Rapture Debates #2

Hopefully those of you who read my blog are familiar enough with the PreWrath position to understand the position I am settting forth even if you don’t completely agree with my views.  The following is another debate that spanned the course of a month or so.  This poster seemed to have good knowledge of scripture and tried to back his statement up with scriptural references.  You will notice that he attempts to divide Christ’s second coming into two different phases, one phase for the rapture before the seven year period, another phase for the glorious return of Christ at the end of the seven year period.  It was a good debate.  Points were made for both positions.  Read for yourself.
 
To preface this, the poster had used the phrase "seven year tribulation" which I have posted on in the past.  Read about it here.  For those who don’t know my pattern, I’m Orange.
 
I do not read the words "seven year tribulation" in Matthew 24.
 
The gathering of the elect at Jesus’ return to earth is different than the rapture. At the rapture we rise directly to Jesus:
1Thes 4:17 then we that are alive, that are left, shall together with them be caught up in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (ASV)
 
The entire passage shows that this is an event that happens at Christ’s coming. After His coming, He will have arrived. We will be gathered to be with the LORD, and He will be here.
 
Next, the poster is using an argument that the gathering described in Matthew 24:31 is the gathering of Israel into the promised land.
 
At the physical return of Jesus to earth angels gather the elect. This gathering is described in Isaiah:
 
I believe we are in agreement on one fact. In Isaiah’s little apocalypse in chapters 24 through 27 we have two gatherings. One described in 26:19-21 includes a resurrection, protection from wrath, and they are addressed as my people. It happens after the time of Jacob’s trouble which we know in the NT as the great tribulation. The second gathering is the gathering of Israel and is seen in 27:12-13, and happens after the gathering of "my people". The passage that you refer to in Isaiah 11 matches up with the gathering of Israel.

Isaiah 11:12 needs to be taken in its proper context. Please continue reading down to verses 15 and 16. Notice the drying up of the sea and the rivers, and a creation of a special highway for the remnant of Israel to travel on.
Isaiah 27:12-13 contains the same idea and is completely distinct from the gathering of "His people" behind closed doors before the pouring out of His wrath in 26:19-20 (resurrection here as well). After the calling of "His people" behind closed doors, then Israel is gathered, Hosea 1:9-10, Romans 9:23-26.
Isaiah 35:4-10 show us that Israel’s gathering will be by way of a special highway.

Isaiah 51:9-11 give the same implication as 11:12-16.
Zechariah 10:8-12 tell the same, and it will definitely be on foot. Otherwise, why would God be drying up rivers and seas????

The gathering of Israel described in the OT is not the gathering of angels described in Matthew 24. The gathering of angels in Matthew 24 matches up with the reaping of the righteous in Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43, which simply must be the church. This is at the time of our glorification because it is at the time when the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. It also matches up with Lot and family being carried by angels just before fire and brimstone rained on sin city, Luke 17:30.

 
The ‘coming of the Lord’ at the rapture is different. It is life as normal, people marrying, giving in marriage. At this point it says in 1Thess 5 that people are saying ‘peace and safety’ They are not saying that at the return of Jesus at the end of the 7 year tribulation. The world is a horrible mess.  The two comings of the Lord are bookend events of the 7 year tribulation. The coming of the Lord at the rapture begins the 7 year tribulation(and reveals antichrist). The coming of the Lord physically to earth is at the end of the 7 years(and antichrist is thrown into the lake of fire.) Jesus comes from heaven the first time to the air, the second time to earth.
 
For some reason, I don’t have a reply for this in my files.  Rather than make something up, I’ll let the statement stand uncontested, but I think a good response is contained in the later part of the debate.
 
The contents of the Olivet Discourse are the same as the contents of the book of Revelation; they are describing the same events from different perspectives. Both are descriptions of the ‘day of the Lord’ the time of God’s wrath on unrepentant sinners.
 
