BIBLE HISTORY DAILY

Blending into One: The “Left Behind” Movie, the Book of Revelation and the Rapture

left-behind-movie

The new Left Behind movie (2014) depicts the Rapture, which is often assumed to be clearly explained in the Bible, especially the book of Revelation. It’s more complicated than that, says author Michelle Fletcher.

It’s a day like any other, and then—bam!—everything changes. Millions of people disappear in an instant and all that’s left are piles of clothes, iPods and wallets. Panic and terror break out. This is the scene that viewers are faced with in the new Left Behind movie, directed by Vic Armstrong, and it’s Nicolas Cage’s job to find out what’s happened. But the viewers already know the answer: it’s the Rapture, of course! The Biblical prophecies have come true.

Or have they?

The Rapture is now commonly understood to refer to a time when believers will be snatched up to heaven by Jesus to escape the time of tribulation about to engulf the earth during the reign of the Antichrist. This chain of events has become so integral to some Christian eschatologies (end-time theories) that it’s often assumed they’re clearly explained in the Bible, especially the book of Revelation. But in fact it’s all slightly more complicated than that.

The idea of a “pre-tribulation” Rapture, where believers disappear and everyone else is left on earth to suffer, is actually a rather new one. This type of Rapture was first made popular by the work of John Nelson Darby in the late 1800s. It then spread with the release of the Scofield Reference Bible (1909), and Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins sent it viral through their best-selling Left Behind book series. However, prior to this, “rapture” had referred to the second coming of Christ in general, rather than the supernatural escape from troubles as portrayed by Left Behind.

So how did this version of the Rapture come about?

The mention of an event where believers are “taken up” into the sky in the Bible primarily comes from Paul’s First letter to the Thessalonians. In 1 Thessalonians, Paul is dealing with the fears of believers whose loved ones have died and who are afraid of what will happen when Christ returns. After telling them that the dead shall rise, Paul offers them this:

Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.
1 Thessalonians 4:17

Sky yes, but no tribulation, no Antichrist.


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Other passages from the Bible are seen as supporting this idea, for example, Matthew 24:40–1 and Luke 17:34–35, which speak of one person being taken and another left behind. However, these passages discuss the second coming of Christ (the Parousia), not an escape from the world. The “blink of an eye” idea is taken from is 1 Corinthians 15:51–52. But none of this is from Revelation. And none of it lays out a clear Rapture, tribulation, Antichrist plan.

The book of Revelation does not specifically mention this pre-tribulation Rapture prior to the Antichrist’s reign, either. Revelation 3:10 is the text most cited as describing it:

Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
Revelation 3:10

However, this occurs in a letter to a specific church, Philadelphia, rather than as part of the visionary material. References to this having any connection to “the Rapture” in scholarly commentaries are few and far between. And Revelation 3:10 doesn’t mention being taken up into the sky or the Antichrist.

Actually, the book of Revelation doesn’t use the term Antichrist at all. That term comes from 1 and 2 John. The beasts of Revelation are taken by many to be the Antichrist, as thought to be predicted in Daniel 7. But none of them is called Antichrist.

Other ascents to heaven by certain figures are mentioned in Revelation (John the Seer, the two witnesses, the child of the woman clothed like the sun), but these do not describe huge groups disappearing prior to the plagues, sufferings and terror which inflict the earth.


For more on Hollywood movies, read “Excruciating Exodus Movie Exudes Errors,” “Rock Giants in Noah” and “The ‘Gods of Egypt’ Movie: A Mess of Anachronisms and Exoticization.”


By this stage it becomes clear that the Rapture is far from an obvious and widespread concept in the Biblical text. Indeed, creating the idea of the Rapture, let alone its timeline, involves harmonizing many disparate parts of the Bible and presents the Bible as a prophetic tool. It involves reading the book of Revelation in relation to other texts, rather than reading what is contained in Revelation.

john-nelson-darby

John Nelson Darby first popularized the idea of a “pre-tribulation” Rapture.

Left Behind’s Rapture, then, is more a product of how texts are read than the texts themselves. Reading the Bible as having a blueprint for the future held within it was attributed to Joachim of Fiore (1132–1202), who created a complex timeline of different ages leading to the second coming of Christ. But even he didn’t have a Rapture.

Darby, Scofield, LaHaye and Jenkins were inheritors of this tradition and put it into practice to create their own Rapturous chain of events, which is now often presented as the only possible version.

However, the idea that Jesus’ sayings, Paul’s teachings, John’s Letters and John of Patmos’s Revelation, not to mention the texts of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, represent the same branch of eschatology is something few scholars would maintain. These texts were written in different locations and time periods, to different people, with different goals. A “one end-plan fits all” attitude proves more than problematic, as richly diverse ancient texts are streamlined to an ordered modern timeframe of Rapture, tribulation and Antichrist.

What’s more, the “backbone” for all of this—the book of Revelation—frustrates its readers. It offers long pauses, contradictory timeframes and undisclosed declarations, and every time the end is announced, it never actually arrives. It is more apt to describe it as spiralling around an endpoint rather than marching toward one. It is, in essence, a text that defies any framework placed onto it.

Vic Armstrong’s Left Behind movie has been lambasted by critics as over-simplistic, formulaic and lacking all intrigue, with the Rapture in the middle as the only interesting part. The reality of the Rapture in the Biblical text is somewhat different. It’s the common concept of the pre-tribulation Rapture that is an oversimplification, a blurring of the complex texts and ancient worldviews. It is a modern creation assumed to be part of the final book of the Bible. But the book of Revelation doesn’t offer its readers the Rapture. It doesn’t even offer a clear ending. Rather, it offers wonder, awe and quite often bewildering strangeness. And that is why, unlike the new movie Left Behind, it’s so very, very intriguing.1


Notes

1. For a further introduction to the book of Revelation, see Ian Boxall, Revelation: Vision and Insight: An Introduction to the Apocalypse (London: SPCK, 2002). For further information on different readings of Revelation through history, see Wes Howard-Brook and Anthony Gwyther, Unveiling Empire: Reading Revelation Then and Now (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001).


michelle-fletcherMichelle Fletcher is currently completing her doctoral research at King’s College London on the use of the Old Testament in the book of Revelation. She is particularly interested in the relationship between the book of Revelation and film. Her publications and conference papers cover such topics as Terminator’s use of the Apocalypse, Revelation’s females, Frankenstein films and Westerns as apocalyptic spectacle.


Learn more about the book of Revelation in Bible History Daily:

How the Serpent Became Satan by Shawna Dolansky

Can A Pre-Christian Version of the Book of Revelation Be Recovered?

Understanding Revelations in the Bible


 

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56 Responses

  1. Johnny Payne says:

    Michelle Fletcher, interesting article. While there are several parts that could be commented on I will center on just one. “The book of Revelation does not specifically mention this pre-tribulation Rapture prior to the Antichrist’s reign, either. Revelation 3:10 is the text most cited as describing it: [this is not true] Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. Revelation 3:10.
    However, this occurs in a letter to a specific church, Philadelphia, rather than as part of the visionary material. References to this having any connection to “the Rapture” in scholarly commentaries are few and far between. And Revelation 3:10 doesn’t mention being taken up into the sky or the Antichrist [missapplication and purposeful misguidance].

    You erroniously missapplied and misquote to whom the Book of Revelation is to. With in the Book of Revelation are the seven letters to the seven churches; these seven churches are Ephesus, Symerna, Pergamos, Thyratira, Sardis, Philidephia and finally the church at Laodicea (some also teach that these seven chruches represent the seven ages of the church). These were churches that knew the Apostle John personally and while these seven letters are messages to address issues at a particular church they are still applicable for Christians and churches today. The Book of Revelation is for all Christians and all Christian churches.

    Specifically Jesus had nothing but praise for the church at Philadelphia and so told the church:
    “10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 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. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

    The Book of Revelation is for Christians as a whole and not just for the church at Philadephia in Asia Minor. While this article is most likely a synopsis of a larger article it is poorly written as if someone is in a rush and not well thought out.

    The Book of Revelation tells us “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keeps those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” Revelation 1:3. Of course being a Doctorate student of the Old Testament you are well aware that the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation goes hand in hand. Many theologians and expositors see the Book of Revelation as the Little Book that was sealed up in the Book of Daniel.

    Please becareful in just looking a couple of hundred years to make your case as words and usage can change over time. Example the word Apocalypse: Today and since about the mid 1800s many have used it to discribe total distruction and chaos, yet the word actually means “unveiling, revealing” so the Apocalypse or revealing is how we get the title Revelation. Also a pre-tribulation and pre-millenial rapture can be found even in the 3rd Century A.D./C.E.

    Keep up your studies but becareful not to dismiss items you cannot readily explain. It is those thinks that make us think and work that also makes us grow. Remember the Bible is and always have been it own best commentator!

    PS: I will admit that I am surprised that you used the Left Behind movie with Nicolas Gage (which most Christians and those who study the Bible knows did not stay true to the Bible) instead of the three Left Behind moview with Kirk Carmeron in them. If you watch those three Left Behind movies they even tell you what other prophecies talk about the end time/Jacob’s Trouble/Tribulation.

  2. dalep25 says:

    I love this article. I was raised on dispensational, pre-tribulational rapture eschatology. I even taught it for years. I can still articulate how to connect the dots to arrive at this conclusion. Still, I have come to realize that it does require a lot of dot connecting and there are other ways to connect the dots. I have not embraced another view. I’ve only stepped back and recognized we don’t have enough clear information to be certain at all about the timing or sequencing of most of the events referred to in the Bible that have not yet occurred. Perhaps God just wants us to “watch” and “wait”.
    Dr. Dale Pederson

  3. Augusto says:

    Nope, this is another math into bible prophesy misrepresentation.

  4. Mark says:

    Study the timelines given in Daniel and Revelation. Namely Daniel 12v12&13 and Revelation 12v6&14 where 1290, 1335 and 1260 days are specified. As it turns out there are exactly 1335 days between the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) and Pentecost (Shavuot); further there is exactly 1260 1290 days between the FOT and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). So how do we know when to locate this timeline that is always present except for leap months? Revelation 12v1&2 Heavenly Sign occurs on the 23 September 2017 the day after the FOT. This makes Pentecost the day the church was birthed the day it will also be raptured a parallel found also with Enoch (also a Gentile). Pentecost is also the feast that celebrates the wheat harvest (see Exodus 34v22) and Christians are known as the wheat (see Matthew 13). Further the First-Trump was blown on the Feast of Trumpets in Exodus 19; the Last-Trump (see 1 Corinthians 15v52) will also be blown on a future Pentecost. 2017 is a special year since it is 70 Biblical Years (360 day year) since National Israel became Born-Again on Pentecost 1948 which fulfills Psalm 90v10 & Mat 24v34. God Bless Mark.

    Rapture:18-May-2021
    2nd Coming:14-Sept-2024
    Chart http://bit.ly/1xjcWVa
    Vid http://bit.ly/1zrvUrf

  5. Jim Campbell says:

    Hi Michelle,

    “… However, the idea that Jesus’ sayings, Paul’s teachings, John’s Letters and John of Patmos’s Revelation, not to mention the texts of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, represent the same branch of eschatology is something few scholars would maintain. These texts were written in different locations and time periods, to different people, with different goals…”?

    I think you need to comprehend the nature and content of the Bible that you are trying to section off, rather than offer discursive criticism, contesting unity of Divine purpose in what the Bible presents to the reader. If you take the content at its face value, we’re dealing with a long-running communication from God, an immensely powerful and awe-commanding super-being, initiated and directed by Him, to a short-lived (and consequently limited [Genesis 3: 22]) species that He made, to enable them to change with His help, and thus defeat individual and species death in a dangerous complex, unfolding universe. I think it is disclosed in parts, with a significant amount of re-iteration, parallelism and side-issues to a succession of recipients, (a) because His relation to humanity is like a passionately caring dreamer to the personnae in his dreams [Genesis 1: 27; Acts 17: 27-28] – information is always localised, representational and is temporally and spatially distributed in a dream – (b) because human memory and record-keeping is mortally limited [Ecclesiastes 1: 10-11], and (c) because human waywardness makes them error-prone [Matthew 13: 13-15], the price of having attitude and a will of one’s own. The Holy Bible is not a series of inspirational books induced around some legendary themes, authored at various times, and which by chance holds together as a gestält. I don’t think that opinion could arise from belief and understanding of the content [2 Peter 1: 20-21], from which the integral nature of the Book may be comprehended.

    For a Christian believer, accepting the truth of ‘the Rapture’ by faith is straight-forward. As you say, Paul describes it in his first letter to the Thessalonians. Whether you accept Paul’s witness on his own account, or the witness of the Apostle Peter on Paul’s account [2 Peter 3: 15-16], Paul received insight from God in his post-conversion writings. The Apostles, themselves, were told by the Lord, in his final mortal discourses, that they would be guided by the Spirit of Truth [John 14: 16-17], and these things together guarantee the necessary correctness of Paul’s description of the Rapture at the time of Christ’s returning, albeit not the completeness of descriptions of that time. I think you are teetering on the edge of very dangerous theological ground: to denigrate a Biblically attested issue – the acceptance of the Rapture as an integral part of eschatological revelation – for having arisen thru a different writer and at a different time and place from other parts, is to deny the unity of the Bible witness, and the oversight authority of the Holy Spirit in bringing the message to our attention as He deems appropriate.

    But why would you look for some comprehensive eschatological revelation? There is no all-inclusive Messianic prophecy – it’s scattered from Genesis thru to Malachi, by God’s intent. So, why should there be a complete lumped prophecy of End-times? In fact, given Jesus’s words in Matthew 24: 36, no-one, except the Father, knows when that time will be, so how could it be complete in any case? The best believers can do in that respect is remain watchful for the indications, some of which are in the Gospels, and many of which are in Revelation, some even in the writings of the Old Testament prophets, that these times may be approaching. Possibly, a main confusion re Revelation, is that John warns us strictly not to add or subtract from his witness – in vision he saw and heard what he saw and heard. Many seem to think that we are instead being told to leave it all as a mystery, and not try to make sense of his vision in the real world. That would be to make a nonsense of what prophecy was for, i.e. to guide believers into knowledge of what was to happen in the future, so that they would be prepared when it happens. In some of John’s vision, I think he was viewing future events that his culture did not have the knowledge to adequately explain beyond a perceptive description of the event, e.g. the Wormwood Prophecy, but which certainly looks to be meaningful in these later times. And, in other instances, he was witnessing events that have a spiritual level context, which was understood in his age [John 4: 22], but which seem only allegorical in an age of self-enhancing blinkered materialism… maybe, a nice match for the prophesied age of 2 Thessalonians 2?

  6. Susan Christensen says:

    I don’t think I want to know when Jesue comes. back or when the rapture or endtimes comes. To me it doesn’t matter when it comes but if I am ready. I beleve I am.

  7. Brianroy says:

    The Bible, long before Darby, gives us TWO raptures, Enoch’s unseen and Elijah’s seen raptures to watch for. The Pre-trib is before the appearance of the Two Witnesses and the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, the seen rapture will be 3 1/2 days after they are killed at the Kidron and Hinom Valley juncture in Jerusalem, rise from the dead, and visibly ascend into Heaven as even some 120 believers and hundreds of others in Jerusalem (including members of the Temple priesthood and of the Sanhedrin also) saw His ascension in A.D. 30. Jesus declared that there would be THREE watches for the believer in Luke 12:37-38 (12:34-40 in context). There are more than just a few rapture Scriptures, there are actually over 70 direct or dual-prophetic Scriptures dealing with the Rapture. I will list over 50 below by example.

    (For the Laity: probably best read in the KJV)
    1) Psalm 47:5
    2) Acts 1:9-11
    3) Psalm 50:1-6
    4) 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
    5) Psalm 18:13,16,19
    6) Isaiah 26:20-21
    7) Zechariah 9:14,16
    8) Revelation 14:14-19
    9) Genesis 5:23-24
    10) Luke 12:24-38
    11) 2 Kings 2:7-18, 11
    12) 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
    13) Psalm 144:5-7
    14) Psalm 9:7-10
    15) Psalm 19:1,5-6
    16) Psalm 27:5
    17) Psalm 32:6-7
    18) Revelation 7:9,14; with Revelation 19:1-2; Zephaniah 3:17; Isaiah 62:5
    19) Psalm 57:1,3
    20) Psalm 68:33-34
    21) Psalm 76:8,9
    22) Joel 2:15-16
    23) Amos 9:9
    24) Zephaniah 2:3
    25) Matthew 25:1-13
    26) Luke 17:20-22,24,26-30; 18:8
    27) Luke 21:34-36
    28) Jeremiah 51:15-16
    29) Psalm 102:16-22
    30) Revelation 11:3,7, 8,9, 11-12
    31) Revelation 4:1,2
    32) 1 Chronicles 16:33,35
    33) Psalm 106:47; with 1 Chronicles 11:7, 2 Samuel 5:7, Psalm 100:4, Isaiah 60:18-19
    34) Isaiah 62:11-12
    35) Psalm 98:6 – 99:1
    36) Luke 21:34-36
    37) Isaiah 34:16; 33:22; 35:3-4,10
    38) Psalm 97:2-6,8-10
    39) Haggai 2:5-9
    40) Habakkuk 3:2-6
    41) Isaiah 24:13-16,18-23
    42) Isaiah 30:27-30
    43) Psalm 20:1-2,5-6,9
    44) Psalm 91:1-2,4,11-12,14-16
    45) Micah 1:2-4
    46) Psalm 144:5-7
    47) Isaiah 5:26-27
    48) Zechariah 10:8,10
    49) Jeremiah 25: 30-32
    50) Mark 14:32-42
    51) Luke 12:34-40

  8. joels46 says:

    In 1 Thess Paul is explaining that when a believer dies, Jesus himself comes down from heaven and takes them back to heaven with him.
    He follows that up in his next letter by explaining that flesh & blood can’t go to heaven.

