Skip to comments.Almighty God's Two Jewish Witnesses Are At Hand!
Posted on 03/12/2010 6:50:06 PM PST by The Ignorant Fisherman
The Day of Christ's/Messiah's coming for His body the Church just before the great and dreadful Day of the Lord are at hand! All signs point to that today. We have never seen in the 6000 year history of man at present the great global flux and conscious understanding that doom awaits at the very door step.
Just after the Rapture of the church transpires (which the scoffers and haters of the Grace of God totally reject), there will be a massive void of light and truth here on earth, i.e., there will not be one true Believer left on earth at this time. There will be billions of unregenerate (unbelieving) human beings in great darkness with a godless form of Christianity. This final form of apostate Christianity is referred to as the Mustard Tree and Leavened Loaf (Matthew 13:31-33). At the very moment in which the Body of Christ is caught up to meet Christ in the air (see 1 Thess. 4:13-18; 1 Cor. 15:51-53; 1 John 3:2-3), God will send down his Two Witnesses from Heaven, His Two Mighty Candlesticks. These Two Candlesticks will burn brilliantly in this post Church/ post Age of Grace darkened world, sharing the Glorious Gospel of Jesus Messiah (Rev. 11:3-12).
(Excerpt) Read more at theignorantfishermen.com ...
Have you considered the verses in the NT that indicate the rapture happens after the tribulation at Christ’s 2nd coming?
Thanks, TIF. I’m passing this one on....
Thing will shift to Israel after the Rapture of the Church.
Anyone who wants on the Rapture Caucus, let me know. We keep it going for discussion among those who know what the Bible says about the Rapture, without the "nattering nabobs of negativity" -- naysaying against God... :-)
The Rapture Caucus thread is here...
Anyone can read it, but if you want to post on a caucus thread, then you have to be part of that caucus. In this thread, that means part of the Pre-Trib, Mid-Trip and/or Pre-Wrath group of posters.
See Post #399 for a fuller explanation for posting there.
It is mind boggling to imagine Moses and Elijah walking the Earth proclaiming the Word of God.
You can’t help but wonder how Benny Hinn and his ilk will react to all of that.
Have you considered the verses in the NT that indicate the rapture happens after the tribulation at Christs 2nd coming?
The only groups that want to say that are the ones who negate Israel's position in the coming one-world government of the Messiah of Israel on this earth.
That's the "position" of those who say that Israel is of no prophetic significance any longer, in the plan of God (any more than any other country in the world).
That's one good reason for staying as far away from that as possible... :-) ... besides the fact that it's not true... LOL ...
You can get some good information at the Rapture Caucus thread ...
Where is the church going? Christ is said to come here, and why would Christians be planning to go where Christ will not be.
I love the doll on the ground with her hand up.
totally..my friend and I don't believe that Scripture clearly teaches that.. I am Bible believing dispensational pre tribber...
Then you'll definitely want to get in on the Rapture Caucus thread... :-)
The only other Prophet to be taken alive by God is Enoch. I'm more inclined to believe that Elijah and Enoch are the two witnesses.
I was really getting into the story, and then it ended the same way it always does (in these ‘end times’ articles). All hell has just been leashed on Earth and.... ‘cut to commercial’.
Now my comment makes no sense. OK, there was a pic of people with their hands up . . . oh, never mind.
Thanks for posting the article.
“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”
“totally..my friend and I don’t believe that Scripture clearly teaches that.. I am Bible believing dispensational pre tribber...”
You see, I come at it from the opposite direction. I can’t find where the Scripture clearly teaches a pre tribulation rapture. There is, however, what I consider to be a pretty clear timeline in 1 & 2 Thes. that makes it pretty clear that the rapture occurs when Christ returns - and not before. I’m sure you have many good reasons to believe what you believe, but sometime you might want to check those passages out - they might surprise you. They did me. And I would have considered myself pretty staunchly pre trib.
We know the season - He told us! Also, I just finished listen to a teaching from a Messianic Jew - and we know alot more and it’s all in HIS Word!
The church, the betrothed bride of Jesus will be going up yonder to get hitched..We go up to meet Jesus...Jesus does not come to the earth at that time...We meet him in the air and then head on to the wedding...
Or how about uber athiests such as Bill Maher or Ted Turner? What about Iran's President Ahmedinejad (sp???) ?
What is it? Who will it affect? When is it most likely to take place?
by Dr. David R. Reagan
The Rapture is a glorious event which God has promised to the Church.
The promise is that someday very soon, at the blowing of a trumpet and the shout of an archangel, Jesus will appear in the sky and take up His Church, living and dead, to Heaven.
The term "Rapture" comes from a Latin word, "rapio," that means "to catch up, to snatch away, or to take out." It is, in turn, a translation of the Greek word, "harpazo."
So, "Rapture" is a Biblical word that comes right out of the Latin Vulgate translation of the Bible. The word is found in 1 Thessalonians 4:17. In the New American Standard Version, the English phrase, "caught up," is used. The same phrase is used in the King James and New International Versions.
A Promise to the Church
The concept of the Rapture was not revealed to the Old Testament prophets because it is a promise to the New Testament Church and not to the saints of God who lived before the establishment of the Church. Jesus will return as a bridegroom for His bride, and that bride consists only of Church Age saints.
The saints of Old Testament times will be resurrected at the end of the Tribulation and not at the time of the Rapture of the Church. Daniel reveals this fact in Daniel 12:1-2 where he says that the saints of that age will be resurrected at the end of the "time of distress."
The first clear mention of the Rapture in Scripture is found in the words of Jesus recorded in John 14:1-4. Jesus said, "I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also."
The most detailed revelation of the actual events related to the Rapture is given by Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. He says that when Jesus appears, the dead in Christ (Church Age saints) will be resurrected and caught up first. Then, those of us who are alive in Christ will be translated "to meet the Lord in the air."
Paul mentions the Rapture again in 1 Corinthians 15 his famous chapter on the resurrection of the dead: "Behold, I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet" (verses 51-52).
Paul's reference here to being changed is an allusion to the fact that the saints will receive glorified bodies that will be imperishable, immortal, and perfected (1 Corinthians 15:42-44, 50-55 and Isaiah 35:5-6).
To summarize, these passages teach that the shout of an archangel and the blowing of a trumpet will herald the sudden appearance of Jesus in the heavens (1 Thessalonians 4:16). The dead in Christ will be resurrected and rise up to meet the Lord in the sky. Then, those saints who are alive will be "caught up" to the Lord. Paul concludes his description in 1 Thessalonians 4 by encouraging his readers to "comfort one another with these words."
And truly the Rapture is a comforting thought! Consider the promises contained in the concept of the Rapture. Jesus will bring with Him the spirits of those who have died in Him (1 Thessalonians 4:14). He will resurrect their bodies in a great miracle of re-creation; He will reunite their bodies with their spirits; and He will then glorify their bodies, making them immortal. And those believers who are living will not even taste death. Rather, they will be caught up to the Lord, and in transit, they will be translated from mortal to immortal.
All my life I have heard that there are two things no one can avoid: taxes and death. Well, that is not true. According to 1 Thessalonians 4, a whole generation of believers will escape death. Taxes appear to be the only inevitability!
