For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” Jesus clearly compares His Second Coming with Noah’s flood. This flood came suddenly upon the lost “and took them all away.” In other words, they were lost - with no second chances. Christ said, “...so shall the coming of the Son of man be.”

Anonymous said...

Nathan, i think he is right, because i posted End time delusions on your facebook group, and lo and behold it was deleted the last time i checked. I have listened to steve wohlberg and investigated everypoint he has taught, and i dont see what he is saying that is outside the bible or history which he used, yet it was deleted.

Anonymous said...

So Nathan, explain whay Paul said this then. Acts 14:22 - Paul told Christians, “WE through much tribulation must enter the kingdom of God.”

Was he saying we much through the wrath of God must enter??

According to the preceding verses of Matthew 24:27, 30-31, 36, 37-39, the answer is - “one shall be taken” and “one shall be left” at the visible (vs. 27), audible (vs. 31), glorious (vs. 30) flood-like (verses 37-39) Second Coming of Jesus Christ! And just like in Noah’s day, when that time finally comes there will be no second chances. Sadly, those that are left perish!

Anonymous said...

Jesus Christ said, “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I will also keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth” (Revelation 3:10).
Many sincere prophecy teachers (and their followers) are now applying these words to the Rapture and to the sudden removal of the Church from this earth prior to Earth’s final hour of temptation. On the surface, it may appear this way, but a closer look is needed.

Anonymous said...

Jesus spoke these words to “the church in Philadelphia” (3:7), which was number six out of seven churches receiving messages. It is obvious that Christ’s words do not apply only to the literal church of Philadelphia which existed almost 2000 years ago in Asia Minor, for if they did, then they have no relevance to any Christian today. Most scholars correctly realize that those “seven churches” (1:20) represent seven periods in the history of Christianity, yet each letter also contains practical lessons for Christians of all time.
With this in mind, we must realize again that Revelation 3:10 was given to Philadelphia, which is then followed by “lukewarm” Laodicea (3:14 -22). Even if Revelation 3:10 does depict a secret Rapture, this would not mean the church would be gone during the Tribulation. Why? Because the Laodicean church comes after Philadelphia, and thus its Christians would still be left on earth. And lukewarm or not, Jesus still refers to them as “the Church.”

Anonymous said...

Israel was in Egypt when Yahweh placed 10 plagues in Egypt. However, Israel was still there, but the last seven plagues did not affect them. Therefore, that is why Revelation mentions seven plagues instead of 10, because Yahweh's children will be protected from His wrath and the seven last plagues. If Yahweh can protect Israel in Egypt, I believe He can do the same for the church in the last days, oh ye of little faith.

Nathan Jones said...

While the 7 churches of Revelation have been historically proven to also be periods within Church history, they also can represent different parts of the modern church and different times within a believer's life.

And so, it is not just the great missions era of 1750-1925 that have escaped the Tribulation just because they've all died out naturally, but those within the Church today that model the faith of the Church of Philadelphia that will also be kept "from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth" (Rev. 3;10).

Anonymous said...

Nathan,

I have a question for you. Could you plese explain what Paul meant? Paul stated that the church will not be gathered together to meet Yahshua (Jesus) and Yahshua will not return until the antichrist and the beast system is revealed. Therefore, explain to me how the church is supposed to be raptured before the antichrist comes and not go through tribulation. Therefore, based on what Paul stated, if the man of sin is going to be revealed, the antichrist, before Yahshua returns, then the church has to figure out who is the antichrist and the beast system in order not to take the mark.

2 Thessalonians 2

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

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

3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

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

Nathan Jones said...

Don't forget that the Antichrist will also be revealed when he makes a peace covenant with Israel (Dan. 9:27) which begins the 7 years of the Tribulation.

Anonymous said...

Nathan,

Daniel 9 seems to be speaking about Yahshua and when He died on the cross for our sins and He has allowed us to now be able to live in eternity with Him when we repent. In verse 24, it says that 490 years are decreed upon your people to put an end to transgression. In verse 25, it states that the building of Jerusalem will take place until the coming of the Anointed One, a Prince. Yahshua ministered for three and a half years, if I am not mistaken, then therefore; during the midst of the week, Yahshua did cause the sacrifice and offering to cease, because He is now the final lamb that was slain and our sins have been forgiven. That is how I understand Daniel.

24 Seventy weeks [of years, or 490 years] are decreed upon your people and upon your holy city [Jerusalem], to finish and put an end to transgression, to seal up and make full the measure of sin, to purge away and make expiation and reconciliation for sin, to bring in everlasting righteousness (permanent moral and spiritual rectitude in every area and relation) to seal up vision and prophecy and prophet, and to anoint a Holy of Holies.

25 Know therefore and understand that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem until [the coming of] the Anointed One, a Prince, shall be seven weeks [of years] and sixty-two weeks [of years]; it shall be built again with [city] square and moat, but in troublous times.

26 And after the sixty-two weeks [of years] shall the Anointed One be cut off or killed and shall have nothing [and no one] belonging to [and defending] Him. And the people of the [other] prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. Its end shall come with a flood; and even to the end there shall be war, and desolations are decreed.

27 And he shall enter into a strong and firm covenant with the many for one week [seven years]. And in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and offering to cease [for the remaining three and one-half years]; and upon the wing or pinnacle of abominations [shall come] one who makes desolate, until the full determined end is poured out on the desolator.