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Prooftexting and the Post-Tribulation Rapture

“...and she brought forth a male son, who is about to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, and her child was snatched up to God and to His throne...” (Rev. 12:5, LSV)

Merriam-Webster defines a proof text as “a Scriptural passage adduced as proof for a theological doctrine, belief, or principle.”  Every side in a theological or doctrinal debate will put the spotlight on certain passages to add weight to their argument.  For every proof text offered by those who subscribe to salvation by faith and works, there is a counter-proof text highlighted by those who argue for salvation by faith alone and the gospel of grace.

The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him. (Prov. 18:17, ESV)

Proof texts are necessary to make any doctrinal argument, yet overusing them and neglecting seemingly contradictory passages often gives rise to prooftexting.  This is an errant and fallacious practice that causes one to miss the forest for the trees, so to speak.  It causes the proponent to resort to a number of fallacies including argumentum ab auctoritate (“argument from authority”), petitio principii (“assuming the premise”), and straw man.  Wikipedia defines the issue with prooftexting quite well:

Prooftexting (sometimes “proof-texting” or “proof texting”) is the practice of using isolated, out-of-context quotations from a document to establish a proposition in eisegesis (introducing one's own presuppositions, agendas, or biases).

To summarize: there is a place for proof texts and all arguments have them, but they have to be used contextually, comprehensively, and correctly.

Growing up in the Restoration Movement (“churches of Christ”) I was well-versed in the several passages of Scripture that seem to indicate the necessity of baptism for salvation—Acts 2:38 chief among them:

Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

To me and many others this passage seemed so clear, so unambiguous.  How could anyone disagree that water baptism was essential for salvation?  And so I thought for many years, until I came face to face with the many passages that speak of salvation by faith alone, such as Ephesians 2:8–9, John 3, John 6, and numerous epistles like Romans and Galatians.  Remember, as the ancient God-breathed proverb says, “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”  What may seem to be an ironclad argument, might not be quite so strong on further examination.

These seemingly contradictory sola fide passages troubled me and I was determined to get to the bottom of this all-important question.  I had read dozens upon dozens of articles from those on both sides of the debate, but in the end I couldn't be fully convinced one way or the other.  This led me to go straight to God's word for the answers and I set out to do a full inventory of every single passage of Scripture in the New Testament that spoke of individual salvation.  My inventory included every passage I could find relating salvation to faith, salvation to baptism, salvation to works, or any combination thereof.

In the end, the result of my inventory (which I wrote about here and here) rocked my world.  There are 88 verses in the New Testament that clearly indicate salvation is through faith alone, or in some instances stated in the inverse—that salvation is not a result of works.  On the other hand, there are 24 verses that seem to tie works to salvation and only five that speak of baptism in such a way (Acts 2:38; Mk. 16:16; 1 Pt. 3:21; Col. 2:12; Rm. 6:4).  As a result, I was left with a much clearer picture and had to identify what, if any, contradiction remained.

I discovered that earlier in my life I had been prooftexting with five verses in such a way that I couldn't see the 88!  Similarly, many legalists prooftext their anti-gospel view using James chapter 2 and a handful of other passages, similarly excluding the proverbial elephant in the room of sola fide.  My eyes were opened to the good news of Christ like never before and these 29 verses suddenly became easy to reconcile:

  • Of the five passages on baptism, only one—1 Peter 3:21—mentions water anywhere in the context, and it's in a different light than I had thought: the Apostle Peter says it isn't water that saves, but is rather the appeal to God for a clean conscience (cf. Rm. 10:9, 13).  Paul makes a similar distinction in 1 Corinthians 1:17.  What of the other four verses?  The answer had already been given in Scripture, but I hadn't recognized it—John baptized with water, but (adversative particle δέ in the Greek) Christ baptizes with the Holy Spirit (Mt. 3:11; Mk. 1:8; Lk. 3:16; Jn. 1:33; Acts 1:5).  Our work has only ever been to believe in the One God sent (Jn. 6:29), whereas God's work is to baptize us in His Holy Spirit, applying Christ's righteousness to our account, which is made possible by His efficacious death and resurrection.  That's what happened on the day of Pentecost nearly 2,000 years ago.
  • Regarding the 24 passages on works, four occur in the synoptic Gospels in the context of law-keeping outside of the dispensation of grace (Mt. 3:10; 6:15; 13:41; Lk 3:9).
  • Four occur in James' epistle, a letter written within the age of grace, to the Diaspora—the dispersed Israelites among whom were believers who were under extreme social pressure to renounce Christ and observe the Torah; James makes clear in his thesis that the issue he is addressing isn't faith vs. works, but rather when one says (“λέγῃ”) he has faith, but doesn't actually have faith (Jas. 2:14).  Those who claim to trust in Christ yet rely on the Torah for righteousness are deceiving themselves (Jas. 2:10–13; 3:2).  In Acts 15:12–14 James himself affirms Peter's declaration of sola fide for both Gentiles and Jews, which was given in Acts 15:7–11.
  • Philippians 2:12 contains the well-known statement where believers are exhorted to “work out [their] own salvation with fear and trembling,” but in an epistle which already affirms sola fide (Phil. 3:9), the meaning is quite clear: we are never exhorted to work for our salvation.  That would be a blasphemous contradiction of the good news.  To the contrary, Paul is exhorting believers to work out from their already existing, established, positional security in Christ Jesus.  Christ is our rock and foundation and upon this Rock our non-salvific works are built up unto the Lord (1 Cor. 3:11–15; Eph. 2:10).
  • Hebrews 10:26 warns that the one continuing in sin has no sacrifice for sins left, since Christ is the once-for-all sacrifice.  This verse is perhaps the most infamous example of prooftexting since the entire subject of the book of Hebrews—chapter 10 in particular—is that Christ's atoning sacrifice was complete and that if the Jews (“Hebrews”) continue in their unbelief by relying on the Mosaic Law, they will be lost.  Thus the “sinning” spoken of in Hebrews 10:26 isn't the general sin that everyone, both believer and unbeliever alike, commits (Rm. 3:10, 23; 7:7–25), but is the specific sin of unbelief in Christ (cf. Jn. 8:24; Rm. 14:23), which will result in horrible judgment (vv. 28–31; cf. vv. 38–39; 3:14–19; 4:1–11). 
  • Four verses occur in Revelation (vv. 2:23; 3:2; 20:12, 13).  Revelation 20:12–13 specifically pertains to the unsaved dead in the second resurrection who will indeed be judged by their deeds and cast into the lake of fire.  Revelation 2:23 doesn't mention salvation and might even be excluded from this list.  Revelation 3:2 is more ambiguous.  It doesn't specifically mention salvation either and appears to be addressed directly to the angel of Sardis rather than the believers there (v. 1).  Salvation by means of Christ's atoning death is the clear teaching of Revelation (Rev. 1:4–6; 5:9–10; 7:13–14; 12:11; see also here).
  • The remaining 10 verses are contained within 1st and 3rd John—nine in 1 John alone.  Interestingly, similar to Revelation 2:23 and 3:2, none of these 10 verses mention salvation (1 Jn. 2:4, 5; 3:6–9; 15; 4:20; 5:18; 3 Jn. 1:11), though they do paint a stark contrast between the children of light and the children of darkness—a major theme in John's epistles.  However one interprets these Scriptures, they have to be viewed in light of John's unambiguous statements regarding salvation by faith alone (Jn. 1:12–13; 16–17; 29; 3:14–18; 5:24; 6:28–29; 1 Jn. 3:1–5; 4:4; 5:4–5; Rev. 1:4–6; 5:9–10; 7:13–14; 12:11).