The most controversial aspect of the Rapture is its timing. Some place it at the end of the Tribulation, making it one and the same event as the Second Coming. Others place it in the middle of the Tribulation. Still others believe that it will occur at the beginning of the Tribulation.
The reason for these differing viewpoints is that the exact time of the Rapture is not precisely revealed in scripture. It is only inferred. There is, therefore, room for honest differences of opinion, and lines of fellowship should certainly not be drawn over differences regarding this point, even though it is an important point.
Those who place the timing at the end of the Tribulation usually base their argument on two parables in Matthew 13 and on the Lord's Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24.
In Matthew 24 the Lord portrays His gathering of the saints as an event that will take place "immediately after the tribulation of those days" (Matthew 24:29). This certainly sounds like a post-Tribulation Rapture. But it must be kept in mind that the book of Matthew was written to the Jews, and therefore the recording of Jesus' speech by Matthew has a distinctively Jewish flavor to it as compared to Luke's record of the same speech.
Note, for example, Matthew's references to Judea and to Jewish law regarding travel on the Sabbath (Matthew 24:15-20). These are omitted in Luke's account. Instead, Luke speaks of the saints looking up for deliverance "to escape all these things" when the end time signs "begin to take place" (Luke 21:28, 36). The saints in Matthew are instructed to flee from Judea and hide. The saints in Luke are told to look up for deliverance.
It appears, therefore, that Matthew and Luke are speaking of two different sets of saints. The saints in Matthew's account are most likely Jews who receive Jesus as their Messiah during the Tribulation. The saints in Luke are those who receive Christ before the Tribulation begins. Most of those who accept the Lord during the Tribulation will be martyred (Revelation 7:9-14). Those who live to the end will be gathered by the angels of the Lord (Matthew 24:31).
The parable of the wheat and tares (Matthew 13:24-30) and the parable of the dragnet (Matthew 13:47-50) can be explained in the same way. They refer to a separation of saints and sinners that will take place at the end of the Tribulation. The saints are those who receive Jesus as their Savior during the Tribulation (Gentile and Jew) and who live to the end of that awful period.
The Bible clearly teaches that the Rapture is an event that is separate and apart from the Second Coming. The two simply cannot be combined into one event.
There are variations of the mid-Tribulation Rapture concept. The most common is that the Church will be taken out in the exact middle of the Tribulation, at the point in time when the Antichrist is revealed.
This concept is based upon a statement in 1 Corinthians 15:52 which says that the Rapture will occur at the blowing of "the last trumpet." This trumpet is then identified with the seventh trumpet of the trumpet judgments in the book of Revelation. Since the blowing of the seventh trumpet is recorded in Revelation 11, the mid-point of the Tribulation, the conclusion is that the Rapture must occur in the middle of the Tribulation.
But there are two problems with this interpretation. The first is that the last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is blown for believers whereas the seven trumpets of Revelation 8, 9 and 11 are sounded for unbelievers. The Revelation trumpets have no relevance for the Church. The last trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15 is a trumpet for the righteous. The last trumpet for the unrighteous is the one described in Revelation 11.
Another problem with this interpretation is that the passage in Revelation 11 that portrays the sounding of the seventh trumpet is a "flash forward" to the end of the Tribulation. Flash forwards are very common in the book of Revelation. They occur after something terrible is described in order to assure the reader that everything is going to turn out all right when Jesus returns at the end of the Tribulation.
Thus, the eighth and ninth chapters of Revelation, which describe the horrors of the trumpet judgments, are followed immediately by a flash forward in chapter 10 that pictures the return of Jesus in victory at the end of the Tribulation. The mid-Tribulation action resumes in chapter 11 with a description of the killing of the two great prophets of God by the Antichrist. Then, to offset that terrible event, we are presented with another flash forward, beginning with verse 15. The seventh trumpet is sounded and we find ourselves propelled forward to the end of the Tribulation when "the kingdom of the world becomes the kingdom of our Lord."
The point is that the seventh trumpet of Revelation relates to the end of the Tribulation and not the middle. It is the same trumpet that is referred to in Matthew 24:31, the trumpet that will be blown to announce the Second Coming of Jesus. It is therefore no basis for an argument in behalf of a mid-Tribulation Rapture.
A variation of the mid-Tribulation Rapture is the pre-wrath Rapture concept that places the Rapture at the beginning of the last quarter of the Tribulation, about five and a half years into the Tribulation.
The argument for this view is that the Church is promised protection only from the wrath of God and not the wrath of Man or of Satan. It is then argued that only the bowl judgments in the last quarter of the Tribulation (Revelation 16) represent the wrath of God.
But the argument for this view disintegrates when you consider two facts. First, it is Jesus Himself who breaks the seals that launch each of the seal judgments recorded in Revelation 6. These judgments occur at the beginning of the Tribulation. Second, the seven angels who blow the trumpets that initiate each of the trumpet judgments are given their trumpets at the throne of God (Revelation 8:2).
All the judgments of Revelation are clearly superintended by God. That is the reason we are told in Revelation 15:1 that the bowl judgments at the end of the Tribulation will finish the wrath of God, not begin His wrath.
The Pre-Tribulation Rapture
I believe the best inference of Scripture is that the Rapture will occur at the beginning of the Tribulation. The most important reason I believe this has to do with the issue of imminence.
Over and over in Scripture we are told to watch for the appearing of the Lord. We are told "to be ready" (Matthew 24:44), "to be on the alert" (Matthew 24:42), "to be dressed in readiness" (Luke 12:35), and to "keep your lamps alight" (Luke 12:35). The clear force of these persistent warnings is that Jesus can appear at any moment.
Only the pre-Tribulation concept of the Rapture allows for the imminence of the Lord's appearing for His Church. When the Rapture is placed at any other point in time, the imminence of the Lord's appearing is destroyed because other prophetic events must happen first.
For example, if the Rapture is going to occur in mid-Tribulation, then why should I live looking for the Lord's appearing at any moment? I would be looking instead for an Israeli peace treaty, the rebuilding of the Temple, and the revelation of the Antichrist. Then and only then could the Lord appear.
This raises the issue of what we are to be looking for. Nowhere are believers told to watch for the appearance of the Antichrist. On the contrary, we are told to watch for Jesus Christ. In Titus 2:13 Paul says we are to live "looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus." Likewise, Peter urges us to "fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Peter 1:13). John completes the apostolic chorus by similarly urging us to "fix our hope on Him" at His appearing (1 John 3:2-3).
Only Matthew speaks of watching for the Antichrist (Matthew 24:15), but he is speaking to the Jews living in Israel in the middle of the Tribulation when the Antichrist desecrates the rebuilt Temple.
Another argument in behalf of a pre-Tribulation Rapture has to do with the promises of God to protect the Church from His wrath. As has already been demonstrated, the book of Revelation shows that the wrath of God will be poured out during the entire period of the Tribulation.
The Word promises over and over that the Church will be delivered from God's wrath. Romans 5:9 says that "we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him [Jesus]." 1 Thessalonians 1:10 states that we are waiting "for His Son from heaven... who will deliver us from the wrath to come." The promise is repeated in 1 Thessalonians 5:9 "God has not destined us for wrath, but for obtaining salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ."
