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Sunday, 1 August 2010

My Rapture and End Times Stance

First the sky recedes as a scroll to open the glory
 of heaven:      Revelation 6:12-16
making way for the rapture of believers in a 
twinkling of an eye:   Revelation 7:9

Edited 14th November 2014
Sorry, but I have had to completely revamp this article as it was confusing and contained many errors. I now have a much clearer understanding of the rapture, so have rewritten most of it, today.

Please also measure this article in relation to a newer article on this subject:

The purpose of this blog is (as has already been described on my introduction) to inform and edify believers regarding current watchman issues and not get caught up in speculating on what may or may not happen in the future re your interpretation of biblical eschatology (end times teachings).

If prophecies are being fulfilled in front of our own eyes and events are affecting us (here and now) in the present, then this blog may well inform about it and tackle the issues. However, I will not get into debates trying to uphold my own personal stance (which I believe is the one which makes most sense according to the scriptures) because I believe it is fruitless for 3 major reasons:

1) the scriptures teach us to focus on what we should be doing "now" and not on "vain speculations"

2) these discussions produce strife and heated arguments. Paul told Timothy that God's servant should not be like that

3) I need to guard the time (that God gives me) to be focussed on the purpose of this blog, not get sidetracked by long discussions "proving" my point on subjects not so vital for our Christian lives NOW.

Though this blog will mention eschatology occasionally at times because an article may need to refer to it, it does not intend to get into debate over THAT issue but try to stick to the point of the article in question. Paul told Timothy that leaders should not get caught up in controversial teachings.

Yes, this blog will definitely contend for the faith over vital teachings but some teachings are not so vital and it certainly should not interfere with our unity. My stance is always "let's focus on preaching the good news, imploring people to be reconciled to Christ, rather than getting too caught up in the peripherals".

Our response should be the same whether pre tribulation, mid or post etc, is to be ready and doing the work of the kingdom (preaching the gospel, discipling, worshipping, watching and praying, exposing heresy of fundamental truth, upholding the Bible as the inspired Word of God, being obedient to God and living holy lives dedicated to Jesus).

The main teaching which is applicable to every Christian and is fundamental to our faith is that Jesus WILL return and deliver us all from evil once and for all time to live in His glorious kingdom forever. Hallelujah!!! However, having said all these things, I will (on this post only) give you my present stance on the Rapture and End Times and Why (so that you will not need to wonder where I stand on it) which is:
Pre Tribulation.

My present stance on the Rapture and End Times

Post Tribulation Rapture adherents (post trib) point to Matthew 24:31 to say that there is one rapture and it comes AFTER the Tribulation. Pre Tribulation rapture adherents (pre trib) would say that cannot be the case because other scriptures like Revelation 7 and Thessalonians imply a rapture BEFORE the Tribulation, so there cannot be a rapture AFTERWARDS. So interpretations are coloured by our standpoints. I would say that we should open our minds and hearts to the truth of the Bible and not ignore any scriptures, but compare scripture with scripture.

As someone who is prepared to change his mind to allow the Holy Spirit to teach the scriptures to him, I have to accept there seems to be contradictions with both views. As stated the problem must be with the interpretation because "all scripture is inspired by God". It is fully trustworthy.

Why I am Pre Trib
The Post Tribber uses Matthew 24 verses 27 to 31 and Revelation 7:14 to "prove" the rapture occurs AFTER the Tribulation of the church. Actually Matthew 24:31 is not referring to the rapture of the church because he is no longer referring about the church but about the "elect" of the Jewish remnant, at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 14:1). 

Jesus is saying that it is THE ANGELS who gather the 144,000 sealed Jewish remnant at the end of the seven years to a place of protection prepared for them in the wilderness in Israel, to receive their messiah.  Revelation 7:3-8 explains that the 144,000 will not be raptured but remain on Earth, because they have not yet believed on the Messiah, albeit they ARE sealed for protection as believers TO BE and as the Jewish remnant. Their trust in Jesus is probably triggered by the rapture. 

In Revelation 7 the countless multitude were gathered together (raptured) out of the Great Tribulation – probably before its impact started. This is clear when we consider that the following chapters (after chapter 7) then, and only then, start discussing the Great Tribulation and the judgements of God. The chapters before then were just an increasing in the tempo and setting the scene for the rapture. There had been a gradual increase in intensity with wars, famine, persecution etc – just like we are experiencing right now in 2014, i.e with an increasing intensity, but these are just the beginning of the birth pangs (as Jesus described).

Before that rapture, we read of the martyrs (who are not yet in the throne room) being told to wait a little longer – presumably until the rapture occurs (re 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17), i.e. similar to the days we are living in where there is a sudden increase in believers being martyred for their faith. Paul said that those who desire to live Godly lives in Christ Jesus WILL suffer tribulation. So, there is now an increase in tribulation, but it is not the GREAT tribulation – yet. That only occurs AFTER the rapture takes place.

There is a possibility that those left behind (after a pre trib rapture of believers) who then put their trust in Jesus and  avoid death, will also be gathered with the 144,000, just before the Return of Jesus to Earth and be gathered together to a place of security In a wilderness area in Israel. Those who are martyred during the Tribulation will be resurrected after the Second Coming to participate in the thousand years (Rev 20:4).

There are scriptures in Joel 2 and in Acts which discuss a probable solar eclipse and subsequent blood moons BEFORE the Great Tribulation (probably the ones being experienced in 2014 and 2015 - note another one is not expected during the Jewish feasts for another 500 years). In the gospels and in Revelation it mentions the sun turning black and the moon to blood (with the addition of falling stars) AFTER the Tribulation. This MUST be another event and indicate a supernatural DIVINE act by God because a natural phenomenon is not expected after 2015

It says the multitude come OUT of the Great Tribulation. Looking at the sequence of events that tells me they are rescued out of and from the Tribulation. Book of Revelation talks about a lot of things that the saints are watching in Heaven whilst the Tribulation and Judgements take place.

How can they be watching in Heaven if Post Trib is correct and how would a Post Rapture make sense in 1 Thessalonians 4:14 which says the dead believers are raised from their "sleep" to be part of the rapture if they are already watching in Heaven. How can they be watching if they are asleep? They must have been part of a Pre Trib Rapture, ie raised from the dead and to meet Jesus in the air - presumably to be taken to a place of rest to watch things pan out.

This multitude in Heaven observe the 144,000 sealed remnant Jews who are to become messianic Jews, sealed of God who remain on Earth to meet Jesus when He returns. The 144,000 are NOT the same as the great multitude because their description is completely different. They will not be raptured and are the ones Jesus is referring to in Matthew 24 as the elect who will be gathered together by the angels from the four corners of the Earth to one place.

At the Second Coming, those who have been raptured will return with Jesus on white horses within the cloud and join in with the 144,000 plus to defeat the antichrist and usher in the thousand years reign of Christ, but preceded by the wedding of the bride of Christ.

Here is another article which builds upon my position
I have found this article, which (I feel to be) a very strong conclusive presentation on why there will be a pretribulation rapture. It is on this link . To save time I copy it below.

What is the Pretribulation Rapture?
The rapture is an event that will take place sometime in the near future. Jesus will come in the air, catch up the Church from the earth, and then return to heaven with the Church. The Apostle Paul gave a clear description of the rapture event in his letters to the Thessalonians and Corinthians."For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thess, 4:16-18).

"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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality" (1 Cor. 15:51-53).

The timing of the rapture is not known. From the Word of God and from sound reasoning--something Jesus used quite frequently--I hope to prove the reality of the pretribulation rapture.

The word "rapture" comes from Paul's "caught up" remark in verse 17. The words "caught up" are translated from the Greek word harpazo, which means "to carry off," "snatch up," or "grasp hastily." The translation from harpazo to "rapture" involved two steps: first, harpazo became the Latin word raptus; second, raptus became the English word "rapture."

Scriptural Evidence for the Pretribulation Rapture

The Unknown Hour
When we search the Scriptures and read the passages describing the Lord Jesus' return, we find verses that tell us we won't know the day and hour of that event. Matthew 25:13 says Jesus will return at an unknown time, while Revelation 12:6 indicates that the Jews will have to wait on the Lord 1,260 days, starting when the Antichrist stands in the Temple of God and declares himself to be God (2 Thes 2:4). This event will take place at the mid-point of the seven-year tribulation (Dan 9:27). Note that some people only see a three-and-a-half-year tribulation. In a way, they are correct because the first half of the tribulation will be relatively peaceful compared to the second half. Nonetheless, peaceful or not, there still remains a seven-year period called the tribulation. When the Jews flee into the wilderness, they know that all they have to do is wait out those 1,260 days (Mat 24:16). There is no way to apply the phrase "neither the day nor the hour" to this situation. The only way for these two viewpoints to be true is to separate the two distinct events transpiring here: 1) the rapture of the Church, which comes before the tribulation; and 2) the return of Jesus to the earth, which takes place roughly seven years later.

