Pro and Con 1245

Posted 10-3-05

My brother just died of cancer caused by Agent Orange he contacted in Viet Nam. Thank you Lord that he finally accepted Christ, all out, no holds barred, a few months ago. All of my family is in Heaven except me, and I was the oldest of three children. My other brother died in a military helicopter crash in thick fog in Taiwan. I imagine the family had a happy reunion in Heaven.

When we die, we are gathered to our people. This is repeated over and over in Scripture when people die.

Gen 25:8 says, "Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people."
Gen 35:29 says, "Isaac breathed his last and died, and was gathered to his people."
Gen 49:33 says, "Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people."
Deut 32:50 says, "God to Moses: Then die on the mountain (Mount Nebo) where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people."

My reply to a post on the Five Doves site

Re: "The Rapture", by Jim Goodrick (1 Oct 2005)

> > 2 Thessalonians Ch. 2 tells us very directly that the Rapture cannot take place until:
1. there is a definite split within Christendom and also
2. that the man of sin be revealed ( sitting in the Temple as God ) before we can be raptured.
We are counseled not to be deceived in this matter by anyone.

> > The deception being touted by most of Christendom is that the "falling away" means "departure".
OK ... we'll give these word- sleuths the benefit of the doubt.
What they are actually saying then is this:
"The Rapture cannot take place until the Rapture takes place".??????...
> > I credit the Bible with much more depth than that.

I think the KJV translation is still misleading you in II Thess. 2:1-3. There are two mistakes in translation. It is the day of the Lord that is said to be at hand, and the departure comes first.

II Thess. 2:1-3 (KJV) says, "Now we beseech you, brethren (believers), by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (at the Rapture), and by our gathering together unto him (at the Rapture), 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 (day of the Lord) is at hand.Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away (departure, i.e., the Rapture) first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition" (the Satan-possessed False Prophet).

In the Introduction to the Tischendorf New Testament, it explains that "The Authorised Version, like Luther's, was made from a Greek text which Erasmus in 1516, and Robert Stephens in 1550, had formed from manuscripts of later date than the tenth century....Since the sixteenth century Greek manuscripts have been discovered of far greater antiquity than those of Erasmus and Stephens; as well as others in Latin, Syriac, Coptic, and Gothic, into which languages the sacred text was translated between the second and fourth centuries...Xcholars are much divided as to the readings which most exactly convey the Word of God, but one thing is agreed upon by the majority of those who understand the subject, namely, that the oldest copies approach the original text more nearly than the later ones....

"Three manuscripts undoubtedly stand at the head of all the ancient copies of the New Testament, and it is by their standard that both the early editions of the Greek text and the modern versions are to be compared and corrected....And it thus occurred to Baron Tauchnitz and myself that it would be to the interests of both piety and learning if we took the occasion of the thousandth volume of the "Tauchnitz Collection" to issue an edition of the English Authorised Version of the New Testament, which should exhibit the various departures of that Version from the three oldest and most important manuscripts"....

The three manuscripts are the Vatican Codex, the Alexandrine Codex, and the Sinaitic Codex, which Tischendorf found "in 1844 and 1859 at the Convent of St. Catherine, on Mount Sinai".

The Tischendorf New Testament has this note for II Thess. 2:2, "SVA the day of the Lord." That means that all three ancient codexes agree that "the day of Christ" (as in KJV) should read "the day of the Lord."

As for the departure, using eSword's comparison of different versions, these translations back up the departing that is the Rapture.

