Eschatology

The post tribulation -pre wrath - pre millennial view (Bible version NKJV & ESV)

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you. [2Thess 2:1]
Without doing somersaults and manipulating scriptures to mean what we want them to mean let us examine the truth about the second coming and the gathering together to Him (the rapture) 

Heb 1:1-2
1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets,
2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;
As a disciple of Christ we should take seriously the authority of God’s word.
When we communicate what we believe we have to know this is the word that comes from God.
See 2Pet 1:16-21,1Pet 1: 20-25
John Ch1 & 1John Ch 1 Tell us "The word which was from the beginning who was manifested as the son of God is the chosen vessel by which God speaks".

Let’s be clear
Every word that Jesus taught and is teaching through the word (by the Holy Spirit) concerning, who He is, what He came to do is in accordance to the purposes and will of God the Father.

His word teaches us how we are to live as cross bearing Christians.
His word teaches us about reaching the lost by communicating the gospel, to the whole world.

The Christian faith must be built on His teaching as set out in scripture.

Doctrine
The cornerstone of our faith
1Corinthians 3: 4 -11note verse 11 For no one can lay any foundation other than what is being laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Eph 2:13 But now in Christ Jesus you who used to be far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, the one who made both groups into one and who destroyed the middle wall of partition, the hostility, 15 when he nullified in his flesh the law of commandments in decrees. He did this to create in himself one new man out of two, thus making peace, 16 and to reconcile them both in one body to God through the cross, by which the hostility has been killed. 17 And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, 18 so that through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer foreigners and non citizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 20 because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
See also 1 Peter 2:4-10
Our basis for Doctrine
Doctrine (the teaching of Christ) must be founded upon the Authority God has spoken through His spoken word and His written word found in the scripture both old and new testament.
The primary basis for what we the church must believe is founded upon
1. The teaching of Jesus.
2. The teaching of apostles, those who Christ Himself appointed to be attached to Him.
Question do we believe this?
So whether it is the gospel message directly or our conduct as Christians it must be something we can see being taught & demonstrated by Jesus and by His early followers in particular those who were responsible for the writing of the New Testament the apostles.
(Note aside): Interesting that the gospel and obedience to the gospel can’t really be separated. [Rom 10:16, Php 1:27, 2Thess 1: 6-8 ]
So do we believe what Jesus said about His death and Resurrection?

His Death
Mt 16:21,

From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Luke 9:22 From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day.
Matt 12:38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”
39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.40 “For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.41 “The men of Nineveh will rise up in the judgement with this generation and condemn it, because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and indeed a greater than Jonah is here.
Jesus here was referring to His death.
Luke 24:13-36 Jesus expounded the scriptures 25 Then He said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!26 “Ought not the Christ to have suffered these things and to enter into His glory?”27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.
Resurrection
Jesus said to Martha John 11: 25-27 “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 “And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die.
27 She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” Do you believe?
Do we find scripture teaching us these facts according to the synoptic gospels and Johns Gospel?
Does Paul agree with Jesus? Acts 1, Acts 17:3 , 1 Corinthians 15 & 3-8 Yes
Interesting in verse 1 of Acts 1:1 [ESV] “In the first book, O Theophilus, I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,” 2 until the day when he was taken up, after he had given commands through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. 3 f He presented himself alive to them after his suffering by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God.
Luke here refers to the Gospel he wrote and says , “I have dealt with all that Jesus began to do and teach,” 2 until the day when he was taken up”
With regard to the teaching of Jesus, Luke heard and understood what the Lord had said in regard to His resurrection and our resurrection at the Lords coming (Luke 21:25-28)
Rom 6 teaches of our association with Jesus’ death and resurrection through baptism. And as we have just read in Phil 3 Paul wants to identify himself with Christ in this way and teaches us to do likewise.
So Paul completely agrees with the teaching of Jesus about His death and resurrection.
What about the second coming
It is misleading to speak of the rapture and then to ask when the rapture will take place. The Bible only mentions the coming of the Lord and says that when he comes we will be caught up together to meet him. But pre-tribulationists start by talking about the rapture and the second coming as if they were two separate events and then claim that post-tribulationists confuse the two.


