A Critique of Tribulation Forces Network View on Partial Rapture

(TFN G. Stanton -pretribber- under the title of "Kept from the Hour")
http://www.tribulationforces.com/gstanton/chapter8.shtml 

 

 

By Troy Brooks

 

Note: this is a first draft, I have not had time to fix grammar and spelling, but I assure you it is very revealing, and if you are still a pre-tribber, or a post-tribber for that matter or a holder of any other end-time view, then you are certainly stuck in your ways, since partial rapture answers all accusations and contentions and reveals the errors of all these different man-centered views. Do not believe the wide path common view of pretribulation rapture only for you will see why in an ever increasingly deeper way as you plunge through this response.

 

TFN says, As one has well said: “Partial rapturists expect to be taken up in ‘bunches,’ but I have never met one yet who did not expect to be taken up in the first ‘bunch.’”

My Response - Watchman Nee had the answers

Check my humility. I am a partial rapture believer and I still don't know if I have received a white stone (Rev. 2.17) to be 1st raptured. That is what makes partial rapture so powerful, is that God does not tell most of us if we will be first raptured. It is left up to God, purely God's grace. If I go through the Tribulation it is because I was not ready to be received. I accept this handling of God. I am still saved though and even have time to overcome in the Tribulation, even unto martyrdom, even unto reigning during the millennium. I am even satisfied that if I am still not ready at the 7th trumpet rapture that that I received the blessed maturing process that will occur in "outer darkness" outside the reign of the millennial kingdom. But after that I know that I will in the new city. I strive now today for the reward of the millennial recompense to reign with Christ for 1000 years. I am very motivated to allow God to deliver me from sin, self, supernatural through God's redemptive design.

 

TFN writes - Weaker brethren, who are not actively waiting for Christ, or who, because of the manner of their lives, are not counted as overcomers, will be forced to go through part or all of its purifying fires. 

 

My Response - Weaker brethren is not the right word to use. Carnal or soulish Christians is a more appropriate term. For it is the weaker brother who overcomes in Christ. Some of the most of overcoming of Christians are the weakest. There flesh is very weak. But they overcome and all they do is in the spirit is for the Lord. They do not go through fires for "outer darkness" has no fire associated to it.

TFN writes - The partial rapture theory conditions the privilege of rapture upon human works, and as such is a co-mingling of legalism with grace. It must never be forgotten that salvation stems from the death of Christ, the merits of which are applied to the sinner by God’s grace and not in answer to human works or supposed worthiness (Eph. 2:8, 9). Moreover, the Christian is to live under the same grace principle: “Sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace” (Rom. 6:14). The grace of God not only “bringeth salvation,” but also teaches us to “live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world” (Titus 2:11, 12). Grace, not fear of the Tribulation, is the motive and the power for right conduct. Paul writes the Galatians: “Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?” (Gal. 3:3).

My Response - There is no co-mingling of legalism with grace, for God would have us do works that are well pleasing to Him, but here the meaning of works is misunderstood. Works means doing those abiding things in Christ that God has set for a believer to be led by the Holy Spirit to do. In order to walk in the spirit and do God's will, that believer must allow the redemptive design to work accepting substitutory death and co-death (identification). Now, this is a work in Christ purely by the grace of God and His good pleasure. How could this ever be a co-mingling of legalism? Watchman Nee says about this, "Others object that rapture is part of redemption, that since redemption is according to grace, rapture cannot be based on the concept of worthiness. In reply, it needs to be pointed out that while the act of changing (see 1 Cor. 15.51-52) is indeed according to grace, the act of being taken (rapture) is according to works" (King and the Kingdom of Heaven, CFP).

First by grace do receive in our spirit His movements to know His leading to then do God's works, and we are first received to heaven according to our readiness based on those works. I find that it is very profitable to realize that the term works viewed from the secular world perspective or even within the confines of Christendom misjudges that word, works, as we see here. We need to be careful not to use such arguments. We do not live by works, but by the spirit. 1st rapture is not about initial salvation, for we are already initially saved. Under partial rapture we do not fear the Tribulation but we seek the hope of 1st rapture which is begun by God for the commencement of His parousia. For these Christians that are foolish and still remain in the flesh, well, then will they need to be put through not only the cleansing of the Tribulation, but if still not overcome, even by martyrdom, then "outer darkness" will complete that fulfillment in the body of Christ. As we can see then, TFN has made a misjudgment of tying initial salvation to 1st rapture, when there is no basis for it since it is a matter of readiness to be received to the throne giving believers newly clothed spiritual bodies, raptured alive, never having to see Hades. This is the promise to the last generation who keep the Word of His patience (Rev. 3.10) to be kept from the Hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world (Luke 21.36). What wonderful hope and promise.

TFN writes - Underlying the entire life in grace is the fact that the Christian possesses no merit in himself, nothing at all which might possibly fit him for the presence of God. Nor is such merit necessary, for the work of Christ on Calvary is a finished redemption (John 17:4; 19:30), sufficient to make even His enemies a new creation, unblamable in His sight (II Cor. 5:17; Col. 1:20-22). Even the present continuation of salvation depends, not on us, but on His resurrection life (Rom. 5:10), while its consummation likewise rests upon Christ’s work rather than upon man’s faithfulness (Phil. 3:20, 21). The salvation spoken of in I Thessalonians 5:9, 10 is a future deliverance, referring to the believer’s change and translation at the Lord’s coming.

My Response - Man's salvation and grace of God rests solely on God, and 7th trumpet resurrection also rests upon Christ's work rather than upon man's faithfulness, but 1st rapture and martyrdom is the work of the Saints that abide in the grace of God's movements in their lives are a matter of overcoming in Christ, and with that comes the rewards of reigning during the millennial kingdom (Rev. 20.4). Just as an Enoch and Elijah were raptured alive for their overcoming, never having gone down to Hades, so to is the 1st rapture of those who escape the Tribulation by being prayerful and watchful and ready. These are the firstfruits. Later, there is the harvest of at the 7th trumpet.

 TFN writes - Adding human responsibility to the grace principle in any aspect of salvation borders dangerously upon the Galatian heresy of attempting to live under law, while in reality, having entered into life by grace alone. The last chapter of the story of salvation is to be written by the pen of unmerited grace, as truly as the first. When Jesus comes to save us out of this world, and to save our bodies from their present condition, it will not be because of His grace and our merit; nor, the grace of God and our faithfulness; nor the grace of God and our watchfulness. It is pure, unmixed grace that brought salvation in the past (Titus 2:11), and it is the same unmixed, unmerited grace that will bring salvation in the future (I Peter 1:5, 13).[2]

My Response - Why is TFN accusing partial rapture of adding responsibility to the grace principle, in any aspect of salvation, when partial rapture has not done so? Partial rapture does not believe responsibility is adding to the grace principle. It is wrong to misrepresent another's belief based on a wrong thought to oneself and to others, falsely accusing on that basis. There is serious error here. As Christians we ought to be responsible. But how being responsible interferes with grace, is unclear, nor is it delineated by TFN. One could actually say that TFN is not speaking up for responsibility, but downplaying its import in a life in Christ, definitely a wrong teaching in so doing. There is only the proclamation, a vain empty statements have no merit. Is it not dangerous to falsely accuse one of doing something one is not doing, like mixing responsibility of the believer with God's grace? Where will the grace of God be for a person who falsely accuses in this fashion? What is such person concealing?

What kind of work is this to falsely accuse in this fashion? Is this not dangerous to do? For they are not accusing with the truth, but with an untruth. I find it unholy and sinful the statement by TFN accusing, "attempting to live under the law". To falsely accuse on this basis is like the Pharisees who do the same thing. I could imagine today groups accusing brethren of living under the law when they are not. Is it not more likely that those very accusers themselves are living under a legalism of a Scripture saying that the whole church will be raptured at 1st rapture with no consideration for the distinction of the promise set forth in Luke 21.36 and Rev. 3.10 so that Christians would remain sophomoric and dull? Titus 2.11 says "For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people". This is initial salvation. Again, it seems as though TFN is mixing salvation itself with rapture unto readiness. 1 Peter 1.5,13 are fulfilled at the 7th trumpet. But in order to escape that Hour of trial, we need to be accounted worthy (Luke 21.36) and keep the Word of His patience (Rev. 3.10). Do all Christians do this? No. Of course they do not. Therefore, their rapture will come after. This is a very special principle of the hope of the church.

TFN writes - But if translation depends upon spiritual maturity, on readiness, or upon “watching,” it then becomes necessary to ask: Just how ready must the believer be? What degree of spiritual maturity will God require? What degree of perfection must the believer attain before he is assured a place in the rapture? Must his watching be an eager expectancy or merely a general attitude of heart? Needless to say, these questions are not answered by the proponents of this theory.

My Response - God already outlines what those conditions are in Matthew 5 to 7 and it is God's decision, so let us not analyze inordinately God, but continue to abide in Him and allow Him to guide our lives allowing the identifying work of co-death, and work to that end, taking up our cross in daily experience (having power over sin) and bearing our cross (forsaking the world) in living with Christ, Christ in us and living for Christ in victorious life. The Word of God is complete. God did not leave anything out for that would be unrighteous of Him. So the Word of God is all there before us to understand and allow to work in us, and in so doing we overcome in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. It is God's ultimate decision, not ours. It is by the grace of God also that He will receive believers and rapture them alive at 1st rapture for they had kept the Word of His patience and remained watchful, walking after the spirit, and not livingly soulishly.
 

TFN writes - In fact, one is made to wonder who shall enter heaven at all when Christ comes for His own, for, on the basis of Philippians 3, Pember writes that Paul, “devoted as he was to his Master ... had as yet no absolute certainty of attaining to the First Resurrection.”[4] His aim was to be numbered with those blessed and holy ones who shall have part in the First Resurrection (Rev. xx.6). But we must note, that he had, at the time, no certain assurance that he would compass the desire of his heart.... Just before his death, however, it was graciously revealed to him that he was one of the approved.... But, at the time when he was writing to the Philippians, he could not speak with such confidence.[5] If spiritual maturity be the condition of translation at the rapture of the saints, and if the Apostle Paul himself had “no certain assurance” of attaining to the first resurrection, who then will be worthy?

 

My Response - Paul was not talking about his rapture for all Christians are raptured. What Paul is hoping for is the 1st resurrection, which is a "best" "out-of" resurrection from the conglomerate of resurrections during the Tribulation in order to be rewarded with reigning during the millennial kingdom. By definition, this also includes those that are alive at 1st rapture, matured, ready to be received for they need not go through the time of testing, since they can no longer be hurt by the second death. Therefore, they may escape the Tribulation for they are ready then to be received unto heaven before the throne of Jesus Christ. Watchman Nee explains this matter of the 1st resurrection, "Since the dead will not go through the Great Tribulation, would it not be unfair to the living for them to go through it? Will not the righteous God be unjust in this regard? In response, let me say that we do need to be concerned; for during the millennium each and every believer (including all believers who died prior to the Great Tribulation) will receive, as a consequence of appearing before Christ’s judgment seat, the things done in the body while alive, according to what he has done whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5.10)." When we look at the definition of those in the 1st resurrection (20.4), how can we possibly say that all Christians are the 1st resurrection? We simply can not say this, for those of the 1st resurrection are those that sit on thrones, and the martyred of the past twenty centuries and during the Tribulation. Paul looks for the 1st resurrection, not the rapture. And the 1st resurrection comes out of all resurrections and raptures of the Tribulation, the last week, the consummation of this age, which is brought on by Christ's parousia which lasts seven years first on a cloud, then on the mount of olives in Person. To be accounted worthy is not a simple task. First Paul was not sure of his worthiness, yet he hoped for it, but now he knows for sure as pointed about by TFN. So as hard as such worthiness is, it is nevertheless attainable, and God's decision.

 

TFN writes - All those who hold the partial rapture theory assume that they are among the “ready,”[6] but if rapture is so conditioned upon personal merit, who else would dare make such a claim? Is it not more desirable, and far more Scriptural, to rest solely upon the grace and the goodness of God for a place in the host of translated saints, rather than on the doubtful merit of human faithfulness? Marsh relates the following experience: Some years since, I was talking with our beloved and esteemed brother, Dr. Neatby, about the subject before us, and I asked him, “Doctor, do you expect to be saved from the great tribulation on the ground of your personal holiness, moral fitness, or watchfulness?” He replied in his characteristic way, “I am quite sure that if I am saved from the great tribulation by virtue of any personal fitness, I shall go through it.” Yes, and so says every one who knows anything of his own unworthiness, and his own unfitness as seen in the light of the holiness of God. Grace, grace, grace, and grace alone must be the basis of our being in the glory with Christ.