In the same way that we have obtained the clear theme and message of Scripture regarding salvation by inventorying as many passages as we can find on the subject and resolving the apparent contradictions caused by prooftexting, we can do the same in regard to the timing of the rapture.

We have written many articles demonstrating how clear and unambiguous the Scriptural case for the pre-tribulational rapture truly is—even going so far as to say that a literal interpretation of Scripture necessarily leads to the pre-tribulation conclusion:

Prophecy Basics: Setting the Record Straight

Pre-Trib Rapture Evidence: Top 10

Who Are the 24 Elders?

Who is the Male Child of Revelation 12?

Revelation 12: Escape to a Place Prepared

Passing the Torch

The Pre-Trib Rapture is Solid Biblical Truth

The Antichrist, the Restrainer, and the Remnant

Extra-Biblical Evidence for the Pre-Trib Rapture

250 Reasons for the Pre-Trib Rapture

But now I want to address the three primary proof texts used by those arguing for a post-tribulation rapture of the Church, demonstrating that these are easily reconciled to the pre-trib view.

1. “For that day shall not come...” (2 Thess. 2:3)

One of the largest eschatological battlegrounds in Scripture is 2 Thessalonians 2.  The fight centers around a single word:

And we ask you, brothers, in regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together to Him, that you are not quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled, neither through spirit, neither through word, neither through letters as through us, as that the Day of the LORD has arrived; do not let anyone deceive you in any way, because if the departure [ἀποστασία] may not come first, the man of lawlessness may [not] be revealed—the son of destruction... (2 Thess. 2:1–3, LSV)

In v. 3 the King James supplies “that day shall not come”—words not found in any manuscripts, including the manuscripts the King James was translated from.  Adding to Scripture, KJV?  Many subsequent English translations have maintained this interpolation or something similar.  This addition doesn't significantly impact the meaning of the text, but our greater concern is with the Greek word ἀποστασία (transliterated into English as “apostasy”), which is translated in the Bishops' Bible and most subsequent English translations as “apostasy, rebellion, or falling away.”  The Bishops' Bible of 1568 was novel in this regard and it served as the textual basis for the King James of 1611.  All English translations prior to the Bishops' Bible chose the more literal rendering departure or departing.  It's important to note that the translators of the Bishops' Bible and the King James were highly concerned with upholding the predominance of the Church of England and stamping out any resistance (aka apostasy) and this bias can be seen in various places in the text.  The more generic Protestant and gospel-centric Geneva Bible, which was completed just eight years prior to the Bishops' Bible, maintained the normal, literal rendering departure.

Now the interesting thing about 2 Thessalonians 2 is that a number of prominent pre-tribulation scholars believe that apostasia in v. 3 does in fact signify a spiritual defection of sorts in the last days and that this understanding doesn't impact the pre-trib doctrine.  In other words, the issue that Paul is tackling here—in their interpretation—is not the rapture so to speak, but is the fact that a spiritual defection during the Tribulation will precede the Antichrist.  The thinking goes that this parallels Daniel 8:23.  The pre-trib rapture precedes both.

In this sense, the translation of apostasia is not decisive against the pre-trib doctrine.  On the other hand, if apostasia does in fact refer to the spatial departure of the Church, then 2 Thessalonians 2:3 decisively disproves the post-tribulational view.  And herein lies the reason why the apostasy view of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 is so militantly defended by those opposed to the pre-trib view, because if they lose the battle over v. 3, there's no other ground to stand on.

I've studied the scholarly works on both sides of the debate surrounding 2 Thessalonians 2:3, but I'm left unconvinced by the apostasy camp.  The issue is pretty simple really.  Apostasia literally means “a standing away from, a standing apart from, a departure.”  Its verbal correspondent ἀφίστημι (transliterated aphistémi) means “to leave, to depart.”  It's used 14 times in Scripture: 11 times purely referring to spatial departure, two times in the context of religious apostasy, and once in the context of political revolt (Acts 5:37).  Context is king in each instance.

