A Case for the Posttribulation Rapture by Douglas Moo

The third rapture position presented in the latest version of Zondervan’s book entitled Three Views on the Rapture is the Posttribulational Rapture view.  It is written by Douglas Moo who is well known for his scholarship in other areas and is the only author making a return appearance from the first version of this book.  Moo has the most agreeable writing style of the three, perhaps realizing from being a prior contributor that the relationships will outlast any written work which will be critiqued, quoted, and forgotten.  Many points he could drive home forcefully, but instead he is not dogmatic and makes room for disagreement.

Moo’s earlier presentation slightly differs from this one, perhaps due to his views slightly changing, but also perhaps due to the emergence of the prewrath position.  His earlier presentation has much in common with the prewrath position, so this essay needs to distinguish itself from prewrath.  As you may guess from Moo’s critiques of his colleagues, there is a historicist flair throughout this work.  This is reminiscent of the old school premillennialists who wrote from the posttrib position, so perhaps Moo has been influenced by some of the Historic Premillennialists of days gone by.  Let’s get into Moo’s presentation.

Moo begins his foundation differently than the previous two.  He states that the rapture is not the means by which believers leave the earth and enter heaven, but rather it is the means by which the church (which he terms the new covenant people of God) is brought into the presence of Christ.  His foundation of the word “tribulation” also is set apart.  He surveys the Greek word thlipsis showing that 37 out of 45 times the word indisputably refers to tribulation that believers experience throughout this present age.  He also touches on the term “last days” showing that the last days are really the current period of time in which we are living in anticipation of the LORD’s return.

When digging into the particular texts which may or may not describe the end times tribulation, Moo points out that the horror of God’s wrath in the judgment will occur after the final tribulation.  So it is with great care that he seeks to selectively view end times passages that indisputably refer to the final tribulation and not generically to the Day of the LORD which includes that end times wrath.  The book of Daniel is mentioned, but Daniel’s 70th week is presented as an entire package of events spanning from the first coming of Christ to the second coming in glory.  Moo points out that Isaiah 26:20-21 could refer to divine protection from the end times wrath while remaining here on the earth.

Reasoning through the idea that all believers are to live through tribulation, Moo asks if the end times tribulation will provide some type of exemption from tribulation that current Christians are denied.  Also in Moo’s mind is the question of whether believers must be absent from earth in order to be spared the wrath of God.  He treats the wrath of God as being distinct from the end times tribulation.  He seeks to show that Revelation pictures God exempting believers from His wrath, Revelation 9:4, 20-21; 16:2, 9, 11.   Only after these foundational principles does Moo begin to interact with specific passages which may or may not refer to the rapture (he’s never dogmatic).

John 14:3, I Corinthians 15:51-52, and I Thessalonians 4:13-18 are often used to describe the rapture.  Moo examines each one and finds no reason to believe that Christians will be taken to heaven.  In John 14:3, he notes that the promise is not to go to heaven, but to be with the LORD when He returns.  I Corinthians 15:51-52 contains the idea that through resurrection the saints will inherit the kingdom of God.  Since Isaiah 25:8 is quoted, the Old Testament saints will participate in the resurrection that will occur at this time.  The last trumpet here occurs when the nation of Israel experiences their end times salvation (he cross references Matthew 24:31).  Again, there is no specific teaching that the church will be raptured into heaven.  The final passage is handled in classic posttrib style.  In I Thessalonians 4:13-18 the passage is shown to picture believers rising to “meet” the LORD in the air in order to accompany Him back to earth as a sort of delegation.  The word apantesis (translated meet) is also used in Matthew 25:6 and Acts 28:15 where it means just that.  Again, there is no evidence that believers will go to heaven.  Throughout this presentation, Moo reminds his readers that the coming of Christ is always a posttribulational event.  He notes similarities between I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Daniel 12:1-2 which both show a resurrection from sleep, noting again that Daniel 12:1-2 is posttribulational.

Moo transitions into examining I Thessalonians 5:1-11 which acts as a springboard for a discussion regarding the term “the Day of the LORD” which Moo relates to the end after the final tribulation.  Moo makes his case by showing that in Revelation 6:17 and 16:14 that what is meant is an event associated with the parousia, which is always posttribulational.  Also, Malachi 4:5 and Joel 2:31 (I’m correcting what I’m sure is a typo in the book) describe tribulational events before the Day of the LORD.  So the Day of the LORD is not an any-moment, signless event if it occurs in this sequence.  Jesus taught that the saints would be raised on the last day, which would point toward the Day of the LORD rather than before the tribulation which precedes it.  He also argues that the Day of the LORD in I Thessalonians 5 would overtake believers, just not in the same way it overtakes unbelievers, like a thief.  The commands for believers to watch, or be in a state of watchfulness (in the Olivet Discourse as well) further drives home the point that what is being taught in the scriptures is a posttribulational parousia.

