The is a very interesting thing about the pre-trib rapture position which is a little concerning when we take into consideration the warnings of Scripture about false prophecy. A characteristic of false prophets in Jeremiah 23 and Ezekiel 13 is that they proclaim things which they say God has said - But they do not have a word from God.
Now I have asked both Dr.Thomas Ice and Dr. David Reagan for a single passage of Scripture that clearly states that Jesus will return for the Church before the Great Tribulation and neither one could produce a single verse. Dr. Reagan even admitted that there was none in the Bible.
Just something to think about. Now on the other hand the Scripture is replete with passages that place the resurrection and the rapture after the Great Tribulation.
For example study this passage 1 Corinthians 15:51-55 with the verses that it references - Revelation 10:7 and 11:15-18 and Isaiah 25:6-8 and see what you see regarding the resurrection and rapture of the Church.
Abiding in His Word, Sola Scriptura!!! Richard
My response is in Green:
I don't personally like to debate the rapture, because I agree with Paul about such matters:
(2 Timothy 2:14 NIV) Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen.
What difference does it make if the Lord gathers us before the Tribulation or after it is over? I will serve Him either way. To think that Christians will escape tribulations because of the teaching of the Pre-Trib rapture is to not understand God's word or the current situation around the word. We are promised tribulations and persecutions and these things are happening all over the world today. Many people lose their lives for the sake of Christ each day around the world. My point is that the pre-trib rapture does not teach that Christians won't suffer, but rather that they won't have to go through God's wrath.
I did want to answer you, however, because I take great exception to your view that anyone who teaches or believes in the pre-trib rapture is a false prophet or false teacher. What we have here is an honest disagreement on interpretation of Scripture.
You attempt to make a big deal out of the fact that Ice and Reagan can't give you one specific verse which clearly says the rapture is before the great tribulation. Okay, I agree there are none, but there are none which say it is after the great tribulation either. So what is your point? There are no specific verses which explain the Trinity either, yet we all believe it. Again I say, what is your point? You are trying to claim these men and I guess I too, are false prophets because we can't show you a verse which plainly says the rapture happens before the tribulation, but as I said you can't show one which says it happens after the tribulation either.
Speaking of the passages you referenced let me quote them:
(1 Corinthians 15:51-55 NIV)  Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed- in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.  When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
(Revelation 10:7 NIV) But in the days when the seventh angel is about to sound his trumpet, the mystery of God will be accomplished, just as he announced to his servants the prophets.
(Revelation 11:15-18 NIV)  The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: "The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever."
 And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God,  saying: "We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.  The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great- and for destroying those who destroy the earth."
(Isaiah 25:6-8 NIV)  On this mountain the LORD Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine- the best of meats and the finest of wines.
 On this mountain he will destroy the shroud that enfolds all peoples, the sheet that covers all nations;
 he will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The LORD has spoken.
I understand what you are trying to get at, but your position is very weak. In Corinthians Paul says that we will be changed at the last trumpet. Then you give the passages in Revelation as proof that this trumpet is the last trumpet. The problem is that it might or might not be the same thing. I will be honest I am not sure what the idea is that you are trying to get across with Isaiah 25.
If the trumpet in Revelation 10 is the last trumpet then how do you explain this passage?
(Matthew 24:29-31 NIV)  "Immediately after the distress of those days 'the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the heavenly bodies will be shaken.'  "At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of the sky, with power and great glory.  And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other."
This trumpet that Jesus is speaking about will happen after the trumpet that you claim is the last trumpet as recorded in Revelation. So the trumpet in Revelation 10 is not really the last trumpet, only the last judgement trumpet. To me this makes your whole point suspect, since you have just picked the last trumpet in a series to claim as the last trumpet Paul is speaking about.
That trumpet does not have to be the last trumpet that Paul is speaking of. If you look at the celebration of Rosh Hashana, you will see that there is a first trumpet and a last trumpet in the celebration. So it is very possible that the last trumpet that Paul is referring to is the last trumpet of Rosh Hashana. As we all know the festivals that God instituted for the Jews all point to or reference something. So why can't the feast of trumpets (Rosh Hashana) have something to do with the Lord's return? It can.
If you look at what the Lord has done so far in referrence to the feastivals you get a whole new picture of what is going on. He was crucified on Passover, buried on Unleavened Bread, raised on First Fruits, and sent the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. What is next? The next feast would be the Feast of Trumpets.
Don't miss my point. As I said in the beginning, if the Lord comes for us before the tribulation, that is fantastic, but if He allows us to go through the tribulation He won't leave or forsake us, so that is fine too. I just take exception to you claiming that because I interpret certain things differently then you do that I am a false teacher. I think that point of view is lacking in love. I don't consider you a false teacher just because you disagree with what I believe, so please rethink your stand on what I believe. What if we are both wrong at least to a certain extent?
Now let me quickly show you a couple of reasons from Scripture why I believe we will be raptured out before the tribulation:
(1 Thessalonians 1:8-10 NIV)  The Lord's message rang out from you not only in Macedonia and Achaia-your faith in God has become known everywhere. Therefore we do not need to say anything about it,  for they themselves report what kind of reception you gave us. They tell how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,  and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead-Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.
The part I want to look at is in verse 10 but I quoted the whole thing to keep it in context. Paul tells them that Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath. We know that the tribulation is when God pours out His wrath on the earth. Does this passage prove a pre-trib rapture? No, but it sure lends weight to the idea.
(1 Thessalonians 5:9 NIV) For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Again Jesus died to spare us from God's wrath, so why would He leave us here when the Father pours out His wrath on the world?
(Revelation 6:15-17 NIV)  Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains.  They called to the mountains and the rocks, "Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb!  For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?"
This passage describes some of what happens during the tribulation. Notice that it is described as the wrath of the Lamb. Why would Jesus die to rescue us from the coming wrath and then pour out His wrath on us anyway? Sorry that does not make sense.
(Matthew 24:42-44 NIV)  "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him."
If the rapture comes at the end of the tribulation, then we can know when it will occur. Jesus can only come when we do not expect Him if He comes some other time other then the end of the tribulation.
Would you not agree that the Holy Spirit lives inside believers? Of course He does and Jesus promised us that He would never leave us. Now look at this passage:
(2 Thessalonians 2:7 NIV) For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.
It is obvious that it is the Holy Spirit who is holding back the lawlessness. Now my question is how can the Holy Spirit be taken out of the way and yet remain in the hearts of believers, unless we are also taken out of the world?
Look at many of the parables and other sayings that Jesus told and you will see that He often warned us to keep watch. The 5 wise and 5 foolish virgins teach this. Jesus often called Himself the Bridegroom and in Jewish custom the bride never knew when the Bridegroom would come to take her to his house. We are the bride, that is why we need to keep watch because we don't know when He will come for us. That is what the warnings are about. Now if He is coming at the end of the tribulation, then we really don't need to keep watch, we just need to wait until the tribulation and count the days and we will know when He is going to come for us. The problem with that is that it does not fit the warnings nor the idea of the Bridegroom coming at any time.
Does any of the prove with out a doubt that the rapture occurs before the tribulation starts? No, but it sure lends validity to the idea. This is why I take great exception to your false teacher charge, I have shown you the reason for my hope. You may well interpret these same passages in another way, but does that make you a false prophet or me a false prophet? No, it just means we have differing views.
Even though you apparently don't think so, I also abide in His word. As I said earlier I think this is a side issue, which we should not spend time arguing about, we should preach the good news to those who are perishing.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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