Despite what some would argue, the noun apostasia is no different.  It is only used twice in Scripture; aside from the instance in 2 Thessalonians 2, it is also used in Acts 21:21 referring to a departure or forsaking of Moses.  Acts 21:21 is particularly interesting because it becomes clear that apostasia is defined by the context ἀπὸ Μωϋσέως (“from Moses”) and without the contextual linkage the word wouldn't be able to stand by itself.  I inventoried other extra-biblical Koine usages of the word from before the 2nd century and in each instance the context had to be clearly supplied to define what the departure was from.  Even in the handful of places the word is used in the LXX, it never stands alone as apostasy.  It is clear that this word simply means departure—in extra-biblical sources a departure from political opponents; in Acts 21:21 a departure from Judaism; and in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 a departure from the world.

The context of 2 Thessalonians 2 is abundantly clear:

And we ask you, brothers, in regard to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of our gathering together to Him, that you are not quickly shaken in mind, nor be troubled, neither through spirit, neither through word, neither through letters as through us, as that the Day of the LORD has arrived...

Paul couldn't be any more clear: Christians should not be shaken or troubled by the rabble-rousers who say that the Day of the LORD (aka the Tribulation) has begun.  “Our gathering together to Him” must come first.  This is the plain teaching that the Apostle Paul had already taught the Thessalonians in his first epistle (1 Thess. 4:13–5:11; cf. 1 Thess. 1:10).

In 1 Thessalonians, not only is the rapture event described immediately before the Tribulation within the same passage (1 Thess. 4:16–17 vs. 1 Thess. 5:1–3), but Paul also laces his first epistle with promises of escape for both living and dead believers (1 Thess. 1:10; 4:18; 5:3–4 “they” do not escape, but “you” do; also 1 Thess. 5:9).

Furthermore, it is noted that 2 Thessalonians 2:7 directly parallels v. 3:

...for the secret of lawlessness already works, only the [one] now restraining [will do so] until he may come out of [the] midst, and then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the LORD will consume with the Spirit of His mouth, and will nullify at the appearance of His coming... (2 Thess. 2:7–8, LSV)

In v. 3 the Antichrist is not revealed until the “departure.”  In v. 7 the Antichrist is not revealed until the Restrainer is removed.  V. 7 is a clear reference to some sort of spatial departure of an entity that restrains the Antichrist's revealing, therefore v. 3 almost certainly refers to the same.  Now the common view is that the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit, and this is true, but it must be qualified.  The Holy Spirit is God and God is omnipresent.  His removal would result in the immediate disintegration of the cosmos.  There is nowhere where God is not.  Thus the Restrainer is more properly the Holy Spirit-indwelt Church—the mystical body of Christ, which is one new man (Eph. 2:15), the corporate seed of Abraham (Gal. 3:29), and the male child of Revelation 12:5.  V. 7 disproves the view that the departure of v. 3 is a spiritual “falling away.”

The Antichrist may very well be here on earth as I write this, but he will not be revealed until we're gone.

Further reading:

The Falling Away: Spiritual Departure or Physical Rapture? by Dr. Andy Woods

Thistles in Thessalonians by Greg Lauer

2. “This is the first resurrection...” (Rev. 20:5)

Some post-tribulation rapture proponents such as Oneness Pentecostal Irvin Baxter use the reference to “the first resurrection” in Revelation 20:5–6 as proof positive that the pre-trib doctrine is false.  The theory goes that because this resurrection occurs after the Tribulation there cannot be a resurrection of the Church before the Tribulation.

And I saw thrones, and they [that] sat on them, and judgment was given to them, and the souls of those who have been beheaded because of the testimony of Jesus, and because of the word of God, and who did not worship the beast, nor his image, and did not receive the mark on their forehead and on their hand, and they lived and reigned with the Christ one thousand years; and the rest of the dead did not live again until the one thousand years may be completed; this [is] the first resurrection. Blessed and holy—he who is having part in the first resurrection; the second death has no authority over these, but they will be priests of God and of the Christ, and will reign with Him one thousand years. (Rev. 20:4–6, LSV)

On its face, going only by this small snippet of Scripture, the argument seems pretty solid.  However, not only is the argument faulty, but the passage itself has two key hints of the pre-trib rapture (#2 and #3 below).

1. What is meant by “the first resurrection”?  “First” can mean several different things—even in a literal sense: “first” can have a sequential meaning (e.g., an ordered list: first... second... third), a priority meaning (e.g., “the king has first priority” or “she's my first choice”), and a type meaning (e.g., “the first type is pizza, the second type is tex-mex”).

The post-tribulation view insists that first must here refer to sequence only and thus their view is boxed in by using only one of the three meanings of the word.  In reality, the Revelation 20 passage is the weakest of the three main post-trib proof texts.  The post-trib resurrection of Revelation 20 is unequivocally not the first sequential resurrection in the Bible.  Fully 11 others occur prior:

  • The resurrection of a widow's son from Zarephath by Elijah (1 Kgs. 17).  Note that the first listed resurrection in the Bible was of a Gentile nonetheless!
  • The resurrection of the son of a woman from Shunem by Elisha (2 Kgs. 4).
  • The resurrection of a man who was thrown on the bones of Elisha (2 Kgs. 13).
  • The resurrection of Jairus' daughter by Jesus (Mk. 5).
  • The resurrection of a man from Nain by Jesus (Lk. 7).
  • The resurrection of Lazarus by Jesus (Jn. 11).
  • The resurrection of Jesus Himself.
  • The resurrection of many saints shortly after Christ's resurrection (Mt. 27).
  • The resurrection of Tabitha by Peter (Acts 9).
  • The resurrection of Eutychus by Paul (Acts 20).
  • The resurrection of the Two Witnesses at the mid-point of the Tribulation (Rev. 11).

