The Blessed Hope

The church will be “kept from the hour of testing that shall come upon all the world.” (Rev. 3:10)  The believer will escape the tribulation (Luke 21:36).   It is in the character of God to deliver His own from the greatest times of trial. (Lot, Rahab. Israel, Noah,etc)  There are many passages in Isaiah that tell of the Rapture, “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Isaiah 26:19 is one of them.

The exhortation to be comforted by the “coming of the Lord” (1Thes 4:18) is valid only in the context of the pre-trib view. It could even be a fearsome thing in a post-trib view.  We are exhorted to look for the “Glorious Appearing of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (Titus 2:13) If there are any prophetic events (ie: tribulation) to come first, then this passage is nonsensical.  Also, “The Blessed Hope” is the hope that I wake up with every day that Paul spoke of in Titus 2:13.  My hope is that Jesus will do as the bible says and take us out before the absolute worst time in human history occurs where BILLIONS will die. (1)

If you look at the next verse, Isaiah 26:20, (Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.) it describes what Christ was talking about in John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”  In Revelation 3:10 Jesus says to the angel of the church at Philadelphia “Because thou has 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.”  There are actually too many to list here and books have been written on the subject.

Some of the most compelling evidence is how we can list the differences between the Rapture and the Second Coming by simple and literal exegesis of scripture.

ü  At the Rapture, the church meets Christ in the air. At the second coming, Christ returns to the Mt of Olives.

ü  At the time of the Rapture, the Mt of Olives is unchanged. At the second coming it is divided forming a valley east of Jerusalem.

ü  At the time of the rapture, saints are translated. No saints are translated at the time of the second coming.

ü  At the time of the rapture, the world is not judge for sin, but descends deeper into sin. At the second coming, the world is Judged by the King of kings.

ü  The translation of the church is pictured as a deliverance from the day of wrath, whereas the coming of Christ is a deliverance for those who have suffered under severe tribulation.

ü  The rapture is immanent whereas there are specific signs which precede the second coming.

ü  The translation of living believers is a truth revealed only in the NT. The second coming with the events surrounding it is prominent in both OT and NT.

ü  The rapture is only for the saved, while the tribulation and second coming deals with the entire world.

ü  No unfulfilled prophecy stands between the church and the rapture. Many signs must be fulfilled before the second coming of Christ.

ü  No passage in either OT or NT deals with the resurrection of the saints at the second coming nor mentions the translation of living saints at that same time. (2)

You have no doubt heard the argument that the Pre Trib Rapture is a new teaching and only came about in the last 150 years of the church and those that propagate this view give most of the credit to a man named John Darby in 1820.  What you won’t hear from those who believe this is that the pre trib idea was not a new idea at all but was commonly believed in the time of the forefathers of the historic Christian Church.  Most people settle their beliefs and THEN look for evidence to back up their beliefs.  They are not truth seekers.  A genuine truth seeker looks at all the evidence to find the truth and then believes that truth whether they like it or not because it is the truth. The following were supporters of the pre trib rapture.

* Epistle of Barnabas, (AD 100)

* Irenaeus, in Against Heresies

* Hippolytus, a disciple of Irenaeus (2nd Century)

* Justin Martyr, Dialogue with Trypho

*Ephraem, the Syrian (4th Cenury)

and Ephraem (of Nisibis) said…

“For the saints and Elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.”

and more…

*Peter Jurieu, The approaching Deliverance of the Church, 1686

*Phillip Doddridge”s Commentary on the New Testament, 1738

* Dr. John Gill, commentary on the New Testament, 1748

* James Macknight, Commentary on the Apostolical Epistles, 1763

* Thomas Scott, Commentary on the Holy Bible, 1792

Darby wasn’t even the first in the 19th Century to speak of the Pre Trib.  Finally,

* Emanuel Lacunza (Ben Ezra), 1812

* Edward Irving, 1816

* John Darby, 1820

* Margaret McDonald, 1830

Darby POPULARIZED the teaching in the 19th century, he didn’t invent it. That is a popular misconception among amillenialists (post tribs) today.

This is a critical topic and it is part of the dispensational revelation of the Spirit of God.  He reveals what we need to know as the need to know it arises.  I believe that the topic is so important that it affects the whole world view of the believer and his/her interpretation of the heart of God.

Most post trib believers contend that we pre tribulationalists will be “caught off guard” when we find ourselves in the tribulation and will “lose our faith” and take the mark of the beast.  I have heard the arguments for years (more in the last 2 or 3 years than the last 25) from post trib folk and I even have decided at one point not to try to persuade them any longer for the fact that many (most) are rude, angry and insulting, (some even using profanity to deliver their angry sentiment) many claiming that we pre tribs aren’t even part of the Bride of Christ.

I believe that the post trib, mid trib and partial rapture theories are completely against the teachings of the bible and I believe also that they are teachings that have been influenced by Satan.  The devil hates the pre trib rapture theory.  That is enough proof for me that it is the truth!  I hope you enjoyed my dissertation and please feel free to share part or all of it with anyone you know who is any other than a pre trib rapture believer.  May God richly bless you in these very last days of the age of Grace.

(1) www.bibleprophecy.org/

(2) Ibid

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