Pro and Con 414

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FWD: From: Claud Lowe : Common Pre-Trib Arguments, by ken@bsc.net
1) The Absence of the Word Church in the Book of Revelation
Pre-Tribbers say that because the word Church is not used after Revelation, Chapter 3, the Church therefore cannot be in the 70th week. It is mentioned 19 times in Chap 1-3, but never again...

while it is true that the word Church is not used after Chapter 3, the word saint is used numerous times throughout Revelation. This same word is used all throughout the New Testament to speak of those in the Church.

Additionally, the Church is not mentioned in Mark, Luke, John, 2 Timothy, Titus, 1 & 2 Peter, 1 & 2 John, Jude, and not until the 16th Chapter of Romans. Quoting Robert Gundry, "Unless we are prepared to relegate large chunks of the NT to a limbo of irrelevance to the Church, we cannot make the mention or omission of the term "church" a criterion for determining the applicability of a passage to saints of the present age".

***From Marilyn: Notice where he is coming from. He quotes Robert Gundry, a post-tribber. He may not be doing too much of his own thinking, but parroting Gundry's ideas. That is dangerous. No human being is infallible. Scripture is.

***The word Saint/saints is used throughout Scripture for those that are right with the Lord. There are OT saints, Church saints and Tribulation saints.

2) Revelation 4:1
..."After this I looked and, behold, a door was opened in heaven; and the first voice that I heard was, as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up here, and I will show thee things which must be hereafter."

Pre-Tribbers say that since John hears a trumpet and is called up to heaven, this represents the rapture.

***In I Thess. 4:16, at the time of the Rapture, the "TRUMP OF GOD" is heard. In the Preview of the Rapture in Rev. 1:10, Christ speaks to John with "a great voice, AS OF A TRUMPET." In Rev. 4:1, when the Rapture actually takes place, John says, "a door was opened in heaven: and the FIRST VOICE I HEARD WAS AS IT WERE OF A TRUMPET TALKING."

***This is Christ, saying "COME UP HITHER." In the Preview, John said in Rev. 1:10, "I was (lit., became) in the Spirit." John was caught up FROM Patmos (which means MORTAL) to HEAVEN. He saw Christ there in all his glory. In Rev. 4:2, John said, "immediately I was (lit., became) in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set IN HEAVEN."

***This ties in with Pentecost, the first time the trumpet sounded in the Bible. Ex. 19:26-20 says, "it came to pass on the third day in the morning, that there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the VOICE OF THE TRUMPET...and Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God...And WHEN THE VOICE OF THE TRUMPET sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and GOD ANSWERED HIM BY A VOICE...and the LORD called Moses...UP."

This interpretation is a perfect example of inference and without biblical justification. To equate Rev 4:1 to the rapture would be like adopting an allegorian method of interpretation--which pre-tribbers would normally reject. I've only brought this argument up because it is frequently used to support pre-trib. It is very, very weak.

My response back though is this: John does not maintain his heavenly viewpoint throughout Revelation (10:1, 11:1, 13:1, 14:1, 18:1). If John, who is representing the raptured Church in Rev 4:1, why does he keep going back and forth from heaven to the earth?...

***Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty, wrote the script for "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." It is presented as a miracle play. The whole thing is written as if Jesus stood on the pinnacle of the Rapture to show us what happens before, at, and after the Rapture. In Rev. 1:29, Jesus told John, "Write the things which thou hast seen (before the Rapture), and the things which are (at the Rapture), and the things which shall be hereafter (after the Rapture)."

***It shows us things that will take place "hereafter" the Rapture from Rev. 4:1 on. John was caught up to Heaven and shown what would be hereafter, both in Heaven and on Earth. It doesn't say that he kept "going back and forth from heaven to the earth".

3) God has not Appointed Us to Wrath
The pre-tribber believes the Church will not go through the wrath of God, and since they believe the entire 70th week of Daniel is the wrath of God, the Church, therefore, will not be in the 70th week.

***The entire 70th week of Daniel is NOT the Wrath of God. The DAY of God's Wrath comes as the last day of this age ends and the millennial Day of the Lord begins. The 6th seal is broken on the last day of this Age. The next day, Feast of Trumpets that begins the Day of the Lord, is when the 7th seal is broken. Rev. 6:17 says, "For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?" The Pre-Wrath Rapture takes place before the asteroid pieces impact Earth at noon (Zeph. 2:4,5). The Tribulation saints are seen in Heaven in Rev. 7:14, BEFORE the 7th seal is broken. They are caught up between the breaking of the 6th (Rev. 6:12) and 7th seals (Rev. 8).