Some have countered that Revelation 20 must refer only to the first resurrection into immortality.  They seem to forget our Lord Jesus Christ Himself!  Jesus is the firstborn from the dead (Col. 1:18) and we, the Church, are called by the same name (Heb. 12:23; cf. Jas. 1:18).  We share in the blessings, authority, and inheritance of Christ (Jn. 14:13; 15:16; Rm. 8:17; 2 Cor. 5:21; Eph. 1:3; 2:6; Rev. 2:26–28; 3:21).  We, like Christ, suffer tribulation in this present age, but we do not suffer the wrath of God that is poured out during the specific period of time allotted for God's wrath known as “The Time of Jacob's Trouble” (Jer. 30), “Daniel's 70 Week” (Dan. 9), or “The Day of the LORD.”  John 14:1–3, 1 Thessalonians 1:10, 1 Thessalonians 5:3–4, 1 Thessalonians 5:9, and Revelation 3:10 are conclusive.  Furthermore, the Old Testament describes a group of saints escaping before the Tribulation (Isa. 26:17–21; 66:7–9; Zeph. 1:14–2:3).

And Jesus wasn't the only one resurrected into immortality—the many saints of Matthew 27 probably fit the bill, too.  Still to come, the Two Witnesses will be resurrected and taken to Heaven three and a half years before the “first” resurrection of Revelation 20:4–6.

So what is meant by the first resurrection?  The answer is simple: it's a resurrection of type, priority, and sequence.  The first resurrection is the type of resurrection unto life.  Those resurrected prior to the post-millennial Great White Throne judgment event are partakers of the resurrection of life.  They are atoned for by the blood of the Lamb.  Broadly speaking, this includes the Church, the Old Testament saints, and the Tribulation saints.  In that these are resurrected unto life—and are resurrected prior to those raised after the millennial period who are judged by deeds rather than atonement (Rev. 20:12–15)—these are also first in priority and sequence.

2. Only dead saints are raised into immortality in Revelation 20.  The only group mentioned to be resurrected in Revelation 20 are those who did not worship the beast and who did not take the mark—all of whom were beheaded (Rev. 20:4; cf. Rev. 6:9–11; 7:9–17).  Likewise, given that it has been over 2,000 years, all the Old Testament saints are also dead when resurrected (Ez. 37:1–14; Dan. 12:12–13).  Where are the living Christians mentioned in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 and 1 Corinthians 15:51 that Paul speaks of who will be changed and caught up?  They are nowhere to be found because God took them (cf. Jn. 14:1–3; Isa. 26:19–21; Zeph. 2:3; Rev. 3:10; cf. Gen. 5:24).

3. In Revelation 20 a separate group is mentioned before the dead are raised.  They are sitting on thrones.  It's the Church.  “And I saw thrones, and they [that] sat on them, and judgment was given to them...”  The only group in the book of Revelation mentioned to be sitting on thrones are the 24 elders and the 24 elders unequivocally represent the collective, glorified Church.

3. “After the tribulation of those days...” (Mt. 24:29)

Perhaps the most cited passage in all of Scripture by the post-tribulation camp—their ultimate proof text, as it were—is found in the 24th chapter of Matthew, known as the Olivet Discourse.

And immediately after the tribulation of those days, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, and the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken; and then will appear the sign of the Son of Man in the sky; and then will all the tribes of the earth strike the breast, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of Heaven, with power and much glory; and He will send His messengers with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His chosen from the four winds, from the ends of the heavens to the ends thereof. (Mt. 24:29–31, LSV)

At first glance, their argument makes quite a bit of sense.  Paul spoke of the gathering of believers in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 2 Thessalonians 2.  And in 1 Thessalonians 4:16–18 and the corresponding passage of 1 Corinthians 15:51–53, this gathering of believers occurs at the sound of a trumpet.  Matthew 24:29 makes clear that the gathering spoken of in v. 31 occurs “after the tribulation of those days...”

This though is where the similarities end.  Like 2 Thessalonians 2, Matthew 24 doesn't provide the definitive counterpunch that the post-trib perspective would need, because both sides have already agreed that there is a gathering after the Tribulation as attested in the previous section.  The Old Testament saints are gathered after the Tribulation (Dan. 12:12–13; cf. Ez. 37) and the Tribulation saints are gathered after the Tribulation, as well (Rev. 20:4; 7:14).

Regarding the trumpet, it has been noted that there may be an important distinction between the angelic-oriented trumpet of Matthew 24 and the “trumpet call of God” in 1 Thessalonians 4.  This could be the case, but I don't make too much of this.  The more important distinction is that Church Age believers are gathered by Christ (Jn. 14:1–3) to Christ (1 Thess. 4:16–18) in the air.  The gathering of the saints at the end of the Tribulation outlined in Matthew 24 is accomplished by angels to an unspecified location.  Whereas Christ's parousia to the Church occurs in the air, His parousia to Israel occurs on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4; Acts 1:10–12).

Trying to mix these two separate gatherings is unnatural, given that the gathering of the Church involves believers quite literally leaving the earth to fly up into the sky just as Jesus flew up into the sky at His ascension.  If we are to regard Jesus' promise to His disciples in John 14:1–3 for its plain sense, then the destination of believers who will be gathered to Christ in the air can't be earth.  It must be Heaven.  And indeed, believers being caught up into Heaven prior to the Tribulation (or Great Tribulation in the case of the Two Witnesses) is already a strong theme in Scripture (Rev. 4:1–4; 12:5; 3:21; 2 Cor. 12:2–4; cf. Gen. 5:24; 2 Kgs. 2:11; Rev. 11:12).

The mere fact that a trumpet is blown at both the gathering of the Church (1 Thess. 4:16) and at the gathering of the elect in Matthew 24 (v. 31) is not grounds for connecting the two events.  Trumpets were blown at all the festivals of Israel.  And not just the festivals, but also general gatherings of the people—both for meetings and for war.  Trumpets are routinely employed throughout Scripture and in the book of Revelation we can read of nine trumpets sounding—the trumpet of Christ two times (Rev. 1:10; 4:1) and the seven angelic trumpets in the midst of the Tribulation.