Some argue that God could supernaturally protect the Church during the Tribulation. Yes, He could. In fact, He promises to do just that for the 144,000 Jews who will be sealed as bond-servants at the beginning of the Tribulation (Revelation 7:1-8).
But God's promise to the Church during the Tribulation is not one of protection but one of deliverance. Jesus said we would "escape" the horrors of the Tribulation (Luke 21:3-6). Paul says Jesus is coming to "deliver" us from God's wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
There are several prophetic types that seem to affirm the concept of deliverance from Tribulation.
Take Enoch for example. He was a prophet to the Gentiles who was raptured out of the world before God poured out His wrath in the great flood of Noah's time. Enoch appears to be a type of the Gentile Church that will be taken out of the world before God pours out His wrath again. If so, then Noah and his family are a type of the Jewish remnant that will be protected through the Tribulation.
Another Old Testament symbolic type which points toward a pre-Tribulation Rapture is the experience of Lot and his family. They were delivered out of Sodom and Gomorrah before those cities were destroyed.
The Apostle Peter alludes to both of these examples in his second epistle. He states that if God spared Noah and Lot, then He surely "knows how to rescue the godly from trial and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment" (2 Peter 2:4-9).
Another beautiful prophetic type is to be found in the Jewish wedding traditions of Jesus' time. After the betrothal, the groom would return to his father's house to prepare a wedding chamber for his bride. He would return for his bride at an unexpected moment, so the bride had to be ready constantly. When he returned, he would take his bride back to his father's house to the chamber he had prepared. He and his bride would then be sealed in the chamber for seven days. When they emerged, a great wedding feast would be celebrated.
Likewise, Jesus has returned to Heaven to prepare a place for His bride, the Church. When He returns for His bride, He will take her to His Father's heavenly home. There He will remain with His bride for seven years (the duration of the Tribulation). The period will end with "the marriage supper of the Lamb" described in Revelation 19. Thus the seven days in the wedding chamber point prophetically to the seven years that Jesus and His bride will remain in Heaven during the Tribulation.
Speaking of Revelation, the structure of that book also implies a pre-Tribulation Rapture in a symbolic sense.
The first three chapters focus on the Church. Chapter 4 begins with the door of Heaven opening and John being raptured from the Isle of Patmos to the throne of God in Heaven. The Church is not mentioned thereafter until Revelation 19:7-9 when it is portrayed as the "bride of Christ" in Heaven with Jesus celebrating the "marriage supper of the Lamb." At Revelation 19:11 the door of Heaven opens again, and Jesus emerges riding a white horse on His way to earth, followed by His Church (Revelation 19:14).
The rapture of the Apostle John in Revelation 4 appears to be a symbolic type of the Rapture of the Church. Note that it is initiated by the cry of a voice that sounds like the blowing of a trumpet (Revelation 4:1). Since the Tribulation does not begin until Revelation 6, the rapture of John in Revelation 4 appears to be a symbolic type that points to a pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
Some counter this argument by pointing out that although the Church is not mentioned in Revelation during that book's description of the Tribulation, there is constant mention of "saints" (for example, Revelation 13:7). But that term is not used in the Bible exclusively to refer to members of the Church. Daniel uses it to refer to Old Testament believers who lived long before the Church was established (Daniel 7:18). The saints referred to in the book of Revelation are most likely those people who will be saved during the Tribulation, after the Church has been taken out of the world.
An interesting argument in behalf of the pre-Tribulation timing of the Rapture can be found in 2 Thessalonians. The church at Thessalonica was in a turmoil because someone had written them a letter under Paul's name stating that they had missed the "gathering to the Lord" and were, in fact, living in "the day of the Lord" (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).
Paul attempted to calm them down by reminding them of his teaching that the day of the Lord would not come until after the Antichrist is revealed. He then stated that the Antichrist would not be revealed until a restraining force "is taken out of the way" (2 Thessalonians 2:3-7).
There has been much speculation as to the identity of this restraining force that Paul refers to. Some have identified it as the Holy Spirit. But it cannot be the Holy Spirit because there will be people saved during the Tribulation, and no one can be saved apart from the testimony of the Spirit (John 16:8-11 & 1 John 5:7).
Others have identified the restrainer as human government. It is true that government was ordained by God to restrain evil (Romans 13:1-4). But the governments of the world are in rebellion against God and His Son (Psalm 2), and they are therefore a contributor to the evil that characterizes the world. Furthermore, the Tribulation will not be characterized by a lack of government. Rather, it will feature the first true worldwide government (Revelation 13:7).
In my opinion that leaves only one other candidate for Paul's restrainer and that is the Church. It is the Church that serves as the primary restrainer of evil in the world today as it proclaims the Gospel and stands for righteousness. When the Church fails in this mission, evil multiplies, as Paul graphically points out in 2 Timothy 3:1-5. Paul says that society in the end times will be characterized by chaos and despair because "men will hold to a form of religion but will deny its power." When the Church is removed from the world, all hell will literally break loose.
The pre-Tribulation concept of the Rapture has often been condemned as "escapism." I think this criticism is unjustified. The Bible itself says that Christians are to "comfort one another" with the thought of the Rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:18). Is it a comfort to think of the Rapture occurring at the end of the world's worst period of war instead of at the beginning?
Regardless of when the Rapture actually occurs, we need to keep in mind that the Bible teaches that societal conditions are going to grow increasingly worse the closer we get to the Lord's return. That means Christians will suffer tribulation whether or not they go into the Great Tribulation. And that means all of us had better be preparing ourselves for unprecedented suffering and spiritual warfare.
If you are a Christian, you can do that on a daily basis by putting on "the full armor of God" (Ephesians 6:13), praying at all times in the Spirit that you will be able to stand firm against the attacks of Satan (Ephesians 6:14-18).
If you are not a Christian, your only hope is to reach out in faith and receive the free gift of God's salvation which He has provided through His Son, Jesus (John 3:16).
“The only groups that want to say that are the ones who negate Israel’s position in the coming one-world government of the Messiah of Israel on this earth.”
I have to say that whatever group holds this or that theological opinion does not bear upon my thinking. What is of supreme importance is what the Scriptures say regarding the matter.
I would never agree that Israel is of no prophetic significance - Romans makes it abundantly clear that they are.
What I would say is that I have found an abundance of Scriptural support in the NT for the idea that the Church passes through the great tribulation.
“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;... And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. “
My Bible says Christ is coming here for a wedding. There is a warning about a wedding out of season before the legitimate bridegroom returns, and it would be a 'tribulation' to NOT know which bridegroom shows up first.
Written by Dr. Ed Hindson
THE RAPTURE AND GLORIOUS APPEARING OFJESUS CHRIST
The New Testament clearly teaches that Jesus Christ will “come again” (John14:3) and “appear the second time” (Hebrews 9:38). At least nine biblical terms are used in the New Testament to describe the return of Christ.
1. Hoerchomenos. “The coming one,” as in Hebrews 10:37, “For yet a little while,
and he that shall come will come.”