According to Moo, II Thessalonians presents many exegetical difficulties.  So while attempting to interact with anticipated objections of his view, covering everything is simply not possible.  He presents his view that in chapter 1 believers receive their promised rest at the glorious appearing of Christ after the tribulation.  Chapter 2 shows that Paul had to explain to the believers that the Day of the LORD parousia would not come until after certain tribulational events had been fulfilled, such as the appearance of the eschatological antichrist described in terms reminiscent of the antigodly king spoken of by Daniel.  Chapters 1 and 2 together show a united picture that the church will not be raptured until after the reign of the antichrist.

Moo has a lengthy section on the Olivet Discourse, lengthy by means of comparison to the other two presentations.  Here he wrestles with the ideas of things historical (ongoing throughout the church age), things preterist (fulfilled in 70AD), and things future (during the final tribulation, the Day of the LORD, and the second coming of Christ).  These positions of Historicist, Preterist, and Futurist are played off the others showing that each has some valid points to bring to the conversation.  Moo brings in more from a Historicist point of view than most would.  But as one is reading this presentation, they begin asking, what does this have to do with the rapture?  The idea that Moo is trying to get to the root of is – exactly who does the Olivet Discourse apply to, Israel or the church, or some combination of the two?  With Preterism versus Futurism, it is not either/or, but both/and.  Events were fulfilled in 70AD and they will be fulfilled in the future.  Adding on to this, events were fulfilled for the nation of Israel in 70AD (with the destruction of the Jewish temple), and there will be events fulfilled for the church in the future at the consummation of the age.  This section is difficult to sum up since Moo is bringing in very abstract concepts.  It is, however, worth studying what he has to say since conversations like this simply do not happen frequently.  Ultimately he concludes that the gathering of Matthew 24:31 includes the rapture and probably much more.

After all this, Moo is finally ready to move to Revelation.  Since this post is pretty long already, I’ll just cut to the chase.  The letters to the seven churches warn of possible persecution and death for believers.  Revelation 3:10 is akin to John 17:15 which promises spiritual protection from the hour of trial, not by being removed from the earth.  He presents the idea that Revelation 11:11-12 could refer to the rapture, which would be at the end of the final tribulation, especially since the seventh trumpet depicts the end of the age.  (He believes the sixth seal also pictures the end of the age, as in, both the seventh trumpet and sixth seal describe the last day as parallel passages, if I’m understanding him correctly.)  Revelation 14:14-16 may describe the rapture, then again, maybe not.  Revelation 20:4 is where he presents a firmer case.  He examines the usage of terminology throughout the book of Revelation showing that the first resurrection described here must include the church, the saints from all ages, and the tribulation martyrs.  Therefore the first resurrection and rapture occur as a posttribulational event.

Moo makes some concluding remarks which include some comments about the term imminency.  Instead of the idea of “any moment”, he shows the scriptures to mean “watch for” and “eagerly wait for”.  All in all, even if he is not dogmatic which results in ambiguity at times, this is a good presentation of the posttrib position.  I have devoted a little more space to this presentation than pretrib or prewrath, probably because there are more foundational issues to wrestle with in his essay.  Also, I have not discussed the posttrib position at length on my blog, while I have discussed pretrib and prewrath extensively, although it’s been a little while.  These posts are not meant to take the place of the book, but to summarize it and encourage you to purchase it.  The responses to the posttrib position will be forthcoming in a separate post.

Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13

-The Orange Mailman

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7 Responses to A Case for the Posttribulation Rapture by Douglas Moo

  1. Irv says:

    [Thanks, Orange Mailman. Great blog. Check out the following. Ran into it on the web.]

    PRETRIB RAPTURE STEALTH !

    Many evangelicals believe that Christ will “rapture” them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his “tribulation.” But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father’s right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel’s posttrib resurrection!) It’s amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the “great commission” for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
    Many don’t know that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!). Google “Walvoord Melts Ice” for more on this.
    Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture,” “The Real Manuel Lacunza,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” and “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).