  9. Gary Harper says:

    Just because you are physically “taken up” does not mean that you get to stay there. The physical taking up is a symbolic gift; through it, and via the fact that there are many others who you meet there, you recognize that distinctions are made between two standing there. One is taken; the other is not.

    You are returned, physically, to the earth. That is a fact. And if your faith in what you have just seen is strong enough, you will be protected, and will survive any sort of tribulation.

    Truly blessed are those who are able to believe in this protection, who have not had to have all of this proven to them directly, through this up;lifting experience. But it is real enough; and, millions on earth have already experienced it. They are all post- millenialists, whether they recognize it or not.

  10. Don says:

    I am rather stunned that those writing on this topic—whether pretrib, posttrib, or another trib, have provided little to no Scriptural evidence for their beliefs. And where Scripture even is hinted at, the hermeneutical principles of interpretation are non-exegetical and with little logic or reason.
    The following historical information, current references, and textual evidence of Scripture will clarify what the Bible says regarding the second coming of Christ.

    The Second Coming of Christ

    The second coming of Christ is the fulfillment of the “blessed hope.”

    Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing
    of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2: 13).

    The Promise
    There is one thing that assures us of this event and can keep this hope alive, and that is the promise of Jesus Himself:

    Let not your hears be troubled; you believe in God;
    believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many
    mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I
    go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare
    for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself;
    that where I am, there you may be also (John 14: 1-3).

    How Will He Come?
    Scripture is replete with passages that tell of Christ’s Second Coming as being literal, visible, and audible. These passages will be noted after a few words about a contrary teaching that is espoused by some evangelical churches today—that is, that the church will be snatched away silently and secretly, taken to heaven for seven years as it escapes the great tribulation and then returns to the Earth when Christ will set up His kingdom. This theory is commonly called the Secret Rapture doctrine.

    The seven-year period that is entwined in the Secret Rapture Theory, also known as the Pretribulation Secret Rapture, was developed during the Catholic Council of Trent that began in 1545. The Council needed a defense against the stigma being placed on the Catholic Church by the Protestant Reformation.

    The Reformers claimed that Roman Church was the antichrist of prophecy. Several Jesuit scholar undertook the task of defending the papacy against these attacks. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, head of the Jesuit College in Rome, sought to nullify the prophetic day-year principle as proof for the 1,260 years of papal rule (L. R. Conradi, The Impelling force of Prophetic Truth; London:

    p. 2
    Thynne and B. Col, Ltd., 1935, p.346). Spanish Jesuit, Francisco Ribera
    projected the antichrist prophecies into the future, and the teaching of
    futurism was born. Another Spaniard, Luis de Alcazar, contended that
    these prophecies had already been fulfilled during the time of the Roman Empire, and the teaching of preterism was born.

    Ribera applied the antichrist prophecies to a future personal antichrist who would appear in the time of the end and continue in power for three and a half years. These theories (particularly futurism), became part of the Counter-Reformation to meet the charges of Martin Luther and other Reformers.

    Thus, from this Council, Francisco Ribera’s infamous “Gap Theory” orginated; a theory that separates the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:26, 27 into two sections. He separated the 70th week (verse 27) from the preceding 69 weeks—a strange manipulation of Scripture! In reality, the 69 weeks ended with events surrounding the first coming of Christ. What about the 70th week? Logically and exegetically the 70th week would naturally follow the 69th week.

    But no, Ribera’s “gap theory” pushed the 70th week into the distant future. Thus, an attempt was made to remove the stigma placed on the Roman Church by the Reformers. The Council now said that the prophecy couldn’t apply to the Catholic Church because the application was still in the “future.”

    To be true to hermeneutical principles of interpretation, Biblical exegesis, and logic, the 70th week that followed the 69th week finds its fulfillment in what happened right after the 69th week—the coming of the Messiah and His crucifixion as found in Daniel 9:27 which reads,

    He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in
    the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblat-
    ion to cease…

    That is, as the text shows clearly: Events that begin the 70th week describe the coming of “the Messiah, the Prince,” (verses 24, 25) the anointed one, (In both Hebrew and Greek, the Messiah, means “the anointed one”). And Jesus was anointed at His baptism in 27 AD at the beginning of the 70th week.
    p. 3
    Luke, in the New Testament, recorded the date of Jesus’ anointing and baptism as the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1, 2). History records that was in 27AD, the same date a prophecy had foretold.

    Then 3 ½ years after Jesus’ baptism “in the middle of this 70th week,” (31AD) the Messiah would “cause the sacrifices and oblations to cease” by dying on the cross, ending the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.

    {The 70th week, like all prophetic weeks: (literally 7 days per week; proph-etically, 7 years)–each day representing a year in Bible prophecy according to Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6}. 3 ½ years after the middle of the week would bring the 70-week prophecy to a close when the gospel would then go to the Gentiles.

    The strange exegesis of Lindsey, Walvoord, and others who accept futurism
    join Ribera in pushing the 70th week into the future, applying it to events relating to the second coming of Christ as we shall now see.

    The Secret Rapture Theory states that at the beginning of the 70th week Christ will come secretly and snatch up the first-class Christians and take
    them to heaven for seven years, thus escaping the tribulation. At the end of the seven years Christ comes back to this Earth to set up His kingdom.

    The great-granddaddy Bible text for the entire secret rapture/tribulation
    theory is this same text mentioned above—Daniel 9:27! It is the first verse
    quoted in the Left Behind movie.

    Again, the theory says that during this seven-year period those “left behind” will now have a second chance for salvation and then go forth to win the world for Christ, particularly the Jews. During this seven-year period the antichrist will appear and will make peace with Israel. The Jewish temple will be rebuilt and the sacrificial system will be re-instituted. Note the inter-pretation here that the sacrificial system that Christ ended by His own sacrifice on the cross will be started all over again—a strange interpretation that I’m sure even Christ would be offended by it. (This view wrongly sees the New Testament as Israel-centered rather than church-centered).

    A lot of people are not aware that many credible Bible scholars who have written respected commentaries that are in libraries across America do not
    p. 4
    hold this futuristic view. Examples on Daniel 9:27: The world-famous Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary. This commentary doesn’t apply Daniel 9:27 to the antichrist at all, nor does it apply the “one week” to a seven-year period of tribulation after the so-called rapture. Rather, it applies it to Jesus, who after 3 ½ years of ministry, died “in the midst of the week,” which ultimately caused all animal sacrifices to cease! Here’s a quote from his famous commentary: “By offering Himself a sacrifice once and for all, He (Jesus) shall put an end to all Levitical sacrifices” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Vol. IV, p. 1095).

    Another well-known commentary by Adam Clarke says, “This confirm-ation of the covenant must take in the ministry of John the Baptist with that of our Lord, comprehending the term of seven years, during the whole of which he might well be said to confirm or ratify the new covenant with mankind” (The Holy Bible with a Commentary and Critical Notes, Vol. IV, p. 602).

    A much-respected Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary says, “He (Christ) shall confirm the covenant. The confirmation of the covenant is assigned to Him” A Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Complete Edition, p. 641).

    By the above interpretation of the antichrist, the Futurists deny the work of Christ confirming the covenant (Daniel 9: 27,) and they apply this work to the antichrist.

    The truth is that nowhere in Scripture does the antichrist ever make a covenant with anyone! (Furthermore, the text says the Messiah will “confirm the covenant,” not be making a covenant).

    After the seven years, the theory teaches that Christ will return to this earth to set up His kingdom. Now note what follows:

    For more than 300 years the Reformers and the Protestant Church reject-
    ed this theory completely. Then, during the mid-1800s the theory was re-
    vived by men like Edward Irving and John Nelson Darby (Darbyism). In
    the early 1900s Cyrus Ingersoll Scofield, a Kansas lawyer, took up the cause.
    More recently the Secret Rapture Theory has been adopted and proclaimed
    notably by Hal Lindsay, John Walvoord, Tim LaHaye, and Jerry Jenkins.
    p. 5
    When Will Christ Come?

    We cannot set a time when Christ will return. Scripture says plainly:

    But of that day (the day of His coming) and hour
    knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but
    My Father only (Matthew 24:36).

    However, Hal Lindsey, in his book, The Late Great Planet Earth predicted the
    time of the rapture by what he calls “the Great Snatch,” would take place by
    1981. LaHaye and Jenkins, however, speak of the imminence of the Rapture,
    without setting dates.

    Lindsey calculated the approximate date of the Secret Rapture in 1981, and the visible Return of Christ to occur seven years later, from his interpret-ation of the parable of the “fig tree” in Matthew 24: 32-34. He applied the budding of the fig tree to the restoration of the nation of Israel which occur- red on May 14, 1948. From that date Lindsay counted 40 years, the alleged duration of “this generation” stated by Christ in Matthew 24:34, and came up with the date of 1981 for the secret “Great Snatch,” and 1988 for the vis-ible coming of Christ. (The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, 1970, p. 54).

    Now let’s see what the Bible does say. First, for one thing, the Bible never mentions a secret rapture. Many times Scripture records the coming of Jesus, but it never speaks of a secret coming where saints disappear, leaving the wicked alive. Let’s look at two major texts which Hal Lindsey uses in his book, The Rapture to show a secret rapture. Let’s see if we can find anything that refers to a secret rapture:

    Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we
    shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
    at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead
    will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Cor.
    15:51, 52).

    As we read this passage we notice that there are three events, and they don’t
    seem to be very secret: the trumpet, the raising of the dead, and the chang-
    ing of our bodies.
    p. 6
    And, does the Lord blow a noiseless trumpet? Think of another time in
    history when God sounded a trumpet. It was at Mt. Sinai recorded in
    Exodus 19. Was it a silent trumpet? On the contrary, it was so loud
    that it frightened the Israelites into urging Moses to be their spokesman
    to God (Exodus 20: 18, 19).

    The secret rapturists believe that in this passage (1 Corinthians 15) the
    divine trumpet is silent, heard only by the ears of the faithful—even though
    the text does not say that or even imply it.

    Does God conduct secret resurrections? Consider when Elisha raised a
    boy to life, when Jesus raised Lazarus and others, when Peter raised
    Dorcas, when Paul raised Eutychus—they were all quite visible. People
    were around to see it all happen.

    There is simply no Biblical precedent for this idea of resurrection secrecy.
    That should give us concern.

    But look at this one: If you can believe it, Hal Lindsey and others use 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 to show the secret rapture:

    For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descent
    from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.

    Here Scripture says the Lord descends with a shout. Is this a silent shout?
    The rapturists say it’s inaudible except to the faithful. What is the Bible
    reference for that? The text says the archangel calls with His voice. The
    rapturist says it’s an inaudible call. What’s the Bible text for this? This
    passage also says the voice is joined by the trumpet of God. The secret
    rapturist says only selected ears will hear. What’s the Bible text for this
    one? The Bible says the righteous dead will rise. The secret rapturist says
    this will be secret and invisible. What are the Bible verses for this one?

    p. 7
    A Bible scholar and author says, “… by all the rules of grammar and
    exegesis, this passage (1 Thessalonians 4) is talking about a visible event”
    (Maylan Schurch, The Silent Shout, p. 13).

    A False Prediction
    In an interview reported in Christianity Today, April, 1977, Ward Gasque asked Hal Lindsey, “But what if you’re wrong?” Lindsay replied: “Well,
    there’s just a split second’s difference between a hero and a bum. I didn’t ask to be a hero, but I guess I have become one in the Christian community. So I accept it. But if I’m wrong about this, I guess I’ll become a bum” (W. Ward Gasque, “Future Fact, Future Fiction?” Christianity Today, April 15, 1977, p. 40).

    When Lindsey’s prediction failed, by his shrugging his shoulders and saying, “Sorry, I was a bum!,” he hardly reflected a genuine pastoral concern for the many whom he has misled by his books.

    Part of Lindsey’s appeal was his emphasis on the nearness of the Second Advent. Readers were excited when he predicted that the Secret Rapture
    would happen in 1981, followed by the seven-year tribulation and the visible return of Christ in 1988. Edgar Whisenant, picking up on a portion of Lindsey’s fame, provided his readers with 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 (between September 11-13 according to his calculations). While Whisenant’s tract sold only a measly 2 million copies, (Lindsey’s book sold millions more than that,) it did have a profound impact on many believers. Paul and Jan Couch’s “Praise the Lord” TV program, for example, ran prerecorded broadcasts on the Rapture during those fated days of Sept-ember 11-13 rather than produce the program live for those dates. The message was aimed, of course, at those “left behind” (George Knight, Minis-try/June-July, 2000).

    A Deep Regret
    As early as 1898 Joseph Turner in his book, Futurist Interpretation
    published by Hodder and Stoughton in London, p. 16, wrote:

    It is a matter for deep regret that those who hold and advocate
    the Futurist system at the present day, Protestants as they are
    for the most part, are thus really playing into the hands of Rome.
    p. 8

    It is difficult to understand how some evangelical churches have been caught up in this error.

    One of the saddest and most tragic results of the secret rapture teaching is
    that it takes away the work of Jesus in ending the Jewish sacrifices and give
    that work to the Antichrist. As the late highly-respected theologian, Hans LaRondelle, states:

    It is nothing short of blasphemy to take Jesus out of Daniel 9
    and replace Him with the Antichrist.

    The “Great Tribulation”
    The Left Behind saga opens with the sudden vanishing of millions of Christians into thin air at the start of Revelation’s “great tribulation.” Surprisingly, the authors ignore that in Revelation the countless mult-
    itude of believers of every nation, tribe, and people, are not removed from the earth before the final tribulation, but “they come out of the great trib- ulation (Revelation 7: 14). In Revelation believers are protected during during the tribulation, not removed from it. Christ comes at the end of the tribulation, not to snatch away the church and leave behind Jews and unconverted people, but to bring finality to human history. “It is done!” announces the seventh angel (Revelation 16:17).

    “Since 1950 more and more evangelical scholars have been abandoning pretribulationism and returning to the historic belief that the church will go through the tribulation, at the end of which Christ will come to resurrect the sleeping saints and save the living believers. This belief is know as posttribul-ationism” (Samuele Bacchiocchi, Left Behind: Fact of Fiction?, Andrews Uni-versity, p. 10).

    Credit for the resurgence of posttribulationism must be given first of all to the influence of George E. Ladd (one of my professors), who served for many years as New Testament theologian and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. His respected scholarship coupled with his commitment to evan-gelicalism have caused many evangelical scholars to turn away from the two comings of Christ and its pretribulation theory.

    p. 9
    Among evangelical scholars more and more are changing from pre- tribulationism to posttribulationism. Example: According to a poll taken by Dave MacPherson, of the forty-four contributing editors of Chrisitianity Today, “only two or three…are still persistently pushing pretribulationism” (Dave McPherson, The Incredible Cover-Up, Medford, Oregon, 1980, p.125).

    Even Dr. John F. Walvoord, the well-known and strong proponent of the
    secret rapture theory with its pretribulation stance and the two second
    comings of Christ admits: “The preponderance of evidence seems to support
    the concept that the early church did not clearly hold to a rapture as preced-
    ing the end time tribulation (John F. Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and The
    Tribulation, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1976, p. 25). He states further that in
    the view of the Early Church the rapture seems to have been to combine it
    with the Second Advent (Ibid., p. 17).

    The Second Chance Theory
    The teaching of a second chance (during the seven years) is totally foreign
    to Scripture, yet it is espoused by those who believe in the Secret Rapture Theory. The Bible teaches that salvation is available only during this present life prior to Christ’s Return. For Christ comes the second time,

    “not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting
    for Him” (Hebrews 9:28).

    And, how else does Scripture put it?

    For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of
    Noah…and they (the wicked) did not understand until the
    flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of
    the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24: 37-39).

    In the days of Noah there were two groups of people—the righteous and the
    wicked. The larger group was destroyed when “the flood came and took them all away.” They were not left behind to have a second chance to be saved. We must remember, “So shall the coming of the Son of Man be.”

    Perhaps the question is answered best by several of Jesus’ parables about the end of the world. In the parable of the wheat and the weeds, the farmhands ask the farmer if he wants them to pull up the weeds. The farmer tells them
    p. 10
    to let the wheat and the weeds grow together till the harvest, lest in pulling up the weeds they pull up the wheat also.

    Jesus explains that “the harvest is the end of the world (Matthew 13:39)
    When the angels “will weed out of His kingdom…all who do evil (verse 40). There is not a word about a second chance for those who missed the first one.

    In another parable, fishermen collect the good fish in a basket and throw away the bad ones. Jesus compared this to the end of the world when “the angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.” Again, there is not a word about a second chance for those who missed the first one.

    This theory would seem to tempt people to live as they please today, for if they miss the rapture, they will have a chance at salvation between then and the visible coming. I would urge anyone to think carefully about the theo-logy that underlies the erroneous second chance theory.

    Who Cares What His Coming Will Be Like?
    “Who cares what Christ’s coming will be like,” we may ask. “Isn’t the important thing to be ready for His return, no matter how it happens?”

    Yes, of course. We are told to always be ready. But what you believe about the coming of Christ is critically important, and it does make a difference in what we believe. Here’s why: Jesus warned us that there would be decept-ion involved concerning the manner of His coming:

    If anyone says to you: ‘Behold, here is Christ,’ or ‘There
    He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false
    prophets will arise and will show great signs and won-
    ders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect (Matt-
    hew 24:23, 24).

    The “elect” are, of course, the ones who have chosen to accept Christ and walk in His truth on this matter. If false teachings of Christ’s coming are going to be so deceptive that even God’s people might be deceived, we ought to know the truth about this matter NOW so we won’t be deceived THEN!

    A couple of illustrations should suffice in showing the misinterpretation of
    Scripture done by those believing the Secret Rapture Theory.
    p. 11

    First, the claim is made by some that 1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2 teaches that
    because Christ comes as a “thief in the night,” His coming will be secret.