First of all, the bible never says we won't see his wrath, just that we are not appointed unto it. The Pre-Wrath view believes the Church will be raptured just before it, and the Post-tribber believes she will be protected through it. I personally don't have a problem with either view.

***Rom. 5:9 says, "we shall be SAVED FROM WRATH." We are "to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which DELIVERED US FROM THE WRATH TO COME" (I THESS. 1:10).

The first point of contention is not whether we go through God s wrath, but will we personally experience it? And the clear biblical answer is absolutely not (1 Thes 5:9)!!

The second point is when does that wrath begin? Contrary to what pre-tribbers believe, the Bible clealy teaches that the Wrath of God (The Day of the Lord) begins after the midway point with the opening of the 7th seal. Again, the rapture occurs in conjuction with the Day of the Lord. So, if the Day of the Lord begins inside the 70th week, then the rapture also must occur inside the 70th week....

***The 7th seal is broken on the Feast of Trumpets that begins the millennial Day of the Lord. It is the 2300th day of the Tribulation (Dan. 8:14). That day is the second Rapture. The first Rapture is not even in the Tribulation, much less in the millennial Day of the Lord.

4) The "Gap" Argument
There are some pre-tribbers who want to say that the Day of the Lord begins after the sixth seal, but still the rapture occurs 5 or 6 years earlier. I call this the Gap theory.  They use the passage in Gen 7:4 to try and prove this. They explain the gap theory this way: God told Noah to gather the animals, get in the ark, and then in seven days he would send the flood. They then say that since Noah entered the ark 7 days before flood began, this represents the rapture of the Church well before the Day of the Lord begins....

***Noah was told, "COME thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in THIS GENERATION...For YET SEVEN DAYS, and I will cause it to rain...And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth" (Gen. 7:1-10). Noah was told, "COME" seven days before it began to rain and was told what animals to load. He had those 7 days to load the Ark. Then, "the LORD shut him in," and it began to rain (Gen. 7:16,17). On the SAME DAY that the door was open and then shut, the water (i.e., Holy Spirit) raised them up.

3) The gap theory contradicts the words of Jesus. Jesus plainly said that on the same day that Noah entered the ark, judgment came and took them all away....

***The water came and took Noah and his family UP.

5) The "Sack Lunch" Argument
Pre-Tribber's believe that the marriage supper of the Lamb begins prior to the 2nd coming of Christ at Armeggedon. Since this is so, the Church must be raptured well before this event to allow time for the supper. They refer to the marriage supper of the Lamb in a Post-trib rapture scenerio as a "sack lunch".

***They do? In all my reading, this is the first time I have heard this.

First of all, this is an absolutely ridiculous argument because it limits God to temporal time. We must understand that God exists in an eternal state where there is no time. In 2 Peter 3:8, the bible says that one day to the Lord is as a thousand years.  Even if the rapture occurred just prior to Armeggedon, a one second delay between the rapture and his coming could very easily be enough time to complete the marriage supper of the Lamb.

***Yeh right. The Lord planned a one second Marriage Supper for the King of kings. I don't think so. The Coronation Ceremony, the Marriage of the Lamb, the Judgment Seat of Christ and the Marriage of the Lamb are all held in Heaven on the Feast of Trumpets that begins the Millennium. At the Judgment Seat of Christ, here is what takes place. Rev. 11:17,18 says, "We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art (on Coronation Day), and wast (at the First Advent), and art to come (the Second Advent is 7 months in the future, Eze. 39:12); because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned. And the nations were angry (the army of Eze. 38 is attacking Israel), and THY WRATH IS COME (Eze. 38:18-20), and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give REWARD unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth."...

***If one day is to the Lord as 1000 years, don't you think his days are measured?

6) The "Yo-Yo" Argument
Pre-tribbers frequently mock Post-tribulation by saying that the view believes in an up and down rapture, thus the yo-yo simile. They say that it ridiculous for the Lord to call Christians to himself in mid-air only to come right back down. Why not have the Lord just come down to the earth and meet us down here?

...a Pre-Wrath rapture has the Lord rapturing the Church on the same day the Day of the Lord begins which is before his physical return. There is no quote, unquote "yo-yo" rapture with this view.