  2. RAPTURE on July 15, 2014 – Middle of the final “WEEK” of Daniel 9:27?

    Did the “covenant” of Daniel 9:27 happen when Obama signed the new nuclear nonproliferation treaty with Russia on February 2, 2011 in the Oval Office?

  3. Kirk Schrank says:

    Pre-wrath rapture:
    Revelation 7:13. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

    Who are they?

    Revelation 6:9. And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held: 10. And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth? 11. And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

    144000 taken to a safe place:

    Psalm 55:6. And I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! For then I would fly away and be at rest. 7. Indeed, I would wander far off, And remain in the wilderness. Selah 8. I would hasten my escape From the windy storm and tempest.”

    Revelation 12:6. Then the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, that they should feed her there one thousand two hundred and sixty days.

    Revelation 12:13. Now when the dragon saw that he had been cast to the earth, he persecuted the woman who gave birth to the male Child. 14. But the woman was given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness to her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time, from the presence of the serpent.

    Those who are alive and remain at the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ:

    Isaiah 4:3 And it shall come to pass that he who remains in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, everyone that is written among the living in Jerusalem.

    2 Kings 19:30. And the remnant who have escaped of the house of Judah shall again take root downward, and bear fruit upward. 31. For out of Jerusalem shall go a remnant, and those who escape from Mount Zion. The zeal of the Lord of hosts shall do this.’

    Isaiah 1:8. So the daughter of Zion is left as a booth in a vineyard, as a hut in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged city. 9. Unless the Lord of hosts had left to us a very small remnant, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been made like Gomorrah.

    Isaiah 10:17. So the Light of Israel will be for a fire, and his Holy One for a flame; it will burn and devour his thorns and his briers in one day. 18. And it will consume the glory of his forest and of his fruitful field, both soul and body; and they will be as when a sick man wastes away. 19. Then the rest of the trees of his forest will be so few in number that a child may write them.

    Ezekiel 7:6. `Those who survive will escape and be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, Each for his iniquity.

    Ezekiel 9:4. and the Lord said to him, “Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and put a mark on the foreheads of the men who sigh and cry over all the abominations that are done within it.” 5. To the others He said in my hearing, “Go after him through the city and kill; do not let your eye spare, nor have any pity. 6. “Utterly slay old and young men, maidens and little children and women; but do not come near anyone on whom is the mark; and begin at My sanctuary.’

    Ezekiel 14:21. For thus says the Lord God: “How much more it shall be when I send My four severe judgments on Jerusalem the sword and famine and wild beasts and pestilence to cut off man and beast from it? 22. “Yet behold, there shall be left in it a remnant who will be brought out, both sons and daughters; surely they will come out to you, and you will see their ways and their doings. Then you will be comforted concerning the disaster that I have brought upon Jerusalem, indeed all that I have brought upon it.

    Joel 2:32. And it shall come to pass that whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved. For in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be deliverance, as the Lord has said, among the remnant whom the Lord calls.

    Zechariah 14:4. And in that day His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, which faces Jerusalem on the east. And the Mount of Olives shall be split in two, from east to west, making a very large valley; half of the mountain shall move toward the north and half of it toward the south. 5. Then you shall flee through My mountain valley, for the mountain valley shall reach to Azal. Yes, you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Thus the Lord my God will come, and all the saints.

  4. Pingback: Three Views on the Rapture ~ Links | The Orange Mailman

  5. rapazoe says:

    Thankyou very much Orange Mailman for the readers digest version of the three views … Douglas Moo is an honest scholar and one I respect. I review your review here and explore some of the issues raised. Trust that is OK.

    “His earlier presentation has much in common with the prewrath position” … not surprising since the rapture event (Matt 24:31) is both post-trib and pre-wrath. … definitely NOT pre-trib!!!

    “His foundation of the word “tribulation” also is set apart. He surveys the Greek word thlipsis showing that 37 out of 45 times the word indisputably refers to tribulation that believers experience throughout this present age.”
    rapazoe> Marv Rosenthal’s pre-wrath point that tribulation of believers by Satan … is … distinctly different from the wrath of God on the unbelieving world after the rapture.

    “He also touches on the term “last days” showing that the last days are really the current period of time in which we are living in anticipation of the LORD’s return.”

    rapazoe> Yes … last two days 5 & 6 …
    Hosea 6:2 After two days he will revive us.
    On the third day he will raise us up,
    and we will live before him.
    after 2 days … ie Day 7 … he will rapture us up.