    Please note that the text doesn’t say that at all. Here is what it does say:

    But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have
    no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know
    perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the
    night.”

    Here the apostle Paul states clearly that it is the “day of the Lord” that comes as a thief, not the coming of Lord. Two things are very important and must not be misunderstood concerning Christ’s Second Coming: 1) The time of His coming, and 2) The manner of His coming. We can see here that Paul is describing the time of His coming, not the manner of His coming—not how He comes, but when He comes. Scripture must be interpreted in its context always! The word “day” emphatically refers to time, not manner. When Christ returns He returns unexpectedly. As noted earlier, here’s what Jesus Himself said:

    But of that day and hour (of Christ’s coming) no one knows…”
    (Matthew 24:36).

    Now, if we want to know about the manner of His coming, the Bible does not leave us without a clear answer. At the ascension of Jesus, 40 days after the Cross, Luke records how it happened and how He will return:

    Now when He (Jesus) had spoken these things, while they
    watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him our
    of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward
    heaven as He went up, behold two men stood by them in
    white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you
    stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was
    taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner
    as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11).

    There is no indication here that only Christ’s church will see Jesus
    come, and that the rest of the world will be unaware of His coming.
    p. 12
    The apostle John make that clear when he proclaimed:

    Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see
    Him…” (Revelation 1:7).

    Here we see that both Luke and John refer to the presence of a cloud or
    clouds in connection with Christ’s ascension and second coming. Matthew
    says:
    And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven;
    and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall
    see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power
    and great glory (24: 30 emphasis supplied).

    It appears, first, that the clouds are the “sign” of Christ’s imminent appear-ance. And secondly, it is apparent that His coming is widely seen because many on earth will “mourn” at His coming. No wonder Matthew recognized that:
    For as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west,
    so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27).

    Parenthetically, the Rapturists identify this passage as referring to the com-
    ing of Christ seven years after the Secret Rapture. And here the sound of the
    trumpet is heard! Does our Lord have two kinds of trumpets? Or, is He just
    going to block the ears of the wicked when comes secretly? What’s the text?

    A second illustration to show how many Rapturists misinterpret Scripture concerning the Second Coming of Christ is found in this same 24th chapter of Matthew: “one will be taken and the other left.” Here’s the text:

    But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of
    the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood,
    they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in
    marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and
    did not know until the flood came and took them all away,
    so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two
    men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other
    left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be
    taken and the other left (vv. 37-40).
    p. 13
    Observe first, there is no hint of any silent event here.

    Secondly, note that the ones at the time of the flood who had no concern
    went about “eating and drinking” and “the flood came and took them
    all away.”

    Question: Who were the ones taken away? Answer: The ones lost in
    the flood, said Jesus.

    Question: Who were the ones left? Answer: The ones who were safe in the ark.

    The record of the flood makes this clear:

    Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped
    out…only Noah was left, and those with him in the
    ark” (Genesis 7:23).

    Let us remember that Jesus, quoted above, said, “AS the days of Noah, SO ALSO WILL THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.”

    “As it was, so shall it be!” Mark that—“As it was, so shall it be.”

    Remember, we must be true to the text. A passage must be interpreted in
    its context. If it is not, it is only a pretext, and that destroys the meaning
    of the passage.

    So, the obvious question is: Who are the one to be “taken” at Christ’s coming? The obvious answer is: The ones taken in destruction, likely by
    the “brightness of His coming” (2 Thess. 2:8). “As it was, so shall it be.”

    Question: Who are the ones “left” after Christ comes? They are the ones left alive who are not taken away in destruction, just like what happened at the time of the flood—the ones “left” were safe in the ark with Noah. “As it was, so shall it be.”

    This is why Scripture says,

    p. 14
    Then we who are left alive shall join them (the resurrected righteous,)
    caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1Thessalonians 4:17
    NEB).
    Thus, the authors of the book and film, Left Behind, have completely misrepresented Jesus’ teaching on His Second Coming.

    Conclusion
    –The Secret Rapture Theory is of recent origin. Its central teaching—that the fulfillment of the seventieth week of Daniel’s 70-week prophecy is still future is based on unbiblical presuppositions.
    –In Scripture there are no two second comings of Christ.
    –There is no Scriptural evidence for the seven-year scenario that is said to separate His two comings.
    — The Bible never even hints of a secret rapture.
    –We are admonished be aware that one of the signs of Christ’s return is a
    warning about the secrecy of His second coming.
    –We are warned about setting a time for Christ’s return.
    –The Rapturist teaching that the church will not go through the “great tribulation” caters to the human emotion of fear of hardship, and it is contrary to the teaching of the Bible. According the Scripture, the church will experience the tribulation, but will be delivered out of it by the pro-tective power of Jesus, for “those who endure to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13). Second Coming comes after the tribulation; deliverance after the tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31).
    –The Second Coming of Christ will not be silent or invisible, but visible, real, and audible. Read Matthew 24:23-27: Not secret, but as lightening.
    –Not only God’s faithful church, but “every eye shall see Him” come, in-cluding “those who pierced Him” as well as those whose “hearts (are) failing them for fear…then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:26, 27).
    –There is no Scriptural evidence for sacrificial offerings to be re-instituted.
    –Biblical scholars and theologians are now rejecting many of the premises of the Secret Rapture Theory.
    — The book and the movie titled, Left Behind are instead, Truth Left Behind. Even the cover of the book’s back spine reads: A Novel of Earth’s Last Days! A “Novel”? Right! So, indeed, it is truth that is left behind.
    –Thanks be to God for the “blessed hope,” and the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ through whose grace alone we are saved and await that great day! ******* –Don

  11. Joseph says:

    @ Terry
    I said nothing as to whether we NEED a Scriptural precedent or not. I only said I was not trying to find a Scriptural precedent for calling Sunday the Lord’s day. The word (κυριακή) has a historic meaning. It means Sunday. It’s an historical/lexical issue. So I was simply saying that John seems to be saying it was on Sunday that he had this vision. He might as well have said he saw the vision on Wednesday for all the difference it would make. It just does not seem that the phraseology is pointing directly to the Joel, Malachi, Paul and Peter passages to which we have been referring concerning the “Day of the Lord.”

    And remember, I agreed with you that NOWHERE in the NT, or even in early-church history (Jew or Greek), is Sunday made a sabbath. Revelation 1:10 is definitely not sabbath-izing Sunday. I say nothing at this point concerning the Sabbath as to how, when, where or why it is, or is not, to be kept. I save those thoughts for later.

    Thank you for clarifying Problem 2 for me. I understand better what you were saying previously, though I disagree with your interpretations. There are many assumptions that lack support from the primary sources. Thank you for your thoughts though.

    As a student of history and the texts, I am generally very concerned (as you can see) that we are textually and historically honest. We may not like what we see as we face the facts, but we need to be honest. No, a knowledge of the primary sources does not make people Christians, but it does make good historians.

    Ya… I don’t spend much time with any book claiming to know the exact eschatological sequences. It ends up being one person’s interpretation versus another’s. So I stick with primary sources and texts. And right, Scripture is rather primary when we come this far, eh?

  12. TC says:

    @ Joseph. Having no need for a Scriptural precedent is a major problem. All too often, Christians base doctrinal issues on just such verses. The entirety of Christendom is dedicated to the notion that Sunday has replaced YHVH’s Sabbath because of their private interpretation. Guarding the Sabbath is the single most repeated Commandment in all of Scripture.

    Problem #2 is this:
    The LXX was translated for Greek-speaking Jews of the diaspora. In Judea, the Jews still spoke Hebrew or Aramaic. Greek was considered the language of pagan gods. The point is: the original language of the NT was Semitic, either Hebrew or Aramaic. The number of Hebrew idioms and word puns make that very clear. Claims of Greek originality only serve to bolster dispensational theology.At best, Greek is the first generation translation. The phraseology is immediately called into question. Did the Greek translators know what was being said, or did they take any liberties because of assumption or agenda? That was common.

    I John 5:7 does not appear in any manuscript before the 4th century. All Babylonian deities, including the god that Constantine worshipped, were triune. Agenda-driven translation at its best.

    New Gentile converts may have worshipped on Sunday because their entire nations did the same. But, even that would be an example of man-made tradition changing the Law.

    We have a series of books and, now, movies all promoting a pre-tribulation rapture. Such a notion only comes by private interpretation and a failure to examine the entirety of Scripture. When it doesn’t happen, and the tribulation is upon us, a lot of people are going to lose what little faith they had. Jeremiah 16:19, 23:1

  13. Kenneth says:

    Mat 24:28 “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
    Mat 24:29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
    Mat 24:30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.

    Mat 26:63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”
    Mat 26:64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”

    Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples…
    Mat 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
    Mat 16:28 “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

    How is it that most Christians are even still waiting for the return of Christ? Christ himself made it clear that it would happen within the lifetime of those to whom he spoke in the first century AD. Surely none alive then is still alive today. Jesus predicted return assuredly happened nearly 2000 years ago already.

  14. Sunspot says:

    Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.
    1 Thessalonians 4:17
    Sky yes, but no tribulation, no Antichrist.

    Well, actually no sky either. The preposition “up” was interpolated and is not present in the original, and the Greek word used for “air” is the word referring to the air in our lungs (aēr) or the air that surrounds us and NOT the word (ouranos) that would refer to the air up in the sky such as found in Luke 24:51 where Jesus ascended into the sky.

  15. Joseph says:

    @ Terry I was not looking for a Scriptural precedent for calling Sunday the Lord’s day. I simply wanted to point out linguistically, for those who are interested, that the phrase used by John the Revelator was different than the phrase used by Paul, Peter, and the prophets. It would have been very easy for him to use the same phrase, but he didn’t. However one wants to interpret that…

    Actually, the Day of the Lord (or whatever you want to call it) does seem to be the main topic of Revelation. I just wanted to point out that the text of Revelation does not use that same phraseology. I thought maybe you would be interested in knowing that. Why is it different? I’ll let someone else interpret.

    I agree that Sunday is not the New Testament Sabbath. The biblical text does not make Sunday a sabbath, and neither does early (say, before 300 AD) Church history make it a sabbath. But it is also the case that we actually do have record of Christians worshiping on the day called Sunday way before Constantine (ex. Justin Martyr’s First Apology LXVII). I can give more references if desired.

    I am making no point here other than this: I desire to be textually and historically honest.

    PS. Not sure I get the problem with Problem 2 (as you call it), or your answer to the problem. The LXX was also produced by Jews. But it was Greek.

    Long live King Jesus!

  16. Kimberly Whitehead says:

    There is only one way and only one way too look at the word of God ether you are a beliver and recive the guideness of understanding the word of God through the Holy Spirit or you choose not too .! and it seems there are many who are looking for other ways too seek aproveal for sin.and many have done this by picking and choosing what they want too belive from the word of God , hence the reason way we have so many differnt religons in the world today there are so many who just wont or cant recive so sad!

  17. The Left Behind Movie, the Book of Revelation and the Rapture By Michelle Fletcher | MAN-CHILD of Book of Revelation 12:5 says:

    […] Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post. […]

  18. TC says:

    @ Joseph One problem you have in your logic is that there is no Scriptural precedent for calling Sunday the Lord’s Day. It is built on the false premise of a Sunday resurrection. John 19:31 says the next day Sabbath was a “high day.” The first day of the feast of unleavened bread was a Sabbath, regardless of the day of the week. The crucifixion was on Wednesday, as referenced in Daniel 9:27. The previous verse talks about “the Messiah” and the “people of the prince.” “He” is not a group of people. Therefore, it is referring to the Messiah.

    In the grave Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, Saturday, rising on the third day. When the women arrived, He was gone. Mark 16:1 tells us the women bought spices. A Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection gives no legal day to buy them.

    Problem number 2 is the presumption that the original language was Greek. Mark 5:41, Jesus’ original are quoted with the added line, “which is, being interpreted…” And, on the cross, His words, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” are followed by the same phrase. Paul’s centurion guard was surprised when he spoke Greek, (Acts 21:37) and Paul addressed the crowd in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in Hebrew. It was written by Jews to other Jews. The leaders of the congregations the Gentiles were joining were Jews. (Acts 15:19-21) Paul was spoken to by Jesus in Hebrew. (Acts 26:14)

    Constantine was a sun worshipper whose empire was being overrun by Christianity. These new converts had no understanding of the importance of the Sabbath. (Exodus 31:15-17) So, with a little reverse engineering of Scripture, we ended up with Christendom worshipping on Sunday, with conjured Scriptural justification. It was easy to then create a new precedent for the changing of the Sabbath by saying Messiah rose on Sunday.

    YHVH sanctified the Sabbath. There is NO new commandment for a change. Any alteration of that Commandment is man-made. Those man-made alterations to the Torah are EXACTLY what Yeshua came to defeat.

    While you may not think “Lord’s Day” refers to “the Day of the Lord,” it cannot be denied that the Day of the Lord is the main topic of the book of Revelation. After the introduction and letters to the assemblies we have 18 chapters describing the events of the Day of the Lord.

    Luke 24:44 – If you want to know what is going on with the Messiah, and what the New Testament is talking about, read the Torah and the prophets.
    Acts 17:2 – What was Paul’s source of truth to establish the identity of the Messiah?
    Acts 17:11 – What did the Bereans search to know the answer?
    Jeremiah 16:19 – The Gentiles have received bogus teaching.

    Determining the meaning of the NT without a Torah background will always lead to confusion.
    2 Peter 3:16

  19. Jürgen Rahf says:

    My god… when people understand that this “John” in question has never seen Jesus. The authorship of Revelation is due to another man, called John of Patmos, or to John the Presbyter. Why is this so hard to understand for believers?!?!

  20. Debra Walton says:

    Ms. Fletcher’s body of work and background hardly warrant a reading. What were you thinking by giving space to this article? As a believer and a scholar, you not only wasted my time but deeply offended me! I read the Bible in context but also as a whole: inspired by God, literally “God breathed”. Additionally, after accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, i have the Holy Spirit guiding me into all Truth.

  21. David says:

    As with many scriptures, these seem to be vague and contradictory, leaving the reader to interpret for him/herself whatever is already believed, or would be most convenient. As is evidenced by the discussion, with different sides bringing evidence from different verses. Which were probably written for a specific audience, who would understand better than we was meant.

  22. Gavriel says:

    What Judaisim and Chritianity overlook is the ‘second Exodus’ or horizontal “rapture” into the midst of the land while God pours His fury out on the nations. Read the texts below that are but a brief list of this event.

    Evidence of escaping tribulation thinking can be found in a recently discovered sermon attributed to Ephraem the Syrian that was written sometime between the 4th and 6th Centuries.

    It does encourage believers to prepare themselves to meet the Lord before the tribulation because all the saints and elect of God are gathered and are taken to the Lord and will not see the confusion that overwhelms the world because of it’s’ sins.

    I believe this sermon was derived from the “second Exodus” writings of Isaiah 11:10-16, Ezekiel 20:33-38, Ezekiel 28:25-26, Ezekiel 34:11-16 and Psalm 91:9-16 where we read in Micah 5:2-5 this remnant are standing before a ruler in Israel who had given “his returning brethren” up until the woman in travail births them, as he stands and feeds them in the strength and majesty of the name of the LORD his God and shall be great unto the ends of the earth and be the peace.

    Ephraem who lived from 306 to 373 AD was a leading theologian of the early Byzantine Church and while there were some forms of pre-millennialism and pre-tribulational thought those viewpoints violated Catholic dogma and had to be expressed underground because the Catholic Church declared their writings to be heretical and destroyed them.

  23. Wayne says:

    Ms. Fletcher has done a good job of refuting the “Rapture” myth but it might have been better to back up her assertions with Scripture as well. The Rapture doctrine is the “harvest out of season” Jesus warned about. The angels reap at the end of the world (the harvest), not the beginning of the end of the world. satan as antichrist is the fake, the imitation of Christ and his false “harvest” is full of hot air which might make people light on their feet with giddiness but they won’t quite fly like they think they will.

  24. Renee Malloy says:

    It has all happened already to all the churches being preached to in Turkey. ALL gone. Plus the polluting of a quarter of the waters of the world. More than that are polluted, etc. Is there any stream you can drink out of without getting sick?ALL these prophecies have already taken place. Confirmation? 250 MILLION get ‘raptured uP’ everyday off planet earth…gone. We survived already!

  25. Barbara says:

    I can thoroughly recommend the reading of the LEFT BEHIND books, a series of 12-best selling novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins which deal with a christian viewpoint of the end of the world.
    ‘Left Behind’ is the title of the first book in the series and was first published 1995-2007 by Tyndale House and tells the story of the end times (set in the contemporary era) in which true believers in Christ have been ‘raptured’ leaving the world shattered and chaotic.

  26. Joseph says:

    @Terry
    You wrote: The Day of YHVH and Appearance of Messiah. 1:10-18
    The Day of YHVH is the topic of this entire book. It is not a euphemism for Sunday.
    Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
    Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
    1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    I respond:
    The phrase used in Rev.1:10 (The Lord’s day) is a different structure than what is used in the Joel, Malachi, and 1 Thessalonians passages you quoted (the day of the Lord). I know they are equivalent in English, but not in Koine Greek. The way Revelations says “Lord’s day” in Greek is exactly what we would expect if he meant Sunday. It is not a euphemism -it actually does means Sunday. The way Joel and Malachi say “day of the Lord” in the LXX and the way 1 Thessalonians says “day of the Lord” is not the word for Sunday. It is a different phrase (though obviously not unrelated). So, I do not think Revelations 1:10 is necessarily referring to the “Day of the Lord” mentioned in Joel, Malachi, and 1 Thessalonians, as much as it is referring to Sunday being the day he had the revelation. We have two different things being referred to here:
    Day of the Lord (Joel, Malachi, 1 Thessalonians)
    Sunday (Revelations)

    For those interested, here are the phrases:
    ἡμέρα κυρίου
    vs
    ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα

    Enjoy.