***(1) The Pre-Trib Rapture is before the Tribulation. At that time, "the ten kings...have received no kingdom as yet" (Rev. 17:12). As the Tribulation begins, all ten kings are crowned (Rev. 13:1).
(2) The Pre-Wrath Rapture is on the first day of the millennial Day of the Lord. That is the 2300th day (Dan. 8:14) of the shortened Tribulation, and the Feast of Trumpets.
(3) The Second Advent is 7 months after the Pre-Wrath Rapture (Eze. 39:12)....

7) The Blessed Hope
Pre-tribbers rightly say that the return of Christ is the blessed hope (Titus 2:12-13).  They question, however, on how the return of Christ can be a blessed hope if the Church must first experience the wrath of the Tribulation period?

Again, there is no scriptural basis for such an argument. It is based purely on emotionalism and human reasoning. But I will use the opposite extreme. I say that the blessed hope is more blessed if we are going through difficult times than when things are going well. Persecution has always been good for the Church. And it is in difficult times, not fat times, that we experience real closeness and intimacy with the Lord. But the reality is, although the Church will go through persecution, it will be temporary, and our relief will come when Christ returns in glory--and that is a blessed hope!...

***He is using human reasoning himself. I Thess. 4:18 says, "comfort one another with these words." Sorry, but I am not conforted by this author's words. Are you? Lu. 21:36 tells us to "pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to ESCAPE all these things." That is comforting.

10) No Man Knows the Day or the Hour
Pre-Tribbers say that if you believe the Church will endure the tribulation, then you will know exactly when Christ will return, thus violating the passage in Matt 24, where no man knows the day or the hour.

***Mt. 24:35,36 says, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man."

First, the bible teaches that the rapture will occur somewhere in conjunction with the Day of the Lord.

***The Pre-Trib Rapture is roughly 7 years before the beginning of the millennial Day of the Lord. The Pre-Wrath Rapture takes place before noon on the Feast of Trumpets that begins the Day of the Lord.

We know from Matt 24:29, that the Day of the Lord begins sometime in the 2nd half of the 70th week, after the Great Tribulation. Second, remember that Jesus us tells us that the Great Tribulation will be "cut short" for the sake of the elect (Matt 24:21-11). We have absolutely no idea when that will be.

***According to Dan. 8:14, the time when the Jews will sacrifice plus the time that they won't because of the desolation of the temple is 2300 days. I think the first day is the Feast of Weeks in 2001 and the last day is the Feast of Trumpets in 2007.

...lastly, his coming (parousia) does not include just his physical return. It includes many things including his judgment (the Day of the Lord). And that will be anytime after the 6th seal.

***The Judgment Seat of Christ is in Heaven on the 2300th day of the Tribulation. That is the Feast of Trumpets. God's wrath is poured out on unbelievers left on the Earth that day. Every wall will fall in the worldwide earthquake when "the mountains (asteroids) shall be thrown down" (Eze. 38:20, Rev. 8:8,10). Following that, the dead lay around the earth. In Israel, they bury the dead to cleanse the land for the Lord's glorious return (Eze. 39:12).

11. Dispensationalism (the Nature of the Church and Israel)
By far, the biggest argument for pre-trib rapturism is the strong belief in dispensationalism. If you remember, we defined dispensationalism as the belief in a separate Israel and a separate Church. The pre-tribber would contend that since the Church was not around during the first 69 weeks of Daniel s prophecy, it will not be in the 70th week of Daniel. In other words, pre-tribbers believe that the 70th week is the dispensation specifically for Israel. So, if the 70th week is a time when God deals with his chosen people, the Church cannot be a part of it.

***There are OT saints, Church saints, and Tribulation saints. That doesn't mean that there are not Israelites in all three groups. It also doesn't mean that because the Tribulation is Israel's fifth cycle of discipline (Lev. 26:28), there are no church saints in the Tribulation. The foolish Laodicean virgins get left behind at the first Rapture. They will just have to share in Israel's discipline because they are not wise enough to be accounted worthy of escaping. They are the foolish virgins, who didn't figure out why it was that the Philadelphians were the only group before whom the Lord set the "open door" (Rev. 3:8).

...First, with the birth of the Church (Acts 2), God did not stop his working with Israel.  Bible scholars have always looked at the book of Acts to be a book of transition from Israel to the Church--from the age of law to the age of grace. The first converts were Jews (Acts 2). Early believers continued to go to the temple for worship (Acts 3:1).