 

My Response - Most partial rapture believers hold no assumption whether they will be 1st raptured as pre-tribbers do. But the aim is to be received, the same hope Paul had to be in the first resurrection which would include those at 1st rapture also. Partial rapture believers have the hope if they are ready to be received. If TFN is going to examine partial rapture fairly they need to harbor these mistaken assumptions about what a partial rapture believer believes about partial rapture. It makes the pre-tribber over assuming. What is the most common characteristic of a pre-tribber? It is that they over assume so much. Is it not more desirable, and far more Scriptural, to rest solely upon the grace and the goodness of God so that we may abide in God's works for a place in the host of translated overcoming saints to reign with Christ for a thousand years as a matter of reward, rather than on the doubtful assumption one will be raptured at 1st rapture irrespective of the believers condition? Does not God increase faith to abide in His works? To say "doubtful merit of human faithfulness" as the reason not to believe that God is looking for our readiness as it relates to the fullness of the gentiles to come in would seem to suggest that God is not the giver of faith. Why does TFN downgrade that very faith that God gives believers to overcome in him, and degrade it to human faithfulness when it is not? Watchman Nee talks about the two righteousnesses,

 

    "“And they washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the lamb” (7.14b). “Robes” is in plural number, and these robes signify righteousnesses, even the righteousnesses of the  saints. They do not refer to the Lord Jesus Christ as our righteousness. Indeed, the robe (singular) is righteousness (Is. 61.10), and it is the Lord himself (Jer. 23.6), for Christ is our righteousness (1 Cor. 1.30). We are clothed with Him as we come before God. But this righteousness has no need to be cleansed by the blood.

Hence we have two robes: the one we are clothed with when we are saved, by which we stand before God; the other is our own righteousness – even our victories – in which we may stand before Christ. The white garments spoken of in Revelation 3.18 require a price, whereas redemption is that which need not be bought.

No Christian will be judged and condemned before God (John 5.24); but no Christian will be exempt from having to stand and be judged before the judgment seat of Christ according to what he has done (2 Cor. 5.10).

Believers’ robes are washed clean, yet not because of the great tribulation but because of the blood of the Lamb.

The very fact that the robes of the saints are washed in the blood of the Lamb shows how they once were defiled on earth yet they have followed the instruction of 1 John 1.9, and thus they are cleansed.

 

God is in fact saying to us, I want to receive all who are alive when the Tribulation starts, but because not everyone is ready, I can not receive everyone. I can only receive those who are ready, and when they are ready, and when the fullness of the gentile living overcomers has come in in a single generation, then I will commence 1st rapture. Pray that you may be accounted worthy.

 

Most who truly know their own condition must admit they will go through the Tribulation, but they also have the hope of being raptured at 1st rapture if they are ready. How promising God is to us that we may escape the Hour of Trial (Luke 21.36, Rev. 3.10); even some may know that they have received the white stone, an sit on thrones, just as Paul said he finally knew. How wonderful is this prize, that so few attain. To give you an indication of the kind of odds we are dealing with here, read this.

 

TFN writes - It is commendable that the adherents of the partial-rapture theory do stress holy living, and it is most certainly true that the expectation of Christ’s return is a purifying hope (I John 3:3), but this in no wise warrants mingling human works with divine grace as the grounds of resurrection privilege. None were more carnal than the Corinthian Christians, but they were, none-the-less, part of the temple of God (I Cor. 3:16; 6:19). To them, Paul wrote of the coming of Christ: “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed” (I Cor. 15:51). Had the words of the Gospel song been written in their day, the Corinthian believers would surely have joined in singing:

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Thro’ many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;

‘Tis grace hath bro’t me safe thus far,
and grace will lead me home.
 

My Response - When you read this comment, you get the sense that even grace can be used as a source of pride, for it assumes that God will not put His faith in believers to act and do His will in life which is a work that pleases Him. How we can falsely accuse others of a work that is not in God when it really is by grace. To falsely accuse God's will in a believers life as a mingling of human works with divine grace is wrong. It has the sense of denigrating the good things we do in His name having been so lead to do something for Him. TFN continues to reject the belief that we may escape the Hour of trial, that Hour which is to come upon the whole world in spite of the clear promise of Luke 21.36 and Rev. 3.10. 1 Cor. 15.51 does not speak of the timing of the rapture, only the fact of the raptures. Watchman Nee writes, "Since in 1 Cor. 15:50-52 (“We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed”) “all” is the word used, surely this signifies the whole body. Yes, the “all” here does indeed refer to the entire body, but it does not have reference to the same time. For example, we all will die, but certainly not all of us will do so in one day".

 

How sinful is it in man to accuse another believer of not having the grace of God in believing it is necessary for being ready to be received into heaven at 1st rapture? Can it be a source of pride to mistakenly accuse another on this basis not emphasizing God's desire to overcome in Him? Generation resurrection is the grace of God, but 1st rapture which is included in the general multiple resurrection, is on the basis of works, and overcoming in Christ, a glorious promise that we may escape the Hour of trial of the Tribulation.

 

When a believer prides over you false grace and sings songs in your face to suggest you do not have such grace in your belief, you know there is a problem in their belief, in this case pre-tribulation rapture onlyism. Pre-tribulation rapture onlyism does not address the promise to escape the Hour of the trial and being kept out of it for keeping the Word of His patience. Not all Christians do this. And that is the sin of TFN, assuming that all Christians do. This problem goes unreconciled by TFN followers. TFN next, tries to deal with this very issue, but let us see how they fail in their self-work based effort of explanation.

 

TFN writes - But it must be emphatically denied that the privilege of translation is in itself a reward for godly living. According to II Corinthians 5:10, the time of reward is not at the translation of the saints, but when they stand before what is generally knows as the Bema Seat of Christ. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” In that day, the believer’s works must stand the test of fire (I Cor. 3:13), not the test of translation. It is highly significant, also, that among the rewards which are promised believers there are five crowns: the crown of life (Rev. 2:10; James 1:12), the crown of rejoicing (I Thess. 2:19; Phil. 4:1), the incorruptible crown (I Cor. 9:25), the crown of glory (I Peter 5:4), and the crown of righteousness (II Tim. 4:8). Paul wrote concerning this last crown:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.

My Response - 2Cr 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things [done] in [his] body, according to that he hath done, whether [it be] good or bad. According to 2 Cor. 5.10, this verse says reward comes after judgment seat, but being ready to received into heaven is not a matter of reward, but readiness. Reigning is a matter of reward and rewards are done away with after the millennium, but being received into heaven when one is ready is based on maturity, whether willingly ready or God forcing his hand of readiness in completing His parousia. It must emphatically be denied that God will receive us to heaven at the commencement of His parousia when we are still lying on a bed of fornication or holding mistaken assumptions in our heart that the whole church is going to be raptured at 1st rapture. How blessed is God's will that He is bringing together the contentious views of onlyism camps such as pre-tribbers and post-tribbers and saying to us that rapture is about readiness, not about onlyism. This is very similar to KJV onlyism. It takes the attention off of what is important and then using it as a source of pride to hold over others saying to them that they are not receiving the grace of God, when it is they themselves who do the accusing all the while they are proclaiming their great proclamation of being raptured at 1st rapture before the 7th trumpet has even been blown near the end of the Tribulation. While post-tribulation believers take away the hope of the church to escape the Hour of trial, pretribulation believers overassume already being rapture before the 7th trumpet is blown.

 

Therefore, we see that the mistake is clear of TFN, that what they are confusing rewards of the millennial kingdom with the matter of readiness which will work in themselves not to be ready. They speak in name of readiness, but they deny its application to the promise of Luke 21.36. This is the excuse they use.

 

But Watchman Nee states, regarding Rev. 2.10, "“And I will give thee the crown of life” – What a precious promise, what a blessed hope is this (James 1.12). What is promised here is not just life, but the crown of life is obtained by being faithful. (“staying faithful”). “Crown” speaks of glory, reigning with the Lord in the kingdom of the heavens. (“with the highest of rewards”). 2.11 “He that hath an ear to hear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churches” – This has already been explained. “He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death” – How clear is the promise to the overcomer told: positively, obtaining the crown of life; negatively, not to be hurt of the second death".

 

See how the rewards are related to the kingdom, and not related to rapture, since all resurrections are the grace of God, even the 7th trumpet resurrection. Certain men living at the time of 1st rapture will be ready to be received because they are overcomers in Christ, matured and they need not go down to Hades, but many others will. If Great Tribulation has martyrs in Christ who are included in the 1st resurrection, then why would God not also accept men before the throne based on their readiness? The Christians that go through the Tribulation were not ready, but quickly man of them may be made ready, even as martyrs for Christ. Praise the Lord!

 

TFN writes - Other crowns designated for those who have served well and suffered much for Christ, but the crown of righteousness is especially designated as the reward for those who have loved His appearing. Partial-rapturists are entirely right in anticipating rewards for the virtues the enumerate, but in the clear light of Scripture they are entirely wrong in saying that the privilege of translation is itself that reward. God has designated how and when He will reward His saints, and it seems advisable not to tamper with that program.

 

My Response - Partial rapture believers do not say that the rewards of the millennium are the rewards of the 1st rapture. Rather, partial rapture believers say the readiness at 1st rapture to the throne is rewarded with reigning during the millennium. First rapture is not about privilege as to suggest some elitism, but it is a being maturity that brings a believer before the throne because they are simply now ready to be received. It is never thought of as a privilege but a fact of God's dealing which initiates the war in heaven. If it is a privilege dare say some may make the mistake of overassuming they will be first raptured like a pre-tribber does and that leads to pride. But in humility if one says God will rapture me if I am ready, then that is true faith. A pre-tribber must learn to stop accuser true believers of partial rapture of false things. It shows the pride or willingness not to overcome in Christ. God has designated how and when He will reward His saints, and How he will receive believers to the throne and to the air and to alter this so that everyone is raptured before the 7 trumpets are blown is a pride and overassuming position that we must all reject for it will have consequences. For example, when someone says they are a believer and they will be raptured before the throne before the Tribulation with no basis except that he is a Christian, then that person can live slothfully for the rest of his life with no worries. But that is not what the Word of God says, and that person will be very surprised and unprepared to refuse the mark when he necessarily must find himself in the Tribulation. And that is the deception of pretribulation onlyism. Such is a tampering with the program to live sophomoric lives, even unsaved ones.

 

TFN writes - A partial rapture implies a partial resurrection. In considering the merits of the partial-rapture viewpoint, some attention must be given to the many generations of Christians whose bodies sleep in death. According to the Bible, at the rapture the dead in Christ rise first; living believers are then translated and together they meet the Lord in the air. (I Thess. 4:16, 17). But, if the rapture experience is selective for those who live, it would seem that justice and equity must demand that the resurrection of believers from the dead be selective also. Not all of these were, in life, counted among the overcomers, nor did they all cultivate the upward look. If the lives of the living are to be surveyed to determine who shall be purged by fiery Tribulation and who shall enter with joy into the presence of the Lord, then there must be among the dead some selection made to determine who shall merit prior resurrection.

 

Such, however, is not the case, for Paul writes plainly that “we shall all be changed,” when “the dead shall be raised incorruptible” (I Cor. 15:51, 52). All those which “sleep in Jesus” will God bring with Him (I Thess. 4:14). The only qualification for these who are to rise first is that they be “in Christ” (I Thess. 4:16). Since, then, it is futile to argue that only a choice group from among the Christian dead will be in the rapture, is it any the less futile to argue that the contrasting group of living believers who will be caught up will be a small, select company chosen on the basis of their works? God does not deal capriciously with His people. The only designation for either group is that they be “in Christ.”

 

My Response - And God will choose those whom He will resurrect and when. Based on my study and prayer, those resurrected at 1st rapture are the living overcomers, however few there may be. Also included with be the martyrs from the past 20 centuries and the firstfruits virgins closest to the Lord from the past 20 centuries. It gets more complicated than that to explain, but suffice it to say, this is the method of God's reception at 1st rapture.

 

Restating Nee's words, "1 Thessalonians 4.16-17 Do not these verses speak of rapture? Obviously they do, yet they do not specify what time. They deal with the fact of rapture, not with the time of rapture. Thus, they can not be used to prove pre-tribulation rapture. I Corinthians 15.23, say some, only mentions “they that are Christ’s” and that nothing is said about works. But let us be aware that this verse does not speak of rapture, it speaks of resurrection. Since in 1 Cor. 15:50-52 (“We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed”) “all” is the word used, surely this signifies the whole body. Yes, the “all” here does indeed refer to the entire body, but it does not have reference to the same time. For example, we all will die, but certainly not all of us will do so in one day".

 

Therefore we can conclude it is futile to argue against God desiring our readiness to be received to heaven. God does not deal capriciously with His people and receive those unto Him before they have been ripened. God will never work this way despite those who want to live sophomoric lives to the contrary. To overassume as pre-tribbers are so apt to do, should see here that "in Christ" is referring to those at the 7th trumpet in the 1 Thess. 4.15-17 when you combine 1 Cor. 15.50-52 with 1 Thess. 4.15-17.

