by Paul Benson
Recently a reader contacted me with some questions concerning a write-up he had come across titled ’16 Proofs of a Pre-trib Rapture.’ You can find that writing HERE . I felt that all might benefit from a thorough response to those supposed ‘proofs’ of a rapture of the Church that author claims happens prior to the coming time of tribulation and Antichrist’s war on the Saints.
A Shaky Start!
The author of ’16 Proofs’ introduces his piece with two glaringly false statements quite typical of most pre-trib preaching. Let’s look at an excerpt from that intro:
QUOTE: Some have accused those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture as trying to avoid all trouble and persecution. On the contrary, the Church always has been and always will be persecuted as long as we are in the world, but this is not the same as the wrath of God poured out during the Tribulation. We believe the Rapture occurs before the Tribulation because more Scriptures support a pre-tribulation Rapture over the Amillennial, Post-millennial, and Post-tribulation theories. END QUOTE
First off, the notion that the time of great tribulation which will precede the Return of our Lord is an ‘out-pouring of the Wrath of God’ has no support in the Scriptures whatsoever! Any mention of the Wrath of God at the end of this age never once indicates it precedes Christ’s Coming. Jesus himself brings the Wrath of God upon his enemies at his Return to Earth. This is a truth clearly expressed throughout the Bible!
…when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 2Thessalonians 1:7-8
And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. Revelation 15:1
The bowls / vials of wrath are poured out AFTER the Return of Jesus! The only mention of wrath poured out during the tribulation is the wrath of Antichrist!
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. Revelation 12:12
I have heard MANY a pre-trib preacher tell me the time of tribulation is the Wrath of God but NONE ever show a passage that actually says such. Why? There are none! What timing does the Bible attribute to the outpouring of God’s vengeance? The 7th (last) trumpet appearance of Christ!
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. … …And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. Revelation 11:15-18
Jesus returns, and then the wrath of God is poured out. The Bible does NOT teach us that the time of tribulation is the administration of the Wrath of God. Get over it people!
The second falsity of his introduction is that there is more scriptural support of a pre-trib rapture than any other scenario. What a load of malarkey! There are literally NO verses in the Bible that give any pre-trib timing to the catching-away of the Church! NONE!
I have written an entire series of articles on this ‘rapture timing’ issue that look at the many places the Bible attributes timing to either the resurrection of the Believer, the reward of the Righteous, the rescue of the persecuted end-time Church, or the catching-away of the Church. And as we look into what the Scriptures do have to say about these four things we see they are all so closely associated that the timing of one is the timing of all. And the only timing given for any of these knit-together events (resurrection, reward, rescue, rising-up) is the Second Coming of Christ!
There is absolutely no pre-trib timing detailed anywhere other than in the pre-trib teaching itself, and in the minds of those deceived by that falsehood. The Bible teaches no such timing. But the Scriptures are replete with passages that do give a post-trib timing to our gathering unto Christ. To state ‘there are more Scriptures that support a pre-tribulation Rapture’ is absolute nonsense. It takes a serious wresting of Scripture to even hint at such an idea.
Here is that series that clearly details the timing truly shown in the Bible:
ARTICLE: The Biblical Timing of the Rapture
Now let’s get on to the supposed ’16 Proofs’ and see if they are any proof at all.
Proof #1: Revelation 19:11-21 doesn’t mention a resurrection.
The Rapture is a resurrection of those “in Christ” (1 Thess. 4:13-18). Doesn’t it strike you as odd that Rev. 19:11-21, which is the clearest picture of the Second Coming of Christ, does not mention a resurrection? The Rapture will be the biggest event since the resurrection of Jesus where hundreds of millions of Christians will be resurrected and *translated, yet there isn’t any mention of it here. Don’t you think it deserves at least one verse? The Rapture isn’t mentioned because it doesn’t occur at the second coming.
MY REPLY: A description of the Second Coming that does not mention a resurrection is proof there is no resurrection at Christ’s Return? Come on now, what kind of proof is that?