  27. Terry says:

    The pretribulation rapture is false doctrine. One that has been reborn in modern times thanks to the fictional Left Behind series, which speaks to those with itching ears, as Paul put it. I think it was an idea that first started in Paul’s time as he saw the need to write a second letter to the Thessalonians. Paul wrote, concerning the coming of the Lord and our gathering unto him, let no man decieve you. The man of sin comes first, calling himself God, whom the Lord will destroy and consume ant his coming. One second coming and that’s it. Jesus said when he gathers his elect. Even Paul calls the Thessalonians (who were mostly gentile), the elect of God. The pre trib rapture is the most unfortunate example of people using scripture to serve them, rather than reading scripture for what it actually says.

  28. Paul says:

    Another thing to contemplate….
    As it was in the Days of Noah, or As it was in the Days of Lot…
    In the days of Noah, who was left behind? In the days of Lot, who was left behind or saved?
    In both instances, Gods people were the ones “Left Behind” and the evil people were “Taken away”. Wouldn’t you think that if we are to inherit the Earth, that we would be “left behind” to inherit it?
    Just something to think about…

  29. Paul says:

    What I would like to know is this.
    The people in Syria, Iraq, and other countries in the middle east that read the same version of the bible that some Americans do, do not get the same “Get out of Jail Free” card that Americans are supposed to. They are promised to be saved from a tribulation, yet they are facing beheadings (Revelation 20), Marking (Charagma “Oath of servitude”) Revelation 13, and other hardships, with no rescue from Jesus (Yeshua). Why do Americans get to be spared from something that is already going on? Where do we get the arrogance to think that we are better ‘Christians” that we get saved, when a Pastor in Egypt gets his head cut off in front of his congregation, while preaching the same “Pre-Tribulation” message?

    Fact is… Yeshua said “Those who endure to the end will be saved”

    Endure “WHAT”?

  30. TC says:

    Eschatology can only be rightly understood through correct application of the Tanakh.

    This statement from the article: “However, the idea that Jesus’ sayings, Paul’s teachings, John’s Letters and John of Patmos’s Revelation, not to mention the texts of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, represent the same branch of eschatology is something few scholars would maintain. These texts were written in different locations and time periods, to different people, with different goals,” is only half right. There are only two kinds of people: Israel and strangers.

    The whole “grafted in” and “formerly Gentiles and strangers” concept that is lost on hyper-dispensational replacement theologians. But, that is the least of their errors.

    Here is what the book of Revelation is about:

    Introduction – 1:1-9
    This is the revelation, or revealing, of the Messiah. This revealing is for those who are the servants of Yeshua, not merely hearers of the Word.

    The Day of YHVH and Appearance of Messiah. 1:10-18
    The Day of YHVH is the topic of this entire book. It is not a euphemism for Sunday.

    Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.

    Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

    1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    The instruction (1:19) to write what you have just seen, the things which are now (1:20-3:22) and the future (4:1-22:6).

    The things as they are. The condition of the seven assemblies of Asia Minor are their current condition, and prophetic for the body of believers through history. 1:20-3:22

    Each church is given a praise, a grievance, a warning and a promise.
    Philadelphia is given no grievance.
    Laodicea is given no praise.

    Future events are from 4:1 through 22:6. They are broken down as follows:

    The Throne Room of YHVH. 4:1-11
    The phrase ‘in the spirit’ appears again.

    The announcement that only the Lamb is worthy to remove the seals, and the removal of the first six seals. 5:1-6:17
    Seal 1 releases a conqueror, probably political.
    Seal 2 releases a conqueror, probably military.
    Seal 3 is an economic collapse.
    Seal 4 is the killing of one quarter of mankind by military power, controlling the food supply, genocide and biological weapons.
    Seal 5 reveals a picture of the dead saints throughout history.
    Seal 6 is an earthquake and heavenly signs. Stars could mean…

    NOTE:
    A pause in the chronology to explain the destiny of the believers. 7:1-17

    144,000 are sealed. A great multitude sings praises to YHVH.
    No more tears.

    Seventh seal opened, seven trumpets introduced. 8:1-5

    Trumpets 1 through 4 are blown, 3 woes announced. 8:6-13
    Trumpet 1 is all out war. 8:7
    Trumpet 2 is possibly a coastal city being nuked. 8:8-9
    Trumpet 3 is possibly a nuclear blast inland. 8:10-11
    Trumpet 4 darkness caused by the smoke of the wars. 8:12-13
    Trumpet 5 is the release of a massive army. Destroyer is revealed. The first woe is past. 9:1-12
    Trumpet 6 is the release of four angels which will kill 25% of the remainder of mankind. 9:13-21

    Announcement of seven thunders. Instructions not to write what the thunders say. 10:1-4

    Announcement that the seventh trumpet will bring the conclusion of the mystery of YHVH. 10:5-7
    No more delay! The book tastes sweet but makes the eater sick. It describes the what is coming to the earth. 10:8-11

    NOTE:
    A pause in the chronology to explain the events in Jerusalem during the three and one half years. Jerusalem is in the hands of Gentiles. The second woe is past. 11:1-14

    Seventh trumpet! The first resurrection and gathering of the saints. 11:15-18a

    The wrath of YHVH is coming to the earth. 11:18b
    The Temple is Heaven is opened. 11:19

    NOTE:
    A pause in the chronology to explain what is happening.
    The promised seed. 12:1-6
    War in heaven. 12:7-9, 2 Thess 2:1-7
    The Kingdom of YHVH and the blood of the Lamb. 12;10-17
    The beast government. 13:1-8
    The mark of the beast. 13:9-18
    The first fruits before the Throne. 14;1-5
    The judgment of Babylon. 14:6-14
    The Day of YHVH. 14:14-20
    Preparing the wrath of YHVH. 15:1
    The sea of fire and glass. 15:2-4

    The Tabernacle in heaven is open. We see the Ark of the Covenant. (This is picking up after verse 11:19.) 15:5

    Six bowls of wrath are poured out onto the earth. 15:6-16:12

    NOTE:
    A pause in the chronology to explain the events on the earth. 16:13-16

    Seventh bowl. 16:17-21

    The description of mystery Babylon. 17:1-18:24

    Judgment of Babylon completed. 19:1-4

    Marriage Supper of the Lamb. 19:5-10

    Yeshua dresses for battle. 19:11-16

    Calls the birds to a feast of the flesh of kings. 19:17-18

    Battle for earth. 19:19-21

    Satan bound. 20:1-3

    The 1,000 year reign. 20:4-6

    Final rebellion. 20:7-8

    Final defeat. 20:9-10

    Judgment Day. 20:11-15

    Eternity 21:1-22:5

    Words of encouragement 22:6-21

    Daniel 12:11-12
    There are 1,335 days from Purim (the revealing of the destroyer) and Hannukah, the dedication of the Temple in the Ne Jerusalem.
    There are 1,260 days from Passover to Sukkot: from the abomination of destruction to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

    Hal Lindsey is a nice man. Clueless, but nice.

    Luke 24:44 THE KEY!!!!

  31. Bill Brinkworth says:

    Although Revelation is a record of what John saw and heard revealed to Him by Jesus, it is meant to give us an understanding of what will happen one day. It is believed that verse one is when the rapture happens because:
    •It says “After this …”. After what? After the seven church ages are completed (Rev. 2-3). The last church age, as compared to the church of Laodicea, pictures perfectly how the majority of churches have become today. It is after God sees the last person has gotten saved, that He ends the church ages and starts a new era; an era of His judgments!
    •“… a door was opened in heaven …” A door is a means to pass from one place to another. This “door” moves the dead and living in Christ from this earth to the next “room”; the “room” where God is! In Revelation 3:20 the door was where Jesus was last standing. He gave all an opportunity to trust Him as Saviour one more time during the indifferent, Laodicean church-age. No more answered His pleas, so He opened the door of Heaven and called His own home.
    •The trumpet of God was sounded just like it was foretold it would be at the time of the rapture (I Thes. 4:16).
    •A voice was heard calling John to heaven as it was prophesied (I Thes. 4:16) the church would be summoned up: “… Come up hither….”
    •It was prophesied that the Lord would come again when the earth became like the days of Noah (Mat. 24:37-38. Luke 17:26). Those days are certainly here. After the Lord judged the world of Noah’s time He sent a reminder of His judgment: the rainbow. In Rev. 3:3, there was a rainbow around God’s throne. The judgment of Noah’s day preserved only God’s own who were inside the ark. The upcoming rapture will also have His own safely preserved( in Heaven), while God’s judgment of the tribulation takes place on earth.
    •The church is no longer mentioned in what occurs on the earth from this time on, because the church is no longer here! The tribulation is mostly about Israel, not the church!

    Since we are currently in the last church age, the rapture mentioned in Revelation 4:1 is the next event in God’s plan. It could be today or tomorrow. The big question is are you absolutely positively sure you will be included in the rapture? If not, now may be your last opportunity to trust Christ as Saviour and be saved!

    Also, the second coming and the rapture are at completely different times. Most of the writings you referred to were mentioning what the Jews are looking for. They are looking for the 2nd coming, not the rapture. And, there are many early writers that looked forward to the rapture, it did not start in the late 1800’s like you claim.
    http://www.OpenThouMineEyes.com

  32. Jürgen Rahf says:

    @LeRoy says:Nonsense . That is absolutely right. Who was “John”? When did he live? Who wrote the Revelation? If you have the answer, you´ll see that all talking are pure nonsense and sick paranoic phantasies. “John” has never seen any Jesus. “His” works are strict anachronistic and even written by 3 or 4 persons, as the original texts differs in style and specially the revelation is totally different from “his” other works. Poor people believing in this horror myth.

  33. Mike C says:

    I am not sure who has Revelation and the Bible more wrong. Yes Revelation is a difficult book (but not impossible) to discern but to claim “It doesn’t even offer a clear ending. ” and ” Reading the Bible as having a blueprint for the future held within it was attributed to Joachim of Fiore” as if Fiore invented the idea of the bible having a blueprint is profoundly in error.

    Yes the rapture distinct from the second coming is off theologically but I detect a wiff of preterism in the piece – a theology which just entirely butchers Old testament prophecy
    I think a final battle where the Lord defeats his enemies and the setting up of a New Jerusalem is a pretty clear ending and one that fits in with well with OT prophecies unlike the fanciful reinterpreting of it by Preterists.

  34. Dale Pederson says:

    Excellent article, Michelle

  35. Kurt says:

    Rapture:
    Definition: The belief that faithful Christians will be bodily caught up from the earth, suddenly taken out of the world, to be united with the Lord “in the air.” The word “rapture” is understood by some persons, but not by all, to be the meaning of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The word “rapture” does not occur in the inspired Scriptures.
    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200274774

  36. Joseph says:

    Hilda, you made the following comment:
    “In fact, Justin Martyr (110-165 AD) went so far as to suggest that anyone with a different viewpoint was heretical.”
    I agree that the Early Church was primarily Premillennialist, but I do not think Justin is referring to non-premillennialists as heretics. In response to what amounted to premillennial views, he goes on to say, “I and many others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware; but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise.” (Dialogue with Trypho Chapter LXXX)
    He does go on to say that some people who call themselves Christian are heretics, specifically those who blaspheme God and deny resurrection from the dead. One could easily come to the conclusion that he is even calling those who deny a thousand year reign heretics. However, because of what Justin says in that quote I inserted above, I think that is unlikely that he would be calling people of the “pure and pious faith, and true Christians” heretics. For those interested, here is the source document, scroll to chapter LXXX: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-dialoguetrypho.html

  37. Kurt says:

    Interpreting Revelation:
    The book of Revelation is of great importance in that it provides spiritual strength and insight for God’s people. It highlights God’s interest in the congregations of his people and the close and loving care that Jesus Christ exercises toward them as the Fine Shepherd. Jesus knows exactly what conditions prevail and what must be done. This is especially manifest in the first three chapters of the book.
    Some persons view Revelation as being so highly symbolic that it cannot be understood, or they view it as being impractical. But Jehovah God wants his people to understand, and he caused the Bible to be written to be understood and to provide guidance for them. The key to understanding Revelation is the same as the key to understanding other parts of the Bible. The apostle Paul points to that key. After explaining that God reveals the hidden wisdom through his spirit, Paul says: “These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we combine spiritual matters with spiritual words.” (1Co 2:8-13) If we search the Scriptures (and in some cases the customs and practices of those days), we find in them many of the things used as symbolisms in Revelation. By comparing these Scripture texts, we can often understand what the Revelation symbol means. It should be noted, however, that a term or expression may refer to or symbolize different things, according to the context in which it appears.
    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200274881

  38. LeRoy Haynes says:

    Nonsense

  39. christophers46 says:

    Many are vehemently against the idea of the Rapture. Many say that the word rapture doesn’t appear in the bible but that is untrue. the word Rapture is from the Latin Vulgate Bible in 1st Thess 4:17 the phrase ‘taken up’ is raptura. Also, one must believe in the Book of Revelations isn’t about the Christian Persecution of the Early Church, it is about God pouring His wrath on an unbelieving world, the great Tribulation. God has stated that he would not persecute His Bride, the Church, so the Church can’t not go through the Great Tribulation. The church will be in heaven at the time of the Great Tribulation except for the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel that believe in Jesus the Christ (Yusuha Messiah) and those that accept Christ. There will be such horror that if Christ doesn’t come back no one would survive, but when he comes back it will be as a Judge and He will not be smiling. For those Christians who think Christians get a pass on persecution there will be a great Christian persecution before the last days, and that will be Satan pouring his wrath on God’s own. In fact it has already started. Sheep or Goats?

  40. Ian says:

    Well the Bible is clear that the righteous are never going to face the wrath of God, which is what Revelation is all about. God has always delivered the righteous out of the way of his judgement. We see it with Noah and Lot, and also in the Garden, with the promise of the coming Messiah.

  41. Sergey Kazantsev says:

    WOW, almost has her doctorate, but still doesn’t know her Bible. Pre-trib rapture is all over in Bible since Enoch. And church fathers also believed in rapture. It’s when two legs of Roman Empire: Byzantine and Catholics took over, then they started fooling people not to read Bible. But when people started reading their Bibles, they did find out, that rapture is there. There are bunch of movies about Jesus and Moses also, but it doesn’t mean, that they were not real beings or it’s not true. Enoch is type of Church and Noah type of Jews and other who would believe in tribulation. And people in glorified bodies come down to Earth with Christ after tribulation. Only born again people will be left to populate the Earth again, because left alive goats will be doomed before the millennium.

  42. D. Lowery says:

    Zack Hunt and Greg Boyd have been looking at this topic recently. Their conclusion…they and many others have found the rapture is a fantasy which is not biblical with verses taken out of context and being espoused by those who refuse to actually read the history of when the book was written. At best…I would describe their agenda as that of other heretical leaders throughout history…they should know the truth…but having extremely narcissistic natures…they are more than willing to take as many down their evil path as possible and rejoice doing so.

  43. DavicC says:

    Thanks, Jurgen, you’ve nicely rounded out all the various possibilities with the least believed version.

  44. Jürgen Rahf says:

    @Wanyama: you can wait long time for the “second comming of Christ”. Let´s wait for the first comming, as “Jesus” was never the Messiah. He never brought world peace, neither re-built the temple. Additionally he was not directly member of David clan. So wait and be patient.

  45. Ben West says:

    The Revelation is a writing which is apocalyptic in nature and was intended for the church in the first century which was beginning to experience government sanctioned persecution which would be escalating in nature and severity. It encourages them to take heart, and to maintain and strengthen their faith. The main theme from Revelation which is readily applicable to us is that though evil is ever active, and at times it looks like it will triumph, Christ has already assured victory; God wins!
    Exactly how everything will happen is impossible to say. But, the bible seems to say with certainty that Christ will return and that we don’t know exactly when, or exactly how, but that we need to prepare ourselves for that day.

  46. Larry Thorson says:

    Everything that Jesus had to say about the rapture–John 17:15.

  47. Magi says:

    The Anunnaki …Arrive…

  48. Magi says:

    U.F.O. Staches Us up…?

  49. Joseph Ixchu says:

    Very well put together article. My concern about these types of movies is the overall misinformation about a departure. We are expected to watch for the signs of the return, Thessolonians spells out, “we will not be caught by surprise” in Matthew we are told, “when you begin to see these things” and in context all of the scriptures utilized for the fairy tale of a pre-tribulation rapture actually tells a different story. This theory is causing Christian apathy towards world events because the claim is we will not be here during this time. However, the reality is, maybe it has already began! Additionally, the movie is B rated at best and it was disappointing.

