A Case for the Post-Tribulation Rapture

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by RLBosley, Mar 11, 2013.

  1. RLBosley

    RLBosley
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought I'd post this since there has been some discussion lately regarding eschtology and some questions concerning the post-tribulational view of the rapture. This is long and i know many here (me included) have the attention span of a goldfish... but please press on and read. Check the scriptures.

    First let me clarify what the “tribulation” is.

    This period of time is NOT some future 7 year period of time where God’s wrath will be indiscriminately poured out on the planet. There is no scripture anywhere in the Bible that pegs a period of time known as the tribulation to a 7 year period. Of course many will jump to Daniel 9 and try to say that the last week of the 70 Weeks prophecy is the tribulation, but that’s not true and a VERY recent development in theology. Until the rise of dispensationalism most theologians and preachers (Calvin, Luther, Henry, and Wesley just to name a few) understood the entire 70 weeks to have been completed in the past; either when the Gospel went out to the Gentiles after Stephen’s stoning (My belief) or when Jerusalem was destroyed in 70AD.

    The word tribulation is found 22 times in the King James Version, only 3 of those instances are in the Old Testament. 18 of those New Testament references are Strong's G2347 – thlipsis; with the final occurrence being Strong's G2346 – thlibō (which - from my limited understanding of Greek – is the verb form of thlipsis). These words literally mean pressure (or pressing) and metaphorically are used to refer to persecution and affliction. The word is never used in scripture as a synonym for God’s wrath (With the possible exception of Romans 2:9). Further, thlipsis is translated in the KJB 24 other times variously as affliction, trouble, anguish, persecution and burdened.

    So what IS the tribulation?

    Clearly the word tribulation is used solely as a description of persecution and suffering and in every instance but one it refers specifically to the suffering that God’s people endure. Of course most if not all realize this and agree with it, EXCEPT regarding THE tribulation, which is always the term used for the supposed 7 year period of time during the eschaton when God judges the world. For some reason they consider that time to be “special.” But look at the gospel accounts and see what did Jesus ACTUALLY say?

    Matt 24:21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

    The parallel accounts in Mark 13 and Luke 21 are similar, though Luke omits the term tribulation entirely. Jesus clearly doesn’t rename an age (and certainly not a 7 year period) “The Tribulation” He merely says that this time will be a period of “great tribulation”, in other words there will be greater than usual persecution and suffering.

    OK so now that that is out of the way let’s look at the timing of the rapture:

    1 Thess 4:16-17 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

    This is without a doubt the most commonly used verse to support the rapture. However, most fail to realize this is the ONLY text that discusses the rapture. While many other verses speak of our “gathering together” to Christ or in some other way refer to the rapture, none of them actually mention the event. Only 1 Thess 4 specifically mentions the “catching up” of the saints to meet the Lord in the air. That catching up is the rapture. Without this verse no one would assume our gathering to Christ would be in this way because all the other “rapture verses” just speak of a gathering together.

    So when does Paul mention this “catching up” will occur? Verse 16 clearly says that the dead in Christ will rise first so this catching up occurs right after the righteous dead are resurrected. When does that occur? Revelation 20 places the First resurrection, or the resurrection of the righteous dead immediately AFTER the physical, visible return of Christ. So the flow of events is – tribulation>Second Advent (in the clouds)>resurrection of the righteous dead>rapture of living saints.


    (as an aside, this verse also totally destroys the idea of a silent, secret, rapture that is so common in pre-trib circles. This is not silent, if anything it is one of the noisiest passages in all of scripture)

    Other verses that allude to the rapture are even more obvious:

    1 Corinthians 15: 50-52 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
    Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
    In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


    When will we “all be changed”? At the LAST trump! Not the trumpet before 7 more trumpets later on! Look at the last of the series of judgments in Revelation that are illustrated with trumpets:

    Revelation 11:15-18 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 four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
    Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
    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.