The fact is, however, that the Bible does not make this distinction. Instead, it uses the word “coming” (parousia) when we would expect to see the word “rapture” if indeed this were a different event.”
When communicating about the second coming the Greek word is parousia [the coming] The other words in connection with parousia are: apokalupsis, “revelation” and epiphaneia, “appearing.” Both of these Greek words are used as the hope of the church (1 Cor. 1:7, 2Tim. 4:1-8, Heb 9:28, Titus 2:13-15,)
We get the noun “rapture” from the Latin Vulgate where the verb harpadzo “caught up” is translated as “raptus.”1 Thess 4:17 This action takes place at the Lords return to gather His elect/the church to himself at His coming. In Matt 24:29-31, 2Thess2:1. The Greek word  episunagoge ( our gathering together) is used, it has to do with the our meeting together with Christ. We find the same word used in Heb 10:25.
So there is a literal coming, a resurrection and rapture and gathering to Him. They are part of the same event.
Rules of exegesis & hermeneutics
If we apply the rules of exegesis & hermeneutics which must included the plain meaning of the text and use it regarding the Lord’s death and resurrection we must also use the same basis when looking at the teaching of the second coming. We must understand that when we read verses that speak of such things as appearing, gathering together [rapture] they are synonymous with the second coming.
If Jesus taught it we must believe it and Paul must have agreed with it in His writings.


So what does Jesus teach about His coming and the resurrection of believers?
In three gospel accounts Jesus is asked specific questions. Lets use Matt 24:3 [ESV]
As he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?”
Matt 24, Mr 13, Luke 21 see also Luke 17;24
And Jesus answered those questions and this should be the basis and doctrine for any who want to know when Jesus will return. This does not does not mean that we know the day or the hour, Just that it happens after the great tribulation.
Further proof: When will our resurrection be?
Martha knew the answer
In John 11:24 Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Did she agree with Jesus?
In John 6:39-40 Jesus said
“This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.
“And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

And again
“Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John6:54)
So we know that any one who is part of the body of Christ, both Old and New Testament believers will be raised up on the last day. Not any time before the last day.
I agree with Jesus do you? 


Is the Pre tribulation teaching in line with what Jesus taught?
The dead in Christ rise first [ 1Thess 4:16 ] and the whole church is to be transformed when we see the Lord as we read in 1John 3:2, 1Cor 15:50-56 then this must happen on or at the last day and not before.
It happens at the Last trump 1Thess 4:16-18
16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
See also1 Cor 15:51-53  Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For u the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
What is clear about these 2 passages is they both speak of the same event; the dead in Christ being raised and they are raised first. But look at what events and soundings happen to initiate this resurrection of the church.
* The Lord Descends
* the voice of an archangel
* the sound of the trumpet of God and specifically the last trump.
In Rev11:15 we read  "Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”
What does Jesus say about this in Matt 24:31 And He will send out His angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather His elect from a the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Paul and John agree with every word that Jesus spoke concerning His second and last coming.
Remember there are only 7 trumpets blown and the last trump is when the resurrection of all believers happens. Remembering that there is only one more return of Christ to save those who wait His appearing [Heb 9:28]

The Cosmic signs
Please Read Joel 2, Acts 2:17-21, Matt 24: 29-31, Rev 6:12-17 all these cosmic signs are evidence of the return of Christ
This is why in the same context Jesus gives us the Parable of the Fig Tree (Matt 24:31, Mark 13:28-31, Luke 21:29-33)

It should also be pointed out that when Jesus returns for His Church & to establish His Kingdom, that He will also save Israel as explained in Zech 12 & Zech 14.

The Day of the Lord ( T, D of T, L)

Now we come to the look at these event as described by Paul when referring to the day of the Lord also referred to as the “Day of Christ 2Th 2:2
The timing of [T, D of T, L]
Please understand that those teaching what is termed as the post tribulation return of Christ they speak of [T, D of T, L] this does not mean they know the day or the hour. So those who try to use this argument against the post trib teaching are wasting their time as this is not what we teach nor should we.
But the question we need to ask is, does Paul Agree with Jesus?
If Jesus came to do the will of the Father which included teaching about the Kingdom of God, that was and is to come. Shouldn’t Paul's teaching be the same?