  50. Hilda Hardcastle says:

    “…the reason the Pre-Tribulation concept of the timing of the Rapture was delayed in its refinement until the 19th Century was because the Roman Catholic Church adopted St. Augustine’s amillennial viewpoint of prophecy hook-line-and-sinker around 430 AD. In his book, The City of God, Augustine spiritualized Bible prophecy and then argued that the Millennium began at the Cross and would continue until the Second Coming.
    This spiritualizing approach to the interpretation of Bible prophecy proceeded to dominate theology for the next thousand years. Protestants adopted it after the Reformation and expressed it in the Postmillennial view that emerged in the mid-17th Century. Both Amillennialism and Postmillennialism are based on the assumption that Bible prophecy does not mean what it says……..
    The discovery of the distinction which the Bible makes between the Rapture and the Second Coming had to await the revival of the application of literal interpretation to Bible prophecy. I say “revival” because the writings of the Church Fathers during the first 300 years of church history (100 AD to 400 AD) reveal that they interpreted prophecy for its plain sense meaning. Accordingly, they were nearly all Premillennialists. In fact, Justin Martyr (110-165 AD) went so far as to suggest that anyone with a different viewpoint was heretical.1
    The revival of literal interpretation began in earnest among the Puritans in the 17th Century, and it quickly led to an understanding that the Rapture would be an event separate from and preceding the Second Coming. Puritan leader, Increase Mather (1639-1723), argued “that the saints would be caught up into the air” and thus escape the world’s final conflagration.2
    ………………
    One of the early Church Fathers, The Shepherd of Hermas, writing in the early 2nd Century, makes an interesting observation about “the great tribulation that is coming.” He says, “If then ye prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of the days of your life in serving the Lord blamelessly.”15
    In medieval times evidence of pretribulational thinking can be found in the recently discovered sermon attributed to Ephraem the Syrian.16 This sermon, which was written sometime between the 4th and 6th Centuries, encourages believers to prepare themselves for meeting the Lord because “all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.” Scholars believe this text was derived from the writings of the original Ephraem who lived from 306 to 373 AD. He was one of the leading theologians of the early Byzantine Church.17
    It is very likely that there were always some forms of premillennialism and pretribulational thought throughout the Middle Ages but, if so, these viewpoints had to be expressed underground because they violated Catholic dogma. Sects like the Albigenses, Lombards, and the Waldenses were attracted to a literal interpretation of the Bible, but little is know about their detailed beliefs because the Catholic Church declared their writings to be heretical and destroyed them.

    http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture6.php

  51. Wanyama Joseph says:

    These are all very important materials that need to be read by all Christians awaiting for the second coming of Christ.

  52. Wanyama Joseph says:

    How can I get the movie,Left behind?Am in South Sudan.Can I be able to download?

  53. Russell Martin says:

    Early church fathers in the first century advocated a pre-tribulation rapture. The notion that it is a new phenomenon has been promoted by Dominionists for years. This position flies in the face of the doctrine of “Imminent Return of Christ”.

  54. Colette says:

    Rock On!!!!!

  55. Charles says:

    Matthew 24:40-41 is not seen by most pretribulationists as a rapture text. It is rather seen as a Second Coming text. You can see the evidence for this here: http://www.bibleexposition.net/2014/10/do-pretribulationists-see-matthew-2437.html
    And those who truly understand pretribulationism understand that the distinction between the rapture and Second Coming is an important one.

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56 Responses

  1. Johnny Payne says:

    Michelle Fletcher, interesting article. While there are several parts that could be commented on I will center on just one. “The book of Revelation does not specifically mention this pre-tribulation Rapture prior to the Antichrist’s reign, either. Revelation 3:10 is the text most cited as describing it: [this is not true] Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth. Revelation 3:10.
    However, this occurs in a letter to a specific church, Philadelphia, rather than as part of the visionary material. References to this having any connection to “the Rapture” in scholarly commentaries are few and far between. And Revelation 3:10 doesn’t mention being taken up into the sky or the Antichrist [missapplication and purposeful misguidance].

    You erroniously missapplied and misquote to whom the Book of Revelation is to. With in the Book of Revelation are the seven letters to the seven churches; these seven churches are Ephesus, Symerna, Pergamos, Thyratira, Sardis, Philidephia and finally the church at Laodicea (some also teach that these seven chruches represent the seven ages of the church). These were churches that knew the Apostle John personally and while these seven letters are messages to address issues at a particular church they are still applicable for Christians and churches today. The Book of Revelation is for all Christians and all Christian churches.

    Specifically Jesus had nothing but praise for the church at Philadelphia and so told the church:
    “10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth. 11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. 12 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. 13 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.”

    The Book of Revelation is for Christians as a whole and not just for the church at Philadephia in Asia Minor. While this article is most likely a synopsis of a larger article it is poorly written as if someone is in a rush and not well thought out.

    The Book of Revelation tells us “Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keeps those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand” Revelation 1:3. Of course being a Doctorate student of the Old Testament you are well aware that the Book of Daniel and the Book of Revelation goes hand in hand. Many theologians and expositors see the Book of Revelation as the Little Book that was sealed up in the Book of Daniel.

    Please becareful in just looking a couple of hundred years to make your case as words and usage can change over time. Example the word Apocalypse: Today and since about the mid 1800s many have used it to discribe total distruction and chaos, yet the word actually means “unveiling, revealing” so the Apocalypse or revealing is how we get the title Revelation. Also a pre-tribulation and pre-millenial rapture can be found even in the 3rd Century A.D./C.E.

    Keep up your studies but becareful not to dismiss items you cannot readily explain. It is those thinks that make us think and work that also makes us grow. Remember the Bible is and always have been it own best commentator!

    PS: I will admit that I am surprised that you used the Left Behind movie with Nicolas Gage (which most Christians and those who study the Bible knows did not stay true to the Bible) instead of the three Left Behind moview with Kirk Carmeron in them. If you watch those three Left Behind movies they even tell you what other prophecies talk about the end time/Jacob’s Trouble/Tribulation.

  2. dalep25 says:

    I love this article. I was raised on dispensational, pre-tribulational rapture eschatology. I even taught it for years. I can still articulate how to connect the dots to arrive at this conclusion. Still, I have come to realize that it does require a lot of dot connecting and there are other ways to connect the dots. I have not embraced another view. I’ve only stepped back and recognized we don’t have enough clear information to be certain at all about the timing or sequencing of most of the events referred to in the Bible that have not yet occurred. Perhaps God just wants us to “watch” and “wait”.
    Dr. Dale Pederson

  3. Augusto says:

    Nope, this is another math into bible prophesy misrepresentation.

  4. Mark says:

    Study the timelines given in Daniel and Revelation. Namely Daniel 12v12&13 and Revelation 12v6&14 where 1290, 1335 and 1260 days are specified. As it turns out there are exactly 1335 days between the Feast of Trumpets (Yom Teruah) and Pentecost (Shavuot); further there is exactly 1260 1290 days between the FOT and the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). So how do we know when to locate this timeline that is always present except for leap months? Revelation 12v1&2 Heavenly Sign occurs on the 23 September 2017 the day after the FOT. This makes Pentecost the day the church was birthed the day it will also be raptured a parallel found also with Enoch (also a Gentile). Pentecost is also the feast that celebrates the wheat harvest (see Exodus 34v22) and Christians are known as the wheat (see Matthew 13). Further the First-Trump was blown on the Feast of Trumpets in Exodus 19; the Last-Trump (see 1 Corinthians 15v52) will also be blown on a future Pentecost. 2017 is a special year since it is 70 Biblical Years (360 day year) since National Israel became Born-Again on Pentecost 1948 which fulfills Psalm 90v10 & Mat 24v34. God Bless Mark.

    Rapture:18-May-2021
    2nd Coming:14-Sept-2024
    Chart http://bit.ly/1xjcWVa
    Vid http://bit.ly/1zrvUrf

  5. Jim Campbell says:

    Hi Michelle,

    “… However, the idea that Jesus’ sayings, Paul’s teachings, John’s Letters and John of Patmos’s Revelation, not to mention the texts of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, represent the same branch of eschatology is something few scholars would maintain. These texts were written in different locations and time periods, to different people, with different goals…”?

    I think you need to comprehend the nature and content of the Bible that you are trying to section off, rather than offer discursive criticism, contesting unity of Divine purpose in what the Bible presents to the reader. If you take the content at its face value, we’re dealing with a long-running communication from God, an immensely powerful and awe-commanding super-being, initiated and directed by Him, to a short-lived (and consequently limited [Genesis 3: 22]) species that He made, to enable them to change with His help, and thus defeat individual and species death in a dangerous complex, unfolding universe. I think it is disclosed in parts, with a significant amount of re-iteration, parallelism and side-issues to a succession of recipients, (a) because His relation to humanity is like a passionately caring dreamer to the personnae in his dreams [Genesis 1: 27; Acts 17: 27-28] – information is always localised, representational and is temporally and spatially distributed in a dream – (b) because human memory and record-keeping is mortally limited [Ecclesiastes 1: 10-11], and (c) because human waywardness makes them error-prone [Matthew 13: 13-15], the price of having attitude and a will of one’s own. The Holy Bible is not a series of inspirational books induced around some legendary themes, authored at various times, and which by chance holds together as a gestält. I don’t think that opinion could arise from belief and understanding of the content [2 Peter 1: 20-21], from which the integral nature of the Book may be comprehended.

    For a Christian believer, accepting the truth of ‘the Rapture’ by faith is straight-forward. As you say, Paul describes it in his first letter to the Thessalonians. Whether you accept Paul’s witness on his own account, or the witness of the Apostle Peter on Paul’s account [2 Peter 3: 15-16], Paul received insight from God in his post-conversion writings. The Apostles, themselves, were told by the Lord, in his final mortal discourses, that they would be guided by the Spirit of Truth [John 14: 16-17], and these things together guarantee the necessary correctness of Paul’s description of the Rapture at the time of Christ’s returning, albeit not the completeness of descriptions of that time. I think you are teetering on the edge of very dangerous theological ground: to denigrate a Biblically attested issue – the acceptance of the Rapture as an integral part of eschatological revelation – for having arisen thru a different writer and at a different time and place from other parts, is to deny the unity of the Bible witness, and the oversight authority of the Holy Spirit in bringing the message to our attention as He deems appropriate.

    But why would you look for some comprehensive eschatological revelation? There is no all-inclusive Messianic prophecy – it’s scattered from Genesis thru to Malachi, by God’s intent. So, why should there be a complete lumped prophecy of End-times? In fact, given Jesus’s words in Matthew 24: 36, no-one, except the Father, knows when that time will be, so how could it be complete in any case? The best believers can do in that respect is remain watchful for the indications, some of which are in the Gospels, and many of which are in Revelation, some even in the writings of the Old Testament prophets, that these times may be approaching. Possibly, a main confusion re Revelation, is that John warns us strictly not to add or subtract from his witness – in vision he saw and heard what he saw and heard. Many seem to think that we are instead being told to leave it all as a mystery, and not try to make sense of his vision in the real world. That would be to make a nonsense of what prophecy was for, i.e. to guide believers into knowledge of what was to happen in the future, so that they would be prepared when it happens. In some of John’s vision, I think he was viewing future events that his culture did not have the knowledge to adequately explain beyond a perceptive description of the event, e.g. the Wormwood Prophecy, but which certainly looks to be meaningful in these later times. And, in other instances, he was witnessing events that have a spiritual level context, which was understood in his age [John 4: 22], but which seem only allegorical in an age of self-enhancing blinkered materialism… maybe, a nice match for the prophesied age of 2 Thessalonians 2?

  6. Susan Christensen says:

    I don’t think I want to know when Jesue comes. back or when the rapture or endtimes comes. To me it doesn’t matter when it comes but if I am ready. I beleve I am.

  7. Brianroy says:

    The Bible, long before Darby, gives us TWO raptures, Enoch’s unseen and Elijah’s seen raptures to watch for. The Pre-trib is before the appearance of the Two Witnesses and the building of the Temple in Jerusalem, the seen rapture will be 3 1/2 days after they are killed at the Kidron and Hinom Valley juncture in Jerusalem, rise from the dead, and visibly ascend into Heaven as even some 120 believers and hundreds of others in Jerusalem (including members of the Temple priesthood and of the Sanhedrin also) saw His ascension in A.D. 30. Jesus declared that there would be THREE watches for the believer in Luke 12:37-38 (12:34-40 in context). There are more than just a few rapture Scriptures, there are actually over 70 direct or dual-prophetic Scriptures dealing with the Rapture. I will list over 50 below by example.

    (For the Laity: probably best read in the KJV)
    1) Psalm 47:5
    2) Acts 1:9-11
    3) Psalm 50:1-6
    4) 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
    5) Psalm 18:13,16,19
    6) Isaiah 26:20-21
    7) Zechariah 9:14,16
    8) Revelation 14:14-19
    9) Genesis 5:23-24
    10) Luke 12:24-38
    11) 2 Kings 2:7-18, 11
    12) 1 Corinthians 15:51-53
    13) Psalm 144:5-7
    14) Psalm 9:7-10
    15) Psalm 19:1,5-6
    16) Psalm 27:5
    17) Psalm 32:6-7
    18) Revelation 7:9,14; with Revelation 19:1-2; Zephaniah 3:17; Isaiah 62:5
    19) Psalm 57:1,3
    20) Psalm 68:33-34
    21) Psalm 76:8,9
    22) Joel 2:15-16
    23) Amos 9:9
    24) Zephaniah 2:3
    25) Matthew 25:1-13
    26) Luke 17:20-22,24,26-30; 18:8
    27) Luke 21:34-36
    28) Jeremiah 51:15-16
    29) Psalm 102:16-22
    30) Revelation 11:3,7, 8,9, 11-12
    31) Revelation 4:1,2
    32) 1 Chronicles 16:33,35
    33) Psalm 106:47; with 1 Chronicles 11:7, 2 Samuel 5:7, Psalm 100:4, Isaiah 60:18-19
    34) Isaiah 62:11-12
    35) Psalm 98:6 – 99:1
    36) Luke 21:34-36
    37) Isaiah 34:16; 33:22; 35:3-4,10
    38) Psalm 97:2-6,8-10
    39) Haggai 2:5-9
    40) Habakkuk 3:2-6
    41) Isaiah 24:13-16,18-23
    42) Isaiah 30:27-30
    43) Psalm 20:1-2,5-6,9
    44) Psalm 91:1-2,4,11-12,14-16
    45) Micah 1:2-4
    46) Psalm 144:5-7
    47) Isaiah 5:26-27
    48) Zechariah 10:8,10
    49) Jeremiah 25: 30-32
    50) Mark 14:32-42
    51) Luke 12:34-40

  8. joels46 says:

    In 1 Thess Paul is explaining that when a believer dies, Jesus himself comes down from heaven and takes them back to heaven with him.
    He follows that up in his next letter by explaining that flesh & blood can’t go to heaven.

  9. Gary Harper says:

    Just because you are physically “taken up” does not mean that you get to stay there. The physical taking up is a symbolic gift; through it, and via the fact that there are many others who you meet there, you recognize that distinctions are made between two standing there. One is taken; the other is not.

    You are returned, physically, to the earth. That is a fact. And if your faith in what you have just seen is strong enough, you will be protected, and will survive any sort of tribulation.

    Truly blessed are those who are able to believe in this protection, who have not had to have all of this proven to them directly, through this up;lifting experience. But it is real enough; and, millions on earth have already experienced it. They are all post- millenialists, whether they recognize it or not.

  10. Don says:

    I am rather stunned that those writing on this topic—whether pretrib, posttrib, or another trib, have provided little to no Scriptural evidence for their beliefs. And where Scripture even is hinted at, the hermeneutical principles of interpretation are non-exegetical and with little logic or reason.
    The following historical information, current references, and textual evidence of Scripture will clarify what the Bible says regarding the second coming of Christ.

    The Second Coming of Christ

    The second coming of Christ is the fulfillment of the “blessed hope.”

    Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing
    of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2: 13).

    The Promise
    There is one thing that assures us of this event and can keep this hope alive, and that is the promise of Jesus Himself:

    Let not your hears be troubled; you believe in God;
    believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many
    mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I
    go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare
    for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself;
    that where I am, there you may be also (John 14: 1-3).

    How Will He Come?
    Scripture is replete with passages that tell of Christ’s Second Coming as being literal, visible, and audible. These passages will be noted after a few words about a contrary teaching that is espoused by some evangelical churches today—that is, that the church will be snatched away silently and secretly, taken to heaven for seven years as it escapes the great tribulation and then returns to the Earth when Christ will set up His kingdom. This theory is commonly called the Secret Rapture doctrine.

    The seven-year period that is entwined in the Secret Rapture Theory, also known as the Pretribulation Secret Rapture, was developed during the Catholic Council of Trent that began in 1545. The Council needed a defense against the stigma being placed on the Catholic Church by the Protestant Reformation.

    The Reformers claimed that Roman Church was the antichrist of prophecy. Several Jesuit scholar undertook the task of defending the papacy against these attacks. Cardinal Robert Bellarmine, head of the Jesuit College in Rome, sought to nullify the prophetic day-year principle as proof for the 1,260 years of papal rule (L. R. Conradi, The Impelling force of Prophetic Truth; London:

    p. 2
    Thynne and B. Col, Ltd., 1935, p.346). Spanish Jesuit, Francisco Ribera
    projected the antichrist prophecies into the future, and the teaching of
    futurism was born. Another Spaniard, Luis de Alcazar, contended that
    these prophecies had already been fulfilled during the time of the Roman Empire, and the teaching of preterism was born.

    Ribera applied the antichrist prophecies to a future personal antichrist who would appear in the time of the end and continue in power for three and a half years. These theories (particularly futurism), became part of the Counter-Reformation to meet the charges of Martin Luther and other Reformers.

    Thus, from this Council, Francisco Ribera’s infamous “Gap Theory” orginated; a theory that separates the 70-week prophecy of Daniel 9:26, 27 into two sections. He separated the 70th week (verse 27) from the preceding 69 weeks—a strange manipulation of Scripture! In reality, the 69 weeks ended with events surrounding the first coming of Christ. What about the 70th week? Logically and exegetically the 70th week would naturally follow the 69th week.

    But no, Ribera’s “gap theory” pushed the 70th week into the distant future. Thus, an attempt was made to remove the stigma placed on the Roman Church by the Reformers. The Council now said that the prophecy couldn’t apply to the Catholic Church because the application was still in the “future.”

    To be true to hermeneutical principles of interpretation, Biblical exegesis, and logic, the 70th week that followed the 69th week finds its fulfillment in what happened right after the 69th week—the coming of the Messiah and His crucifixion as found in Daniel 9:27 which reads,

    He shall confirm the covenant with many for one week, and in
    the midst of the week He shall cause the sacrifice and the oblat-
    ion to cease…

    That is, as the text shows clearly: Events that begin the 70th week describe the coming of “the Messiah, the Prince,” (verses 24, 25) the anointed one, (In both Hebrew and Greek, the Messiah, means “the anointed one”). And Jesus was anointed at His baptism in 27 AD at the beginning of the 70th week.
    p. 3
    Luke, in the New Testament, recorded the date of Jesus’ anointing and baptism as the fifteenth year of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1, 2). History records that was in 27AD, the same date a prophecy had foretold.