Connecting the various eschatological events may seem complex, but it needn't be.  Thinking it to be too complicated to have a resurrection before the Tribulation and one after, some post-tribulation proponents argue that Occam's razor necessitates a post-tribulation resurrection alone (which I addressed in the previous section).  However, this is a misuse of Occam's razor.  The principle isn't just “find the simplest explanation,” it's “find the simplest explanation that fits all the facts.”  “Plurality should not be posited without necessity.”  The pre-tribulation rapture is necessary because it's promised to the Church (Rev 3:10; 4:1; 5:8–10; 12:5; 20:4; 1 Thess. 1:10; 4:16–18; 5:4; 9; 2 Thess. 2:3, 7; 1 Cor. 15:51–52; Acts 15:14–16; Zeph. 1:14–2:3; Jn. 14:1–6; Isa. 17:10–11; 26:17–21; 57:1–2; 66:7–9; Lk. 21:36; Deut. 32:21).

Just as the Jews had oversimplified the eschatological plan of God and couldn't foresee Christ's first coming, His atoning sacrifice, their second dispersion, or the Church Age, so too I'm afraid many Christians today are oversimplifying the final end of the age events, and in so doing are not able to offer the encouraging words and great hope that all believers should be able to hold onto (Jn. 14:1–3; 1 Thess. 4:18; 5:4–9; Tit. 2:11–15; Heb. 10:25).

In my humble opinion, the complexities of eschatology are most clearly resolved by the pre-tribulation model, which allows for a prima facie interpretation of the book of Revelation, as well as a chronological reading of the vision:

  • Chapter 1: “Write the things that you have seen...”
  • Chapters 2–3: “And the things that are...” (aka the Church Age)
  • Chapter 4–on: “And the things that are to take place after this...” (the rapture in chapters 4–5; Tribulation in chapters 6–18; the return of Christ in chapter 19; the post-trib resurrection, millennial period, Gog and Magog war, and final judgment in chapter 20; and the new heavens, new earth, and New Jerusalem in chapters 21–22)

Now the book of Revelation is not a western-style chronology, but it is chronological as I explain in my article The Day of the LORD.  It's a Semitic chronology in the style Genesis 1–2.  It is also built with a very clear chiastic structure.  As frequently noted, the ekklésia (“church”) is mentioned frequently in chapters 1, 2, and 3, but isn't mentioned even once in chapters 4–21.  The only mention of the ekklésia outside of the first three chapters is found in Revelation 22:16 at the tail end of the book after the narrative is completely finished.

A final point regarding the two gatherings: Christ returns at the end of the Tribulation with saints already in tow (Rev. 19:11–16; Jd. 1:14–15; cf. Dan. 7:13–14), as well as angels in the stellar armada.

...because of this be glad, you heavens, and those who dwell in them; woe to those inhabiting the earth and the sea, because the Devil went down to you, having great wrath, having known that he has [a] short time. (Rev. 12:12, LSV)

Final Thoughts

Over the years we've presented countless reasons why the pre-tribulational rapture is more than a doctrine—it's a promise.  And many of these reasons coming from a man who was himself unsure for a long time.  I was post-trib, pre-wrath, and pan-trib, and sometimes I was waffling over those in the same day!  Pre-trib seemed too good to be true.  That's until I found grace.  We will suffer in this world and millions of believers have been martyred for their faith, but none of those who genuinely trust in Christ will suffer the wrath of God that is poured out during the Tribulation's 21 judgments.

It isn't easy escapism.  It's trusting the Blood.  I don't have to purify myself during the Tribulation, because I'm already pure.  I don't need the righteous acts of the saints, because I have the righteous act of Christ on the Cross imputed to my account.  While the pre-trib rapture is not a promise necessary to believe in for salvation, it does seem that a great many Christians who reject it are still living under law.

The Lord's coming is imminent—not random as some pre-trib proponents teach, but soon.  That is to say, the next major prophetic event to be fulfilled is not the revealing of the Antichrist, the Abomination of Desolation, or the seals, trumpets, and vials of wrath, but is the rapture of Christ's Church from the earth.  It's imminent because the next thing we'll see is Christ, not Antichrist.  We look for Jesus, not the false messiah who comes later.  We are awaiting the coming (parousia) of Christ for His Church, not the coming of Christ to the Mount of Olives to tread down the wicked as grapes in the winepress.  Who taught you that there are two comings of Christ?  Certainly not Scripture.  There are three comings of Christ: first to Judea some 2,000 years ago as the spotless Lamb, second to His Church as the longing Bridegroom, and third to the Mount of Olives as the conquering King.

Scripture affirms that Christians will be alive when Christ comes to snatch us up (1 Thess. 4:17–18; 1 Cor. 15:51–53).  Scripture also affirms that the gates of hell (literally Hades) will not prevail against the Church, yet during the Tribulation the saints of God are all killed and are all overcome by the Antichrist (Rev. 13:7, 15; 20:4).  Your bug out bag, MREs, and hole in the ground won't matter a lick in the Tribulation, because you and your family will not survive it if you intend to follow Christ to the bitter end.  My hope is Jesus Christ who delivers me from the wrath to come.  He will keep me from the trial coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants therein.


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  1. Gary,

    A BRILLIANT topic that will sure to fill this page with lively conversation. I hope to add to it as well with a look into the future Kingdom and beyond.

    Thank you for your tireless leadership, inspired writing and constant encouragement that points hearts and lives back to Christ!

    Together, we are a fellowship of the Saints. May we give thanks for this place, praying for the encouragement of one another and that we don't miss an opportunity to share our story (testimony) about the good news of Jesus Christ with the ones who need Him the most.