    At this seventh (last) trumpet sounding voices in Heaven declare that the kingdoms of earth are now the kingdoms of God and Christ and that it is now the time of God’s judgment (wrath) and the time for the dead to be judged! This corresponds perfectly with 1 Corinthians 15. The last trumpet sounds, the Kingdom comes in physical form and the dead are raised.

    Of course some will object because this is only Revelation 11! “This can’t be the end,” they say “there are still the 7 bowl/vial judgments!” This belief comes from the error of understanding the book of Revelation as being entirely chronological. But if that were so, then please explain to me how the world ends at the end of Revelation 6, here in chapter 11 and again in chapter 19? Revelation isn’t chronological; it is a series of visions that are all pictures of the same event (the eschaton) from multiple “views”.

    Also, the words of the Lord confirm the timing of His coming:

    Matthew 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
    And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
    And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


    Want to know what two words in Latin are used in Matthew 24:29 to describe the timing? post tribulationem
     
  2. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    It is a shame I have to say this every thread, but I am asking questions to learn, not debate. I certainly do not know Latin, Greek, or Hebrew.

    I used to believe in pre trib, pre mil, but not so sure. This idea of not having the seven year trib is another new idea to me.

    With those thoughts in mind, here are some questions:
    1. If the Tribulation/Great Tribulation is not the seven year period talked about in Daniel 9, then how long is it, and what will mark the start of it?

    2. Without the seven year period, how does the Anti Christ and False Prophet play in all of this?

    3. You gave a flow of events above. When does the millenium start in relation to your sequence?

    4. Not sure I understood, but when is the ressurection of the unsaved? When do the New Heaven and New Earth appear?

    Thanks for your responses in advance.
     
  3. RLBosley

    RLBosley
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    I used to be a dispensational pre-trib pre-mill too... I've since made quite a turn around and the scriptures make sooo much more sense now!

    1. I believe that the entire church age is the age of tribulation. It will get worse as we move towards the return of Christ though culminating in "great tribulation". In the Olivet Discourse in Matt 24 Jesus explains the period of great tribulation and starts off describing events that are obvious prophecies pointing toward the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. He says that the gospel must be preached to all nations during this time and that the saints will be persecuted and false christs will appear. He then says "immediately after that tribulation" there will be signs in heaven and finally His appearing. All these events perfectly parallel Revelation 6, which to me indicates that this period of tribulation stretches from the sending out of the gospel all the way to the Second Advent.

    2. Regarding Antichrist and the false prophet I am currently going back and forth between two views. One that there will be an end times singular Antichrist that will make war against the believers during the "great tribulation" period. If this is the case then his reign is likely the 3 1/2 years referred to in revelation. At this moment however I lean more towards the historic reformed interpretation which held that the office of the pope is Antichrist and his reign is not 1260 literal days, but 1260 years keeping with the day=year trend in prophecy. Of course it could be a combination with the pope being a type of Antichrist. Regardless the idea that the antichrist is a political ruler is faulty since Paul said that he (Antichrist, the man of sin) would exalt himself "in the temple of God." The church is now the temple of God, so somehow the Antichrist (in what ever form) will rise from within Christianity.

    3. I would put the millennium shortly after the return of Christ. Historic premillennialism.

    4. The resurrection of the unsaved, I believe, is after the millennium after Satan is released and allowed to again rebel against Christ. Revelation 20:7-15

    I'm by no means an expert on this at all, for that I would encourage you to look up George Ladd. I don't totally agree with everything he said but he was probably one of the best proponents of historic premillennialism of the last several hundred years. Here is a great site for some of his teachings. http://articles.ochristian.com/preacher75-1.shtml
     
    #3 RLBosley, Mar 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2013
  4. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you for your response. Would you please be more specific about the timing of seals, trumpets, and bowls? At the same time, in part or all?????
     
  5. RLBosley

    RLBosley
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    I think the are concurrent in some way. I believe this because if you look at the end of each set of judgments the world as we know it ends.

    In Revelation 6:12-17, at the end (6th) of the seals we have - the sun being darkened and the moon turning to "blood", the stars falling from heaven, and the skies "departing as a scroll", a great earthquake that moves every island and mountain out if its place and all the people of the earth trembling and running "from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb"

    In Revelation 11:15-19, at the end (7th) of the trumpets we have - "lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail." And we also have the kingdoms of the world being taken over by God and Christ, the time of God's wrath against the nations and the resurrection and reward of the righteous.

    In Revelation 16:17-21, at the end (7th) of the Vial/bowls we have - "voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake" the island and mountains are all moved by this quake, great hail falling and a voice from Heaven saying "It is done!"

    Look how incredibly similar these all are! Each one has incredible similarities to each other, so much so that I think these are all clearly talking about the same event the appearing of Christ. And this is even more apparent when we compare it to what Christ said at the Olivet discourse in Matt 24:29:
    Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:


    Christ specifically says that after "that tribulation" (the persecution of the church) there will be signs showing that the second coming is at hand - There will be great signs in the sky with the sun and moon darkened (which correlates with Revelation 6) the stars will fall (Rev 6 for sure, maybe 11 and 16 also) and the powers of heavens shall be shaken (Rev 6, 11, and 16 all have some sort of violent atmospheric events).

    Matt 24:30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

    So after these events occur a sign announcing the return of Jesus will appear. I have no idea what that sign is but it must be obvious since when it appears all the world will mourn. This is also consistent with Rev 6 where the people of the earth are terrified and try to hide anywhere they can from the glorious return of Christ!

    Matthew 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

    Then after Jesus appears in the clouds, His angels will be sent out with the sound of the trumpet (either the 7th trumpet judgment or one immediately after) to gather His people together in the rapture/resurrection.

    Now - how they all relate to each other, I truly don't know. Are the 2nd seal, 2nd trumpet, and 2nd vial all occurring simultaneously? I have no idea. But I am convinced that these judgments are not confined to a 7 year period and are not chronological with one after another (seals, then trumpets, then vials).

    I hope that answers your question!
     
    #5 RLBosley, Mar 11, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 11, 2013
  6. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    My first detailed exposure to eschatology came in the late 1960s. Events in the Middle East stirred a widespread interest in the End Times. Two things happened to stir that interest.
    One, the Six-Day War, in which an isolated Israel attacked and destroyed the Air Forces of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, and captured Old Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and the Gaza Strip.

    The gathering if Israel's enemies and the Palestinian hostility sent people to their Bibles, looking for clues.

    Another event was the publishing of Hal Lindsey's book The Late, Great Planet Eartj, which espoused a dispensational viewpoint. It captured the imagination of millions, and soon there were other books on the same subject. And you could find Prophecy Conferences on just about every corner.

    My own pastor preached a series of sermons, also from a dispensational viewpoint. It was the only view I heard during that time.

    My next pastor, preached a sermon one Sunday, in which he espoused a post-tribulationalism. I remember a bunch of us headed for him after the service to challenge him. He held up his hand and grinned. "Look guys, we're not going to argue about this right now. You have an assignment. I want you to bring me back some clear, unmistakable, no-subject-to-any-other-interpretation scripture verses which teach a pre-trib rapture."

    Hah, I thought to my self, we've got him.

    I couldn't find any.

    I had studied J. Dwight Pentecosts Things to Come. I re-read The Late, Great Planet Earth. Then I found Dr. Ladd's The Blessed Hope, and read one by Robert Gundry, (the title eludes me).

    I became a Historic Pre-Mil kind of guy. And that's where I am today.

    Since saturneptune and I serve the same church, I'll lend him my cope of The Blessed Hope.

    There are some things I like about Amilleniasm, but I'm not there--yet.

    Thanks to RLBosley for the link to Dr. Ladd's works in Post #3. For those of you who can't get the book, there's plenty on that website to keep you busy.
     
