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Edition 210. June 4th 2014
Post-tribulation rapture problems:
Post-tribulation rapture problems:
For easy understanding I’ll refer to the two rapture views as “post- trib” and “pre-trib”.
The pre or post tribulation rapture debate is an enduring issue. Both sides have legitimate Biblical “proofs.” Both sides have certain valid positions, but both can’t be right.
In this edition I want to look primarily at the post-tribulation rapture position, their key verses and their major thesis. You will see why their position is so persuasive and seems to be right. You will also see why they are wrong and only the pre-tribulation rapture fits together perfectly like a giant jig-saw puzzle.
This is an investigative critical look, but let me say right up front that I respect the post-tribulation rapture crowd and see us all as brothers and sisters in the Lord.
I’ve really looked into these issues with an open mind, laying aside all preconceived beliefs, although I have studied the subject since the 1980s. I’ve really tried to see the issues from the post- trib viewpoint.
Neither the pre-tribbers nor post -tribbers have a clear 100% guaranteed position.
If we get into the tribulation and there has been no rapture – what will that do to your faith? I know what it will do for me. It will change nothing except that I was wrong and now need to change that position. My faith will remain strong, as it has been. Faith should be built on our Lord alone and not on the pre or post trib position.
Many rapture verses could go either way, pre or post, but there are some pieces of the puzzle that will never fit into the post- tribulation rapture position, whichever way you cut it!
►1 Thessalonians 1:10 “He delivers us from the wrath to come”. If we are to have a post- trib rapture, what “wrath to come” is this? A post-trib rapture is followed immediately by the Millennium and not wrath!
►Revelation 3:10 “Because you have kept My word to persevere, I also will keep you from (Lit = clean out away from) the hour (Lit =- wider time period) of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth.” If we have a post-trib rapture, what trial is this? A post-trib rapture would mean that believers are kept clean out away from the trial which is the Millennium!
►2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 “Now concerning the coming of the Lord and our gathering together to him, we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the Day of the Lord had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition.”
Due to persecution, the believers at Thessalonica thought they were in the tribulation and had missed the rapture. If we have a post- trib rapture, why would that be an issue, why would you be troubled by a letter saying that you are going through the tribulation at the end of the tribulation?
►Luke 21:28 “Now when these things (tribulation) begin to happen look up and lift your heads, for your redemption draws nigh”. If we have a post- trib rapture this verse makes no sense.
►If we have a post- trib rapture, sinners are cast into hell and all believers raptured at the Second Advent, therefore we will have an empty earth. Who then are the believers on earth in natural bodies during the Millennium and released to Satan’s temptation at end of the Millennium.
►1 Corinthians 15:22-24 “As in Adam all die, even so in Messiah all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the first fruits, afterwards those who are Messiah’s at His coming. Then the end shall come...”
The above verse is amazing indeed. It shows a rapture order. First of all the first fruits, who are the Church, then afterwards (note the afterwards) comes another group of believers. These are those who will be on earth during the tribulation and are His at His coming. This very clearly speaks of two groups of believers. If we extrapolate this to a post- trib rapture, nothing makes sense or fits together! There would be no “order” of events in a post- trib scenario.
The big post- tribulation rapture arguments:
Post -tribbers use the stories of Noah and Lot to ‘prove’ that believers will go through the tribulation, but will be protected as Noah and his family and Lot were protected. They rightly claim that the righteous were not removed from the judgements of God, just protected through it.
Where- o- where do you find believers being protected in the tribulation period? They will be exposed to the wrath of God in all the natural upheavals, the wrath of Satan and the wrath of man. Tribulation saints (those saved in the tribulation) will become the very subject of massive persecution, including beheading. Many will be tortured and savagely killed just like they were by the Catholic popes in the inquisitions.
►Revelation 13:7 “It was granted to him (antichrist) to make war with the saints and overcome them.” Where does protection fit into this?
Only a selected few will be preserved for a specific purpose during the tribulation. These are the 144,000 and the two witnesses.
One has to ask the question, if so many believers will be viciously killed during the tribulation period, where is the Holy Spirit who is the protector and comforter? I think you know the answer to that! He, as the restrainer of evil, is removed at the beginning of the tribulation. (His removal or operation is partial, in that He indwells the Church who is removed by rapture.) There will still be a limited operation of the Holy Spirit on earth during the tribulation.
The verse below is the argument used by the post-tribbers to claim protection through the tribulation. This verse applies generally and not to the tribulation at all. It is not in that context.
