Pro and Con 264

Uploaded 2-7-99

Incoming Email

Burt Bellows wrote: (concerning Luke 21:36: "Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY to ESCAPE all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.")

...I should say that our Lord's statement is definitely not as Dean claims, a 'one verse proof' of a pre-trib rapture. My problem with his interpretation is that he wrests it out of context and forces a general text into one tiny specific meaning.

To be fair, if the verse is taken generally, our Lord's comments could certainly also cover escaping from the wrath of God (which we will). But it cannot be taken to mean escape from the tribulation period.

However, historically this HAS been interpreted to be the Lord's warning concerning the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD. And it is just like our Lord to be incredibly wise in his use of words that they may be likewise applied to men in every setting, and especially for us in the last days.

I do not deny that, in fact that is exactly what I believe.

However if I believe that, I cannot possibly accept 'escape/ekpheugo' to mean the rapture and a way for a special few to escape from this life.

I believe in the rapture. I believe our Lord was definitely speaking of the end times here. BUT, I also believe he was speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem and all of the trouble througout history.

THEREfore, since He brought up sin and the dangers IN this world of becoming lazy, anxious, and basically losing our first love, my understanding must be that we will go THROUGH everything, not escaping 'it', but escaping the traps of this world and our own sin.

Dean's view also fails in that it goes against the rest of scripture, as though some christians will be good enough to be raptured, and some will not.

My view is pretty simple there. Either you ARE a christian, or you are not. There is no in-between, and God will not judge us here, but in heaven.

On THIS earth He will chasten us. But he will not chasten us by making some go through his wrath!

We are NOT appointed to wrath, nor can we suffer it in any way. We are the children of God.
...
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The bottom line to all of this is simply that Dean claims this is a 'one verse proof' of a pre-trib rapture.
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...
I cannot escape the simple fact that 1 Cor 15:51 tells us exactly when the rapture will be. At the last trump, the esxatae salpinx, blown as the 7th seal is opened in Rev. 7, wher you immediately see the rapture in verses 3-17. The further details are given in Rev. 8 and on, as the results of the 7 trumps blowing are shown upon the earth (fortunately we won't be here)....

My reply

***There are TWO ASSEMBLY TRUMPETS sounded by GOD. The type is the two silver trumpets of Nu. 10:2-4. The two assembly trumpets are not the same as the seven trumpet judgments of Rev. 8f. Those seven trumpets are not sounded by God, but by angels.

(1) FIRST TRUMP OF GOD, calling the Philadelphian wise virgins: I Thess. 4:16,17: "For THE LORD HIMSELF shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the TRUMP OF GOD: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up."

(2) LAST TRUMP OF GOD, calling the Laodicean foolish virgins: I COR. 15:52: "at the LAST TRUMP: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

There are no more trumps of GOD listed for Raptures in the New Testament. There are only TWO. The second is the LAST.

The first is as the days of Noah, when no fire fell. The second is as the days of Lot, when fire fell that same day. That fire falls AFTER the Tribulation saints are safe in Heaven. They are seen in Heaven in Rev. 7:14. The SEVEN TRUMPET judgments that bring the fire are not seen until AFTER all the saints are gathered. The SEVEN TRUMPETS are in Rev. 8. The Tribulation saints are gathered when the sixth seal is broken in Rev. 6:12. The SEVEN TRUMPETS come after the seventh seal is broken.

In Rev. 8, there are SEVEN TRUMPETS to be sounded, not by God, but by ANGELS. Rev. 8:2,7 says, "I saw the SEVEN ANGELS which stood before God; and TO THEM were given seven trumpets....The first ANGEL sounded."

Surely, you can see the difference between "the TRUMP OF GOD" and the seven trumpets sounded by ANGELS. The "TRUMP OF GOD" is an assembly trumpet, one of TWO. The SEVEN are judgment trumpets.

> To be fair, if the verse is taken generally, our Lord's comments could
> certainly also cover escaping from the wrath of God (which we will). But
> it cannot be taken to mean escape from the tribulation period.

Since you think that the saints escape at the seventh trumpet of Rev. 11:15-19, how do you think they escape the wrath of the first six trumpet judgments, which have already taken place by the time the seventh trumpet sounds? Either the saints escape the wrath of God or they don't. You would have them go through the terrors of the six trumpet judgments, 6/7ths of God's Wrath, and yet say "escaping from the wrath of God (which we will)"??? You are not only saying that they won't escape the Tribulation period, but that they won't escape 6/7th of God's Wrath. Would you like to rethink that one?