Certainly. And the order of events is first the great tribulation, then the day of the LORD immediately FOLLOWING the great tribulation. The great tribulation is at the fifth seal, the day of the LORD clearly begins at the sixth seal, which is incidently when we see the raptured church in heaven immediately following (Rev. 7:9-17). Please do not confuse God’s wrath with Satan’s wrath.

Also, remember Revelation operates on a three and one half year time line. So if you draw that parallel, you are limiting the great tribulation in Matthew 24 to the second half of Daniel’s seventieth week. Of course, if you know the book of Daniel, you know that the abomination of desolation happens at the midpoint of Daniel’s seventieth week. Therefore the great tribulation does not begin until after the first three and one half years have come and gone.

 
Jesus Himself makes a direct comparison of the deliverance of Noah to the rapture of the church in Matthew 24.36-39, to make the deliverance of Noah not pertain to the rapture of the church is to twist the intent of Jesus’ teaching here
 
Excellent point!!! Many pretribbers do not pick up on this. The problem for pretribbers is, there has just been a gathering described in 24:29-31 and Jesus is expounding on that gathering, showing that one will be taken and one will be left. The setting is clearly post-trib but just before God pours out His wrath. You have just proven that the gathering in Matthew 24:29-31 is the rapture.
 
The ‘gathering’ and ‘coming of the Lord’ of Matthew 24.29-31 is different than the ‘gathering’ and coming of the Lord’ of Matthew 24.36-42
 
The simplest reading of the passage is that Jesus is explaining more fully what His coming will be like. What coming is that??? He has only spoken of ONE COMING! You have yet to prove two second comings in the Olivet Discourse. All the scriptures there are speaking of His coming ~ singular.
 
It happens some other time. It happens at the beginning of the 7 years, before ‘all these things’
 
Your interpretation makes no sense. If "all these things" means the seven year period, how can somebody see "all these things"? Jesus was teaching the disciples to look for signs. He described what the signs were, -The Abomination of Desolation, -The Cosmic Signs. The disciples passed these teachings on to the church, being the foundation of the church themselves. The church is commanded to look for the abomination of desolation, not to look for the entire seven year period.
 
As far as verse 36, let’s read the verse after it as well.  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. 37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Christ said that the day and hour would be unknown, but the sequence of events would be known. It will be like the days of Noah. He is not talking about a secret rapture, He is speaking of His coming that will be like the days of Noah. Noah and family knew exactly what was coming, the unbelieving world didn’t. The events that you speak of are completely reconcilable. They happen at His coming which is always after the tribulation, just before He pours out His wrath. Never once does Christ refer to His coming in a way that says it is before the seven year period.

The conversation here had turned to what happens to departed saints.   They go to be with the LORD, but their bodies remain in the grave awaiting the first resurrection. When Christ comes (after the trib) He will bring with Him all those saints because they have been with Him and will remain with Him. He is bringing them to earth to meet up with their bodies rising out of the graves. The dead in Christ rise first, that is, their bodies rise out of the graves to meet their souls in the air. Then those Christians (the church) who are alive and remain will be caught up and glorified without having to experience death.

Those statement that you say refer to different comings are actually at the second coming, not the second and third coming. There is only one second coming. Otherwise it would be a second and third coming. You are splitting hairs to try to invent another coming of Christ that simply does not exist in scripture. There are not two comings in I Thessalonians 4.
 
The pre tribulation rapture interpretation has its problems
 
Amen!
 
If you are called upon to set forth your rapture view as the truth, you need to know the other views that are out there, and how to respond if someone points out an inconsistency in your view.  So many of the same rapture persuasion just get together and pat each other on the back without ever once engaging someone with another view.  That’s not iron sharpening iron.  I’ll probably post another debate that I had with an adamant PreTribber, but then I’ll let it lie.  My purpose here was to introduce some to the idea of lovingly engaging those with other views in calm, rational discussion, measuring scripture against scripture.
 
Any comments?
 
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
 
-The Orange Mailman
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