    Then 3 ½ years after Jesus’ baptism “in the middle of this 70th week,” (31AD) the Messiah would “cause the sacrifices and oblations to cease” by dying on the cross, ending the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.

    {The 70th week, like all prophetic weeks: (literally 7 days per week; proph-etically, 7 years)–each day representing a year in Bible prophecy according to Numbers 14:34; Ezekiel 4:6}. 3 ½ years after the middle of the week would bring the 70-week prophecy to a close when the gospel would then go to the Gentiles.

    The strange exegesis of Lindsey, Walvoord, and others who accept futurism
    join Ribera in pushing the 70th week into the future, applying it to events relating to the second coming of Christ as we shall now see.

    The Secret Rapture Theory states that at the beginning of the 70th week Christ will come secretly and snatch up the first-class Christians and take
    them to heaven for seven years, thus escaping the tribulation. At the end of the seven years Christ comes back to this Earth to set up His kingdom.

    The great-granddaddy Bible text for the entire secret rapture/tribulation
    theory is this same text mentioned above—Daniel 9:27! It is the first verse
    quoted in the Left Behind movie.

    Again, the theory says that during this seven-year period those “left behind” will now have a second chance for salvation and then go forth to win the world for Christ, particularly the Jews. During this seven-year period the antichrist will appear and will make peace with Israel. The Jewish temple will be rebuilt and the sacrificial system will be re-instituted. Note the inter-pretation here that the sacrificial system that Christ ended by His own sacrifice on the cross will be started all over again—a strange interpretation that I’m sure even Christ would be offended by it. (This view wrongly sees the New Testament as Israel-centered rather than church-centered).

    A lot of people are not aware that many credible Bible scholars who have written respected commentaries that are in libraries across America do not
    p. 4
    hold this futuristic view. Examples on Daniel 9:27: The world-famous Matthew Henry’s Bible Commentary. This commentary doesn’t apply Daniel 9:27 to the antichrist at all, nor does it apply the “one week” to a seven-year period of tribulation after the so-called rapture. Rather, it applies it to Jesus, who after 3 ½ years of ministry, died “in the midst of the week,” which ultimately caused all animal sacrifices to cease! Here’s a quote from his famous commentary: “By offering Himself a sacrifice once and for all, He (Jesus) shall put an end to all Levitical sacrifices” (Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Whole Bible, Vol. IV, p. 1095).

    Another well-known commentary by Adam Clarke says, “This confirm-ation of the covenant must take in the ministry of John the Baptist with that of our Lord, comprehending the term of seven years, during the whole of which he might well be said to confirm or ratify the new covenant with mankind” (The Holy Bible with a Commentary and Critical Notes, Vol. IV, p. 602).

    A much-respected Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary says, “He (Christ) shall confirm the covenant. The confirmation of the covenant is assigned to Him” A Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, Complete Edition, p. 641).

    By the above interpretation of the antichrist, the Futurists deny the work of Christ confirming the covenant (Daniel 9: 27,) and they apply this work to the antichrist.

    The truth is that nowhere in Scripture does the antichrist ever make a covenant with anyone! (Furthermore, the text says the Messiah will “confirm the covenant,” not be making a covenant).

    After the seven years, the theory teaches that Christ will return to this earth to set up His kingdom. Now note what follows:

    For more than 300 years the Reformers and the Protestant Church reject-
    ed this theory completely. Then, during the mid-1800s the theory was re-
    vived by men like Edward Irving and John Nelson Darby (Darbyism). In
    the early 1900s Cyrus Ingersoll Scofield, a Kansas lawyer, took up the cause.
    More recently the Secret Rapture Theory has been adopted and proclaimed
    notably by Hal Lindsay, John Walvoord, Tim LaHaye, and Jerry Jenkins.
    p. 5
    When Will Christ Come?

    We cannot set a time when Christ will return. Scripture says plainly:

    But of that day (the day of His coming) and hour
    knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but
    My Father only (Matthew 24:36).

    However, Hal Lindsey, in his book, The Late Great Planet Earth predicted the
    time of the rapture by what he calls “the Great Snatch,” would take place by
    1981. LaHaye and Jenkins, however, speak of the imminence of the Rapture,
    without setting dates.

    Lindsey calculated the approximate date of the Secret Rapture in 1981, and the visible Return of Christ to occur seven years later, from his interpret-ation of the parable of the “fig tree” in Matthew 24: 32-34. He applied the budding of the fig tree to the restoration of the nation of Israel which occur- red on May 14, 1948. From that date Lindsay counted 40 years, the alleged duration of “this generation” stated by Christ in Matthew 24:34, and came up with the date of 1981 for the secret “Great Snatch,” and 1988 for the vis-ible coming of Christ. (The Late Great Planet Earth (Grand Rapids, 1970, p. 54).

    Now let’s see what the Bible does say. First, for one thing, the Bible never mentions a secret rapture. Many times Scripture records the coming of Jesus, but it never speaks of a secret coming where saints disappear, leaving the wicked alive. Let’s look at two major texts which Hal Lindsey uses in his book, The Rapture to show a secret rapture. Let’s see if we can find anything that refers to a secret rapture:

    Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we
    shall all be changed–in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,
    at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead
    will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1 Cor.
    15:51, 52).

    As we read this passage we notice that there are three events, and they don’t
    seem to be very secret: the trumpet, the raising of the dead, and the chang-
    ing of our bodies.
    p. 6
    And, does the Lord blow a noiseless trumpet? Think of another time in
    history when God sounded a trumpet. It was at Mt. Sinai recorded in
    Exodus 19. Was it a silent trumpet? On the contrary, it was so loud
    that it frightened the Israelites into urging Moses to be their spokesman
    to God (Exodus 20: 18, 19).

    The secret rapturists believe that in this passage (1 Corinthians 15) the
    divine trumpet is silent, heard only by the ears of the faithful—even though
    the text does not say that or even imply it.

    Does God conduct secret resurrections? Consider when Elisha raised a
    boy to life, when Jesus raised Lazarus and others, when Peter raised
    Dorcas, when Paul raised Eutychus—they were all quite visible. People
    were around to see it all happen.

    There is simply no Biblical precedent for this idea of resurrection secrecy.
    That should give us concern.

    But look at this one: If you can believe it, Hal Lindsey and others use 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17 to show the secret rapture:

    For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, and remain until the coming of the Lord, shall not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord Himself will descent
    from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and thus we shall always be with the Lord.

    Here Scripture says the Lord descends with a shout. Is this a silent shout?
    The rapturists say it’s inaudible except to the faithful. What is the Bible
    reference for that? The text says the archangel calls with His voice. The
    rapturist says it’s an inaudible call. What’s the Bible text for this? This
    passage also says the voice is joined by the trumpet of God. The secret
    rapturist says only selected ears will hear. What’s the Bible text for this
    one? The Bible says the righteous dead will rise. The secret rapturist says
    this will be secret and invisible. What are the Bible verses for this one?

    p. 7
    A Bible scholar and author says, “… by all the rules of grammar and
    exegesis, this passage (1 Thessalonians 4) is talking about a visible event”
    (Maylan Schurch, The Silent Shout, p. 13).

    A False Prediction
    In an interview reported in Christianity Today, April, 1977, Ward Gasque asked Hal Lindsey, “But what if you’re wrong?” Lindsay replied: “Well,
    there’s just a split second’s difference between a hero and a bum. I didn’t ask to be a hero, but I guess I have become one in the Christian community. So I accept it. But if I’m wrong about this, I guess I’ll become a bum” (W. Ward Gasque, “Future Fact, Future Fiction?” Christianity Today, April 15, 1977, p. 40).

    When Lindsey’s prediction failed, by his shrugging his shoulders and saying, “Sorry, I was a bum!,” he hardly reflected a genuine pastoral concern for the many whom he has misled by his books.

    Part of Lindsey’s appeal was his emphasis on the nearness of the Second Advent. Readers were excited when he predicted that the Secret Rapture
    would happen in 1981, followed by the seven-year tribulation and the visible return of Christ in 1988. Edgar Whisenant, picking up on a portion of Lindsey’s fame, provided his readers with 88 Reasons Why the Rapture Will Be in 1988 (between September 11-13 according to his calculations). While Whisenant’s tract sold only a measly 2 million copies, (Lindsey’s book sold millions more than that,) it did have a profound impact on many believers. Paul and Jan Couch’s “Praise the Lord” TV program, for example, ran prerecorded broadcasts on the Rapture during those fated days of Sept-ember 11-13 rather than produce the program live for those dates. The message was aimed, of course, at those “left behind” (George Knight, Minis-try/June-July, 2000).

    A Deep Regret
    As early as 1898 Joseph Turner in his book, Futurist Interpretation
    published by Hodder and Stoughton in London, p. 16, wrote:

    It is a matter for deep regret that those who hold and advocate
    the Futurist system at the present day, Protestants as they are
    for the most part, are thus really playing into the hands of Rome.
    p. 8

    It is difficult to understand how some evangelical churches have been caught up in this error.

    One of the saddest and most tragic results of the secret rapture teaching is
    that it takes away the work of Jesus in ending the Jewish sacrifices and give
    that work to the Antichrist. As the late highly-respected theologian, Hans LaRondelle, states:

    It is nothing short of blasphemy to take Jesus out of Daniel 9
    and replace Him with the Antichrist.

    The “Great Tribulation”
    The Left Behind saga opens with the sudden vanishing of millions of Christians into thin air at the start of Revelation’s “great tribulation.” Surprisingly, the authors ignore that in Revelation the countless mult-
    itude of believers of every nation, tribe, and people, are not removed from the earth before the final tribulation, but “they come out of the great trib- ulation (Revelation 7: 14). In Revelation believers are protected during during the tribulation, not removed from it. Christ comes at the end of the tribulation, not to snatch away the church and leave behind Jews and unconverted people, but to bring finality to human history. “It is done!” announces the seventh angel (Revelation 16:17).

    “Since 1950 more and more evangelical scholars have been abandoning pretribulationism and returning to the historic belief that the church will go through the tribulation, at the end of which Christ will come to resurrect the sleeping saints and save the living believers. This belief is know as posttribul-ationism” (Samuele Bacchiocchi, Left Behind: Fact of Fiction?, Andrews Uni-versity, p. 10).

    Credit for the resurgence of posttribulationism must be given first of all to the influence of George E. Ladd (one of my professors), who served for many years as New Testament theologian and professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. His respected scholarship coupled with his commitment to evan-gelicalism have caused many evangelical scholars to turn away from the two comings of Christ and its pretribulation theory.

    p. 9
    Among evangelical scholars more and more are changing from pre- tribulationism to posttribulationism. Example: According to a poll taken by Dave MacPherson, of the forty-four contributing editors of Chrisitianity Today, “only two or three…are still persistently pushing pretribulationism” (Dave McPherson, The Incredible Cover-Up, Medford, Oregon, 1980, p.125).

    Even Dr. John F. Walvoord, the well-known and strong proponent of the
    secret rapture theory with its pretribulation stance and the two second
    comings of Christ admits: “The preponderance of evidence seems to support
    the concept that the early church did not clearly hold to a rapture as preced-
    ing the end time tribulation (John F. Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and The
    Tribulation, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, 1976, p. 25). He states further that in
    the view of the Early Church the rapture seems to have been to combine it
    with the Second Advent (Ibid., p. 17).

    The Second Chance Theory
    The teaching of a second chance (during the seven years) is totally foreign
    to Scripture, yet it is espoused by those who believe in the Secret Rapture Theory. The Bible teaches that salvation is available only during this present life prior to Christ’s Return. For Christ comes the second time,

    “not to deal with sin, but to save those who are eagerly waiting
    for Him” (Hebrews 9:28).

    And, how else does Scripture put it?

    For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of
    Noah…and they (the wicked) did not understand until the
    flood came and took them all away; so shall the coming of
    the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24: 37-39).

    In the days of Noah there were two groups of people—the righteous and the
    wicked. The larger group was destroyed when “the flood came and took them all away.” They were not left behind to have a second chance to be saved. We must remember, “So shall the coming of the Son of Man be.”

    Perhaps the question is answered best by several of Jesus’ parables about the end of the world. In the parable of the wheat and the weeds, the farmhands ask the farmer if he wants them to pull up the weeds. The farmer tells them
    p. 10
    to let the wheat and the weeds grow together till the harvest, lest in pulling up the weeds they pull up the wheat also.

    Jesus explains that “the harvest is the end of the world (Matthew 13:39)
    When the angels “will weed out of His kingdom…all who do evil (verse 40). There is not a word about a second chance for those who missed the first one.

    In another parable, fishermen collect the good fish in a basket and throw away the bad ones. Jesus compared this to the end of the world when “the angels will come and separate the wicked from the righteous.” Again, there is not a word about a second chance for those who missed the first one.

    This theory would seem to tempt people to live as they please today, for if they miss the rapture, they will have a chance at salvation between then and the visible coming. I would urge anyone to think carefully about the theo-logy that underlies the erroneous second chance theory.

    Who Cares What His Coming Will Be Like?
    “Who cares what Christ’s coming will be like,” we may ask. “Isn’t the important thing to be ready for His return, no matter how it happens?”

    Yes, of course. We are told to always be ready. But what you believe about the coming of Christ is critically important, and it does make a difference in what we believe. Here’s why: Jesus warned us that there would be decept-ion involved concerning the manner of His coming:

    If anyone says to you: ‘Behold, here is Christ,’ or ‘There
    He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false
    prophets will arise and will show great signs and won-
    ders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect (Matt-
    hew 24:23, 24).

    The “elect” are, of course, the ones who have chosen to accept Christ and walk in His truth on this matter. If false teachings of Christ’s coming are going to be so deceptive that even God’s people might be deceived, we ought to know the truth about this matter NOW so we won’t be deceived THEN!

    A couple of illustrations should suffice in showing the misinterpretation of
    Scripture done by those believing the Secret Rapture Theory.
    p. 11

    First, the claim is made by some that 1 Thessalonians 5:1, 2 teaches that
    because Christ comes as a “thief in the night,” His coming will be secret.

    Please note that the text doesn’t say that at all. Here is what it does say:

    But concerning the times and the seasons, brethren, you have
    no need that I should write to you. For you yourselves know
    perfectly that the day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the
    night.”

    Here the apostle Paul states clearly that it is the “day of the Lord” that comes as a thief, not the coming of Lord. Two things are very important and must not be misunderstood concerning Christ’s Second Coming: 1) The time of His coming, and 2) The manner of His coming. We can see here that Paul is describing the time of His coming, not the manner of His coming—not how He comes, but when He comes. Scripture must be interpreted in its context always! The word “day” emphatically refers to time, not manner. When Christ returns He returns unexpectedly. As noted earlier, here’s what Jesus Himself said:

    But of that day and hour (of Christ’s coming) no one knows…”
    (Matthew 24:36).

    Now, if we want to know about the manner of His coming, the Bible does not leave us without a clear answer. At the ascension of Jesus, 40 days after the Cross, Luke records how it happened and how He will return:

    Now when He (Jesus) had spoken these things, while they
    watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him our
    of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward
    heaven as He went up, behold two men stood by them in
    white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you
    stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was
    taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner
    as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:9-11).

    There is no indication here that only Christ’s church will see Jesus
    come, and that the rest of the world will be unaware of His coming.
    p. 12
    The apostle John make that clear when he proclaimed:

    Behold, He is coming with clouds, and every eye will see
    Him…” (Revelation 1:7).

    Here we see that both Luke and John refer to the presence of a cloud or
    clouds in connection with Christ’s ascension and second coming. Matthew
    says:
    And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven;
    and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall
    see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power
    and great glory (24: 30 emphasis supplied).

    It appears, first, that the clouds are the “sign” of Christ’s imminent appear-ance. And secondly, it is apparent that His coming is widely seen because many on earth will “mourn” at His coming. No wonder Matthew recognized that:
    For as the lightening comes from the east and flashes to the west,
    so also will the coming of the Son of Man be” (Matthew 24:27).

    Parenthetically, the Rapturists identify this passage as referring to the com-
    ing of Christ seven years after the Secret Rapture. And here the sound of the
    trumpet is heard! Does our Lord have two kinds of trumpets? Or, is He just
    going to block the ears of the wicked when comes secretly? What’s the text?

    A second illustration to show how many Rapturists misinterpret Scripture concerning the Second Coming of Christ is found in this same 24th chapter of Matthew: “one will be taken and the other left.” Here’s the text:

    But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of
    the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood,
    they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in
    marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and
    did not know until the flood came and took them all away,
    so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. Then two
    men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other
    left. Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be
    taken and the other left (vv. 37-40).
    p. 13
    Observe first, there is no hint of any silent event here.

    Secondly, note that the ones at the time of the flood who had no concern
    went about “eating and drinking” and “the flood came and took them
    all away.”

    Question: Who were the ones taken away? Answer: The ones lost in
    the flood, said Jesus.

    Question: Who were the ones left? Answer: The ones who were safe in the ark.

    The record of the flood makes this clear:

    Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped
    out…only Noah was left, and those with him in the
    ark” (Genesis 7:23).

    Let us remember that Jesus, quoted above, said, “AS the days of Noah, SO ALSO WILL THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN BE.”

    “As it was, so shall it be!” Mark that—“As it was, so shall it be.”

    Remember, we must be true to the text. A passage must be interpreted in
    its context. If it is not, it is only a pretext, and that destroys the meaning
    of the passage.

    So, the obvious question is: Who are the one to be “taken” at Christ’s coming? The obvious answer is: The ones taken in destruction, likely by
    the “brightness of His coming” (2 Thess. 2:8). “As it was, so shall it be.”