 

Watchman Nee confirms this when he says " 1 Corinthians 15.50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17. The first passage dwells on resurrection and change; the second deals with resurrection and rapture. These two are parallel passages. All students of the Bible agree that the events in both passages happen at the same time. Is there any intimation as to the actual time for these events? Indeed, there is. “At the last trump” indicates that the time must be after the Tribulation. The first school of interpretation insists that the blowing of the last trumpet occurs before the Tribulation, but its adherents have not a single Scripture verse to support their view. The last trumpet is sounded after the Tribulation; it is the last of the seven trumpets mentioned in the book of Revelation. How absurd it would be if after the last trumpet had been sounded there would still remain seven more trumpets to be heard! It would be like having had the last son born, only to be followed by seven more sons. Someone contends that the “trump”” here is the trump of the church, not that of the Tribulation. Where, then, is there recorded in the Scriptures anything said about the first trump of the church? Still others say that Paul merely borrows from the Roman military custom, that as soon as the last trumpet is blown the entire army marches away. Yet the Scriptures have not adopted this Roman military practice. This “trump”” is the trump of God, not of the church. Without a doubt it is the last of the seven trumpets cited in the book of Revelation. Furthermore, according to Revelation 10.7, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God is finished - which mystery is the church. "

 

TFN writes - There are other problems involved. As it has been seen, the partial-rapture theory teaches that many of God’s people must pass through the fires of the Great Tribulation to purge their dross and make them fit for the presence of Christ. This is exactly the same, in principle, as the Roman doctrine of purgatory, except that this “protestant purgatory” would be on earth, and before death. Allis comments on this point:

The doctrine of a partial rapture practically necessitates the acceptance of the Romish doctrine of purgatory. For it must be admitted that many Christians have died, to all appearances, in the imperfect state which we are told will characterize those who at the rapture are left on earth to be purified by the great tribulation. So, unless it is to be held that in the very article of death they have or will have endured purifying or chastening sufferings equivalent to those which will be endured by those who are left behind at the time of the rapture, the argument that these latter need to pass through the tribulation falls to the ground, unless the doctrine of purgatory is accepted. There is no warrant for such teachings. The dying thief was in all probability a very imperfect and a very ignorant believer. But the Lord said to him, “Today thou shalt be with me in paradise.”

 

My Response - Confusing purgatory with "outer darkness" or the time of testing during the Tribulation is not the same because purgatory says there is a salvation after death when was not saved in the flesh. But that is not what partial rapture says. Partial rapture says that unless you are saved before you leave body, you will not be saved after. Therefore these doctrines are not the same. For some reason the pre-tribber can't see this. But that is the purpose of this document, to show them. There is no RCC purgatory, and no Protestant purgatory. Such terms are not applicable to the Bible, but the term "outer darkness" is.

 

Partial rapture does not purify the dead in the Great Tribulation. That is nonsensical, since they are already dead. What they are purified by is being burnt by the second death, the lake of fire, and remaining outside the reign in the millennial kingdom without the rewards. The combination of these two effects are the consequences of remaining a fleshly Christian. The Great Tribulation takes place on earth. Outer darkness takes place outside the realm of reigning. Therefore, purgatory is a false concept, and a partial rapture believer should never be accused of such a thing since the partial rapture believer does not believe it. Those who so accuse in this fashion are really showing their ignorance. Such an argument is unwarranted. The thief was a fleshly Christian who will see the Lord this day.  This means that in Hades he would wait in a state of timelessness for resurrection and it would be in all sense this day that he would be raptured for the time he spent in Hades waiting for resurrection is a state of unchanging. Not until that thief is resurrected at the 7th trumpet will he realize he will be judged on the judgment seat and then be cast into outer darkness outside the reigning in the millennium of God's overcomers.

 

Those that had not overcome in Christ and had passed through the Tribulation then to subsequently be overcomers by allowing their martyrdom by the grace of God, they would therefore, also then be overcoming. And that is exactly what we see in Rev. 20.4 which includes the martyrs in the Tribulation as overcomers also. Faith even unto death is the warning that should be heeded in Rev. 2.10 "be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life".

 

It is absolutely necessary that there be an "outer darkness" because its purpose is to deal with those who chose to remain fleshly Christians. This is not dealt with any other way. Many in Christendom just shut their mind down to this matter and remove it from their consciousness so they don't have to deal with it, as we see TFN members are trying to do in rejecting outer darkness and trying to degrade it to an untruth which is purgatory. There is no warrant for such an approach for it makes pre-tribbers look foolish. Now we can see how the thief is dealt with by God at judgment seat and outer darkness before he enters the new city after the millennium. Such answers are simply not afforded by pre-tribbers overassuming nature.

 

TFN writes - Since “watching” is said to be one of the main requirements for early rapture, what then of the many Christians who have never been taught to look for Christ’s appearing? As Waugh remarks:

There have been long periods when the Maranatha watchword was scarcely ever mentioned in the churches. There are multitudes of Christians in the world today who have never been taught on the subject, and who know next to nothing about it. Others have only heard it ridiculed or caricatured by ignorance, and the idea of this being the true hope of the Church has never once occurred to them. Will their loving Lord punish their ignorance, and any unwatchful or worldly spirit to which it may lead, in such a special manner as this? Is this the only inconsistency that will exclude Christians from the blessedness of the Rapture, and expose them to the awful perils of “the great tribulation” that will follow it? I have not so learned Christ or His word.[11]

The partial-rapture theory is contrary to I Thessalonians 4:13-18, the primary passage on the rapture of the Church, in a number of particulars. Paul does not say that those who are to be caught up will be “we who are watching,” or “we who are overcomers,” but “we which are alive and remain” – clearly designating the whole body of living believers. So also, it is not the “dead who watched” that arise first, but the entire body of “dead in Christ,” Nor do the living saints, even those of “spiritual maturity,” have any precedence over the dead in Christ. Even more important, this is a message of encouragement and comfort (v. 18), whereas, if the majority of the Church were in dread danger of entering the Tribulation, the apostle might better have written, “Wherefore warn one another with these words.” Indeed, rather than being a message of comfort, the news of Christ’s return would be to the majority of the Church a message of alarm. Far better to be dead at His coming and enter immediately into the presence of the Lord, unless it be admitted that the resurrection of the dead is partial also. But such a view, as it has been seen, cannot be tolerated.

 

My Response - There should not be put forth the argument that because many believers are not watchful that therefore to be watchful is not important for 1st rapture. The very Word of God throughout tells us to be watchful so that any believer that says He is not made aware of this as an excuse is blaming God. Watchful entails making oneself ready for God and doing His good works that He leads them to do. Being watchful encompasses all that includes keeping the Word of His patience (Rev. 3.10). What a strange excuse it is to say a person was not told about watching matter. Are we so shallow that we would stoop to this excuse? Being watchful is in every chapter of the Bible so to make the claim that it has not existed in centuries past is a legalism. Watchman Nee states "Some observers ask, is it not rather cruel to take away hope from the church? To which we must answer that in the Scriptures there is no such false hope given; and therefore it is better to alert people to this fact." TFN needs to stop making lame excuses for the church and to itself to keep them and itself in a carnal state and in the kindergarden stage. Nor is it even true that churches have never heard of such a thing since the churches do read the Bible and being watchful is in every chapter of the Bible. For that is why they are Christians in the first place to come out of the world and into truth and in that truth is overcoming, a being watchful. The hope of the church is the new city the reward is the reigning in the millennial kingdom. Rev. 20.4 says they shall reign for 1000 years.

 

Once the gospel is preached, the matter of overcoming should be preached. A carnal church that stays in the kindergarden stage of faith will get exactly what it deserves. Here is where we see the only inconsistency in this discussion, the inconsistency of making excuses for the church is unholy and not of God. So why do pre-tribbers do it? The only explanation is to maintain that sophomoric state. Watchman Nee writes, "Since the dead will not go through the Great Tribulation, would it not be unfair to the living for them to go through it? Will not the righteous God be unjust in this regard? In response, let me say that we do need to be concerned; for during the millennium each and every believer (including all believers who died prior to the Great Tribulation) will receive, as a consequence of appearing before Christ’s judgment seat, the things done in the body while alive, according to what he has done whether it be good or bad (2 Cor. 5.10)". Waugh therefore, has not heard of these things in the Word of God, but that is between Waugh and God dealing with Waugh why he kept himself independent from God on this matter. What we can say is that many who think they are saved are not, and many who think they are overcomers are not. But that is God's decision not ours. We though, in Christ, should not fret over those hostile to God, but know that in their not preserving the Word of God is the same as adding to it and taking away from it.

 

Watchman Nee again answers TFN's concern on all particulars, "Some argue that according to I Thessalonians 4.15, the living “shall in no wise precede them who are fallen asleep” -The dead are resurrected at the seventh trumpet; and so time wise, rapture occurs after the Tribulation. Now if there is a first rapture, it will have to take place before the resurrection of the dead. But since this verse distinctly says “shall in no wise,” how then can rapture take place twice? Let me say in reply that it is most precious and significant to find in both verse 15 and verse 17 the qualifying clauses “we that are alive, that are left” - Now to be alive is obviously to be left on earth; why, then, is there this apparent unnecessary repetition? Because it implies that there are people who though alive yet have already gone ahead (that is, raptured ) and therefore are no longer left on earth. Would Paul enlist himself among this class of people who are alive and are left? Not at all. He uses the word “we” only because he is speaking at that moment of writing, and the proof of this is that since Paul no longer lives today, he cannot be numbered among those who are left on earth. Our summary conclusion to all this is that the third school of interpretation seems to be the correct one - that is to say, that one group of believers will be raptured before the Tribulation while another group of believers will go through the Tribulation and be raptured afterwards."

 

We can see,  therefore, it should not be tolerated the inordinate emphasis and hostility to martyrdom with Christ in pre-tribbers. They will all be so surprised when they find themselves in the Tribulation. In fact they won't even know it since they overassumed they would be raptured having nothing to do with overcoming, since overcoming is of no matter to them as the promise of Rev. 3.10. The comfort of the 7th trumpet resurrection fulfils God's exact purpose at the consummation of this age. Indeed, there is warning in Luke 21.36 and Rev. 3.10, but in 1 Thess. 4 Paul is talking about the comfort of the 7th trumpet resurrection as we see it in relation to 1 Cor .15.50-52. Such a concern God has for the martyred in Christ that at 1st rapture He raptures the martyred from the past 20 centuries at 1st rapture and as they are martyred through the Tribulation. This is a most loving and gracious act of God, and there should not be massive fear put in our hearts as the TFN tries to impose for what is the wonderful message of Rev. 2.10, be thou faithful unto death. Hypothetical rewriting of text indicates the author does not appreciate Paul's emphasis in 1 Thess. 4 on comfort, and not on warning. We simply can not accept these approaches by pre-tribbers as we have seen. If the Bible warns the whole church in Rev. 3.10 and Luke 21.36 then we should accept this and ask our pre-tribber contenders to relax their position and accept such warning is necessarily given by God as well as the comfort of 1 Thess. 4.15-17, and the hope of Luke 21.36, Rev. 3.10. Why they continue to never address such keeping from the Hour of trial we can not force their hand, but we can keep asking why they never deal with this issue of escaping these things which are to come upon the whole world (The Tribulation) if they keep the Word of His patience. IF, is the key word here.

 

TFN writes - A partial rapture discredits the vital Pauline doctrine of the unity of the body of Christ. Since the Scriptures are so explicit at this point (Eph. 2:14-3:6; 4:1-6, 12-16; Col. 3:11, 15, etc.), here is an objection of no mean proportions. Yet it is true that if only certain believers are caught up, while some go through part of the Tribulation and others are not raised until the end, or even until the Great White Throne, the important truth of the body of Christ as an organic unity is set aside. It is said that Pember was forced by the very logic of his position to claim that the body of Christ was not the whole Church at all, but just those who were surrendered to God.

 

My Response - Watchman Nee states, "Some people say that the rapture of the church cannot be divided because the body of Christ cannot be divided. It should be noted in reply, however, that the body is a figure of speech which signifies one life, If the body is taken literally, then there is already division today because the Lord is now in heaven, Paul has already died, we remain living on earth, and some believers are yet to be born." Hence, the Pauline doctrine is maintained. This objection is of mean proportions. Actually it is in character with the overassuming nature. By now you get the impression from reading all these comments by TFN is that there is a closed mindedness, tunnel vision, and that is exactly in line with the overassuming nature they exhibit. It is very shallow, not very deep thinking. The organic unity is maintained through the parousia of Christ and the mystery of the church age. Pember was not forced by such statements at all, though I am sure many pre-tribbers wished dearly to hold onto their beliefs that they would overassumingly be raptured at 1st rapture. Let us not be shallow and superficial overassumers.

 

TFN writes - The Scriptures set forth the vital relationships which the true Church sustains to the Lord Jesus Christ in seven metaphors, or comparisons, which illustrate the dependence of believers upon their Saviour and their vital union with Him.[12]

(1) Christ is the Shepherd, and we are the sheep of His pasture (John 10:1-18).

(2) Christ is the Vine; we are the branches, joined to the vine and expected to bear fruit (John 15:1-8).

(3) We are stones in the building of God, of which Christ is the Chief Cornerstone (Matt. 16:18; Eph. 2:19-22; I Pet. 2:5; Heb. 3:6).

(4) Christ is our High Priest, and we are a kingdom of priests engaged in the services of sacrifice (Rom. 12:1), worship (Heb. 13:15), and intercession (I Tim. 2:1; Heb. 10:19-22; I Pet. 2:5-9).

(5) Christ is the Last Adam, and we are the new creation (I Cor. 15:22, 45; II Cor. 5:17; Eph. 2:10, 15).

(6) Christ is the Bridegroom, and we are His bride (Rom. 7:4; II Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:25-33; Rev. 19:7, 8).