What these folks that claim there is no resurrection at the Second Coming (an event that IS clearly detailed in multiple places by the way) fail to realize is that there HAS to be one! Even is there were a ‘pre-trib rapture’ there would have to be ANOTHER resurrection at the Second Coming to resurrect those who died in Christ during the tribulation! What, are the tribulation martyrs supposed to remain disembodied spirits for eternity while the rest of us enjoy the benefits of our now glorified bodies? What about the Two Witnesses? All these folks need resurrected too!
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end… 1Corinthians 15:22-24
Let’s face it folks! Any notion of a pre-trib rapture in truth forces the necessity of 2 resurrections of the Righteous; which is contrary to the clear teachings of Paul that ALL who belong to Christ will be resurrected at his Coming. We have a clear statement as to that truth in the Bible. ALL believers will be resurrected / glorified in ONE event that takes place at ONE time!
There has to be a resurrection at the Second Coming; and according to the true teaching of the Bible that is when the one and only resurrection of the Righteous takes place.
And furthermore, to state that the allegorical description of Christ’s Return in Revelation 19 is ‘the clearest description of the Second Coming’ in the Bible kind of flies in the face of all the other non-allegorical descriptions given elsewhere. How could an allegorical description be clearer than a literal description such as Acts 1-11, Matthew 24:30-31, 1Thessalonians 4:16-17 etc.?
*NOTE: Notice he says the Church will be ‘resurrected and translated’ not resurrected and caught up into the clouds as the Bible teaches (1Thess. 4:17). That is pre-trib error plain and simple. He is not referring to the changing of our body at the resurrection with the word translated, but of an instantaneous journey to Heaven (like Enoch was translated). The Bible does not teach the Church will be translated (instantly transported) off to Heaven at the Resurrection. This, a major tenant of pre-trib theory, is pure fabrication and has literally NO foundation in Scripture. Those who say ‘the Bible teaches’ such a thing are speaking a lie! What the Bible actually says is that we will rise up to meet Jesus in the air at his Return.
Proof #2: Zechariah 14:1-15 doesn’t mention a resurrection.
This is an Old Testament picture of Jesus returning to earth at the Second Coming. Again, no mention of a resurrection.
MY REPLY: Would a description of you that fails to mention your clothing mean you have none on? Would a description of your honeymoon that does not mention your wife mean she was not there? According to the reasoning given as Proof #2 it would! Again, this lack of description of a resurrection in this event of Jesus standing on the Mount of Olives (which takes place AFTER he descends from Heaven to the sky and gathers his Church unto himself by the way) is supposed to be proof there is no resurrection at the Second Coming? Not!
Proof #3: Two different pictures are painted.
In the Old Testament, two different pictures are painted of the Messiah—one suffering (Isa. 53:2-10, Ps. 22:6-8, 11-18) and one reigning as King (Ps. 2:6-12, Zech. 14:9,16). As we look back on these Scriptures, we can see that they predicted two separate comings of the Messiah—the 1st coming as a suffering Messiah and the 2nd coming (still future) as a reigning King.
In the New Testament, we have another picture added (?????P.B.). Again, we have two pictures painted which don’t look the same. These two different descriptions of Jesus’ coming point to two separate events we call the Rapture and the Second Coming.
MY REPLY: On this point I do agree. The pre-trib teaching DOES add in another picture to the Bible. But this ‘adding to’ the Word of God is forbidden and carries the promise of a curse (Revelation 22:18-19). Serious mistake to do so!
But in reality there are no ‘two pictures painting 2 separate Comings in the last days’ in the New Testament. It is a mere imagination on the part of the pre-trib crowd. Just a part of the delusion they desperately try to uphold. There is not even one place in the New Testament that speaks of 2 Comings of Christ in the last days. His Coming is always spoken of in a singular manner. ALWAYS! (Maybe the author of 16 Proofs should apply his ‘lack of mention means no such thing exists’ rule to the idea of 2 comings of Jesus in the last days? Or even the pre-trib rapture teaching itself! Just a thought.)