    “Moo points out that the horror of God’s wrath in the judgment will occur after the final tribulation.”
    rapazoe> Yes … after tribulation … then rapture … then wrath

    “So it is with great care that he seeks to selectively view end times passages that indisputably refer to the final tribulation and not generically to the Day of the LORD which includes that end times wrath.”
    rapazoe> yes “last days” tribulation and Day of the LORD wrath are 2 distinct events which is why post-trib and pre-wrath can both be true.

    “Moo points out that Isaiah 26:20-21 could refer to divine protection from the end times wrath while remaining here on the earth.”
    rapazoe> Not sure why Moo speculates on this point when Isaiah makes a point of saying “punish the inhabitants of the earth”.
    and … Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands.
    and the 144,000 are explicitly sealed and protected on earth.
    Isaiah 26:19-21 Your dead shall live. My dead bodies shall arise. Awake and sing, you who dwell in the dust; for your dew is like the dew of herbs, and the earth will cast out the departed spirits. 20 Come, my people, enter into your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 21 For, behold, Yahweh comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth also will disclose her blood, and will no longer cover her slain.

    “Also in Moo’s mind is the question of whether believers must be absent from earth in order to be spared the wrath of God.”
    rapazoe> well mayb not “must be” … but they are removed at the rapture event … and appear in heaven.

    “He treats the wrath of God as being distinct from the end times tribulation.”
    rapazoe> Yes … a fundamental pre-wrath position and a point Marv Roenthal makes in pre-wrath rapture of the church !!!

    “John 14:3, I Corinthians 15:51-52, and I Thessalonians 4:13-18 are often used to describe the rapture.
    Moo examines each one and finds no reason to believe that Christians will be taken to heaven.”

    rapazoe> NO REASON TO BELIEVE !!! are you jokering me …
    Just look at these passages …

    John 14:2-3
    2 In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also.
    – Father’s house – ie: heaven
    – I am going … to heaven to prepare a place for you there …
    – If I go there (heaven) … I will receive you to Myself in heaven not on earth … where I am (heaven) … you may be also.

    I Corinthians 15:51-52
    51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 52 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 will be changed. 53 For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
    – we will all be changed into immortal beings … so being in heaven would not be an unusual place to be for such beings … earth’s gravity is not a problem for believers at this point in time …
    – NONE … NADA … NO scriptural evidence of these “raised” beings landing on earth at the time of rapture … until Rev 19:14 The armies which are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in white, pure, fine linen. 15 Out of his mouth proceeds a sharp, double-edged sword, that with it he should strike the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He treads the wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of God, the Almighty.

    Moo> “The last trumpet here occurs when the nation of Israel experiences their end times salvation (he cross references Matthew 24:31). Again, there is no specific teaching that the church will be raptured into heaven.”

    rapazoe> Yes there is specific and explicit teaching that the church will be raptured into heaven at this time … people just ignore it cause “you can’t handle the truth!” who said that ?
    The fundamental problem is that some try to jamb, shoehorn, squeeze, overlay … wrath events into tribulation seals phase.
    Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

    rapazoe> on the other hand, there is NO specific or explicit teaching that the church will return to earth at the time of the rapture. … it is a pure fabrication/bunk/fake news/lies and deception that the church will be on earth at this time to experience the wrath which follows the rapture (pre-wrath)

    Moo> “The final passage is handled in classic posttrib style. In I Thessalonians 4:13-18 the passage is shown to picture believers rising to “meet” the LORD in the air in order to accompany Him back to earth as a sort of delegation. The word apantesis (translated meet) is also used in Matthew 25:6 and Acts 28:15 where it means just that. Again, there is no evidence that believers will go to heaven.”

    rapazoe> Pre-tribbers use this idea to support their false idea of Jesus coming to earth with His church at Matt 24:31…. they want us to believe that it is those on earth who are the host of this meeting … but those on earth (the bride) have no house and are not the ones who initiate the meeting. It is the bridegroom who said … behold I go to prepare a place for you … It is the bridegroom who prepares a place for His bride … it is the bridegroom who goes out at the direction of His father to get the bride and bring her to His place.
    soooo if the bridegroom as the host of the meeting makes all the preparations, sends out the invitations, journeys from heaven to the clouds … simple logic tells us that the bride will go to the house of the groom where everything is prepared. The host will typicall welcome His guests and escort them back into His house where celebrations can be done in peace. NOT to earth where the bride being chased around and persecuted by the antichrist. The bride needs to hide out for a “little while” until the earth is ready to receive the kingdom ie: Rev.19.
    Matt 25:6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Behold! The bridegroom is coming! Come out to meet him!’