(7) Christ is the Head, and we are the members of the “body of Christ” (I Cor. 12:13; 12:27; Eph. 5:30; Col. 1:18).

These relationships (it hardly needs to be added) are true of every believer in Christ, and are theirs, not by virtue of good works, but solely because of the infinite goodness and the sovereign grace of God. Any theory which discredits one or more of these relationships finds itself in the position of disputing the Word of God.

 

My Response - If we are expected to bear fruit then pretribbers that think that the promise to escape the Hour of trial has nothing to do with 1st rapture will not receive that promise since they believe bearing fruit by the grace of God is independent of God rapturing those who are ready to be received to heaven at the commencement of parousia. TFN has confused the wife in Rev. 19 with the bride in Eph. They are not the same. The former is unto the marriage feast to reign during the millennium while the later is the church itself. Many reasons are stated for this which can be discussed at length later (see Watchman Nee's, Come, Lord Jesus, CFP). It is ironic that the one discrediting these principles is pre-tribbers and TFN since they place no emphasis on the overcoming life in Christ of bearing fruit, service, sacrifice as condition for being ready to be received to heaven. This can never be considered God's way of dealing for if a believer is lead by God to do something and that believer refuses and actually lies on a bed of fornication, then God will have further dealing with that believer. God will take that believer and not only put him through the Tribulation if he lived during that last generation and/or God will give him a good burning lesson in the lake of fire and will for the millennium also be without the rewards of reigning. May I say being accused of such things comes across as prideful from TFN and that is a character trait that is very much married to overassuming for there is a lack of humility in overassuming and the opposite of humility is pride. That is the common conclusion in assessing a pre-tribber.

 

TFN writes - According to John 14:1-3, Christ has gone to prepare a place for us, for it is His will that “where I am, there ye may be also.” When these words were first spoken, Christ had just finished rebuking Peter, foretelling his defection (John 13:36-38), yet there was no hint given that Peter might be excluded from the rapture privilege. According to I Corinthians 12:12, 13, all Christians are members of one body through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. According to Ephesians 5:25-27, Christ shall present to Himself a glorious Church, without spot or wrinkle or blemish. He sanctifies and cleanses it by the washing of the water of the Word, not by fiery trial and Tribulation. From Ephesians 2:4-7, it is seen that, positionally, the Church is already sitting together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus with a standing before God as perfect as though its members had never sinned. These key verses all indicate that there will be no rending of the body of Christ when He comes for His own. Revelation 19:7-9 and 21:9 reveal the bride of Christ, the Lamb’s wife, arrayed in the fine linen of God’s righteousness, joined to Christ at the marriage supper of the Lamb.

My Response - There is an infinite number of arguments from silence, so we need not sink so low in our reasoning to resort to such stratagems saying the Bible should say this and should say that here and there if this were true and that were true. That is a form of mindless reasoning that we should all do without since the Word of God is pure, perfect, and complete. Let us not play God as overassuming pretribbers. The resurrection is being referred to here unto heaven, not the details of resurrection seen in Revelation of the birthing of the man-child and a resurrection (Rev. 7.9) before Tribulation (Matthew 24.37,40-41) and one seen at the last trumpet (1 Cor. 15.50-52, 1 Thess. 4.15-17, Rev. 11.15). TFN has made a grave mistaken assumption that somehow there is a rending of the body of Christ, but know such rending exists since if it were true then the body of Christ would already be rent, well stated by Watchman Nee above. Notice the bride in Rev. 19.7-9 is invited which does not include all Christians to reign during the millennium just like the 5 wise virgins (but by 21.9 she is in the new city). Watchman Nee explains those in the 1st resurrections (which includes some from 1st rapture):

 

"19.7 Who is this “wife” of the Lamb? It cannot be the church for the following reasons:
1) The great multitude spoken of in 19.1 includes the saved among the children of Israel as well as from among the nations. The church is definitely included. Since it is the great multitude who proclaims the words found in 19.7, the church must therefore be included among those who make such a proclamation and hence the wife must point to someone else.
2) In the parable of the ten virgins (Matt. 25.1-3), only the five wise virgins (and therefore not all who are in the church, for notice that all ten are virgins) are privileged to attend the marriage feast.
3) This wife of the Lamb is different from the bride in Paul’s epistles. For she whom Paul speaks of is clothed with Christ, whereas the wife here is clothed with her own righteousness. In Paul’s epistles the church as a whole is viewed as the bride of Christ. In Revelations, the church is considered according to her components, therefore the responsibility of the church before God is stressed. In Paul’s epistles the church is accepted in Christ, but in Revelations the church is accepted in her works. In Paul’s epistles the church in totality belongs to Christ, while in Revelations she is divided into the saved and the overcomers.
This wife of the Lamb is none other than the New Jerusalem (21.9,10).
God is now in His holy temple, so that the voices of praise from the great multitude come also from the temple. During the millennial kingdom the overcomers shall be kings in the city and priests in the temple. But the temple shall gradually lose its prominence until it totally disappears, for God and the Lamb will be the temple of the New Jerusalem in the new heaven and new earth.
Of the church, some (for example, the five wise virgins) will attend the marriage feast, while some (for example, the five foolish virgins) will not be able to attend the marriage feast.
19.8 The wife of the Lamb, as we have seen from the above discussion, signifies the New Jerusalem. “It was given to her” are words to indicate reward. “Bright” is due to the whiteness of the fine linen. This is in direct contrast to the clothing of the great harlot (17.4). “Pure” here is in perfect agreement with the word “pure” in 19.14.
“For the fine linen is the righteousness of the saints” (Darby)-The word “righteousness” is the same as is found in Isaiah 64: “our righteousness” (v.6).
These saints will soon be inhabitants of the city of New Jerusalem. The duration of time as a bride is limited, but as a wife it is from start to finish. So, too, is this the case with New Jerusalem. During the millennial kingdom, New Jerusalem is the bride of the Lamb. And in the new heaven and new earth New Jerusalem will be the wife of the Lamb.
Christians are divided into the saved and the overcomers. Only the overcoming believers are related to the new city during the millennial kingdom. In the new heaven and new earth, both the saved and the overcomers partake equally in the New Jerusalem.
The wedding gown is worn only for a time; the believers who overcome are joined together as the bride.
At the marriage of the Lamb it looks as though the door of New Jerusalem is opened for the first time to let in the overcomers. The five foolish virgins are not able to enter at this time.
19.9 This verse shows us explicitly that some people are invited, and blessed are those who are invited to the marriage. This city is the bride of the Lamb, and those who enjoy the glory and the beauty of the city are the invited ones who have the righteousness of the saints. (It is also true that these righteousnesses constitute the very glory and beauty of their city.)
“These are true words of God”-This is repeated twice more in 21.5 and 22.6. It is used to call our special attention to what has just been said. Some may regard the invitation to the marriage of the Lamb as insignificant, though as a matter of fact only those who are so invited have any share in the kingdom. All who are not invited to the marriage have no part in the kingdom. Only the believers who overcome are entitled to participate in the marriage feast. This seems to agree with Revelations 3.20 wherein the thought of supping with the Lord is also present."

 

TFN writes - A partial rapture can hardly be made to fit the joy and the dignity of that glad day, but comes perilously close to offering to the Lord Jesus Christ a dismembered body and a partial bride.  Surely the bride of Christ, born of the Spirit, washed in precious blood, made perfect by His righteousness, and espoused to Christ as a pure virgin, needs not to be plunged into earth’s worst hour as the preliminary of her wedding feast and hour of greatest glory!  None, in themselves, are worthy of salvation, or rapture, or a place in the body and bride of Christ, but in Him, all who believe have been made worthy.  Even as we are caught up, “we shall all be changed,” all earthly dross being purged away as we behold His face in righteousness.  Weak and sinful in this life, but in the ages to come, put on display before all the universe as a trophy of “the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus (Eph. 2:7).
 

My Response - As we have seen, there is no dismembering and no partial bride since the pride is complete with overcomers and rewards of reigning. Pretribbers are just getting carried away with their overassuming nature taking away the rewards for the church. The bride is that which comes out of the Tribulation and the past centuries. The bride are the overcomers of the church who put on their righteousness abiding the Word of God and receiving His grace. Pretribbers are so fearful of fantasizing their escape from Tribulation they don't realize that escape from Tribulation can never be achieved this way. It must done through overcoming (Rev. 3.10). If the 1st resurrection includes the martyrs from the Tribulation who refuse the mark, then the church should accept going through Tribulation. The Bible strictly says in Luke 21.36, not all are accounted worthy to escape the Tribulation since not all are prayerful and watchful. It is overassuming to say as TFN says that all are worthy. There is no richness for many are unsaved preaching that they will be pre-tribulation raptured only to be in the Tribulation taking the mark, not thinking it was the mark of the beast since they assumed they could have never gone through the Tribulation. It is a copout, a legality. At any rate we can see the issue of a pretribber, they are so fearful of God's plan to have the church go through Tribulation that pretribbers themselves stay carnal and fleshly and that is exactly what the evil spirit wants. There is a lack of co-death in pretribbers, and there is the lack of hope of escaping Tribulation based on a false concept, a fantasy that the whole church will be raptured. Yet we already know the church goes through the Tribulation. Watchman Nee says, "  The Bible has sufficient evidence to prove that the church passes through the Great Tribulation. The following are some of the evidences.

A. 2 Thessalonians 2.1-9. Please read this passage very carefully. Verse 1 gives the topic of this passage - namely, the coming of Christ and rapture. Since the rapture spoken of here is a being gathered in the air, there is already a hint as to its being after tribulation. In verse 2, the word “spirit” signifies another spirit, not the Holy Spirit; the term “word” means rumor; “us” refers to Paul, Silvanus and Timothy; and “the day of the Lord” is the day of the coming of Christ and rapture. In those days there were people who deluded the Thessalonian believers by saying that the day of the Lord had already come and that they had been left behind. Yet verse 3 shows that this day will not arrive until after the following two signs: (1) that before rapture, there will appear the man of sin, the son of perdition, who is the Antichrist; and (2) that there will first come the falling away, which is apostasy, When will the man of sin be revealed? It will naturally be at the Great Tribulation, So that rapture will be after this Tribulation. At least part of the church must go through the Great Tribulation.

B. 1 Corinthians 15.50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17. The first passage dwells on resurrection and change; the second deals with resurrection and rapture. These two are parallel passages. All students of the Bible agree that the events in both passages happen at the same time. Is there any intimation as to the actual time for these events? Indeed, there is. “At the last trump” indicates that the time must be after the Tribulation. The first school of interpretation insists that the blowing of the last trumpet occurs before the Tribulation, but its adherents have not a single Scripture verse to support their view. The last trumpet is sounded after the Tribulation; it is the last of the seven trumpets mentioned in the book of Revelation. How absurd it would be if after the last trumpet had been sounded there would still remain seven more trumpets to be heard! It would be like having had the last son born, only to be followed by seven more sons. Someone contends that the “trump”” here is the trump of the church, not that of the Tribulation. Where, then, is there recorded in the Scriptures anything said about the first trump of the church? Still others say that Paul merely borrows from the Roman military custom, that as soon as the last trumpet is blown the entire army marches away. Yet the Scriptures have not adopted this Roman military practice. This “trump”” is the trump of God, not of the church. Without a doubt it is the last of the seven trumpets cited in the book of Revelation. Furthermore, according to Revelation 10.7, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God is finished - which mystery is the church.

C. Other evidences are these:

(1) Matthew 24.3, 13.40, 28.20: “the end of the world” - The word “world” is aion in Greek, which means “age” - that is to say, the end of this age. Chronologically, the Great Tribulation falls in this age. If rapture is to occur before the Tribulation, there will be a gap of three years and a half.

(2) 1 Corinthians 15.25; cf. Acts 2.35: “till he hath put all his enemies under his feet, - This is factual after the Tribulation.

(3) 1 Timothy 6.14: “that thou keep the commandment, without spot, without reproach, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ”- The appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ will occur after the Tribulation, If He is to come to the air before the Tribulation, would there be any need for waiting, watching, and keeping?

 

Indeed, we are watchful and prayerful to avoid the Tribulation and because we love the Lord and the Spirit of truth. But we are not so watchful if we are pretribbers since that easy believism not having to be waiting, watchful and keeping, and I suppose that is what is so appealing about pre-tribulation rapture onlyism. The downfall which is potentially a sign of unsalvation.

 

TFN writes - Partial-rapturists accommodate Scriptures to suit their theory. Although the sincerity of their Scripture interpretations is not questioned, many of the verses appealed to must be unnaturally forced before they can be made to support their viewpoint.

Matthew 24:42 gives the command: “Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” Similar is the exhortation of Luke 21:36: “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass.” Comparable is the parable of Mark 13:34-37. But the primary reference in these passages is not to the Church at all, but to Israel in the Tribulation (Matt. 24:29-30). Christian watchfulness is based on verses such as I Thessalonians 5:6 and Titus 2:13, and these say nothing about being accounted worthy to escape.

