by Mark Robinson
“Pre-trib”, “mid-trib”, “post-trib”, “pre-wrath”. Perhaps you have heard these terms—perhaps not. They refer to the timing of the Rapture of the Church. “Trib” refers to the seven year Tribulation period prophesied in the Bible that will occur just before Jesus returns and sets up His kingdom on earth. While all rapture positions agree, based on Daniel 9:27, that a seven year period will take place, there are various theories regarding the timing of the rapture in relation to this seven year period. “Pre-trib” teaching believes all church age born again believers, dead and alive, will be bodily resurrected and meet the Lord in the air (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17) before the seven year period starts; “mid-trib” believes the rapture will be in the middle of the seven year period; “post-trib” at the end of the seven year period; and “pre-wrath” believes it will occur before the wrath of God is poured out during the seven year period which, according to the theory, is sometime during the last half of the seven year period.
Is this issue really important, or is this just “prophecy buffs” arguing over something that doesn’t amount to much at all?
Although not the most essential doctrine of the faith, it is nonetheless a doctrine that does have profound implications for our Christian life. The issue of the timing of the Rapture is important because it has significant ramifications on how we live. If, for example, the rapture could occur at any moment,
as the pre-trib proponents believe, we should live righteously and godly, for we know we may meet Him face to face even today.
The Bible does tell us “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable…” [emphasis added] (2 Timothy 3:16). And we are told to “…rightly divid[e] the word of truth” so that the “workman needeth not be ashamed” (2 Timothy 2:15).
If you believe in any of the rapture positions other than pre-trib, perhaps you need to prepare for martyrdom, as most believers in the Tribulation period will lose their life for their faith. One writer, who doesn’t accept the pre-trib rapture position, believes Christians are headed for disaster if they don’t reject the pre-trib view and accept his position. “The church will enter that period unprepared, spiritually naked, vulnerable, and ripe for the Antichrist’s deception. A questioning of the trustworthiness of the Word of God will naturally follow. It will be a spiritual catastrophe—a Pearl Harbor of incalculable proportions—a satanically planned sneak attack.”1
What an indictment of the spiritual walk of godly people who hold to the pre-trib position. Actually, it would seem to me that someone holding to a pre-trib rapture position, and living in light of that truth would be prepared for anything that comes along, as we are told in 2 Peter 3:14 of those looking forward to future events: “Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”
There are many arguments that could be presented to defend the pre-trib rapture position. Briefly, we will look at three which I believe establish the correctness of this view.
DISTINCTION OF THE CHURCH AND ISRAEL
Daniel 9:24-27 is a very strong Scriptural argument for the pre-trib rapture position. My contention is that, of all the rapture positions, this passage supports only the pre-trib view.
24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.
25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.
26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.
The prophesied period of time is broken into two periods which we need to consider, the first 69 weeks and the last week. The first 69 weeks (a week is 7 years2) refers to the time the prophecy was given to the time the Messiah is cut off—killed. After His death, “the people of the prince” come and “destroy the city and the sanctuary” (vs. 26). This took place in 70 A.D. when the Romans destroyed the Temple and the City of Jerusalem. It is clear that about a 40 year gap of time exists between the beginning of verse 26, “Messiah cut off,” around 32 A.D., and the “destruction of the city and the sanctuary” in 70 A.D. The final week of the prophecy starts in verse 27, so the last week starts sometime after 70 A.D. This week starts when the Anti-Christ “shall confirm a covenant with many…” This is a treaty between Israel (the focus of this prophecy) and her enemies, orchestrated by the Anti-Christ.
The entire 70 weeks is exclusively for the Jewish people. “Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and thy holy city.” Since the church wasn’t born until after Jesus ascended into heaven, 40 days after his death and resurrection, it is clear that the church was not present during the first 69 weeks.
It is reasonable to assume that since the church was not present in the first 69 weeks she will not be present in the last week. There is another analogy to consider. In the beginning of the Church age, both the Church and Israel were present for a short time (until the nation was destroyed in 70 A.D.). It is reasonable to conclude that at the end of the Church age, both the Church and Israel are present. With the re-birth of the nation of Israel in 1948, this is the exact scenario we have today. For this analogy to be carried through the Church must be gone during the last week (seven years) of this prophecy, as she was not present during the first 69 weeks. The only position to allow for this is the pre-trib rapture position. It is based upon this understanding of Daniel 9:24-27 that we conclude the rapturemust be before the Tribulation period begins.