> However, historically this HAS been interpreted to be the Lord's
> warning concerning the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD.

Verse 24 says, "Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." This does not refer to 70 AD. It refers to the taking of Jerusalem in the Six-Day War of 1967.

Verse 28 says, "when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." This is talking about our days.

Verse 32 says, "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." This is talking about the generation born in 1967. It has nothing to do with 70 AD.

Then, verses 34-36 say to us living today, "And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so THAT DAY (the day of the Pre-Trib Rapture) come upon you unawares. For as a SNARE (pagis, trick or strategem, trap, prop. that which holds fast, whatever brings unexpected sudden deadly peril, i.e., snapping shut the door, as of a trap, and as of Noah's Ark) shall it (the closing of the door opened in Rev. 3:8) come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. WATCH ye therefore, and PRAY always, that ye may be ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE (ekpheugo, exit away from) ALL THESE THINGS THAT SHALL COME TO PASS ("ALL" the Tribulation, as Noah escaped ALL the tempest), and to stand before the Son of man" (in Heaven at the Pre-Trib Rapture).

We can't "ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS" and then go through the shortened Tribulation plus 6/7ths of God's Wrath. That isn't a "blessed hope." We are supposed to "comfort one another with these words" in I Thess. 4:13-18. Why? because we, the ten virgins, both wise and foolish, have set before us ONE CHANCE to "ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS," all of them, not part of them.

In Rev. 3:8,10,11, Jesus told the wise Philadelphians, "behold, I have set before thee AN OPEN DOOR, and no man can shut it (God shut the heavy door of the Ark): for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name....Because thou hast kept the word of my patience (patient waiting), I also will KEEP THEE FROM (out of) the hour of temptation (peirasmos, trial, i.e., the Tribulation), which shall (afterward) come upon ALL THE WORLD (this is not on just an individual, but on all the world, as in Noah's day), to try them that dwell upon the earth (all of them). Behold, I come quickly (the Pre-Trib Rapture): hold that fast which thou hast, that no man (including Burt Bellows) take thy crown."

As he completed Scripture, Jesus signed off with, "Surely, I come quickly." He comes quickly at the Rapture. At the Second Advent, every eye will see him.

> Dean's view also fails in that it goes against the rest of scripture, as though
> some christians will be good enough to be raptured, and some will not.

Mt. 25:10,11 says, "And while they (the foolish virgins, who did not have enough oil of the Holy Spirit) went to buy, the bridegroom (Christ) came (at the Pre-Trib Rapture); and they that were READY (the Philadelphian wise virgins) went in with him TO THE MARRIAGE (the wise virgins are the Bride of Christ): and the DOOR (symbol of the Rapture, the door set open before the Philadelphians, Rev. 3:8) WAS SHUT" (as the door of Noah's Ark was shut BEFORE the tempest began).

> My view is pretty simple there. Either you ARE a christian, or you are not.
> There is no in-between, and God will not judge us here, but in heaven.

That is true. If you are a believer, you will make it to Heaven even though you have to get there so as by fire. You can go like Noah or you can go like Lot.

We have two chances to be caught up to Heaven. One is before the Tribulation. The other is just before the Wrath of God falls on Earth at noon (Zeph. 2:4,5) on the Feast of Trumpets (Joel 2:1-3), the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord. The choice is up to us. Will we use I John 1:9, confess our sins so He can cleanse us of ALL unrighteousness, or will we continue to have dirty feet and refuse to let Jesus wash them. Peter wised up and let Jesus wash his feet. Therefore, he is one of the 24 elders seen in Heaven after the Pre-Trib Rapture (Rev. 4:4). Later, the saints coming out of the Great Tribulation have "washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb" (Rev. 7:14). Since they had to do it in the end anyway, they would have been better off if they had done it before the Bride of Christ was chosen. The first group are "kings and priests" (Rev. 5:10). The second group "serve him day and night in his temple" (Rev. 7:15).

