Pro and Con 241

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J. Hartley wrote:
Enjoyed your site. The 40-year generational theory is intriguing. However, I do believe you should continue pondering the scriptures. The popular pre-tribulation notion is incorrect and is easily disproven by a comprehensive study of all end-time related scriptures.

There is no 7-year tribulation after the second coming. All there is is the final harvest of the grapes of wrath and the millineal kingdom. The rapture is simultaneous with the second coming, which is AFTER the tribulation and BEFORE the wrath. The wrath and the tribulation are two seperate events. Both are described in Revelation 14, but they are divided by the second coming. In order for the pre-trib position to be correct, there MUST be THREE comings of Jesus, not two. This is because each scripture describing the catching up of the church is alongside the appearance of Jesus to the whole Earth. The pre-trib position is a popularized notion that arose over the past 100 years. It is adhered to by numerous American denominations. Yet, I have never read or met a single apologist that made a convincing exposition of it. The majority of laymen and women believe it because they are told it is so. All arguments ignore the inconvenient verses and twist relevant verses. The pretrib position simply does not fall in line with what Christ taught or God revealed. It does NOT allow for "imminent return" as is so commonly asserted. What it does do in fact is set a firmer timeline of events; i.e. the antichrist can't possibly be here yet because I still am!!! etc.

My reply

Glad you enjoyed my site, but I wonder why, seeing that you don't believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture. I'm a dedicated Pre-Tribber.

> I do believe you should continue pondering the scriptures. The popular pre-tribulation
> notion is incorrect and is easily disproven by a comprehensive study of all end-time
> related scriptures.

I don't believe part b. Would you have a go at disproving the Pre-Trib Rapture instead of just saying it "is easily disproven." Show me how easy it is. Show us your erudite scholarship. I'll post it for all to see and if it holds water, you can convince a lot of people. Tell me if you want your name and email address to appear on it or not.

As for part a, I have studied the scriptures as hard as I can go, and as deeply as I can go, ever since before 1960. I read a stack of books, from BIOLA library's Seminary Collection, about 18" high every week for seven years. I own about 16 versions of the Bible, and have read every word in probably 14 of them, plus every word in several from the library. My Tischendorf New Testament is new. Someone awfully nice sent it to me for Christmas. I have already read quite a bit of it too, even the notes at the bottom of the pages. The other Bible that I have not read completely is the New Scofield Reference Bible that I carry to church. My main study Bible is the original Scofield Bible. It is the KJV with Scofield's notes. It is falling apart. If the Lord tarries very long, I will have to switch to a different one. Revelation is the most frayed and dog-eared. I carry a Bible around with me to read in odd moments waiting for Ed at his Doctor's, Cardiac Rehab, etc. I keep switching to different versions for that. I don't waste much time. About the only things I watch on TV are the news and ice skating. I'm into the Bible just about every day. I usually turn in after midnight. What else would you have me do?

I am totally convinced that Scripture teaches that there are two Raptures, one Pre-Trib and one Pre-Wrath. The Pre-Trib people are seen in Heaven in Rev. 5:9: "thou...hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation." The Pre-Wrath people are seen in Heaven in Rev. 7:14: "These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb." Verse 9 says that they are "a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues." Between Rev. 5 and Rev. 7 is chapter six. The Tribulation begins in verse 1, and the "great day of his wrath is come" in the last verse. All of that, the breaking of the six seals, goes between the two Raptures. The second Rapture takes place between the breaking of the sixth seal in Rev. 6:12 and the breaking of the seventh seal in Rev. 8:1, when the seven trumpet judgments hit Earth on the Day of God's Wrath.

Jesus does not set his feet on Earth at the Pre-Trib Rapture. Neither does he set his feet on Earth at the Pre-Wrath Rapture. Some people think he returns on the Day of Wrath, but there are seven months (Ezek. 39:12) between the catastrophe on the Day of Wrath and the Second Advent.