Imminency means no prophecy has to be fulfilled before the Lord returns for His bride. The only rapture position that meets this criteria is the pre-trib rapture view. In all the other rapture beliefs there are many prophecies that have to be fulfilled before the Lord can come for His Church.
A plain reading of the Scripture makes it difficult for anyone to deny the imminency of the coming of the Lord. Among many verses, here are a few:
“Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;” Titus 2:12-13
“Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.” Philippians 4:5
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.” James 5:7-9
The language of these verses clearly speaks of an “anytime” coming of the Lord. “Looking for that blessed hope,” (not the coming of the Anti-Christ or any other prophecy); “the Lord is at hand;” and “the judge standeth before the door” all demand an understanding of imminency in regard to the coming of the Lord. J. Barton Payne declared, “In fact, no natural reading of Scripture would produce any other conclusion3.”
The imminent coming of Christ has been consistently taught throughout church history. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church states, “Primitive Christianity believed the event to be imminent and this belief has been revived from time to time in the history of the church.”4
It is difficult to understand how the biblical writers could believe a rapture position that required the Tribulation period and certain prophecies to take place before the coming of the Lord, while also clearly teaching the imminent coming of the Lord. To be consistent, the only correct position would be the pre-trib rapture position.
RAPTURE BEFORE WRATH
All rapture positions, with the exception of post-trib, believe the rapture will take place before the wrath of God is poured out. 1 Thessalonians 1:9 and 5:9 tell us, “… to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come.” And, “for God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” The question we are confronted with is when does the wrath of God start? When this is determined, we then know that the rapture has to take place prior to this time.
God has given the authority of judgment into the hands of His Son. John 5:22 and 5:27 state, “For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” and “…hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” It is clear that when God executes judgment, it is through the Son.
In the fifth chapter of Revelation, we have a scroll sealed with seven seals. The question is asked by an angel, “Who is worthy to open the book (scroll), and to loose the seals thereof?” The answer to this question is vitally important because the one identified will be opening the 7 seal judgments, along with the subsequent trumpet and bowl judgments that will be poured out upon this earth. Verse nine provides the answer, “And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (scroll), and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation.” The Lamb of God, Jesus, is the only one worthy to open the book and, as John already told us in his gospel, He will be pouring out these judgments upon the world.
In the first seal judgment, Revelation 6:1, we are told “the Lamb opened one of the seals.” In fact, the Lamb, Jesus, opens all the seal judgments, vss. 3, 5, 7, 9, 12. Then, with unmistakable clarity, we are told, “For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” This is the wrath of God from which believers are promised deliverance. His wrath has already commenced. His wrath is initiated with these seal judgments. The seal judgments start at the beginning of the Tribulation period and so the Church must be raptured before the Tribulation period starts in order to “deliver us from the wrath to come.”
THE BLESSED HOPE
Three lines of evidence have been presented for the validity of the pre-trib rapture view. The scripture passages examined, to this writer, leave no possibility for the mid-trib, post-trib, and pre-wrath position to be the correct biblical position. It is this writer’s conviction that the Bible supports the pre-trib rapture and that born-again Christians will be taken off this earth before the Tribulation period begins. This is truly a blessed hope!
1. Marvin Rosenthal, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church, (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), p. 281-82.
2. For an in depth treatment of this entire prophecy including why these are weeks of years I recommend The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson published by Kregel.
3. Quoted from Maranatha, Our Lord Come: A Definitive Study of the Rapture of the Church, Dr. Renald Showers, (Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, 1995) p. 129
4. Ibid. p. 143
More and more seems to be surfacing of the “new world order” and what they plan to do to christians if we stand against it, much of it speaks of us being tortured here in the U.S.. Do you think that the rapture will protect us from that? If so, based on how far along their plans have come, we should be going home soon. Please let me know what you think about this.
Whether or not Christians in the U.S., or anywhere, will be persecuted because of a “new world order” or other anti-Christian regime should have no bearing on the biblical teaching of the timing of the rapture. I am convinced the scriptures teach believers will be raptured prior to the start of the Tribulation period.
As far as “going home soon” I believe the one prophecy that points to the soon return of Jesus is the rebirth of Israel in 1948 (see Ezekiel 37:8 – physical life as a nation but no spiritual life initially – and Isaiah 11:10-12 – when Jewish people come back to the land as a nation the second time from world wide captivity that is the time the kingdom will be set up – Isaiah 11:1-10).