In the Preview of the Pre-Trib Rapture in Rev. 1, Jesus "had in his right hand seven stars (the top performers of the seven churches that he had just caught up): AND out of his mouth went a SHARP TWOEDGED SWORD." To the church in Pergamos, "where Satan's seat is," the Lord is seen as "he which hath the SHARP SWORD WITH TWO EDGES" (Rev. 2:12). Why is a sword necessary at the Pre-Trib Rapture? to cut off the ones "that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes" and the blind Laodiceans for chastening during the Tribulation. To the church in Pergamos, Jesus said, "Repent; OR ELSE I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the SWORD OF MY MOUTH" (Rev. 2:16). To the Laodiceans, he said, "As many as I love, I rebuke and CHASTEN: be zealous therefore, and repent" (Rev. 3:19).

The Lamb "is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, AND CHOSEN, and faithful" (Rev. 17:14). At the time of the Pre-Trib Rapture, the Bride of Christ (wise virgins) will be CHOSEN. The foolish virgins will be cut off with the "SHARP TWOEDGED SWORD."

"The lord of that servant (the unfaithful and unwise, v. 42) will come in a day when he looketh NOT for him, and at an HOUR when he is NOT AWARE, and will cut him in sunder (use that sword and cut him off), and will appoint him his portion with the unbelievers" (during the Tribulation) (Luke 12:46). Mt. 24:51 says, "And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion (the shortened Tribulation) with the hypocrites (Jesus called the Pharisee know it alls hypocrites and blind guides in Mt. 23:13,14,15,16,17,19,23,24,25,26,27,28,29): there shall be WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH."

Why will there be "WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH"? because Jesus will say to the lukewarm and blind Laodiceans, "So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I WILL SPUE THEE OUT OF MY MOUTH" (Rev. 3:16).

This is at the time that the door opens in Heaven, and Jesus says with "a great voice, AS OF A TRUMPET" (Rev. 1:10) (i.e., the first trump), "Come up hither" (Rev. 4:1). Right after this a great multitude is seen in Heaven, "out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation" (Rev. 5:9). This is BEFORE the Tribulation starts in Rev. 6. It is BEFORE the great multitude coming out of the Great Tribulation is seen in Heaven in Rev. 7:14. It is BEFORE the seven trumpet judgments are cast on Earth in Rev. 8. People that do not rightly divide the word of truth risk being in the group left "WEEPING AND GNASHING OF TEETH."

> On THIS earth He will chasten us. But he will not
> chasten us by making some go through his wrath!

He will chasten the Laodiceans (Rev. 3:19). Nothing is said about chastening the Philadelphians. And, you are right, "he will not chasten us by making some go through his wrath!" No believer will be on Earth when the seven trumpets of judgment BEGIN to sound, much less when the seventh sounds.

BEFORE the Tribulation, the group seen in Rev. 5:9 is in Heaven. BEFORE God's Wrath is poured out on Earth, the group seen in Rev. 7:14 is in Heaven. Neither group go through any of the seven trumpet judgments.

The "last trump" of I Cor. 15:52 is not the same as the seventh trumpet of Rev. 11:15-18. The "last trump" of I Cor. 15:52 is the second time Christ's "great voice, as of a TRUMPET" (Rev. 1:10) is heard. The first time is in I Thess. 4:16, when we hear "THE TRUMP OF GOD" saying, "Come up hither" (Rev. 4:1).

To the Philadelphians, for whom Jesus had no words of condemnation, he said, "Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy CROWN. Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (Rev. 3:11-13).

> I cannot escape the simple fact that 1 Cor 15:51 tells us exactly when the
> rapture will be. At the last trump, the esxatae salpinx, blown as the 7th seal
> is opened in Rev. 7, wher you immediately see the rapture in verses 3-17. The
> further details are given in Rev. 8 and on, as the results of the 7 trumps
> blowing are shown upon the earth (fortunately we won't be here).

The seventh seal is opened in Rev. 8:1, not in Rev. 7. If the Pre-Wrath Rapture happens in Rev. 7, and it does, how can you think it has anything to do with either the 1st trumpet that blows in Rev. 8:7 or the 7th trumpet that blows in Rev. 11:15? And how can you say "fortunately we won't be here" when you think we will be here until the 7th trumpet?

There are two Raptures. The choice is ours. Will we be wise Philadelphian virgins caught up the first time? or will we be foolish Laodicean virgins caught up the second time? Time is getting short to make a decision. Scripture says to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Sin in our lives quenches the Holy Spirit. If we confess our sins, the Holy Spirit is like a well of living water welling up within us. At that point, we are wise virgins waiting for the Bridegroom to come take us to His Father's house.

