Regarding my posts on the resurrection, I must address some of the points raised by the Post-Trib position regarding the timing of the resurrection. Basically, I’m tired of picking on Pre-Tribbers. I’ll pick on Post-Tribbers for a bit.
Post-Trib is a fairly easy position to follow until you get into Revelation chronology. Gundry’s book is a very easy read, but his Revelation chronology is just atrocious. There is so much unjustifiable telescoping and overlapping that it’s very hard to keep straight.
Let’s look at a couple of basic tenets of the Post-Trib position. By Post-Trib, I am talking about classic Post-Trib which is a Post-Week position. Here are some scriptures from John that are frequently quoted: note especially the phrase, "the last day".
John 6:39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
John 6:40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
John 6:54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
Here Post-Tribbers show that the resurrection whereby the righteous will rise will occur on the last day. Post-Tribbers make the inference that this must be the last day of Daniel’s seventieth week. However, I must disagree. Christ was speaking of the last day of the end of the age. Christ was concerned with the function of His disciples until the end of the age. We must believe that the disciples were the foundation for the church. The disciples were given the command to preach the gospel to all nations until the end of the age. The Olivet Discourse gives us the preaching of the gospel in the midst of intense persecution, then the end would come, Matthew 24:9-14, Mark 13:9-11. Remember the question was, "What will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?"
PreWrath Tidbit: It is actually Christ’s coming which cuts short the great tribulation which is the end of the age. In the Olivet Discourse, there is no mention of the day of the LORD wrath which follows the coming of Christ. Christ was answering a specific question and did not stray from the subject matter. In Revelation we read about an extended period of time after the return of Christ during which His wrath is poured out on the ungodly during the trumpets and bowls. The seventh trumpet is the end of the week, so Christ’s return is sometime before that.
But here is what makes the Post-Trib position more convincing. There is a reference to the resurrection of the righteous dead in I Cor. 15:52 as happening at the last trump. Further, this is one of the undisputed rapture passages. "The dead shall rise, we (which are alive and remain) shall be changed." So since we know that the seventh trumpet occurs at the end of the ministry of the two witnesses, and the ministry of the two witnesses occurs at the end of the 1260 day period, then the seventh trumpet occurs at the end of Daniel’s seventieth week. So here we have two solid pieces of evidence which places the resurrection and rapture at the end of Daniel’s seventieth week. Further, the description of an event occurring at the seventh trumpet states that "the mystery of God should be finished", Revelation 10:7. Post-tribbers usually assert that the mystery spoken of here is the church, so that at the seventh trumpet (which they equate to be the last trumpet) the rapture will happen and the mystery of the church will be finished.
So three Post-Trib distinctives to be understood.
#1 – Christ will raise up those who believe in Him on the last day.
#2 – The resurrection/rapture occurs at the last trump.
#3 – The mystery of God is finished at the seventh trump.
Now here’s where it gets complicated. When a PreWrather brings up pertinent points concerning a sixth seal rapture, most Post-Tribbers agree whole heartedly. They believe the multitude in Revelation 7:9-17 to be none other than the church. They usually believe in a sixth seal rapture as well as a seventh trumpet rapture. But they take the Revelation chronology and overlap, telescope, and sometimes even cut and paste so that the sixth seal and the seventh trumpet occur at the same time.
A simple reading of Revelation 6-11 shows the end times beginning by Christ opening the seven sealed scroll. The events in the first five seal are under the realm of the antichrist wreaking havoc upon the earth. Once we get to the sixth seal, we have crossed to the threshold of God wreaking havoc upon the earth. The trumpets clearly demonstrate the pouring out of fire, smoke, and brimstone upon the earth during the day of the LORD. The events occurring during the trumpets cannot happen instantaneously as Post-Tribbers want them to happen so that they may telescope all seven trumpets as occurring during the sixth seal. There are extended periods of destruction, consequences that may take up to five months, and troop movements that will take time. These trumpets cannot be squeezed into one day. There must be a chronological flow which proceeds from the opening of the seventh seal and continuing through the trumpets in sequential order. In debating with Post-Tribbers, there really is no justifiable reason to overlap this chronology the way they do. Of course, some would say that about my take on chronology as well.