 

My Response - Pre-tribbers accommodate Scripture to suit their theory. Forcing a pre-tribulation rapture is unnatural to support their view, priding themselves over Jews in the process is independence from God (too proud for my tastes), but we must go one step further and it is believed the reason their conscience is not reached on this matter is because a large, a very large percentage of those who say they are believers are really those in Matthew 7.21 who shall lose rewards or are in fact fakes in Christendom (unregenerated). That is what the Holy Spirit has revealed in the Word of God.

 

Now we are getting into the meatier issues, at the core of the pretribber sin, and we shall see some things that are even more disturbing than that the laziness of pre-tribbers not remaining in grace, and choosing a life of self-grace. Let's see how exactly pre-tribbers contort the Scriptures making these verses for Jews only and not for Christians. 1 Thess. 5.6 is a watching also though not detailed. Same applies to Tit. 2.13. So such an argument from silence is wrong. Now lets look at the most troubling sins of pretribbers. Matthew 24.29-30 relates to Israel, but is certainly of Christ's return with and for the church. The Bible is written for Christians not Judaism. Even in the OT, The Bible was not written to Judaism, but the Hebrews of God who were chosen because God first revealed Himself in them, just as the church is chosen because God chooses those who believe. Luke 21.36 is for Christians. Now lets examine closely how pretribbers sinfully pride over Jews with their false belief of pre-tribulation onlyism rending the Scriptures rent, no longer a book for Christians, but a converted book twisted into judaized Christianity.

 

Watchman Nee writes "This first school has not only no scriptural evidence but bases too much of its arguments merely on assumptions. For such a weighty problem like rapture, it should certainly not be decided on mere assumptions. Its assumptions are as follows.

A. Revelation 1-3 speaks of the church. After chapter 3 the church is no longer mentioned, so that she must have already been raptured by the time of chapter 4ff. (in the kingdom age, all will be righteousness and majesty; there will not be the patience of Christ). If chapters 1-3 refer to this age, chapters 4-19 will be the time of the Great Tribulation, in which the church has no part. This kind of argument is called the argument from silence. However, we cannot say that from chapters 4 through 19 the church is never touched upon. Even though the word “church” is not used, many other descriptions employed do indeed fit the church, such as “didst purchase unto God with thy blood men of every tribe, and tongue, and people, and nation” (5.10), “the saints” (17.6), and “the armies which are in heaven” (19.14). Unquestionably the word “church” is not used, but who can say that those in view in the above examples do not belong to the church? Furthermore, “the things which must shortly come to pass” (including the Great Tribulation) are shown to “his servants” (22.6), and “these things” (including the Great Tribulation) are testified “for the churches” (22.16). These things will not be written if they are not relevant to the church and to the believers.

B. After the church is raptured, there will still be very many on earth who shall be saved. These are the saints who come out of the Great Tribulation (see Rev. 7.9-17). They are saved during the Great Tribulation. There is a weakness in such assumptions by this first school which it must recognize; otherwise its adherents will be unable to round out their theory. Let us understand, however, that the “great multitude, which no man could number” (7.9) must exceed the number of 200 millions (“twice ten thousand times ten thousand”) which is the biggest among many numbers cited in the book of Revelation (9.16). Taking today’s population at about 2 billions (That is, in the early 1930’s; but the world population for 1976 was estimated at about 4.3 billions - Translator), there will still be 1.5 billions after one fourth are killed (Rev. 6.8). Such a numberless multitude who “come out of the great tribulation” mentioned in the Revelation 7 passage must therefore have reference to those overcoming saints who come out of the great tribulation experienced by all believers throughout the twenty centuries of church history.

C. Before the Great Tribulation, the Holy Spirit returns to heaven. Since the church is with the Holy Spirit, it may be assumed that the whole church is raptured before the Great Tribulation. The basis for this assumption is 2 Thessalonians 2.6-7 where the phrase “one that restraineth” is made to refer to the Holy Spirit. Yet “one that restraineth” cannot be the Holy Spirit, for the subsequent clause - “until he be taken out of the way”- is not the proper terminology to be used in speaking about the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Trinity has many different names, such as the Spirit, the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of revelation, etc; and the word “Spirit” is usually present - and even though in one instance the word “Comforter” is used alone, yet from the next clause which follows (“even the Spirit of truth”) it is evident that this has clear reference to the Holy Spirit (John 14.16-17). Never do the Scriptures say the Holy Spirit is “he that restrains”; moreover, how can the Holy Spirit be said to “be taken out of the way”? Furthermore, where does the Bible announce that the Holy Spirit is absent during the Great Tribulation? And how can there be the so-called believers of the Great Tribulation if the Holy Spirit is not present? For no one is saved without the Holy Spirit, He who is born of the Spirit is spirit. Moreover, this matter of the Holy Spirit’s presence during the Great Tribulation is clearly shown in Revelation 5: “and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth” (v.6). The time of the Great Tribulation is the time of the latter rain (see Acts 2.15-21, Joel 2.28-31). The prophecy of Joel was not completely fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. For on that day there were no “wonders in the heaven and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke”; nor was “the sun . . . turned into darkness, and the moon into blood” (Joel 2.30-31). All of these five wonders will be fulfilled around and in the time of the Great Tribulation: blood (first trumpet), fire (first and second trumpets), smoke (fifth trumpet), sun and moon (sixth seal ) . Pentecost is only a miniature, a foretaste. Peter does not say: “It is fulfilled”; he merely says that “this is that” (Acts 2.16). As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit is going to do greater work during the time of the Great Tribulation. If there will not be the Holy Spirit present, how can the saints ever endure during the Great Tribulation?

D. The disciples in the four Gospels are Jews. It is to them, that is to say, to the Jews, that the Lord exhorts to watch and pray. Since we Christians will be raptured anyway, there is no need for us to be exhorted to watch and pray. We go to the Epistles for our inspiration. However, the disciples are Christians, and they too are in the church. Are not the disciples called Christians (Acts 11.26; cf. Matt. 28.19)?

E. Adherents of this first school of interpretation do not regard much of the four Gospels and the Acts as written for Gentile believers. C. I. Scofield, for example, maintained that the so-called Sermon on the Mount is exclusively for the Jews. They forget, though, the words in Matthew 28.20 (“teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you” ) and in John 14.26 (“and bring to your remembrance all that I said unto you”). They base all their teachings on the words of the apostle Paul, whereas they should remember what Paul himself said in Colossians 3: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly” (v.16).

F. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world...; and then shall the end come” (Matt. 24.14). They suggest that the gospel of the kingdom is different from the gospel of grace and that the gospel of the kingdom is only preached during the time when the Lord was on earth and immediately before the Great Tribulation. Since we are saved by the gospel of grace, it is their contention that the gospel of grace need not be preached to the whole world before we are raptured. Thus, the gospel of the kingdom will only be preached again ten or twenty years before the Tribulation. Yet the gospel of the kingdom is the gospel of the kingdom of God, and the gospel of grace is the gospel of the grace of God. According to Acts 20.24-25, “the gospel of the grace of God” spoken of in verse 24 is none other than “the preaching” of “the kingdom” mentioned in verse 25. Also, please note from Acts 1 that the Lord after His resurrection spoke to the disciples “the things concerning the kingdom of God” (v.3).

G. They view the work of Christ on earth as fulfilling the ministry towards the circumcised, thus showing a definite Jewish background; and therefore whatever is commanded in the Gospels is not for us Christians but is for the Jews. Let me say in response, however, that the dispensation of Grace also begins with Christ. Please read the following passages: (1) Matthew 11.13-14 and Luke 16.16 - where the phrase “from that time” in Luke means from the time of Christ; (2) Acts 10.36-37 and 13.25-27 - where we see that “the word of this salvation” (13.26) begins to be preached at the time of John the Baptist; (3) Mark 1.1-15 and John 1.1-15 - from which we learn that “the gospel of Jesus Christ” (Mark 1.1 ) commences with John the Baptist; (4) Luke 4.17-21 - which verses describe the gospel of grace in a number of ways and concludes by recording the Lord Jesus as saying: “Today hath this scripture been fulfilled” (v.21); (5) John 4.23 - wherein the phrase “and now is” indicates that during the dispensation of Grace those who worship God worship Him in spirit and truth (whereas under the dispensation of Law, men apprehended God in the flesh and according to rituals); and (6) John 5.24-25 - which verses tell us that what is included in the phrase “and now is” is the gospel of grace.
 

 

Watchman Nee writes, "As we have come to see, the first school lacks scriptural evidences while the second school, though it possesses many proofs, nevertheless has many errors too. What, then, does the Bible actually teach? Let us consider the following observations.


A. Revelation 3.10 “The hour of trial, that hour which is to come upon the whole world” - This is the Great Tribulation. This verse tells us that a certain class of people may escape the Great Tribulation, even those who keep the word of the patience of Christ. Instantly it tears apart the arguments of the second school of interpretation as well as those of the first. Although Philadelphia represents the true church in the dispensation of Grace, it is nonetheless only one of the seven local churches in Asia at that time. Thus it shows that only a relatively small number of people (one seventh) may be raptured before the Tribulation. Furthermore, pre-tribulation rapture is not based purely on our being born again as children of God, but is dependent on one other condition, which is, our keeping the word of the patience of Christ. Do all believers today keep the word of the patience of Christ? Obviously not. It is therefore evident that not the whole body of believers will be raptured before the Tribulation. The second school contends, however, that this passage of Scripture does not refer to pre-tribulation rapture, for it speaks of keeping - that God will “keep” them safely through the Great Tribulation: just as, for example, when an entire house is caught on fire, one room may be left untouched; or for example, when the land of Egypt came under the plague, the land of Goshen where the children of Israel dwelt in Egypt went unscathed (see Ex. 9.26, 10.23 ) . Such an explanation is erroneous because (1) the “keeping” in view here is not a keeping through but a keeping from. In the Greek text, after the word “keep” in this verse there is the word ek which means “out of’ (as in the word ekklesia which means “the called out ones”). Here, therefore, ek signifies a being kept out of the Tribulation. And (2) “Because thou didst keep the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of trial” (3.l0a) - As we have seen, the trial which is to come upon the whole world is the Great Tribulation; but notice that it is not a keeping from the trial but a keeping from the hour of the trial, In order to be kept out of the hour of trial, we must leave the world. There are only two ways for God to keep us out: death and rapture. And hence part of the living will be raptured before the Tribulation.

B. Luke 21.36 also proves that not the entire church but only a part of it will be raptured before the Tribulation. The accounts of Luke 21 and Matthew 24 are quite alike, except that Matthew stresses more the coming of Christ and the Tribulation while Luke focuses more on the destruction of Jerusalem and the Tribulation. Hence there is the famous question asked in Matthew (24.3), and there are also more parables recorded in Matthew’s account than in Luke’s. In 70 A.D. Jerusalem experienced a terrible destruction, and at the end she will experience a great tribulation. The record in Luke can be outlined as follows: 2 1.8-9 - the things before the end; 10-19 - believers will suffer; 20-28 - how Jerusalem will be destroyed (verse 28 seems to suggest that the saints will all pass through the Tribulation); 29-33 - a parable guaranteeing the certainty of these things to come; and 34-36 - Were it not for this passage, it might be inferred that the whole body of believers would surely be raptured after the Tribulation: yet verse 34 has a change in tone from the preceding verses, verse 35 shows that the things mentioned earlier concern the whole inhabited world, and verse 36 presents the condition for escaping the Great Tribulation - which is to watch and pray. How are believers to escape all these coming things and to stand before the Son of man? Naturally by being raptured. Death is not a blessing: we do not pray and expect death. The condition here for rapture is to watch and pray. Hence here, not all the regenerated may be raptured. Pray always. What to pray for? Pray that we may escape all these things which shall come to pass. “That ye may prevail” (or, “ye may be accounted worthy” AV), It is not a question of grace, but rather a matter of worthiness. How about worthiness? God cannot receive you to the place where you have no desire to go. Some people may consider heaven as too tasteless a place in which to live as may be indicated by these words: “Lest haply your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life” (v.34), If a balloon is tied, it cannot ascend. In sum, Luke 21.36 shatters the arguments of both the first and second schools of interpretation. The second school may still raise other arguments, such as (1) that rapture is not dependent on conduct - yet in reply it should be asked whether anyone thinks a carnal believer lying on a bed of fornication will be raptured? Or (2) that the phrase “all these things” does not refer to the Great Tribulation but to the surfeiting, drunkenness, and cares of this life cited in verse 34. In reply, it should be noted that verse 36 reads, “all these things that shall come to pass - whereas “surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life” pertain to the things which are present now. And therefore, “watch ye” means to not be deceived by such activities.

C. Other proofs as follows:

(1) By reading Matthew 24.42 together with 1 Thessalonians 5.2, 4, it is evident that there are at least two raptures: for note that the first passage suggests rapture before the Tribulation because one must be watchful since he does not know when his Lord will come; while the second passage suggests rapture after the Tribulation because one knows when the day of the Lord shall come.

(2) The places to be raptured towards are also different. Whereas Revelation 7.15 mentions to “the throne of God” and Luke 21.36 mentions “to stand before the Son of man”, 1 Thessalonians 4.17 says that it is to “the air” – Such distinctions would thus indicate that the entire body of believers is not raptured all at one time.