The Marriage Supper of the Lamb
In Luke 12:36, the Word states that when Christ returns, He will be returning from a wedding. In Revelation 19:7-8, we read about the marriage itself. The marriage supper takes place before the marriage. According to Jewish custom, the marriage contract, which often includes a dowry, is drawn up first. The contract parallels the act of faith we use when we trust Jesus to be our Savior. The dowry is His life, which was used to purchase us. When it's time for the wedding, the groom goes to the bride's house unannounced. She comes out to meet him, and then he takes her to his father's house. This precisely correlates with the events according to the pre-trib scenario. Jesus, the Groom, comes down from heaven and calls up the Church, His Bride. After meeting in the air, He and His Bride return to His Father's house, heaven. The marriage supper itself will take place there, while down here on earth the final events of the tribulation will be playing out. After the marriage supper of Jewish tradition, the bride and groom are presented to the world as man and wife. This corresponds to the time when Jesus returns to earth accompanied by an army "clothed in fine linen, white and clean" (Rev 19:14).

What They Didn't Teach You in History Class
Many groups try to discredit the pre-trib rapture by saying most of the end-time events in the Bible have already taken place. A group of people called preterists claims that the Book of Revelation was mostly fulfilled by 70 AD. If the events described in the Book of Revelation took place in the past, I'm at a loss to explain some of the current situations I see around us: the rebirth of Israel, the reunification of Europe, the number of global wars that have occurred, and the development of nuclear weapons. During history class, I must have slept through the part where the teacher talked about the time when a third of the trees were burned up, 100-pound hailstones fell from the sky, and the sea turned into blood (Rev 8:7-8, 16:21). I think several people would have to question their opposition to the pre-trib rapture doctrine if they knew that the evidence provided to them was based on the understanding that most tribulation prophecies have already occurred.

The People of the Millennium
If Christ were to come back after the tribulation, rapture all the saints, and slay all the ungodly, who would be left to populate the earth during the millennium? Only the pre-trib viewpoint can account for this post-trib problem. The Church is raptured before the tribulation, a vast number of souls are saved during this seven-year time frame, and those who make it through the tribulation go into the millennium while the unsaved are cast into hell.

The Saint U-Turn
In the pre-trib scenario, after we rise to meet the Lord in the air, we will go to heaven and abide there seven years. At the end of that period, Christ will come down to earth, defeat the Antichrist, and cleanse the temple. In a post-trib rapture, we would rise in the air to meet the Lord, then do a 180-degree U-turn and come back down to earth. Revelation 1:7 states that Christ will appear out of the clouds and come down to earth. Zechariah 14:4 says that His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives. If He's already headed our way, why would we need to be caught up to meet Him?

"Come Up Hither"
Many pre-trib writers cite Revelation 4:1, which says, "come up hither," as a prophetic reference to the rapture of the Church, leaving Revelation chapters 1 through 3 as a description of the Church Age. After the shout to "come up hither," the Church is not mentioned in Scripture at all. The attention of Scripture switches from the Church to the Jews living in Israel.

Armies in Fine Linen
When Jesus returns (Rev. 19:18), an army follows Him. The army's members are riding on white horses, and they are clothed in fine linen that is white and clean. In Revelation 19:8, we are told that the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. If the saints of God are returning with Christ to wage war on the Antichrist, then it is not possible to have a post-trib rapture without us running into ourselves as we are coming and going.

The Time of Jacob's Trouble
In several passages, the Bible refers to the tribulation as a time of trouble for the Jews. The phrase "Jacob's trouble" pertains to the descendants of Jacob. Jeremiah 30:7 says that this time of trouble will come just before the Lord returns to save His people. The final week of Daniel's 70th week is yet to take place. An angel told Daniel that, "70 weeks are determined unto thy people" (Dan 9:24). Scripture never mentions that the tribulation is meant to be a time of testing for Christians. However, some post-tribbers try to claim that they are the ones being tested during the tribulation. To make this so, they need to spiritualize the 144,000 Jewish believers in Revelation 7:2-8 who receive God's protective seal. Placing the Church dispensation into the same time frame as the seven-year Jewish dispensation, as the post-tribbers do, raises one good question: Can two dispensations transpire at the same time? In the past, God has only dealt with one at a time. Having both present during the tribulation would have to be an exception.

"He" That is Taken Out of the Way
Before the Antichrist can be revealed, Paul said a certain "He" must be taken out of the way. According to 2 Thessalonians 2:7, the "He" that must be removed is widely thought to be the Holy Spirit. It has been promised that the Holy Spirit would never leave the Church, and without the working of the Holy Spirit remaining on earth, no one could be saved during the tribulation. The removal of the Church, which is indwelt by the Holy Ghost, would seem the best explanation for this dilemma. The working of the Holy Spirit could go on during the tribulation, but His influence would be diminished because of the missing Church.

War or Rapture
(Rev 19:19-21) When Jesus returns at the end of the tribulation, He will be coming for battle. For those who believe in a post-trib rapture, it would be strange to meet your Lord and Savior just as He's rushing into battle. The idea that war and rapture could occur together is difficult to imagine, especially since they transpire at the same moment.

The Five Foolish Virgins
The wedding story that Jesus gave in Matthew 25:2-13, I believe, is a parable of the rapture of the Church. It explains how some will not be ready. Jesus clearly states that a group of people will miss out on an event, and will cry out to God to let them into the place where He resides, heaven. Although some try to put this parable in a post-trib context, it doesn't fit very well. The ones left behind in a post-trib rapture will not need to seek the Lord because they'll immediately be confronted by Him and His army of angels.

God Hath Not Appointed Us to Wrath
In 1 Thessalonians 5:9, Paul assures us that God has not appointed His people to wrath. This wrath is plainly God's anger that will be poured out during the tribulation. Pre-trib believers interpret this as meaning that Christians will be removed from the earth. Post-trib believers tell a different story. They describe this as meaning that God will protect Christians during the tribulation and pour this wrath out on the unbelievers only. This idea runs against the statement made in Revelation 13:7, in which the Antichrist is given power to make war with the saints and to overcome them. A post-trib view would make God's promise of protection from wrath into a lie. In years past, it was possible to think of being protected from the guns and swords of that day. Today, when any major war would involve nuclear and chemical weapons, it's impossible to expect that same kind of protection.  The only way to validly interpret God's promise of protection from wrath is by viewing 1 Thessalonians 5:9 as the bodily removal of the Church from this world.

The Salt of the Earth
Jesus said, "Ye are the salt of the earth" (Matthew 5:13). When the believers are suddenly removed, the earth will be plunged into spiritual darkness. When this happens, the Antichrist will then be free to control the world.

God Takes an Inventory
In Revelation 7:3, an angel descends to earth and seals the servants of God. Two bits of information about this sealing highly disclaim a post-trib viewpoint. The first item is the number of people sealed: 144,000. The second one is that all those who are sealed are from the 12 tribes of Israel. For the events in Revelation 7:3-8 to be true in a post-trib interpretation, either the Church has turned against God or God has turned against the Church. A post-tribber could write a thousand-word commentary about why the Church doesn't need to be sealed. Instead of trying to argue about why the Church is not mentioned or sealed, a pre-trib proponent could just say, "We're already in heaven."

Noah and Lot as Examples
The tribulation period is compared to the times of Noah and Lot by Jesus in Luke 17:28. Most people argue over whether the time frame Jesus was talking about in that passage was pre-trib or post-trib. In doing so, they miss an important point. The two circumstances that the Noah and Lot situations have in common are the removal of the righteous and the judgement of the unbelievers. From these two accounts, we see that God prefers to remove His own when danger is involved.

Common-Sense Reasons for Believing in the Pretribulation Rapture

The World Test
One way to check the soundness of a doctrine is to see how the world reacts to it. One company put out a questionnaire that was used to screen prospective employees. One of the questions was, "Do you believe in the rapture?" If you answered "yes," your chances of getting hired would not be good. Some internet sites do not allow the topics of Rapture or Second Coming. They do allow topics such as sex, gays, and drugs. The only time the news media mentions the rapture is when someone sets a date and is proven to be wrong.

That Old-Time Religion
It used to be a rule of thumb that when one was visiting a church or listening to a preacher, one could assume the preacher believed in repentance, prayer, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost if he taught the rapture doctrine. It was also true that the churches on fire for God worshipped out of store fronts. Today, many of those store front churches have moved into marble palaces and have strayed from their principal doctrines.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Whenever I look at all the groups that teach false doctrine and are highly focused on end-time events, I cannot find any that support the rapture theory. Some organizations, the Jehovah's Witnesses, for example, teach a false gospel and are heavily into Bible prophecy. Why, then, don't Jehovah's Witnesses teach a false doctrine that would be right up their alley? Could it be that the demonic forces that influence these groups know something that Christians opposed to the rapture don't know? The list of prophetically minded cults that reject the idea of a rapture goes on and on. Here are some more: the Mormons, the Worldwide Church of God and the Moonies, as well as leaders like Jim Jones and David Koresh.