***There was a transition period, but at the Crucifixion, the clock stopped for Israel was out of fellowship.

...The problem with this argument is the extreme that pre-tribbers go to protect dispensationalism. I am a strong dispensationalist, but that does not mean that dispensationalism automatically exempts the Church from the 70th week.

Again, we must not base our theology on what we think the bible says, but what the bible actually teaches. And clearly the bible teaches that the Church will enter the 70th week.

***The Philadelphian wise virgins will not enter the 70th week of Daniel. I think the Laodicean foolish virgins will.

12) Rev 2-3 (Periods of Church History)
The Pre-Trib argument is that the seven churches in chapters 2-3 of Revelation represent seven distinct periods of Church history....Therefore, according to Cohen, when we reach Rev 4:1, Church history is complete and the Church is raptured before all the events in Revelation.

Well, again, this view has some serious flaws.
1) First of all, there is nothing in this text that indicates these are periods of Church history, nothing!
2) Secondly, this view is totally subjective. Who determines when a period begins and ends? Church history is not that clear cut.
3) Third, the terms given to the seven churches do not fully conform to everything that is written in the letters. For example: the Church in Thyatira gets higher marks from Jesus than history gives to the papal Church. Conversely, the Church of the reformation age is graded considerably higher than Jesus grades the Church of Sardis....

We are to look at the seven churches in Revelation in the same exact way. These were actual historical churches which had certain strengths and weaknesses. These are the exact strengths and weaknesses the Church will have as she enters the 70th week. Look at the prophetic words given to these churches:

***Jesus stands at the point in time when the Rapture is "at hand" (Rev. 1:3 and 22:10), and takes a look at how the church looks to him just before the Pre-Trib Rapture takes place.

First, look at the promises to the overcomers: 2:7, 2:11, 2:17, 2:26, 3:5, 3:12, 3:21. Second, look at the references to Christ s near coming: 2:5, 2:16, 2:25, 3:3, 3:11, 3:20.

***That's right. Christ's coming is NEAR. It is "AT HAND."

Third, look at the references to patience (which is translated: endurance under affliction): 2:2, 2:19, 3:10.

***Our patience will be rewarded by being kept FROM the Tribulation that is to test the whole world.

Fourth, look at the warning to the church of Sardis: 3:1,3

***Rev. 3:3 says, "If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee." What will we know if we do watch? that's right, we shall know what hour he will come upon us.

Pre-tribbers...will say that the Church of Laodocia is one of apathy and lukewarmness which will mark the characteristics of the Church before the return of Christ. One question: Why should Christ come back to take an apathetic, lazy, coldChurch away from a period (Great Tribulation) which not only will prepare her for His coming, but will separate the true believers from false ones? This makes absolutely no sense....

***The Philadelphians have no condemnation mentioned against them. They have already confessed their sins and are filled with brotherly love, the meaning of Philadelphia. The Laodiceans (people of judgment) fail to confess their sins, and what does the Lord tell them? Rev. 3:18,19 says, "I counsel thee to buy of me gold (symbol of deity, i.e., the Spirit of Christ) tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich: and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and REPENT." If they do not repent in one big hurry, the Rapture will take place and they will find themselves outside the closed door. Judgment begins at the church. Of those left behind, Jesus said, "The lord of that servant (unwise) 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 (cut him off), and will appoint him his portion (2300 days of the Tribulation) with the unbelievers." Mt. 24:51 adds, "there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

13) Rev 3:10
Second to the dispensational argument, Rev 3:10 is what pre-tribbers hang their hats on. Let s read it. Pre-tribbers will say that since Jesus says that "I will keep thee from the hour of testing", then we are exempt from the 70th week of Daniel.

Again, if we look at Rev 2-3 in context to the prophetic nature of the book, it is clear that Christ is warning the churches to prepare and to be overcomers during the 70th week. But what about this tough verse?

Robert Gundry, a post-tribber, says that Rev 3:10 is the most debated verse in the rapture discussion. Many see 3:10 as the key in understanding the rapture issue.  Some go far to say that this verse is the watershed verse that divides the different positions.

We need to be very careful to base a biblical viewpoint on one scripture...So what do we do? We take those few debatable scriptures and reconcile them to what the bible on the whole teaches...

***That's a dangerous way to go, don't try to understand what the Lord is saying to you in Rev. 3:10, just explain it in the light of whatever else you prefer.