For 2,000 years the Church has referred to Christ’s Return to Earth as the Second Coming. If he came to Earth for his Church, took them to Heaven for a number of years, and then returned again later that would be his THIRD Coming.
When this modern pre-trib hoax came on the scene the moniker ‘Second Coming’ was already so firmly fixed to the day Christ returns to rule and reign it could not be altered to refer to their newly hatched ‘pre-trib coming’; so this pesky numbering issue kind of gets swept under the rug ever since.
Proof #4: The Known Day and the Unknown Day
Concerning the return of Jesus, the Bible presents a day we can’t know and a day we can know. Matthew 25:13 says Jesus will return at an unknown time, while Revelation 12:6 says the Jews will have to wait 1,260 days for the Lord to return. The 1,260 days begins when the Antichrist stands in the Temple and declares himself to be God (Matt. 24:15-21, 2 Thess. 2:4). This event will take place at the mid-point of the seven year Tribulation (Dan 9:27). The Antichrist has authority to rule for 42 months, which is 1,260 days (Rev. 13:4) and will be destroyed by Jesus at His Second Coming (Rev. 19:20, 2 Thess. 2:8). The known and unknown days happen at different times, meaning they are two separate events.
MY REPLY: This ‘Known Day versus an Unknown Day’ reasoning, although widely touted as undeniable proof of 2 comings of Jesus in the last days, is easily proven to be completely bogus! I discuss this popular falsity at length in the article linked below; but in a nut shell the whole house of cards collapses when you actually read the entire context (Matthew 24:23-44) in which we find the words of our Lord Jesus when he said: ‘but of that day and hour knoweth no man’ (v. 36). The entire contextual discussion is the day of the Second Coming!
The ‘that day’ Jesus is referring to is the one he just described in verses 29-31: which is the day ‘immediately after the tribulation’ when he appears and gathers his elect Church unto himself. The ‘unknown day’ Jesus was referring to in Matthew 24 is the Second Coming! While those pushing this ‘known day versus and unknown day proves 2 Comings’ nonsense would have you believe they can pinpoint the day of the Second Coming they CANNOT! Jesus Christ himself clearly labeled that day as an unknown day. Sorry friend, your proof just went POOF!
NOTE: The time of tribulation does not perfectly overlay the 7 year span, nor does it end at the end of the 42 months of Antichrist’s reign! Jesus returns after the tribulation of those days (Matt. 24:29-31) but before Armageddon and the destruction of Antichrist. Therefor the tribulation will end somewhat before the end of the 42 months. Trying to pin either the Return of Christ or the time of tribulation to the 7 years, 42 months, 1260 days, etc. will lead to confusion and false teachings! BEWARE! More on this HERE.
Proof #5: A door open in heaven (Revelation 4:1)
The door in heaven is opened to let John into heaven. We believe John’s call into heaven is prophetic of the Church being caught up at the Rapture (see proof #6). In Revelation 19:11, heaven is opened again, this time to let the armies which are already in heaven out. This is the Church, which has been raptured at a previous time, following Jesus out of heaven at the Second Coming.
MY REPLY: Let’s lump #5 and #6 together as they basically are the same.
Proof #6: “Come up here.” (Revelation 4:1)
A voice called for the apostle John to “Come up here,” and immediately he was in heaven. This seems to be a prophetic reference to the Rapture of the Church. The words “Come up here” are spoken to the two witnesses who are killed in the middle of the Tribulation, who are resurrected and ascend into heaven (Rev. 11:12). Therefore, the phrase “Come up here” could mean the church is raptured in Rev. 4:1. The word “church” is mentioned 22 times in Rev. 1-3, but is not mentioned again until Rev. 22:17.
MY REPLY: ‘Seems to be’ and ‘could mean’ are now considered to be proof? This ‘come up here means pre-trib rapture’ proof is so lame it does not even merit discussion! I would be embarrassed to even promote something so flimsy. Really.
