Rapture Ready?

Are you ready for the ‘Rapture’? That is, are you living such that you are prepared for Jesus to return to first raise up the dead in Christ, then to ‘catch up’ those in Christ yet still alive?

As Christians, we should all be living as if the ‘Rapture’ were a near-future event. (I’m preaching to myself here, too.) But the relevant question to ponder is this: When does the ‘Rapture’ occur relative to the “Great Tribulation” period or the “Day of the Lord”?

Here’s one take, by Pastor Greg Laurie:

The Great Escape? Will there be a pre-Tribulation ‘Rapture’ (PTR)? Will those alive when Jesus returns escape the “Great Tribulation”? Is this PTR position supportable Biblically?

I strongly contend that the PTR view collapses under Scriptural scrutiny. In the following I shall show how and why.

Before doing so, let me state that I am not writing this to be argumentative or anything of the sort. Quite the contrary, I write this out of love and concern for my Christian brothers and sisters.

I recognize this is a secondary doctrine (eschatology) and, thus, not something to divide over. Yet it seems that the very fact that this is a secondary doctrine induces some (or even many) to forgo any critical analysis. In other words, many who believe in the doctrine appear to accept it without reservation (perhaps because the thought that we might go through the Tribulation is just too much to bear?1). My concern is that adherents to PTR could be lulled into a false sense of security, and when real persecution should come, they may be spiritually unprepared. This weighs heavily on me.

Unwrapping the ‘Rapture’

One of the usual tenets of the PTR is that the ‘restrainer’ in 2 Thessalonians 2:6 and 2:7 is the Holy Spirit.2 As part of this view (with respect to PTR), some, or even many (though not all—see below), believe the Holy Spirit is ‘removed’ from the earth when the Church is ‘Raptured’. This then sets up the Great Tribulation period during which the “man of lawlessness” (2Thess 2:3, 8), aka the Antichrist (1John 2:18) is revealed. Yet, at the same time, adherents to this tenet of the PTR believe that “the saints” (hoi agioi) referenced in Revelation 13 and beyond refer to ‘Tribulation saints’, meaning individuals saved during the Tribulation period—usually understood as seven years long. But how can individuals come to Christian faith during this Tribulation with no Holy Spirit to indwell them, let alone bring about initial conviction unto salvation (John 16:8—11)?

The PTR requires two ‘Second Comings’ of Jesus. The first is for the ‘Rapture’, the second is for the final stage of the Great Tribulation. In attempts to alleviate the inherent incongruity of two ‘Second Comings’, some proponents claim there will be one ‘Second Coming’ but in two aspects (‘Rapture’ → ‘Great Tribulation finale’). But this strains language, especially given the presumed seven (literal) year tribulation gap separating the two. Pastor Laurie above makes the hard distinction between the Rapture, which immediately precedes this Great Tribulation period, and the Second Coming when “Jesus returns with His believers . . . to end that period, and to establish His Kingdom on the earth.” Can such a distinction and such a gap be supported Biblically, in proper context?

The ‘Rapture’ is said to be “secret”. Yet the primary passage used to support the doctrine is 1 Thessalonians 4:17 (as Laurie does in the video above), in which ‘the Rapture’ is preceded by a loud command (shout) and the trumpet of God (4:16). It is difficult to imagine how such imagery can be construed as secretive—that it can be understood as quiet enough not to disturb non-Christians. Below is larger context:

4:13 Now brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who are sleeping, so that you will not grieve as the rest—those who have no hope. 14 For since we believe Jesus died and rose again, in this way also God will bring those who have fallen asleep through Jesus along with Him [Jesus]. 15 For this we say to you, by word of the Lord: We who are alive, those remaining until the coming [Parousia] of the Lord, will surely not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 Because He, the Lord, will descend from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; 17 then we who are alive, those remaining, shall be caught up [harpazō, ‘raptured’] together along with them, in the clouds, to meet [eis apantēsin] the Lord in the air. And so we shall be forever with the Lord.3

I contend that two ‘Second Comings’—or two aspects of one ‘Second Coming’, or (per Laurie) “the Rapture” followed by “the Second Coming”—must be read into the relevant texts (eisegesis). One Coming, one Parousia, is the most natural reading of the associated passages. Surely Occam’s razor (do not multiply unnecessarily) should be applied here. The last sentence of v 17 above (And so we shall be forever with the Lord) most logically implies the closing of the present age and the beginning of the next. In other words, in view of the closing sentence above, does it not seem that the ‘Rapture’ occurs just before the end of this age?

The Greek word Parousia (see v 15 above) will play a key role in our analysis below. This term is understood to refer to Jesus’ Second Coming, i.e., His (one) return (see dictionary definition here.).

How Many Trumpets Herald Jesus?

It will prove instructive to compare 1Thess 4:16—17 with similarly-themed passages.

In Jesus’ teaching on the Mount of Olives (Olivet Discourse) regarding the end times, He is asked by His disciples (Matt 24:3), “Tell us, when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of Your coming [Parousia] and the end of the age?” Note that their question combined Jesus’ return with the end of the age.

In response, Jesus provides a list of things which must occur prior to His return [Parousia], seemingly in chronological order. This includes famine and seismic activity (24:7), Christian persecution unto death on account of faith in Jesus (24:9), apostasy and betrayal (24:10), deception (24:11), increasing wickedness leading to cold hearts (24:12)—all before the beginning of the end (24:14). These events are followed by the “abomination of desolation” (24:15; cf. 2Thess 2:3), which leads to unequaled “great tribulation (thlipsis)” (24:21). This then is followed by Jesus directly answering the latter part of their question:

24:23 “Then if anyone should say to you, ‘Look! Here is the Christ!’ or ‘Over there!’, do not believe it. 24 For false Christs and false prophets will arise and display great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 Take heed! I have forewarned you. 26 So if they say to you, ‘Look! He is in the wilderness’, do not go out; 27 For as lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so will be the Parousia of the Son of Man.

29 “Immediately after the tribulation [thlipsis] of those days, the sun shall be darkened and the moon shall not give its light, and the stars shall fall from the sky. The powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the sky, and all the tribes/people of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming upon the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. 31 And He will send His angels/messengers with a great trumpet, and He will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.”