The Church Would Rebuke the Antichrist
If the Antichrist came to power with the Church still here, I do not see how he could operate. When Hitler was fighting to take over England, a number of Christians were praying for victory. Hitler made mistake after mistake, and England outperformed its enemy at every stage of the conflict. It is difficult to measure the impact of intercessory prayer in physical warfare. Little is known of how great a role praying saints played in the defeat of Nazi Germany. If the Church were to reside on earth during the tribulation, I am sure she would give the Antichrist fits. In Revelation 11:3, the two witnesses alone give the Antichrist enough headaches. Millions of Christians who know their Bibles well would recognize the man of sin and pray fire down on his head. The post-trib view would have to plan on the Church just rolling over and playing dead the whole seven years.

We should all remember one thing: Knowing the Antichrist's mother's maiden name isn't the primary goal. Knowing Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour and having your name written in the Lamb's Book of Life should be your number-one priority. The jailer asked Paul, "What must I do to be saved?" The answer was, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:30-31). [end of article].

Here is an audio recording from Jacob Prasch. He discusses the many times in the NT that the word "rapture" is used. You will be very surprised how often. It comes from the Greek word Harpazo which was first translated as rapto (raptured) and then became our English word "snatched away" or "taken away quickly". That word harpazo appears MANY times. Jacob goes through every case and shows how significant it is to us and the Tribulation.

John Chingford Closing Comments: 
I am now firmly convinced of the Pre Tribulational rapture and a Pre-Millennial Second Coming because of in depth study on the subject. To me it is now clear because of the wedding/marriage traditions set by God which are an illustration of Christ and His bride.  John 14 is a strong picture of the Jewish wedding tradition of going to the Father to prepare a place for His bride and then returning to take her to the Father, of the "week" i.e 7 years wedding supper etc. It all points to a pretrib rapture. The wedding guests (the saved during the Tribulation - and others) will attend the wedding also. I could say much more on this, but it is not my intention to get into a debate but just let you know where I now stand.


ThirstyJon said...

I grew up in the church for my whole life. I went to a Christian School. I have studied the whole bible from front to back. I have read the whole thing more than once.

I've been in Christian ministry for years.

I tell you all that so you know that I have spent a lot of time thinking. :-)

In the early days I was a "pre-tribber." Mostly because my pastor was.

But then someone taught me how to study the Bible. Observation, Interpretation, Application. What does it mean in the context? What did it mean to the original reader when it was written?

So... Am I know "pre, post, or mid-trib?"

As I have studied the Bible I have wondered if I am any of the above.

Then I started to learn words like "amillenial" and "post-millenial" and "preterist" and "partial-preterist, etc.

In other words, those 3 options that dispensational Christianity has presented to the world are not the only 3 ways to look at it!

I am not sure where I stand, but as I study the character and nature of God, and as I study the Bible as a whole I have to ask myself, why has the church come up with such dark and defeatest end-times scenarios?

Whatever is true it has to include Victory and Triumph of the church.

John Chingford said...

Hi ThirstyJon

Welcome to this blog and thankyou for your contribution. I look forward to many future contributions from you.

I understand what and why you are saying those things. Of course ALL of us would love to believe that Jesus is returning for a church triumphant, but we cannot MAKE the scriptures say what we want them to say just because it is what we want and because it makes sense to our finite minds.

It is true that the Scriptures speak of a glorious bride without spot or wrinkle which has made herself ready.

However, does that imply a church triumphant in this World by our own standards or understanding of "triumphant"?

The scriptures make it clear there WILL be a TRIBULATION for the church that remains (whether it be the post rapture church or the church as it now stands). This does not sound like a triumphant church to our ears.

The scriptures that talk about the Glory of the Lord throughout the Earth is referring to the 1000 year reign of Christ - that indeed will be glorious!!! But by comparing scripture with scripture it is clear to me that the Millenium commences after the Tribulation and Judgements of God.

The glorious Church is called glorious because it is redeemed by the blood of Jesus. It is perfect in God's sight and beautiful to Him because of the blood of Jesus upon it. We are being changed from one degree of Glory to another. It is an internal glory - not outward until the 1000 years.

All Glory has to start within our hearts. We are not portraying a dark and defeatist picture of the Church but a true picture of the wonderful status we have in Jesus internally and will soon be external. We NOW reign in the spiritual realm and can influence current events through prayer and we WILL reign with Christ externally later - but not until Christ returns.

This is my take, but I am open to be corrected. There are one or two regular contributors to this site who I am sure will give an even better answer to your question.

God bless you Jon

Expected Imminently said...

It is worth remembering that Jesus said 'Beware of false teachers'. This warning flows throughout the NT. There is the teaching of the visible church and then there is The Holy Spirit led INvisible Church.

When Jesus returns, it will be for a REMNANT who are glorious because of His shed Blood. 'She' IS seated in heavenly places NOW, Christ within us the hope of Glory. The life we live is crucified with Christ. We are to keep our thoughts on THE Truth of who we are IN Christ. The 'old man' would keep us earthbound, but we are in the new man and UNABLE to sin. It is a strange and wonderful fact that Paul pondered carefully.

Read Colossians slowly and prayerfully as often as it takes to get a grip of exactly WHY The Invisible Church CANNOT go through any part of the seven years of Tribulation. It's about who we are IN Christ not about the dead and crucified body of flesh.

Sorry that's all my energy used up. God bless you both as you strive to recognise exactly what Christ our HEAD has already done for His Body.

John Chingford said...

The next comment is from EI and has been cut and pasted here (instead) as it is more appropriate here. It was taken from:

Expected Imminently said...

Hi John

I enjoyed that clip, especially about the Shamrock. An excellent description of the ‘non-rapture’ theorem, an out and out SHAM! Barry often made this familiar error of ‘newspaper exegesis’, which is fitting newspaper stories into Bible prophecy instead of reading the Bible with an eye on world events. I agree with him about The Lord ‘speaking to us’; however The Lord cannot be blamed if we jump to the wrong conclusions as Barry did over the 3 ½ years. He fitted his theory into the activity of the a/c.

Its certain that our brother Barry Smith now realises his error as he fellowships with the other ‘dead in Christ’in glory. Daniel 9 clearly – very clearly - states that the Time of Jacob’s Trouble is seven years long. The subject of the 7 year Tribulation is Israel, the Jews (Daniels people) who experienced the fulfilment of the 69 ‘weeks’ (shavuah’s) meaning ‘seven’, up until Jesus was ‘cut off’ – (crucified).

Time has stood still prophetically for the Jews and will commence when the man of sin confirms a covenant, and Daniels final, 70th WEEK, the seven of years begins. This time will also bring an end to world gentile rule which began under Nebuchadnezzar.

Some teach the first 3 ½ years will be relatively o.k. but that is not what Scripture says. The moment the white horse and a/c rides in, there is anarchy as he ‘takes peace’ from the earth and many thousands world wide will die as a result, after all, God calls this ‘birth-pangs’, they are meant to hurt, and will gradually increase in intensity until the ‘birth’ of the Millennial rule of Messiah on earth, which begins after the 2nd Coming of Jesus to the EARTH. Revelation 3:10 states the Church will not experience this time of trial which is to come upon ALL the world, to TRY THEM THAT DWELL UPON THE EARTH. That is ‘earth-dwellers’ and other verses reveal these are the UNSAVED.

Believers in Jesus Christ are told we are ‘seated in heavenly places’; that our ‘citizenship is in heaven’. Some time BEFORE this time of trial begins, Jesus will come in the AIR and call both the dead in Christ, and the living UP to meet Him. Jesus takes His Bride into the place He has prepared for her in His Father’s House which is located in HEAVEN. The letters to the Churches were circular PRESENT TENSE and applied equally to the seven churches AND to all those who ‘have an ear’.

That refers to believers whose ears have heard the Gospel and accepted Jesus Christ’s offer of salvation from sin. She, the Bride/ Body of Christ has already been judged through the shed blood of Jesus Christ at Calvary. That’s it! I know this isn’t what this blog is about, but as you showed the mid-trib version of the Harpazo/ Snatch/ Rapture/ Translation/ Gathering together …I wanted to put part of the reason WHY we Pre-Tribbers do not accept that view (or any other). As far as I am concerned, practicing God given grammar and common sense, the Scriptures DO teach 100% that Jesus, the Head of the Church, returns for His Body/Bride some time BEFORE the 70th Week of Daniel begins.

Thanks John Maranatha!

John Chingford said...

This has been copied from the comments section of my article:

The word RAPTURE IS mentioned in the bible.

The word "rapture" comes from Paul's "caught up" remark in 1 Thes 4:17. The english words "caught up" are translated from the Greek word harpazo (from the original manuscripts)which means "to carry off," "snatch up," or "grasp hastily."

