Monday, December 29, 2014

The Pre-Wrath Rapture: Objections to the Concept

Dr. David R. ReaganPDFBy

Are there any objections to the Pre-Wrath Rapture concept?

I have a number of objections to the Pre-Wrath Rapture concept of the Rapture's timing.

1) The Name — I object to the name given the viewpoint by its proponents. The name is both confusing and vague. It is confusing because both the Pre-Trib and Mid-Trib views are "Pre- Wrath." The Pre-Trib view argues that the entire 7 years of the Tribulation (Daniel's 70th Week of Years) constitutes a pouring out of the wrath of God. The Mid-Trib view takes the position that only the second half of the Tribulation is the period of God's wrath. So, Rosenthal's name for his viewpoint does not distinguish it from the Pre-Trib and Mid-Trib views. All three are prewrath views.

The "Pre-Wrath" name is also vague because it does not give a clue as to when the Rapture occurs in relation to the Tribulation. The name of the Pre-Trib view signifies a belief that the Rapture will occur before (pre) the Tribulation begins. The name of the Mid-Trib view clearly indicates a belief that the Rapture will occur in the middle of the Tribulation. The name of the Post-Trib view puts the Rapture after (post) the Tribulation. But the name, "Pre-Wrath" gives no indication of when the Rapture will occur with relation to the Tribulation.

For that reason, I have decided to call the "Pre-Wrath" view the Three-Quarters Tribulation Rapture viewpoint. And I will be abbreviating it throughout the rest of this article as the "3/4 Trib Rapture." I have given it that name because its proponents believe the Rapture will occur about three-quarters of the way through the Tribulation, or shortly thereafter.

2) The Chronology — I object to the 3/4 Trib Rapture because it violates the chronology of the book of Revelation. The sequence of events that is pictured in the book of Revelation clearly places both the Seal Judgments and the Trumpet Judgments in the first half of the 70th Week of Daniel. And the Bowl Judgments are clearly contained within Daniel's 70th Week, near its end. The 3/4 Trib view scrambles all this. As you can see in the diagram above, the Seal Judgments are continued over into the second half of the 7 year period, the Trumpet Judgments are moved from the first half to the end of the second half, and the Bowl Judgments are appended to a 30 day period after the close of Daniel's 70th Week!

3) Imminence — One of my strongest objections to the 3/4 Trib view is its destruction of the imminence of the Lord's return. The Bible emphasizes that the Lord could return at any moment and that we should live looking for His return (Matthew 24:44, 1 Corinthians 1:7, Philippians 3:20, Philippians 4:5, Colossians 3: 4, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:6, Titus 2:13, and Revelation 16:15). The 3/4 Trib view says the Lord cannot return until after the Antichrist appears, the Jewish Temple has been rebuilt and the world has suffered through about 5 years of the wrath of Man and Satan. Thus, according to the 3/4 Trib view, we should be living looking for the Antichrist and not Jesus Christ.

Rosenthal asserts that the Bible never says that any prophesied end time events could not occur before the Rapture. He is correct. The re-establishment of Israel is an example. The war of Gog & Magog could prove to be another example. Imminency does not preclude the fulfillment of some end time prophecies before the Rapture. Rather, it asserts that none have to happen before the Rapture can occur.

4) The Wrath of God — Another strong objection I have to the 3/4 Trib Rapture view is its mistaken concept of the sovereignty of God. The view attempts to distinguish the wrath of Man and Satan from the wrath of God. Both Man and Satan operate under the sovereignty of God. That's why Psalm 2 pictures God sitting in Heaven laughing at the evil plots of the world's political leaders. His laughing is not motivated by a lack of concern. He laughs because He has the wisdom and power to orchestrate all the evil of Man and Satan to the triumph of His Son.

Further, the Bible portrays God pouring out His wrath both directly (Sodom and Gomorrah) and indirectly (the destruction of both Israel and Judah). God poured out His wrath upon the rebellious northern nation of Israel by allowing the Assyrians to conquer it. He even referred to the Assyrians as "the rod of My anger" (Isaiah 10:5) and "My war-club" (Jeremiah 51:20).

When the prophet Habakkuk complained about God doing nothing about the evil of the southern nation of Judah, the Lord revealed that He was going to pour out His wrath on that nation through Babylon (Habakkuk 1:6). And when the Lord was finished with Babylon, He raised up the Medes and Persians to conquer the Babylonian Empire, referring to the conquering army as "My consecrated ones" (Isaiah 13:3).