Here we have a ‘trumpet’, which clearly occurs after some awful celestial events (24:29).4 Does this not appear like the end of the age? The italicized portions are quoted or paraphrased from, respectively, Joel 2:31 (sun . . . not give its light),5 Joel 2:10 (stars shall fall),6 and Daniel 7:13 (Son of Man coming). Joel 2:31 is not quoted in full, its latter portion reading …before the great and awesome Day of the LORD comes (cf. Acts 2:20).7 And Joel 2:10 is followed by this in 2:11: The Day of the LORD is great and dreadful; who can endure it? Since these celestial events are followed by “the sign of the Son of Man in the sky”, this seems to imply His appearing signifies what is elsewhere called the Day of the Lord (LORD).

More importantly, Jesus’ return (Parousia) will be both clearly visible to all (24:27, 30) and in concert with the gathering of His elect (24:31). Will there be two trumpets with two separate gatherings: (a) first the dead in Christ and those ‘raptured’ (1Thess 4:16-7), (b) and then some later gathering of “Tribulation saints”? A look at the next similarly-themed passage should definitively answer that question.

Chapter 15 of Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians contains the most extensive narration on Christians’ future resurrection hope, including a description of the post-earthly bodies of the faithful. Paul begins with a proclamation of the Gospel message (1Cor 15:1-4; cf. 1Thess 4:14a), which he then uses as a basis for our future hope (1Cor 15:22-23; cf. 1Thess 4:14b-4:17) and for the final end to Christ’s (and our) adversaries (1Cor 15:24):

15:22 For just as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in order: Christ, the first fruit, then all those of Christ, with His coming [Parousia] 24 Next: the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, after He has nullified every ruler, and every authority and power.

So, according to Paul the Apostle here, all those in Christ “will be made alive” (resurrected [or ‘raptured’, see 15:51 below: Not all will sleep]) with His coming/Parousia. Compare Paul’s usage of Parousia here with his usage in 1 Thessalonians 4 and also Jesus’ words in Matthew 24. Also note that in the Corinthians passage just above, Jesus’ Parousia is followed by the end. This seems to concur with the chronology of events in 1 Thessalonians (4:17: And so we shall be forever with the Lord.) and Matthew (24:35: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall never pass away.).

But there is more. In describing our future ‘resurrection bodies’, the Apostle compares and contrasts with our current flesh and blood bodies (1Cor 15:43—44a, 49):

15:43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.  44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body . . . 49 Just as we bear the image of the earthly [Adam], we will also bear the image of the Heavenly [Jesus].

Our new ‘spiritual bodies’ will be just like Jesus’ post-resurrection glorified body!

Paul now brings us to the climax of this passage:

15:50 Now this I say, brothers [and sisters]: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, neither does the perishing inherit imperishability. 51 Take note! I tell you a mystery: Not all will sleep, but all will be changed— 52 in an instant, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53 For this perishable must be clothed with imperishability and this mortal clothed with immortality. 54 But when the perishable has been clothed with imperishability and the mortal has been clothed with immortality, then the written Word will be fulfilled: Death has been swallowed up in victory!

Paul explicitly refers to this trumpet call as the last trumpet. And he refers to ‘the Rapture’ in not all will sleep. In other words, this should be understood as a parallel passage to 1Thess 4:16—17. Thus, the Thessalonians passage cannot refer to a separate gathering from the First Corinthians passage. And it certainly appears that Jesus’ words in Matthew 24 refer to this same gathering. Moreover, the quote of Isaiah 24:8 (Death has been swallowed up) in 1Cor 15:54 connotes the same finality as the similar verbiage in 1Thess 4:17 and Matt 24:35 (as noted above).  Sure the words in the surrounding contexts are a bit different, but each passage has different emphases, accounting for these variations.

Wayne Grudem, in his Systematic Theology, observes:

The tribulation is quite clearly linked with the Lord’s return in some passages. First, the loud trumpet call to gather the elect in Matthew 24:31, the sound of the trumpet of God in 1 Thessalonians 4:16, and the last trumpet at which our bodies are changed in 1 Corinthians 15:51—52 all seem to be the same trumpet—the last trumpet that is blown just before the millennium (or, on the amillennial view, the eternal state). If it is indeed the “last trumpet” (1Cor 15:52), then it is hard to see how another loud trumpet call (Matt 24:31) could follow it seven years later.8

Apparently some PTR teachers construe Matthew 24:31 as describing separate, later events than the Thessalonians passage. The burden of proof is on the PTR teachers to conclusively demonstrate that these are indeed completely separate events, and, more generally, to provide a coherent overall doctrine. This would include (though not be limited to) explaining how the Matthew passage refers strictly to the gathering of “Tribulation saints”, while the Thessalonians passage excludes them, and how the “loud command” and “trumpet of God” of 1Thess 4:16 can be understood as “secret” and quiet enough not to awaken unbelievers.

Once again, I think Occam’s razor should be employed. The Parousia is mentioned in all three passages. Most logically, this refers to the one return of Jesus—to gather all the saints and bring about the end of the current age. This is the Day of the Lord—our blessed hope, yet a Day for God’s wrath to rain down on his adversaries.

Tribulation Saints and “The Church”

Pastor/teacher John MacArthur is another example of one who holds to the PTR. To his credit, however, he rejects the view that the Holy Spirit leaves at the PTR. Instead, MacArthur claims the Spirit remains and is ‘taken out of the way’ (2Thess 2:7) midway through the seven year Tribulation so the Antichrist can be revealed; yet the Spirit’s presence continues on the earth even after that.9 Laying aside for now the other problems with the PTR (as detailed in the previous section), MacArthur’s view here retains one of the attendant problems of the ‘Holy-Spirit-leaves-with-the-Raptured-Church’ camp: the relation of the “Tribulation saints” to the universal Church.