    “Throughout this presentation, Moo reminds his readers that the coming of Christ is always a posttribulational event. He notes similarities between I Thessalonians 4:13-18 and Daniel 12:1-2 which both show a resurrection from sleep, noting again that Daniel 12:1-2 is posttribulational.”
    rapazoe> YES rapture = … post-trib … pre-wrath

    1 “At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
    rapazoe> YES rapture = salvation / resurrection

    “Moo transitions into examining I Thessalonians 5:1-11 which acts as a springboard for a discussion regarding the term “the Day of the LORD” which Moo relates to the end after the final tribulation.”
    rapazoe> YES no probs … trib … DoL … rapture … wrath

    “Moo makes his case by showing that in Revelation 6:17 and 16:14 that what is meant is an event associated with the parousia, which is always posttribulational. Also, Malachi 4:5 and Joel 2:31 describe tribulational events before the Day of the LORD. So the Day of the LORD is not an any-moment, signless event if it occurs in this sequence.”
    rapazoe> Rev.6:17 & Matt 24:29 DoL post trib reference.

    Rev.16:14 … very post trib and close to post-wrath
    Rev.16:17 The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!”
    rapazoe> … what is done ??? … wrath of God is done and accomplished its objectives.

    Malachi 4:5 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes. 6 He will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse.”
    rapazoe> Yes … He came 2,000 years (2-days) before DoL (7th day)

    Joel 2:31 The sun will be turned into darkness,and the moon into blood,before the great and terrible day of Yahweh comes.
    32 It will happen that whoever will call on Yahweh’s name shall be saved;for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape,as Yahweh has said, and among the remnant, those whom Yahweh calls.

    rapazoe> Clear reference to the DoL as seen here Rev.6:17 & Matt 24:29 … and the 144,000 Israelites who appear on Mt. Zion with Jesus.
    Rev.7:4 I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the children of Israel:
    Rev.14:1 I saw, and behold, the Lamb standing on Mount Zion, and with him a number, one hundred forty-four thousand, having his name, and the name of his Father, written on their foreheads.

    “Jesus taught that the saints would be raised on the last day, which would point toward the Day of the LORD rather than before the tribulation which precedes it. He also argues that the Day of the LORD in I Thessalonians 5 would overtake believers, just not in the same way it overtakes unbelievers, like a thief. The commands for believers to watch, or be in a state of watchfulness (in the Olivet Discourse as well) further drives home the point that what is being taught in the scriptures is a posttribulational parousia.”

    rapazoe> Moo, thats not what the verse says …

    I Thessalonians 5:2 For you yourselves know well that the day of the Lord comes like a thief in the night. 3 For when they are saying, “Peace and safety,” then sudden destruction will come on them, like birth pains on a pregnant woman; and they will in no way escape. 4 But you, brothers, aren’t in darkness, that the day should overtake you like a thief.

    rapazoe> But you, Believers will not be overtaken at this time because they are saved/rescued from the DoL wrath by the DoL rapture event. A “but” in a sentence signifies a reversal of thought or action.
    Unbelievers – overtaken in the DoL
    Believers – not overtaken … victorious in the DoL

    rapazoe> Moo may have been thinking of this verse:
    Rev.13:5 A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him. 6 He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed.

    rapazoe> a clear reference to the Antichrist tribulation of the saints … yes the saints will be overcome in the tribulation which is why there are so many martyrs in
    Rev.6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been killed for the Word of God, and for the testimony of the Lamb which they had. 10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, “How long, Master, the holy and true, until you judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?”

    rapazoe> somewhat confusing you say … to sort that out we need to understand more of the structure of Revelation.
    what we know
    there is a continuous sequence of events from
    Rev 6 to Rev 11
    seals – DoL – rapture – trumpets/bowls – Kingdom come (Rev.11:15)
    The end of DoL wrath is here … Rev.11:15 The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!”

    Rev.12 begins a new parallel sequence of events … events remain in order … just another view running in parallel
    This explains how we can have tribulation events showing up in Rev.12 and Rev.13
    Rev.12:17 The dragon grew angry with the woman, and went away to make war with the rest of her seed, who keep God’s commandments and hold Jesus’ testimony.
    and of course the Rev.13 beastie boys
    Rev.13:18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six.