Here is the lynchpin which I have never received an adequate response for. At the opening of the sixth seal, the angel announces in Revelation 7:3 that any harm to the earth, sea or trees is prohibited until after the sealing of the servants of God. How can the trumpets, which contain the destruction of earth, sea, and trees, be contained within the sixth seal, when the angel announces that these happenings may not take place until after the effects of the sixth seal are accomplished? This is one example of how the natural Revelation chronology is being compromised by the Post-Trib position.
But what about these three very good points that Post-Tribbers have brought up. Everyone knows I am not Pre-Trib so I will not be using Pre-Trib arguments or dispensationalism to try to prove Post-Trib wrong (or should I write "inferior"?).
#1 – The last day which is mentioned is the last day of the end of the age, not the last day of Daniel’s seventieth week. The last day of the end of the age is the day on which Christ shows up with His holy angels spoken of in Matthew 24:30-31, Mark 13:26-27, II Thess. 1:7-8. When Noah got onto the ark, it was the end of the world as they knew it. There was a significant period of time during which the earth experienced destruction. Then when Noah and family got off the ark, that began the new world. We see the same pattern for the end of this age. The Great Tribulation will engulf the earth. After that, Christ will return and gather His church to Himself. Destruction will be poured out upon the earth. Then after the destruction has run its course, we will "get off the ark" so to speak, and inherit the new earth. Whether we inherit the kingdom on the last day of Daniel’s seventieth week, or after the thirty day period immediately following, there is room for debate, but we must be gathered prior to the end of Daniel’s seventieth week as the wrath will take us to the end of that period.
#2 – The last trump is not to be equated with the seventh trump. This may sound way off base to Post-Tribbers who have this drilled into their heads, but hear me out. The seventh trump is the last trump in a series of trumpets which the Apostle Paul knew nothing about. The trump in I Cor. 15:52 is intimately associated with the coming of Christ by the reference in verse 23, the trump in Matthew 24:31 is at the coming of Christ, and the classic rapture passage trump in I Thess. 4:16 is as Christ is descending to earth. These references to the trump, which we know from I Cor. 15:52 to be the eschatos trump, are all placed at the coming of Christ. The seventh trump is not so. The seventh trump is well after Christ has returned in a series of trumpets which will sound God’s wrath upon the earth. The Apostle Paul knew nothing of the seven seals, the seven thunders, the seven trumpets, or the seven bowls. Paul only knew of the trump at the coming of Christ. And the eschatos trump is simply the final trump at the end of the age which we know to occur at His coming. That doesn’t mean there will never be a another trumpet sound simply because the trumpet at His coming is the final trump of this age.
#3 – The mystery of God which is finished at the seventh trumpet is not the church. The church was a mystery, something not yet revealed, only in ages past. The Apostle Paul makes this clear that once the church was formed, the mystery was unveiled, Ephesians 3:5, and entire chapter for context. The mystery of God to be brought to a close at the sounding of the seventh trumpet simply cannot be the church. An examination of the language used at the sounding of the seventh trumpet will bring us closer to what the mystery is. My view is that it will be the ending of corrupt human governments as Christ begins to officially rule the nations. Even to this day there is a veil spread over the nations, Isaiah 25:7. The description of what happens at the seventh trumpet has to do with the rule of Christ over the kingdoms of this world. But how can we definitely say what this is, when it still remains a mystery?
Post-Tribbers have some good points, but PreWrath is stronger. And remember not to fall into the trap that just because you’ve proved one position wrong, you haven’t necessarily proved another position right.
Hey Post-Tribbers, I luv ya.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman