Will The Church Go Through The Time Of The Great Tribulation And Wrath Of God?

By Holly Sprenger Garcia

 

Here are some passages and thoughts that I have gathered concerning the coming wrath of God, please prayerfully consider them.

For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.  Therefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also you do. 1 Thess 5 v 9-11. 

WRATH AND THE CHURCH

 For the great day of HIS WRATH has come, and who is able to stand?”

WHAT IS THE WRATH FOR? Always for sin, disobedience, iniquity, transgression.  (True Christians are spotless in His eyes, it is Christ who is our Righteousness?)

 WHAT IS THE DAY OF THE LORD?  It is described as His Wrath, a day of vengeance that He may avenge Himself on His adversaries (Jer 46:10), cruel and with fierce anger, destruction from the Almighty,  that great and dreadful day.  It is an event at the end of this present time, some describe it only a part of the Great Tribulation, sometimes only as the vengeance at the end, but it has to encompass the entire tribulation as different verses describe different portions of the 7 year tribulation during that time.

      The great day of the LORD is near; It is near and hastens quickly. The noise of the day of the LORD is bitter; There the mighty men shall cry out. That day is a day of wrath, A day of trouble and distress, A day of devastation and desolation, A day of darkness and gloominess, A day of clouds and thick darkness, A day of trumpet and alarm Against the fortified cities And against the high towers. “ I will bring distress upon men, (for those who say it is just about Satan’s persecution) And they shall walk like blind men, Because they have sinned against the LORD; Their blood shall be poured out like dust, And their flesh like refuse.”  Zeph 1:14-17

Some questions to consider, please look up each verse

Why has God's Wrath been poured out throughout time?  

      Only one reason that I can find: Disobedience, sin, trespasses, wickedness, rebellion, transgression, offenses.

      Who are the children of disobedience. Are we in that group any longer? What happens to them?

       Please read (Eph 2:1-2, Eph 5:6; Col 3:6).

       Wasn't God's wrath poured out against us already?  When?  Who received it in our place? Who still has the wrath of God upon them?

       Answers: Yes; at the cross; Jesus Christ received it for us, Isaiah 53 v 4, Psalm 2:11-12, Psalm 69 v26, (we are blessed).  We are in the Son’s hand.  The wrath of God no longer abides on us.  The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand.  There is no condemnation to those of us who are in Him.  He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”  John 3:35-36

        Can Jesus come against Himself? (NO!)   Think on these things.... We are the church that He loved and gave Himself up for.  We are His own flesh (one flesh) that He nourishes and cherishes.  We are the body of the Messiah. The Holy Spirit dwells in all believers and SEALS us until the day of Redemption. (2 Tim 2:13, Rom 8:9, Eph 3:17: Eph 5:22-32)  We are one in Christ. (Eph 2:11-16)   SO, Can He pour His wrath on the church that is Holy and Blameless? (NO!) If we are faithless,He remains faithful;He cannot deny Himself.  II Tim 2:13

Who is the Lamb spoken of in Rev 6:17 pouring out wrath, is this verse the culmination of the seals spoken of in chapter 6?  Some try to differentiate between God’s wrath and the wrath of the Lamb; but Jesus is God, so it is His wrath. 

Pre-wrathers (those who believe the wrath of God will come before the rapture of the Church)  believe the first few seals are not God’s wrath.   (How can all the death and destruction which Jesus Himself sends to the earth not be considered wrath?).  

        If the wrath of God came before the rapture then his coming wouldn’t be imminent as you can see in writings as early as Clement of Rome 90-100, The Didache (100-160), The Epistle of Barnabas (117-138) and The Shepherd of Hernias (96-150), not inspired writings but obviously proof in the belief of immanency. 

        Because the 7 years begin with the “Peace treaty” and is to be finished upon Israel, they negate it is wrath.  But this prophecy is a Judgment, and ALL JUDGMENT is committed to Jesus Christ, and it is Jesus Christ who opens up the first seal.  The church is not under judgment.

       They also bring up Rev 22 as the churches being mentioned again.  (Pre-tribbers argue that after Rev 3:14, the church is not mentioned.  They confuse saints with the church, and they seem to miss that Rev 22, is the conclusion of the Great Tribulation and so of course now the church is one, and this whole book is to be delivered to the churches. (qualifying also it’s canonicity)

       Because they don’t understand the dispensations (or believe in it) they wrongly attribute this 7 years to the Church.  Wrath is upon non-believing Israel, and the non-believing inhabitants of the earth.

       We also have to consider that to be pre-wrath, you have to reconcile then, that you can lose your salvation. 

        They also ignore that the "Day of the Lord" has to begin at the beginning of the 70th week.  So we cannot shorten that time to 3.5 years.   

        Also, they argue that there are not two comings - the rapture and the Coming of the Lord – only one.  This was also the argument of those who did not understand the Messiah would be cut off and come again.  They saw only one coming.  

       Many pre-wrathers also believe in a split-rapture, too much to write here.

In the Prophetic Psalm 2, vs. 11-12 we see this concerning the Messiah's triumph and kingdom.  

        Serve the LORD with fear, And rejoice with trembling.  Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, And you perish in the way, When His wrath is kindled but a little.  Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him. 

       Surely his salvation is nigh them that fear him; that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other. Truth shall spring out of the earth; and righteousness shall look down from heaven.  Ps 85:9-11

 

Remembering again, that the CHURCH is not appointed to wrath, let’s consider some further thoughts.

 

The GREAT TRIBULATION IS God's wrath (indignation), I cannot see it any other way, (but again, "prove all things", with His Word).  There are many who build a seemingly sound case that it is Satan’s wrath, yes, that is allowed as God allowing Satan to prevail as His Word says. 

 

I am trying to build a case with His Word alone, not my thought process.  I have studied several viewpoints since I was young girl, I have heard them all.  Even more recently, I have heard some of Van Kampen’s theories. (wouldn't recommend - popularity, scholarship, knowledge as we know, doesn't matter as we see many fall away from the faith.   Not at all accusing someone of a different timing to have fallen away, but don't base your views on a "great teacher" but rather study to show yourself approved unto HIM.)  But the most important for all of us, is to read and study His Word, and let the Holy Spirit guide us into all truth.  To present the other side, many of the mid-3/4-or post-tribbers say it is the enemy’s wrath.    Is this so?

 

I Thess 1:10 says, He DELIVERED us from the wrath to come... Is that deliverance RAPTURE?.... I believe so, but we all have to answer this question by digging into His Word.  If we do not believe on pre-tribulation rapture, than what wrath is this passage speaking to?  The wrath to come, I don’t think any can disagree with the Great Tribulation being God’s wrath, so what is the deliverance?  Not suffering?  We know that it will come on ALL the inhabitants of the earth. (Rev 6, Is 26) 

 

In Luke 21, speaking to a Jewish audience, (BUT some who were to be part of the church), also speaking a future warning regarding the tribulation, see this passage, especially note, vs. 35 “all” and “worthy to escape” in vs. 36.

       34 “But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly. 35 For it will come as a snare on ALL those who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.” 

THINK ON THE PASSAGE ABOVE FOR A MOMENT… (emphasis mine)  This day WILL come as a snare to ALL who are on the earth OR THE ALTERNATIVE> pray so you may be counted WORTHY TO ESCAPE all these things.  (You are either on the earth and it WILL be a snare to ALL ....OR.... you were counted worthy to escape these things.  If we are not on the earth, where would we escape to?  And what escape is this referring to?)  Death or raptured to Heaven?

We've already been delivered from God's wrath through His Son's garment of blood which has washed us white as snow.   Our sins were blotted out and nailed to His cross.  What other WRATH is to come?  Only the Wrath of the Lamb.  (Would God deliver us from His wrath only to once again put us under the wrath of the Lamb?)  Let's prayerfully consider some verses.

       Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. Rom. 5:9

       And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, our deliverer from the coming wrath. IThess 1:10  

        Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon (WHO?) > the children of disobedience.  Eph 5:6

For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on (WHO?)      > the children of disobedience: Col 3:6

       And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.  Ephesians 2:1-3

         God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, And He reserves wrath for WHO?>  His enemies; Nahum 1:2

       There is therefore now to them which are in Christ Jesus no condemnation.  Rom 8:1a

            * CONDEMNATION  - The LORD redeems the soul of His servants, And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned. Ps 34:22

        He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. “For by strength no man shall prevail.” 1 Sam 2:9

Note the contrast with this passage.  Who will be surprised by this day?  And what are we comforting each other with?  We are not of the night.  We have not been appointed to wrath.  We will be saved, delivered.  (find your own)

        But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief* in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.* Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.   For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.  I Thess 5:9-11    see also I Thess 4:17-18 /*thief-2 Pet 3:10-13, Matt. 24:43-44, Rev 16:15, 2 Pet 3:10-14 (Day of the Lord will come like a thief).  

(MORE ON HIS WRATH-INDIGNATION) 

Are any of these O.T. passages potential rapture foreshadowings/prophecies?  Or resurrection of the OT Saints?

And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people (has to be Israel) shall be delivered, (Resurrection or Rapture) every one that shall be found written in the book.  And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. Dan 12:1-2 

(Some say this is resurrection of the OT Saints and the Tribulation Martyrs along with the deliverance of the Remnant of Israel still alive. Some say it corresponds with Matt 24:21.  Still not quite sure as I write this although most scholars say the OT Saints.)

 

In reading Isaiah 26, I am also brought to this passage 19-21, speaking of what certainly sounds like rapture and the judgment to come after.

         Your dead shall live; Together with my dead body they shall arise. (RAPTURE?) Awake and sing, you who dwell in dust; For your dew is like the dew of herbs, And the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter your chambers, And shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, (RAPTURE?)  Until the indignation is past.  (WRATH? Is this the wrath of the lamb spoken of in Rev 6?)  For behold, the LORD comes out of His place > To punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; The earth will also disclose her blood, And will no more cover her slain.  Isaiah 26:19-21 

       (Who are the humble of the earth here?  Possible rapture reference?  Just a question.  Gather yourselves together, yes, gather, O nation without shame, Before the decree takes effect— The day passes like the chaff— Before the burning anger of the LORD comes upon you, Before the day of the LORD’S anger comes upon you. 3> Seek the LORD, All you humble of the earth Who have carried out His ordinances; Seek righteousness, seek humility. Perhaps you will be hidden In the day of the LORD’S anger.  Zeph 2:1-3 

        And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth: with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.  Isaiah 11:3-4

 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the LORD that seek him: your heart shall live for ever. 

          Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me! For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge, Until these calamities have passed by.  I will cry out to God Most High, To God who performs all things for me. He shall send from heaven and save me; He reproaches the one who would swallow me up. Selah God shall send forth His mercy and His truth.  Ps 57:1-3

 

HERE ARE SOME QUESTIONS TO ASK/PONDER REGARDING THE ABOVE PASSAGE.

 

Some say this passage in Isaiah refers to the OT Saints resurrection and not the Rapture.  Then why in Isaiah 26 are there still inhabitants of the earth that He comes out to punish if the OT Saints aren’t resurrected until later?  Resurrection passages: Acts 24:15; Rev. 20:4-5; Eph 1:19-20; I Thess 4:16; Matt 27:51-52; I Cor 15:52; I Cor 15:20-23  

       WHY DOES HE COME?  Note the reason He is to come out of His place… it is to PUNISH the inhabitants of the earth (if we are here, will we not be an inhabitant of the earth? see note above on Luke 21:36) 

       WHO IS PUNISHED AND WHY

         Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.  Eph 5:6 *

*NOTE: (we WERE children of WRATH and sons or children of disobedience)

         And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.  Eph 2:1-3

        WHAT IS THE PUNISHMENT FOR? For their INIQUITY.  The CHURCH is righteous, Holy and blameless, spotless (See Eph. 5) We have the breastplate of righteousness (who is Christ) and the helmet of salvation.  Christ is our righteousness (Rom 10:4) We will NOT be punished, punishment is for sin, and Jesus Christ received the punishment for my sins, and I am healed. (But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. Is 53:5).   He was the Lamb that took away our sin.

There is difference between the tribulation of the world that comes from the enemy in hatred of who dwells in us, and the Great tribulation to come that is initiated by the wrath of the Lamb.

 

  (*Please also note that the dead arising and waking from Isaiah also seems to correspond with 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

The Lord would NOT pour out His wrath upon the church (and says so in His Word). He calls to His people "Come, enter your chambers" - (Is this possibly the place He prepared for us in John 14?)  He is our bridegroom, we are His beloved, and I believe His Word shows that we will be with Him, that He will catch us up to Him as He promised.  I believe His Word shows His character, and love for His bride.  If we are in Him, and He in us, can He pour out His wrath on Himself?  When the Day of Lord arrives, He will set His feet on Mt. Zion, this is not the same description of us being caught up to Him/gathered together to Him (I Thess 4:17; 2 Thess 2:1) . *

 

*Note: Those arguing that this is Israel being spoken of and not the prophetic rapture of the end times, then why would Jesus tell them to flee to the wilderness in Matt 24, vs. hiding in their chambers?  Question, not dogmatic about it.