The translation from harpazo to "rapture" involved two steps: first, harpazo became the Latin word raptus; second, raptus became the English word "rapture.", ie meaning being caught up or snatched away (like Enoch and Elijah).
By the way, Harpazo is a derivative of ‘haireo’ meaning to ‘lift up.

Also consider where those alive at the Rapture of the true invisible Church meet The Lord together with the resurrected ‘dead in Christ’; it is in the CLOUDS. The Greek translation of ‘clouds’ is ‘nephelē which is used of the cloud which led the Israelites in the wilderness used in The Septuagint, the Greek translation of the O.T.

This is no fluffy, nebulous drift of water vapour; this is part of the ‘shekinah’ the visible ‘glory of God’.

The meeting takes place in the AIR, the atmospheric region surrounding planet earth. It is a sudden event. This is described as imminency, it is an ‘overhanging’ event that could happen at any moment. Paul called it a ‘mystery’ meaning it is not revealed in the O.T., only in the N.T. 1Cor.15:51-54. Jesus comes to rescue His true Church from ‘the wrath to come’. 1Thess.1:10.

The reason I take a strong line on this is because it is the Kingdom Now and Dominionists who preach a "no rapture" view because of their ungodly hidden agendas for World Conquest. They fit into the glove of the NWO and are a return to the ungodly, Babylonic blasphemous days of Vatican rule. They want to return us to the "dark ages" of Catholic dominion which was VERY unChristlike and was clearly led by those who were NOT born-again.

Those who are pushing us to follow back into that dark age are showing similar fruit and behaviours of those dark ages. This is why I ask the question "is it possible that those who deliberately reject the scriptures and twist them to squeeze a false doctrine out are actually not saved?

John Chingford said...


I need to clarify a comment I wrote on Aug 3rd 11.50am 5th paragraph

ie "The scriptures make it clear there WILL be a TRIBULATION for the church that remains (whether it be the post rapture church or the church as it now stands)"

Someone rightly criticised what (they thought) I had stated. I agree that my above statement could give a wrong impression of what I was saying.

Let me clarify that I do not believe that any true believer in Jesus Christ will be left behind at the rapture. To clarify further

When I use the term "church" I mean ALL believers who are part of the church because they have been "born-again" into it. ALL true born again believers (I believe) will be raptured before the Tribulation.

Those who remain behind were NOT believers (at that point) and therefore NOT part of the church YET.

However, those who come to faith during the tribulation BECOME the post rapture church (as I understand it).

That is what I meant by "post rapture church"

John Chingford said...


although I believe in a pre trib rapture, there are those who believe that the church will go through the tribulation.

In case they are right (playing an angel's advocate) I included the WHOLE church in my statement re the Tribulation.

The point I was making (which equally applies to the WHOLE church going through the Tribulation or a POST raptured church going through it) is that you cannot consider the church as being a glorious church (at that time)if it is suffering the Great Tribulation (at least not in the way that some are preaching it to be). ie, how can it fill the Earth with the Glory of God with government rule, if it is being put to death?

Expected Imminently said...

Hello John

I know this subject is not your forte, so I want to keep this comment brief.(very)

The Rapture of the Church – is the END of the Jew/Gentile Church!

It began in Acts when believers in Jesus, were baptised INTO Christ, by the Holy Spirit after national Israel had finally rejected their Messiah.

The Rapture ENDs the time of The Church. Those saved during the 70th Week of Daniel, are NOT the Church.

They are seen in Revelation as a separate company. Their given collective name is ‘Tribulation Saints’ who will be resurrected after the 2nd Coming along with the Old Testament Saints during the 75 day interim following the
70th Week. These are the friends of the Bridegroom.

Using the term ‘Church’ of the 'Tribulation Saint' is the cause of confusion.

They are a distinct company to the Church/Bride/Body of Christ. Just as the Church is a distinct company to Israel.

The aim of the 70th Week (The Time of Jacob’s Trouble) is to bring Daniels people, the Jews, to NATIONAL repentance to accept Jesus as their Messiah. It is also punishment of the Gentile Nations for anti-Semitism.

God bless your excellent work of warning the Church about false teachers.


John Chingford said...

Thanks EI

I do believe you are right. I am being drawn to that conclusion myself.

My last comment was for the purpose of trying to simplify things in terms that most believers could understand, ie trying to bear in mind their probable background of teaching, on the subject.

God bless

Expected Imminently said...

Need to say, the Body of Christ is not just those alive at the Rapture of the Church.

The dead IN CHRIST rise first in RESURRECTION - then we which are alive and remain will be 'TRANSLATED' (changed from mortality into immortality)caught up to meet with them in the air in the clouds, together, to meet with Jesus the HEAD of the Body.

The Head has important work to do throughout THE Tribulation of 7 years; every head needs a body. :)

If it were true that the Body of Christ has to suffer even more judgment i.e. Jesus Blood was not enough to cleanse us from ALL sin; then we would expect to see the dead in Christ ALSO having to go through this additional judgment along with the living Body of Christ - the Church.


John Chingford said...

Hi Guys

This is for all those who get my automatic updates. I have added a link to an excellent recording from Jacob Prasch, re the number of times RAPTURE is mentioned throughout the NT from the original manuscripts ie the Greek word for rapture "harpazo".

You will be amazed and gripped as I was as to the large number of references to that word.

Although It does leave me with some other questions, especially regarding some of his interpretations.

Whether we agree entirely with his interpretations or not, we can no longer deny that the word rapture appears in the Bible.

John Chingford said...

Hi Guys

In future I will be spending very little time on this subject because the emphasis of this blog is not on eschatological theology of what happens AFTER the rapture because the blog's focus is on events that are happening NOW and how we can NOW be all built up before the rapture.

HOWEVER, if you want to discuss it here, then that is absolutely fine. As long as it it kept respectful (I know how heated that subject can be!). I myself, will rarely contribute because I have already written my views on the OP (opening presentation) and because I do not have the time, but I will monitor through moderation.

John Chingford said...

Hi Anonymous

I will now transfer your comment which you originally wrote on another article (just as I commented I would do) onto this article as follows next.

Anonymous said...

If the 2 witness have 1260 days to work for God before the beast kills them in the middle of the 7 just before the abomination is set up, they die and a voice says come up here and they rise up to God and its after that the great trib begins for last 3 and half years. The sums say they witness in the first half of the week, not the last half. Ok? Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Hope this blesses you.

Colin said...

Hello Anon,

I believe God in Rev 11 is here seen acting in the preaching of two witnesses in Jerusalem for the last 1260 days.
In Rev v2. The last 42 months of the 'times of the Gentiles' (Luke 21.24)This IS when they start their witnessing.
In v11 God restores the two witnesses to life and takes them to glory within an hour of the coming of the Lord.
Read v12 'Come up hither' then in that 'SAME hour' an earthquake etc.

Burning Lamp said...

I agree with John that our emphasis as believers needs to be on how we live our daily lives and we should live in expectation that we could meet the Lord through death or Him coming for His Church at any moment.

Imminency has been the theme of the Bible throughout and the only viewpoint that lines up with an imminent event for the Rapture is that of a pre-tribulation Rapture.

I have never seen such an attack, yes I say attack on those who hold to Pre-Trib. Calling it a false doctrine, etc. The attempts to discredit dispensational theology have been on the increase.

All of this takes our focus off of the Lord Jesus' final instruction to the Church in Matthew 24 in the Great Commission. The true Gospel is being watered-down, compromised as never before. The eternal destiny of souls is at stake.

One final note: There is a reference to a teaching by Jacob Prasch. It may very well contain helpful information, but one must be cautious. Prasch has gone to a partial rapture theory which is unbiblical. In other words, one will not be taken in the rapture if one is not walking faithfully with the Lord - we have to earn a ticket to be taken in the rapture. If one is a true believer, then one is in the Bride of Christ and will be taken when Jesus comes for His Church. So Jesus will leave some of His Bride to go through the Tribulation for "purifying"? This sounds like something out of the Roman Catholic dogma - a purgatory of sorts.

We are living in a time when delusion and deception are the order of the day. More than ever before we need to watch our steps, that they are ordered by the Lord.

John Chingford said...

Hi BL, Colin and Anon.

Is this what Jacob is teaching now? I knew he was teaching something of concern but did not know what it was.

Thanks for spelling it out. I agree, sounds a bit worrying to me, but I don't believe Jacob has fallen prey to Rome, yet.

Anonymous said...

Thats only a local quake when a tenth of the city of Jerusalem falls and kills just 7000 Rev.11;13in the MIDDLE of the 7, when they rise up to God, after that the ac is given another 3 and half years or 42 months to rule before Jesus comes back. That’s going by the sums God gives. Theres plenty of earthquakes right thro and cosmic signs that are diffrent from the big one at the end of the 7. The day of the Lord starts with the 7, its not just 24hrs at the end. See this in the OT.