The same rule applies here. On the surface, it appears that Rev 3:10 is saying that the Church is not to go through the great testing, but what about the tens of other passages (which we have looked at), that indicate otherwise. So we must therefore reconcile this one difficult passage with what the bible says on the whole concerning the rapture of the Church.

***It "appears that Rev 3:10 is saying that the Church is not to go through the great testing," because this Philadelphian "Church is not to go through the great testing." Nothing he has said against the Pre-Trib Rapture holds water. Jesus had no words of condemnation for the Philadelphians. Therefore, he set before them the "open door." When Heaven's door is open, they can go in when the Lord says, "Come up hither" (Rev. 4:1).

As we have shown in other instances, what a text appears to be saying in English is not at always what it says in the Greek. The phrase in question is the phrase keep thee from. Pre-tribbers would say that clearly says removal from. But is there another possibility? The Greek word used is the word tereo. It can carry the idea of protecting someone while he is in the sphere of danger. But there is a tiny word used in conjunction with this word tereo. It is the Greek work ek. This word is in direct contrast to another preposition apo. Apo means kept outside of, while ek means within the sphere. It is this preposition ek that is used in conjunction with the word tereo--so we have the word tereo ek....

***Tereo is translated "keep" 57 times. The word "ek" is translated as "out of" 131 times and "from" 182 times. Green's Interlinear Greek English New Testament has "Because you kept the word of My patience, I also WILL KEEP YOU OUT OF THE HOUR OF TRIAL WHICH IS ABOUT TO COME" (Rev. 3:10). The Tribulation is "ABOUT TO COME." Therefore, those that are "ACCOUNTED WORTHY TO ESCAPE ALL THESE THINGS...AND TO STAND BEFORE THE SON OF MAN" (LU. 21:36) will soon go through Heaven's door. It is already open to the Philadelphians (Rev. 3:8). In Rev. 3:11 (Interlinear), Jesus says, "Behold I COME QUICKLY!" The Rapture is almost here. Jesus continues, "Hold fast that which you (Philadelphians) have so that no one may take your CROWN." The Philadelphians are the Bride of Christ. The Laodiceans have no crown mentioned. If they don't repent, they have already lost it.

The only other use of in the NT is found in John 17:15.

***I hope he doesn't mean that the only use of "EK" in the NT is found in John 17:15. It is used 860 times. Tereo is used 75 times.

Jesus here makes a clear distinction between removal from the evil one and preservation from the evil one. His prayer was not that they would be taken out of the world, but preserved from the evil one while in the world.

***In John 17:15, Jesus is speaking of his apostles. In v. 12, he said, "none of them is lost, but the son of perdition."

So while Greek scholars are definitely not in agreement, there is strong evidence to suggest that Rev 3:10 is not referring to a removal before the testing, but either a removal while in it or a protection while within it. Again, any unclear verse must be compared with other passages talking on the same subject that are clear. So although, on the surface, Rev 3:10 appears to be saying one thing, it actually could mean just the opposite--when considering the original Greek and comparing it with other passages such as John 17:15.

***Rev. 3:10 is clear to anyone that isn't trying to explain it away. Why he isn't willing to let it say what it says is more than I can understand.

14) The restrainer in 2 Thess 2:7
Read 2 Thess 2:7,8. Who is the restrainer? Most pre-tribulation rapturists believe the restrainer is either the Church or the Holy Spirit--with the majority leaning toward the Holy Spirit. Their explanation goes something like this: the restrainer is the Holy Spirit, and antichrist cannot be revealed until the Spirit is removed. Since the Spirit indwells all believers, then when the Holy Spirit is removed, so is the Church. This viewpoint lacks solid biblical support. To my knowledge, there is no verse in the bible that calls the Holy Spirit a restrainer of sin, and certainly in this passage there is no indication of this. But there is one being in the bible who is specifically called a restrainer.

Turn to Dan 10:12,13 (Read) Scholars agree that this verse is talking about Michael the archangel. In his relationship to Israel he is called Michael your prince (look at verse 21). The word holdeth in the Hebrew can be translated restrainer.

Daniel, the prophet, is told that Michael is the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people (look at 12:1).

Both Christian and Jewish scholars believe that Michael, the archangel has a special guardian relationship over the children of Israel...

Now remember we said that at the midpoint of the 70th week, there was a war in heaven? Remember? And who did the war involve? (Michael and Satan--Rev 12-7-17) And do you remember immediately what Satan did after he was thrown to the earth? (He persecuted the woman, verse 13).

