I Don’t Believe In A PreTribulation Rapture! Part Two

                                       

by Jeff Girling

 

I could continue to give more reasons why I believe in the PreWrath theory of the rapture, but it would require a book, and I only intended to write a chapter here.  But I would like to write a little bit about some of the scriptures pretribers give in support of their pretribulation theories, because I can count on my hands most of the scriptures given to support pretribulation rapture, and I don’t believe some of those scriptures mean what pretribers think they do.

 

But first let’s address what we most likely will agree about.  We might agree that the tribulation needs to be properly defined. Pretrib teaches a 7 year tribulation. (Perhaps 31/2 peaceful and 31/2 not peaceful.)

 

The Bible speaks about a Great tribulation, and even Jesus Spoke about it in Matthew 24:21. The first century Church believed in a 31/2 year Great tribulation, and so do I. I suppose pretribers would call the second half of a 7 year tribulation the Great tribulation.

The thing is: I believe there will be a Great tribulation, and I believe the Church could go through it. I also like to compare Matthew chapter 24 to Revelation.

In Matthew 24: 29-31 Jesus implies that he will send forth his angels to gather his elect following the tribulation in Matt. 24:31. (Rapture)   Yet we see Revelation chapter 19 which places the bride with the bridegroom at the wedding feast, before he gets on His white horse to punish the nations, so it would appear there, that the Church will be raptured before His indignation is poured out.  (So I believe in the prewrath theory.)

 

Now let’s look at those pretribulation scriptures. They use I Thessalonians chapter 4, and 1 Corintians 15:51,52 which surely apply to the rapture, but both would also indicate the resurrection before the rapture, and I have given scripture above, that places the resurrection at the end of the tribulation period.

One verse commonly used by pretribers to support pretribulation rapture is Revelation 4:1, where Jesus Christ says "Come up hither" Some believe that means Jesus speaking to the church to come up in a rapture, and they believe that, because they can’t see the Church in Revelation beyond Chapter 4.

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

My response to that is: (????) I mean that interpretation of that verse makes absolutely no sense to me at all. First Jesus Christ wasn’t speaking to the Church in Revelation 4:1. He was speaking to John to come up hither, and I already have given you scripture pointing out the Church in Revelation 20:4-6 at the beginning of this article. (Remember that first resurrection, which included Christians who went through the tribulation period, who didn’t take the mark of the beast.)

But what about Revelation Chapter 7 that speaks about a Great multitude that no man can number of every nation, kindred, people, and tongues, where it speaks about those who have came out of great tribulation. And have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb. Christians who had to be in the tribulation to come out of it. (The Church during the tribulation period.)

Revelation 7:13 And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?

14 and I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

The next verse they use is: Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.


You will notice in Revelation 3:10 above, that it says I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation. The hour of temptation is referred as meaning the Great Tribulation which will occur at end times. Pretribers quote this verse as meaning that Jesus Christ will keep them out of the Great Tribulation through a pretribulation rapture.

The key words are "
keep & from". What did the Lord mean when He said "keep thee from the hour of temptation?


Keep from the strongs greek dictionary means:
05083:
5083 τηρεω tereo tay-reh'-o

from teros (a watch, perhaps akin to <2334>); ; v

AV-keep 57, reserve 8, observe 4, watch 2, preserve 2, keeper 1, hold fast 1; 75

1) to attend to carefully, take care of
1a) to guard
1b) metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is
1c) to observe
1d) to reserve: to undergo something

Now we can see from the greek meaning keep, that it means to guard or keep in the state one is in, which means the Lord will guard the spirituality of the Christian, and perhaps preserve the spiritual state of that Christian. (Jesus is the Author and finisher of our faith.) I will comment more below. But first the Greek meaning of the word "from"

01537:
1537 εκ ek ek or εξ ex ex

a primary preposition denoting origin (the point whence action or motion proceeds), from, out (of place, time, or cause; literal or figurative; ; prep

AV-of 366, from 181, out of 162, by 55, on 34, with 25, misc 98; 921

1) out of, from, by, away from

from—Greek, "(so as to deliver thee) out of," not to exempt from temptation.

So the word "
from" doesn't necessarily mean to be exempt from the hour of temptation, but to be delivered through it. The Lord kept and delivered the Israelites in the wilderness, but they still went through the wilderness. 1 Corintians 10:13 will shed some light on the true meaning of "keep you from"

See 1 Corinthians below, where Paul writes that the Lord will make a way for us to escape temptation. You will see that we still have to bear temptations, so to escape from dosn't mean to be exempt from, but the strength of the Lord to bear it.

1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.



The bottom line to Rev. 3:10, is it has nothing to do with a rapture from or out of the tribulation, but rather the Lord will guard His people through the tribulation.