Israel’s rebirth tells us we are living in the end times, not the surfacing of the new world order.
We may or may not be protected from torture for our faith by the rapture, but it seems certain we are living in the “shadows of the Tribulation” and the rapture happens before the Tribulation period starts.
The Post-trib believers I have come across are now saying that God’s wrath comes on the Day of the Lord, which, they say, does not come until the very end of the Tribulation. They use the descriptions of that ‘Day’ from Joel 2, Amos 5, Acts 2, and Matt.24,29 to ‘prove’ their claim that the Church will be here for the full 7 years because God’s wrath does not come until the end of these years when the sun and moon signs will happen.
October 25, 2013
Recently I found these two statements posted on a “Christian” forum board. The topic of the discussion concerns whether the church/Bride will be in the tribulation. I would like some feedback. The statements were made by 2 young men (age 18 and 24):
“The Return of Christ, the Resurrection, and the Rapture are all the same event. Rev 16:15 is what Jesus says at the Battle of Armageddon. “I come, like a theif!” If you believe in an imminent Rapture, then you believe in an imminent Battle of Armageddon as well.” (from the 18 year old)
“If you read through the entire Bible you will never be able find one single verse that even remotely suggests the Lord Jesus Christ will return in secret to take the believers with Him to Heaven, and then return again the third time. The New Testament clearly refers to the Return of the Lord Jesus Christ as His Second and Final Coming before the earth is destroyed by fire (2 Pet. 3:10-12). -” (from the 24 year old)
Neither of these two young men have much true Bible knowledge. They get alot of their information, not from Scriptures, but from other false teachers…preterists and amillennialists in particular.
You supplied the answer yourself. “Neither of these two young men have much true Bible knowledge.”
There are a number of articles on this site about the pre-trib rapture.
The Day of the Lord seven year night segment before it dawns (2 Pet. 1:9), is the same as the seven year Tribulation; both begin with birth pangs (Matt. 24:8; 1 Thess. 5:2-3). Moreover, the Day of the Lord is our Day of Redemption; it is the Day of Christ; the Day of Jesus Christ; the Day of the lord Jesus; the Lord’s Day; the Day of the Lord. At midnight there was a cry made–the whole Church new that a new Day was upon them–the Day of the Lord night segment long before the wrath of God in That Day. Prepare, or Get Ready to meet Him!
Hi Mark, thanks for this article. I would be interested in your opinion of one I wrote (see below).
I think the most important teaching is that Israel and the Church have separate destinies in prophecy, since most other Rapture views seem to ignore this distinction.
Refuting Slander Against the Pre-Trib Rapture
I will abbreviate “pre-tribulational Rapture” as PTR. These are not in any particular order of importance.
Claim: The PTR is a recent invention.
Rebuttal: The most common citation of this being a new teaching is a medieval teenager named Margaret MacDonald, who claimed to have had a prophetic vision in 1824. But she did not have a vision of any Rapture at all, let alone a PTR. Further, no PTR teacher ever cites her or her alleged vision for any reason. Critics who would then allege a conspiracy to hide such a source would be arguing from silence, not to mention opening themselves up to similar charges. There are also much earlier references to PTR, such as the post-apostolic writing known as The Shepherd of Hermas (ca. a.d. 140).
Claim: The PTR was a heresy started by Darby and made popular by Scofield.
Rebuttal: Darby stated that he saw the PTR in scripture, three years before MacDonald’s (non-rapture) vision. Scofield was noted for his teaching of Dispensationalism, as well as his Reference Bible. The PTR is a logical conclusion to draw from a dispensational approach to scripture, but this approach is hardly heresy. The allegorical approach is at least as open to the same charge, as is so-called Covenant Theology wherein no distinction is made between the church and Israel.
Claim: The PTR is escapist and cowardly.
Rebuttal: In Luke 21:36 Jesus said to “pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen“; in Rev. 3:10 Jesus said, “I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth”. Is Jesus teaching that escape is cowardly? How about Isaiah 26:20? “Go, my people, enter your rooms and shut the doors behind you; hide yourselves for a little while until his wrath has passed by.”
Claim: The PTR teaches that Christians will not suffer, so it sets them up for falling away from the faith.