Malachi 4:5,6 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.

Whats the use of Elijah coming at the end when its all over. Jesus comes back after the Jews have repented and ask him to come back.thats because of what Elijah says and the two witnesss and the 144k. Postrib is wrong with the sums, it wont work out for only 1 day of 24 hours. The seals and trumpet judgments all happen before the middle of the week, thats real bad stuff going on right up to when the aod is set up by the false Prof.thats when 666 start up and when the 7th trumpet blows that kicks off the 42months with that 7 bowls to still go. Jesus comes bacl on the 7th bowl. That going by the sums not my ideas. The 7th seal holds the 7 trumpets, the 7th trumpet holds the 7 vials, all one after the other in order = 21 judgments over 7 yrs.
Ok? Cheers!

colin said...

Ofcourse if you believe in the pre-trib rapture you would I understand of neccessity hold to such views.
To the best of my knowledge Scripture nowhere talks of a 'seven year tribulation' it is an assumption which fits in with pre trib theory.
The time of 'Jacobs trouble' or as it is described by 1260 days in Revelation 11 is the period where the two witnesses are doing their God appointed work AFTER Antichrist has caused the 'sacrifice and oblation to cease'.
However Daniel 9.27 clearly teaches that there will be a 'covenant' which according to Daniel 8.25 will be a 'Peace' treaty of a type,
when as you know Antichrist will show his true colours.
This is as I understand to be the period of great tribulation.
As to when this 'week' or seven year period starts, we can only watch and wait.
How could anyone be so crass as to make a statement that a post trib belief is a prerequisite to salvation!? Perish the thought!
I would only go so far as to say that in my humble opinion for what it is worth; I cannot see a pre trib secret rapture taught anywhere in Scripture and that a belief in this teaching could well lead one into deception. It reverses the order of Scripture having the Messiah coming before Antichrist, and a first secret ressurection before the first ressurection when the bible clearly teaches the parousia will be in manifested glory,not in secret. But then pre trib teachers would have us believe that Matt 24 is not for the church etc...

Anonymous said...

Colin We need to forget the Rapture over this. It has nothing to do with Gods sums that works out the hows wheres and whens.

Funny thing is, this theory about it not being 7 years was invented by a PREtrib guy name of Jack Kelley and he gets plenty wrong. He shows that he is ignorant about the way Hebrew works, its different to how we do stuff and it’s a shavuah, or a seven of years.

Its like saying a dozen of years, meaning twelve years, or a score of years meaning 20 years. 3 score years and 10 =70 years. A shavuah is like that. Read up Daniel 9.26 to the end. God tells him the Jews are to have 70 shavuahs or weeks of years. They already have had 69 shavuahs of years already fulfilled in history. So why would the last shavua of years (the 70th) be different to the other 69 shavua of years that’s already been fulfilled?

The 70 shavuas of years was put on hold and stopped at the 69th shavuah when Jesus was on the cross and the church came into the gap until Gods ready to start up with unsaved Israel again to get her saved. That’s what the shavuas are all about, to bring unsaved Israel back to God.

Antichrist signs a contract with Israel for 7 years and that matches with Revelation 6vs1 when Jesus breaks the first seal for the white horse and rider that is the antichrist when he signs for the 7 years. 2thes2 also says that the day of the Lord cant start until after the restrainer moves out of the way so the man of sin can be revealed, and that’s the start of the 7 years.

God divided the 7 up into two parts of 3 ½ years each. That’s because such a lot goes on right in the middle of the 7 years. That’s when the first 3 ½ years end and the last 3 ½ years starts up. Still I want Gods truth not mans ideas and to me the sums of when, what and how makes Gods meaning real clear that the 70th week is the tribulation the time of Jacob’s trouble and there is real bad stuff from beginning to end. Those who say the day of the Lord is only 24 hours at the end are not right with what the OT says about the judgments God will send, not just in Daniel.

I thought you may want to know that.


John Chingford said...

Hi Anonymous

May I ask that you give a "unique" anonymous name, so that readers know which "anonymous" they are replying to.


BL said...

It seems the enemy is really working overtime to cause confusion over eschatology. That is understandable. He doesn’t want the Church to believe in the imminent return of Christ for His Bride. No, that would result in believers keeping their eyes heavenward and not down here on earth.

There are people teaching a partial rapture that you will only be taken if you are living a holy life. The others will be left behind. We didn’t earn our salvation and you are either born-again or you aren’t.

Then we have mid-post-or no rapture folks bashing the pretribbers, saying it is false doctrine as if that had something to do with one’s salvation. I have never heard pretribbers call those with differing views apostate! Jack Kelley may not have everything correct, but he puts forth his views respectfully and gives biblical support. And there are
other Bible scholars who agree with him. Most of the really good ones have gone to their reward such as H.A. Ironside who is one of the best expositors of the Bible in recent times. Also Clarence Larkin – these were humble men who simply divided the Word as the Holy Spirit led them.

I ask, where is the love?

I happen to be pre-trib and dispensational, but my focus is on winning souls for Christ and not debating eschatology. But this requires a response.

Those of us who are watching and expecting the Lord’s return at any moment are constantly reminded of how we live our lives and if the Lord would be pleased when He comes. Also, we are not obsessed with amassing large amounts of food, weaponry and making our homes a fortress. We don’t live in fear despite the horrors we read about every day in the news becaise our eyes area focused on Him. We are not distracted by politicians and governmental concerns because we are only pilgrims here, passing through on our way to heaven where our true citizenship lies. We have a Blessed Hope. Critics say we are not prepared for the horrors to come. Anyone who contemplates having to go through the Great Tribulation does not understand how Christ values His Bride and underestimates the cataclysmic events that will unfold during that time.

Studying Bible prophecy is profitable as is all of the Word of God. But now we see through a glass darkly. But we can clearly see our Lord through His Word and we should live our lives as if there would be no tomorrow whether we are taken in death or in the Rapture. I think we can ALL agree with that.

colin said...

I can't speak for this Jack Kelly, however I will only confirm what I have previously said, the bible doesn't say anywhere that the great tribulation is seven years, only 1260 days or 3 1/2 yrs.
It is my understanding that people get the 'peace treaty' and the 'great tribulation' confused.
I think it very important that we read the scriptures exegetically and not eisegetically.
Because I believe that the pre-trib rapture is unbiblical I don't want people to be deceived by it.
I don't doubt that there are pre trib teachers that sincerely believe they are teaching the truth, however it IS possible to be sincerely wrong. Our blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ warned us against deception; Matthew 24.4.
But there again the pre trib teachers would have us believe that that scripture is for unbelieving Jews!
I don't believe in the unbiblical doctrine of an imminent 'any moment' coming of the Lord Jesus, because I believe the Word of God says that a rebuilt temple and the Antichrist must come first.

John Chingford said...

Hi Colin

As already stated, I will not get involved in the debate. All I will say here (because I believe it to be vitally important) is that the deception Jesus was referring to (in context)is NOT related to the timing of the rapture but to false prophets speaking lies rather than truth.

Jesus is saying that the end days before His second Coming are marked by pretense in the church by those preaching lies about Jesus and His gospel spreading poison seeking to deceive the elect to turn away from the pure gospel. It will also include those who preach a false Christ or another Jesus.

We are warned out to watch out for these false prophets. We are NOT actually being warned to watch out out for wrong teachings on eschatology (which can be rather speculative - the bible says we should not get involved in vain speculations which can cause unnecessary division.

BL is so correct by pointing out that those things are not vital regarding our salvation.

John Chingford said...

Matthew 24:4-5 actually reads:

"Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. 5 For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many."

I may have elaborated a bit on what Jesus said. I was including other scriptures which Paul elaborated on by inspiration by the Holy Spirit. Paul talked about this deception in the last days as per my last comment.

So I am sure (if Paul gained that information) that Jesus wasn't just warning us about false messiah's but against all sorts of false teachers and false prophets.

John Chingford said...

The purpose of eschatology (as I understand it) is to encourage us to look upward and to always be prepared for His Second Coming. It is to encourage our faith as we see prophecies being fulfilled before our eyes. To speculate on things which have not yet happened, is to miss the point of prophecy.

We should use prophecy to warn the unsaved of what will happen if they do not repent and receive Jesus. It is not to debate to such an extent that we start calling one another deceivers. This is wrong, unloving and divides the church needlessly.

It is those who preach a false Christ and preach a false way of salvation through ecumenism, that need to be exposed - not those who have (what we consider to be) a faulty stance on the rapture.

BL said...

The crux of the difference seems to hinge on one's view of Israel and if one subscribes to Replacement Theology. That would intersect with one's position on dispensations, if they are indeed biblical.

Therein lies the problem with discussions on echatology. John has clearly stated his position and defended it with Scripture. One either agrees or not.

Colin, I appreciate your concern for truth as does the author of this blog but this is an area that can distract from the truly important matters of the Church such as salvation and discipling.