The next scripture I will challenge that pretribers give to support pretribulation rapture is 2 Thessalonians 2:3. Let me first give you the scripture, and then I will comment on it afterwards. But I will also give the scripture leading up to it, so the proper context can be displayed. I will color blue and underline the verse in question..


2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
3
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.



My comments: There are some pretribers who will quote 2 Thessalonians 2:3 to support pretribulation rapture. They say the words "falling away " means to be snatched away, then applying the falling away to the rapture of the church. They want us to believe that it means a rapture must take place first.

But when we consider that only a few pretribers will actually interpret those words that way, and I believe it's a desperate attempt on their part to prove their theory of pretribulation rapture, when their pretribulation theory doesn't have much to stand on in the first place.

When we consider the greek meaning of "falling away", then we very qucikly learn, that the true meaning has nothing to do with any rapture or snatching away. The true meaning is "apostasia" Which means apostasy, or forsaking ones faith. It means to fall away from Christianity.

So once again pretribers add their own words and meanings to scripture, in effort to make scripures say things, which the scriptures don't say in the first place. Again! I believe they do this as a desperate attempt to prove a theory that scripture doesn't actually teach. Now see the true greek meaning below of the words "falling away" Which is taken from the Strongs Greek Dictionary.

I'm not through with 2 Thessalonians yet, because I actually believe this verse is contadictary to the pretribulation rapture theory, and I will comment further below the Strongs Greek definition.

00646:
646 αποστασια apostasia ap-os-tas-ee'-ah

feminine of the same as <647>; ; n f

AV-to forsake + <575> 1, falling away 1; 2

1) a falling away, defection, apostasy

I also gave 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3 above, so we would have the context of verse three. In verse one Paul refers to our gathering unto the Lord, which he is referring to the rapture itself, and then in verse two Paul tells them not to be shaken or troubled by his previous letter to them. (1 Thessalonians.) So he's giving further informaton here about the rapture or his comments about it from 1 Thessalonians.

He tells them not to concern themselves of the Day of Christ, or the Day of Thre Lord in verse two, but then he goes on to say that there will be a great falling away from the faith. (Not Rapture) He also says in verse three, that the son of perdition must first be revealed. Which means the great falling away and the son of perdition must be revealed before the Day of he Lord.

If we go back to 1 Thessalonians 4:15, and then read about the rapture continuing through chapter 5. We will learn that in 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, that Paul is still on the same rapture topic, and he connects it with the Thief in the night and the day of the Lord in 1 Thessalonians 5:2.

Which means that the rapture, thief in the night, and the day of the Lord all happen at the same time. But Paul said in 2 Thessaonians that the son of perdition must be revealed before the day of the Lord happens, Which means the antichrist or son of perdition will be here on the seen before the day of the Lord, which Paul connects with the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 5:2

This all leads me to the next scripture Pretribulation rapture defenders will give to support their theory (2 Thessalonians 2:7) This verse is only 4 verses beyond verse three above, and again the pretribers quote verse seven to support their pretribulation rapture theory, by saying there's a restrainer in verse seven, who retrains the son of perditon, but the restrainer will be removed, and then the son of perdition reveals himelf.

They say the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit is in all Christians. (Which is true) But they imply that the Holy Spirit will be removed from earth through the rapture of the Church, therefore the son of perdition won't be restrained anymore, and this gives him freedom to expose and reveal himelf.

Quite honestly: The whole idea would actually make sense to me, unless I consider the great multitude which no man can number, that comes out of the Great Tribulation in Revelation Chapter 7. Which means there are a lot of Christians being saved during the Great tribulation. (But it is the Holy Spirit Who leads men to repentence, therefore it's impossible for the Holy Spirit to remove Himself, or nobody would be saved during the tribulation)

Which means the Holy Spirit is still around during the tribulation. But some pretribers will say that He only partially removes Himself. (Such desperation on their part.) They can't have it both ways. The restrainer is removed, or he restrainer isn't. But the tribulation Christians will need the Holy Spirit to be saved, and also the Jews who will preach during the tribulation. (No Holy Spirit, then no Christian activity anywhere! Nobody preaches! Nobody gets saved.) That's the hole in their Holy Spirit Restrainer theory.


Also: 2 Thessalonians 2:7 doesn’t actually say restrainer, so the theory is actually partially speculation. (Weak at best.) Yet it would be quite plausible, if 2 Thessalonians 2:7 was more clear about a restrainer. But it should also be pointed out, that it’s also speculation, that this restrainer, if there is one, is actually the Holy Spirit, which is also just another speculation on their part. (No real evidence to prove it.) But it does say He who letteth indicating God, and then again says He, which could really indicate the Holy Spirit.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he(Restrainer or Holy Spirit) be taken out of the way.