II Thess 2:3-13 (Geneva, 1560, prior to the KJV of 1611) says, "Let no man deceiue you by any meanes: for that day (Day of the Lord, i.e., the Day of God's Wrath) shall not come, except there come A DEPARTING FIRST (the Rapture comes first), and that that man of sinne (the False Prophet) be disclosed (SECOND), euen the sonne of perdition, Which is an aduersarie, and exalteth him selfe against all that is called God, or that is worshipped: so that he doeth sit as God in the Temple of God (Mid-Trib), shewing him selfe that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I tolde you these things? And nowe ye knowe what WITHHOLDETH that he might be REVEILED IN HIS TIME (THE TRIBULATION). For the mysterie of iniquitie doeth already worke: onely he (the Holy Spirit in believers) which nowe withholdeth, SHALL LET (Old English for hinder) TILL HE BE TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY (at the Rapture). And then (after the Rapture) shall that wicked man (the False Prophet) be reueiled, whome the Lorde shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall abolish with the brightnes of his comming, Euen him whose comming is by the effectuall working of Satan (the False Prophet will be Satan possessed), with all power, and signes, and lying wonders, And in al deceiuablenes of vnrighteousnes, among them that perish, because they receiued not the loue of the trueth, that they might be saued. And therefore God shal send them strong delusion, that they should beleeue lies, That all they might be damned which beleeued not the trueth, but had pleasure in vnrighteousnes. But we ought to giue thankes alway to God for you, brethren beloued of the Lord, because that God hath from the beginning chosen you to saluation, through sanctification of the Spirit, and the faith of trueth".

2 Thess 2:3-9 (HNV) says, "Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless THE DEPARTURE COMES FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction" (SECOND), he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God. Don't you remember that, when I was still with you, I told you these things? Now you know what is restraining him, to the end that HE MAY BE REVEALED IN HIS OWN SEASON (THE TRIBULATION). For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is one who restrains now, until he is taken out of the way (at the Rapture). Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and destroy by the manifestation of his coming; even he whose coming is according to the working of Hasatan with all power and signs and lying wonders".

II Thess 2:3-9 (WEB) says, "Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless THE DEPARTURE COMES FIRST, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction" (SECOND), he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God. Don't you remember that, when I was still with you, I told you these things? NOW YOU KNOW WHAT IS RESTRAINING HIM (THE HOLY SPIRIT IN BELIEVERS), TO THE END THAT HE MAY BE REVEALED IN HIS OWN SEASON (THE TRIBULATION). For the mystery of lawlessness already works. Only there is ONE WHO RESTRAINS NOW, UNTIL HE IS TAKEN OUT OF THE WAY (AT THE RAPTURE). Then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will kill with the breath of his mouth, and destroy by the manifestation of his coming; even he whose coming is according to the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders".

II Thess 2:3 (Wycliffe New Testament) says, "[That] No man deceive you in any manner. For but dissension come first [For no but DEPARTING AWAY, or dissension, SHALL COME FIRST], and the man of sin be showed, the son of perdition" (SECOND). The False Prophet will be revealed at the beginning of the Seventieth Week of Daniel, when he strengthens the covenant of Dan. 9:17.

> > What they are actually saying then is this:

> > "The Rapture cannot take place until the Rapture takes place".

II Thess. 2:3 means that the great and terrible Day of the Lord (which is the Day of God's Wrath) will not come until after the Pre-Trib Rapture (Rev. 4:1) has taken place.

There will be a second Rapture, and I think it will be on the Day of God's Wrath. The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Tribulation saints (Rev. 7:14) will take place before noon on the Day of God's Wrath (Rev. 6:17; 7:9,14). The asteroids of Rev. 8:8,10 will impact Earth at noon (Zeph. 2:3-5).

I'm hoping for the first Rapture on Hanukkah. See the top article on my Home Page. Agape

More information on translating II Thess. 2:3

The Day of Christ is the Rapture, but instead of the "day of Christ," II Thess. 2:3 should read "day of the Lord." According to the note in Green's Interlinear, the Greek word should be Kuriou, Lord, as per Griesbach, Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregalles, Alford and Wadsworth.

The note in my Scofield Bible margin says, "Day of the LORD," and it was changed to "day of the Lord" in the New Scofield Reference Edition. The note in the margin says, "Virtually every ancient ms. reads the Lord." The introduction says, "The theme of Second Thessalonians has, unfortunately, been obscured by a mistranslation in the KJV of 2:2, where "day of Christ [I Cor.1:8, note] is at hand" should be "day of the Lord [Joel 1:15; Rev. 19:19."