We must respect one another after we have spoken our piece on our views. Most importantly we must be looking up and in a state of expectation and preparation as a lifestyle.

Thank you for expressing your thoughts.

colin said...

In the context of Matthew 24. 3-5, I believe that the Lord is warning about deception regarding the SIGN of His coming and the 'end of the age'. In this discourse He goes on to describe the 'Abomination of desolation', and the signs in the heavens among other things that are to come before His glorious pariousia. There are other places where the Lord warns against deception.
This 'secret pre-trib rapture' theory is not taught anywhere in the bible. I think it is a bit like the teaching of evolution in a way; people believe what they are taught.
As believers our testimony is to carry on to the 'End of the age' Matthew 28.20, not until seven years before the end.
Acts 3.20-21 KJV;'And he shall send Jesus Christ,which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must recieve until the restitution of all things,which God has spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.' Again not until seven years before the end.
I can't claim to fully understand what exactly are the ramifications of believing what I consider to be an unbiblical teaching other than they may have eternal consequences. How can it be a light thing to believe/teach something that is not taught in the bible?
As you know teachers will receive the greater condemnation. I can now begin to believe the vital import of James 3.1

Have you ever read Corrie Ten Boom's 1974 letter?

John Chingford said...

Hi Colin

The whole chapter 24 of Matthew is a build up of Jesus's presentation of the Second Coming. It is a stark warning that everyone should be ready for that Second Coming because of the severe consequences if they are not saved during those last days.

Jesus starts by saying that the days preceding the end, will be marked by deception. Jesus first warned His disciples against the deceivers. He then went on to give a description of everything else. His warning about deceivers was not related to their erroneous teaching of the rapture but to the heresy of what they will teach about Jesus Himself. Verse 4 was just a starting point in introducing the topic. i.e, firstly be prepared that there will be false messiahs. He warned them not to believe them because His Second Coming will be completely different, which is ....... He then explained it. So the deception was not about their teaching of eschatology but that they were teaching that the Messiah was already here.

Sounds similar to the Latter Rain and New age teachings of the Christ within us as we all become Christ on this Earth now bringing in a messianic kingdom.

Verse 4 can be likened to the following passages of scripture

Paul warned:

1 Tim 4:1
"The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons."

2 Tim 3:1-4
"But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—having a form of godliness but denying its power."

From Peter in 2 Peter 2:1-3:
"But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words;"

The last days will be marked by deception IN THE CHURCH not just outside the church.

In the opening verses of Matthew 24 Jesus is not warning against the deception of false raptural teachings but against false teachings about Jesus Himself. As Paul puts it "another Jesus"

The crux/purpose of Jesus's message in Matthew 24 is NOT about the deception of wrong rapture teachings but as per verse 3:

"what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?”

It was a general overview of all the events leading up to His Coming. As stated already the purpose was as a mission to the church to warn (not debate with each other) the lost that they need to be saved BEFORE all these things happen for surely it will happen and these are the signs. When we see these things happen it should alert us to the urgency of preaching the gospel. The crux is not about getting our theology spot on regarding the rapture but keeping to the truth of the GOSPEL (or the vital primary foundational teachings of our faith) and preaching it.

Anonymous said...

Did you know that the first part of the 7 is called 1260 days when anticrist signs for 7 yrs with Israel and the 144k are sealed and the 2 witnessess do there thing until they are killed by the beast in the middle of the 7 thats when the aod is put up. the last 3 1/2 yrs is called 42 months when Anticrist goes mad and1260 days pluse 42 months comes to exactly 7 yrs (lunar) and its all bad from start to finish.

in the 1260 days when anticrist takes peace from the EARTH theres to be worldwar and famine and drought and earthquakes and loads and loads of the killing of believers from right up to the middle of the 7 yrs (they are seen under the altar and wait for more to come) and thats when it gets mega bad for Israel as well as the rest of the world. Thats taking from what God has said and not sticking stuff in to make it fit with the mans idea that the 70th week is only 3 1/2 yrs long. God says plainly its 7 yrs and it starts when the signing is done with Israel.

Next up is when anticrist wants to be worshiped as God with 666. Thats not when he is revealed at all, its at the start of the SEVEN yrs and thats what exegesis says and fits with all the sums God has given to see as plain as plain can be. 1260 days plus 42 months is sums not guesses.

I shant go no father with this as I know the sums make it dead plain that it IS seven years long it just gets worst after the aod is set up in the middle of the seve yrs. ok. cheers.

Maranatha said...

The Bible describes two entirely different events that are impossible to occur at the same time. The Post view may as well not bother with the ‘snatch’ at all, as the 2nd Coming is a distinctly different scenario in detail.

It would at least be more honest for them to say there is no Rapture at all, than trying to squeeze it into the event when Jesus is returning back to earth that He left 2000 years ago, accompanied WITH His Bride, the Church.

A Post Rapture appears to be a ludicrous invention, as for all it’s blustering at denying Pre-trib it offers NO evidence for a Rapture whatsoever. They insist it has to be at the 2nd Coming – yet where? There is no viable Scripture to warrant such a position. All they can produce is the weird replacement view of Israel and the Church being one and the same entity, thereby Matt 24:31 when the Tribulation surviving Jews, the remnant of Israel, who finally faith in Jesus as the Messiah are rounded up from all around the earth, and re-gathered for the second, and final time, into the promised land of Israel God had promised to Abraham.

For Post, this includes the Raptured Church! The purpose for being back in the land is to fulfil another promise to Abraham that from his seed a multitude would be born. The whole earth has been stripped of unbelievers, now these survivors are to marry and reproduce a new population for the nation of Israel.

Surviving, believing Gentiles will do the same for all the other nations. Apparently Posts see the Church being among this mêlée busily reproducing along with the remnant of Israel??? (Think about it for a while)

Maranatha said...

Post-tribs quote the term ‘exegesis’, proving they know what is expected of them, yet seem unable to really supply evidence of exegesis. Triumphantly they point to Galatians 6:16 ‘The Israel of God’ as their ‘evidence’ that the Rapture and the 2nd Coming is the same thing – sort of - obtained by zero exegesis and much poking and shoving of their own brand of eisegesis.

The context of Galatians is Paul coming against ‘Judaisers’ who are insisting the Gentile Galatians MUST be circumcised like the Jews. Paul is adamant that is a lie! Paul is not comparing Jews with Gentiles, or comparing Israel with the Church. Indeed, Paul is making it plain that the true Israel of God is the believing Jews, the remnant of Israel.

This Israel of God AND (kai) the believing Gentiles are together the one new man, the Church. This badly interpreted verse is all Post has got – except for another, even lamer, claim that the Church has to be Israel because she is the ‘seed of Abraham’.

Actually, Abraham was neither a Jew, nor an Israelite, he was a Gentile who BELIEVED God and his faith counted to him as righteousness in EXACTLY the same way that the Church has come into being – through FAITH, by the Grace of God.

Not forgetting that when Israel and the Gentiles are industriously ‘begatting’; the Church, who is Christ’s Body and Bride are now married to Christ and are ruling and reigning with her bridegroom as ‘one’. The Body of Christ is not promised a land on earth to re-populate, her citizenship is even NOW in heavenly places where she awaits her Lord’s return for her.

At the Snatching away, the dead in Christ are resurrected with IMMORTAL bodies (like the Angels) Likewise the living Body of Christ are changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye and this mortal, puts on IMMORTALITY.

The workplace will be on earth, but the marital home is in the Father’s House, to which Jesus went in order to prepare a place for her so that where He is, she is also for Eternity. Post-trib’s who have put their faith in Jesus to save them are horribly deceived with their erroneous theory, BUT are non-the-less still our brothers in Christ, when Jesus returns to snatch away His Bride before the Seven Year Tribulation begins, they too will rise at the Snatch.

They are insulting the Character of God, and this offense will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and thrown into the fire along with all the other dead works each one of us has.

That is true for all of us, wherever we have worked according to the flesh, thus failing to walk in The Spirit as instructed. Maranatha!

John Chingford said...

As promised I will not get caught up in debating on this subject. I only say something if someone says something which verges on vital error, such as if someone states that those who do not teach the correct things regarding the rapture are deceivers. In this case, I cannot leave that unchallenged.

However, I would like you all to please take a look at this excellent synopsis of the Jewish wedding which God set in place as a picture of Christ and the church. It is very revealing regarding the rapture.

BL said...

Colin, you refer to Corrie ten Boom. This woman had a wonderful and moving testimony of her experience in the concentration camp.

With all due respect, she was not a Bible scholar and had no business condemning people who hold to pre-trib. She overshot her headlights here. She no doubt saw eschatology through the lens of her Dutch Reformed background. She can certainly not be regarded as an authority on the Bible.

You are obviously convinced that pre-trib is a false doctrine. May I suggest we respect one another's viewpoint without passing judgment on it and move on?