    Rev.14 – the tables are turned so to speak
    we see same events running in parallel with what we saw in Rev.7
    144,000 rapture wrath begins wrath ends
    Rev.7:1 Rev.7:9 Rev.8 Rev.11
    Rev.14:1 Rev.14:14 Rev.15 Rev.16

    Rev.7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude, which no man could number, out of every nation and of all tribes, peoples, and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, dressed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands. 10 They cried with a loud voice, saying, “Salvation be to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

    Rev.14:14 I looked, and behold, a white cloud; and on the cloud one sitting like a son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 Another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him who sat on the cloud, “Send your sickle, and reap; for the hour to reap has come; for the harvest of the earth is ripe!” 16 He who sat on the cloud thrust his sickle on the earth, and the earth was reaped.

    also – Matthew 24:31

    rapazoe> well then what ? …
    DoL wrath … 7 angels again with 7 last plagues …
    all running in parallel with the 7 angels of wrath Rev.8 – Rev.11
    Rev. 15:1 I saw another great and marvelous sign in the sky: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them God’s wrath is finished.
    Rev.16 the final 7 angels pour their bowls to finish off the wrath of God and absolute victory on the earth
    Rev.16:17 The seventh poured out his bowl into the air. A loud voice came out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” … DoL wrath is done … victory of Jesus

    Moo> According to Moo, II Thessalonians presents many exegetical difficulties. So while attempting to interact with anticipated objections of his view, covering everything is simply not possible. He presents his view that in chapter 1 believers receive their promised rest at the glorious appearing of Christ after the tribulation.

    rapazoe> Thessalonnian church is being afflicted/tribulated.
    Paul assures them that those who afflict them now will pay the penalty of eternal destruction at the DoL. Perhaps they are also concerned that the affliction that they are experiencing now is at the hand of God and that they have entered the DoL. … because in chapter 2: Paul has to assure them that they are not in the DoL and that certain events must occur before “that day” comes as Moo states:

    Moo> Chapter 2 shows that Paul had to explain to the believers that the Day of the LORD parousia would not come until after certain tribulational events had been fulfilled, such as the appearance of the eschatological antichrist described in terms reminiscent of the antigodly king spoken of by Daniel. Chapters 1 and 2 together show a united picture that the church will not be raptured until after the reign of the antichrist.

    Moo> “Moo has a lengthy section on the Olivet Discourse, lengthy by means of comparison to the other two presentations. Here he wrestles with the ideas of things historical (ongoing throughout the church age), things preterist (fulfilled in 70AD), and things future (during the final tribulation, the Day of the LORD, and the second coming of Christ). These positions of Historicist, Preterist, and Futurist are played off the others showing that each has some valid points to bring to the conversation. Moo brings in more from a Historicist point of view than most would. But as one is reading this presentation, they begin asking, what does this have to do with the rapture? The idea that Moo is trying to get to the root of is – exactly who does the Olivet Discourse apply to, Israel or the church, or some combination of the two? With Preterism versus Futurism, it is not either/or, but both/and. Events were fulfilled in 70AD and they will be fulfilled in the future. Adding on to this, events were fulfilled for the nation of Israel in 70AD (with the destruction of the Jewish temple), and there will be events fulfilled for the church in the future at the consummation of the age. This section is difficult to sum up since Moo is bringing in very abstract concepts. It is, however, worth studying what he has to say since conversations like this simply do not happen frequently. Ultimately he concludes that the gathering of Matthew 24:31 includes the rapture and probably much more.”

    rapazoe> I would argue that the 144,000 are noted by Jesus in Rev.7 and Rev.14 … but not in the Olivet discourse which parallels similar time frame – ie: post-trib – DoL – pre-wrath. If the Olivet discourse is for Jews or nation of Israel … then why leave out this important detail? … and then … why end the prophetic train of thought with Matt.24:31 (the rapture of the church) Sufficient evidence for me that the focus of Matt.24 is all about the church and not Israel.