Rebuttal: This is burning a straw man; PTR teaches no such thing. Jesus promised persecution to his followers (Mark 10:30), and Paul in 2 Tim. 3:12 said, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted”. Even today, many Christians are suffering terribly and dying for the Name of Jesus. So anyone who teaches that Christians will not suffer is clearly in error, regardless of their views on prophecy. The fact is that PTR only concerns the wrath of God and the time Daniel was told was for punishing the unbelieving world and bringing Israel back to God.
Those who oppose PTR are unprepared for the sudden appearing of Jesus; they look for the Antichrist instead of the Christ. They will also not receive “the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day— and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Tim. 4:8). If PTR is wrong, it will be time for those who boasted of their preparation and immunity from being fooled to prove themselves. In contrast, PTR believers would never be fooled, since the Antichrist will not do any of the following:
sound the trumpet of God
give the shout of the archangel
raise from the dead all Christians who have died
give the dead new, immortal bodies
instantly transform the bodies of the living Christians to immortal
take all of us (not invite us to board a spaceship) to meet him in the air
We also know that we are already sealed with the Holy Spirit, so we will not accept any other seals. The “mark of the Beast” is a pledge of loyalty and has to be taken knowingly and voluntarily, and Jesus would never say “take this mark or starve to death”.
Claim: The PTR ignores what Jesus taught in Mat. 24.
Rebuttal: Anti-PTR ignores practically every other passage about end-times prophecy, putting Mat. 24 in a vacuum. And many people are confused by the signs and disasters in Revelation, thinking that all instances of earthquakes for example are one and the same event. But consider this: Jesus told of extreme cosmic events after the Great Oppression which will make it clear that it is indeed the end (Mat. 24:29-31, ref. Isaiah 13:10; 34:4):
sun and moon go dark
stars fall from sky
powers of heavens (skies and/or space) shaken
extreme turbulence on earth, with oceans roaring and splashing
the appearance of the sign of the Human in the sky
he descends in the clouds in great power and majesty
trumpet blast to send out Messengers to collect “the chosen” from all over “the heavens”
On the surface, the first four signs appear to match up with the 6th Seal of Revelation (Rev. 6:12–14), which is clearly not the end of the Great Oppression:
the moon is red instead of black
the stars fall to earth
the sky itself “rolls up like a scroll”
every mountain is shifted from its place.
There is at least one Old Testament reference to such things as well (Joel 2:31), and it too places them “before that great and terrible day of the Master”:
I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Master.
So we see that very similar signs both precede and follow the 70th week of the prophecy of Daniel.
Claim: The PTR is “the strong delusion” prophesied by Paul.
Rebuttal: The delusion Paul mentions is sent from God to “them” (2 Thess. 2:10-13), not from Satan to Christians. So there is no basis in scripture for this ridiculous charge, and it can be made just as easily against opposition to PTR. Since PTR comes mostly from Paul in the first place, one would be hard-pressed to show how he would call his own teaching delusional.
Claim: Paul taught that the Rapture isn’t until after “the man of sin” is revealed.
Rebuttal: The passage being referenced is 2 Thes. 2:1–12, specifically vs 3: “Don’t let anyone trick you in any way, for that day will not come until the Departure happens and then the Lawless One, the destroyer, is revealed.” But “that day” refers to “the day of the Lord” in the previous verse, which is not the Departure/Rapture. Moreover, the people Paul was writing to were afraid that they had missed the Departure and would now go through the Tribulation. Who fears an allegory, or is afraid they missed the Tribulation? Conversely, who should be comforted (1 Thes. 4:13-18) by a teaching that has them going through the Tribulation?
We tell you this in the Word of the Master, that we who are alive when the Master appears will not be in line in front of those who have died. For the Master himself will descend from heaven with the loud command of the Ruling Messenger and the trumpet of God; the dead in the Anointed will rise first, and then we who are alive will be snatched away at the same time with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air. Then we will always be together with the Master. So comfort each other with these words.
Claim: The PTR invents a “last trumpet” before the last one mentioned in Revelation.
Rebuttal: The 7th trump is NOT the last trump. The 7th is of an angel and is a judgment (Rev. 11:15), while the last is of God and is a blessing (1 Thess. 4:16). There was a “last” trumpet for Israel before Christ (Numbers 10:5-6), which Paul’s readers would have understood as a call to leave or break camp, as opposed to those of Revelation which had not yet been given.
Claim: The wrath of God does not begin until the Bowl judgments.