Although the word Church is not used in Revelation 4-22 the Body of Christ is certainly found to be on Earth, and described as being there, in multiple places in those chapters as well as elsewhere in the Bible. To suggest the lack of the word Church in this segment of the Bible proves a pre-trib rapture is reasoning out of crazy town!
And by the way, the 2 witnesses minister in the latter years of the tribulation and are killed at the end – not the middle; and they are resurrected and caught-away with the rest of those resurrected at Christ’s Return. Remember? ALL who are Christ’s at his Coming (1Cor. 15:22-24)!
Proof #7: The 24 elders have their crowns. After John is called up into heaven, he sees the 24 elders with their crowns (Rev. 4:4-10). We know that Christians will receive their rewards (crowns) at the Rapture (2 Tim. 4:8, 1Pet. 5:4). We will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous (Luke 14:14). The elders could not have received their crowns unless the resurrection (Rapture) had taken place.
MY REPLY: The author is imposing a timeline to John’s vision that is merely opinion and speculation. That is a fatal flaw of pre-trib theory. So much of it has to be presupposed and then applied to interpreting verses that are either obscure or irrelevant to the claims being made.
Who are these elders? We don’t know for sure that they are even human! They could be the ‘Watchers’ the O.T. is so obscure about. Or some other heavenly beings. And to take the various scenes John envisioned in the Revelation and apply a strict sequential timing to them runs into many problems in itself. The Book of Revelation does not run in a strictly chronological order as many suppose. The fact John describes elders with crowns in this passage in no way proves a pre-trib rapture!
But the biggest problem I see with proof #7 is that he has believers rewarded at a ‘pre-trib rapture’ when the Bible clearly details the timing of the reward of the believer as being at the Second Coming! Again I refer you to the series on timing I spoke of earlier where the rewarding of the believer (and its timing) is discussed:
ARTICLE: The Biblical Timing of the Rapture!
Proof #8 Holy ones are already with Jesus in heaven (Zech. 14:5, Rev. 19:14). The armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, follow Jesus out of heaven at His Second Coming (Rev. 19:14, Zech. 14:5, Col. 3:4). These are not angels because Rev. 19:8 tells us the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints. In order to come out of heaven we first have to go in, indicating a previous Rapture.
MY REPLY: The Church being caught up to meet Christ when he descends to the clouds at his Second Coming, and then descending to Earth with him, perfectly fulfills Zech. 14:5, Col. 3:4, and also Jude 1:14. There is no conflict with Scripture presented by a ‘post-trib’ Coming. NOT ONE!
And the idea that the ‘armies which are in Heaven’ that follow Jesus out of Heaven at his Second Coming in Revelation 19 are a previously raptured Church is completely without merit. Just one more bogus claim pushed upon us a Bible Truth! The evidence given that these are not angels?
They are a ‘previously raptured Church’ and not God’s army of angels because?…… because?….. wait for it….. wait…….. here it is: Because they are dressed in white linen!
They are not angels because they are dressed in white linen? That’s your PROOF? That’s ridiculous!
And the seven angels came out of the temple, having the seven plagues, clothed in pure and white linen, and having their breasts girded with golden girdles. Revelation 15:6
Where in the Bible is there any indication that believers are the ‘armies in Heaven’ that do battle for the Lord? Isn’t that the job of the angels (who according to the Word of God are clothed in fine white linen)? That the angels do battle for God is a consistent theme throughout the Bible!
Contrary to pre-trib theory there is not even one passage in the Scriptures that details a ‘raptured’ Church in Heaven. They can only attempt to force that notion into verses that of themselves speak no such thing; as he has done here with Revelation 19:14.
There is nothing about Rev. 19:14 that would indicate we are to think it is humans being spoken of in that verse; but there are MANY passages that speak of the angels of God coming out of Heaven with Christ at his Return! And there are many passages that describe those angelic warriors as being clothed in white and linen robes.
There is absolutely no reason to think Revelation 19:14 is speaking of a previously raptured Church. (Unless you are grasping at straws to find support for an unbiblical doctrine!)