Others follow suit. The NIV translates it as "day of the Lord." The Lamsa Bible has "day of our Lord." The Jerusalem Bible has "Day of the Lord." The NASB has "day of the Lord." The Concordant Literal New Testament has "day of the Lord."

The millennial Day of the Lord will not come "except...that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition." And the son of perdition will not come until the restraining of the Holy Spirit is removed when the Bride of Christ is caught up at the Pre-Trib Rapture.
Note: This is interesting:
Is There a Departure In 2 Thessalonians 2:3?
John M. Sweigart

There is one usage of the article, however, that screams from the text itself to be considered. It is the anaphoric usage. Wallace again says:

Dana and Mantey define the anaphoric article (i.e. the article denoting previous reference): 'The article may be used to point out an object the identity of which is defined by some previous reference.'[10

This usage is definitely the case in 2 Thessalonians 2:3....

Concerning the usage in the Old Testament, Feinberg writes:

The verb afisthmi is clearly used of a physical departure in both testaments. In the OT (LXX) the verb is used in Genesis 12:8 of Abram's departure from Shechem…of physical separation of persons as in 1 Samuel 18:13, where it is used of David's departure from Saul, and in Psalm 6:8 of the physical separation of the wicked from God's presence.[26]

In the New Testament usage, the verb afisthmi occurs fifteen times, twelve of which carry a spatial departure meaning “physical departure.” In Luke 2, the phrase “…she never left the temple”…(Luke 2:37) means a physical departure from the temple. “When the devil had finished every temptation, he left Him until an opportune time” (Luke 4:13) means a spatial departure from the presence of Jesus. The same spatial departure meaning is present in all the following verses: (Acts 5:37, 38; 12:10; 15:38; 19:9; 22:29; 2 Corinthians 12:8; 1 Timothy 6:15; 2 Timothy 2:19). The other three instance of the verb refer to religious defection. (Luke 8:13,1 Timothy 4:1, and Hebrews 3:12). In each case, the context tells the reader from what the subjects are departing....

There is abundant lexical data to support the translation of apostasia as “the departure” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3. The cognate verb as well has substantial support for the translation “to physically depart.”...

After all this research, we believe that the evidence is overwhelming that the word apostasia refers to the Rapture that has the effect of starting the seven-year tribulation period....

(Footnotes) [7] Dan Wallace, Unpublished Notes in Greek Grammar and Syntax, Dallas Theological Seminary, 3d edition corrected, 79

[10] Ibid, 82

[26] Paul D. Feinberg, "2 Thessalonians 2 and the Rapture" in When the Trumpet Sounds, ed. Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy (Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, 1995) 309-311

Christians often quote the prophecy in 2 Thessalonians about a coming apostasy:
"Let no one in any way deceive you, for that day cannot come without the coming of the apostasy first, and the appearing of the man of sin, the son of perdition, who sets himself against;" (2 Thess. 2:3 NASB/WEY).

The apostasy can alternatively be interpreted as the pre-trib. Rapture of the Church. This is because apostasy means departure (translated so in the first seven English translations). Dr. Thomas Ice, Pre-Trib Perspective, March 2004, Vol.8, No.11.

Zech. 5:6-18 says, "I said, What is it? (the world church) And he said, This is an ephah (largest wheat measure) that goeth forth. He said moreover, THIS IS THEIR RESEMBLANCE THROUGH ALL THE EARTH. And, behold, there was lifted up a talent of lead: and this is a woman that sitteth in the midst of the ephah (the harlot church of Rev. 17). And he said, This is wickedness. And he cast it into the midst of the ephah; and he cast the weight of lead upon the mouth thereof. Then lifted I up mine eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came out two women (2 religious groups), and the wind was in their wings; for they had wings like the wings of a stork: and they lifted up the ephah between the earth and the heaven. Then said I to the angel that talked with me, Whither do these bear the ephah? And he said unto me, To build it an house in the land of Shinar: and it shall be established, and set there upon her own base."

The land of Shinar is Babylon (Dan. 1,2). It is where the Tower of Babel was built (Gen. 11:2-4). The foundation is still there.