    I call them the "Nones and dones!" (You may have a different name)

    All glory to you LORD, all glory to you!

  2. Hi Gary,

    Have you ever heard the position of 2nd Thess 2, that the falling away in 2nd Thess chapter two is the Jews falling away from the law?

    2:1:Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,  

    The only other time that the Greek word for our gathering together unto him (episunagōgēs) is mentioned in the New Testament is in Hebrews 10:25.  Both  correlate to Paul's missionary journey in Acts 17.  I say this because of what Paul writes in 2nd Thessalonians 2:5:
    2:5- Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? 
    Paul is describing his time when he was with the Church of Thessalonica, so it seems to me that he is not relating this to the sequence of events in his first epistle  (1st Thess 4 &5). Rather this is a recollection of Paul's missionary journey in Thessalonica.  In Acts 17 Paul was teaching in a Jewish synagogue, in a Gentile city, to a mixed congregation.  This is why the gathering together is in a Gentile epistle, and a Jewish one in Hebrews.
    2:3:Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;  

    Apostasia is used only one other time in scripture, and this is in Acts 21.  I have heard many argue that the falling away is actually Israel falling away from Moses. Any thoughts regarding this?

    1. Sorry, this will be a bit short: I'm not familiar with this line of thinking, but I have reservations about it, some of which are given in the 2 Thess 2 section above. He's writing to Thessalonian Christians about a legitimate fear they had of being in the midst of the Day of the LORD. It's not clear to me why the Jews falling away from Moses would usher in the AC. To the contrary, their refusal to exchange the Mosaic Law for Christ led to their nation's downfall.

      Blessings to you!

    2. Glenn,
      I think you are right on the money. The Jewish people will strengthen a covenant with the antichrist to start the seven year countdown. Everyone says peace treaty. Me, not so much. It is a covenant that was and is once again made strong.
      The old covenant was in effect when Christ came to offer to the Jews the new covenant that was in Him. They rejected it. Jesus said, "I come in the Father's name and you do not receive me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him." Jesus came with the authority of the Father to offer a new covenant. The Jews said no. There is another coming, the one who is "against Christ," to offer a covenant without any authority from the Father (in his own name) and they will accept his offer.
      What covenant is it that is strengthened? Well, it is a covenant that allows for the temple and temple sacrifices to be reinstituted. It is the old covenant. Why? Jesus came and fulfilled the old covenant; the antichrist will want to restore it. By bringing back the old covenant, the Jews are shouting to the world we still do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Since the Jews believe they still don't have a Messiah, they want their temple back. The antichrist will be all too happy to have the message sent worldwide that Jesus is not the Messiah. Satan doesn't care what anyone believes as long as they don't believe Jesus is the Messiah.
      If one looks at the judgments of the tribulation, specifically trumpets and bowls, the similarity with old testament plagues can be seen (i.e. water to blood, darkness, boils, etc). Deuteronomy 28-30 does a good job of laying out the blessings and curses.

    3. The Jews will once again fall under the law, specifically the curses of the law. Sounds crazy, right, I know it does. The curses of the law under the old covenant haven't been around for two thousand years, why would they suddenly spring back into effect again? Everyone has been living in the age of grace for two thousand years, the age of grace has nullified the curses of the law. But, what happens when the age of grace closes in the twinkling of an eye? Boom, the antichrist sees the restraint on him has been lifted and he is free to usher back in the old covenant with all the temple sacrifices. Who could argue against something as wonderful as the Jews being back in Jerusalem, in the temple making sacrifices right along side the Islamic mosques? Well, the Lord would argue against that and He has. Moses said that if the Jewish people let stand other religions in close proximity, the Jews would be led astray and seek to worship the other gods. They would fall away from the covenant. That is exactly what will take place during the first half of the tribulation.
      Your assessment is correct about the Jews falling away from the covenant. The trumpet judgments are measured judgments (1/3) that come upon the Jews. Playing the spiritual harlot has always led to the Jewish people being conquered and carried away into captivity in other lands; unfortunately, it will happen once more at mid-week. The Jews will go through intense birth pangs (tribulation, persecution) until they are broken in spirit and call upon the true Messiah who will come and redeem them both physically and spiritually. He pours out His Spirit on the whole house of Israel upon His return.
      The regathering of Matthew 24:29-31 that Gary mentioned is actually the "myriads and myriads" literally hundreds of million angels returning with Christ in fiery judgement (2 Thess. 1:7) and regathering the dispersed Jewish captives back to the land of Israel. It has nothing to do with the church, obviously.
      Here is the fascinating thing: Jesus, speaking of the regathering in Matthew 24:31 is actually referencing Deuteronomy 30:3-7. The outcasts are gathered back in the land v.3-5, circumcises their hearts (pouring out His Spirit) v.6 and then in v.7, the Lord pours out on Israel's enemies (antichrist's kingdom) the same curses He had just put on Israel. The trumpets are measured judgments to bring the Jews to repentance and call upon the Lord. The bowls, which are poured out on the kingdom of the antichrist, are without measure. The bowls are not designed to bring repentance; they are meant to destroy. Actually, no one repents after the sixth trumpet.The Jews actually do fall away from the Law once again as they have put themselves back under the law by implementing the old covenant with the antichrist after the rapture removes the restraint. The Holy Spirit does not go away just as Gary did an excellent job of describing in his narrative. The Holy Spirit does return to His ministry concurrent to the old covenant. I believe the permanent indwelling and sealing by the Holy Spirit as is done now in the age of grace ceases to occur.
      So having said all that, I believe you are right in saying the Jewish people will fall away from the law once again. The day of the Lord, the great tribulation, will not come until the Jewish people once again play the spiritual harlot and fall away. Paul mentions this in conjunction with the antichrist entering and defiling the temple in the 2 Thess. chapter 2 passage.
      I know there are some who may think what I have written is anti Semitic and unduly harsh on the Jewish people. It is in no way intended to be. It is another example of how Jewish history will repeat itself. Jesus, the better Moses, will come from Sinai with the new covenant when His covenant people call on Him (Deut. 33:2, Psalm 68:17). The nation of Israel will be brought to spiritual rebirth after the birth pangs of the tribulation (Isaiah 66:8-9).