Read through 1Thess 4:14;1Thess5:1-5, 2Thess 2:1-4

What did we learn?
 
· The Lord comes
· The Dead and alive believers are resurrected-caught up-ruptured-gathering together.
· The events are referred to as “The day of the Lord”
· [T, D of T, L] comes after the falling away and the man of sin is revealed.
So does Paul agree with Jesus?
In Matt 24 Jesus is answering questions.
Question 1 "When will these things be"? This part refers to the events of AD70 when the temple was destroyed. Jesus uses the same temple language when referring to “The temple of His body” John 2:20-22. But events in the last day recapitulate, (they repeat but are added too) 
Question 2 "What will be the sign of His coming and the end of the age"?

Matt 24:29-30  show us events that take place at the time of [T, D of T, L]
We know [T, D of T, L] sees the Lord returning & the dead being resurrected and both dead & alive believers are gathered to Him. [Ruptured]
Vs 29 Jesus says “Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.
Vs 30 Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
Vs 31 And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Does the O.T provide the same evidence when referring to [T, D of T, L]? see Joel 2:31, Is 13:6-13.
Yes.

The Day of the Lord
So [T, D of T, L] is when Jesus returns, to gather His elect after the tribulation. There will be cosmic activity and calamity in the heavens.
So the answer to “does Paul agree with Jesus must be Yes.
Other observations
The conclusion in Rev 6:13. This is referring to the cosmic signs of Matt 24, Mark 13, Luke 21.
What is the definition of His elect? In both the Old and New Testaments, the word elect means chosen. In Old testament times, the elect were God’s Chosen people, the Jews (Isaiah 45:4)
Those Christ has chosen. (see Eph 1, John 15:15-20,1Pet 1:1-2 )
The evidence of the Lord’s return being after the great tribulation is clear there is not one verse that tells us Jesus will return before the Day of the Lord, but why do so many believe otherwise?

We are all vulnerable we do not understand every meaning of scripture and I believe it’s irresponsible to not prepare the church for great tribulation, that is to encourage a right relationship toward Christ.  Not to encourage the self preservation mentality that says we have to rush out and buy 3000 cans of baked beans, a large tent and a gun taking care of No 1. We must learn how to trust God through the difficult times now, so than when the worst time in world history arrives we know that whatever happens the Lord will never leave us nor forsake us even if that means we have to die.
Amen.

The wrath
The word of God tells us those in Christ "Are not appointed to wrath" (1Thess 5:9) So surly we must be removed before the tribulation? That seems a valid argument by some. They also say He will keep us from the hour of trial . (Rev 3:10)
We are indeed saved from His wrath but when does His wrath come?  When Christ returns.
As pointed out already Rev 6:12-17 exactly describes what Jesus spoke of in Matt 24:29-31, Luke 21:25:27, Mark 13:24-27.The cosmic catastrophe in the heavens. The sun and moon are darkened, stars fall from the sky and remember it's the Day of His wrath , not tribulation.
The wrath of God therfore does not come until after the opening of the sixth seal and the sun and moon being darkened. That's a fact. So if ones end times ideas doesn't line up with the chronology of these events then like the pre tribbbers it's a wrong idea.

Furthermore and in the context of those who have waited and are waiting for the Lord to return  Paul's writes this in 1Thess 1:6-10 says " And you became followers of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit, 7 so that you became examples to all in Macedonia and Achaia who believe. 8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. 9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, even Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. "


So they are faithfully waiting for Christ who will deliver them from the wrath to come.
This tells us they where not suffering from God's wrath when Paul wrote to them, they where being persecuted. Persecution  is equal to tribulation. In fact 1Thess 3 Paul assures the believers in Thessolonica that they where appointed to such afflictions and reminds them of what he had told them before about suffering tribulation. (1Thess 3:4-5)
Also God will deal with those who have come against His people when He comes. (2Thess1:6-7)
Luke 17:26-30

So let's be sure of this. Christians will be persecuted and suffer tribulation as many have, are are doing right now. Tribulation is not God's wrath.
See the example that Jesus gave how and when His people escape before His wrath is pured out in Luke 17:26-30 
It is Satan the Lawless one who will be causing great trouble to come upon believers in the great tribulation prior to the Lords return. He will be consumed when Jesus returns and not before. 
2Thess 2:8.