The best way to explain is to begin by quoting from his sermon “A Jet Tour Through Revelation”, as found in his book Truth Endures:10

The end of Revelation 3 is the end of the message to the churches. We do not hear the word “church” again in the book of Revelation until the very end of chapter 22 when Jesus says, “I, Jesus, have sent My angel to testify to you these things for the churches.” The church is not particularly in view from here on until the church is called by another name in the millennial Kingdom, and that is the “bride.”11

The Greek word for “church” is ekklēsia (plural ekklēsiai).12 In the New Testament (NT), with respect to Christ-followers,13 this word refers to gatherings or congregations of believers, as it does for the seven churches in Revelation 2—3. This word is even used of a gathering at Prisca and Aquila’s home (Romans 16:3—5). True believers are referred to as hoi agioi, “the saints”, or more literally “the holy ones”—always in the plural, never in the singular. The saints/holy ones are inseparable from “the Church”. We may call an individual gathering at a specific locale a “church” (ekklēsia), but every ekklēsia is part of the one larger, universal ekklēsia: “the Church”. All true “holy ones” (agioi) belong to the same universal ekklēsia as the Apostle Paul and the Apostle John.

To exemplify, the two terms overlap in the beginning of First Corinthians (1:2): To the church/assembly [ekklēsia] of God which is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called saints [agioi], with all those calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place—both theirs and ours. Thus, Paul is implying that the Corinthian ekklēsia is made up of agioi.14 And so it follows that all Corinthian agioi make up the one ekklēsia at Corinth. And in Paul’s address here he also includes others outside Corinth: all those calling upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place. All these are obviously agioi, as well. This implies a universal ekklēsia. Certainly, we could expand this to include all agioi throughout the centuries, constituting one universal ekklēsia.

After Revelation 3, hoi agioi (“the saints”, “the holy ones”) are referenced multiple times (13:7, 10; 14:12; 16:6; 17:6). Therefore, these hoi agioi are part of the universal ekklēsia.

With this background, let us return to the MacArthur quote above. Though we do not see the word “church” (ekklēsia) again until Jesus’ summation in Revelation 22, clearly “the saints” (hoi agioi), as used between chapters 3 and 22, refers to believers in the Tribulation period, i.e., individuals in “the Church”. Given this, MacArthur’s argument unravels. More pointedly, though “church” is not mentioned again after chapter 3 (until 22), “the saints” are, and since “saints” make up the “church”, it is dubious to make the distinction he makes. “Tribulation saints” are part of “the Church”.

To recap: While MacArthur avoids the conversion problem for “Tribulation saints” other PTR teachers create, he retains their failure of accounting for “Tribulation saints” (agioi) as part of the Church (ekklēsia). And, like other PTR enthusiasts, he fails to explicitly account for their end-times gathering.

Once again, the simplest solution is that the ‘Rapture’ occurs at the end of the age and includes ALL “holy ones”, all members of the universal Church (ekklēsia).

To see that we are not being overly harsh in our judgment of MacArthur’s position, following is his stance on just where the ‘Rapture’ occurs in Revelation:

Now we come to chapter 4 and leave the church age. People often ask, “Where does the Rapture come in?” It’s in the white spaces between chapters 3 and 4. You have the church on earth in chapters 2 and 3; all of a sudden we appear in heaven in chapter 4.15

Setting aside the obvious eisegesis inherent in such an assertion (“white spaces”?!), MacArthur, knowingly or not, excludes Tribulation saints from “the church age”. Similar to other PTR teachers, he has orphaned them. With his claim that “the church age” ends at the ‘Rapture’ “in the white spaces between chapters 3 and 4”, he leaves Tribulation saints ‘churchless’—more explicitly than other PTR teachers.

If, per MacArthur, Tribulation saints are excluded from “the church age”, then what age would they be in exactly? Is there an “age” between the PTR and the millennial Kingdom (or eternal state)? Is it “the Tribulation age”? Is there Scripture to substantiate such a view?

Wrapping Up

As the critical, analytical reader can see, there are flaws in the PTR doctrine. And I cannot view these as anything less than fatal flaws. If a reader can trumpet a Biblically coherent PTR doctrine—one devoid of the flaws exposed here—I will listen raptly.

I will close with commentary from Gene L. Green:

[1 Thessalonians 4:13—18] has suffered much ill as it has been mined to provide clues concerning the timing of the “rapture” of the church . . .  In the haste to answer this question, the real purpose of [this passage] is overlooked. This teaching was presented to comfort those in grief by connecting the confession of the creed (“Jesus died and rose again”) with the reality of the resurrection of the dead in Christ. This is not the stuff of speculative prophecy or bestsellers on the end times . . . The decidedly bizarre pictures of airplanes dropping out of the sky and cars careening out of control as the rapture happens detract from the hope that this passage is designed to teach. The picture presented here is of the royal coming [Parousia] of Jesus Christ. The church, as the official delegation, goes out to meet him, with the dead heading up the procession as those most honored. One coming [Parousia] is envisioned, which will unite the coming King with his subjects. What a glorious hope!16

 Glorious indeed!

[see also Escorting the King of Kings?]

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1 Why would we think end-times Christians should escape persecution and even martyrdom considering the first century Apostles and disciples were martyred? That’s not to mention those persecuted and martyred in the intervening centuries, or those persecuted and martyred throughout the world in our present age.

2 Yet not only is the Holy Spirit completely absent from the immediate and surrounding context, the Spirit as ‘restrainer’ does not fit well grammatically. Specifically, though the occurrence of ‘restrainer’ in 2:6 is grammatically neuter in the Greek, thereby matching the grammatically neuter pneuma (Spirit), 2:7’s ‘restrainer’ is instead grammatically masculine. The argument then sometimes goes that the grammatically masculine word paraklētos (paraclete: counselor, helper, advocate), which is used for the Spirit in John’s Gospel (14:16, 26; 15:26; 16:7), is to be understood here. But this strains credibility, since this word occurs for the Spirit solely in the Gospel of John, never in the Pauline epistles. A related argument extends on this use of the grammatically masculine paraklētos for the Holy Spirit, in that masculine pronouns are used in John 14—16 and these masculine pronouns are claimed to refer to the grammatically neuter pneuma, thereby “personalizing” (indicating personhood for) the Spirit (whereas the neuter pneuma and its associated pronouns are erroneously construed as implying non-personhood). But this not only confuses grammatical gender with biological gender, it fails to recognize that these masculine pronouns refer back to the grammatically masculine paraklētos, not the neuter pneuma, thereby conforming to conventional grammar norms. A similar argument posits that a masculine grammatically gendered ‘restrainer’ would be appropriate given the Personhood of the Holy Spirit, as derived from contexts indicating such Personhood (the Spirit can be grieved [Eph 4:30], can be lied to [Acts 5:3], etc.). Yet, again, this overlooks that the Holy Spirit is absent in this context, while simultaneously presupposing erroneously that masculine grammatical gender can imply P/personhood, while the neuter cannot. See CrossWise articles Misgendering the Spirit and The Holy Spirit as “Restrainer” in 2 Thessalonians 2?. See also Daniel B. Wallace, Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics: An Exegetical Syntax of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1996), pp 331, 332, cf. 338.

