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Is the Pretribulation Rapture Biblical?
Reformedonline.com ^ | Unknown | Brian M. Schwertley

Posted on 04/02/2007 8:40:21 AM PDT by topcat54

Conclusion

Although the pretribulation rapture theory is very popular today, given arguments that are offered in support of this doctrine we must declare Pretribulationalism to be contrary to the clear teachings of Scripture. Simply put, there is not one shred of evidence that can be found in the Bible to support the pretribulation rapture. The typical Pretribulational arguments offered reveal a pattern: of imposing one’s presuppositions onto a text without any exegetical justification whatsoever; of finding subtle meaning between words and/or phrases that were never intended by the author; of spiritualizing or ignoring passages that contradict the Pretribulational paradigm; and, of imposing Pretribulationalism upon passages that actually teach the unity of the eschatological complex (i.e., the rapture, second coming, general resurrection, and general judgment all occur on the same day—the day of the Lord). It is our hope and prayer that professing Christians would cast off this escapist fantasy and return to the task of personal sanctification and godly dominion.

(Excerpt) Read more at reformedonline.com ...


TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: eschatology; leftbehind; pretrib; rapture; tribulation
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1 posted on 04/02/2007 8:40:22 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: topcat54
Is the Pretribulation Rapture Biblical?

No.
2 posted on 04/02/2007 8:41:18 AM PDT by kawaii (Orthodox Christianity -- Proclaiming the Truth Since 33 A.D.)
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To: topcat54

Why do you insist upon false teaching?


3 posted on 04/02/2007 8:43:19 AM PDT by Cvengr
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To: ItsOurTimeNow; HarleyD; suzyjaruki; nobdysfool; jkl1122; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Dr. Eckleburg; ...
Reformed Eschatology Ping List (REPL)


4 posted on 04/02/2007 8:44:08 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: kawaii

Pretribulation, premillenial is Scriptural.


5 posted on 04/02/2007 8:44:50 AM PDT by Cvengr
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To: kawaii

You took the word right out of my mouth! LOL!


6 posted on 04/02/2007 8:45:30 AM PDT by Salvation (" With God all things are possible. ")
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To: Cvengr
Why do you insist upon false teaching?

I'm sure the pharisees asked Jesus a similar question, and the Judaizers inquired as much of Paul.

7 posted on 04/02/2007 8:46:01 AM PDT by topcat54
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Blogger
[Moved to new rapture thread.]

There is nothing in Scripture that states how far in advance of the Tribulation the rapture happens.

Well, this is a new one. So you believe the church could be secretly ratured and the tribulation not happen for another month, hundred years, thousadnd years, ...?

Therefore the "signs" which you apparently seem to think might be happening may be no signs at all, and are, perhaps, inherently untrustworhy, not even worth talking about?

9 posted on 04/02/2007 8:51:27 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: Cvengr
Pick up a copy of Dwight Pentecost's "Things to Come".

On Pentecost and his technique:

Since dispensationalists understand the basic issue to be hermeneutics, they typically include long discussions of the interpretation of prophecy in their books on eschatology.[3] Dispensational premillennialists argue that amillennialists and postmillennialists use a method of interpretation that forces a non-literal meaning on what is intended by the Bible to be literal. J. Dwight Pentecost goes so far as to say, "The reason a non-literal method of interpretation is adopted is, almost without exception, because of a desire to avoid the obvious interpretation of the passage. The desire to bring the teaching of Scripture into harmony with some predetermined system of doctrine instead of bringing doctrine into harmony with the Scriptures has kept the method alive."[4]

Pentecost's statement reflects the dispensational prejudice that non-dispensationalists use a non-literal and, therefore, dishonest method of interpreting Scripture. But what about dispensationalists? Do they really interpret "literally"? When a well-known dispensational Bible teacher of a previous generation, Louis S. Bauman, named socialism, communism, and fascism as the "three unclean spirits like frogs" of Revelation 16:13, was he interpreting literally?[5] How literal is it to say, as John F. Walvoord cautiously suggests, that the apostle John's description of an army of horsemen in Revelation 9:16-19 refers to modern warfare?[6] A popular premillennial teacher in the early part of this century even announced the year for the beginning of the literal fulfillment of Revelation -- 1925![7] More recently a best-selling book by a dispensational author proved by no less than 88 literal reasons that the rapture must occur in 1988. When the rapture didn't occur, the same author then proved that the rapture would occur in 1989.[8] (Don't hold your breath for his next best-selling book!) Dispensational commentary on prophecy abounds with examples of non-literal and, too often, non-sensical interpretation. The point is dispensationalists do not really practice "literal" interpretation.