Rebuttal: It is undeniable that Jesus, the Lamb, is also God. So any wrath coming from Jesus is, by definition, the wrath of God. This is acknowledged in Rev. no later than Rev. 6:16, but note that it is the people of earth making this statement, not God or John or any heavenly Messenger. Also note that all of the Seals are opened by the Lamb, even though the results on earth are “natural” for the first four. That is, the Lamb instigates the Seal judgments, so they are all the wrath of God.
Claim: The Rapture is at the 6th Seal judgment.
Rebuttal: This claim is based upon presuming the identity of the “multitude in white robes… from every nation” in Rev. 7:9-17. But the Greek grammar clearly indicates their origin and scope: they come out of the Great Tribulation. There is no indication that this was a past, singular event (lit. “coming”), and their origin is not just “tribulation” but “THE Great Tribulation”. This same expression is used by Jesus to describe “a time of trouble never seen before and never to be seen again” (Mat. 24:21), and this is immediately after Jesus quotes Daniel’s statement about “the abomination of desolation”. So the multitude comes from the time of the Bowl judgments, even though John sees them at the sixth seal.
Claim: There is nothing connecting Daniel to Revelation.
Rebuttal: Daniel 9:27 says,
He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
We find that same event in Rev. 13:1-8, indicating the midpoint of that ‘week’:
Then I saw a wild animal rise out of the sea, and it had ten horns and seven heads… The whole earth was astounded at the wild animal, and they worshiped the dragon for giving jurisdiction to it. They said, “Who is like the wild animal, and who can fight it?” The wild animal was given a mouth with which to speak great and slanderous things, and its jurisdiction would be for forty-two months. It opened up its mouth to slander God and his name, and his sanctuary and all who live in heaven. And it was allowed to do battle with the holy people and conquer them, as well as to have jurisdiction over all tribes, people groups, languages, and non-Judeans. All the earth-dwellers will worship it, whose names have not been written in the scroll of life of the Lamb who had been slaughtered from the establishment of the world.
So both passages describe a world leader who confirms a seven-year covenant and then breaks it by declaring himself God and setting up an abomination in the temple. It is thus logical to conclude that both Daniel and Revelation, which no one denies extend to the end of human history, describe the same period, which Daniel stipulates to be seven years.
Claim: The PTR contradicts where Rev. says the saints will be overcome by the Beast.
Rebuttal: That passage was quoted above, but the “holy people” are not the church. The terms holy people, saints, elect, etc. were also used of the righteous in the Old Testament as well, so they are not exclusive terms for the church. This must be considered in context, and when the context is the point being debated, then the identity of these people depends completely on one’s view of dispensations. But if dispensationalism is the right view, then these are not church-age believers.
1 Thes. 4:13–18
Now brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who have died, so that you do not grieve like the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and then rose, so also will God raise the dead through Jesus. We tell you this in the Word of the Master, that we who are alive when the Master appears will not be in line in front of those who have died. For the Master himself will descend from heaven with the loud command of the Ruling Messenger and the trumpet of God; the dead in the Anointed will rise first, and then we who are alive will be snatched away at the same time with them in the clouds, to meet the Master in the air. Then we will always be together with the Master. So comfort each other with these words.
1. Jesus descends
4. Dead in Christ raised
5. Living in Christ transformed in an instant (1 Cor. 15:52)
6. All in Christ snatched away up into the clouds to meet Jesus
7. This is a message of comfort, not dread
Notice also that Paul makes no mention of a time of suffering to purge, test, or punish the church before this event he is now describing. He is repeating what he had told them before, and the first thing is Jesus descending from heaven to the sky. No earthquakes, no signs, no nothing, but only a message of comfort and hope.
So there it is, in the simplest terms. It is “that blessed hope” for which “there is a crown of righteousness” for all who long for Jesus to come. I implore you all to be reconciled to God through faith in Jesus, so that you can, as Jesus said, “escape all these things” to come.
Mapping Daniel to Revelation
“Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy Place.
“Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.