8 And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming


Again! I believe the Holy Spirit will be here during the tribulation to guard and keep His people the Church through the Great tribulation, because I believe the Church is going through it, whether most Christians believe it or like not!

I wanted to deal with the pretribulation rapture theory , because there are many Christians who believe what they have been taught by faith. Which means they have faith in their Pastors or elders who teach them.

But I put my faith in the God and His Word, and any doctrine has to be shown to me through the Word Of God before I will accept it. I was first rooted in with Charismastics, and attended Pentecostal and Assembly Of God Churches, who will always preach a pretribulation doctrine.

But through the years I continually asked Pastors for teaching on the pretribulation rapture, but most ignored the subject, and I always wondered why. So it left me on my own to seek out the scriptures for a pretribulation rapture myself. So I started reading book after book on the subject. I soon would learn that there was only a handful of scriptures the pretribulation rapture doctrine was based on, and most of those scriptures didn't give any indication of the timing of the rapture.

The few scriptures left to support it were actually scriptures, which the pretribulation defenders were actually adding their own words and beliefs to them, to make these scriptures say what they want us to believe, yet false doctrine, which these scriptures really never said in the first place, when we consider the exact content of these scriptures without the added words and beliefs of pretrib defenders.

I believe it's a very important issue, because Christians who trust and believe these pretribulation rapture defenders won't be prepared for the tribulation they will go through, because they think they will be raptured. So they will fall prey to the antichrist, which I believe could cause the great falling away that Paul talks about in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

It appears to me that the devil has found a little white lie to deceive the Church with, that has potential to cause a great falling away in tribulation times. The white lie is: The pretribulation rapture theory.

But what about Luke 21:36 which is a very common verse given to support pretribulation. I’ll give the verse first to refresh the reader's mind, if the reader should be a pretriber.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. (King James version)

Now some pretribers will believe that Luke 21:36 above indictes a pretribulation rapture, because Jesus says pray that you might be worthy to escape, and they perceive that as meaning escape the tribulation. (But I don’t believe that.)

Here’s why I don’t believe that scripture means escaping the tribulation: Consider the phrase "worthy to escape" . The word worthy can also be translated "stength" and the word escape can be translated "flee" Some Bible translations actually use te word strength instead of the word worthy' So let me give you that verse again with those changes in it.

Luke 21:36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may have strength to flee all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Now you can see that the verse takes on a whole new meaning. Why would anyone need strength if they were being raptured? It should also be pointed out that Jesus was speaking specifically to the Jews, who will go through the tribulation, which is referred to by many prophecy experts as the time of Jacobs trouble.

It should also be pointed out that Zechariah 14:5 says the Jews will flee to the mountains, where Jesus will meet them with the Saints, so it would make sense for Jesus to say pray you have strength to flee, because that’s exactly what the Zechariah 14:5 says the Jews are going to do, when the antichrist sits in the temple according to Revelation chapter 11, and he starts persecuting the Jews, as he sits in their temple blaspheming God. The Jews will flee to the mountains to escape persecution.

So if Luke 21:36 has any connection with the rapture at all, then it applies to the rapture of the Jews at the end of the tribulation period. But there's also another possiblity, whereas some interpretations see it as spiritual strength or spiritual worthiness to stand before the Son Of Man. (Jesus Christ) I really believe it refers to the Jews physically fleeing to the mountains, but they wouild still have to be worthy to stand before Jesus Christ without spot or wrinkle. Either way I believe Jesus was speaking to the Jews in Luke 21:36, and not the Church as a whole. (See Zechariah 14:1-5 below.)

Zechariah 14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.

2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.

3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.

4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

 

The next scripture pretribers give is Matthew 24:40, where Jesus said one will be taken and one will be left. (Which is sequeled in Luke 17:34) I don’t know if that should be applied to the rapture or not. It could, but it still wouldn’t indicate a pretribulation rapture if it does apply to the rapture.

I associate it more with the thief in the night, because Jesus went on to say watch, because you know not what hour your Lord comes in Matthew 24:42.. So I associate it with the thief in the night, which I pointed out earlier is the same event as the rapture and Day of the Lord, which comes after the antichrist or son of perdition is revealed according to Paul in 2 Thessalonians 2:3.

Matthew 24:40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

So Matthew 24:40, 41 might only indicate a rapture, but not a pretribulation rapture. Some prophecy scholars don’t even believe it applies to the rapture for the following reason.