The day of Wrath is a day of thick darkness (Joel 2:1-3). The day of the Second Advent is not a dark day. Zechariah 14:6-7 says, "the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark: But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light."

> There is no 7-year tribulation after the second coming.

That is right.

> The rapture is simultaneous with the second coming, which is AFTER the
> tribulation and BEFORE the wrath.

None of this is true. Even the second Rapture is not simultaneous with the Second Coming. The Second Advent is seven months after the Day of God's Wrath (which is at the end of 2300 days of the shortened Tribulation, Dan. 8:14), but shortly before the end of the full seven years.

> The wrath and the tribulation are two seperate events. Both are described
> in Revelation 14, but they are divided by the second coming.

Where is the Second Coming in Rev. 14? It starts off with the Pre-Wrath Rapture: "they sung as it were a new song before the throne" (14:3). In verse 7, "the hour of his judgment is come." In verse 8, "Babylon is fallen." In 14-16, the reaping is the Pre-Wrath Rapture. In 17-20, the gathering of the unbelievers into the "great winepress of the wrath of God" takes place. In the last verse, the Lake of Fire forms. None of it concerns the Second Coming.

> In order for the pre-trib position to be correct, there MUST be THREE comings
> of Jesus, not two. This is because each scripture describing the catching up
> of the church is alongside the appearance of Jesus to the whole Earth.

Jesus comes in the air at the two Raptures. At the Second Advent, his feet touch Earth. I don't believe part b. Show me the scriptures. Start with I Thess. 4:13-18. Rev. 4:1 might be nice to put next.

> The pre-trib position is a popularized notion that arose over the past 100 years.

That is not so. I can give you a quote from between 374-627 AD that proves that notion wrong. I will copy it for you if you are interested.

> Yet, I have never read or met a single apologist that made a convincing exposition of it.

Why? Are you closed minded? It is in Scripture. You just need eyes to see it with.

> All arguments ignore the inconvenient verses and twist relevant verses

Give me your whole watertight argument, including every inconvenient and relevant verse. Let's have a good look at every scripture that applies.

> The pretrib position simply does not fall in line with what Christ taught
> or God revealed. It does NOT allow for "imminent return"

It falls in line perfectly. Find "imminent return" in the Bible. Look hard. Maybe both Strong and Young failed to find it, and you will turn it up, much to the surprise of everyone. Maybe an online Bible with search capability can find it for you.

> the antichrist can't possibly be here yet because I still am

That's right up to a point. He is here, but not revealed. Believers are the salt of the Earth. Salt retards the growth of leaven in breadmaking, just as we restrain the appearance of the wicked one because of the Holy Spirit in us. When we are gone, the Holy Spirit will no longer restrain the growth of evil. IT WILL MUSHROOM TO GIGANTIC PROPORTIONS IN ONE BIG HURRY. (I didn't mean to capitalize that, it just came out that way. Neither the Caps Lock nor Shift key was down. That happens sometimes.) The Holy Spirit is restraining the growth of evil for the sake of the elect right now. But the time is coming soon when He will not have that reason to restrain the appearance of the wicked one any longer. After the Pre-Trib Rapture, "then shall that Wicked be revealed" and men will "believe a lie" (II Thess. 2:8,11).

Lord, please bless this person's studies. Open his or her eyes and reveal your truth. I ask in Jesus' name, Amen. Agape

His reply

> Glad you enjoyed my site, but I wonder why, seeing that you don't believe in the
> Pre-Trib Rapture. I'm a dedicated Pre-Tribber.

Truthfully, I did... but, I LOVE to discuss this issue. Discuss, not argue. I suppose this is because I cannot, for the life of me, understand why people believe in the pre-trib position. It contradicts the entirity of the text.

> I don't believe part b. Would you have a go at disproving the Pre-Trib Rapture instead > of just saying it "is easily disproven." Show me how easy it is. Show us your erudite > scholarship. I'll post it for all to see and if it holds water, you can convince a lot > of people. Tell me if you want your name and email address to appear on it or not.