    Moo> After all this, Moo is finally ready to move to Revelation. Since this post is pretty long already, I’ll just cut to the chase. The letters to the seven churches warn of possible persecution and death for believers. Revelation 3:10 is akin to John 17:15 which promises spiritual protection from the hour of trial, not by being removed from the earth. He presents the idea that Revelation 11:11-12 could refer to the rapture, which would be at the end of the final tribulation, especially since the seventh trumpet depicts the end of the age.

    rapazoe> not so … the seventh trumpet in Rev.11 marks the end of the DoL wrath … not the beginning of it.
    15 The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!”
    We already know that the DoL begins after the rapture of the elect so the trumpet sound here is not announcing wrath but rather calling the elect to assembly. unto Him …
    31 He will send out his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together his chosen ones from the four winds, from one end of the sky to the other.

    Moo> (He believes the sixth seal also pictures the end of the age, as in, both the seventh trumpet and sixth seal describe the last day as parallel passages, if I’m understanding him correctly.) Revelation 14:14-16 may describe the rapture, then again, maybe not. Revelation 20:4 is where he presents a firmer case. He examines the usage of terminology throughout the book of Revelation showing that the first resurrection described here must include the church, the saints from all ages, and the tribulation martyrs. Therefore the first resurrection and rapture occur as a posttribulational event.

    rapazoe> yes the 6th seal is the end of this present age and the beginning of the new age … Day 7 …. DoL.
    Rev.20 is beyond post-trib and post-wrath … this is the DoL Kingdom come. Rev.20:4 is a reference to the elect bride of Christ who are now reigning with Jesus in the Kingdom for 1,000 years.
    so the elect are raptured, hidden for a while and then return and reign with Jesus on earth …
    Rev.20:4 I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given to them. I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus, and for the word of God, and such as didn’t worship the beast nor his image, and didn’t receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand. They lived, and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

    Moo> makes some concluding remarks which include some comments about the term imminency. Instead of the idea of “any moment”, he shows the scriptures to mean “watch for” and “eagerly wait for”.

    rapazoe> yes we are to watch out for:
    false teachings
    false Christs
    antichrist
    tribulation
    beginning of sorrows
    many things a believer can watch for

    thanks for the post Orange
    I learned a lot

    rapazoe April 2020

  6. rapazoe says:

    again … had some additional thoughts on Moo … Moove over Moo
    the rapture = feast of tabernacles …. the great final harvest festival of joy

    TOM>
    His earlier presentation has much in common with the prewrath position, so this essay needs to distinguish itself from prewrath.

    rapazoe> YES
    not surprising prewrath has much in common with post-trib because prewrath is an attempt to synthesise pre-trib and post-trib. (see parousia magazine 6th edition, where Charles Cooper explains the philosophy of pre-wrath.

    TOM>
    He treats the wrath of God as being distinct from the end times tribulation.

    rapazoe> YES
    this is the geatest contribution by pre-wrath book by Marvin Rosenthal. I can’t empasize enough how important this key idea is.
    A fundamental break from pre-trib.
    the difference is very clear in scripture
    trib of satan on God’s people
    is qualitatively and timely different from
    wrath of God on unbelievers

    TOM>
    He states that the rapture is not the means by which believers leave the earth and enter heaven, but rather it is the means by which the church (which he terms the new covenant people of God) is brought into the presence of Christ.

    rapazoe> NOT so
    rapture is the great end time harvest.
    believers are gathered UP and stand before the throne room of God – Rev7
    the great Hossanna
    the great escape
    the great hope
    After some study, I am of the opinion that the feast of tabernacles is a depiction of the rapture where we will dwell in temporary shelters for a short time. And then enter the promised land after some conflagaration at Jerhico. Joshua (Jesus) takes the lead here.

    TOM>
    Moo points out that the horror of God’s wrath in the judgment will occur after the final tribulation. … tribulation and not generically to the Day of the LORD which includes that end times wrath.

    rapazoe> YES
    good/great point Moo
    another good point – tribulation and not generically to the Day of the LORD which includes that end times wrath.
    Yes wrath is one of the events that takes place in the Day of the Lord.
    Rapture is another event that happens after the Day of the Lord begins.

    TOM>
    Moo points out that Isaiah 26:20-21 could refer to divine protection from the end times wrath while remaining here on the earth.

    rapazoe> YES
    Isa 26:20  Come, my people, enter into your rooms, and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a little moment, until the indignation is past. 
    Isa 26:21  For, behold, Yahweh comes out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth also will disclose her blood, and will no longer cover her slain. 