The word Church /es

Some Christians believe that because the word church does not appear in the bible after Revelation Chapter 3 that this is evidence for the church being ruptured before the tribulation.
If we take this seriously which I don't then one needs to point out that the word church in fact is not mentioned in 10 books of the New Testament.

There are many different names given to believers in the New Testament. For example
  • Children of God 1John3:1
  • Elect Col 3:12
  • Citizens of the kingdom of Heaven Phil 3:20, Col 1:13
  • Servants Luke 17:10
  • People of God 1Peter2:10
  • Sons of God Rom 8:14

But one name I would like to draw your attention to is the word Saints. This word saints appears 13 times in the book of Revelation.  Furthermore and without meaning to be trivial Rev 22:16 does use the word churches. It reads.
“I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things in the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star.” 
Now have I missed something? but does this verse not remind us of the reason why the book of Revelation was written and who it was written to? yes it does. "To testify to you these things in the churches"
Now there is only one true church but church consists of many local churches and these we see in Revelation where literal churches in Asia minor who I believe also represent types of churches that would be around through the church age (if I can call it that)

John was told by an angel of the Lord these things in the churches. Which churches? the ones in John's day only or the ones that will be here when Jesus returns for after the great tribulation? 
So we must ask a serious question.  If the Church (the body of Christ) is not here after Chapter 3  and word in Revelation is for the Church both then and now why is there not just 3 chapters in Revelation? I mean if the last generation of church was not going to be here after chapter 3 and no one knew or knows when the rapture would happen why bother writing something to a church that was not going to be here?  Because the church will be here until Christ returns after the great tribulation.

See some very good video links here from the last days detective
 
 Video link 1


Video link 2

Video link 3

Video link 4

Video link 5

Video link 6

A questions to those who believe in a pre- tribulation rapture of the church

Can you find the verse/s where we are told the rapture (gathering - catching up) happens before the tribulation? That is, before the start of Jacobs trouble or the beginning of sorrows or before the 'abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, "standing in the holy place”
Is there one scripture that tells us word for word that Jesus comes before the tribulation, to resurrect the dead and alive (elect, saints, believers) and rapture / gather them to Himself before the anti christ is revealed ?
If there are none what does that mean? By the way, the answer is a big no, there is not one verse.

Is there a verse in Scripture that tells us of a Post tribulation return of Christ and a Rapture of the Church? Yes there is more that one.
That must be the answer then.
 
Let no one deceive you

 2Thess2:1 says "Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, 4 who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God."

 Paul tells the Church here in Thessalonica
“we ask you, 2 not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come”
Then he says
 “LET NO ONE DECEIVE YOU by any means”
The day of Christ v2 ‘ and that day’ v3 (talking about the same day) will not come  unless two events happen.
1.The falling away comes first, 
2. and the man of sin is revealed.

If you follow the pre tribulation rapture idea then you have to twist scripture to make your view work I am sorry to say.

Notice verse 1 tells us it’s one coming and our gathering not 2 separate events as in 1Cor 15:20-23 “ But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.”
So the day of Christ will not come until the falling away comes first and the son of perdition is revealed who the Lord will destroy when He comes and according to 1Cor 15:23 the order of the resurrection  is made clear it happens at Christ’ coming.

Question, have these 2 things happened? Well one could argue that the falling away has always been happening since Christ ascended to the Father's right hand and it would be OK to say that types of the lawless one also referred to as the son of perdition (antichrist) have been revealed, but there are types and then there is the real thing. So at the time of the end there will be the final  'falling away' like no other and the actual 'son of perdition'  will be revealed before the Lord returns to resurrect the dead believers and gather His elect. This in itself makes the pre tribulation teaching a dangerous deception.

I do not want anyone to deceive me by any means, do you?