(3) Mark 13 states, “But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (v.32), So that the day of the coming of Christ is unknown. But 1 Thessalonians 4 declares that “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (v.16). From this second passage we know that the appearing of Christ is after the sounding of the seventh trumpet. And hence the first passage re-lates to pre-tribulation rapture while the second relates to post-tribulation rapture.
 

TFN writes - 1 Corinthians 15:23 – “Every man in his own order” – has been used to bolster their position. However, although τάγμα, “order,” means a band, as of soldiers, and implies that there will be a certain “order of succession”[13] in the resurrection of all the righteous dead since Adam, there is no hint here that the Church will form more than one of those “bands.” The resurrection of the Church will be one of the successive stages which make up the total resurrection of the righteous (see pp. 240-241). The resurrection of Christ secures that of His people, even as the “firstfruits” are the guarantee of the completed harvest, but this does not intimate that the Church herself will be divided.

Hebrew 9:28: “. . . unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation,” has also been made to condition rapture upon “looking for Christ.” The writer is speaking of three appearings of Christ on behalf of the saints. In this instance, instead of using the term “believer,” or “church,” he utilizes a descriptive phrase for the whole body of Christ which reflects the normal, natural attitude of God’s people, distinguishing them from those who have not appropriate the benefits of the first coming. There is no thought here of a second group of believers, those who “do not look for Him.” It is true that many will be ashamed at His coming (I John 2:28) and will lose the crown of righteousness, but being “ashamed” does not mean that they will be left behind when the others are caught up. Likewise, no one is bidden, in Philippians 3:20, to look for the Saviour. It is said that Christians do look, for such an attitude is the normal sequel to conversion, in spite of the fact that many do not attain unto it.

 

My Response - Heb. 9.28 is a general verse. It is not being used for partial rapture, though I can see why TFN is trying to bring this up because they love to disprove watchful is unto readiness. I don't think we have to go over everything again which shows amply  that there are "bands" of the trumpets. The church is not divided, but the rapture is. The proper succession is the firstfruits and then later the harvest of Revelation 14. Watchman Nee states, "There is a distinction made in the Bible between wheat and tares, some say, but no difference made between wheat and wheat; consequently, all wheat must be raptured. In reply, it should be noted that the times of ripening for wheat are not the same. Thus there are the firstfruits and the later harvest. "Some people say that the rapture of the church cannot be divided because the body of Christ cannot be divided. It should be noted in reply, however, that the body is a figure of speech which signifies one life, If the body is taken literally, then there is already division today because the Lord is now in heaven, Paul has already died, we remain living on earth, and some believers are yet to be born.  The resurrection of the church will be one of the successive stages which make up the total resurrection of the righteous. It is ironic that the pre-tribbers do not realize they are dividing the church by being so presumptuous and overassuming with no regard for their conscience in so doing as they created argument in the church in their wide path contending with post-tribbers. Only Partial Rapture brings together pre+post and that is the true spiritual blessing of Rev. 1.3 of seeing clearly that dissension. Especially seeing God's plan that we may escape the Hour of Trial (Rev. 3.10, Luke 21.36).

 

When Christ come again (Heb. 9.28) he will not come with the authority of the cross to defeat sin. He will come with authority to reign for a 1000 years in Person and then more after that. Christ died once forever. He never has to do it again. The cross defeats sin completely. That is why Heb. 9.28 says "without sin unto salvation". Sin will completely be dealt with through Tribulation and the lake of fire for non-overcomers who will yet be burnt by it to burn off the dross, and the preparing of them in outer darkness. Praise the Lord. The cross has truly done its work already.

 

Those who do not keep their crowns are simply not ready to be received to heaven before the throne at 1st rapture. God can bring no one into heaven before the throne until he appointed time. What is being allowed here by pre-tribbers is the suggestion a person can live as evilly as they want and still be saved and still be raptured at 1st rapture. How deceitful is man's thoughts to himself. In not attaining unto God His desire for the condition of that believer, God will wait as the martyred from previous generations (Rev. 6.11) are told not until the rest of your brethren are martyred (just like in Rev. 20.4). This indicates to us they had to go through the Tribulation because they had not yet overcome in Christ and that this protracted persecution indicates at least the two raptures, one at 1st rapture and the 7th trumpet resurrection/rapture. We must therefore conclude, that it is quite abnormal and pretentious, not a Godly trait at all, to presume his rapture at 1st rapture. Rapture at 1st rapture is dependant on the believer being watchful and reading keeping the Word of His patience (Rev. 3.10, Luke 21.36) and that is exactly the case as we see the martyrs under the alter raptured by (Rev. 7.9, Matt. 24.37,40-41) before the Tribulation starts and also the church raptured at the 7th trumpet (Rev. 11.15, 1 Thess. 4.15-17, 1 Cor. 15.50-52).

 

TFN writes - Philippians 3:11: “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead,” has been made to imply that even Paul expressed some doubts as to his right to a place in the rapture. The answer to this proposal lies in the context. Paul has been reviewing his past life as Saul, the enemy of the early church and persecutor of Jesus Christ. Now he states his highest spiritual aspirations as the servant of Christ, but in words which reflect true humility in the light of his former unworthiness, and also the urgent need of self-watchfulness lest he stumble and be disapproved (I Cor. 9:27). Again, it needs to be asked, “If Paul was not sure of his place in the resurrection, who then can be?” Yet Pember writes of this heavenly calling:

Paul unmistakably affirms that these high privileges are a prize and not a gift, and are accessible only by the gate of the First Resurrection – a gate through which, after all his sacrifices and labours and sufferings for Christ, he was not yet absolutely sure that he would be permitted to pass.

 

My Response - How we should all be overcomers in Christ, and yet how difficult is the task of being truly made ready for Christ to be received at 1st rapture to escape the Hour of trial that is come upon the whole world. Few will know they have the white stone. Few will site on thrones. By my estimations these are about what the numbers come out to be.

 

The new city is not big enough and God knows it. He foreknew the pretribbers lame excuses for not overcoming and readiness. There is just not enough room for all those who believe they think they are going to be 1st raptured pridefully. Therefore we may conclude that many of these are not saved. What they have been teaching, and even admitting that the 1st resurrection (includes some from 1st rapture) is difficult given Paul's own contemplating, they still yet refuse to accept such escaping the Hour of trial as a matter of readiness. I would suggest their flesh is not so concerned for readiness, since so little emphasis is placed on it, and that lack of emphasis is seem in no better place than rejecting the escaping of the Tribulation to come because God accounts us worthy to be received and not have to go through the time of testing, since there is nothing to test, as the overcomers can no longer be hurt by the second death (Rev. 20.6). But if you are a pretribber and everyone gets to escape despite Rev. 3.10 and Luke 21.36 saying to the contrary, what are you really doing? You creating a sinful setup scenario and sin will beget sin or slothfulness will beget slothfulness. That is Satan's purpose of the onlyism positions.

 

Paul has worked for this prize and now he may be accounted worthy to be in the 1st resurrection, for now he knows. If Paul were alive at the time of the coming 1st rapture, surely he would be raptured alive because he would have been ready to be received. For it is not dependant on the man to know, but God to decide, so don't be a pretribber and try to control the situation, but accept God's decision and go after the prize and allow the grace of God to work in your life with the gifts He bestows upon you. But you have to use those gifts to reach the prize, a prize of reigning with Christ for 1000 years during the millennium. In this sense it is a privilege. But it is about readiness, not privilege. Don't seek a privilege, seek a readiness. For as soon as you are ready, and it is first rapture, God will receive you to heaven. But if you are not ready, He will not.

 

A Response to a TFN member:

Phi 3:10  that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable to His death;
Phi 3:11  if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.
Phi 3:12  Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect, but I am pressing on, if I may lay hold of that for which I also was taken hold of by Christ Jesus.
Phi 3:13  My brothers, I do not count myself to have taken possession, but one thing I do, forgetting the things behind and reaching forward to the things before,

Can you show me biblical proof that paul says its the best out of that get raptured first...i have read and re-read the Bible so many times i have lost count....and not anywhere have i read those words

Read in context that is speaking of Christs ressurection and the attainment of Grace from it...nothing to do with the rapture that i can see...i will look at your other referances in like one moment


There is nothing to do with rapture. But now try to understand this.

Since Paul is not talking of rapture, but the out resurrection I can't prove it from these verses alone, but I can claim that it makes no sense to have a 1st best out resurrection (Rev. 20.4) out of the conglomerate of resurrection whereby those that are not in the first resurrection would be raptured at 1st rapture and not those of the 1st resurrection. That would be oddballish. And that would be the opposite of God's desire to receive those to heaven who are ready, not those who are not yet ready in commencing His parousia who still need to go through the time of testing. The basic idea being conveyed is that Paul is not talking about general resurrection (whether 1st rapture or 7th trumpet rapture), but an out of that general resurrection to be in the best 1st resurrection with no stipulation of when that might occur. For example in 1 Thess. 4.15 Paul says "we" only because he is speaking at the time, but the proof is he is no longer alive so he was not expecting to be "alive" and "left" at the end of the Tribulation to be resurrected. Surely himself knowing now that he is in the 1st resurrection, that if he had been alive at 1st rapture he would have been raptured alive because he was ready to be received, he could no longer be hurt by the second death, and need not go through the time of testing since there was nothing to test him on.


QUOTE
Luk 20:34  And answering, Jesus said to them, The sons of this world marry and are given in marriage,
Luk 20:35  but they who shall be counted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage.
Luk 20:36  Nor can they die any more, for they are equal to the angels, and are the sons of God, being the sons of the resurrection.

agin this says nothing about a partial ressurection

uk 14:14  and you shall be blessed, for they cannot repay you; for you shall be repaid at the resurrection of the just.

yes this deals with the ressurrection of the just now to me that sounds like at the rapturenothing you have given so far mentions or specifies in anyway a partial ressurection


Ya, this talks about the reigning in the millennium. The purpose originally of all of this was responding to TFN's comment that if Paul could not know if he belonged of the 1st resurrection, then how could we know? Nevertheless the fact remains that Paul did know and some of us will and some of us won't know who will reign during the millennium until that time comes. That is how all this got started. 1st resurrection = Saints Most High since Adam, martyrs past 20 centuries, martyrs in Trib. (these three groups are those that reign during the millennium).

You want proof now that a 1st rapture of the living and resurrected martyrs do indeed get raptured at 1st rapture that sets off the war in heaven. You can refer make to Rev. 3.10 and Luke 21.36 of the hope of escaping the Tribulation that is to come upon the whole world, and we may be kept from that Hour of Trial by keeping the word of His patience. Those who keep so watchful, prayerful and making themselves ready by abiding in the grace of God, then they will be 1st raptured if they are alive at that time.

TFN was attempting to disprove partial rapture by way of saying that who could know such a thing of who would be worthy, but indeed even some will know and be passed that white stone of knowing. Paul knew albeit until later on, he nevertheless knew. How can we know? That time will come when it comes if we continue in the Word diligently.

Also to prove to you that there is a 1st rapture and a 7th trumpet resurrection, look no further than seeing the church raptured before the tribulation even starts at Rev. 7.9 then see the saints raptured before the throne at 11.15 praising, look at Rev. 14 for the firstfruits, and then the later harvest, look at Matthew 24.37,40-41 which occurs before the Tribulation starts up to the throne, and look at some comments by Watchman Nee,

Other proofs as follows:

QUOTE
(1) By reading Matthew 24.42 together with 1 Thessalonians 5.2, 4, it is evident that there are at least two raptures: for note that the first passage suggests rapture before the Tribulation because one must be watchful since he does not know when his Lord will come; while the second passage suggests rapture after the Tribulation because one knows when the day of the Lord shall come.

(2) The places to be raptured towards are also different. Whereas Revelation 7.15 mentions to “the throne of God” and Luke 21.36 mentions “to stand before the Son of man”, 1 Thessalonians 4.17 says that it is to “the air” – Such distinctions would thus indicate that the entire body of believers is not raptured all at one time.

(3) Mark 13 states, “But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (v.32), So that the day of the coming of Christ is unknown. But 1 Thessalonians 4 declares that “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (v.16). From this second passage we know that the appearing of Christ is after the sounding of the seventh trumpet. And hence the first passage re-lates to pre-tribulation rapture while the second relates to post-tribulation rapture.


And the one that I like is the right in the middle of the Tribulation itself the Two Witnesses go through the last half of Tribulation and then get raptured, albeit then at the close of the Tribulation, even after they themselves don't get raptured with the rest before the 7 bowls start at the last trumpet. So why would not there be raptures of the martyred during the Tribulation also in addition to the rapture at 1st rapture seeing Rev. 7.9 the church before the throne of the man-child birthed.

Perhaps my favorite of all is Rev. 6.11 which h shows they must wait a little longer implying that there must be multiple raptures due to a protracted persecution, some having gone ahead, martyred.

Also, I almost forgot it would make no sense for God to ask us to be watchful and to keep the word of His patience to escape the Hour of trial if He were not willing to take us out of it and that is worthiness. So that takes care of 1st rapture, and to take of 7th trumpet also conclusively simply realize that 1 Thess. 4.15-17 at the last trumpet when putting it together with 1 Cor. 15.50-52, plus there is tones of proofs to show a 7th trumpet resurrection. It is a little harder to prove 1st rapture, but that is part of why 1st rapture is so important too for it is about overcoming being received if one is ready and escaping the Tribulation, a wonderful blessing and no need for testing.