I take up the challenge. It will be quite an essay, but I can use it over and over. I don't think it will involve scholarship - just a comparison of every relevant verse. If you choose, you may post it for all the world to see, with my name, and even an email link. I'll be back to you in a month or so.

Blessings in the New Year. Jonathan Hartley

My reply

You have the right attitude, discuss, not argue. No two of us have exactly the same ideas and interpretations of Scripture. If differing ideas are bandied back and forth between several people, we can all profit by it. One will see what another has missed, lo these many years.

There are verses that I must have read umpteen times and still didn't see what it indicated beyond the superficial. Then one day, I just happened to pick up that Bible in the car or during a TV commercial, opened it and immediate saw something I had never realized before. I can't tell you how many times this has happened. I'm always switching which version I carry in the car, because I have to bring one in to go over that passage some more. Next time out, I take a different version to the car.

There is such a tremendous amount of information in the Bible, both on the surface and below the surface, that no one in one lifetime will ever be able to dig it all out. All we can do is apply ourselves and pray that the Lord will open the eyes of our understanding.

Early on, two passages helped me find hidden treasures. Prov. 2:3-5 says, "Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding (which I did); If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for HID TREASURES; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God." Job 11:6 says, "the secrets of wisdom, that they are double to that which is!" A lot of Israel's recorded history is to help us understand prophecy. They played out skits that are almost carbon copies of things to come. Hidden silver is hard to find, but if we apply ourselves to the search, the rewards are great. We can't just read words to say we read it. We have to think about each passage in depth. The surface meaning is usually clear. The "hid treasures" take application and deliberation.

I wish you the blessings of God on your study. May he show you the truth. Please don't rely on what people say, just on what God says. People can be wrong; God never is.

Agape and Shalom on this NY eve.

Incoming Email

Sorry to hear Ed fell - and that his mother is ill again. You guys have really been through it. It is interesting that so many Christians I know are seemingly under attack right now. My husband had a small bowel obstruction over the holidays which required a trip to the emergency room and a week in bed. We had been visiting my parents in Greeneville,Tennessee (I know you came from Kingsport) for the holidays. We spent one day in the hospital there and then returned home since we didn't want to risk surgery so far from home. When we arrived home, there was a message on the answerphone that my mammogram had turned up a problem. All is well now, but other Christian's stories are similar to mine. I just keep reminding myself - He is coming soon!

Happy New Year- may our next be with Jesus!

My reply

Sorry to hear of your holiday trip being a difficult one and your news at home distressing. Father, please help them to be healthy until the Rapture, In Jesus' name, Amen.

Yes, others voice that much the same is hitting them, in one area or another. The enemy knows his time is short and is doing all he is allowed to do at this particular time. We must not let the cares of this world, nor any person, take away our crown. We are tested, but not cast down. Now is when we should keep our backbone strong and show what we are made of. The reward in the end is worth putting up with the testing. I figure it is less intense than during the Tribulation anyway.

Rev. 3:11 says, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." That message is for those living when the Rapture is "at hand." We can hang on. The time of the Rapture is near.

> Happy New Year- may our next be with Jesus!

Amen to both.

Incoming Email

I was perusing the Revelations 2000 section, and noticed the part about the identity of the 7 kings. You say that the 6th king is the 20th century pope and the 7th is the antichrist. This is fine, except why do you seem to disregard what the Bible says concerning the EIGHTH king? This eighth king is whom the Bible says is the beast, it seems to me. The false prophet is something else all together. But, the scripture says there are seven kings BEFORE the antichrist. And, the Bible tells us the 7th king would rule but a short time. To me, a question is who WAS/IS/WILL BE the seventh king? My money is on Hitler for a variety of reasons. But, just think, if the seventh king hasn't come yet, than the end cannot be imminent at least for a few more decades, but certainly not later than 120 years after 1948.

My reply

Let's first see exactly what Rev. 17:9-13 says: "And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast."