3 My translation, as are all here.

4 These celestial events bear strong resemblance to those described in Revelation 6:12—14, which are followed by pleas from the inhabitants of the earth: …hide us from the face of the One seated on the Throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb, for the great Day of Their wrath has come, and who is able to stand? (6:16—17).

5 Cf. Isaiah 13:9—10.

6 Cf. Isaiah 34:4.

7 Cf. Rev 6:17. Jesus’ Jewish audience might know these passages well enough to mentally ‘fill in’ the Day of the LORD (YHWH) verbiage. See Peter’s address to the crowd in Acts 2:14—21, particularly 2:20 which sources Joel 2:31.

8 Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994), p 1134; emphasis added. The parenthetical comment is taken from the same page, but two paragraphs above this particular quote. This comment is included here in order to retain his thoughts in the current context. In other words, since the author had used this parenthetical comment earlier on the page in a similar context, the thrust of his comment is assumed to carry over, and so appending it here seems appropriate.

9 See this video segment John MacArthur – The Restrainer (“The Coming Man Of Sin” Part 4), as edited by “310revelation” from a larger sermon at gty.org. Accessed 8/14/2021. Note that MacArthur assumes some of the faulty pronoun arguments as detailed in note 2 above.

10 John MacArthur, Truth Endures: Commemorating Forty Years of Unleashing God’s Truth One Verse at a Time, 1969—2009, Phil Johnson & Mike Taylor, eds. (Panorama City, CA: Grace to You, 2009), pp 125—151. I would be terribly remiss if I did not mention the following: In my car as I was listening to MacArthur on local radio, an advertisement for Grace to You (gty.org) followed, stating that first time callers could receive a booklet of the sermon “A Jet Tour Through Revelation”, free of charge. I requested a copy, but was delighted to instead receive a full-length hard cover book with an accompanying note card: “Thank you for requesting a free copy of John MacArthur’s booklet, A Jet Tour Through Revelation. Due to the unexpected death of a member of our editorial staff, production of the booklet was delayed. As a result, we’ve taken the liberty of sending you John’s new book Truth Endures. It contains the “Jet-Tour” material you requested, as well as eleven additional, full-length messages. Please enjoy it with our compliments. We apologize for any inconvenience. Grace to You.”

11 MacArthur, Truth Endures, p 132.

12 The modern word “church” carries multiple meanings, has a skewed etymology, and generally confuses the meaning behind the NT use of ekklēsia in relation to Christ-followers. See CrossWise article Re-Assembly Required.

13 This word is not exclusively reserved for Christ-followers (see Acts 7:38; 19:32, 39, 40). See article referenced in note 12 above.

14 The first three clauses, separated by commas, are all in apposition (all dative clauses), meaning these three refer to the same group. This is akin to: Bob, my neighbor, the baker at Bob’s Bakery. They all refer to the same entity.

15 MacArthur, Truth Endures, p 132.

16 Gene L. Green, The Letters to the Thessalonians, Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC); Accordance electronic ed., OakTree Software, Inc. Version 2.5 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2002), 229; emphasis added. For more on the Parousia, see Not One Parousia, But Two.

60 Responses to Rapture Ready?

  1. Jim says:

    Thanks for this Craig. I was convinced many years ago, having started my Christian walk in Pentecostal and charismatic churches where PTR resides most strongly, that it required adopting the idea first then supporting it from scripture by implication, translation bias or literary sleight of hand. I didn’t know JMac was PTR. He’s done some good stuff recently on the delusion that God sends ahead of tribulation times.

    I see no evidence that the early church thought in PTR terms either. the entire supposition is riven with a false hope of an easy escape.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Craig says:

    Though I disagree with MacArthur on a few things (his cessationism, his PTR stance), I have learned a number of things from his teachings. I’ve not yet heard his teachings on God’s delusion.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Jim says:

    So was the idea started or simply popularised by JN Darby?

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  4. Craig says:

    I’ve not personally done any research on this, so I cannot say. It does seem that the ideology came about in the 19th century. It is absent in the Church ‘Fathers’ from what I can see, and I don’t believe it is found between these writings and the 19th century.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jim says:

    Funnily enough, the internet has been reading my mail and YT’s top feed this morning was JM talking about the rapture. In the short clip he didn’t specifically call out a PTR, but strongly intimated using John 14:2-3. The implication being that there will be a silent uptake by Jesus of believers and a return to heaven, where he is currently doing the house prep. He claims only 60% of evangelicals believe in this rapture.

    Thankfully 40% might be aware enough of the scriptures that state when Jesus returns, he stays here on earth. His second advent is the same as his first in that he dwells with man, albeit believing mankind is resurrected or made new if alive at the time. So either JM believes in a third coming, or discounts the rapture as a coming at all. Neither are scripturally plausible.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oskar Abley says:

    Hi Guys, Thesalonnians says the rapture happens when the Lord comes back in the clouds. This is known as the perusia. Pentecostal teaching always had three different times it was going to happen until the fantasy writer of Taken Away Tim LeHay. Not a great theological basis for deciding on pretrib rapture.

    all the best Oskar

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  7. Craig says:

    Oskar,

    Yes, the Rapture occurs when Jesus comes upon the clouds. But the question to answer is where does happen in relation to the Tribulation period?

    I’m unsure what you mean by “Pentecostal teaching always had three different times it was going to happen…” Can you explain?

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  8. This is a great post, Craig! Thank you for addressing the holes that exist in the PTR. John MacArthur calls himself a leaky dispensational. The are some PTR adherents who say that the church fathers allude to the rapture http://web.oru.edu/current_students/class_pages/grtheo/mmankins/DrHebert/M.A.%20Thesis/MA(Th)%20Thesis.CH-3e%20Indirect%20Ref%20to%20Rapture%20by%20Fathers.pdf Thank you again for addressing this!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Craig says:

    Thanks for reading!