Proof #9: Kept from the hour of testing (Rev. 3:10). Revelation 3:10 says we will be kept out of the hour of testing which will come upon the whole earth (the Tribulation). Some wrongly believe that “keep” means to keep through, or protect through the Tribulation. Suppose you approach a high voltage area with a sign that says, “Keep Out.” Does that mean you can enter and be protected? No, it means you are forbidden from entering the area. But this verse also says He will keep us from the hour of testing. It is not just the testing, but the time period. If a student is excused from a test, he still may have to sit in the class while others take the test. But if he is excused from the hour of testing, he can go home. The Church will be called home before the hour of testing.
MY REPLY: Notice how he inserts the words (the Tribulation) into Rev. 3:10! Here we have him once again imposing pre-trib theory on a verse that of itself speaks no such thing. What is there about Rev. 3:10 that would indicate it is a reference to the time of tribulation in the last days? Nothing!
This promise was written to a group of first century believers! What was God speaking to them? What possible need would they have for a promise that their faithfulness would keep them from a time of tribulation 20 centuries in the future? No, that promise had to have a relevance to them in their life-time; and we cannot assume it would say anything different to us today that it did to them then! I explore these thoughts in depth in this article:
ARTICLE: The Promise of Revelation 3:10
Proof #10: Angels don’t resurrect people when they gather them for judgment. When the angels are sent forth to gather the elect at the Second Coming (Matt. 24:29-31), some have wrongly interpreted this as the Rapture. There is a huge problem with this interpretation. If we are resurrected at this time, why would we need angels to gather us? In the resurrection, we will be like the angels (Matt. 22:30) and able to travel in the air at will. Obviously, these people who are gathered are not resurrected, therefore it can’t be the Rapture. No one would claim the wicked are raptured at this time, yet Matthew 13:39-41, 49 says the angels will not only gather the elect, but also the wicked. This gathering is not a resurrection.
MY REPLY: One glaring fault of pre-trib preaching is the way they state elements of their theory as fact and then claim that fact as proof of their theory. But as I have said countless times: Stating your doctrine as proof of your doctrine is no proof at all!
His claim that angels do not gather the believers as part of the Resurrection is merely his opinion. It is the pre-trib doctrine that says there are no angels involved in that event; the Bible does not say any such thing. In fact the Bible shows they are involved. (2Thess. 1:6-7, Rev. 14:15, Mark 13:27, Matt. 16:27, etc.)
Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; 7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 2Thessalonians 1:6-7
Reading 1Thess 1:4 through 2:12 as one continual contextual passage is key to truly grasping what truths Paul was teaching about the return of Christ. In the portion of this lengthy context quoted above he clearly states that the persecuted Church will be *recompensed on the day Jesus is revealed from Heaven with his mighty angels. This jives perfectly with Christ appearing with his angels to gather his elect in Matthew 24.
Even pre-tribbers quote 1Thess. 4:16-17 as being the Resurrection of the Just; but they seem to ignore the mention of angelic involvement (who is the voice of the archangel speaking to?) detailed in that passage. I wonder why….. And clearly we see the believers are rewarded (recompensed) at that resurrection.
And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be *recompensed at the resurrection of the just. Luke 14:14
For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Matthew16:27
And here we plainly see that angels are involved in that day we are recompensed. (Which day is actually the Second Coming, not a pre-trib event!)
FOOD4THOUGHT: Another cause for pause is the way people like to quote the story of Lot as a type of a pre-trib rapture but choose ignore that it was angels that were sent to gather Lot and his family out of Sodom. Those angels literally took them by the hand (Gen 19:16) and escorted them to safety!
MOREFOOD4THOUGHT: He goes to great lengths to state why resurrected believers have no need for angelic assistance; but he fails to grasp that prior to the resurrection the believers have no supernatural ability to travel or to ‘gather themselves’ from whatever state they might be in. Some in the depths of the ocean, some in a grave, some are ashes scattered to the wind etc.. The dead will truly need to be ‘gathered together’; and I don’t see them accomplishing this without some assistance! And who should we think gives them this assistance, if not the angels of God? His reasoning that the dead don’t need angelic help to gather together for the resurrection is not reasonable!