    Question: Who are the ones “left” after Christ comes? They are the ones left alive who are not taken away in destruction, just like what happened at the time of the flood—the ones “left” were safe in the ark with Noah. “As it was, so shall it be.”

    This is why Scripture says,

    p. 14
    Then we who are left alive shall join them (the resurrected righteous,)
    caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air (1Thessalonians 4:17
    NEB).
    Thus, the authors of the book and film, Left Behind, have completely misrepresented Jesus’ teaching on His Second Coming.

    Conclusion
    –The Secret Rapture Theory is of recent origin. Its central teaching—that the fulfillment of the seventieth week of Daniel’s 70-week prophecy is still future is based on unbiblical presuppositions.
    –In Scripture there are no two second comings of Christ.
    –There is no Scriptural evidence for the seven-year scenario that is said to separate His two comings.
    — The Bible never even hints of a secret rapture.
    –We are admonished be aware that one of the signs of Christ’s return is a
    warning about the secrecy of His second coming.
    –We are warned about setting a time for Christ’s return.
    –The Rapturist teaching that the church will not go through the “great tribulation” caters to the human emotion of fear of hardship, and it is contrary to the teaching of the Bible. According the Scripture, the church will experience the tribulation, but will be delivered out of it by the pro-tective power of Jesus, for “those who endure to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13). Second Coming comes after the tribulation; deliverance after the tribulation (Matthew 24:29-31).
    –The Second Coming of Christ will not be silent or invisible, but visible, real, and audible. Read Matthew 24:23-27: Not secret, but as lightening.
    –Not only God’s faithful church, but “every eye shall see Him” come, in-cluding “those who pierced Him” as well as those whose “hearts (are) failing them for fear…then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory (Luke 21:26, 27).
    –There is no Scriptural evidence for sacrificial offerings to be re-instituted.
    –Biblical scholars and theologians are now rejecting many of the premises of the Secret Rapture Theory.
    — The book and the movie titled, Left Behind are instead, Truth Left Behind. Even the cover of the book’s back spine reads: A Novel of Earth’s Last Days! A “Novel”? Right! So, indeed, it is truth that is left behind.
    –Thanks be to God for the “blessed hope,” and the glorious appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ through whose grace alone we are saved and await that great day! ******* –Don

  11. Joseph says:

    @ Terry
    I said nothing as to whether we NEED a Scriptural precedent or not. I only said I was not trying to find a Scriptural precedent for calling Sunday the Lord’s day. The word (κυριακή) has a historic meaning. It means Sunday. It’s an historical/lexical issue. So I was simply saying that John seems to be saying it was on Sunday that he had this vision. He might as well have said he saw the vision on Wednesday for all the difference it would make. It just does not seem that the phraseology is pointing directly to the Joel, Malachi, Paul and Peter passages to which we have been referring concerning the “Day of the Lord.”

    And remember, I agreed with you that NOWHERE in the NT, or even in early-church history (Jew or Greek), is Sunday made a sabbath. Revelation 1:10 is definitely not sabbath-izing Sunday. I say nothing at this point concerning the Sabbath as to how, when, where or why it is, or is not, to be kept. I save those thoughts for later.

    Thank you for clarifying Problem 2 for me. I understand better what you were saying previously, though I disagree with your interpretations. There are many assumptions that lack support from the primary sources. Thank you for your thoughts though.

    As a student of history and the texts, I am generally very concerned (as you can see) that we are textually and historically honest. We may not like what we see as we face the facts, but we need to be honest. No, a knowledge of the primary sources does not make people Christians, but it does make good historians.

    Ya… I don’t spend much time with any book claiming to know the exact eschatological sequences. It ends up being one person’s interpretation versus another’s. So I stick with primary sources and texts. And right, Scripture is rather primary when we come this far, eh?

  12. TC says:

    @ Joseph. Having no need for a Scriptural precedent is a major problem. All too often, Christians base doctrinal issues on just such verses. The entirety of Christendom is dedicated to the notion that Sunday has replaced YHVH’s Sabbath because of their private interpretation. Guarding the Sabbath is the single most repeated Commandment in all of Scripture.

    Problem #2 is this:
    The LXX was translated for Greek-speaking Jews of the diaspora. In Judea, the Jews still spoke Hebrew or Aramaic. Greek was considered the language of pagan gods. The point is: the original language of the NT was Semitic, either Hebrew or Aramaic. The number of Hebrew idioms and word puns make that very clear. Claims of Greek originality only serve to bolster dispensational theology.At best, Greek is the first generation translation. The phraseology is immediately called into question. Did the Greek translators know what was being said, or did they take any liberties because of assumption or agenda? That was common.

    I John 5:7 does not appear in any manuscript before the 4th century. All Babylonian deities, including the god that Constantine worshipped, were triune. Agenda-driven translation at its best.

    New Gentile converts may have worshipped on Sunday because their entire nations did the same. But, even that would be an example of man-made tradition changing the Law.

    We have a series of books and, now, movies all promoting a pre-tribulation rapture. Such a notion only comes by private interpretation and a failure to examine the entirety of Scripture. When it doesn’t happen, and the tribulation is upon us, a lot of people are going to lose what little faith they had. Jeremiah 16:19, 23:1

  13. Kenneth says:

    Mat 24:28 “Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.
    Mat 24:29 “But immediately after the tribulation of those days THE SUN WILL BE DARKENED, AND THE MOON WILL NOT GIVE ITS LIGHT, AND THE STARS WILL FALL from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
    Mat 24:30 “And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the SON OF MAN COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF THE SKY with power and great glory.

    Mat 26:63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, “I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.”
    Mat 26:64 Jesus *said to him, “You have said it yourself; nevertheless I tell you, hereafter you will see THE SON OF MAN SITTING AT THE RIGHT HAND OF POWER, and COMING ON THE CLOUDS OF HEAVEN.”

    Mat 16:24 Then Jesus said to His disciples…
    Mat 16:27 “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and WILL THEN REPAY EVERY MAN ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS.
    Mat 16:28 “Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.”

    How is it that most Christians are even still waiting for the return of Christ? Christ himself made it clear that it would happen within the lifetime of those to whom he spoke in the first century AD. Surely none alive then is still alive today. Jesus predicted return assuredly happened nearly 2000 years ago already.

  14. Sunspot says:

    Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.
    1 Thessalonians 4:17
    Sky yes, but no tribulation, no Antichrist.

    Well, actually no sky either. The preposition “up” was interpolated and is not present in the original, and the Greek word used for “air” is the word referring to the air in our lungs (aēr) or the air that surrounds us and NOT the word (ouranos) that would refer to the air up in the sky such as found in Luke 24:51 where Jesus ascended into the sky.

  15. Joseph says:

    @ Terry I was not looking for a Scriptural precedent for calling Sunday the Lord’s day. I simply wanted to point out linguistically, for those who are interested, that the phrase used by John the Revelator was different than the phrase used by Paul, Peter, and the prophets. It would have been very easy for him to use the same phrase, but he didn’t. However one wants to interpret that…

    Actually, the Day of the Lord (or whatever you want to call it) does seem to be the main topic of Revelation. I just wanted to point out that the text of Revelation does not use that same phraseology. I thought maybe you would be interested in knowing that. Why is it different? I’ll let someone else interpret.

    I agree that Sunday is not the New Testament Sabbath. The biblical text does not make Sunday a sabbath, and neither does early (say, before 300 AD) Church history make it a sabbath. But it is also the case that we actually do have record of Christians worshiping on the day called Sunday way before Constantine (ex. Justin Martyr’s First Apology LXVII). I can give more references if desired.

    I am making no point here other than this: I desire to be textually and historically honest.

    PS. Not sure I get the problem with Problem 2 (as you call it), or your answer to the problem. The LXX was also produced by Jews. But it was Greek.

    Long live King Jesus!

  16. Kimberly Whitehead says:

    There is only one way and only one way too look at the word of God ether you are a beliver and recive the guideness of understanding the word of God through the Holy Spirit or you choose not too .! and it seems there are many who are looking for other ways too seek aproveal for sin.and many have done this by picking and choosing what they want too belive from the word of God , hence the reason way we have so many differnt religons in the world today there are so many who just wont or cant recive so sad!

  17. The Left Behind Movie, the Book of Revelation and the Rapture By Michelle Fletcher | MAN-CHILD of Book of Revelation 12:5 says:

    […] Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post. […]

  18. TC says:

    @ Joseph One problem you have in your logic is that there is no Scriptural precedent for calling Sunday the Lord’s Day. It is built on the false premise of a Sunday resurrection. John 19:31 says the next day Sabbath was a “high day.” The first day of the feast of unleavened bread was a Sabbath, regardless of the day of the week. The crucifixion was on Wednesday, as referenced in Daniel 9:27. The previous verse talks about “the Messiah” and the “people of the prince.” “He” is not a group of people. Therefore, it is referring to the Messiah.

    In the grave Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, Saturday, rising on the third day. When the women arrived, He was gone. Mark 16:1 tells us the women bought spices. A Friday crucifixion and Sunday resurrection gives no legal day to buy them.

    Problem number 2 is the presumption that the original language was Greek. Mark 5:41, Jesus’ original are quoted with the added line, “which is, being interpreted…” And, on the cross, His words, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani” are followed by the same phrase. Paul’s centurion guard was surprised when he spoke Greek, (Acts 21:37) and Paul addressed the crowd in Hebrew. The New Testament was written in Hebrew. It was written by Jews to other Jews. The leaders of the congregations the Gentiles were joining were Jews. (Acts 15:19-21) Paul was spoken to by Jesus in Hebrew. (Acts 26:14)

    Constantine was a sun worshipper whose empire was being overrun by Christianity. These new converts had no understanding of the importance of the Sabbath. (Exodus 31:15-17) So, with a little reverse engineering of Scripture, we ended up with Christendom worshipping on Sunday, with conjured Scriptural justification. It was easy to then create a new precedent for the changing of the Sabbath by saying Messiah rose on Sunday.

    YHVH sanctified the Sabbath. There is NO new commandment for a change. Any alteration of that Commandment is man-made. Those man-made alterations to the Torah are EXACTLY what Yeshua came to defeat.

    While you may not think “Lord’s Day” refers to “the Day of the Lord,” it cannot be denied that the Day of the Lord is the main topic of the book of Revelation. After the introduction and letters to the assemblies we have 18 chapters describing the events of the Day of the Lord.

    Luke 24:44 – If you want to know what is going on with the Messiah, and what the New Testament is talking about, read the Torah and the prophets.
    Acts 17:2 – What was Paul’s source of truth to establish the identity of the Messiah?
    Acts 17:11 – What did the Bereans search to know the answer?
    Jeremiah 16:19 – The Gentiles have received bogus teaching.

    Determining the meaning of the NT without a Torah background will always lead to confusion.
    2 Peter 3:16

  19. Jürgen Rahf says:

    My god… when people understand that this “John” in question has never seen Jesus. The authorship of Revelation is due to another man, called John of Patmos, or to John the Presbyter. Why is this so hard to understand for believers?!?!

  20. Debra Walton says:

    Ms. Fletcher’s body of work and background hardly warrant a reading. What were you thinking by giving space to this article? As a believer and a scholar, you not only wasted my time but deeply offended me! I read the Bible in context but also as a whole: inspired by God, literally “God breathed”. Additionally, after accepting Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, i have the Holy Spirit guiding me into all Truth.

  21. David says:

    As with many scriptures, these seem to be vague and contradictory, leaving the reader to interpret for him/herself whatever is already believed, or would be most convenient. As is evidenced by the discussion, with different sides bringing evidence from different verses. Which were probably written for a specific audience, who would understand better than we was meant.

  22. Gavriel says:

    What Judaisim and Chritianity overlook is the ‘second Exodus’ or horizontal “rapture” into the midst of the land while God pours His fury out on the nations. Read the texts below that are but a brief list of this event.

    Evidence of escaping tribulation thinking can be found in a recently discovered sermon attributed to Ephraem the Syrian that was written sometime between the 4th and 6th Centuries.

    It does encourage believers to prepare themselves to meet the Lord before the tribulation because all the saints and elect of God are gathered and are taken to the Lord and will not see the confusion that overwhelms the world because of it’s’ sins.

    I believe this sermon was derived from the “second Exodus” writings of Isaiah 11:10-16, Ezekiel 20:33-38, Ezekiel 28:25-26, Ezekiel 34:11-16 and Psalm 91:9-16 where we read in Micah 5:2-5 this remnant are standing before a ruler in Israel who had given “his returning brethren” up until the woman in travail births them, as he stands and feeds them in the strength and majesty of the name of the LORD his God and shall be great unto the ends of the earth and be the peace.

    Ephraem who lived from 306 to 373 AD was a leading theologian of the early Byzantine Church and while there were some forms of pre-millennialism and pre-tribulational thought those viewpoints violated Catholic dogma and had to be expressed underground because the Catholic Church declared their writings to be heretical and destroyed them.

  23. Wayne says:

    Ms. Fletcher has done a good job of refuting the “Rapture” myth but it might have been better to back up her assertions with Scripture as well. The Rapture doctrine is the “harvest out of season” Jesus warned about. The angels reap at the end of the world (the harvest), not the beginning of the end of the world. satan as antichrist is the fake, the imitation of Christ and his false “harvest” is full of hot air which might make people light on their feet with giddiness but they won’t quite fly like they think they will.

  24. Renee Malloy says:

    It has all happened already to all the churches being preached to in Turkey. ALL gone. Plus the polluting of a quarter of the waters of the world. More than that are polluted, etc. Is there any stream you can drink out of without getting sick?ALL these prophecies have already taken place. Confirmation? 250 MILLION get ‘raptured uP’ everyday off planet earth…gone. We survived already!

  25. Barbara says:

    I can thoroughly recommend the reading of the LEFT BEHIND books, a series of 12-best selling novels by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins which deal with a christian viewpoint of the end of the world.
    ‘Left Behind’ is the title of the first book in the series and was first published 1995-2007 by Tyndale House and tells the story of the end times (set in the contemporary era) in which true believers in Christ have been ‘raptured’ leaving the world shattered and chaotic.

  26. Joseph says:

    @Terry
    You wrote: The Day of YHVH and Appearance of Messiah. 1:10-18
    The Day of YHVH is the topic of this entire book. It is not a euphemism for Sunday.
    Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.
    Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:
    1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    I respond:
    The phrase used in Rev.1:10 (The Lord’s day) is a different structure than what is used in the Joel, Malachi, and 1 Thessalonians passages you quoted (the day of the Lord). I know they are equivalent in English, but not in Koine Greek. The way Revelations says “Lord’s day” in Greek is exactly what we would expect if he meant Sunday. It is not a euphemism -it actually does means Sunday. The way Joel and Malachi say “day of the Lord” in the LXX and the way 1 Thessalonians says “day of the Lord” is not the word for Sunday. It is a different phrase (though obviously not unrelated). So, I do not think Revelations 1:10 is necessarily referring to the “Day of the Lord” mentioned in Joel, Malachi, and 1 Thessalonians, as much as it is referring to Sunday being the day he had the revelation. We have two different things being referred to here:
    Day of the Lord (Joel, Malachi, 1 Thessalonians)
    Sunday (Revelations)

    For those interested, here are the phrases:
    ἡμέρα κυρίου
    vs
    ἡ κυριακὴ ἡμέρα

    Enjoy.

  27. Terry says:

    The pretribulation rapture is false doctrine. One that has been reborn in modern times thanks to the fictional Left Behind series, which speaks to those with itching ears, as Paul put it. I think it was an idea that first started in Paul’s time as he saw the need to write a second letter to the Thessalonians. Paul wrote, concerning the coming of the Lord and our gathering unto him, let no man decieve you. The man of sin comes first, calling himself God, whom the Lord will destroy and consume ant his coming. One second coming and that’s it. Jesus said when he gathers his elect. Even Paul calls the Thessalonians (who were mostly gentile), the elect of God. The pre trib rapture is the most unfortunate example of people using scripture to serve them, rather than reading scripture for what it actually says.

  28. Paul says:

    Another thing to contemplate….
    As it was in the Days of Noah, or As it was in the Days of Lot…
    In the days of Noah, who was left behind? In the days of Lot, who was left behind or saved?
    In both instances, Gods people were the ones “Left Behind” and the evil people were “Taken away”. Wouldn’t you think that if we are to inherit the Earth, that we would be “left behind” to inherit it?
    Just something to think about…

  29. Paul says:

    What I would like to know is this.
    The people in Syria, Iraq, and other countries in the middle east that read the same version of the bible that some Americans do, do not get the same “Get out of Jail Free” card that Americans are supposed to. They are promised to be saved from a tribulation, yet they are facing beheadings (Revelation 20), Marking (Charagma “Oath of servitude”) Revelation 13, and other hardships, with no rescue from Jesus (Yeshua). Why do Americans get to be spared from something that is already going on? Where do we get the arrogance to think that we are better ‘Christians” that we get saved, when a Pastor in Egypt gets his head cut off in front of his congregation, while preaching the same “Pre-Tribulation” message?

    Fact is… Yeshua said “Those who endure to the end will be saved”

    Endure “WHAT”?

  30. TC says:

    Eschatology can only be rightly understood through correct application of the Tanakh.

    This statement from the article: “However, the idea that Jesus’ sayings, Paul’s teachings, John’s Letters and John of Patmos’s Revelation, not to mention the texts of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel, represent the same branch of eschatology is something few scholars would maintain. These texts were written in different locations and time periods, to different people, with different goals,” is only half right. There are only two kinds of people: Israel and strangers.

    The whole “grafted in” and “formerly Gentiles and strangers” concept that is lost on hyper-dispensational replacement theologians. But, that is the least of their errors.