  3. Very good Article, Gary. I'm with you 100% on the solid Biblical proof of the Pre-tribulational rapture. The whole apostasia notion is much ado about nothing. It can be translated as a departure, but it can also (and is translated) in other places as departing the faith. This makes much more sense in light of all the false doctrine and false teachers and growing corruption in churches and denominations across the world.
    One of the strongest arguments is simply the fact that JD Farag and other end-times teachers have stated multiple times, but sadly, you didn't even mention it. It's the Hebrew wedding, and it's no coincidence that Christ himself compared the rapture to a wedding, and his first miracle was at a wedding - In a Hebrew wedding, the groom comes and gets the bride, and she is lifted up and taken away [literally, on a litter, carried by friends] and taken into the bridal chamber [chupah] for 7 days, and then they came out and celebrated the marriage feast.
    Secondly, it is irrefutable proof that Paul is talking about the rapture and telling the church that the Second Coming has not happened, and what the events look like, and he ends by telling them- "Therefore, encourage one another with these words." It is ludicrous to think we should encourage others by telling them that we go through the Tribulation.

    Also, Brother, the Day of the Lord is not the Tribulation - It's the Second coming - totally different context and totally different descriptions and the key of the entire book of Joel. Stark contrast from the rapture - which is the Day of Christ. It's full of terror and judgment, and it's when Christ comes back as you say, "with his saints, and he sets foot on the mount of Olives".

    1. Thank you my friend!

      Yes, the wedding custom is pretty interesting and I've addressed it before here

      But this article is narrowly focused on the three proof texts used by the post-trib camp.

  4. Great article Gary. Also whenever you see a gentile bride in the Old Testament, she is always removed and not present for wrath and punishment.

    Isaac and Rebekah
    Eliezer removed her from Mesopotamia and returned her to Abraham’s home. Isaac went out to meet her.

    Jacob and Rachel

    Jacob loved Rachel and chose her. He worked seven years for Rachel but got Leah. Leah was the first bride of Jacob. Leah was married and Jacob worked seven more years for Rachel. Rachel is Israel and Leah is the church. In Jesus’ first coming He did all the work on the cross to purchase the salvation for Israel (His bride) but He was given Leah (the church) as His bride first. And in the final seven years prior to His second coming, He will work to gain Israel, His beloved. The church is married first (raptured) and there is a wedding feast in Heaven Revelation 19:7-9. Jesus works another seven years during the tribulation for Israel.

    Joseph and Asenath
    Asenath bore two sons during the time of plenty and the church is fruitful during the time of plenty. After his sons are born, the famine comes. No mention of Asenath is made during the famine.

    Ruth and Boaz
    Marriage didn’t happen until after the harvest. Our marriage will happen after the rapture (harvest of Christians). The rapture of the church is a wheat harvest. Wheat is winnowed or thrown up in the air - like the rapture of the church.

    Rehab later married Boaz
    Rehab is a gentile who lived in Jericho. She was removed before destruction came.

    Moses and Ziporrah
    Ziporrah is secure at her father’s house during the time when God delivers His judgements (the plagues) on Egypt. She was reunited with Moses after the Exodus.

    We won’t be present for the tribulation.

    1. Thanks Ardith. Some very interesting types there. Thanks for adding them. I'll ponder Leah and Rebekah a little more especially.

      Have always liked how after Joseph took a Gentile bride, it took a 7 year period of hardship that forced not only people from around the world to come to Joseph for help (Nations - Genesis 41:57, Rev 7:9) but specifically Joseph's own brothers (Israel - Genesis 42:2, Hosea 5:15).

      And while they didn't initially recognize him (Gen. 42:8), the hard times made them think of their own guilt in rejecting their brother Joseph (Genesis 42:21-22) leading to an eventual revealing of Joseph and reconciliation (Gen. 45:3-9).


      The stories and pictures that God has placed in His word are awesome, showing us over and over these critical eternal truths! : )

    2. Corrected Rehab married Obed. She was the mother of Boaz.

    3. Ardith,

      You make an interesting point regarding Leah and Rachel. For years, I have thought that Leah ("tender eyed") represents Israel, laden with her sins. But Rachel (the beautiful one) represents the church, presented without spot or wrinkle. Jacob (Christ) worked for Rachel for seven years, but was given Leah instead. In a similar way, Christ came the first time to Israel, for Israel, but Israel remained in her sins. Looking at it that way, Christ only had to wait 3 1/2 years for Rachel. But your interpretation makes Christ wait 7 years for Rachel, paralleling the Tribulation.

    4. The Rachel and Leah = israel and the church comparison always made me sad because Scripture tells us Leah was unloved. :(

    5. Hillary,

      By God's grace Leah was more fruitful than Rachel. Jacob may not have loved Leah, but God did.

    6. jck, very true. That brought tears to my eyes.

  5. Gary, well done. However, the only doctrine important to me is that I’m a repentant sinner in need of a savior and the only way to salvation is through faith and belief in Jesus. I point to Luke 23.39-43 and the two, perhaps 2 witnesses in their own way, who were crucified with our Lord. One blasphemes Jesus and the other accepts that he deserves his death sentence and then he said to our Lord - remember me when you come into your kingdom. And what did Jesus say? He said today you will be with Me in paradise! What works did the thief do to receive the free gift offered to all who believe? None, absolutely none. The disciples confirm grace through faith but the two who were crucified with our Lord, one is in Paradise and the other is not as confirmed by Jesus Himself. To me it seems throughout the Bible we must all be given free choice to either believe in Jesus or not. This concept seems so simple but is so very hard for so many because this path is extremely narrow through Jesus alone because all other paths lead to eternal damnation and that is unacceptable by many especially in other religions. So for me the doctrines of pre, mid, post tribulation is not as important as my faith, believe and love in Jesus my Savior.