    Following your link, and reading just the first section regarding Clement of Rome, the author is sure stretching things in trying to establish his position. Though Clement mentions Enoch (who was ‘raptured’), I don’t know how his example (or he himself) compares with Noah, Lot, and Rahab with respect to our future resurrection/rapture. That God saves his righteous? Then what about Stephen, Paul, and etc.? Were they not righteous?

    I won’t spend the time to read further, as it’s pretty well established in what little works I’ve read on this issue that the PTR was unknown until the 19th century (Grudem and L. Berkhof, e.g.).

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  10. Jim says:

    I guess Oskar means pre-, mid- or post-trib and Tim LaHay popularised pre- with his Left Behind series. I remember watching A Distant Thunder as a new Christian which was pre-trib rapture and thinking it was an interesting B movie. Not quite as polished as The Chosen.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Jim says:

    From Irenaeus Against Heresies Book V Ch 25:

    And therefore throughout all time, man, having been moulded at the beginning by the hands of God, that is, of the Son and of the Spirit, is made after the image and likeness of God: the chaff, indeed, which is the apostasy, being cast away; but the wheat, that is, those who bring forth fruit to God in faith, being gathered into the barn. And for this cause tribulation is necessary for those who are saved, that having been after a manner broken up, and rendered fine, and sprinkled over by the patience of the Word of God, and set on fire [for purification], they may be fitted for the royal banquet. As a certain man of ours said, when he was condemned to the wild beasts because of his testimony with respect to God: I am the wheat of Christ, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God.“

    Liked by 1 person

  12. There is a whole lot of stretching to make PTR work both from Scripture as you noted and from church history. When I was applying to seminary I was very much on the DTS train. One of the guy when I was in the phd cohort was Plymouth Brethren, Darby’s denomination. Anyway, while I no longer adhere to PTR, I do still read works from DTS professors. It breaks my heart that some will be shaken in their faith when the rapture doesn’t occur when they think it will and will fall away. I want to encourage as many people as possible to hold on in the faith, to persevere and endure rather than thinking persecution, tribulation won’t happen to them because of the PTR. I am thankful for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Jim says:

    For Blue Collar Theologian – what does DTS mean please?

    While it is tragic to see all that is going on in various parts of the world, and the Christian persecution that often accompanies such turmoil, I don’t think we have started to see the full force of what wars and rumours of wars looks like as well as entire nations manipulating their societies as spiritual delusions take hold. There’s a long way to go before you get to WWII levels of upheaval, and I would have thought that a PTR was on many people’s minds then.

    Th beginning of the church was marked by persecution. Throughout history, remnants of true followers have been hounded and killed, often by mainstream Christianity, and there’s plenty of scripture to indicate the last days of the church will be the same, if not worse. It is likely the love of many will grow cold as they see their anticipated ‘Great Escape’ fade as things ramp up. Teaching strong faith that endures under pressure is missing in too much of our churches.

    Liked by 3 people

  14. Nigel Smethers says:

    I’ve never been able to grasp at what point “some moment” became “any moment”? The Lord Jesus clearly spoke of Peter laying down his life for Him “when you are old” (John 21:18) which undermines the idea the Lord could come at “any moment” given it rules out His return between when He spoke these words and when Peter might reasonably be deemed ‘old’.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Craig says:

    Jim @ 8:12 am,

    Could be. I was aware Tim LaHaye was the primary author popularizing the ‘Rapture’. I think the imagery in Gene L. Green’s comments (concluding the article) was a reference to his books.

    I never watched A Distant Thunder (or The Chosen), so I have no point of reference.


    @ 8:30 am,

    Thanks for providing the Irenaeus quote. Quite a difference from what PTR adherents wish to believe, isn’t it?

    As an aside, note Irenaeus’ characterization of the Son and the Spirit as God’s ‘two hands’. I’d seen that before. It’s an obvious anthropomorphism, but it could be pondered (not taking the figurative language too far) from a Trinitarian perspective–latent, not quite developed, perhaps.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Craig says:

    BCT/Mandy,

    Yes, indeed!

    It’s sad that an entire seminary (DTS) is so ingrained with one particular eschatological view that it essentially stifles other views on campus. I recall reading Wallace’s Greek Grammar Beyond the Basics regarding the ‘paraclete’ in John 14–16 and agreeing with his refutation of the dubious pronoun argument there–as found in The Holy Spirit as “Restrainer” in 2 Thessalonians 2? article)–though also being rather dumbfounded that he thought the Holy Spirit/paraclete could work in 2 Thessalonians 2:6, 7. This is due to his adherence to the PTR, apparently, since he is a graduate and former instructor there. See the “Restrainer” article just referenced beginning at “Daniel B. Wallace, in his grammar, engages this kind of argument…” and ending “Nevertheless, he does think the Spirit is a possible referent for these two verses, though any argument for this cannot rely on the erroneous claim that masculine is the “natural gender” of pneuma.”, and follow the corresponding footnotes.

    You wrote: I want to encourage as many people as possible to hold on in the faith, to persevere and endure rather than thinking persecution, tribulation won’t happen to them because of the PTR.

    YES! I have many friends who unquestioningly accept the PTR, and they refuse to listen to my words of caution. Very grieving…

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Craig says:

    Jim,

    DTS is Dallas Theological Seminary.

    I think you’re right regarding “wars and rumors of wars”. We in the West have been relatively sheltered. “He said mean things!” is not persecution…

    You wrote: Teaching strong faith that endures under pressure is missing in too much of our churches. Sadly, that is all too true.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Craig says:

    Nigel,

    Thanks for your comment. I think this idea of imminency comes, in part, from 1Thess 5:2 (“thief in the night”). But then there’s 5:4 (and 2Thess 2) which counters such a notion–at least for believers.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I remember your post on the Restrainer!!! Yesterday I was with one of my best friends who had questions about the rapture and was able to share different views other than the PTR so that was encouraging! Today, I was with an older lady from my church who is very PTR and will not consider any other view. As you mentioned in your post this is a secondary doctrine so I do not fight with people. There’s another guy in our church who used to be Prewrath who recently discovered PTR through MacArthur and he’s also VERY into government agendas regarding things and I finally said to him, “if you hold to PTR why are you even worrying and fretting about this because the church in this view won’t be here?!” I think we are starting to see people starting to question PTR and I am praying people will hold onto hope in Christ not the PTR.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Craig says:

    Glad you have at least one friend with an open mind!