2. Erchomai. The act of coming. Used often of Christ’s return. Cf. Matthew
24:30; John 14:3; 2 Thessalonians 1:10; Jude 14; Revelation 1:7; 22:20.
3. Katabaino. To “come down” or descend, as in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the
Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout.”
4. Heko. Result of one’s coming, to have “arrived,” as in Revelation 3:3, “I will
comeas a thief.”
5. Parousia. Denotes arrival and presence (of a ruler), as in 1 Thessalonians 2:19, “Forwhat is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?”
6. Apokalupsis. Meaning to “unveil” or “uncover.” Rendered “appearing”
(1Peter 1:7) or “coming” (1 Corinthians 1:7) or “revelation” (Revelation 1:1). Involves the unveiling of His divine glory.
7. Phaneroo. To “appear” (John 21:1) or be “manifest” (1 John 3:5). As in
1John 3:2, “It is not yet made manifest what we shall be. but we know that, if he shall be manifested, we shall be like him; for we shall see him even as he is.”
8. Epiphaino. To “appear” in full light or visibility. Denotes the”brightness” of His coming (2 Thessalonians 2:8) and the glory of “that day... unto all them that love his appearing” (2 Timothy 4:8).
9. Horao. To “see with the eyes,” or to “appear” visibly, as in Hebrews 9:28, “and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time.”
NATURE OF HIS COMING
The Bible predicts the literal personal return of Jesus Christ to rapture His church, to judge the world and to establish His Kingdom on earth. At times this is described as one grand event. At other times it is clearly divided into separate phases.
1. Personal. The intensive pronoun “himself” means the Lord and no other, as in
1 Thessalonians 4:16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven.”
2. Literal. He will return as He ascended literally. Acts 1:11 promises: “This same Jesus, who is taken up from you, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.” Revelation 1:7 promises that “every eye shall see him.”
3. Glorious. He will return in the glory of His deity. Matthew 16:27, “in the glory of his Father.” Matthew 25:31, “in his glory.” Matthew 24:30, “...great glory.”
4. Powerful. Jesus will return in the “glory of his power” (2 Thessalonians 1:9). He will employ angels of power (1:7) to establish His Kingdom on earth as He comes with His angelic heavenly escort (Matthew 25:31).
TIME OF HIS COMING
Most evangelicals agree as to the nature of Christ’s return, but there is substantial disagreement on the time of His coming. Notice these key aspects of the time of our Lord’s return:
1. Future. The entire emphasis of the New Testament points to a future return of
Christ. He promised “I will come again” (John 14:3). The angels promised He would return (Acts 1:11). The apostles taught the certainty of His future return (Philippians 3:20; Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:3-8; 1 John 3:2-3).
2. Progressive. The present tense of “cometh” in 1 Thessalonians 5:2 indicates that He is in the process of coming again, marking the steady, uninterrupted movement of time toward that certain day. Hebrews 10:37, “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.”
3. Imminent. The return of Christ is always described as potentially imminent or
“at hand” (Revelation 1:3; 22:10). Every generation of believers is warned to be ready for His coming. Luke 12:40, “be... ready also: for the Son of Man comes at an hour you think not.” Believers are constantly urged to look for the coming of the Lord (see Philippians 3:20; Hebrews 9:28; Titus 2:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6).
4. Distant. From God’s perspective, Jesus is coming at any moment. But from the
human perspective it has already been nearly 2,000 years. Jesus hinted at this in the Olivet Discourse in the illustration of the man who traveled into a “far country” (heaven) and was gone “a long time” (Matthew 25:19). Peter also implies this in his prediction that men will begin to scoff at the second coming after a long period of time (2 Peter 3:8-9).
5. Undated. While the Rapture is the next major event on the prophetic calendar,
it is undated as is the glorious appearing of Christ. Jesus said: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, not even the angels of heaven” (Matthew 24:36). Later he added: “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons”(Acts 1:7).
6. Unexpected. The mass of humanity will not be looking for Christ when He
returns (Matthew 24:50; Luke 21:35). They will be saying, “peace and safety,” when caught unprepared by His return. So unexpected will be His return that, “as a snare shall it come upon them that dwell on the whole face of the earth” (Luke 21:35).
7. Sudden. The Bible warns that Jesus will come “as a thief in the night (and) then sudden destruction” will come upon the unbelieving world (1 Thessalonians 5:2-3). His return for the Bride will occur in a flash: “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye... for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (believers) shall be raised incorruptible, and we (living believers) shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52).
TWO ASPECTS OF HIS COMING
The Second Coming of Christ is a series of events fulfilling all end-time prophecies. These include predictions of Christ’s coming for His Church and with His Church. Pretribulationalists generally divide the Second Coming into two main phases: the Rapture of the Church and the Glorious Appearing of Christ.
The Rapture (or translation) of the Church is often paralleled to the “raptures” of Enoch (Genesis 5:24) and Elijah (2 Kings 2:12) or the ascension of Christ (Acts 1:9), all of whom were “taken up” into heaven. The Bible clearly states: For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up (Greek, harpazo) with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, italics added).
The hope of the Church is the Rapture. She awaits the Savior who is coming for His bride. The Church does not await the destruction of the world as unbelievers do, she awaits a Person. Peter explains that the present world is “reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men (2 Peter 3:7, italics added). While the Church is warned to prepare for suffering and persecution throughout the Church Age, she is not as the object of God’s final wrath.
The Church is promised that the “coming of the Lord” will result in her being “gathered together” (Greek, episunagoges) into him” (2 Thessalonians 2: 1). It is this promise of the Rapture, not the Wrath, that is in view in Revelation 3:10, “I will keep you from (Greek, ek “out of”) the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world.” Notice that the Church is to be kept from not through, the hour of tribulation. We are to wait for Jesus to come from heaven to “deliver us from the wrath to come” (1 Thessalonians 1:10).
The Rapture will take up those who have died in Christ over the centuries and those believers who are alive when He returns. This will occur in the future. Jesus said: “A time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice and come out” (John 5:28). Believers are pictured as being raised to life (first resurrection) to reign with Christ a thousand years (Revelation 20:4-5).
There can be no doubt that the Bible teaches a Rapture (”caught up,” or” gathering together”) of the Church. Amillennialists and Post-millennialists miss this point altogether. There will be a Rapture, or 1 and 2 Thessalonians need to be removed from the New Testament! The only real question is when will it occur?
THE ORDER OF THE RAPTURE
By combining John 14:13, I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:51-53, Tim LaHaye suggests the following sequence of events:
1. Jesus Christ descends from heaven (John 14:1-3; I Thess. 4:16).
2. He comes to receiveus (church) unto Himself (John 14:13).
3. He comes in the “twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:52) with a shout and the
trumpet call of God (1 Thess. 4:16).
4. He resurrects those believers who have “fallen asleep” in death (1 Thess. 4:14- 15).
5. Those who are alive at that time will be “caught up” (Rapture) with the resurrected Church in the clouds (1 Thess. 4:17; 1 Cor. 15:51-53).