During Daniel's 70 Weeks of Years, much of the wrath of God will be executed through the Antichrist, but it is still the wrath of God.

5) The Tribulation — I object to the way in which the 3/4 Trib Rapture view denies that the first half of Daniel's 70th Week is part of the Tribulation. The fact of the matter is that both halves of Daniel's 70th Week are referred to in the Scriptures as a time of tribulation. Matthew 24:9 refers to the first half as "tribulation," and Matthew 24:21 classifies the second half as "great tribulation." Incidentally, Jesus' reference to the second half as the "great tribulation" does not mean it will be worse than the first half. Rather, Jesus called it that because He was speaking to a Jewish audience, and the second half of the Tribulation will be when the Antichrist will try to annihilate the Jews.

6) The Purpose of Daniel's 70th Week — I object to the way in which the 3/4 Trib Rapture view distorts the purpose of Daniel's 70th Week. Daniel 9:24-27 makes it clear that the purpose of Daniel's 70 Weeks of Years is to accomplish six things among the Jewish people:

  1. To finish transgression
  2. To make an end of sin
  3. To make atonement for iniquity
  4. To bring in everlasting righteousness
  5. To seal up vision and prophecy
  6. To anoint the most Holy Place

Just as the first 69 weeks of years (483 years) of the prophecy had nothing to do with the Church, neither does the final week of years. The last seven year period of Daniel's prophecy is about the accomplishment of the purposes listed above among the Jewish people. Accordingly, the entire period of Daniel's 70th Week is referred to in Jeremiah 30:7 as "the time of Jacob's trouble." There is no purpose for the Church during Daniel's 70th Week.


In the third and last part of this look at the Pre-Wrath Rapture view, we'll consider more objections to the viewpoint

4 comments:

mike said...

I have objections to how again posted on the website something that the pre-wrath position do not believe in.

#1 the name of you given us 3/4 rapture instead of pre-wrath is a very poor excuse to label us as that. why we have the name of pre-wrath is hence we believe the rapture is before God's wrath. we do distinguish the name between pre-trib , mid-trib and post-trib saying there both pre-wrath does he believe it is a possible for a mid-trib and post-trib rapture then? again pre-wrath does not believe in this "I have given it that name because its proponents believe the Rapture will occur about three-quarters of the way through the Tribulation, or shortly thereafter" pre-wrath believe rapture happens at the sixth seal in the great tribulation at sometime. pre-wrath is a synthesis of the pre-trib, ,mid-trib, and post-trib view.

# 2 The Chronology. pre-wrath rapture believe it happens in chronology order but because we place the seals, trumpets and bowls at different times in the tribulation then pre-trib does it really give evidence against us?

#3 Imminence "Rosenthal asserts that the Bible never says that any prophesied end time events could not occur before the Rapture"
please give source for that. the verse we use in support against imminence is 2 thessalonians 2:1-4. great falling away first then antichrist revealed at abomination of desolation. at least give verses for why the pre-wrath rapture position believes that.

#4 The Wrath of God why we believe that again is revelation 6:9-17. fifth seal martyrs crying out for God's wrath to occur then 6th seal verse 17 people crying out for God's wrath has come. we believe why antichrist wrath is mainly for christians revelation 12:13-17. we believe verse 17 "ohe went to make war with rest of her offspring who keeps the commandments of God and have the testimony of jesus christ" is the church.

point 5 and 6 is fine on the pre-wrath beliefs


please give verses to why the pre-wrath position believes why it believes. it is easy to make arguments against something if people don't know both sides of the argument and why they believe it.

Boldncourageous said...

Pre-wrath believers are ex pretribbers who know that the pretrib doctrine is absurd.

Jesus declares the when He comes that His Reward is with Him...Rev. 22:12...everyone according to his work. Therefore his reward and coming are at the same time. He rewards the righteous at the 7th trumpet... Rev. 11:18. Paul declares a mystery that Jesus comes at the last trumpet... 1 Cor. 15:51,52. The angel right after swearing that time is no more, declares that at the 7th trumpet the mystery of God is finished... Rev. 10:7. The beauty of the post-trib view is that you don't have to conjure up anything to make the view work. Unlike the pretrib view in which there isn't a single Scripture to support the view without the twisting and manipulation of man.