Go back to Daniel 12:1. The phrase stand up can be accurately translated stand aside or to be inactive (this according to Rashi--one of Israel s greatest scholars). Michael, in chapter 10:13,21, had earlier fought for Israel, but now is stepping aside or is inactive as a restrainer.

***(1) At the Pre-Trib Rapture, Michael's voice is heard. I Thess. 4:16-18 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 (including Paul) ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

***(2) At the Pre-Wrath Rapture, Michael is again present. In Dan. 11:45, the False Prophet "shall come to his end, and none shall halp him." Continuing, Dan. 12:1,2 says, "AND at that time (when the False Prophet is deposed from office on the Day of God's Wrath) shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be A TIME OF TROUBLE (Day of Jacob's Trouble), such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time (it's the Day of God's Wrath): and AT THAT TIME (the Feast of Trumpets that begins the millennial Day of the Lord) thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake....And they that be WISE (wise virgins) shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."

***The Septuagint Old Testament used in Jesus' day says, "at that time Michael the great prince shall stand up, that stands over the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of tribulation, such tribulation as has not been from the time that there was a nation on the earth until that time: at that time (one day, not spread over 3.5 years) thy people shall be delivered."

When, according to 12:1, does this happen? (at the midpoint) How do we know this? Look at what he says: After Michael steps aside, there will be a time of trouble, such as never was... Does this sound familiar? Look at what Jesus says after the Abomination occurs (Turn to Matt 24:21).

***In Mt. 24:21, those told to flee Judaea are told, "For then shall be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those DAYS (plural) should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those DAYS shall be shortened" (to 1040 days; 2300 - 1260 = 1040).

***In Dan. 12:1, the last day of the Great Tribulation is meant. It is THE VERY DAY when the False Prophet is deposed. His rule BEGINS in the middle of the Tribulation. He is not deposed on the day his rule begins. He is deposed on the 1040th day.

There is no doubt what is happening here. Michael (Israel s protector) will fight with Satan casting him down to the earth. He will step aside at the midpoint of the 70th week, and allow Satan to indwell the antichrist, cause him to desecrate the temple, and then severely persecute Israel (and us by the way).

Now, lets go back to 2 Thess 2:7 (READ) The word hindereth means to hold down, and the phrase taken out of the way means to step aside. So according to Paul here, the restrainer, will continue to restrain, until he steps aside--exactly what Daniel tells us will happen! And according to Paul, when does this happen? Look at the context. Its when antichrist exalts himself in the temple, precisely in the middle of the 70th week.

No, there is no evidence that the Holy Spirit, the Church, or human government is the restrainer. But as I have shown, there is strong evidence to suggest that the restrainer that Paul is speaking of, is none other than Michael, the archangel.

***Why did Jesus say we are the salt of the Earth? because in breadmaking, salt retards the growth of leaven (i.e., evil). We restrain the appearance of the False Prophet now. Actually, it is the Spirit of Christ in us that does the restraining through us. Once the Rapture takes enough salt out of here, the loaf of bread will overproof. There will not be enough salt to retard the growth of leaven. Evil will mushroom and come to a head in the Satan possessed Wicked One, the False Prophet, in the middle of the Tribulation.

***2 Thess. 2:6-12, in the Concordant Literal New Testament, says, "And now you are aware what is detaining, for him (the False Prophet) to be unveiled in his own era (the Tribulation). For the secret of lawlessness is already operating. Only when the present detainer may be COMING TO BE OUT OF THE MIDST (the Pre-Trib Rapture), then (after the Pre-Trib Rapture) will be unveiled (when the Beast and False Prophet confirm the covenant) the lawless one (whom the Lord Jesus will despatch with the spirit of His mouth and will discard by the advent of His presence), whose presence is in accord with the operation of Satan, with all power and signs and false miracles and with every seduction of injustice among THOSE WHO ARE PERISHING (not among those that are saved, but among those who are perishing), because they do NOT receive the love of the truth for their salvation. And therefore God will be sending them an operation of deception, for them to believe the falsehood, that all may be judged who do NOT BELIEVE THE TRUTH, but delight in injustice."

***Do you see yourself among these who "are perishing" in the Tribulation? Paul continued, "Now we ought to be thanking God always concerning you, brethren, beloved by the Lord, seeing that God prefers you from the beginning for salvation" (I Thess. 2:13).

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