    Though eschatology is secondary doctrine, I think it OK to press a PTR adherent with, “What if this view is not correct? What if it fails Biblical scrutiny?” Then it’s not just ‘opinion’ on a secondary doctrine, but a refutation of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have asked people to talk me through how the PTR is scriptural. As you know, this is where tradition comes in and they hold to tradition more than Scripture. I have the same conversations/questions with those who are post trib and think the world is getting better.

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Craig says:

    By “post trib” did you mean “post Mill”?

    Liked by 1 person

  23. World getting better post mil yes, sorry about that. And yes, I do ask how that position is defended in Scripture. I took one seminary class at an AG school (I am totally not AG) and the professor was a post trib guy who really believes that believers will be the most Holy Spirit filled ever to endure the tribulation. He’s not NAR and dominion theology but definitely thinks Jesus will return to a better place. It was an eye opening experience and really helped me think through my convictions and the whys, what’s and how’s of my beliefs!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Craig says:

    It’s really hard for me to fathom how anyone could believe the world is getting better or will get better. This is clearly anti-Scriptural, but it is also self-evident just by looking at one’s window (figuratively speaking)!

    For me, it was trying to wrap my mind around the NAR’s eschatological views (including MSoG) that got me to really try to refine mine. Around the same time I was listening to many different PTR teachers, accepting it tentatively (though without reservation before that), then rejecting it by comparing various proof-texts with parallel/similarly-themed passages. I don’t have it all worked out, but it seems the Day of the Lord is the “day” (24 hour day?) our Lord returns to take up the believing dead and those (few) still alive and (immediately after this) also the “day” of His judgment against his adversaries (many of which are possessing human vessels–mass possession).

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Jim says:

    Imminence, or a ‘no notice’ rapture from 1 Thess 5:2 and Rev 3:3, is a notion taken out of context. This is a warning for non-believers or believers who are wrapped up in the flesh and world. 1 Thess 5:4 says, ‘But you brothers and sisters are NOT in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief’. In Rev 3:3 is the admonition ‘But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief.’ We are to be alert and led by the Spirit, not the flesh.

    As to the rapture being Christ coming for his church and the second advent being Christ coming with his church, Rev 19:14 is clear that the ‘armies of heaven’ follow Jesus. I see nowhere in scripture that we are counted among or as the heavenly (angelic) warriors. Matt 25:31 indicates this too, ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him,’ is clear that whilst Jesus turned down angelic protection at his crucifixion, he will return with a full heavenly cohort, not resurrected humans.

    For me, the rapture is dead in the water since it rests on our relocating to a place no man has or will tread – heaven. Heaven was made for a different class of being; the earth was created for humanity. We get into a good deal of Greek philosophy and Platonic Elysian fields through the rapture concept of zipping off to the Father, Jesus, and the angels domain.

    The amazing thing is that the new post-mill heavens and earth are fit for both to reside in – God and man – just as in Eden, but 2.0. The rapture concept, for me at least, draws on a Greek cosmology deeply embedded in to early Christian creeds and doctrines.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Craig says:

    Jim,

    You have really thought this through! In this article I purposely didn’t bring in much from Revelation (some footnotes, though), in part because I want to use this article to help others reject the PTR, and many of my friends are intimidated by the book of Revelation (it’s too hard to understand; subject to multiple interpretations; scary). I keep trying to get them to at least read it through carefully, if for no other reason that it’s the only book in which we are explicitly told that ‘blessed are those that read and heed it’.

    I agree with all you’ve written. You’re ‘Eden 2.0’ observation is exactly what I had in mind in my Looking Past the Future post.

    However, I must admit that I somehow missed the correlation between Rev 3:3 and 1Thess 5:4! That’s a stark implied warning!–which sets up the more explicit logical implication of Rev 3:5. Thanks for pointing that out!

    You wrote: The rapture concept, for me at least, draws on a Greek cosmology deeply embedded in to early Christian creeds and doctrines. While I may not totally disagree with your comment regarding Elysian fields, I don’t see how the early Christian creeds help facilitate such a view as the ‘Rapture’ concept in the PTR.

    In any case, though I am definitely preparing to go through 2Thess 2:1-9(ish, maybe up through 12), while working on this one I found material for a post that will go between this current PTR article and that series.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Jim says:

    Thanks for the feedback Craig. I think I probably meant to say later Christian creeds and doctrines. The early pre-Nicene church had a more pristine appreciation of these matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  28. SLIMJIM says:

    I haven’t really come to a conclusion about the rapture; thanks for this

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Craig says:

    You’re welcome. Thanks for reading.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. SLIMJIM says:

    Keep em coming!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Craig says:

    I’m tryin’! I’ve been very busy, and it’s been difficult to get a sustained amount of time to put posts like these together.

    Let me add something. I should have put the following in the post. While this is a secondary doctrine, PTR enthusiasts–both teachers and followers–seem to often tend to implicitly (or explicitly) make this a salvation issue. If you don’t believe in it, you could be, at best, one of those “Tribulation saints”.

    The other day I came across a woman I didn’t yet know, but who identified as Christian. I just flat out asked her if she believed in the PTR. Her response was (paraphrase), “Oh I’ll be gone before the bad stuff comes, but you’ll be here.”

    I want individuals to critically examine the doctrine to see if it passes Biblical muster. If it doesn’t (and I don’t think it passes), then it is, at best, extra-Biblical…

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Have you written any posts discussing the tribulation (thlipsis) in Greek?

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Craig says:

    BCT/Mandy,

    No, I have not. I did, however, include the word here for Matthew 24:21 and 24:29 (in parentheses), so the reader could infer that 24:29 refers back to 24:21. The post was already longer than I’d wanted, so I did not want to add too much info (along with cognitive dissonance on those adhering to PTR, information overload could ensue).

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Greek is not my specialty so I thought I would ask! I really appreciate all the effort you give your posts!!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Craig says:

    Well, Greek is not my specialty either! I’m thankful for software that parses the words, thus making translation much easier–though it’s still a LOT of work! But, for me, it’s a labor of love. It helps me learn as I go.

    Thanks for your kind words about the effort I put into the posts. It really does take a while to put these sorts of posts together. And most often they tend to go places I’d not initially anticipated.