The Rapture will be followed by:
1. Judgment Seat of Christ (Romans 14:20; 1 Cor. 3:11-15; 2 Cor. 5:10) and
2. Marriage Supper of the Lamb (Rev. 19:7-9).
These two events precede the return of Christ in power and glory at Armageddon (Rev.19:11-21).
CONTRAST BETWEEN THE RAPTURE ANDGLORIOUS APPEARING
RAPTURE GLORIOUS APPEARING
1. Christ comes for His own (John 1. Christ comes with His own 14:3; IThess. 14:17; 2 Thess. 2:1). (1 Thess. 3:13; Jude 14; Rev. 19:14).
2. He comes in the air (1 Thess. 4:17) 2. Hecomes to the earth
Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:11).
3. He claims His bride 3. He comes with His bride
4. Removal of believers (1 Thess 4:17). 4. Manifestation of Christ
5. Only His own see Him 5. Every eye shall see Him
(1 Thess. 4:13-18) (Rev. 1:7).
6. Tribulation begins. 6. Millennial Kingdom begins.
7. Saved are delivered from wrath 7. Unsaved experience the wrath of God
(1 Thess. 1:10; 5-9) (Rev. 6:12-17).
8. No signs precedeRapture 8. Signs precede glorious appearing
(1 Thess. 5:1-3). (Luke 21:11, 15).
9. Focus: Lord and Church 9. Focus: Israel and Kingdom
(1 Thess. 4:13-18). (Matthew 24:14).
10. World isdeceived. 10. Satan is bound
(2 Thess.2:3-12) (Rev. 20:1-2).
REASONS FOR A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE
1. Christ promised to keep the Church from the Tribulation. In Revelation 3:10, the risen Christ said the Church would be kept from (Literally, “preserved” or “protected out of”) the hour of trial, or divine retribution, that is coming on the whole world.
2. Tribulation judgments are the “wrath of the Lamb.” Revelation 6:16 depicts the cataclysmic judgments of the end times as the wrath of Christ. Whereas, Revelation 19:7-9 depicts the Church as the bride of the Lamb. She is not the object of His wrath which is poured out on an unbelieving world.
3. Jesus told his disciples to pray they would escape the Tribulation. In Luke 21:36 He said: “Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen. Remember, even Lot was given a chance to escape Sodom before divine judgment fell.
4. His coming in the clouds means the Church’s deliverance has come. Jesus told His disciples: “Lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). The hope of the Church is not in surviving the judgment of Tribulation, but escaping it.
5. God will call His ambassadors home before declaring war on the world. In 2 Corinthians 5:20, believers are called “Christ’s Ambassadors” who appeal to the world to be reconciled to God before it is too late.
6. Moral restraint will disappear when the Church is taken home. 2 Thessalonians 2:1-11 warns that after the “coming of the Lord” and “our being gathered to Him,” the “man of lawlessness” (Antichrist) will emerge on the world scene. The Church’s restraining ministry of “salt” and “light” will no longer hold back the tide of evil.
7. The Rapture will happen in the “twinkling of an eye.” 1 Corinthians15:51-52 promises that “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye... the dead shall be raised imperishable and we (living at the Rapture) will be changed.” This instantaneous disappearance will terminate the Church’s earthly ministry.
8. The Rapture will take place in the air. Unlike the glorious appearing when Christ descends to earth, splits the Mount of Olives, overthrows Antichrist and binds Satan, the Rapture will occur when we are “caught up together... to meet the Lord in the air” (1 Thess. 4:17).
9. Woman who suffers persecution during the Tribulation symbolizes Israel. This is a very important point. The woman who delivers the male child (Christ) represents the nation of Israel. Israel, not the Church, brought forth Christ, and He in turn, brought forth the Church. He is the founder of the Church, not its descendant. Therefore, the persecuted “saints” of the Tribulation are Jewish - the remnant of the woman’s seed (Revelation 12:1-2, 5-6, 17).
10. Marriage of Christ (Lamb) and His Bride (Church) takes place before the Battle of Armageddon. The Bible describes the fall of “Babylon” (Kingdom of Antichrist) in Revelation 17-18. But before it tells of Christ’s return to conquer the Antichrist, it tells us “the wedding of the Lamb has come, and His bride has made herself ready” (Rev. 19:7-8). This clearly indicates the Bride has been taken to heaven earlier and that she returns with Christ and the host of the “armies of heaven... dressed in fine linen, white and clean” (Rev. 19:8, 14).
 1. See Herman A. Hoyt, The End Times (Chicago: Moody Press, 1969), pp. 63-65.
 A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1931 reprint), Vol. IV, p. 47. He notes that episcunagoges is a late word found only in 2 Maccabees 2:7; 2 Thessalonians 2:1; Hebrews 10:25. It means “assembly” or “collection.” Robertson notes that it refers to the rapture in 2 Thess. 2:1.
 Tim LaHaye, No Fear of the Storm (Sisters, OR: Multnomah, 1992), pp. 28-31.
From link - http://www.pre-trib.org/article-view.php?id=199
That the New Testament teaches Christ could return at any moment is a strong doctrine supporting the Pretrib Rapture doctrine (see 1 Corinthians 1:7; 16:22; Philippians 3:20; 4:5; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; Titus 2:13; Hebrews 9:28; James 5:79; 1 Peter 1:13; Jude 21: Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12, 17, 20). Pretribulationists call this the doctrine of imminence.
If Christ can return at any moment, without the necessity of intervening signs or events, then it renders pretribulationism most likely and posttribulationism impossible. Imminence in relation to the Rapture has been defined as consisting of three elements: the certainty that He may come at any moment, the uncertainty of the time of that arrival, and the fact that no prophesied event stands between the believer and that hour. 1
CHRIST CANNOT RETURN AT ANY MOMENT?
This application of imminence by pretribulationists to the Rapture has drawn strong fire from opponents. American Robert Cameron in 1922 wrote a book against pretribulationism that centered his attack against the doctrine of imminence.2 Early in his book he penned a chapter that asked: Could Christ Have Come At Any Moment?3 Throughout Camerons lengthy chapter4 he cites what he believes are items that would have to take place before any return by Christ, thus nullifying, in his mind, the any-moment doctrine of imminency as advocated by pretribulationists. Cameron believes that imminency is opposed to the whole of the New Testament.5
Camerons specific objections primarily consist of various items that he believes have to take place either during the lifetime of the apostles or before the return of Christ could occur. For example, Cameron says that the coming of the promised Holy Spirit by Christ in the Upper Room Discourse (John 1317) meant that many events had to take place in the lives of the apostles and since these were promised, Christ could not return while these events were being fulfilled in the lives of the disciples.6 Further, Cameron contends that Jesus promised Peter that he would live till he became an old man (John 21:1819), therefore, Christ could not return until after Peter lived to old age.7 Paul wrote to the church at Rome of a visit he proposed making to Jerusalem, and then to Rome, and after that to Spain" (Romans 15:2225, and 3031). If he had any thought of Christ coming immediately, could he have written this?8 It is gladly conceded that the next great, direct interference from heaven with the affairs of men will be the Coming of our Lord, declares Cameron. But then there are so many intervening events predicted that the word imminent, so commonly used at the present day, is certainly inadmissible.9
WHY CHRIST CAN RETURN AT ANY MOMENT
Look at these verses stating that Christ could return at any moment, without warning. In their specific contexts, they instruct believers to wait and look for the Lords coming at any moment. Thus, these passages teach the doctrine of imminence.