 

TFN writes:

Though some may sincerely believe that the rapture will be selective, and that the Great Tribulation is to be “the purifying, fitting fires for those who, though believing in Christ, remain carnal and babes,”[15] the vast majority of God’s people will see clearly that when the body of Christ is finally complete, then Christ will come for His own.  That coming will unite the body with its resurrected Head, and will be a time of union rather than a time of rending within the body.  They will remember the words: “He that hath this hope in him purified himself, even as he is pure” (I John 3:3) and will not permit the words to be distorted to read: “He that remembereth this threat.”  In spite of their many imperfections and their utter failure to love His appearing as they should, they will retain their confidence that the blessed hope is their hope.  With joy, and without fear, they will join in the expectation of Denham Smith, who wrote:

And this I shall find, for such is His mind,
He’ll not be in glory and leave me behind.

 

 

My Response - God's reception at 1st rapture is not based on selectiveness, but readiness. If one is ready in righteousness of God to be received, he will be received. God is not playing favourites, but explaining the simple fact, that He can not and will not receive you to heaven unless you are ready. The Great Tribulation is a purifying fire but not the ultimate purifying fire, for really Great Tribulation and Tribulation though the consummation of this age, they are not entirely unlike the worse 7 year periods in history that proceeded it, in the worse conditions man has ever experienced. Even then men did not forsake sin, and that is why Christ must finally return in His parousia first within a cloud at 1st rapture and then in Person on the mount at 7th trumpet. Even for many Christians during the time of testing they will not allow God to deliver them from sin, self and supernatural, and that is why the lake of fire exists and the outer darkness. Christians that were not ready to be received and who are non-overcomers in Christ will be resurrected at the 7th trumpet and will yet be hurt by the second death, the lake of fire, and matured, disciplined and made ready in outer darkness outside the reign of rewards and light of overcomers with Christ in the millennium. Only then are they ready for the new city after the millennium. That is God's plan.

 

The time of the millennium when Christ reigns will be a time of His reigning with an iron rod with His overcomers of which non-overcomers have that which they had held onto dealt with and made known to them with such lake of fire yet biting them. After the millennium such need is no longer required because the new city in the new earth will be full. If you are not willing to be dealt with here on earth as a Christian, make no mistake, God will deal with you in heaven. Don't think as a lazy pretribber that you can make up man-made Christian misreadings so that you can belittle the Jews and pretentiously overassume you will be 1st raptured. Such action is never the way of God. His use of rapture is for comfort at the end of the trumpets, and for readiness at 1st rapture. He says to us we may escape the Hour of trial if we keep he Word of His patience, are prayerful, watchful, ready, keeping, and diligent in His Word and His leading in our lives unto works by the grace of God (Rev. 3.10, Luke 21.36). Then we are accounted worthy to be received.

 

Not only do we have the hope of being with Christ (1 John 3.3), but we also have the hope of escaping that Hour of trial. A pretribber will accuse God Himself of threatening His children, when it is but a loving warning that just as God said to Adam and Eve don't eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, because He knew what would happen, God is now doing the same thing for us in the last generation (and now for those who are unto the 1st resurrection) saying to us there is no need, none whatsoever to go through  the Tribulation. He says this is an act of His that none of His children need go through if they are ready to be received in Him. To degrade this as a threat is to diminish its import. But such are the methods of the overassuming pretribbers who need our prayers to release their negativity, and see God's positive side of rapture unto readiness.

 

In spite of this lack of love and trust in His promise and appearing as they should, some, however few, may still be saved, because God will not deliver a believer to hell, no matter how sinful. That is why we must ask if they are saved at all? If in Matthew 7.21, Christians can lose rewards of the kingdom, then how much more will fakes in Christendom lose heaven all together! A very fair question to ask. He would surely accept God's partial rapture, to escape, that commences the war in heaven casting Satan out since believers and Satan can not both reside there (Satan in 2nd, believers in 1st) at the same time.

 

Pretribbers will not permit the truth in their hearts so those few pretribbers that are saved, let us share our hope with them that they will retain their blessed hope of salvation but will be without rewards if they are not ready and matured unto sonship. And the church must go through the Tribulation for the church will not leave God's chosen ones the Jews all alone and so part of the 1st resurrection includes those who refuse the mark of the beast and are beheaded in the Tribulation. With joy, and without fear, except the fear of the Lord, they will be in eternity future.

 

We can all say with confidence in the Lord such a man as Denham Smith is aiming to deceive the body of Christ unwittingly, by dividing it tearing itself from post-tribbers in arguments through the emotion of the soul and not the quickened spirit, 

 

And this I shall find, for such is His mind,
He’ll not be in glory and leave me behind.

 

Truthful words should have said by the Holy Spirit to the Word of God,

 

And this I shall find, for such is His mind.

He'll not be in glory and leave the Jews behind,

with the Christians ahead,

He'll offer the hope to escape the Hour of trail,

if we Keep the Word of His Patience,

to be accounted worthy unto readiness, and matured,

to be received to the throne,

for God can not overthrow His own righteousness,

we unto sonship, prayerful, watchful, keeping,

delivered from sin, natural, supernatural,

abiding in His works for us in His leading,

of grace bestowed,

no longer able to be hurt by the second death,

truly the first resurrection, let us work to that prize,

reigning during the millennium,

and trust that 1st rapture is for those that are ready,

Praise the Lord!

Tribulation is for those that require the time of testing,

which exists the wrath of God and the wrath of Satan.

 

A call for pre-tribbers deliverance,

 

We believe in being raptured at 1st rapture,

but we are concerned we could be wrong,

and what that may mean,

what if we are wrong,

and we assume too much,

is this imagination, is this pride, is this fear,

of the Tribulation,

Are we treating the Jews unkind?

Are we not caring for ourselves letting the Word of God

inwrought His life into us.

I want no more fantasy in my life, but the truth, and love

And the way, which is an exactingness to the Word of God,

so I will stop avoiding Revelation 3.10, and

Luke 21.36 for there is something there that I block,

but I will block myself no more.

God will rapture me at 1st rapture if I am ready,

not if I am not.

That is His will and I will stop fighting him with my flesh.

Thank you Jesus. You have delivered me.

Amen.

My Response to a letter (which reads, ".......you are wrong.") from TFN:

The point is that I find your view so full of speculation and opinion and has that fantasy tone flavor to it taking away the matter of readiness in, with and for Christ (Rev. 3.10, Luke 21.36) because it is holding onto something that is just not true without substance, but just self-desire to be 1st raptured but not walking nor talking the talk that God longs for. Your view is not literal and circumvents scriptures to makes its case against e.g.. resurrection at the last trumpet, and the meaning of why one is 1st raptured, etc. It becomes a mindlessness of passivity.

Your link is made out to be a prominent part of TFN of which there is no deterring from and no other type of opinion. I could not escape that link to decipher otherwise, that is part of the deception. It is mindlessness to still reject what is presented in this response. You post it in this way because you use it to rationalize yourself but you can not see it is in full error.

I have presented hermeneutically and exegetically perfectly which shows partial rapture is the only possibility, and that pre-trib. onlyism is inherently flawed. Having said everything I said I am now convinced at best there is possession in men who hold your view for you take away God's love of receiving us to heaven when we are ready so readiness is unimportant.

T. Austin Sparks, said it well, when he said in all things in creation - a good point that he makes, about ADVANCED PARTIES, when he said "It is a principle in every realm of creation and Divine method. There are –HARBINGERS IN EVERY SPHERE. Sorry, your lack of reading and blocking your thoughts to what I wrote doesn't cut it.

I have had to therefore break this down mathematically to show that in fact when I talk of your possession, I am not talking of a Christian who is possessed by such things, for certainly this is the case as well in several, but drawing a deeper truth of the state of man really, especially in pre-tribbers of Christendom who God places under Matthew 7.21. I provide this information so that you wake up, not so that you contend. See New City. What this reveals to me is that though God wants to accept everyone, by His righteousness he can not for what you currently believe has made you dull and passive, priding over others, and that is exactly what the evil spirit wants. That is the purpose of pretribulation onlyism focused on the self-comfort but not the reality, so it can never be a real comfort, thus it comes from yourself. The 7th trumpet is a comfort, so you take a part truth and then use it to create a pride since as we have seen pre-tribbers assume way too much much more than post-tribbers. Shoving the rapture to the front of the Tribulation or before Great Tribulation is a deception upon yourself and pontificating upon others without proper exegetics and hermeneutics. I trust my full response has made that vividly.

Your site is not a learning site, but a cultic site that holds a cultic view and will stand by it hell or high-water, preventing any other voices. It would not be so bad if you would just admit you are locked into this position and you will prevent the voices of others, so that others should not even bother. But instead you underhandedly make yourself out to be the good guy and use your website rules erroneously to arbitrarily prevent any voice from being heard that is not strictly pre-tribber. That is why you said to me of every 100 people on your website, maybe only 2 or 3 are not pre-tribbers.

Immediately, this should make you ask yourself, perhaps this is tunnel vision and taking a singleness of eye off Christ. The evil spirit will falsely accuse of pontification and debating, to prevent real meaningful discussion, as you have done against me, even misusing your own rules on your own board to rationalize yourself from presenting that discussion, thus misrepresenting yourself even with your legalisms. This is what cults do.

Can't you see you are doing the same thing as all cults do? You are using the same arguments, shutting down the mind, preventing the mind from discoursing and laying down the law, like a Pharisee. Praise the Lord for this discernment. I pray you can understand this.

I had about 15 emails that you prevented me from reading from concerned citizens in my email box on your site. This shows that some people really want to discourse with me and I with them too, but you have shut off the line of communication for the preservation of not the Word of God but the cultic teachings. I would love to be able to read those letters, but you have prevented it. I am able to know I had those 15 emails because they come to my email, but they prevent me from reading them.

Shame on you for holding an untruth in your heart. Shame on people who consider that you (TFN, G. Stanton and clan) could possibly have any authority at all in God especially on end times.
Thank God this is not our future.

I am not sure when these responses from TFN will cease, but here is the next one:

tfcdr@tribulationforces.com  wrote: Your work never started. Sorry. The Lord is the One who provided me with a free gift. Luke 21:36 and Rev 3:10 have absolutely nothing to do with a "partial" rapture and nothing in scripture even supports the concept. To even make that claim denies the perfect work of Christ on the cross.

My Response - I am trying to do my best to help you, whatever the Holy Spirit leads me to say. My work is finished. Nothing more I can do but reply to your replies. If you reject God's promise to escape the Hour of trial based on readiness he most assuredly will not account you worthy of being ready. I fear for you since you assume you will be raptured at 1st rapture so naturally you will find yourself in the Tribulation and won't even know it since you thought it could never happened. The over assuming nature of man is what befalls you. You can't just block out the meaning of those messages of those two verses in Luke and Revelation (with Matthew 24.37,40-41), and the last trumpet resurrection (1 Cor. 15.50-52, 1 Thess 4.15-17). There are two. You have to be blind or unsaved not to see it, with the majority being raptured at 7th trumpet.

You are rejecting God's desire to receive you to heaven (if you keep the Word of His patience) so that you need not go through the Tribulation. This also allows you to live evilly up to this time. But you will go through it and take the mark and then it will be all over. You will say to God, "but God, I was waiting for 1st rapture, you promised me." He will respond to you similar to this, "I promised you no such thing, it was only a gift in your mind. I was asking you to overcome. Why did you not listen to me? Why did you confuse 1st rapture for the church based on readiness and the cross (identification) with 7th trumpet resurrection based on the fulfillment and the cross (substitution)?"

How imperfect the work of the cross if God does not meet His own requirement of advanced parties. We should never think that the cross in its perfection can be just an object in name, but not in reality (i.e. substitution and identification). Men love substitution, but they are not too fond of identification, co-death with Christ forsaking the world (daily cross bearing), and sin (co-death in daily experience). Let us rebuke those who continue to espouse the cross but in practice have no concern for readiness, dealing and promise to escape the Hour of trial based on maturing unto sonship - heeding, be "prayerful and watchful" allowing the redemptive design to be completed in the believer. Can we say these are really believers, or just sugar coated facsimiles? We can say one thing for certain - they sure love their free ticket to heaven, but where is the fruit, never mentioning readiness in Luke 21.36 and Rev. 3.10? It is very disturbing how they shut their minds down. This sure has the same sense as Marcionism, a competing view of Christianity at the time of Christ. I love God's "contingency" plan for those who think they have found a loophole. They will bypass 1st rapture and be truly tested in the time of testing.

As we have seen Watchman Nee put so clearly, this thing about pre-tribbers leaving the Jews behind is unconscionable, praying for them pretentiously. It's like a car accident. You see the head on collision coming so you swerve out the way (or God takes you up) and pray the person behind you doesn't get hurt. God doesn't work that way. He will have His children through the Tribulation to bear witness, even unto death. It really is like a person tied to the railway tracks (Jews), and just before the train comes his friend takes off but prays for him fervently instead of being with him there to untie him. I am less worried for the person who is tied ("little brother") than I am for the person doing all that false praying.