    Here is what the book of Revelation is about:

    Introduction – 1:1-9
    This is the revelation, or revealing, of the Messiah. This revealing is for those who are the servants of Yeshua, not merely hearers of the Word.

    The Day of YHVH and Appearance of Messiah. 1:10-18
    The Day of YHVH is the topic of this entire book. It is not a euphemism for Sunday.

    Joel 2:31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.

    Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord:

    1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

    The instruction (1:19) to write what you have just seen, the things which are now (1:20-3:22) and the future (4:1-22:6).

    The things as they are. The condition of the seven assemblies of Asia Minor are their current condition, and prophetic for the body of believers through history. 1:20-3:22

    Each church is given a praise, a grievance, a warning and a promise.
    Philadelphia is given no grievance.
    Laodicea is given no praise.

    Future events are from 4:1 through 22:6. They are broken down as follows:

    The Throne Room of YHVH. 4:1-11
    The phrase ‘in the spirit’ appears again.

    The announcement that only the Lamb is worthy to remove the seals, and the removal of the first six seals. 5:1-6:17
    Seal 1 releases a conqueror, probably political.
    Seal 2 releases a conqueror, probably military.
    Seal 3 is an economic collapse.
    Seal 4 is the killing of one quarter of mankind by military power, controlling the food supply, genocide and biological weapons.
    Seal 5 reveals a picture of the dead saints throughout history.
    Seal 6 is an earthquake and heavenly signs. Stars could mean…

    NOTE:
    A pause in the chronology to explain the destiny of the believers. 7:1-17

    144,000 are sealed. A great multitude sings praises to YHVH.
    No more tears.

    Seventh seal opened, seven trumpets introduced. 8:1-5

    Trumpets 1 through 4 are blown, 3 woes announced. 8:6-13
    Trumpet 1 is all out war. 8:7
    Trumpet 2 is possibly a coastal city being nuked. 8:8-9
    Trumpet 3 is possibly a nuclear blast inland. 8:10-11
    Trumpet 4 darkness caused by the smoke of the wars. 8:12-13
    Trumpet 5 is the release of a massive army. Destroyer is revealed. The first woe is past. 9:1-12
    Trumpet 6 is the release of four angels which will kill 25% of the remainder of mankind. 9:13-21

    Announcement of seven thunders. Instructions not to write what the thunders say. 10:1-4

    Announcement that the seventh trumpet will bring the conclusion of the mystery of YHVH. 10:5-7
    No more delay! The book tastes sweet but makes the eater sick. It describes the what is coming to the earth. 10:8-11

    NOTE:
    A pause in the chronology to explain the events in Jerusalem during the three and one half years. Jerusalem is in the hands of Gentiles. The second woe is past. 11:1-14

    Seventh trumpet! The first resurrection and gathering of the saints. 11:15-18a

    The wrath of YHVH is coming to the earth. 11:18b
    The Temple is Heaven is opened. 11:19

    NOTE:
    A pause in the chronology to explain what is happening.
    The promised seed. 12:1-6
    War in heaven. 12:7-9, 2 Thess 2:1-7
    The Kingdom of YHVH and the blood of the Lamb. 12;10-17
    The beast government. 13:1-8
    The mark of the beast. 13:9-18
    The first fruits before the Throne. 14;1-5
    The judgment of Babylon. 14:6-14
    The Day of YHVH. 14:14-20
    Preparing the wrath of YHVH. 15:1
    The sea of fire and glass. 15:2-4

    The Tabernacle in heaven is open. We see the Ark of the Covenant. (This is picking up after verse 11:19.) 15:5

    Six bowls of wrath are poured out onto the earth. 15:6-16:12

    NOTE:
    A pause in the chronology to explain the events on the earth. 16:13-16

    Seventh bowl. 16:17-21

    The description of mystery Babylon. 17:1-18:24

    Judgment of Babylon completed. 19:1-4

    Marriage Supper of the Lamb. 19:5-10

    Yeshua dresses for battle. 19:11-16

    Calls the birds to a feast of the flesh of kings. 19:17-18

    Battle for earth. 19:19-21

    Satan bound. 20:1-3

    The 1,000 year reign. 20:4-6

    Final rebellion. 20:7-8

    Final defeat. 20:9-10

    Judgment Day. 20:11-15

    Eternity 21:1-22:5

    Words of encouragement 22:6-21

    Daniel 12:11-12
    There are 1,335 days from Purim (the revealing of the destroyer) and Hannukah, the dedication of the Temple in the Ne Jerusalem.
    There are 1,260 days from Passover to Sukkot: from the abomination of destruction to the marriage supper of the Lamb.

    Hal Lindsey is a nice man. Clueless, but nice.

    Luke 24:44 THE KEY!!!!

  31. Bill Brinkworth says:

    Although Revelation is a record of what John saw and heard revealed to Him by Jesus, it is meant to give us an understanding of what will happen one day. It is believed that verse one is when the rapture happens because:
    •It says “After this …”. After what? After the seven church ages are completed (Rev. 2-3). The last church age, as compared to the church of Laodicea, pictures perfectly how the majority of churches have become today. It is after God sees the last person has gotten saved, that He ends the church ages and starts a new era; an era of His judgments!
    •“… a door was opened in heaven …” A door is a means to pass from one place to another. This “door” moves the dead and living in Christ from this earth to the next “room”; the “room” where God is! In Revelation 3:20 the door was where Jesus was last standing. He gave all an opportunity to trust Him as Saviour one more time during the indifferent, Laodicean church-age. No more answered His pleas, so He opened the door of Heaven and called His own home.
    •The trumpet of God was sounded just like it was foretold it would be at the time of the rapture (I Thes. 4:16).
    •A voice was heard calling John to heaven as it was prophesied (I Thes. 4:16) the church would be summoned up: “… Come up hither….”
    •It was prophesied that the Lord would come again when the earth became like the days of Noah (Mat. 24:37-38. Luke 17:26). Those days are certainly here. After the Lord judged the world of Noah’s time He sent a reminder of His judgment: the rainbow. In Rev. 3:3, there was a rainbow around God’s throne. The judgment of Noah’s day preserved only God’s own who were inside the ark. The upcoming rapture will also have His own safely preserved( in Heaven), while God’s judgment of the tribulation takes place on earth.
    •The church is no longer mentioned in what occurs on the earth from this time on, because the church is no longer here! The tribulation is mostly about Israel, not the church!

    Since we are currently in the last church age, the rapture mentioned in Revelation 4:1 is the next event in God’s plan. It could be today or tomorrow. The big question is are you absolutely positively sure you will be included in the rapture? If not, now may be your last opportunity to trust Christ as Saviour and be saved!

    Also, the second coming and the rapture are at completely different times. Most of the writings you referred to were mentioning what the Jews are looking for. They are looking for the 2nd coming, not the rapture. And, there are many early writers that looked forward to the rapture, it did not start in the late 1800’s like you claim.
    http://www.OpenThouMineEyes.com

  32. Jürgen Rahf says:

    @LeRoy says:Nonsense . That is absolutely right. Who was “John”? When did he live? Who wrote the Revelation? If you have the answer, you´ll see that all talking are pure nonsense and sick paranoic phantasies. “John” has never seen any Jesus. “His” works are strict anachronistic and even written by 3 or 4 persons, as the original texts differs in style and specially the revelation is totally different from “his” other works. Poor people believing in this horror myth.

  33. Mike C says:

    I am not sure who has Revelation and the Bible more wrong. Yes Revelation is a difficult book (but not impossible) to discern but to claim “It doesn’t even offer a clear ending. ” and ” Reading the Bible as having a blueprint for the future held within it was attributed to Joachim of Fiore” as if Fiore invented the idea of the bible having a blueprint is profoundly in error.

    Yes the rapture distinct from the second coming is off theologically but I detect a wiff of preterism in the piece – a theology which just entirely butchers Old testament prophecy
    I think a final battle where the Lord defeats his enemies and the setting up of a New Jerusalem is a pretty clear ending and one that fits in with well with OT prophecies unlike the fanciful reinterpreting of it by Preterists.

  34. Dale Pederson says:

    Excellent article, Michelle

  35. Kurt says:

    Rapture:
    Definition: The belief that faithful Christians will be bodily caught up from the earth, suddenly taken out of the world, to be united with the Lord “in the air.” The word “rapture” is understood by some persons, but not by all, to be the meaning of 1 Thessalonians 4:17. The word “rapture” does not occur in the inspired Scriptures.
    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200274774

  36. Joseph says:

    Hilda, you made the following comment:
    “In fact, Justin Martyr (110-165 AD) went so far as to suggest that anyone with a different viewpoint was heretical.”
    I agree that the Early Church was primarily Premillennialist, but I do not think Justin is referring to non-premillennialists as heretics. In response to what amounted to premillennial views, he goes on to say, “I and many others are of this opinion, and [believe] that such will take place, as you assuredly are aware; but, on the other hand, I signified to you that many who belong to the pure and pious faith, and are true Christians, think otherwise.” (Dialogue with Trypho Chapter LXXX)
    He does go on to say that some people who call themselves Christian are heretics, specifically those who blaspheme God and deny resurrection from the dead. One could easily come to the conclusion that he is even calling those who deny a thousand year reign heretics. However, because of what Justin says in that quote I inserted above, I think that is unlikely that he would be calling people of the “pure and pious faith, and true Christians” heretics. For those interested, here is the source document, scroll to chapter LXXX: http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/justinmartyr-dialoguetrypho.html

  37. Kurt says:

    Interpreting Revelation:
    The book of Revelation is of great importance in that it provides spiritual strength and insight for God’s people. It highlights God’s interest in the congregations of his people and the close and loving care that Jesus Christ exercises toward them as the Fine Shepherd. Jesus knows exactly what conditions prevail and what must be done. This is especially manifest in the first three chapters of the book.
    Some persons view Revelation as being so highly symbolic that it cannot be understood, or they view it as being impractical. But Jehovah God wants his people to understand, and he caused the Bible to be written to be understood and to provide guidance for them. The key to understanding Revelation is the same as the key to understanding other parts of the Bible. The apostle Paul points to that key. After explaining that God reveals the hidden wisdom through his spirit, Paul says: “These things we also speak, not with words taught by human wisdom, but with those taught by the spirit, as we combine spiritual matters with spiritual words.” (1Co 2:8-13) If we search the Scriptures (and in some cases the customs and practices of those days), we find in them many of the things used as symbolisms in Revelation. By comparing these Scripture texts, we can often understand what the Revelation symbol means. It should be noted, however, that a term or expression may refer to or symbolize different things, according to the context in which it appears.
    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1200274881

  38. LeRoy Haynes says:

    Nonsense

  39. christophers46 says:

    Many are vehemently against the idea of the Rapture. Many say that the word rapture doesn’t appear in the bible but that is untrue. the word Rapture is from the Latin Vulgate Bible in 1st Thess 4:17 the phrase ‘taken up’ is raptura. Also, one must believe in the Book of Revelations isn’t about the Christian Persecution of the Early Church, it is about God pouring His wrath on an unbelieving world, the great Tribulation. God has stated that he would not persecute His Bride, the Church, so the Church can’t not go through the Great Tribulation. The church will be in heaven at the time of the Great Tribulation except for the 144,000 from the 12 tribes of Israel that believe in Jesus the Christ (Yusuha Messiah) and those that accept Christ. There will be such horror that if Christ doesn’t come back no one would survive, but when he comes back it will be as a Judge and He will not be smiling. For those Christians who think Christians get a pass on persecution there will be a great Christian persecution before the last days, and that will be Satan pouring his wrath on God’s own. In fact it has already started. Sheep or Goats?

  40. Ian says:

    Well the Bible is clear that the righteous are never going to face the wrath of God, which is what Revelation is all about. God has always delivered the righteous out of the way of his judgement. We see it with Noah and Lot, and also in the Garden, with the promise of the coming Messiah.

  41. Sergey Kazantsev says:

    WOW, almost has her doctorate, but still doesn’t know her Bible. Pre-trib rapture is all over in Bible since Enoch. And church fathers also believed in rapture. It’s when two legs of Roman Empire: Byzantine and Catholics took over, then they started fooling people not to read Bible. But when people started reading their Bibles, they did find out, that rapture is there. There are bunch of movies about Jesus and Moses also, but it doesn’t mean, that they were not real beings or it’s not true. Enoch is type of Church and Noah type of Jews and other who would believe in tribulation. And people in glorified bodies come down to Earth with Christ after tribulation. Only born again people will be left to populate the Earth again, because left alive goats will be doomed before the millennium.

  42. D. Lowery says:

    Zack Hunt and Greg Boyd have been looking at this topic recently. Their conclusion…they and many others have found the rapture is a fantasy which is not biblical with verses taken out of context and being espoused by those who refuse to actually read the history of when the book was written. At best…I would describe their agenda as that of other heretical leaders throughout history…they should know the truth…but having extremely narcissistic natures…they are more than willing to take as many down their evil path as possible and rejoice doing so.

  43. DavicC says:

    Thanks, Jurgen, you’ve nicely rounded out all the various possibilities with the least believed version.

  44. Jürgen Rahf says:

    @Wanyama: you can wait long time for the “second comming of Christ”. Let´s wait for the first comming, as “Jesus” was never the Messiah. He never brought world peace, neither re-built the temple. Additionally he was not directly member of David clan. So wait and be patient.

  45. Ben West says:

    The Revelation is a writing which is apocalyptic in nature and was intended for the church in the first century which was beginning to experience government sanctioned persecution which would be escalating in nature and severity. It encourages them to take heart, and to maintain and strengthen their faith. The main theme from Revelation which is readily applicable to us is that though evil is ever active, and at times it looks like it will triumph, Christ has already assured victory; God wins!
    Exactly how everything will happen is impossible to say. But, the bible seems to say with certainty that Christ will return and that we don’t know exactly when, or exactly how, but that we need to prepare ourselves for that day.

  46. Larry Thorson says:

    Everything that Jesus had to say about the rapture–John 17:15.

  47. Magi says:

    The Anunnaki …Arrive…

  48. Magi says:

    U.F.O. Staches Us up…?

  49. Joseph Ixchu says:

    Very well put together article. My concern about these types of movies is the overall misinformation about a departure. We are expected to watch for the signs of the return, Thessolonians spells out, “we will not be caught by surprise” in Matthew we are told, “when you begin to see these things” and in context all of the scriptures utilized for the fairy tale of a pre-tribulation rapture actually tells a different story. This theory is causing Christian apathy towards world events because the claim is we will not be here during this time. However, the reality is, maybe it has already began! Additionally, the movie is B rated at best and it was disappointing.

  50. Hilda Hardcastle says:

    “…the reason the Pre-Tribulation concept of the timing of the Rapture was delayed in its refinement until the 19th Century was because the Roman Catholic Church adopted St. Augustine’s amillennial viewpoint of prophecy hook-line-and-sinker around 430 AD. In his book, The City of God, Augustine spiritualized Bible prophecy and then argued that the Millennium began at the Cross and would continue until the Second Coming.
    This spiritualizing approach to the interpretation of Bible prophecy proceeded to dominate theology for the next thousand years. Protestants adopted it after the Reformation and expressed it in the Postmillennial view that emerged in the mid-17th Century. Both Amillennialism and Postmillennialism are based on the assumption that Bible prophecy does not mean what it says……..
    The discovery of the distinction which the Bible makes between the Rapture and the Second Coming had to await the revival of the application of literal interpretation to Bible prophecy. I say “revival” because the writings of the Church Fathers during the first 300 years of church history (100 AD to 400 AD) reveal that they interpreted prophecy for its plain sense meaning. Accordingly, they were nearly all Premillennialists. In fact, Justin Martyr (110-165 AD) went so far as to suggest that anyone with a different viewpoint was heretical.1
    The revival of literal interpretation began in earnest among the Puritans in the 17th Century, and it quickly led to an understanding that the Rapture would be an event separate from and preceding the Second Coming. Puritan leader, Increase Mather (1639-1723), argued “that the saints would be caught up into the air” and thus escape the world’s final conflagration.2
    ………………
    One of the early Church Fathers, The Shepherd of Hermas, writing in the early 2nd Century, makes an interesting observation about “the great tribulation that is coming.” He says, “If then ye prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of the days of your life in serving the Lord blamelessly.”15
    In medieval times evidence of pretribulational thinking can be found in the recently discovered sermon attributed to Ephraem the Syrian.16 This sermon, which was written sometime between the 4th and 6th Centuries, encourages believers to prepare themselves for meeting the Lord because “all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.” Scholars believe this text was derived from the writings of the original Ephraem who lived from 306 to 373 AD. He was one of the leading theologians of the early Byzantine Church.17
    It is very likely that there were always some forms of premillennialism and pretribulational thought throughout the Middle Ages but, if so, these viewpoints had to be expressed underground because they violated Catholic dogma. Sects like the Albigenses, Lombards, and the Waldenses were attracted to a literal interpretation of the Bible, but little is know about their detailed beliefs because the Catholic Church declared their writings to be heretical and destroyed them.

    http://www.lamblion.com/articles/articles_rapture6.php

  51. Wanyama Joseph says:

    These are all very important materials that need to be read by all Christians awaiting for the second coming of Christ.

  52. Wanyama Joseph says:

    How can I get the movie,Left behind?Am in South Sudan.Can I be able to download?

  53. Russell Martin says:

    Early church fathers in the first century advocated a pre-tribulation rapture. The notion that it is a new phenomenon has been promoted by Dominionists for years. This position flies in the face of the doctrine of “Imminent Return of Christ”.

  54. Colette says:

    Rock On!!!!!

  55. Charles says:

    Matthew 24:40-41 is not seen by most pretribulationists as a rapture text. It is rather seen as a Second Coming text. You can see the evidence for this here: http://www.bibleexposition.net/2014/10/do-pretribulationists-see-matthew-2437.html
    And those who truly understand pretribulationism understand that the distinction between the rapture and Second Coming is an important one.

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