John 17:15-17 “I do not pray that you should take them out of the world, but that you shall keep them from the evil one.”...Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.”
The known and unknown day:
The Second Advent will be a surprise to no one. The exact days of the tribulation period are numbered from the start to the finish. The Bible declares that “Everyone will see His coming” (Second Coming) (Revelation 1:7)
The Bible says that He will return in just the same way as He left. This was a slow ascension into the clouds with all eyes watching. (Acts 1:10-11)
The manner of the Second Advent is described in these two verses above. If we have a post-trib rapture, at the Second Coming, we have a contradiction to deal with. The rapture takes place on a day and hour which is unknown, and it takes place in an atomic moment (Greek=atomo.) No one will see it.
The Second Advent as mentioned in the above verses takes place gradually with everyone seeing it.
There is no rapture to meet the Lord in the air at the Second Advent, as claimed by the post-tribbers. At the Second Advent “His feet touch the Mount of Olives” (Zechariah 14:4). This does not occur at the rapture, where our Lord does not return to the earth.
The verses below speak of a post- trib event – no doubt at all. But note that all the tribes (including the unsaved) see this event. At the pre-trib rapture no one but believers will see it. The people being saved here are not raptured so to speak, but “gathered together”. These are tribulation saints being gathered for their future Millennium ministry on the earth. We can’t say that they are the same group as the Church at a pre-trib rapture. That doesn’t fit.
Matthew 24:29-31 “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. The sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory and He will send His angels with the great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
The two big post-trib arguments:
1) The Last trumpet: (Greek=Salpigx)
Those who equate the rapture trumpet of 1 Corinthians 15:52 with the tribulation Seventh trumpet of Revelation 11:15-18 fail to take into account the fact that Paul could not have been referring to the Seventh trumpet because the book of Revelation had not yet been written. John wrote the Revelation 40 years after Paul wrote to the Corinthians.
Paul must have been referring to the silver trumpets.
Numbers 10:1 “Make two trumpets of hammered silver to summon the community. When both are sounded with long blasts, the entire community is to gather...”
We have a “last trumpet” for the Church age and a “last trumpet” for the close of the tribulation, which is the end of the Old Covenant. 1 Corinthians 15:52 sees the last trump of the Church era. We also hear a rapture trumpet for John the apostle in Revelation 4:1, and trumpet blasts of judgement upon the earth in Revelation 11:15-18 as well as in Revelation 7. We hear a trumpet of war in Ezekiel 33:1-6.
We also have the very important trumpet blasts of Rosh Hashanah.
It’s important to note that biblical trumpets have numerous uses and application. They are not all the same. You can’t take one and use it for all. I encourage you to study the different trumpets; their meanings and uses are very interesting. (You can do this through any concordance search.)
2) The Last day:
Post-tribbers claim that that the rapture will occur on the “last day”. They are right, but which last day?
The argument is the same as that for the trumpets above. There is a “last day” for the Church age and a “last day” for the tribulation and closing of the Old Covenant.
In the verse below we see a “last day” for the unbeliever as well. They are not all the same day!
John 12:48 “He who rejects Me and does not receive My words, has that which judges him – the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.”
Is the pre-trib position a new doctrine?
Those who believe that the rapture is a modern doctrine invented by Darby in 1830 are not worthy of addressing as they are in rank ignorance of the historic facts. I won’t address it because it is so stupidly short- sighted. If you want to look into it, have a look at the following video clip, Here
The rapture sequence of events:
2 Thessalonians 2:1-7 “Now brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord and our gathering together to Him (rapture) we ask you not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us as though the Day of the Lord had already come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away (apostasy) comes first and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition...and now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains will do so until he is taken out of the way.”
So, from these verses we see this sequence concerning our gathering to Him, or the rapture.
There must be a falling away or apostasy first. There are two interpretations of this. It can refer to an apostasy within the church or it can refer to the rapture itself. It makes no difference really because the context of the whole portion of scripture is “our gathering together to him”, or the rapture.
Then the man of sin or antichrist is revealed.
Then the restrainer of evil is removed.
In context, these things all occur together or within a very short time period like a day or so.
Now, take this lot and extrapolate it into a post -trib rapture scenario. Can you see that nothing fits? Why would the antichrist be revealed at the end of the tribulation? Why would the restrainer of evil be removed at the end of the tribulation?
The nature of the tribulation:
Many people mistakenly believe that the tribulation will only be really bad in the second half. Some in fact claim it will only be really bad right at the end of the second half.
I have shared on this in numerous editions on this so I’ll just touch on it again.