Incoming e-mail, Re: Rapture

I have friend at work who has read your website religiously since 1998. He says you are the expert when it comes to the rapture of the church. I have discussed my beliefs on this issue and he trys to explain it to me, however, it doesn't sound to convincing. Where did this view come from and why is it so prevelant today in America? I am aware of Darby and the young girl from Scotland, scofield etc. who formed this view, at least as it exists today. My friend also mentioned something about (2) raptures...Thanks for Response

My reply

Here's the way I see it. There are two Raptures, the Pre-Trib Rapture of the wise-virgin saints and the Pre-Wrath Rapture of the foolish-virgins and other Tribulation saints. My view came from my own intensive study of the Bible during the last 45 years. It seems so clear to me that I can't understand why more have not seen it. People argue over whether the Rapture comes before the Tribulation or just before the wrath of God hits Earth without even considering that there might be two Raptures.

The earliest mention of the Pre-Trib Rapture was long long before Darby and Scofield's time. I have a copy of the whole sermon of Pseudo-Ephraem, but rather than looking for it, I'll give you Thomas Ice's quote of an important statement Ephraem made in it sometime between 374 and 627 AD. This shows that there was an early understanding of the Pre-Trib Rapture.
Examining an Ancient Pre-Trib Rapture Statement
by Thomas Ice

In the sermon,"On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World," by Pseudo-Ephraem (c. 374-627), he wtote, "All the saints and elect of God are gathered together BEFORE THE TRIBULATION, which is to come, and are TAKEN TO THE LORD, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins." (emphasis mine throughout)
Here is what I see in the Bible. There are two trumps of God to call up believers, the first trump and the last trump. Neither one has anything to do with the 7 trumpet judgments. Those are for unbelievers. Believers are not appointed unto wrath. The Tribulation saints are caught up before the wrath of God hits Earth at noon on the Day of the Lord that ends the shortened Tribulation.

Zeph. 2:1-5 says, "Gather yourselves together, yea, gather together, O nation not desired (Israel); Before the decree bring forth, before the day pass as the chaff, before the fierce anger of the LORD come upon you, before the day of the LORD'S anger come upon you. Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be HID (OR RAPTURED) in the day of the LORD'S anger. For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation: they shall drive out Ashdod at the NOON day, and Ekron shall be rooted up. Woe unto the inhabitants of the sea coast". The mountain sized piece of an asteroid will hit the Mediterranean Sea (Rev. 8:8).

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

The type of both Raptures is in Num 10:1-4. It says, "the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee TWO TRUMPETS OF SILVER; of a whole piece shalt thou make them: that thou mayest USE THEM FOR THE CALLING OF THE ASSEMBLY (Heb. 12:23), AND FOR THE JOURNEYING OF THE CAMPS (plural). And when they shall blow with them (plural, i.e., both trumpets), ALL (as in I Cor. 15:51) the ASSEMBLY shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they BLOW BUT WITH ONE TRUMPET, then the princes (24 ELDERS; the 12 patriarchs and the 12 apostles), which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee" (at the first Rapture, Rev. 4:1,4).

Mt 24:31 says, "he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet (the first trumpet sounded again on the day of the General Assembly of Heb. 12:23), and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of HEAVEN to the other." This is to gather to the General Assembly in Heaven (Heb. 12:23) all the wise virgins that were caught up to Heaven in the Pre-Trib Rapture.

At that time, the second, or last, trumpet of God will sound. Mark 13:27 tells us what happens at that time. It says, "then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the EARTH to the uttermost part of HEAVEN." Those gathered from the Earth are the Tribulation saints caught up in the Pre-Wrath Rapture.

Heb. 12:22-25 says, "ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, THE HEAVENLY JERUSALEM, and to an innumerable company of angels, To the GENERAL ASSEMBLY AND CHURCH OF THE FIRSTBORN, WHICH ARE WRITTEN IN HEAVEN, and to God the Judge of all, AND TO THE SPIRITS OF JUST MEN MADE PERFECT (at the 2nd Rapture), And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven" (when Jesus says, "Come up hither", in Rev. 4:1).