We can discuss this until the cows come home and never have a meeting of the minds. Let's dwell on points of agreement. But I do have one question to ask you.

How do you suggest that we prepare to go through the Great Tribulation?

What Corrie ten Boom went through was certainly horrific, but what is coming will be much worse than the Holocaust. So again, how do you suggest we prepare?

BL said...

Thank you John - this is a beautiful picture of the Lord Jesus and His bloodbought Church. The Bridegroom is coming for His Bride and we look forward to seeing Him face to face! It says it all.

colin said...

How can one KNOW if one is deceived? My understanding is by daily checking the scriptures 'Whether these things are so' Acts 17.11.
As wonderful as a Jewish wedding may or may not be, analogys cannot teach biblical doctrine, only support it.
As you very correctly state,deception is rife in the so-called professing Church. However it is my belief that people will be deceived by any false teaching and that includes the timing of the Redeemer's return.
We are caught up in 1 Thess 4.17,1 Cor 15.52 and Matt 24.31; this is the coming and the appearing of the Lord. I won't speculate on how exactly He will take us up and bring us back to reign, I believe what He says;the secret things belong to the Lord, Deut 29.29.
BL,who exactly is a bible scholar? I believe that the bible is a book written for the ordinary man. I don't know of one man alive whom I consider to be an authority on scripture.
I believe that what Corrie wrote in 1974 deserves to be read again in these ever darkening days. Christians in many parts of the world are being persecuted and murdered for their faith.
I wonder how many laws have to change in this country before such things happen here? Only God can help us prepare to face the coming great tribulation.
I remember listening to Stuart Dool giving a talk at Bridge Lane about this.

BL said...

Colin, you overlooked the fact that Corrie ten Boom's beliefs were Reformed. Reformed theology is not biblical as John has pointed out so well on this blog.

To totally discount the concept of the Jewish wedding in application to Jesus Christ and His Bride is quite astounding to me. That is, of course if you subscribe to Reformed theology and do not believe in the difference between Israel and the Church or in the dispensations.

Yes, there are areas where Christians are being persecuted and this is nothing new, just read Foxe's Book of Martyrs. But there has NEVER been a global persecution of ALL Christians like there will be in the Great Tribulation. This will be accompanied with upheavals in nature as never seen before. This will be a new and different time.

You have obviously made up your mind and you will not budge. Fine, no problem. But I find it curious that opponents of pre-trib insist upon calling it false doctrine and don't even entertain the possiblity that it may be correct.You will find pre-tribber are not adamant, but merely present the view and I don't know of anyone who says those we believe otherwise are following false doctrine.

And again I say, how exactly do you plan to prepare for the Tribulation? Does the Lord give us any intructions regarding this?

It is not our job to convince you - you have already made up your mind and you think pre-trib is false doctrine. Fine. That is your perogative. But let's not argue about it. Let's FOCUS on the LORD and living for Him. Even if there is no pre-trib Rapture as you maintain, so what? It will not destroy pre-tribbers. We will be living for Him and it won't matter. There are much more important concerns to discuss.

I have had my final say on the matter.John has presented solid biblical support and there is nothing more to be said as far as I am concerned. May the Lord bless you.

John Chingford said...

Deleted my previous comment because of a mistake. This is my revised comment!

Thanks Colin

I believe that God ordained, incorporated and developed the thinking/practice of Jewish customs in weddings to illustrate a very important picture to the Jewish mind (which would be understood by them in due course)about the coming of the Messiah and how He would choose His bride (the church) and how the first and second coming are shown within the whole wedding set up.

If you look at each step you can see they illustrate very very clearly everything written in the NT which was spoken by Jesus and the apostles, i.e, it helps us to understand more clearly why Jesus and the apostles said certain things.

I agree TOTALLY that we need to be careful that we do not read into scripture what is not there, though, because the Jewish wedding is NOT the bible but is "traditions of men", but it is incredible how Jesus does seem to have followed some (just some) of these traditions in His day to day teachings. Particularly important seems to be the tradition of the wedding. It is often elaborated upon throughout the Bible NT AND OT - especially by some of the prophets.

So, if the traditions of the Jewish wedding are correct, would you not agree it points to a pretrib rapture? Especially poignant can be seen by how Jesus speaks in John 14. It VERY MUCH speaks about the Jewish wedding scenario.

But, as I keep saying, I will not labour on this because it is NOT one of the deceptions we should be fighting against!

How can a certain eschatological belief in pretrib, post trib etc be a deception?

The purpose of deception is to lead people into a false faith, to believe in a false gospel, to believe in works to save us instead of grace, to lead us off the narrow path, to deviate us away from our calling etc etc i.e, to preach another Jesus and doctrines of demons. Quite honestly, eschatolgical views do not come into any of those categories.

Besides, BL is correct that a wrong view of the rapture is not deceiving us into losing our faith, trust in Jesus and His pure undiluted gospel because having a correct/wrong view cannot prepare us any better for the Tribulation, anyway.

It will ALWAYS be faith from beginning to end that prepares us. Eschatological views cannot do that.

colin said...

I must admit I sometimes feel I am not as gracious as perhaps I could be.
However as we well know this topic has caused many divisions in the professing Church. I suppose mainly because there are irreconcilable differences?
If you believe and (know?)that something is wrong, it is very hard to find the appropriate words without obviously causing offence or distress. This is NOT my intention.
I do believe in the coming glorious Millenial kingdom. There are far too many scriptures in the Old Testament that have not been fulfilled that WILL be literally fulfilled.
I believe that the Church has NOT replaced Israel. God has NOT finished with his covenant people; Romans 11. I believe that the Church was the 'little flock' in Luke 12.32. The Church started of as a 'little flock' of Jewish believers, this is also confirmed by Matthew 16.18 & 18.17. So the Church was NOT born at Pentecost as dispensationalists teach.
The believing Church and Israel cannot therefore be separated,we have a common destiny.
I agree there are 'reformed' views which exist today that are not far removed from what the RC Church teach. But you cannot label all alike! The reformation was obviously a mighty work of God, but once the reformers got rid of the Pope, I think the movement slowed rapidly down. I too have a copy of 'Foxes Book of Martyrs', it is a shame that didn't sell as well as Rob Bell's 'Love wins'!
I would far rather the rapture was pre-trib as it is more appealing to the flesh.
So I believe in the coming national conversion of Israel,Zech 12.10 and before that I believe that God will protect His people during the coming tribulation (although many will suffer at Satan's wrath) we will not be taken out of it beforehand, I suppose in the same way God protected Noah from the flood?
The blessed hope is I believe NOT deliverance from the tribulation,it is union with the Lord at His coming.
I believe it important to study bible prophecy (and I do in my spare time).Blogs like this have much value because I don't personally know of any individuals that want to discuss these things!
'Iron sharpeneth iron'; Proverbs 27.17.

BL said...

Colin, thank you for your reply. I can see that there are many areas of agreement that we share. And you are right, it does us all well to listen to one another and carry on civil discourse about such topics.

But at the end of the day I would have to agree that there are some irreconciable differences, but they are not ones that lead to division.

I have studied prophecy for many years and have visited and revisited the various positions and still come back to pre-trib. So you could say I am firmly rooted in that position. However, I am prepared to face what might happen in the scenario you subscribe to because it is my aim to walk with the Lord and I know He will take care of me. I will either go in the Rapture or be at home with Him. If it is not pre-trib I will most certainly be martyred.

I do have one observation. What if there are believers who because of extreme torture or threats to family members renouce the Lord? That is a real possiblity if Christians are not taken out before things get really bad. Do you believe in eternal security of the believer? If so, we cannot have it both ways.

You are a brother in Christ and no difference of opinion will change that. We can simply pray for one another and prepare for whatever is on God's calendar.

BL said...

Colin I found this interpretation of what will occur so that no one will be without excuse when told they must receive the Mark. IMHO this would not apply to believers as we would not be on earth at this time. Interested to know what you think:

Right after the false prophet issues an order forcing everyone to receive the Mark of the Beast, God will send three angels to Earth. The first will proclaim the everlasting Gospel to every nation, tribe, language, and people. The second will announce that Babylon’s destruction is imminent, and the third will warn the people of Earth that anyone who decides to take the mark will suffer eternal punishment (Rev. 14:6-11).

In short there will be no one on Earth without the knowledge of the Gospel, no one who hasn’t been warned against taking the mark, and no possibility of salvation for those for those who take it anyway.

colin said...