  7. RLBosley

    RLBosley
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    Very nice! In a similar way I grewup under solidly dispensational teaching. However it was my own study that showed me the faults of the system. Now I am Historic Pre-mill also and my new pastor is as well. And like you I see some good in A-mill but can't quite make the change. Maybe I will one day, but I'm not convinced yet.

    Ladd's work has been a great help to me. Once I realized I was leaning towards post-tribulationism I Googled it, looking for ANYONE respected that had written about that view. I found Ladd and promptly ordered his "A Theology of the New Testament." Great book by a great man of God!
     
  8. Tom Butler

    Tom Butler
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Messages:
    9,031
    Likes Received:
    0
    By the way, that Robert Gundry book whose title I couldn't remember--it just came to mind.

    The Church and the Tribulation.

    As I remember, back in the 1970s, much of the appeal of dispensationalism to conservatives was that it reqiured a mainly literal translation of scripture.

    Anybody who tried to say that some events were allegories, or symbolic were labeled as liberals. And you know those liberals, how they want to undermine the scriptures.

    And, the idea that we believers would escape the tribulation had strong appeal.
     
  9. RLBosley

    RLBosley
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    Well that is the claim of dispensationalism anyway. They claim literal interpretation but choose to not interpret Paul literally when he says that the church is the "Israel of God" and that "not all Israel is Israel"... or when Jesus says that He will gather the elect "immediately after the tribulation." :rolleyes:

    Anywho, I'll have to check out that book. Thanks!
     
  10. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    What is the purpose of the Great Tribulation, and not merely the persecution we were told we would go through? If we start with a faulty understanding of its scope everything else will also be off kilter.
     
  11. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    13
    The Last trump. Do you mean to tell us that after all these events the last time anyone will hear a trump will be the end. I don't believe you know what you are talking about.
    MB
     
  12. RLBosley

    RLBosley
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2012
    Messages:
    1,752
    Likes Received:
    0
    Reread Matthew 24 where Jesus says "great tribulation." He says NOTHING about it being a set period of time where God's wrath is poured out. He only says that it is a time of great tribulation or in other words great persecution. I agree that if we start with a faulty understanding of this everything else will be off, the question is which one of us is off? You haven't used ANY scripture to support your view. Go back and actually read the scripture I posted in the OP.

    Seriously? After all that I posted and all the scripture that was referenced you resort to this? And I don't care if you think I know what I'm talking about since you are incapable of using scripture to support your view.
     
  13. webdog

    webdog
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    24,691
    Likes Received:
    0
    You assume I haven't read the scripture in question before? You are getting all hung up on the very word 'tribulation' which is throwing everything else off. Paul refers to it as the day of the Lord (1 Thess. 5), and specifically tells believers NOT to be concerned about this time period. The day of the Lord quite simply means Gods wrath being poured out against unbelievers, not believers (Is a. 13, Joel 1, 2, Obad. 15-20, Mal. 4), and salvation of His own (Isa. 27, Her. 30, Joel 2, Obad. 21) (The OT sets the understanding, and the NT further expands on it.

    So when you tell me the great tribulation has nothing to do with Gods wrath against unbelievers, and is meant as a time of persecution of believers, you couldn't be more wrong. Also, when the bible states we are not appointed unto wrath, and the fullness of His wrath against us was placed on Christ on the cross (John 3:36), it DOES refer to the great tribulation, I.e., the day of the Lord. I am in Christ, and He in me. He will not be put through a second round of the Father's wrath, and you can take that to the bank.



    I know this wasn't addressed to me, but these charges are becoming quite tiresome. Anyone can copy and past a ton of scripture, what does that prove, that someone has a better understanding of it? You should be able to defend your position FROM scripture. Not posting a verse along with a statement does not mean we are just making things up, it means we know the truth that we already gleened from the passages.
     