It is significant that all of the above passages relate to the Rapture and speak of the Lords coming as something that could occur at any moment, that it is imminent. These passages could only be true if the New Testament is teaching an imminent return. This is why believers are waiting for a person Jesus Christ not just an event or series of events such as those related to the Tribulation leading up to Christs Second Advent in which He returns to the earth and remains for His millennial reign. In contrast, Second Coming passages are often accompanied by events that must take place before the return. This is never the case with Rapture passages. Always, it is Christ Himself who could come at any moment. Gerald Stanton offers this insight: The posttribulational view robs every generation of an imminent, and consequently of a comforting and purifying hope. It argues that, because the Rapture was not imminent in the first century, it is not imminent in any century, and it cannot be imminent now. The Antichrist and the Great Tribulation are ahead, and there is no basis for expecting Christ to come before such clearly scheduled events.10
JESUS PROMISE TO PETER
New Testament teaches imminence deal with Camerons charge that Jesus promised Peter that he would live to an old age, so that Christ could not return before Peter became old?11 The passage from which this charge is derived is John 21:1819, which says, Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were younger, you used to gird yourself, and walk wherever you wished; but when you grow old, you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will gird you, and bring you where you do not wish to go. Now this He said, signifying by what kind of death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, Follow Me!
First, Johns gospel account was not written until decades after Peters death when it would no longer be an issue one way or the other. As far as the church at large was concerned, notes John Walvoord, the information given to... Peter did not deter their belief in imminency because on a given day few would know whether... Peter was still alive, and most of them were not informed about the predictions.12
Second, the first book in the New Testament canon is James, which appeared around A.D. 50. By this time, Peter was in old age and his own death was conceivably imminent.13 Marshall Hawkins provides an excellent explanation as follows:
Time for this gap between Peters middle age and his old age is allowed for by the progress of revelation. It was not until the book of James (written just about A.D. 50), and then later in Pauls writings that the imminence of the rapture is revealed. Twenty years would have elapsed between the prophecy and the writing of James enough time for Peter to have aged sufficiently... By this time imminence was a viable doctrine for most of the church since they would have no idea whether Peter was alive at any one moment or not... For those accompanying Peter at this time, the rapture was also imminent because Peter may have been seized and martyred at any time, making the rapture possible immediately afterward.14
Hawkins concludes as follows:
It must be kept in mind that any attack on imminence due to the prophecy of Peters death must also take into account the passage in James chapter 5. Imminence must be disproved first before a persuasive argument against imminence can be maintained here. There are enough doubts about Peters age, about the time of the revelation of the doctrine of imminence, about how old Peter had to be before his death became imminent, and about when the prophecy of his death became known, to make the posttribulational case insecure. As long as the passage in James stands, imminence can be correlated with the prophecy in John chapter 21.15
We will find as we diffuse the many land mines set against pretribulationism that nothing in the New Testament stands in the way of Christs any-moment return. It is truly a blessed hope to realize that the Rapture is indeed imminent. Maranatha!
1 Gerald B. Stanton, Kept from the Hour: Biblical Evidence for the Pretribulational Return of Christ, 4th. edition (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Publishing Co., , 991), p. 108.
2 Robert Cameron, Scriptural Truth About The Lords Return (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1922).
3 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 21.
4 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 21-69.
5 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 21.
6 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 21-23.
7 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 23-24.
8 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 41.
9 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 68.
10 Stanton, Kept from the Hour, p. 123.
11 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 23-24.
12 John F.Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and The Tribulation: A Historical and Biblical Study of Posttribulationism (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976), p. 73.
13 Steven L. McAvoy, A Critique of Robert Gundrys Posttribulationism (Unpublished ThD Dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1986), p. 83.
14 Marshall Hawkins, Rebuttal of the Posttribulational Denial of Imminence (Unpublished ThM thesis, Capital Bible Seminary, 1979), p. 45. Cited in McAvoy, Critique, p. 83.
15 Hawkins, Rebuttal, pp. 4546. Cited in McAvoy, Critique, p. 84.
(To Be Continued...)
A number of arguments against the doctrine of imminence were put forth by pre-trib critic Robert Cameron in his book entitled Scriptural Truth About The Lords Return.1 Cameron contends that a proper understanding of the New Testament meant that Christ could not have come at any moment.2 In this issue, I will further evaluate more of Camerons arguments, which pre-trib opponents through the years have established as standard objections against imminence. Cameron attempts to disprove the New Testament doctrine of imminency by showing that certain events must take place either during the lifetime of the apostles or before the return of Christ could occur.
THE PROMISE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Cameron argues that the coming of the Holy Spirit, which Christ promised in the Upper Room Discourse (John 1317), meant that many events had to take place in the lives of the apostles. Christ could not return while these events were being fulfilled in the lives of the disciples.3 This is a rather trivial argument and I wonder why Cameron would even make it, since it can easily be dismissed.
The Church was founded on the Day of Pentecost, the day Christs promise of the Holy Spirit was fulfilled. How could Christ return for His Church before the Church was founded, as Cameron implies? How could the fulfillment of this predicted event possibly be a legitimate obstruction to the apostles and their belief in Christs imminent return? Gerald Stanton notes:
Actually, Pentecost took place a mere ten days after the ascension of Christ. It must constantly be kept in mind throughout this discussion that imminent does not mean immediate, and the fact that there was a brief interval before Pentecost does not prove that it formed any barrier to the disciples faith in the Lords soon return.4
PREDICTED EVENTS IN PAULS LIFE
Cameron writes that Paul wrote to the Church at Rome of a visit he proposed making to Jerusalem, and then to Rome, and after that to Spain (Romans 15:2225, and 3031). If he had any thought of Christ coming immediately, could he have written this?5 For this reason I have often been hindered from coming to you; but now, with no further place for me in these regions, and since I have had for many years a longing to come to you whenever I go to Spainfor I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a whilebut now, I am going to Jerusalem serving the saints (Romans 15:2225). Now I urge you, brethren, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God for me, that I may be delivered from those who are disobedient in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may prove acceptable to the saints; so that I may come to you in joy by the will of God and find refreshing rest in your company (Romans 15:3032). A similar passage is also cited against imminency in Acts 9:1516: But the Lord said to him, Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for My names sake.