To state that there is no angelic activity involved with the Resurrection of the Just might be a firm tenant of pre-trib theory, but is is quite astray from what the Bible really does teach! And Matthew 24:29-31 certainly IS the resurrection and catching-away of the Church.
Proof #11: Both wicked and righteous both can’t be taken first.
First Thessalonians 4:13-17 says the righteous are taken and the wicked are left behind. Matthew 13:30, 49 says the wicked are taken first and the righteous are left behind. These verses point to two separate events, the Rapture and the Second Coming.
MY REPLY: Here the author of 16 Proofs has viewed the passages he quoted through his ‘rapture goggles’, added in the false reasoning his doctrine forces. and then presented this embellishment as truth; when in reality it is far from it. He has invented a conflict that really does not exist in a proper exegesis of Scripture. Both passages he quoted are truly referring to the SAME event: the Second Coming of Christ.
The passage in 1Thess. 4 actually makes NO mention of the wicked being left behind as he claims it does; or for that matter the Church being removed from planet Earth. The passage is about the transformed believers meeting Jesus in the clouds!
And the idea that the resurrection and catching-away of the Church is an event that takes them away from planet Earth is part of the error of pre-trib theory. The Bible teaches no such thing! We do NOT depart Earth at this event. We are caught-up to meet Jesus in the air (which is a part of this world) when he returns to the planet to begin his rule and reign. 1Thess 4 says nothing about the Righteous being removed from this planet!
But the main problem with his claim of proof (of 2 separate comings) is his take on Matt. 13 v.30+49. In lumping these two verses together and suggesting they are saying the same thing he (as most pre-tribbers do) has missed a key part of Jesus parable.
Jesus was using an allegory of a wheat harvest as it would be done in his day to give a picture of the day when he comes for his chosen. The end-time ‘harvest’ must fit this image or there was no point of Jesus using it. Would the harvester burn the tares first and then harvest his Wheat? Of course not; that would burn up his field with the wheat still in it! He would, as stated in the verse, ‘gather together’ the tares into bundles first (leaving them in the field), NOT burn them first. Verse 30 is talking of the tares being gathered into bundles in preparation for the later burning of the field that would take place after the harvest. Verse 49 is talking about that later burning of the tares AFTER the harvest of the Wheat. The wheat is what is taken from the field first and then the tares are burnt.
This parable Jesus gave is about the SAME event discussed in 1Thess. 4 despite the claims of the 16 Proofs author! The way pre-trib preachers twist and misrepresent this parable is forced by the fact it shows their doctrine to be incorrect!
NOTE: Although some Bible passages do speak of the believers ‘leaving behind’ the Wicked at the Resurrection in the sense of the believers being removed from the populous by that event, other passages also speak of the day the Wicked will be destroyed leaving behind the Righteous to inhabit the planet. So we can truly say: the Bible says the righteous will leave the Wicked behind (at the Resurrection) and also that: the Bible says Wicked will leave the Righteous behind (when the Wicked are destroyed). There is no conflict in doctrine presented by these truths. They are different events; and in NO WAY is two separate Comings of Jesus shown by either. And don’t let people confuse you with their opposing views of who gets left behind. Biblically speaking both are ‘left behind’!
Proof #12: Jesus returns from the wedding.
When Jesus returns to earth at the Second Coming, He will return from a wedding (Luke 12:36). At the Rapture, Jesus is married to His bride, the Church. After the wedding, He will return to earth.
MY REPLY: Here the author of 16 Proofs, instead of showing any post-trib view contradiction to Scripture, actually states a glaring pre-trib contradiction! Let’s look at that verse he referenced:
And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Luke 12:36
This is one of many times Jesus warned his followers to remain watchful and ready for his Return. This verse clearly shows Christ’s followers still on Earth awaiting the Second Coming. If a ‘pre-trib rapture’ had already occurred then we his followers (that is who he was giving this exhortation to isn’t it?) would not be on Earth watching and awaiting his Second Coming (as he was exhorting us to in this teaching); we would already be with him! Do you see how pre-trib teaching is completely out of sync with the Word here?