As we know the time of 'Jacob's trouble' or great tribulation which is 1260 days (pre-trib say 7 years)will be a time like there has never been 'since the beginning of the world to this time,nor ever shall be';Matt 24.21.
Whatever one's eschatological view, we can all agree that the world is NOT going to be a good place to be when the 'Man of sin is revealed'; 2 Thess 2.3.
I believe that we can 'escape' these things by 'praying always that we are accounted worthy'; Luke 21.36.
We must pray daily as the apostles prayed, 'Lord increase our faith'; Luke 17.5.
As for persecution we will be 'hated of all men for My name's sake,but he that endureth to the end shall be saved,' Matt 10.22.
Regarding your comments about 'torture and threats' to family members, I would say that if they renounce the Lord, then they were false professors: 'He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me:and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me', Matt 10.37. Read the next few verses in context.
Never forget that 'He loved us while we were yet sinners, and Christ died for us', Romans 5.8.
Do we really understand the gravity of His words in Matt 10.33; 'But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven'. Do we REALLY believe these words?
Before I believed in the sovereignty of God Matthew 10.34-36 used to make no sense to me,however as my faith increases I detect an ever increasing coldness toward me from family members who don't believe.
I have been to several so-called evangelical church services recently and I CAN assure you that they preach a false gospel.

God bless you

Maranatha said...

Pretrib view:
All believers, the Church, taken by Jesus before the 7years begins.

Thousands will hear the Gospel from Elijah, the two witnesses and the 144k and thousands will die for their trust in Jesus BEFORE the AoD is set up. Few will survive the remaing 3 1/2 years to the end.

At the 2nd Coming, all unsaved will be killed by the Lord's Sword. Believers that survive will repopulate earth during the 1k.

Post view:
Many thousands of Israel/Church will die for the faith OR they are 'hidden'from harm?

At the 2nd Coming, all believing survivors (Israel/Church) will be raptured.

All unbelievers will be slain at the 2nd Coming by the sword of The Lord.

To clarify ALL believers (Israel/Church) will be raptured at the 2nd Coming and ALL unbelievers will die!

There are no believing survivors who can go into the 1k to repopulate earth.

John Chingford said...

Hi Colin

Sorry that it has taken so long to publish your comment (today only). As I stated on the home page, I have been unable to access the internet much over the last few weeks.

Your reference to "those who endure to the end, will be saved" (in context) surely refers to those left behind after the rapture. These (I believe) will not face the same quality/quantity of grace that we now enjoy.

At the moment we are saved by grace through faith. It is ALL of God and NONE of self effort. We are being kept/protected by God through the Holy Spirit and CANNOT (if we are born-again) lose our salvation because it is "HE who works in us to will and to act according to His good pleasure". To say that we need to endure to the end suggests "works" to save us. That may well be the case for post rapture saints but is NOT applicable to us.

The present born-again church WILL endure to the end NOT by works of self effort but by the grace of God working through us in HIS strength. Whereas, that message of endurance to the end was for post rapture saints. that HAS to be the case, otherwise Jesus would be teaching "works" in "self effort" which is contradictory to His general teachings such as "abiding in the vine" "without me you can do nothing".

John Chingford said...

Hi Everyone

Someone (I will not disclose their name or their contents for privacy reasons) wrote to my personal email address, implying that the early church did not teach the "secret rapture".

As it is applicable to this article, I thought you may be interested in my reply as follows:

"I am fully aware of this type of viewpoint. Heard it many times before. The problem which such teachers is that they completely misrepresent the position of pre tribbers and use the "straw man argument" tactic to prove their point.

They call it a "secret rapture". We do not call it a secret rapture and do not appreciate the mocking description.

It is not secret because the whole world will know about it. It will be an event which will quickly have massive repercussions throughout the world.

Actually, in truth, the very earliest church taught a pretrib rapture.

it was the Roman institution and these so called "fathers" of the faith who removed the doctrine of the rapture because of their dominionistic agenda. The rapture did not fit their hidden agenda so they removed it.

The reformers were also still being influenced by Rome until the full availability of the Bible enabled proper Bible study to take place. It was through proper Bible study that long lost truths of scripture were re-introduced to the church - the rapture being one of them.

If you are opposed to the Roman ecumenical dominionistic approach (which has infiltrated evangelical Christianity) then surely you would want to question all the teachings of those who promote dominionism, and therefore realise that it is these who foremost attack the pre tribbers.

Anyway, if I am wrong about pretrib, it will not affect my relationship with Jesus nor remove the eternal security I have that "he who began a good work in me will bring it to completion until the Day of Christ". I am saved by GRACE ALONE and not by any "works" that I can do to prepare myself. It is from faith to faith and nothing I can do can prepare myself (or take away) from what will come upon us.

All we can do is put our full trust in the "way, the truth and the Life" to see us though. Can anything separate us from the love that is in Christ? As long as we keep to the pure gospel believing in the truth of all those things which have already happened, it doesn't matter too much if our speculations (on those things still to happen) are wrong, Does it?"

God bless

BL said...

Colin, I agree that often we must choose between loved ones and following Christ in our lives. However, He exhorts us to reach out to others with the Gospel and to pray and intercede for others. Jesus' message is one of love for others and concern for their eternal destiny.

Yes, there are those in certain places in the world today who have to leave their families to follow Christ and they ae persecuted for their faith and even killed. This has always been the case from the early days of the Church when many have been martyred for their faith.

However, after the Church Age ends, the scenario changes. False professors will be left to face the Great Tribulation while the saints will be safely home in heaven. There will be Tribulation saints who must endure and will be martyred for their faith.

You are correct in that God is sovereign. However, a proper understanding of His sovereignty is essential to understanding the end times. That is a whole other topic.

You are right, that the true Gospel is not going forth as it once did, but there is still light in the darkness. When the Church is taken out, things will change drastically.

True believers who compose the Body of Christ will not be left to endure the horrible events that are to come. Persecution will be world-wide, not isolated. Some refer to this as an escapist fantasy. I prefer to call it the Blessed Hope. If one contemplates going through the Great Tribulation, it cannot but instill fear. And many are living in fear because they believe this by feeling they have to prepare for the worst by physical means.

The Word must be rightly divided.

May the Lord bless you!

John Chingford said...


There is a rumour which has spread far and wide, circulating for many years, started by Dave MacPherson and then Rosenthal. These rumours are NOT TRUE! This comment will now deal with it.

The accusations are that pretrib was never taught by the early church and that it is a recent invention by Darby who was influenced in this theology by Jesuits and by an occultic girl called Margaret MacDonald. Regarding the Jesuits, they say that these were trying to take the heat off the Vatican by introducing a futuristic view on the prophecies in the book of Revelation.

I will now reveal what is actually true and try to destroy the myths of those stories once and for all, by asking you to read the rebuttal links below which definitely prove the accusations to be false.

Quite honestly these guys who say that the pretrib doctrine first came from a Jesuit are lying. Again, it is lies when they say that pretrib was not taught by the early church fathers. Besides, it really does not matter what mere humans teach - all that matters is what the Bible teaches on the subject, anyway.

Anyway, here is the evidence that the early church DID teach pretrib:

Then what about the Jesuits? Actually both the Jesuit priests Ribera and Lacunza and Margaret MacDonald and Irving were all post trib. Those Jesuits introduced a rapture 45 days before the Second Coming. None of them taught a pretrib rapture.

See these links:

The Manuel Lacunza Conspiracy

Quite honestly, we need to consider that the bible had been kept from lay people for a very very long time. It took quite a long time after the reformation before the average person was able to read (let alone study) the Word of God.

As with Josiah in the OT a number of truths had to be rediscovered after they had been lost for a long time. Why couldn't it have just been a matter of time before God opened long lost treasures from the scriptures after a thousand or so years in darkness.

Regarding 2 Thes 2. Here is a link that (if conclusive) would settle the matter once and for all:

I have no great issue if some believers choose not to be pre trib (as long as they DO believe in a rapture at some stage because the Bible is clear that there WILL be one). What I DO have an issue with is those (by disputing pretrib) calling us heretics and worse by using LIES rather than truth, by accusing us of something blatantly not true.

In fact, I have discovered a rather nasty element amongst such people who actually display an unloving and totally unChrist like behaviour towards us. If they want to call us heretics then how would they describe themselves (not born again?) if they show such dishonesty, lies and hatred. What is motivating such hatred?

I hope you can now accept that pretrib theology is not something new with Darby. I hope you can now accept that we are NOT influenced by those Jesuits and that our accusers are telling lies.

John Chingford said...

Here is a little about Dave MacPherson:

"He began to vigorously attack the pre-tribulation rapture in the early 1970s, claiming his historical research showed that a teenage Scottish girl named Margaret Macdonald came up with the idea in the 1830. This happened when she was a member of the Catholic Apostolic Church. While that is historical nonsense, he still says all writings on the pre-tribulation rapture are full of revisions, cover-ups, altercations, deceptions and confusions. Summed up, it's a conspiracy.

His books, riddled with errors, have been discredited with lacking historical method. He claims to be the "Pretrib Rapture Answerman." Being an anti-pretribulationist has become his life's crusade, and he is said to be publicly endorsed by numerous Christian leaders including premill, amill, postmill, preterist, historicist, futurist, midtrib, prewrath, posttrib, charismatic, dominionist, reformed, orthodox, and independents. That's a widely traveled road."