These passages do not contradict the doctrine of imminency. In the Romans 15:2225 passage, Paul explains why he has not yet been able to visit them, but for many years he has desired to see them. Paul further explains in verses 3032 that Roman believers should pray that he might be released from the circumstances preventing him from coming to visit them in Rome by the will of God. Nothing in the passage above indicates that Pauls desire to visit is not controlled by the will of God. Nothing in this passage says that Paul would absolutely, by the will of God, come to Rome. Paul was seeking the will of God and proper timing for his long desire on this matter. Stanton writes:
All of his plans, including these proposed journeys, were contingent on the Lords leading and the further revelation of Gods will for his life. Thus it was that he conditioned his promise to the Ephesians, But I will return again unto you, if God will (Acts 18:21). To the Christians at Rome he expressed his desire that I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come to you. Often he had purposed to come unto them but had been hindered (Romans 1:9,10,13). He wrote plainly to the Corinthians: But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will (I Corinthians 4:19).6
It is clear that statements like those noted above that appear in the New Testament are under the control of the will of God. The timing of the prophetic events are also under the control of Gods will, as noted in Acts 1:7, which says, It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority. It is reasonable to believe that God will coordinate His plan for history in a way that will not bring into conflict events in the lives of his apostles with the events already scheduled to occur in His prophetic plan. Every indication in the New Testament is that Paul lived in such a way as to seek Gods will and direction for his life while at the same time knowing that the Rapture could occur at any moment, which would leave undone some of the plans he might have had to spread the message to which he had been commissioned.
In a similar way, Pauls example shows us that we should plan to follow the will of God, but at the same time we must recognize that Christ could, at any moment, interrupt our plans with the Rapture. Hey, I sure would not complain if that glorious event were to interrupt the long-range plans I have. The doctrine of imminence implies the possibility of an any-moment, sign-less coming by Christ at the Rapture. Since it is sign-less, there are no indicators of when it will occur; thus, we should plan to live as if we will die, but at the same time we are to be waiting for Himsince He could come today. This is the example provided by Paul.
It is gladly conceded that the next great, direct interference from heaven with the affairs of men will be the Coming of our Lord, declares Cameron. But then there are so many intervening events predicted that the word imminent, so commonly used at the present day, is certainly inadmissible.7 Posttribulationists say that prophesied events like the destruction of Jerusalem (Matthew 23:2924:2; Mark 13:12; Luke 19:4144; 21:2024) had to happen before Christs return could occur. They are both right and wrong! Nothing must take place before our Lords return in the clouds at the Rapture; but, on the other hand, hundreds of events must take place before the Second Coming of Jesus to planet Earth.
Posttribulationists like Cameron believe that there will be a single return of Christ in the future. They note the many events that must occur before His return. Pretribulationists believe many events are scheduled to occur before Christs return to the earth, and they will take place before His Adventduring the Tribulation, but after the Rapture. The post-tribbers simply ignore the many passages listed in my previous article indicating that Christ could come at any moment, without any signs preceding His coming, as if they were not in the New Testament. They then emphasize the many events that the Bible does say will lead up to Christs return.
For example, Matthew 24:2930 says, But immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken, and then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. This passage describes all the events of the Tribulation and the darkening of heavenly luminaries; then the sign of the Son of Man will occur before the coming of the Son of Man (the Second Advent). Pretribulationists agree that signs precede the Second Coming, but we believe the Rapture is a separate event that is not preceded by signs, and thus, the posttribulational argument has no traction since there are two events and not one.
There is no necessity for signs before the Rapture since the New Testament teaches that we are to wait for Jesus, who could come at any moment. The posttribulationist wrongly insists that there is but a single event in the future, which is preceded by signs. Therefore, the more that one recognizes the New Testament teaching of two future events (one imminent and the other not), then, they are able to harmonize properly the two sets of passages. Maranatha!
1 Robert Cameron, Scriptural Truth About The Lords Return (New York: Fleming H. Revell, 1922).
2 The title of a chapter against imminence in his book: Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 21.
3 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, pp. 21-23.
4 Gerald B. Stanton, Kept from the Hour: Biblical Evidence for the Pretribulational Return of Christ, 4th. edition (Miami Springs, FL: Schoettle Publishing Co., , 1991), p. 112.
5 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 41.
6 Stanton, Kept from the Hour, p. 121.
7 Cameron, Scriptural Truth, p. 68.
Fergit the SP...Ahamanutjob...How’s that?
Any speaker, comedian or Author who knows his business finishes up any important argument, performance or work with his `A’-material.
Alpha: In the Beginning, everything in between (which few people listen to, much less remember) and then he winds it up with the Omega.
Rhetoric 101, right?
Read the last three verses in the last chapter of His last book. If you claim to know when He’s returning, then you know more than His Angels.
People have been claiming to know when Jesus is returning since He left us, and they were all wrong.
Now if someone could answer my questions, LOL :-)
Over all, a decent article. But I would say he cherry picks his arguments on occasion...
For example the author states...
“But God’s promise to the Church during the Tribulation is not one of protection but one of deliverance. Jesus said we would “escape” the horrors of the Tribulation (Luke 21:3-6)”
The verse states...
But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Consider this... why should one have to “[pray] that you may have strength” to be raptured (i.e. how you would interpret “escape”) ?
If you don’t pray, you might not be raptured?
Does being raptured require strength?
I think in this context it makes more abundantly sense to undersand that Christ is warning his followers of the need for them to pray and be spiritually vigilant in order to make it through the extremely difficult times they will face.
If you claim to know when Hes returning, then you know more than His Angels.
If you see the Antichrist cutting off the sacrifices of the Temple and then standing in the Temple declaring himself to be God... then you know that it's 1,260 days until Christ returns to earth to set up the Kingdom, His one-world government, on this planet, and rule over all the nations.
So, you'll know exactly when Jesus, the Messiah of Israel comes to set up His kingdom, on this earth, from that timing, regarding the Antichrist. There's no question, at that point, as to when Jesus is returning.
However, if you're talking about the Rapture, that's the return of Christ for His own, the dead in Christ and the living in Christ. You won't know when that is, because there are no prophetic signs, in the Bible, preceding that event.
There are all kinds of prophetic signs preceding the coming of the Lord on this earth -- but -- not for the Rapture.
I'm guessing you're talking about the Rapture, then... :-)
I think so too...at any rate the two will indeed arrive at some time..possibly in this generation...amzing times we live in these days as we see the world stage once again shift and move along in various governances.
The uber athiests are now living in their own hell of their own design. These folks aren’t happy people. They have their money, women, and wine, but nothing to satisfy their soul.
May God bless them when they depart!
Where’s that “Ah, Geez...” graphic again?
You’ll notice that the entire passage in which Jesus starts to explain these things to His disciples starts with the Temple being destroyed (which happened in 70 A.D.) and then He carries it to the end (when the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled).
So, Jesus has spanned about a couple of thousand years in that passage, running from the destruction of the Temple, some instructions to His disciples right then, and running all the way to the end, when He returns in His glory and sets up His Kingdom on earth.
And then as He is closing in this passage... he says to His disciples, as they are sitting there, listening to Him... that they are to — “Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.”
In other words, He closes off by telling them that “they” (His disciples) are to pray about these things which will come to pass... and they did come to pass, in which about 1.5 million Jews were killed by the Romans. That’s what they were to escape.
Wheres that Ah, Geez... graphic again?
Ummmm..., that's something from the "nattering nabobs of negativity"... nothing to be concerned about here... LOL ...
I just wonder how they & the world’s anti-Christian leaders around the world will react when the 2 Witnesses appear after the Rapture of the Church.
With awe, and fear.
“Youll notice that the entire passage in which Jesus starts to explain these things to His disciples starts with the Temple being destroyed (which happened in 70 A.D.) and then He carries it to the end (when the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled).”