I believe the Resurrection of the Just IS the wedding/union, but it takes place with us on Earth and him in the sky. Be careful not to get confused by mixing and blending various allegorical imageries! In one allegory we are portrayed as the Bride and in another we are those awaiting the return of the Groom. The fact that both are used to speak a certain truth to us is confusing to many. We need to be careful not to carry the allegorical pictures Jesus gave us farther than what he intended, or blend them together in a manner he did not prescribe. Doing so has caused many to be confused or stray in their understanding of eschatology.
Proof #13: Jesus will receive us to Himself, and not us to receive Him (John 14:2-3).
Jesus said He would prepare a place for the Church in heaven, and then He would come again to receive us to Himself. Why would Jesus prepare a place for us in heaven and then not take us there? At the Rapture, He will come to receive us to Himself, “that where I am (heaven), there you may be also.” If the Rapture occurred at the same time as the Second Coming, we would go up to the clouds and then immediately come back to earth. That would contradict John 14:2-3.
MY REPLY: How can us being caught-up to meet Jesus in the air at the Second Coming not be seen as Christ ‘receiving us unto himself’? This is more accusation of conflict with Scripture that really does not exist.
And quite evident is the way John 14:2-3 has been modified (added to!) to fit pre-trib theory. The words ‘in Heaven’ he added in are NOT a part of the text of John 14:2-3! Jesus truly said he went to prepare a place for us; but he did NOT say that ‘home’ would be a residence in Heaven. According to the Apostles of Christ that ‘home’ we are awaiting is a glorified body (2Cor. 5:1-4); and that we are awaiting this home that will be brought us ‘from Heaven’. This is fully explained in this article:
Yes, Jesus DID say he was coming to receive us that we may be with him where he is going to be. This whole conundrum presented by the wacky unworkable claims of pre-trib theology can be cleared up by one simple question: ‘WHERE is Jesus going to be? Off in Heaven for eternity; or will he be ruling and reigning right here on planet Earth?’
Proof #14: The one who restrains is taken out of the way.
In 2 Thess. 2:6-7, Paul says “the one who restrains will be taken out of the way” before the Antichrist can be revealed. We believe this refers to the Rapture because the Church is clearly the biggest obstacle to the Antichrist becoming a world ruler.
MY REPLY: We believe’? The audacity of presenting ‘We believe’ as proof of a doctrine cannot be overstated! When did believing something ever make it true? And when has the Church ever restrained evil rulers from rising to power? There is no historic nor biblical precedent for stating the Church must be removed in order for Antichrist to come to power. NONE!
Can I tell you without a doubt what (or possibly who) the ‘restrainer’ of v.7 is? No, I cannot. But I can guarantee you: it is not the departure of the Church! In fact, an honest reading of the context of 2Thess. chapter 2 plainly declares that the Coming (Parousia v.1) of our Lord and our gathering together unto him CANNOT happen until after the man of sin is revealed; and furthermore that this Coming of Christ (Parousia v.8) brings about the destruction of Antichrist! According to the Scriptures any ‘rapture’ before the appearance of Antichrist is not possible!
It is ‘proofs’ like #14 here, that not only make such wild unsupported claims, but even completely contradict what the text actually does say, that turned me away from the pre-trib fable I was being fed from the pulpit of the Church I attended as a new believer. I chose to believe what the Bible said over what I was being told about the Bible. And the truth set me free from the delusion of a pre-trib rapture!
Proof #15: The separation of the sheep and goats (Matt. 25:31-46) If the Rapture occurred at the Second Coming, why would the sheep and the goats need to be separated immediately after the Second Coming? A Rapture at the Second Coming would have already separated the sheep from the goats. With a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, the many people saved after the Rapture will need to be separated from the goats after the Second Coming.
MY REPLY: Separated AFTER the Second Coming? It is the resurrection / catching-away that separates the Righteous from the Wicked on that day. The parable of the sheep and goats is ABOUT the Second Coming!
When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: Matthew 25:31-32
It says ‘when’ the Son of Man shall come, not ‘sometime later on after he comes’. This proof #15 is nothing more than him applying his preconceived notions to the text and is not really anything the text itself speaks forth from itself. If the Resurrection of the Just and the catching-away of the Church does not put a separation between the Righteous and the Wicked then what does?
If you actually take time to read the Bible yourself, instead of just listening to what someone else ‘reads-into’ the text, you will see that the Resurrection of the Just is when the believer receives his reward and enters into his inheritance.
In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14 Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:13-14
The measure of the Holy Spirit we receive at the new birth is the down-payment (earnest) of our inheritance; and that inheritance is granted unto us when we receive the fullness of our redemption: at the Resurrection of the Just!
This rewarding and obtaining of our inheritance takes place at the Second Coming, as does the Judgment of the wicked of this world, not at a later-on Judgment like the pre-trib teachers claim. There is no reason at all to distance this parable from the catching-away of the Church!
Proof #16: Who will populate the Millennium?
If the Rapture occurs at the Second Coming and the wicked are cast into hell at that time, who will be left to populate the Millennium? Only people in their natural (non-resurrected) bodies will be able to have children (Matt. 22:30). With a Pre-Tribulation Rapture, the people saved after the Rapture who are alive at the Second Coming will populate the earth during the Millennium.
MY REPLY: This proof (#16) is based upon a false assumption of pre-trib teachers that only the Righteous and Saved will enter the Millennium. The Bible does not say that everyone not saved will be cast into Hell at the Second Coming.
This is a serious misunderstanding on the part of the 16 Proofs author (and most pre-trib preachers) that causes them to claim a post-trib resurrection leaves no one to populate the Earth during the Millennium. The Bible actually teaches there will be a remnant of unsaved humanity that survives and enters the Millennium.
And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles. Zechariah 14:16
The fact the Bible plainly speaks of a remnant of humanity that enters the Millennium and carries on the species completely nullifies any claim that a post-trib resurrection does not leave any to populate the Earth in that future era. I am not quite sure where they got that ‘nobody left to populate’ idea from. Maybe out of the same hat from which they pulled all their other bogus ‘proofs’? It sure didn’t come from the Scriptures!
ARTICLE: Who Will Populate The Millennium?
And as to the notion promoted by the pre-trib crowd of the Millennium being populated by only those saved after the age of grace has supposedly closed at a pre-trib rapture event: that concept presents another means of salvation other than the ‘grace thru faith’ salvation the Bible teaches as the ONLY way to be saved. The idea of another means of salvation (ie. works/martyrdom) being employed during the tribulation is actually heretical in nature; and is one of the many horrendous ways pre-trib/Dispensational theology completely departs from biblical teaching!
Now let me ask you: In examining these 16 proofs of a pre-trib rapture did you see anything you would consider to be solid biblical proof that theory is valid? I sure did not!
These are quite typical of the ‘best proofs’ we are given in support of the concept of a pre-trib departure of the Church. Did a light come on that would make you reject the historical belief of the Body of Christ that the Church will endure the trials and persecutions of the final few years of this age?
No? I didn’t think so.
As with ALL pre-trib rapture teaching it was an easily disproved mixture of presupposed notions and wonky unsupported claims. Nothing more than the wisdom of man gone to seed and imposed upon the text of the Scriptures. It is a satanic delusion fabricated in order to support a false narrative that the Body of Christ will not face Antichrist and his war upon the Saints of God in the final years of this age.
Those who are preaching and teaching that delusion, no matter how sincere and well-meaning they may be, are deceived. And the fact they are promoting that falsehood makes them the deceivers Jesus warned us of!
And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. Matthew 24:4-5
May God grant us all the discernment to side-step these satanic ear-tickling fables and abide in his Holy Truth;
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