    Liked by 1 person

  36. I totally get that about post going in a different direction than planned!

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Craig says:

    Jim,

    Is this one of the MacArthur videos you saw? I’ve timestamped at the place in which he makes his claim about the Rapture being between chapters 3 and 4 of Revelation:

    As for me, I think the ‘Rapture’ occurs at Revelation 11:15—heralded by the seventh angel’s trumpet.

    On Revelation MacArthur states: “That is the simplest book in the New Testament if you are looking for a chronological outline.” That assumes it’s in chronological order. But it’s clearly not. Just a cursory reading of chapter 6 reveals as much.

    In any case, his “Tribulation saints” problem is in full view here.

    Like

  38. Jim says:

    Right, thanks for the link Craig. It wasn’t that clip, but one of his sermons on Grace to You YT channel. Same result. The logic of Rev 7:14 being the raptured church falls over for me if they are described as those who have come out of the great tribulation. To come out of something implies you have to have been in it beforehand. You don’t come out of a building never having entered.

    Matt 24:29 says, ‘Immediately after the distress of those days (tribulation)…’, v30 has the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven ie the second advent, then v31, ‘And he will send his angels with a loud trumpet call (1Thess 4:16-17), and they will gather his elect from the four winds,’

    So we have in view a time of distress and tribulation that those who go through and stay true to the end are gathered by angels along with Jesus at his return. Rev as you rightly point out isn’t neatly stacked in chronological order and Rev 7:15-17 is, I think, prophetic comfort to those who will have endure hunger and thirst (from not taking the Beast’s mark), suffered in the open from the elements and cried a lot of tears as loved ones have died or fallen away.

    Liked by 1 person

  39. Craig says:

    Jim,

    And Rev 14:14-20 describes the harvest of the earth. The first part (vv 14-16) is the harvesting of the faithful–note the figure on the cloud (cf. Rev 1:13-16). The second part (vv 17-20) is the harvesting of non-believers–compare/contrast the imagery with the first harvest.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Jim says:

    Aug 11 6:11am you wrote, ‘While I may not totally disagree with your comment regarding Elysian fields, I don’t see how the early Christian creeds help facilitate such a view as the ‘Rapture’ concept in the PTR.’

    Sorry I didn’t get back on that point. It coincides with a couple more things I discovered yesterday that I disagree with JM on – the nature of death, and the form and function of hell. The fact that he said he read all 470-something pages of Edward Fudge’s book ‘The Fire that Consumes’ and refused to acknowledge what a consummate elegant argument he makes for the second death being the punishment that lasts eternally is incredible. It comes back to my point above about how the creeds and post-Nicene church were soaked in Greek Platonism which is exactly where Johnny Mac has to be in order to hold his view.

    Greek philosophy wants to break free from the evil of matter and physical existence to the Elysian fields of spiritual existence, but the bible speaks overwhelmingly of a non-conscious death, called sleep because all will be awoken to judgement apart from those sealed with the Holy Spirit who specifically qualify for resurrection or translation). There are a very few allegorical verses in the OT of those in Sheol having a form of life, but they should be seen in the light of the majority scriptures.

    So JM takes the Lazarus parable absolutely literally and bases his view on fire that torments forever versus fire that consumes and the result lasts forever. So I am not surprised he is PTR too, since it strongly relies on us having a disembodied afterlife and being judged at the point of death to go to either Elysian fields with Jesus supposedly, or down into a cavernous fiery Greek style underworld.

    This is why I made the point that a few centuries after the apostles died neo-Platonism took command of the doctrine writing process in Christianity, whereas before the gospel was more Hebraic in heart therefore more pristine and pure. This meant that PTR would not have entered their thoughts since they were used on on-going persecution and endurance and hadn’t got an expectation of a rapture escape. Death and resurrection was the expectation in all likelihood.

    Liked by 1 person

  41. Craig says:

    Jim,

    I cannot speak to Fudge’s book, as I’ve not read it; so, I won’t comment in that regard. I will say, however, that I don’t think a belief in eternal torment in a continuously burning lake of fire (see Rev 20:10) is tantamount to adherence to neo-Platonic / Gnostic spirit/matter dualism. This eternal torment (as opposed to life) occurs post-judgment; so, I’m not sure about the distinction/point you are making.

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Jim says:

    The point I am making is that until Greek philosophy which promoted an afterlife really took a hold on the church’s leadership thinking and creedal expression of doctrines, which was primarily post-Nicene, there would not have been an early church comprehension of PTR. If there’s no spiritually bodied or disembodied afterlife, as I think in borne out in most early church writings, then PTR becomes moot.

    It’s simply death, then resurrection, not death, then two forms of afterlife. A rapture of living believers ‘to heaven’ is in this category. We are not fitted for heaven even with translated bodies. God made the earth for our dwelling. The imagery of massed creatures in the heavenly court is either angels (that is their abode), or allegorical to comfort the persecuted church, is my understanding. So I think that a rapture escape is the same thinking as JM’s Lazarus and the rich man ie we get to live somewhere else, in some other form. I may be overplaying my hand there, but it makes sense in my mind.

    Liked by 1 person

  43. Jim says:

    In Rev 20:14, a few verses on from your quote, death and hades (or the grave, they’re synonyms) are thrown in to the lake of fire. This is the second, final and permanent death. So after the grave gave up its dead temporarily in v13 for the purposes of judgement, all are sentenced to everlasting death if they are found lacking in faith. If one holds to eternal conscious torment in that ‘place’, then I do think that absolutely necessitates neo-platonic dualism of spirit and matter.

    Liked by 1 person

  44. Jim says:

    Wow!

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Craig says:

    I will agree that the PTR is not in early Church writings. And I’ll agree that we don’t go to heaven in the afterlife. It’s the New Jerusalem in a new idyllic Garden.

    Now I see the point you were making regarding neo-Platonism.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Craig says:

    Jim,

    Though I do see your point regarding Rev 20:10, 14, I’m unwilling, as yet, to speculate further.

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Craig says:

    As one commenter remarked, JMac wishes to be dogmatic on this secondary issue.