I Thess. 4:16,17 says, "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."

At the first "trump of God," the wise virgins that have died will be "raised in incorruption" (I Cor. 15:42), but they will not yet actually be immortal. That comes at the time of the 2nd Rapture, when the Body of Christ is complete.

After Christ tells John to "Come up hither" (Rev. 4:1), he goes up to Heaven. In Rev. 4:4, we see that the 23 other elders have accompanied John in his Rapture. All those 24 elders are Israelites. At this time all the wise-virgin saints will also be in Heaven, all caught up with John. They are not all Israelites. They are out of every nation on Earth.

We see these saints out of all nations in Rev. 5:8-10. It says, "...saints. And they (the wise-virgin saints caught up with John and the other 23 elders) sung a NEW SONG, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book (the Title Deed to the Earth), and to open the seals thereof (1st one is opened in Rev. 6, after the 1st Rapture has already taken place): 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 (the wise-virgin saints) unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on (epi, over) the earth."

The foolish virgins are believers that do not have enough oil of the Holy Spirit to participate in the 1st Rapture. They are left behind (Mt. 25:10). In 1Co 12:3, Paul said, "no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost", and the foolish virgins called Christ Lord (Mt. 25:11).

Heb 12:14 says, "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which NO MAN shall see the Lord". When we first accept Christ, all our "OLD SINS" (II Peter 1:9) are wiped off the slate. We get a fresh start. When we sin after that, we must use I John 1:9 and confess those sins to bring them under the blood of Christ also. When we confess our known sins, God is faithful and just to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. In John 13:10, Jesus told Peter "He that is washed (i,e., has accepted Christ) needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean". We allow Jesus to wash our feet when we confess our sins committed after we accept Christ (I John 1:9).

Isa 57:1-3 says, "merciful men are taken away (raptured), none considering that THE RIGHTEOUS IS TAKEN AWAY FROM THE EVIL TO COME (the Tribulation). He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds (in glory, Heaven, Psa. 149:5), each one walking in his uprightness. But draw near hither, ye sons of the sorceress (mystery Babylon), the seed (False Prophet) of the adulterer and the whore" (Rev. 17). When the first Rapture takes place, the Tribulation is near.

Many will see the first Rapture take place. They will accept the Lord and be caught up in the 2nd Rapture. Psa. 40:1-3 says, "I waited patiently (as in Rev. 3:10) for the LORD; and he inclined (bent down) unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up (the Pre-Trib Rapture) also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay (i.e., out of the Earth), and set my feet upon a rock (the planet Heaven), and established my goings. And he hath put a NEW SONG (sung after the first Rapture, Rev. 5:9) in my mouth, even praise unto our God: MANY SHALL SEE IT (THE FIRST RAPTURE), AND FEAR, AND SHALL TRUST IN THE LORD."


I Cor. 15:51-53 says, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We (believers, including Paul) shall not all sleep, but we (believers, living and dead) shall ALL be changed (be made immortal), 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 (all of the now complete Body of Christ) shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, AND THIS MORTAL MUST PUT ON IMMORTALITY."

At the" last trump," the entire Body of Christ caught up to Heaven in the two Raptures will be changed so that we will actually be immortal. The promise we have now will then become reality.

These saints are the foolish virgins and those that accept Christ during the Tribulation. We read of the Tribulation saints in Rev. 7:14,15. It says, "These are they which CAME OUT OF GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them."

The wise-virgin saints will be kings and priests. The Tribulation saints will just serve in his temple. The rewards of the two groups are different.

The first group to be raptured are Bride saints. Of the second group to be raptured, only the 144,000 are added to the Bride of Christ. Why? because "they are virgins...without fault before the throne of God" (Rev. 14:4,5). The foolish virgins are among the "great multitude, which no man could number, OF ALL NATIONS, and kindreds, and people, and tongues" that stand before the throne "clothed with white robes". All of this group did not have white robes of righteousness at the first Rapture, but by the time of the 2nd Rapture, they have confessed their sins to bring them all under the blood of Christ. Agape

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