No friend, respectfully I must disagree. He carries it right through to his coming...
“And then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to take place, straighten up and raise your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”” vss 26-28
And he makes it abundantly clear he is speaking of “the Day”...
“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and [[[THAT DAY]]] come upon you suddenly like a trap. For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. But stay awake at all times,praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.””
I believe the key word is LAMBANO or to receive or to take the mark of the beast.
Those in that state have a much more dire consequence indicated for them, although it is probably better to study the syntax and semantics of those phrases exactly, rather than colloquially for God the Holy Spirit to guide us in the Father’s revelation to Christ more precisely.
While we might assume this implies one must refuse the mark, it might be a more assertive position addressing the prognosis of those who take the mark.
It might be more accurate to say there are believers on earth through and after the Great Tribulation. Not necessarily the Body of Christ or the Church.
The Church is clearly understood to be those believers in the Church Age who are characterized as being indwelt by all three persons of the Godhead.
When the Restrainer is removed, this might be the case that there are believers, but not indwelt by God the Holy Spirit.
“in which about 1.5 million Jews were killed by the Romans. Thats what they were to escape.
“ —> Quite right. And the destruction of Jerusalem freed Christianity from being a Jewish sect. Until that time, The Church in Jerusalem was the doctrinal head, looking down on Paul’s conversion of the gentiles and was a heavy Judaising influence (circumscion, etc.). With the destruction of Jerusalem, that changed. The 1000 year period ended with Islam coming with it’s false prophet worshipping the dragon (Allah) and their holy sign 786.
Paul spoke 'street' Greek and NOT Latin. What does this word mean in the language Paul spoke/wrote it given the subject is where are the dead as noted in IThessalonians 4:13.
Paul contradicts himself later then because in ICorinthians 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the *last* (that would be the 7th) trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
Christ's return is described as a thief in the night, now why would that be? Could it be because the majority believe He was already here and was not 'waiting' for His return... That would create a mighty embarrassing tribulation to have already attended a fake wedding.
The chapter basically opens up (in verse 5) with talk about the Temple and how beautiful it was. Jesus immediately says that the days are coming in which not one stone will be left on one another. We know (nowadays) that He was talking about 70 A.D. Of course, the disciples didn't know that and they were listening. He continues talking about that time of 70 A.D.
Luke Chapter 21 5 Then, as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and donations, He said, 6 "These things which you see--the days will come in which not one stone shall be left upon another that shall not be thrown down."
So, they ask Jesus, about "not one stone shall be left upon another".... as to "when will these things be?" And now Jesus goes into it for them...
7 So they asked Him, saying, "Teacher, but when will these things be? And what sign will there be when these things are about to take place?" 8 And He said: "Take heed that you not be deceived. For many will come in My name, saying, 'I am He,' and, 'The time has drawn near.' Therefore do not go after them. 9 But when you hear of wars and commotions, do not be terrified; for these things must come to pass first, but the end will not come immediately." 10 Then He said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 And there will be great earthquakes in various places, and famines and pestilences; and there will be fearful sights and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for My name's sake. 13 But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. 14 Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.
Now Jesus gives them a critical sign for the coming 70 A.D. destruction...
20 "But when you see Jerusalem surrounded by armies, then know that its desolation is near. 21 Then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains, let those who are in the midst of her depart, and let not those who are in the country enter her. 22 For these are the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled. 23 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! For there will be great distress in the land and wrath upon this people. 24 And they will fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations. And Jerusalem will be trampled by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
It was right here that many Christians of that time were able to esacpe before the destruction, from Jesus' warnings. The Christians knew about this coming ahead of time, and many of them did escape beforehand. But, the Jews who were ignorant of Jesus' teachings and/or ignored them, they stayed and were killed (or many of them were killed).
Now, in verse 24, there's a "segue" involved... :-)
Jesus "transitions" from 70 A.D. -- all the way out to the end of the "times of the Gentiles". Now we're hearing about "the end" and when Jesus comes to set up the Kingdom, after the "times of the Gentiles" are completed.
25 "And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; 26 men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken. 27 Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. 28 Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
Jesus goes into a parable about how to recognize the time of His coming to set up His Kingdom.
29 Then He spoke to them a parable: "Look at the fig tree, and all the trees. 30 When they are already budding, you see and know for yourselves that summer is now near. 31 So you also, when you see these things happening, know that the kingdom of God is near.
And now He makes clear that these things happening just before the time of Jesus setting up the Kingdom on this earth -- will happen in a generation. In other words, when it starts happening (at the end of the Times of the Gentiles), it will all happen quickly, during the time of just one generation.
32 Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all things take place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
Now Jesus comes back to the disciples who are sitting in front of him, probably shocked and spellbound and listening intently. And Jesus brings it "back to the present" where He's sitting, right now talking to them. And He says to His disciples...
34 "But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."
His disciples, who are sitting in front of Him, listening -- are the ones who are going to see the destruction in 70 A.D. so they need to follow Jesus' instructions regarding this.
But, in that message to His disciples, we also got a message to us, in the future, who are coming up on the end of the "Times of the Gentiles"...
So, don't confuse what is for us today and what was for the disciples who were sitting in front of Him at the time. :-)
“When the Restrainer is removed, this might be the case that there are believers, but not indwelt by God the Holy Spirit.”
Your interpretation hinges on the term “Restrainer” which you take to mean the Holy Spirit. I would submit to you that the verse which speaks of the restrainer is not speaking of the Holy Spirit, but of God ordained secular authorities which will be swept out of the way to make room for the reign of Lucifer.
Lucifer has slipped two false doctrines into the Church...he’s real sneaky.
The first one will turn this verse into reality
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils...” 1 Timothy 4:1
and then there is this-—
“Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being assembled to meet him ... Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion [in the original greek: apostasy - ‘great falling away’] comes first, and the lawless [one] is revealed, the son of perdition...” 2 Thess 2:1,3
So the pre-trib Rapture and “Once Saved Always Saved” positions point us to just exactly how Lucifer plans to defeat the Church, at least in part.
Current day Israel is the Lord’s way of getting our attention....His Signpost that we are at the doorway of the “biblical last days”.
I won’t argue my position, those who are truely hungry for the TRUTH will find it.
Praise His Name
I’m curious to what your background is, if you don’t mind my inquiry.
I recently resumed attending church regularly after sliding for the past 10 years and began because I feel the Lord speaking to my heart and because I believe the ‘time’ is at hand.
Currently, Dr. David Jeremiah (from Shadow Mountain Community Church, San Diego) is running a series on Revelation...a verse by verse study. It just started last week for anyone interested.
Anyway, I don’t mean to jump in but I’ve seen this blog before and just wondered what type of background you have.
” Now Jesus comes back to the disciples who are sitting in front of him, probably shocked and spellbound and listening intently. And Jesus brings it “back to the present” where He’s sitting, right now talking to them. And He says to His disciples...
34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with
carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on
35 For it will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of
the whole earth.”
Friend, consider this, what he is warning them of is an event that, “will come as a snare on all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth”
That can not describe the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD.
It is a world-wide catastrophe to which he is referring.
2nd Thessalonians chapter 2 has your answer.