Taken from Interpreting Prophecy

Pentecost is a product of his system and associated presuppositions.
10 posted on 04/02/2007 8:59:53 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: topcat54
Well, the whole concept of a Rapture is a priori evidence of the collective egoic mind that infests the modern church: "We all are better than you all, and God's going to take us home first."
11 posted on 04/02/2007 9:06:05 AM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Wise men don't need to debate; men who need to debate are not wise." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: topcat54

The Doctrine of pretrib rapture did not become popular until the publication of the Scofield Reference Bible. Scofield was influenced by Darby a member of the Plymouth Bretheren who had been a priest in the Anglican church.
Darby was a believer in the Dispensationalism which has been rejected by both Catholic and reformed Protestant teachings and doctrine.

What I find most troublesome about the doctrine is the assumption that Christians will be taken up before the tribulation therefore avoiding suffering. The Bible clearly does not exempt Christians from having to suffer for their faith. Rather it says that we will suffer for it.

It also forgets that the 2nd coming of Christ will be a rather spectacular event. There is no reason to believe in a secret/hey where did everybody go? whisking away of the faithful.

In any event no man know's the hour of His coming so we must be ready in and out of season. And at death we will all have to face the Lord, may we do so with a humble and contrite heart.


12 posted on 04/02/2007 9:13:18 AM PDT by lastchance
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To: topcat54
There is nothing in Scripture that states how far in advance of the Tribulation the rapture happens. It could be 100 years. It could be a month. -- Blogger

(Moved from another thread.)

Yes there is. Those who are alive do not precede those who have died. The resurrection of the righteous is stated, by Jesus, to be on the last day.

13 posted on 04/02/2007 9:25:06 AM PDT by Lee N. Field
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To: topcat54
Is the Pretribulation Rapture Biblical?

NO.

Matthew 24 (KJV)
27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Notice that in verse 39, the wicked who perished in the flood are described as being taken away. The wicked are taken first, not the righteous. Next, it tells us that it shall be exactly the same at the arrival of Messiah. In the days of Noah, those taken first perished, and so it will be again at the arrival of Messiah. The answer given by Yehoshua refers to the vultures gathering over the bodies of the wicked, those taken first, which are all slain as the Messiah arrives.

Now, let's look at the tares and wheat:

Matthew 13 (KJV)
24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

Yehoshua then explains the parable in detail to His disciples:

Matthew 13
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

Notice the timing of events described, and how it compares with those taken first in Matthew 24:39-42. At the end of the world, when the time for the harvest of humanity has come, it is not the righteous who are gathered first, it is the wicked! The wicked are taken and dealt with first, while the people of YHWH are still among them.

Now, read Luke 17:26-30.

Luke 17 (KJV)
26   And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27   They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28   Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29   But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.
30   Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

Sudden destruction comes upon the wicked at the arrival of Messiah. They will all perish.

Revelation 3 (all the following are from the KJV)
3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Revelation 3
11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.

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 22
7 Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.

Revelation 22
12 And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.

Revelation 22
20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

You can't surprise the wicked if you take away the righteous first. Messiah is supposed to come quickly, like a thief in the night, so people are to repent, live righteously and be watchful, lest they be caught by surprise. If you remove the righteous first, the wicked are going to notice and not be surprised.

Revelation 16 shows the last seven plagues being poured out on the unrepentant wicked of the earth. Through verse 12 the first six of the plagues are poured out, and then in verse 15-

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.

Messiah has not come yet at the time of the sixth plague! Notice that the seventh plague then falls in verse 17-

Revelation 16 (KJV)
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.

At the time the seventh plague is announcing the time for earth has come to an end, and the arrival of Messiah follows. So, Messiah does not come to earth until after all seven plagues have been poured out on the wicked. The faithful are not removed at any point prior to these plagues, they have endured them without fear of being affected by them.

Psalm 91 (JPS)
5 Thou shalt not be afraid of the terror by night, nor of the arrow that flieth by day;
6 Of the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor of the destruction that wasteth at noonday.
7 A thousand may fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; it shall not come nigh thee.
8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold, and see the recompense of the wicked.
9 For thou hast made YHWH who is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation.
10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy tent.
11 For He will give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Proverbs 10:30   The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

From what I read, there is no foundation for a pre-trib rapture or removal of the righteous at all.

I think the tribulation is the judgement. No one escapes the judgement.

Matthew 16
27 For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.

Rewards aren't given prior, they are given after.