It is true that MAN declares that God's wrath has come in Rev. 6:16,17, by the 24 elders declare that God's wrath judges the DEAD... Rev. 11:18. We are not appointed to wrath, BUT to SALVATION and FOREVER living with Him. Interesting that our appointment is Eternal, yet God's wrath is ASSUMED to be temporal... and that vs. 10 is often left out by pretrib quotes. There are two Greek words for what is translated into English for God's wrath. They are not the same. God's wrath that we are not appointed to is Hell. True, temporal man claims God's nature to be temporal... Rev. 6:16,17.. those folk are well brainwashed by the broad path of the "Left Behind" Hollywood movies.

If God's wrath is temporal then He is lying to the tribulation saints. For they too are not appointed to wrath, just like all of God's own. In effect the pretrib doctrine actually believes that God pours out His wrath on His own... the tribulation saints. What an absurd lie!

The fact is that the pretrib doctrine must maintain that God's wrath is temporal. Without the temporal aspect there is no way to ASSUME the rapture prior to the tribulation, because of their claim that the great tribulation and God's wrath are one. They are not. God's judgement may be temporal, but His wrath is forever and ever...Rev. 14:9-11.

There is absolutely no Scripture that places the rapture prior to the tribulation. That idea is based entirely upon opinion, speculation, conjecture, and assumption. The Scripture itself debunks the pretrib doctrine. The sad part is that it cultivates ”stony” soil that Jesus warned us about…Mark 4:18 The only charactistic of the “stony” soil is the lack of mindset for tribulation and persecution. That's what makes the pretrib doctrine the MOST dangerous of all the views.

alf said...

In my experience, many prewrathers are ex-pretribbers who've read Rosenthal's book and didn't go much further than that. This whole fiasco has shown that many prewrathers aren't aware of some of the tenets of the system which some leading proponents struggle to defend.

Nice try with the temporal wrath argument. While Psalm 90:9 declares that death is an element of God's wrath, a plain sense meaning of the 4th seal shows that this is God's eschatological wrath i.e., temporal. Aside from Ezek 14:21, Ezekiel 5 references the four judgments mentioned in the 4th seal. They're referred to as God's judgment, anger and fury. In Ezek 7:3-19 we find references to God's anger, fury and wrath associated with famine, sword and pestilence (v 15) and this time in context to the Day of the Lord's wrath (v 19).

One might quibble about the nature of wrath referred to in 1 Thess 1:10 but the context of 1 Thess 5:9 is obvious to me. The dead are judged post-millennium; hence Rev 11:18 doesn't help. It's plain that Rev 3:10 promises an exemption from the time of the trial that is to come and patently obvious that the trial is the tribulation. And, no, Gundry is incorrect arguing that this means protection within. That believers are removed prior to God's wrath (as per Rev 3:10) doesn't preclude people becoming believers during God's wrath. In fact the prewrath system has that very scenario in place with the passing of the baton onto the 144,000 etc. The millennium needs to be populated and this becomes problematic if unbelievers are sorted out at the Sheep-Goats judgment while believers are raptured.

The rapture isn't mentioned at the 7th trumpet. The argument that mystery means the rapture is based on presupposition. It could mean the mystery of the kingdom etc. But then you have to locate the 7th trumpet to the same time as Rev 19:11 and retrofit Rev 20:4. This is pure circular reasoning. The worst part of your comment is this:

"The only charactistic (sic) of the “stony” soil is the lack of mindset for tribulation and persecution. That's what makes the pretrib doctrine the MOST dangerous of all the views."

That is prideful and arrogant. The statement assumes that pretribbers are unwilling to meet persecution and implies you are better. If you're really "Bold & Courageous" as your moniker implies, why don't you by a ticket to the Middle East and do some gospel preaching? You might just run across some pretribbers I know there.

Nathan Jones said...

Excellent points, Alf! There are 114 references to trumpets in the Bible, so why Pre-Wrathers take 1 Corinthians 15:52's trumpet to be the Seventh Trumpet Judgment is a leap in logic. Same with saying the mysteries are the same and the totally speculative claim that the Apostle Paul knew 30 years earlier everything that was revealed to the Apostle John in Revelation. The entire view is based on presupposition.

Anyway, the context of 1 Corinthians 15 clearly shows the Rapture trumpet is blown for believers whereas the seven trumpets of Revelation 8, 9 and 11 are sounded for unbelievers.

As for Post-Tribbers, they just want to die martyrs and should take your advice.