Paul was running the race to win the prize of being part of the group to get their resurrection bodies at the first Rapture. He was working for an incorruptible crown. He brought his body into subjection, lest he "should be a castaway" (I Cor. 9:27). It is possible to be a believer and be a castaway. Our salvation is not at stake. Which group we are part of is at stake. The Bride always wears white. Agape

Incoming Email

That is a wonderful synopsis of the Raptures. In the paragraph quoting Pseudo-Ephraem I think you intended to mention the specific date but left it out.

I get asked all the time for some kind of guide to understand the Rapture that one without a bible background could understand with some study. This is a perfect study guide that I will send out.

My reply

Guesses as to when Pseudo-Ephraem wrote his sermon run from 374 to 627 AD. Here is another quote from the same sermon, "...prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that he may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms all the world." He obviously believed there would be a Rapture.

People keep saying that John Darby got his ideas for a Pre-Trib Rapture from Margaret McDonald's vision in 1830. In 1857, Darby said that he started to understand things that related to the pre-Trib Rapture "thirty years ago." That would be in 1827, not after 1830. Some people just believe what they want to believe, whether it is the truth or not.

Glad you can use the piece on the two Raptures.

Incoming Email

I have found your page very interesting, in my recent studies I have been reading a book by Charles Capp called End Time Events and in it he points out in Genesis that God told us that we would have a 6,000 year lease in which he would deal with man example 2000 from Adam to Abraham, 2000 from Abraham to Christ, 2000 from Christ to rapture, this would but us at the year 2000 the 21st century would not start until jan.01, 2001 Your theory on the rapture leaves a gap that I don't understand I feel that God is exact in his timing and that the rapture would come sometime on or within the year 2000 not before or after that year why would God come early? he is consistant in what he says and will do in the future what he has done in the past.Please don't take this as critical, I to believe that we are very near to God's fulfilment of prophecy and your response to my question would be helpful and maybe put some new light to my understanding of Revelations. Thanks

My reply

> he points out in Genesis that God told us that we would have a 6,000 year lease in which
> he would deal with man example 2000 from Adam to Abraham, 2000 from Abraham to Christ,
> 2000 from Christ to rapture

Search the scriptures and see if these things are so. You won't find that told us point blank. Where people get it is that God refreshed the Earth six days and rested the seventh day. They make a day = 1000 years. The rest is man's reasoning.

I agree with part of it. Man's test from the time Adam was cast out of Eden does seem to be 7000 years. However, their arrangement is skewed because Adam spent 40 years of testing and probation in the Garden. When you start with the creation of Adam and add up all the years given in the OT, you find the truth. God did not make it quite that simple to figure out.

You can check out my chronology page to see how it all adds up, but I think Adam was created in the Jewish year of 283 BJE (before the Jewish Era), our BC 4044/43. He left the Garden in 243 BJE, our BC 4004/03. That year plus 2000 years = BC 2004/03 + another 2000 years = BC 4/03 (AH 4040) (3758 Jewish) + another 2000 years = the Jewish year of 5758, our 1997/98 (AH 6040).

In checking the figures, remember that there is no zero year between BJE and our present Jewish calendar years. There is also no zero year between BC 1 and AD 1. For instance, when figuring the 483 years of Daniel's prophecy in Dan. 9 to the Crucifixion, you have to add a year because there is no zero year between BC 1 an 1 AD (483 years - BC 454, when Cyrus' decree to build Jerusalem and the temple was given, + 1 = 30 AD, the year the Messiah was "cut off" (karath, killed) (Dan. 9:26).

I thought the Rapture would take place last Pentecost, in 5758, but I failed to take into consideration the 12 months of purification of Queen Esther before she was taken to the king. Also, Jewish engagements are typically 12 months to prove the bride is a virgin. It looks to me like we have this extra year, until next Pentecost, to make sure we are wise virgins, with enough oil of the Holy Spirit to go with the Bridegroom when he comes. Be ready, all sins since believing in Christ confessed as per I John 1:9, just in case.

The Revelation of Jesus Christ was written as if the Rapture was at hand. It is "at hand" in both the first and last chapters (Rev. 1:3; 22:10). Jesus signs off with, "Surely I come quickly." He comes quickly at the Rature (Rev. 2:5; 3:11).