In this passage in Romans 2, it is clear on WHO the INDIGNATION and WRATH will come:  

5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”: 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—INDIGNATION and WRATH, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

        Rev 6:15-17 says, And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand?” 

       See Parallel Passage here in Isaiah 2:19-21: They shall go into the holes of the rocks, And into the caves of the earth, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily. In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver And his idols of gold, Which they made, each for himself to worship, To the moles and bats, into the clefts of the rocks, And into the crags of the rugged rocks, From the terror of the LORD And the glory of His majesty, When He arises to shake the earth mightily. 

       For the great day of HIS WRATH has come, and who is able to stand?”  (Note: for those who say the Great Tribulation is not HIS WRATH) - see also Rev 7:14 for the term GREAT TRIBULATION. (too early by the way to fit MID-TRIB or POST-TRIB)  

*NOTE: So WHO is referenced above as needing to be hidden from?  Whose wrath?  (Some say Satan, but it is stated as the wrath of the Lamb and of God) 

Asking myself that question the other night, instantly the armor came to mind, I know it is to withstand the wiles of the devil, but having done all, with His armor, we are able to stand. (Eph 6).  We are also told in Rom 14:4 that it is God that makes us stand.   All throughout the NT, we are told, we are standing in His faith, in His grace, in the Truth, in liberty, we are standing fast in the Lord.   So, how would Rev 6:17 fit with believers since it is Jesus Christ opening the seals, and the verse states NO ONE is able to stand

Christ is our ROCK... (He is the solid Rock upon which we STAND).

        For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a ROCK.  Psalm 27:3-5  

 

QUESTION:  

 

          WHAT is His Pavilion? (He made darkness his secret place; his pavilion round about him were dark waters and thick clouds of the skies.) Psalm 18:11 is the only other place it speaks of "His" Pavilion.   It also speaks of His wrath (a) He was wroth, b) the earth shook and trembled, c) fire devoured from His mouth; SOUND FAMILIAR? )         

         WHERE is His Pavilion?  In the clouds.  And notice that He "sent from above and took me" .  

Now in that same passage in Isaiah 26, vs. 17-18 speaks of birth pains. (also note Matt 24) As a woman with child Is in pain and cries out in her pangs, When she draws near the time of her delivery, So have we been in Your sight, O LORD. We have been with child, we have been in pain; We have, as it were, brought forth wind; We have not accomplished any deliverance in the earth, Nor have the inhabitants of the world fallen.   I have not seen this passage applied to the rapture, there could be a very good reason for it, I may not be correctly applying this, so please prove all things, and keep praying.  That He will reveal in only His way, what is true to us as we search His Word daily to see if these things are so.  

WHAT are we being exhorted to comfort ourselves with in this passage?

 

 (In context, we see I Thess 5 speaking to the “Day of the Lord”.  Throughout, it is spoken of “they” who will not escape, or sudden destruction comes upon “them” and that WE (speaking of believers) are “not of the night”, and concludes with these two verses.  I suggest to read the entire chapter.) 

        For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him. < Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing.   I Thess 5:9-11 

 

WHO IS APPEARING WITH CHRIST WHEN HE APPEARS?  

 

There is ENOUGH evidence here, to clearly show there will be a rapture, so we can knock off post rapture; the saints WILL be coming with the Lord at the second coming (after the rapture).  See also the crowns on the head of Jesus, we know then we have already cast our crowns at His feet, we have already seen the Bema seat.  Believers (overcomers –see I John 5:4-5) are clothed in white linen or garments.  Some argue it is only the angels with Jesus when He comes, I think there are enough passages listed here for anyone to see otherwise.

        Now I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and makes war.  His eyes were like a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns*.  He had a name written that no one knew except Himself.  He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God.  And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.  Rev 19:11-14

        (He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. Rev 3:4-5) See also: Rev. 6:11, 7:9, 13-14 for the clothing of the Saints. 

        If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.  Col 3:1-4

       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.  I Thess 3:13

        For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming?   I Thess 2:19

       And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, Which faces Jerusalem on the east.  And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, From east to west, Making a very large valley; Half of the mountain shall move toward the north And half of it toward the south. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, For the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee  As you fled from the earthquake In the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the LORD my God will comeAND all the saints with You.  Zech 14:4-5

        For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. I Thess 4:14 (preceding one of the rapture passages).

        Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints,  to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.”  Jude 1:14-15

 

This passage speaks to me. 

        So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I Cor 1:7-8 (we will be incorruptible/already blameless in resurrected bodies; might be white space theology, but just sort of seemed obvious to me all of the sudden.)

       Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see him as He is.*  I John 3:2 (again, already incorruptible)

*BRINGS TO MIND THESE TWO VERSES:

        But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  I Cor 13:10, 12, See Phil 3:20-22 (again, the transformation of our body and our citizenship in heaven)

Some reference Deut 33:1-3 (coming of His Saints to Mt. Sinai – also note that the Saints are in His hand.)

See also Dan 7:10 for more references to the Saints at the end, already in heaven.

        Rev 5:3-4 - And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.  And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. KJV (now Vines lists “man” as “person”) Obviously we already have people in heaven.

WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE IN HEAVEN BEFORE THE SEALS WERE OPEN?  They were redeemed by his blood out of every nation…and they were people… made Kings and Priests. (See Rev 1:6-the church is Kings and Priests)  Also: Melchizedek was both a King and Priest and we know that Jesus was of the order of Melchizedek. 

          KINGS & PRIESTS: And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.  Rev 3:9-10

        WE ARE HIS PEOPLE/ROYAL PRIESTHOOD (Kings and Priests) Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.  Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.  But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. I Pet 2:6-9

 

Some reference Matt 16:27 and Matt 25:31 – Yes, He will be coming with His angels also (remember when we die, we are likened to the angels as in heaven – Matt 22:30; For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage; but are as the angels which are in heaven. Mark 12:25)

 

COMFORT ONE ANOTHER!! 

Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. Titus 2:13

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.  Heb 10:24-25


A background to my search for the truth.

It was when I discovered the rapture while reading Pilgrim's progress that I remember Pat Robertson's first disdain of the rapture, and Margaret, way back in the days of B & W and Ben Hinchlow. That's when I started thinking rapture teaching was incorrect. But it was so amazing to see a reference pre-1800s (Pilgrim progress in 1600s) So here is my further research on rapture not being a recent idea.

There are others that say the rapture is a new theory developed by Darby in the 1800s and more in depth by Scofield later. (As they also will tell you the same regarding Dispensationalism, which was spoken of by the early church fathers.) They will also bring up the little red-haired girl, Margaret MacDonald, (1830) who had a vision that the “enlightened ones” would be taken right before the second coming. (Doesn’t quite sound like pre-trib thinking either, but this is where some say the “secret” rapture thought comes from). Darby supposedly had his pre-trib teaching three years before that vision, January of 1827 (documented by writer Roy A. Huebner). Max Weremchuk’s biography of Darby agrees with Huebner’s documentation on timing. However, there is enough information to dispel the notion that rapture thinking only began in the 1800s. The Word has to be our most important source, and I will have errors, and we must seek Him in prayer and dig into His Word.

I disagree with those who say it is an invention of that time…and believe there is much proof of the rapture from the beginning. Paul (in God’s Word) spoke of the rapture although he may not have used that exact word. (The word is not rapture, but raptura derived from raptus (carrying off) or also rapiemur (all Latin) or the Greek harpazo (snatch up, seize with force). I believe in the dark ages, (where people didn’t read the Bible because of the Roman Catholic church), the knowledge was hidden for awhile, because the Light, the Word of God which is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Ps 119) was a crime to even read, and was punishable by death for a very long time.

In “Against Heresies” (1.10)-177 A.D. Iraneus wrote: "What the church believes: One God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the Prophets the dispensations of God , and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His future manifestation from heaven."

Seems pretty clear that he also felt the Prophets proclaimed these dispensations of God. To read more on the early teachings of the dispensations of God, see this link,
http://www.omegaletter.com/articles/articles.asp?ArticleID=7077

In Joseph Mede’s commentary on Revelation, called Key of the Revelation, written in 1627, he wrote, “Therefore, it is not needful that the Resurrection of those which slept in Christ, and the Rapture of those which shall be left alive together with them in the air”. (Mede was not pre-trib, but obviously the word is there).

Paul N. Benware, Moody Bible Institute (I saw him about a year or so ago here in Scottsdale.) In his book, “Understanding End Times Prophecy”, Benware notes that many writers in the 17th and 18th Centuries began to speak of a Rapture separate and apart from the Second Coming:

• "Peter Jurieu in his book, Approaching Deliverance of the Church (1687) taught that Christ would come in the air to rapture the saints and return to Heaven before the battle of Armageddon...
• Philip Doddridge's commentary on the New Testament (1738) and John Gill's commentary on the New Testament (1748) both use the term rapture and speak of it as imminent. It is clear these men believed that this coming will precede Christ's descent to the earth and the time of judgment. The purpose was to preserve believers from the time of judgment. James Macknight (1763) and Thomas Scott (1792) taught that the righteous will be carried to heaven, where they will be secure until the time of judgment is over."