Psalm 37 (JPS)
9 For evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that wait for YHWH, they shall inherit the land.
20 For the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of YHWH shall be as the fat of lambs -- they shall pass away in smoke, they shall pass away.
22 For such as are blessed of Him shall inherit the land; and they that are cursed of Him shall be cut off.
23 It is of YHWH that a man's goings are established; and He delighted in his way.
24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; for YHWH upholdeth his hand.
27 Depart from evil, and do good; and dwell for evermore.
28 For YHWH loveth justice, and forsaketh not His saints; they are preserved for ever; but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
33 YHWH will not leave him in his hand, nor suffer him to be condemned when he is judged.
34 Wait for YHWH, and keep His way, and He will exalt thee to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
38 But transgressors shall be destroyed together; the future of the wicked shall be cut off.
39 But the salvation of the righteous is of YHWH; He is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 And YHWH helpeth them, and delivereth them; He delivereth them from the wicked, and saveth them, because they have taken refuge in Him.

YHWH is the deliverer, and the saviour.
Isaiah 47:4 - Our Redeemer, YHWH of hosts is His name, The Holy One of Israel.

1 Thessalonians 4:17
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.

Alive and remain. This indicates that some are dead and gone already. (The wicked)

It might be that during this period of being caught up in the air, is when the new earth and heaven are created.



14 posted on 04/02/2007 9:31:25 AM PDT by ET(end tyranny) (John 8:40 But now ye seek to kill me, a MAN that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God:)
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To: Lee N. Field; topcat54
"The resurrection of the righteous is stated, by Jesus, to be on the last day."

I think that timing is off by 1,000 years.

Revelation 20:4-6 (First resurrection.)

Revelation 20:11-15 (Second resurrection/Final Judgment.)

15 posted on 04/02/2007 9:52:21 AM PDT by Enosh ()
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To: kawaii

"Is the Pretribulation Rapture Biblical?

No."


Oh yes it is!


16 posted on 04/02/2007 9:56:21 AM PDT by swmobuffalo (The only good terrorist is a dead terrorist.)
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To: topcat54; Cvengr; 1000 silverlings; TomSmedley; Lee N. Field; ladyinred

Wow. I was just going to link to this excellent essay to answer Cvengr's question to me on another thread as to why the Rapture is fiction...and recent fiction, at that.


17 posted on 04/02/2007 10:12:37 AM PDT by Dr. Eckleburg ("I don't think they want my respect; I think they want my submission." - Flemming Rose)
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To: Enosh; Lee N. Field
I think that timing is off by 1,000 years. Revelation 20:4-6 (First resurrection.) Revelation 20:11-15 (Second resurrection/Final Judgment.)
11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God, and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.
13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.
14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.
15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.
This second resurrection is obviously the general physical resurrection of all men at the end of the age. The "sea" and "death and Hades" gave up all the dead. ("Hades" corresponds to OT Sheol, the abode of the dead. Hades and the lake of fire are not the same. But you probably know that.)

The judgment and separation of the righteous from the unrighteous is found in v. 15, "And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire". The unrighteous, pictured as those who names are not in the book of life, are cast into the lake of fire. (Cf. Matthew 25:31ff.)

Beginning in verse 16 (you do have a verse 16) and continuing on we have the final blessing of those who names are written in the book of life.

The thousand years is spiritual, and represents the entire period of time between Christ's two advents. The first resurrection, of which the believers have a part, is Christ's resurrection of the firstfruits, "Then comes the end, ..." (cf. 1 Cor. 15:23,24). "The end" from 1 Cor. 15:24 corresponds to Rev. 20:11 and following.

There is no thousands years magically inserted between 1 Cor. 15 verses 23 and 24.

See how simple it is without all the dispensational mumbo jumbo.

Don't mean to steal Lee's thunder.

18 posted on 04/02/2007 10:27:08 AM PDT by topcat54
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To: topcat54
Don't mean to steal Lee's thunder.

[shrug]. So I decided I'd rather eat lunch than compose a reasoned response that would get ignored anyway. Thunder away.

Worth pointing out that the first and second deaths are in parallel (I think that's what they call chiastic parallel, but don't hold me to that) with the first and second resurrections. The first death is the one all flesh is subject to, if the Lord tarries. The second is distinct in kind, being not a death of the body but the torment of the resurrected sinner in the lake of fire.

There is a similar distinction in kind (not simply in temporal order) between the first and second resurrections. The first is spiritual, either conversion ("he has passed from death to life") or the passing of the soul of the believer to the presence of God upon death. Only believers get this one. The second, is the resurrection of the body, that everyone gets.

For those who have experience the first ressurection, the second death has no power. The ressurection of the body comes, as Jesus said, on the last day.

19 posted on 04/02/2007 10:42:19 AM PDT by Lee N. Field
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To: topcat54; Lee N. Field
Revelation 20:4-6

4 I saw thrones on which were seated those who had been given authority to judge. And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded because of their testimony for Jesus and because of the word of God. They had not worshiped the beast or his image and had not received his mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ a thousand years.

5 (The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended.) This is the first resurrection.

6 Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.

20 posted on 04/02/2007 10:45:07 AM PDT by Enosh ()
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