The four riders of the Apocalypse ride throughout the seven year period. Death and destruction on a massive scale begins immediately. The second half will be a lot worse, but it will be worse than extremely bad beforehand!
The antichrist tries to make peace at the beginning. This is a political peace in Israel only and has nothing to do with wars in other places and the natural upheavals and dramas on other fronts.
Very few people have any idea of the severity of the tribulation period. They compare it in their minds to events we have seen in the last 2000 years. It will be a” time as never has been nor ever will be”!
The tribulation will have a dramatic effect on untold millions of people, who will be shocked into repentance and many into outright rebellion against God. Our Lord does not deal with His family like this - it is way out of character. It may not be so if you think the tribulation is going to be some Mickey Mouse event.
Our Lord deals with us in mercy and grace through the power of His Holy Spirit.
Nahum 1:2-3 “He reserves His wrath for His enemies. The true Church is not His enemy! Hallelujah!
The character of the post-tribbers:
The post- trib position is the primary doctrine of the Catholic church and all the denominational churches with the exception of just a few. (The Catholic church invented the post-trib doctrine of purgatory.)These churches all have the same characteristics of being supporters and perpetuators of division in the church (denomination means division.) They are all consistent in their denial of the baptism of the Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit, especially the revelatory gifts.
Post tribulationism is found consistently amongst Messianic believers who are law-keepers and those trying to bring others under the law. These are our modern Judaisers. Their fruits are what gives them away! If you are under the law you are not under grace. These people operate in a legalistic world in the energy of the flesh.
Law-keepers reject Bible dispensations, although they are found in a number of places in the New Covenant epistles (which they downplay). They reject the dispensation of grace, believing that law-keeping has been and still is the continuous norm. (We believe in the law of the Spirit in our hearts.)
The primary character found amongst law-keepers is judgmentalism, pride and angry arrogance. These are the very things that blind you.
John 5:16 “The Jews (Pharisees) persecuted Jesus for this reason, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.”
Here we see that the so-called law-keepers tried to kill our Lord because He didn’t keep His law, their way.
Paul also calls those who have come under the law, “bewitched.” So we see anger and bewitched hostility as characteristics of law-keepers.
Many post- tribbers (not all by any means) cast a dark cloud over their own doctrine with these rotten fruits of character. One then has to wonder where their doctrine comes from.
Many post-tribbers condemn to hell those that don’t support their view. I have many emails from these types slandering, condemning and judging me to hell because I’m of the pre-trib persuasion. A tree is known by its fruit, my friends!
►Please always remember this one giant very important thing: Your doctrine will always be a reflection of you and your inner heart! I could write a book on that one statement!
There is a well known idiom out there. “Misery loves company.” Anything or any behaviour or belief that separates you from the world and the masses, is normally hated. The post-trib crowd fit this idiom perfectly!
A common criticism thrown at the pre-tribbers is that our position is all escapism. I’ve never understood such short-sighted criticism.
Luke 21:36 “Watch therefore and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things (tribulation events) that will come to pass and stand before the Son of Man.” If we have a post- tribulation rapture, what “things” would we be escaping? That would mean that we would need to escape all the terrors of the Millennium!
►The word “escape” in the verse above is very interesting. It’s not the normal word for escape. It is Strongs G1628 “ekpheugo”. It means, “To escape, flee or escape by flight”
Thank our Lord we will escape all these things that will come to pass!
Now have a look at the ones who will not escape the events of the tribulation!
1Thessalonians 5:1-6 “Concerning the times and seasons, brethren, you have no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night. For when they say peace and safety, then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labour pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We are not of the night or darkness, therefore let us watch.”
The tribulation will be so horrendous, even many who are saved in it will give up.
So, do you want to escape the tribulation or not?
What you must do:
●The pre or post -trib differences are not soul damning. But post- tribber heads will roll – literally! I’d rather keep my head thank you!
●I think it is good to strengthen you faith and love for our Messiah either way!
●Keep informed by the “informer” (the Holy Spirit) and selected spiritual ministries who will warn you, lead, and really help you in these days.
I took this picture in the middle of a 15,000sq km desert in Botswana. This is a group of seven massive Baobab Trees that were known as the “sleeping sisters” but since the 1800s and since Thomas Baines painted the trees, the trees have become known as Baines Baobabs. They are in a unique, sublimely beautiful part of 4x4 country. They are about 3000 years old and speak of endurance and being deeply rooted in God in these days.
Job 14:7 “For there is hope for a tree, if it is cut down that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease.”
Shalom and grow in grace!