 

Here are some books I would recommend.

1. Footsteps of the Messiah by Dr. Arnold Fructenbaum
2. Kept from the Hour by Gerald B. Stanton
3. The Coming Prince by Sir Robert Anderson
4. Not Wrath But Rapture by H.A. Ironside
5. Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan (yes, there is reference to the rapture)
6. Enduring Word by David Guzik
www.enduringword.com
7. The Final Drama by John F. Walvoord
8. The Return of Jesus Christ by Rene Pache (Moody Press 1955)
9. Things to Come by J. Dwight Pentecost
10. The Book of Daniel: the Coming Judgment of the Nations by Paul Benware
11. “Understanding End Times Prophecy” by Paul Benware
12. Jesus – The Lamb & the Lion – A study of Jesus in Bible prophecy – by Dr. David R. Reagan
13. When Will Jesus Come?: Compelling Evidence for the Soon Return of Christ by Dave Hunt
14. The Bible Knowledge Commentary by Walvoord and Zuck
15. Revelation – An Ironside Expository Commentary by H.A. Ironside
16. Daniel - An Ironside Expository Commentary by H.A. Ironside
17. Excerpts from “The Omega Letter” by Jack Kinsella.
18. Excerpts from gotquestions.org with Bible references.

Here’s some brief answers, not trying to be contentious, just brief.
1. I am pre-trib. I have written a paper, not done, but happy to discuss some things with you if you’d like.
2. I like the Daniel Project-saw it, Jacob is pre-wrath.
3. I do not agree that the saints and church and elect are synonymous, the Elect are those who will come to know the Lord, OR, there is the Angel elect who did not fall. Four elect can be seen in the Bible. Israel the elect, the church, the elect to come (those who will come to know Him in the trib whether Jew or Gentile) and the angel I mentioned.
4. Imminency – be happy to provide many verses again on that.
5. The Day of the Lord being one event. Well, so is the last days. We see that has lasted 2000 years and started with? :) the 69th year of the prophecy of Daniel (the Messiah being cut off).
6. Look at the elders, they have crowns, they are the redeemed, and they have the clothing of the saints. Who are the people in heaven unworthy to open the scroll?
7. I have a paper on wrath, even though pre-wrathers do not call the seals wrath, it is clearly wrath, and clearly Jesus Christ Himself opening (sovereignly judging) with each seal.
8. 2 Thess 2 – lots of good treatise on the meaning that is misconstrued here.
9. Imminence or immanency is two ways of saying it. The restrainer is usually thought to be the Holy Spirit by some, or the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in the Church by others. I lean with the church because the Holy Spirit is omnipresent, so the restraining force of the church I believe is what is removed in 2 Thess 2. Some say the falling away has to do with being caught up, not the falling away from the faith. Long story.
10. Remember, the Jews of old with prophecy only saw one coming of the Messiah, this is why they missed Him because they not understand how this could work (2 comings within one prophesied event). There are many types of prophecy including the partial fulfillment we see in Isaiah 61.
11. There are many differences between the day of the Lord and the rapture. There are some good contrasts on gotquestions.org and/or Omega letter, happy to provide.
12. In Rev 6, the seals are clearly called the wrath, after the first few seals, everyone on earth is trying to hide and clearly understand it is God’s wrath.
13. No, again, the Holy Spirit is God, is omnipresent. Although we are indwelt, I believe we are the restraining influence, His servants, and ministers of reconciliation.
14. Which leads to why the 144,000 evangelists needing to be sealed if the church is still here.
15. As in the days of Noe (Noah) – no one was expecting disaster, clearly, these people are not saying peace and safety when they are asking the rocks and the mountains to fall on them.
16. No one will know the day nor the hour. Well, from the signing of the peace treaty, since all prophecy is fulfilled literally to the day, we would know the day, so that could not be speaking to the second coming.
17. Harry Coverdale. I’m still unclear on the 2 taken and the other left, because Noah was taken away to safety, those that were left perished. I think it is possibly an archetype of rapture.
18. Russ, the elect that are gathered are the people who have come to know Him during the tribulation. The church has already been raptured. Do you not believe in eternal security?
19. This is probably enough, I have written a very large document and it’s not even close to complete. But, this should give some for digging :)

Holly Sprenger Garcia. March 2012


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