First, we have to realize that "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" is written as if the Rapture is at hand. It is "at hand" in the first and last chapters, in 1:2 and in 22:10. Jesus signs off with "Surely I come quickly." He comes quickly at the Rapture (2:5; 3:11). Jesus stands on the pinnacle of the Pre-Trib Rapture and views "things which thou (John) hast seen (things before the Rapture), and the things which are (at the time of the Rapture), and the things which shall be hereafter ('hereafter' the Rapture, 4:2).

In Rev. 17, the seven kings begin with Nimrod at the Tower of Babel. This is where the Mystery Religion of Babylon started. Thus verse 5 says, "MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH." Thus, the seven kings that have fallen are:

1. Nimrod - Tower of Babel
2. Nebuchadnezzar - Neo-Babylonian Empire
3. Cyrus - Media Persian Empire
4. Alexander - Greece
5. Caesar - Roman Empire

The one that "is" in power at the time of the Rapture is the Tribulation

6. Pope - head of the Ecclesiastical Roman Empire

At the beginning of the Tribulation, this man seems to be elected head of the united-nation world government. And "power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations" (Rev. 13:7). Under him are ten kings, who are probably each over one of the ten regional divisions of the nations of the world.

Today, these ten regions have already been selected. However, their ten leaders are not yet selected or crowned. Rev. 17:12 says, And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet (at the Rapture); but receive power as kings one hour (the 'hour of temptation,' Rev. 3:10, i.e., the Tribulation) with the beast" (the Beast of Rev. 13:1-10).

As the Tribulation begins, both the Beast and the subordinate ten kings receive crowns (Rev. 6:2; 13:1) as heads of the world government.

Mid-Trib, "another little horn" (Dan. 7:8) comes to power. He is number

7. False Prophet, the tail of the great red dragon

Isa. 9:15 says, The ancient and honourable (the Tribulation Pope), he is the head (sixth king); and the prophet that teacheth lies, he is the tail." The False Prophet is both the seventh king and the tail, because he is Satan possessed.

Dan. 7:24 says, "And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise (at the beginning of the Tribulation): and ANOTHER shall rise AFTER THEM (Mid-Trib); and he (the False Prophet) shall be diverse from the first (Beast), and he shall subdue three kings." The Beast and False Prophet are two different people (Rev. 19:20).

The False Prophet is Satan possessed. He and Judas Iscariot are the only two called sons of perdition. When Satan is cast out of Heaven down to the Earth in the middle of the Tribulation, he enters into the False Prophet, who then speaks "as a dragon" (Rev. 13:11).

The False Prophet, i.e., Satan in the False Prophet, immediately goes to sit in the temple "shewing himself that he is God" (II Thess. 2:4). He demands that people worship the image he places at the temple. God's two witnesses, Moses and Elijah, evidently will not, and he kills them. This man is "that man of sin" of II Thess. 2:4. He is the final Antichrist, "whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders" (II Thess. 2:9). He is the one called "another beast" of Rev. 13:11-18 and the "False Prophet" of Rev. 19:20.

On the 2300th day (Dan. 8:14), the False Prophet will be deposed from office. It will be the Day of God's Wrath. Civilization as we know it will be destroyed. "Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! (he leaves Israel and goes to Babylon)! the sword ('Sword of the Lord,' 'flaming sword,' an asteroid (Rev. 8:10) shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened" (Zech. 11:17).

In Rev. 17, the harlot church rides on "a scarlet coloured beast" (17:3). Verse 8 says, "the beast that thou sawest (Satan, the 'great red dragon,' Rev. 12:3) was (in Judas Iscariot), and is not (is not in man now); and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition." Verse 11 says, "And the beast (Satan) that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven (places them in command and gives them his power), and goeth into perdition."

8. Satan, the great red dragon himself

Satan operates even after the False Prophet is deposed from office-- until the end of the full seven years of the Tribulation. At that time, Christ takes dominion away from Satan at the Judgment of the Nations. That is when Armageddon breaks out. It is Satan's last ditch stand, Satan and his forces against Christ and his forces.