    #13 webdog, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2013
  14. MB

    MB
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2006
    Messages:
    2,557
    Likes Received:
    13
    It's not that I'm incapable at all Bosley it's that your incapable of understanding the plain reading of scripture. Like Your lack of explanation of;
    1Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
    How can Christ come with all His saints if they are still on Earth when He comes?
    Please explain this if you really know what you are talking about.
    MB
     
  15. thomas15

    thomas15
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    0
    A consideration.

    Jesus in Matt 24-25 stated that the tribulation would be like in the days of Noah. The saved in that case were taken away (enclosed in the Ark) while the guilty left to be judged by the flood. This is the same as when Sodom was judged.

    If Jesus wanted us to believe that the saved of the church age would be around to witness the tribulation judgements but be protected from it, a better example for Jesus to compare the tribulation to would have been the Israelites in Egypt at the Passover.

    We know that there are some believers in Christ who become martyrs during the tribulation. Their death is not in judgement. The Bible does not identify them as part of the Bride of Christ. Their souls will be waiting for the entire group to be gathered under the altar rather than being in the place Jesus is now preparing for his bride.
     
    #15 thomas15, Mar 13, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2013
  16. Van

    Van
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Messages:
    9,516
    Likes Received:
    49
    Another way to look at tribulation is to consider it an aspect of Christian living, i.e. sharing in the suffering of Christ. Thus at least an aspect of tribulation has nothing to do with the wrath of God but rather the persecution by the world toward those presenting God to sinful humanity.

    Another aspect is that hardship helps transform us into more Christ-like servants, i.e. comforting others going through a similar experience of difficulty.

    Then there is the increase in tribulation preceding the return of Christ, such that suffering will increase, i.e. Matthew 24:21.

    Thus one view is that the rapture will occur prewrath, curtailing the tribulation of the saints alive at end time.

    By the numbers:

    1) Tribulation increases upon the saints of End Times

    2) Jesus comes in the clouds and raptures the saints.

    3) The wrath of God is poured out full strength upon the world.

    4) Jesus returns and sets foot on the earth and ushers in the 1000 year kingdom.
     
  17. thomas15

    thomas15
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    0
    One of the big anti-dispensational arguements is that somehow without really saying so, the Bible teaches that the church replaces Israel as the people of God for all time and all of the promises God made to the Jews are now broken and redirected to church age believers. This of course means that God somehow didn't foresee the Jews rejection of their Lord and Savior, (which seems to be at odds with the teachings of Calvin but I digress).

    Daniel (dont forget, Jesus directs us to Daniel ch 9 in Matt 24-25) would have been telling his fellow Jews that his prophecies were a sign of hope for the Jews. But that would be an error since according to covenant/replacement theology God had a different recipient in mind all along.

    This of course begs the question as to why, for what purpose did God set aside the Jews and why did he make covenant promises to them in the first place if he were only going to break those promises?
     
  18. thomas15

    thomas15
    Expand Collapse
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2007
    Messages:
    1,456
    Likes Received:
    0
    This is of course absurd on at least 9, possibly 10 levels but I understand that covenant theology teaches it because they are trying to make the case that we have been in a spiritual 1000 year kingdom for the last 2000 years, a kingdom promised to the Jews briefly mentioned in Acts ch 1 and many other place in the Bible.
     
  19. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    One can say, comparing the end times to the ark, God took Noah and his family away by enclosing them in the ark, a pre trib argument, or, one could say God guided them though the flood in the safety of the ark. (post trib)
     
  20. saturneptune

    saturneptune
    Expand Collapse
    Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    13,977
    Likes Received:
    0
    You know, in post 2, I said I was asking questions for learning, not debating degenerating into insults about each others intelligence. To sum up the thread,

    You do not know what you are talking about
    No you do not know
    Yes I do, you do not understand Scripture
    on and on and on, like a bearing going out on a motor.

    This is the exact reason I made the above opening statement.
     

Share This Page

Loading...