As the conversation continues, so too does the misreading of Scripture:

TFN writes (Joe)- Herein lies the proof that you do not fully understand Scripture. The seventh trump is not the "last" trump blown in the Tribulation and to try to attach 1 Cor 15 to that event shows the faultiness. Matt 24:29 shows yet another trump.

 

Further to say someone is unsaved because they don't follow your misguided belief and misunderstanding of Scripture...is well...arrogant at the least. I don't question anyone's salvation based upon their study of prophecy as it's not a salvation issue, it's a work. Based upon that I will pray for you for it is you who are blind to the truth of Scripture as your "fruits" tell the story.

My Response - Again, I am trying to give you the fullest of explanations so you are not left naked. I would like to get away from this conversation with you as it is going nowhere. Your soul is unreachable which shows me something is really wrong in your willingness to understand, judging too quickly. If you can bring this into your mind, you will walk away from TFN for life. Isn't it worth it for you to therefore see if all I have said holds true? Don't you deserve this love and caring from God to see for yourself that what you are involved in is an easy believism which have repercussions.

What is it to be an overassumer? You have made a declaration in your first and second paragraph with no backing. Let me show you. Let this information enter your spirit. What is most disturbing for me, is that I am now having to repeat myself. When this occurs, that is the sign that I must "run away", specifically TFN.

You have accused me of accusing you that you are not saved. But I never did. I merely suggest two possibilities for this blind spot in your heart and soul and spirit: 1) possessed by a false teaching, praying that you may be saved, and 2) truly unsaved. Do not take pride in yourself in not having discernment to know if someone is not a Christian for we are afforded such knowledge in some we come across. Realize the very real possibility some simply are not saved. What gives me pause, is that you don't address any of the problems I have cited with your belief. Something is wrong with you. If God asked me right now, whether you are a Christian or not. I would honestly have to make this determination, given your behavior, fruit and reactions and total avoidance of my points like I am talking to wall, that you are not saved, which is itself arrogance, self-righteousness, and selfish. I can't make this claim with everyone, but generally speaking the spirit of TFN is that of unregeneration. You have not addressed anything of these basic points made throughout this long assessment, repetitive for a purpose, which really just focuses in on a few aspects, that of readiness, maturing in Christ, and that Christ can't receive us to heaven if we are not willing to go there, as is your case, at 1st rapture in keeping with the promise of Luke 21.36, Rev. 3.10.

 

I won't speak for myself on the last trumpet, but allow the Holy Spirit to flow through another, and just quote Watchman Nee, who already addressed these matters with wonderful clarity and spiritual depth on the last trumpet, whose argument destroys the pride of yours, so follow these clues, and be patient in understanding,

 

vs.27 “Lightning” flashes in the sky and everybody sees it, whereas by contrast “the wilderness” is hidden from many eyes. The Lord’s appearing is absolutely open. He shall come in the cloud. If anyone suggests that the Lord will come to the earth stealthily, do not believe him. Nevertheless, the first rapture does happen secretly, and the Lord’s coming from the throne to the air is also in secret. Just as the lightning is first hidden in the clouds until the time of its flashing in the sky, so Christ will hide himself in the cloud until the right moment for His appearing (see Rev. 1.7, Acts 1.11). According to the record of the book of Acts, at His ascension the Lord was first taken up without any cloud, and only then was He received by a cloud. Even so shall be His coming again, except the order will at that time be reversed. First, He will be hidden by the cloud (which will include the rapture), and next will He appear publicly (by that time all the saints will have been raptured before His appearing). So that what we are waiting for in parousia is not the coming but the going.

vs.28 “Carcase” and “eagles” – The word “carcase” is commonly interpreted as representing “Christ” and the term “eagles” as symbolizing Christians. According to this interpretation, this has reference to the breaking of the bread, in that after the death of Christ the Christians eat His flesh. But such interpretation is not only untrustworthy, it is also absurd; it even borders on blasphemy. For the Scriptures speak of the life of the Lord as well as the death of the Lord. The One in whom we believe is the Lord who was dead and has been resurrected: for “if Christ hath not been raised,” says Paul, “then is our preaching in vain, your faith also in vain” (1 Cor. 15.14). Furthermore, a “carcase” (or corpse) decays and stinks (see John 11.39). Thus this word cannot point to Christ.

How, then, should this word be explained? (a) A corpse plus life equals a living person; a living person minus life equals a corpse – so that “carcase” here represents that which has no life, which in other words stands for all who are in Adam. (see 1 Cor. 15.22). Believers are no longer in Adam; having received new life, they cannot be called by this term “carcase”: instead, they are called the body of Christ. When they break the bread, they are not dividing up the Lord’s corpse; for the Lord says, “This is my body” (and where there is life, such is not a corpse). (b) A corpse stinks as it decays (John 11.39 mg.; 1 Cor. 15.50.53). That is why a man is buried after he dies (see Gen. 23.4). Hence “carcase” here also signifies the decay of those dead in Adam.

The word “eagles” has several applications in the Bible: (a) The people of God. See Isaiah 40.31 and Deuteronomy 32.11. These two passages lay stress on the flying of the eagles. (b) In Leviticus, an eagle is classified as an abomination among the birds (11.13), for it devours dead flesh (see Rev. 19./17-18, 21b). The devouring of corpses by eagles (“all the birds that fly in mid heaven”) as told in Revelation signifies God’s judgment; so too is it here in Matthew. Wherever the corruption of the dead in Adam is, there also is the judgment of God. (Both the words “eagles” and “carcase” are interpreted spiritually here because the word “lightning in the preceding verse is used in parabolic fashion too).

"Matt. 24.29 The words “immediately after” are most important in fixing the time. The sun and the moon and the stars should be taken literally. Some try to explain them symbolically as kings, princes and chief captains being shaken; but such an interpretation is unacceptable; because were this the case, the sun and moon and stars would have had to have been shaken before the appearing of the Lord (that is, before Matt. 24.30 "appearing" - Troy; and vs. 29 shows us a shaking shaken immediately after the days of the Great Tribulation, corresponding to Rev. 11.19 which also runs parallel with Rev. 16.17-21, Rev. 19, the situation in heaven after the 7th trumpet, for all these passages show us the situation at the end of the third woe; it is interesting to note that in keeping with the method of Scripture, that it runs from general to specific, meaning Matthew gives general aspects, but Revelation gives the details. After those days of vv. 27-28 is in view here. This view is so precise, powerful and real and that is why it is the original Word of God, and pretribulation onlyism pride is false).


The distress mentioned here in Matthew 24.29 is the same as that spoken of in Revelation 6.12-13 – except that the time is different. In Revelation we notice that all seven seals (of which these celestial phenomena are the consequences of the sixth seal) are broken at the beginning of the Tribulation, with the seals then followed by further and greater trials in the trumpets and bowls; but here these same celestial things occur after the Tribulation: “But immediately after the tribulation of those days”; hence at the beginning of the Great Tribulation there is a change in these celestial bodies, and likewise at the end of the Tribulation there is still another celestial catastrophe. What we find stated in Joel 2.31 is the same as the sixth seal in Revelation 6, for Joel plainly mentions that these things will occur “before the great and terrible day of Jehovah cometh” (2.31b). Matthew, though, clearly states that such phenomena will take place “immediately after the tribulation of those days (24.29). These changes in celestial bodies must therefore happen twice.

1 Corinthians 15.50-52 Whether dead or living, all will be raptured. Yet, again, it presents the fact of rapture without specifying a time sequence that would indicate a pre-tribulation rapture. On the contrary, it can be used to prove a post-tribulation rapture. “At the last trump” is a descriptive phrase that is equal to the seventh trumpet cited in Revelation 11.15. Some people advance the theory that according to Roman custom the trumpets are sounded three times. But the Holy Spirit follows no Roman law.

Before the Great Tribulation, the Holy Spirit returns to heaven. Since the church is with the Holy Spirit, it may be assumed that the whole church is raptured before the Great Tribulation. The basis for this assumption is 2 Thessalonians 2.6-7 where the phrase “one that restraineth” is made to refer to the Holy Spirit. Yet “one that restraineth” cannot be the Holy Spirit, for the subsequent clause - “until he be taken out of the way”- is not the proper terminology to be used in speaking about the Holy Spirit. The Third Person of the Trinity has many different names, such as the Spirit, the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of revelation, etc; and the word “Spirit” is usually present - and even though in one instance the word “Comforter” is used alone, yet from the next clause which follows (“even the Spirit of truth”) it is evident that this has clear reference to the Holy Spirit (John 14.16-17). Never do the Scriptures say the Holy Spirit is “he that restrains”; moreover, how can the Holy Spirit be said to “be taken out of the way”? Furthermore, where does the Bible announce that the Holy Spirit is absent during the Great Tribulation? And how can there be the so-called believers of the Great Tribulation if the Holy Spirit is not present? For no one is saved without the Holy Spirit, He who is born of the Spirit is spirit. Moreover, this matter of the Holy Spirit’s presence during the Great Tribulation is clearly shown in Revelation 5: “and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth” (v.6). The time of the Great Tribulation is the time of the latter rain (see Acts 2.15-21, Joel 2.28-31). The prophecy of Joel was not completely fulfilled on the day of Pentecost. For on that day there were no “wonders in the heaven and in the earth: blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke”; nor was “the sun . . . turned into darkness, and the moon into blood” (Joel 2.30-31). All of these five wonders will be fulfilled around (including first three and a half years of Tribulation - Troy) and in the time of the Great Tribulation: blood (first trumpet), fire (first and second trumpets), smoke (fifth trumpet), sun and moon (sixth seal) (sixth sea being right at the start of Tribulation with the 7th seal opening up the 7 trumpets - Troy). Pentecost is only a miniature, a foretaste. Peter does not say: “It is fulfilled”; he merely says that “this is that” (Acts 2.16). As a matter of fact, the Holy Spirit is going to do greater work during the time of the Great Tribulation. If there will not be the Holy Spirit present, how can the saints ever endure during the Great Tribulation? (and be that testimony to the Jews, as the Jews were in the OT to Christians - Troy, moreover, fixation at the 1st rapture in reading the Scriptures legastically, not seeing the shaking at Rev. 11.19, 6.17-21 in addition to 6.13; that is is what is really happening here in directly misreading the Word).

1 Corinthians 15.50-55; 1 Thessalonians 4.16-17. The first passage dwells on resurrection and change; the second deals with resurrection and rapture. These two are parallel passages. All students of the Bible agree that the events in both passages happen at the same time. Is there any intimation as to the actual time for these events? Indeed, there is. “At the last trump” indicates that the time must be after the Tribulation. The first school of interpretation insists that the blowing of the last trumpet occurs before the Tribulation, but its adherents have not a single Scripture verse to support their view. The last trumpet is sounded after the Tribulation; it is the last of the seven trumpets mentioned in the book of Revelation. How absurd it would be if after the last trumpet had been sounded there would still remain seven more trumpets to be heard! It would be like having had the last son born, only to be followed by seven more sons. Someone contends that the “trump”” here is the trump of the church, not that of the Tribulation. Where, then, is there recorded in the Scriptures anything said about the first trump of the church? Still others say that Paul merely borrows from the Roman military custom, that as soon as the last trumpet is blown the entire army marches away. Yet the Scriptures have not adopted this Roman military practice. This “trump” is the trump of God, not of the church. Without a doubt it is the last of the seven trumpets cited in the book of Revelation. Furthermore, according to Revelation 10.7, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet the mystery of God is finished - which mystery is the church.

Mark 13 states, “But of that day or that hour knoweth no one, not even the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (v.32), So that the day of the coming of Christ is unknown. But 1 Thessalonians 4 declares that “the Lord himself shall descend from heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God” (v.16). From this second passage we know that the appearing of Christ is after the sounding of the seventh trumpet. And hence the first passage re-lates to pre-tribulation rapture while the second relates to post-tribulation rapture.

Some argue that according to I Thessalonians 4.15, the living “shall in no wise precede them who are fallen asleep” -The dead are resurrected at the seventh trumpet; and so timewise, rapture occurs after the Tribulation. Now if there is a first rapture, it will have to take place before the resurrection of the dead. But since this verse distinctly says “shall in no wise,” how then can rapture take place twice? Let me say in reply that it is most precious and significant to find in both verse 15 and verse 17 the qualifying clauses “we that are alive, that are left” - Now to be alive is obviously to be left on earth; why, then, is there this apparent unnecessary repetition? Because it implies that there are people who though alive yet have already gone ahead (that is, raptured) and therefore are no longer left on earth. Would Paul enlist himself among this class of people who are alive and are left? Not at all. He uses the word “we” only because he is speaking at that moment of writing, and the proof of this is that since Paul no longer lives today, he cannot be numbered among those who are left on earth. Our summary conclusion to all this is that the third school of interpretation seems to be the correct one - that is to say, that one group of believers will be raptured before the Tribulation while another group of believers will go through the Tribulation and be raptured afterwards."

 

Thank you Watchman Nee. Thank you God for these words. I am done. Bye TFN. Everything you need to accept the truth is fully provided here. I can no longer cater to your flesh. You have had more than ample opportunity to understand this.