> if the seventh king hasn't come yet, than the end
> cannot be imminent at least for a few more decades
Why? As soon as the Rapture takes place, not much time will go by before the Beast is elected head of the world government. When the salt is removed, evil will mushroom quickly. The restraining influence will be removed. Satan will lose no time in putting in action the events that will propel his man into office after the restraint is lifted.

The Y2K bug may have something to do with dumping the whole world into the World Government, World Church and World Banking System. That day is drawing near. The MARC smart cards and implantable micro chips are now ready. I want outta here.

There are two chances to get out of here. One is Pre-Trib, the other is Pre-Wrath. In Song of Solomon 2:14, we are called a dove. That is neat, since the symbol of the Holy Spirit is a dove, and he resides in us.

Here is something to think about. Noah's Ark represented Heaven. When Noah was in the Ark, he sent out a dove twice and she returned to the Ark both times (as two groups of believers will fly to Heaven at two different times). The first time (Gen. 8:8,9) might suggest the first Rapture, and the second time (Gen. 8:10,11) might suggest the second Rapture. The days between the two times Noah sent out the dove may be significant--seven days. One Rapture is before the seven-year Tribulation. The other Rapture is at the end of the 2300-day shortened Tribulation.

The difference in which Rapture we go in is the difference between the wise and foolish virgins. We want to make sure we are accounted worthy to escape all these things (Lu. 21:36). Therefore, we should be certain that we have enough oil of the Holy Spirit in our vessels with our lamps.

Incoming Email

Re: Pearl of Great Price
I Highly recommend your 3 books to any reader of your web site who has not read them as of yet. There is so much information in them you have to read them several times to grasp everything there. While your website is extensive; there is still much more to be gleaned by owning your books

. I re-read your book Revalations 2000 and as I was reading the last chapter ( my favorite part of the Bible is the description of our new home ; the Heavenly New Jerusalem) you made mention of the pearly gates. Your book states... "And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several (respective) gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass" (Rev 21:21).

Then you said.."Since Heaven is the Pearl of Great Price, it is not surprising that these twelve gates are pearls. They are probably used here to help us make the connection between Heaven and the Pearl of Great Price in Mathew 13:45,46"

My understanding of the Pearl of Great Price in Mathew differs from yours. 1 Cor 6:20 says...For ye ( a believer as part of the body of Christ) are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. Acts 20:28 also says...Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he (Christ) hath purchased with his own blood.
Eph 5:25...as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; The last verse of the parable reads..Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it. (Mathew 13:46)

It seems to me that the Pearl of Great Price is the Church. Jesus purchased it (the church) with his precious blood and gave his life for it. He lowered himself and became a man. (selling all that he had in Heaven) to buy the church at a great price.

I would like your thoughts on this as your book seems to take a different viewpoint of the Pearl of Great Price unless I misunderstood what you were saying. How did you arrive at your conclusion as stated above? In Christ and with Love

My reply

Until I found out where Heaven was located, I had no idea that the Pearl of Great Price represented Heaven. When I found out that, to the naked eye, Heaven looked faintly yellowish, or like a pearl hanging there in the sky, I saw that it finally applied to Heaven. That doesn't mean that it does not at the same time mean what you think it does. Like many things, it can have a double application. Jesus was talking about the "kingdom of heaven" (Mt. 13:45), which actually can be within or without. In Mt. 13:52, Jesus said, "every scribe which is instructed into the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things NEW and OLD." This could easily hint at double applictions for this set of parables in Mt. 13. In Mt. 13:35, Jesus said, "I will open my mouth in parables; I will utter things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world." Was the location of Heaven kept secret?

Seeking goodly pearls ties in with the pearly gates, which mark Heaven. There also was a young man to whom Jesus said, "If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me" (Mt. 19:21). Here selling all that he had tied in with treasure in heaven.

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