First is the overview of the 70 weeks:
1. They concern the people of Israel and Jerusalem, not the church.
2. Purpose: to finish (complete) transgression.
3. Purpose: to put an end to sin.
4. Purpose: to atone for wickedness.
5. Purpose: to bring in everlasting righteousness.
6. Purpose: to seal up (complete) vision and prophecy.
7. Purpose: to anoint the Most Holy Place in the Temple.
The 70 Weeks would begin when the decree was given (turned out to be Nebuchadnezzar) to rebuild Jerusalem, and it would stop short of the final week when the Messiah would be killed. There would be a “prince to come”, known now to have been Titus, whose “people” destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple in 70 A.D. This is the same event Jesus referred to about not one stone being left upon another, as it was literally fulfilled when the Romans wanted the melted gold that had run between the blocks. After this event there would be wars and desolations. Then after that span of wars would come “he” who does all of the following:
1. Confirm a 7-year covenant or treaty “with many”.
2. Violate the treaty at the midpoint by ending sacrifice and offering in the temple.
3. Set up an idol in the temple.
Clearly Jesus did not set up any idols, nor make and break any 7-year treaties. The same “he” does all of this. Now we will see where this treaty and violation matches up with Revelation:
Then I saw a wild animal rise out of the sea, and it had ten horns and seven heads… The whole earth was astounded at the wild animal, and they worshiped the dragon for giving jurisdiction to it. They said, “Who is like the wild animal, and who can fight it?”
The wild animal was given a mouth with which to speak great and slanderous things, and its jurisdiction would be for forty-two months. It opened up its mouth to slander God and his name, and his sanctuary and all who live in heaven. And it was allowed to do battle with the holy people and conquer them, as well as to have jurisdiction over all tribes, people groups, languages, and non-Judeans. All the earth-dwellers will worship it, whose names have not been written in the scroll of life of the Lamb who had been slaughtered from the establishment of the world.
This point (idol in the temple, Beast demands to be worshiped as God) in Rev. is the 7th trumpet, so the 7th trumpet marks the midpoint of Daniel’s 70th week. Therefore, all the trumpets are in the first 3.5 years. It is unknown whether the Seals are before or after the beginning of that time, as they may comprise a gap between the Rapture and the confirmation of the covenant for 7 years.
The Rapture precedes the Seals because it must be something Satan cannot predict, as evidenced by his continually trying to have an oligarchy in place.
2 Thes. 2:1-12
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us— whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter— asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the Departure occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.
Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.
Paul is writing to calm the people who had received a forged letter claiming to be from Paul, wherein they were told they had missed The Departure and were now entering the Tribulation. Paul is writing to quash the false teaching and spell out the true teaching he had brought them before. Had he taught them they’d go through the Tribulation, they would not be comforted by his words, nor would they be afraid they had missed the Tribulation (!!).
The Day of the Lord is NOT the same as The Departure. This has to be very clear. And Paul states the order of events:
1. The Departure
2. The revealing of the man of lawlessness
3. The Day of the Lord
Paul also gives important details about The Great Lie:
1. It comes from God.
2. It is given to “them”, who “have not believed the truth but delighted in wickedness”.
God will not delude his own people or accuse them of hating truth and loving wickedness. Neither will true Christians accept any other seal than that of the Holy Spirit, “the deposit guaranteeing our inheritance” (2 Cor. 1:22).
The continual slander against the pre-trib view is based upon failure to understand it or blind acceptance of lies from its enemies. We do NOT smugly watch the world decay, nor do we ignore the terrible persecution of Christians now or in history, nor do we wish for the suffering of the lost. Neither are we unprepared for suffering, as this was promised by Jesus to all his followers.
The truth is that we are highly motivated to spread the Gospel so others too can “escape all these things” as Jesus said. What “things”? Not the typical wrath of Satan and man, but the wrath of God to come.
Who will really be unprepared? Is it not the ones who disbelieve in the pre-trib Rapture? The Beast/AC cannot duplicate all the requirements of Jesus coming for his Bride:
– shout and trumpet
– Jesus descending from heaven
– the dead in Christ arise
– the living in Christ are instantly made immortal
– the whole Bride of Christ is taken into heaven (note that we do NOT have to board a ship)
In contrast, the Beast/AC will arise out of the earth. As for the Mark, Christians are ALREADY SEALED and would never be fooled into taking another one. But opponents of pre-trib will be caught off-guard by the Rapture, and will be among those caught “beating their fellow servants” when Jesus arrives; just look at the comments in various message boards for examples of such beatings. They will be caught looking for the Beast/AC rather than Jesus.
This is why I created this document: to dispel slander and rumors, and to convey “that blessed hope” to those without hope, so they too can be given “the crown of righteousness for all who have longed for HIS (Jesus’) appearing”. (APPEARING, not “second coming”)
I concur on the distinction between Israel and the Church. This is a must for biblical understanding.
As a rule I don’t provide links to websites from contributors, although your website has some excellent information, the above article being one.