In Rev. 17:12, the ten kings have no kingdom as yet. That is at the time of the Rapture. Yet, as the Tribulation begins in Rev. 13, all ten kings are crowned. This shows that there is a gap between the Rapture and the beginning of the Tribulation.

I am hoping for the Rapture next Pentecost, in the spring. Song of Solomon 2:10-14 seems to indicate spring.

...The time slot when there are green figs and the firstripe grapes is a narrow one. It has to be at the end of May or early June. The only feast that fits this time slot is Pentecost, which particularly belongs to the Church. In 30 AD, the Spirit of Christ came to fill the Church. In 1998, which means "the season of Noah," I think that Christ will come to get those that are filled with the Spirit of Christ.

Things happened to Israel as examples to us upon whom the ends of the ages is come.

Israel was given the chance to go up EARLY into the Promised Land, when they spied out the land. It was at the time of the firstripe grapes. Now, we are given a chance to go up EARLY to our Promised Land at the time of the firstripe grapes.

In Mark 4:22,23, Jesus said, "For there is NOTHING hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad (that includes the date of the Rapture). If any man have ears to hear, let him hear." Five verses later, he said, "For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn (siton, grain, especially wheat) in the ear. But WHEN THE FRUIT IS BROUGHT FORTH, IMMEDIATELY he putteth in the sickle, because the harvest is come."

We are wheat. When is wheat planted in Israel? in the fall. When is it harvested? the following spring--starting at Pentecost. "WHEN THE FRUIT IS BROUGHT FORTH, IMMEDIATELY he putteth in the sickle, because THE HARVEST IS COME."
...
Note: Next Incoming email lost, sorry. First, I had a message about an error because of lack of memory. Then I got a bomb and had to restart. Critical parts are copied below in my answer, so you can understand anyway.

My reply

> considering something significant already happened on Pentecost, would
> something else happen on that date as well? Are there other examples of
> feasts being fulfilled multiple times for multiple purposes?

There were two loaves to be offered on Pentecost. It has been thought that they might stand for Jews and Gentiles. They probably do, but they may also indicate a double fulfillment. At its fulfillment in 30 AD, the apostles were Jews. The majority of the upcoming Pre-Trib Rapture seem to be Gentiles.

Pentecost is thought to be the day Moses received the ten commandments. This would make a second fulfillment in 30 AD. Passover was fulfilled twice, when the Israelites were passed over in Egypt and when Jesus was crucified.

> In Revelation chapter 12 when Satan is thrown out of heaven, and John observes
> the heavenly war: Is that the same war spoken of in Genesis or a 2nd war? I'm
> inclined to think it's the same war, and I'm trying to think outside of linear
> terms on this. I know it fulfils the prophecy in Daniel 12

When Satan is thrown out of heaven in Rev. 12, it is Mid-Trib. I don't know what war in Genesis you mean. The beginning of Dan. 12 is the day of Jacob's trouble, the first day of the Millennium, the 2300th day of the shortened Tribulation. I think it is the Feast of Trumpets in 2007.

> The battle in which Satan and the fallen 1/3 of the angels wage both has
> happened and hasn't happened

Satan and his angels seem to have already been judged and sentenced to prison. Satan must have appealed the sentence, saying something like, "How can a loving God consign his creatures to prison?" Maybe God created man to prove his sentence just. If man, not as strong, not being able to see God, could still obey Him, He would be proved just in consigning Satan and the fallen angels to prison. They failed when they could see God.

Incoming Email

I pray that you and your husband are well. I have read of your physical afflictions. God bless your faithfulness and steadfastness! I did receive your two books, Exit 2000 and Heaven Found. I was born again in October 1966, and in 1967-1970, suffered much depression, particularly 1968. But, the Lord brought me out of that horrible, dark pit, and delivered me. How good He is, always faithful and loving. I remember reading, I think it was 1967, a poem. I can't remember who wrote it, or the name of the poem. What I remember is two lines:

I saw eternity the other night,
like a ring of pure and endless light.

While I was reading Heaven Found, and Saturn's description, those lines came back to me. Thank you for all your dedicated work in rightly dividing the word of truth. As I wrote in a previous email, I look forward to meeting you, in the precious presence of our dear Lord Jesus Christ. Oh, how my heart aches for that blessed moment, when we shall be caught up to Him! In His Love

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Updated 2-7-99