    Yes a temporary sheltering
    while the Lord does His wrath thing
    FEAST OF TABERNACLES

    TOM>
    Moo examines each one and finds no reason to believe that Christians will be taken to heaven. In John 14:3, he notes that the promise is not to go to heaven, but to be with the LORD when He returns.

    rapazoe>
    well heaven is a great place to hide out for a little while until the wrath on earth is done.
    then the bride of Christ returns with Him.
    remember the Alamo … no forget that
    remember the Jericho … Joshua will take care of business then the people will enter the promised land … on earth.

    TOM>
    Again, there is no specific teaching that the church will be raptured into heaven. The final passage is handled in classic posttrib style. In I Thessalonians 4:13-18 the passage is shown to picture believers rising to “meet” the LORD in the air in order to accompany Him back to earth as a sort of delegation.

    rapazoe>
    “meet the Lord in the AIR” not earth
    then what … there is NO indication in this passage that these ones taken up to heaven or will then go directly to earth.
    There is every indication that these one then appear before the throne of God “in heaven”
    just read Rev7 which occurs after Rev6
    which is the beginning of the Day of the Lord
    “day of his wrath is come”
    and
    Rev 19:1  After these things I heard something like a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Hallelujah! Salvation, power, and glory belong to our God:
    “in heaven” did you say ??? and then what ???
    Jesus returns to earth with this group in

    Jesus promised
    Joh 14:2  In my Father’s house are many homes. If it weren’t so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. 
    Joh 14:3  If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and will receive you to myself; that where I am, you may be there also. 
    A PLACE …. WHERE ??? … IN MY FATHER’S HOUSE …. THE TEMPLE IN HEAVEN !!!

    … and finally …
    Rev 19:11  I saw the heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it is called Faithful and True. In righteousness he judges and makes war. 
    Rev 19:12  His eyes are a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has names written and a name written which no one knows but he himself. 
    Rev 19:13  He is clothed in a garment sprinkled with blood. His name is called “The Word of God.” 
    Rev 19:14  The armies which are in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed in white, pure, fine linen. 

    saddle up boys & girls … yippekayahhhh

    TOM>
    Jesus taught that the saints would be raised on the last day, which would point toward the Day of the LORD rather than before the tribulation which precedes it.

    rapazoe> YES
    just like New Years eve and New Year day are intimately connected. Also the end of this age and the new Day of the Lord are connected.
    Can you find the last day in matt 24: ?

    TOM>
    Chapter 2 shows that Paul had to explain to the believers that the Day of the LORD parousia would not come until after certain tribulational events had been fulfilled, such as the appearance of the eschatological antichrist described in terms reminiscent of the antigodly king spoken of by Daniel.

    rapazoe> YES
    the false doctrine of imminency is destroyed right here in this passage. believe it !
    2Th 2:3  Let no one deceive you in any way. For it will not be, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of destruction, 
    2Th 2:4  he who opposes and exalts himself against all that is called God or that is worshiped; so that he sits as God in the temple of God, setting himself up as God. 

    Because pre-wrath fabrication is to incorporate the false doctrines of pre-trib, pre-wrath also promotes this false doctrine of imminency. ……. sooooo saddddddd

    TOM>
    Ultimately he concludes that the gathering of Matthew 24:31 includes the rapture and probably much more.

    rapazoe> YES it is the rapture
    As Dr. John MacCarthur said “the pre-trib rapture is not in the Bible” BUT the post-trib rapture is very much in the Bible ! Its right here in Matt 24:31 after the tribulation of those days.

    TOM>
    He presents the idea that Revelation 11:11-12 could refer to the rapture, which would be at the end of the final tribulation, especially since the seventh trumpet depicts the end of the age. (He believes the sixth seal also pictures the end of the age, as in, both the seventh trumpet and sixth seal describe the last day as parallel passages, if I’m understanding him correctly.)

    rapazoe> nahhhhhhh
    in Rev the 7th trumpet is blown by an angel.
    Rev 11:15  The seventh angel sounded, and great voices in heaven followed, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the Kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ. He will reign forever and ever!”
    Announcing the end of the wrath of God and the beginning of the Kingdom of God on earth.
    and not the same
    as the trumpet in 1Co 15:52 gathering up the last harvest … the rapture of believers.
    1Co 15:51  Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, 
    1Co 15:52  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 will be changed. 
    1Co 15:53  For this perishable body must become imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality. 

    rapazoe> Moo…ve a little more Moo
    Moo makes many great foundational points that refute pre-trib and pre-wrath conceptions.
    If Moo could accept that the Saints will be raptured to heaven “for a little while” post-trib would be a fair and almost accurate account.

    rapazoe – 12 Jan 21

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