Jesus said that only a few would find the way to eternal life in Matthew 7:14, so one taken and one left doesn’t fit mathematically. Because if only a few will find the way to eternal life, then only a few should be taken in a rapture, and many left behind. (One taken and one left is equal to 50%) That’s way more than just a few finding the way to eternal life.

But I won’t be dogmatic either way with that verse, because it could mean the rapture. (But not necessarily pretribulation rapture.) So I don’t believe pretribers can use this scripture to prove pretribulation rapture, but perhaps just the rapture itself.

I could go on and on stating why I believe in the prewrath theory of rapture, and why I don’t believe in a pretribulaton rapture of the Church. But it would require a book, and I only wanted to write a chapter here.

But the prewrath theory I believe in would suggest a rapture right before the Lord pours out His wrath or indignation. I’m quite aware that some pretribers would say that the Lord uses the devil to pour out his wrath during the tribulation., so the whole tribulation period can be defined as the Lord’s wrath.

They use 1 Thessalonians 5:9 to support that view, which says we are not appointed unto wrath., but that verse could also mean when the Lord personally pours out His wrath or indignation at the end of the tribulation, so it really doesn’t prove anything regarding pretribulation rapture.

1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

One would have to actually believe the the Lord’s wrath included the wrath the devil himself unleashes unto the world during the tribulation to apply 1 Thessalonians 5:9 to a pretribulation rapture, but I find that hard to swallow. But pretribers will say that God used King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel to pour out his wrath on Israel, which is actually true. God even called King Nebuchadnezzar His servant.

So they imply that God could use the devil the same way He used King Nebuchadnezzar to pour out His wrath, therefore trying to justify God’s wrath applying to the whole tribution period, or at least the last 31/2 years of it, which are referred to as the Great Tribulation..

I don't believe the evil the devil unlashes unto the world especially Christians has anything to do with the Lord's wrath. The Lord will pour out His own personal wrath toward the end of the tribulation, which will most likely destroy the antichrist or son of perdition. I believe the Church will be raptured right before the Lord pours out His indignation or wrath toward the end of the tribulation just like the Lord said it would in Isaiah 26:20,21.

I felt it was my duty as a Christian to write this article, because I honestly believe the pretribulation rapture theory is a false teaching in the Church, and lacks much Biblical foundation to stand on.

I also believe this false teaching can actually lead to the great falling away of the Church spoken about in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, which is the same verse speaking about the son of perdition. I believe Christians expecting to be raptured from the tribulation won’t be prepared to deal with the tribulation, therefore causing a great falling away, as these Christians surrender to the antichrist. (son of perdition.)

I realize more can be said from both sides of this rapture debate, but I have stated a few reasons why I don’t believe in pretribulation rapture, and I believe I have truthfully given scripture which supports my position on the matter, and I hope a good foundation for those to start with, who want to pursue the matter further.

One last idea I might suggest is the last trump spoken about in 1 Corinthians 15:52. That too is controversal relating to the rapture. There are opposing interpretations of what Paul meant about the last trump. Some relate it to the last trump spoken about in Revelation, placing the rapture at the last trump or end of tribulaton. But some pretribers have their own slant on that, stating that the Old Testament referred to a trump which was blown right before a marriage feast in the Old Testament, indicating a trump sounding right before the marriage feast between the Bride and Bridegroom in Revelation Chapter 19.

I believe it could be both of those, because I believe the marriage feast takes place toward the end of the tribulation right before the Lord pours out His personal wrath and indignation.

Bottom Line to this article: Pretribers have failed to present Biblical scriptures to support the pretribulation rapture theory to my satisfaction, and I have eagerly pressed them to do so since 1969, yet I can count on my hands all of the scriptures they have given me, and I have given most of them in this article, which haven't proven any pretribulation rapture.

Yet a book can be written with many Bible scriptures which contadict pretribulation rapture, and the Bible itself is the final word on the subject..

 

Here's a link to a Pre-Wrath Rapture website, that can give a more deeper insight into the Pre-Wrath Rapture Theory.

http://prewrathministries.org/index.html

I also recommend a book titled "The Pre-Wrath Rapture Of The Church" by Marv Rosenthal, which is about the pre-wrath rapture theory. This doesn’t mean I will agree with everything Marv Rosenthal writes in his book, but I believe it has more merit than the pretribulation theory ever has had in my opinion.

Another book titled "The Sign" by Robert Van Kampen is another good book. I suggest starting with The Pre-Wrath Rapture first, because it’s not as large as The Sign by Robert Van Kampen. Marv Rosenthal can start you with the Pre-Wrath Rapture theory, and then Robert Van Kampen can take you deeper into it, if you want to pursue it further after reading Marv Rosenthal’s book.

God Bless You For Reading This Article! Sincerely! Jeffrey L. Girling