    There will be some ‘Christians’ (church-goers) believing in the PTR who will end up following the pseudo-Parousia of the ‘Lawless One’ instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  48. Craig says:

    I’ll address JMac’s assertion: Before judgment comes on the earth in the Day of the Lord, believers will be ‘snatched out’. They’re ‘snatched out’ in chapter 4 of 1st Thessalonians; the Day of the Lord–horrific judgment–is described in chapter 5. We will not be there

    Let me quote from Ben Witherington, III’s commentary in reply:

    The attempt to take 1 Thess. 5:1-13 as if it were referring to events after the catching up of believers into the air rather than the parousia like 4:13-18 though in a different way (parousia = day of the Lord) must be said to be special pleading. The exhortations in 5:1-11 would be pointless if believers were not to be still on earth until the day of the Lord. The repetition of “with the Lord” in 4:17 and 5:10 and the similar endings directed toward the immediate audience in 4:18 and 5:11, along with the broader context and the content of these passages, indicate that Paul is speaking of the one and only second coming in both. While 4:13-18 examines the second coming from the angle of the coming rescue of believers, 5:1-11 examines the same event from the perspective of judgment on the unbelievers. In this regard the latter is closer to 2 Thessalonians 2.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Jim says:

    I agree Craig. JMac can’t use 1 Thess 4:13-17 as a rapture scripture when Paul goes on to describe the church’s participation in events leading up to the return of Christ in ch 5. Verse 18 of ch 4 provides the context frame for the previous passage – comfort that they haven’t lost believing loved ones who had died.

    The reference in your quote to 2 Thess 2 brings some questions though that I haven’t fully worked through, especially around the temple motif. Jesus talks of this as a key part of endtimes activity in Matt 24:15 as the holy place that suffers an abomination. However, from Luke 21:20 Jesus explains that all Jerusalem will suffer desolation, duplicating half of the ‘abomination of desolation’ phrase.

    Back to 2 Thess 2 and we read the antichrist will set himself up in God’s temple which mirrors Dan 9:27. So, to my mind, it seems as though there are the following options:

    Daniel, Jesus and Paul are only referencing the 70AD fall of Jerusalem, dismantling of the second temple and end of sacrificial Judaism.
    That implies historical full preterism, all scripture has been fulfilled and we are in an amillenial age as James White, Jeff Durbin and others strongly profess indefinitely awaiting the end of that period.
    Daniel is pointing to 70AD, so is Jesus but with an eye on an unfulfilled element that comes in when you consider the handing of God’s gospel baton from the Jews to all in Christ in the new church age and its pre-millenial conclusion.
    This strongly requires that national or religious Israel is now not a current or future thing in God’s mind and that all prophecy claimed for the Jews, Jacob’s trouble, a special piece of the Middle East, a third temple for sacrifices is void or transferred to the believing church.
    Consequently, if there is no more sacrificial Judaism ever, the temple reference in 2 Thess 2 is the body of Christ (1 Cor 6:19, 1 Pet 2:5), or another 70AD prophecy from Paul. This implies that the antichrist is going to defile the Christian church in some form, force it to take heretical beliefs or the like.

    I have moved away from my early Charismatic focus on the restoration of national/religious Israel and Judaism, which automatically seriously affects endtimes interpretation. Any temple that uses sacrifices to worship God would actually be an abomination in its own right and trample underfoot the blood and sacrifice of Jesus. Gal 3 and Heb 6 are direct refutations that a return to the ‘weak and elemental force’ of traditional Judaism will fail you. That to me is a key point missed by the third temple, red heifer proponents.

    Quite a bit there to digest, and I don’t want to take this off track such as my earlier posts on the afterlife did (apologies for that detour!) but it is trib related.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Craig says:

    Some things here you’ve thought through more than I had, and others we are on the same page. A third Jewish Temple is a nonstarter for me for the reasons you laid out.

    I will forgo further comment, saving it for the near-future 2 Thess 2 series I have planned. I just need more hours in the day…

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Jim says:

    Looking forward to that Craig. All God’s mighty power to you for the 24 hours we get each day, but rest is a good thing too 😄

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Craig says:

    Thanks!

    I had started one on the “God’s Temple” of 2Thess 2:3 about 6 or so years ago, but set that aside. I’ll be able to pull a large bit of info from it.

    Liked by 1 person

  53. Jim says:

    I read a useful post that reframed replacement theology in terms of actually being true Christology. Basically it said that everything Israel was supposed to do and failed to do to represent God, Jesus did; and he was also the fulfilment and totality of the Law, so the Temple IS Jesus Christ. I simply can’t avoid that if the second temple was destroyed in 70 AD because it was an abomination before God, and that in Rev 2-3, a couple of the churches reference ‘synagogues of satan’ filled with Jews who aren’t true Jews ie people of faith circumcised in their hearts (Rom 2:29), then a third temple is itself an abomination, not something to be lauded and sought after.

    I can’t see how or why God would reinstate a system that he expressly swept away because it kept a veil over the hearts of Israel, and denigrated the cross of Christ, his blood and sacrifice. That’s not replacement theology, it just taking the Word at its word surely.

    Liked by 1 person

  54. Craig says:

    In today’s “Daily Dose of Greek”, Dr. Plummer recommends a new book on Discourse Analysis:

    http://dailydoseofgreek.com/scripture-passage/discourse-analysis-of-the-new-testament-writings/

    Going to the publisher’s page (it’s a multi-authored work with one general editor), I note that 2 Thess 2 is authored by Michael Aubrey, a writer whose views I respect. I’ll have to get the book.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Craig says:

    Greg Laurie comes so close . . . until 2:28 when he imposes the PTR ideology upon Matthew 24, thereby obscuring its meaning.

    Like

  56. Jim says:

    Thanks ‘n’ all, but I’m not going to even open this up for a listen ☺️ I’ve heard enough pre-trib twisting from him before, so I know all too well what you’re describing.

    Like

  57. Craig says:

    Understood. This one he pulls out of thin air.

    This next article is taking a bit longer to pull together. A large part is translating, including one non-biblical passage, which is central to a point I wish to make. The one translation I see (in the public domain) is clearly incorrect at one very important point (affecting chronology), which forced me to look very closely at the rest. Most times in extra-biblical works I can at least use one translation as a guide. Not here. (Most times there are words in the text absent from the NT–like here–which means I usually cannot use my NT reference works as aids.)

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Pingback: Escorting the King of Kings? | CrossWise

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