  6. What can I say, but Hallelujah? This site never ceases to astound be, and teach e so much! ... sometimes, if I'm being honest, I'm bored to tears, but that's on ME and not on anyone who posts here (and no, I won't elaborate, No one here needs to know what bores me or what I find tedious).

    I found this site in the summer of 2017, and I have grown so much through this and other sites - The gate truly IS strait/narrow! I've called myself a Christian since late '75, but less that a year ago I realized, despite all my studying Clarence Larkin and others, and sitting on pews, that I had 'head-knowledge'. I can't point a specific day or time when I was Saved, but the realization came this past winter... I love HIM. I can't wait to see HIM. He's really all I care about right now. I'm learning to Be.

    This article will come in handy in my discussions elsewhere. I come across all kinds of people who try to tell me this, that, and the other. I even argue (Isaiah 1:18; Ezekiel 33:1-9) with the Mormons on Facebook.

    Thank you for this article. It Bolstered everything I know and believe; not because it reaffirmed everything I believe... but then, it did just that. And yet, despite my own understanding, there's nothing I need add. I've suffered so much these last 5 years, and my faculties are not what they once were. I used to write rather prolifically, but what used to take a mere hour or two, now often takes day or two. But I love the LORD Jesus, and I'm pleased as punch to be a part his Church.

    God bless you all! Maranatha!!

  7. Excellent article Brother Gary - Thank you.

    And confirming your point about 2 Thess 2, this article is good from Lamb and Lion -

    "the first seven English translations of the Bible rendered the noun, apostasia, as either “departure” or “departing.” They were as follows:

    The Wycliffe Bible (1384)
    The Tyndale Bible (1526)
    The Coverdale Bible (1535)
    The Cranmer Bible (1539)
    The Great Bible (1540)
    The Beeches Bible (1576)
    The Geneva Bible (1608)

    Tommy (Ice) also noted that the Bible used by the Western world from 400 AD to the 1500s — Jerome’s Latin translation known as “The Vulgate” — rendered apostasia with the Latin word, discessio, which means “departure.”

    The first translation of the word to mean apostasy in an English Bible did not occur until 1611 when the King James Version was issued. So, why did the King James translators introduce a completely new rendering of the word as “falling away”? The best guess is that they were taking a stab at the false teachings of Catholicism.


    1. Great article and I'm totally tracking! Only thing is I believer the Bishops' Bible (1568) was technically the first to switch from generic "departure" to "falling away" or some such. It was a purposeful decision by the Church of England.

  8. Also significant..."One other point Tommy Ice made that I thought was significant is that Paul used a definite article with the word apostasia. The significance of this is emphasized by Daniel Davey in a thesis he wrote for the Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary:2

    Since the Greek language does not need an article to make the noun definite, it becomes clear that with the usage of the article, reference is being made to something in particular. In 2 Thessalonians 2:3 the word apostasia is prefaced by the definite article which means that Paul is pointing to a particular type of departure clearly known to the Thessalonian church.

    In light of this grammatical point, Tommy observed that “the use of the definite article would support the notion that Paul spoke of a clear, discernable notion.”3 And that notion he had already identified in verse 1 when he stated that he was writing about “our gathering together to Him [Jesus].”

    This interpretation also corresponds to the point that Paul makes in verses 6 and 7 where he states that the man of lawlessness will not come until what “restrains” him “is taken out of the way.”

    And what it is that restrains evil in the world today? The Holy Spirit working through the Church."

  9. This one really stunned me:

    "Who taught you that there are two comings of Christ? Certainly not Scripture. There are three comings of Christ: first to Judea some 2,000 years ago as the spotless Lamb, second to His Church as the longing Bridegroom, and third to the Mount of Olives as the conquering King."

    I was trying to think of a single passage that specifically states, "Second Coming" or some such lingo, and I can't think of one. However, that phrase abounds in our chapter headings and theological traditions. Yikes! (Bonus: We did receive this find from an Unsealed commenter: 2 Cor. 13:1).

    The Lord is really pouring it on in these last minutes. Confirmations abound. This may seem small, but before I read this tonight, I was shown Job 33:29 (another three day/third day reference, and a little 923 + 3 in reverse, lol).

    The surrounding context is relevant and intriguing, too (Job 33:14-30).

    Our pre-wrath, post-trib friends may be spiritually slow on the uptake, but they'll come around when they are suddenly taken up before the AC rises.


    1. "I was trying to think of a single passage that specifically states, "Second Coming" or some such lingo, and I can't think of one. However, that phrase abounds in our chapter headings and theological traditions. Yikes!"

      I know, right? It's one of those things just accepted as-is, but there isn't one Scripture on it. Closest might be "...and if I go and prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you to myself..." But that's talking about His coming for the Church!

    2. If we allow the second coming to be the Rapture though... and all these years I've heard people saying that the second coming and rapture were different... They've been mislabeling His third coming as the second because they're not counting His first? Interesting thoughts your discussion brings...

    3. KG, I don't think it's the first that is not being counted, but the Rapture.
      The few I've heard preach or write on the topic don't claim the Rapture as a "coming down [to earth]", but as a "calling up [of the Church]"; therefore, the first coming is Christ's birth and the second His return at the end of the Tribulation to Armageddon since Christ doesn't actually set foot on earth with the Rapture (or DEPARTURE).

    4. From Pray4Zion, a South African Ministry:
      "There are many questions asked concerning the difference between “the Rapture” and “the Glorious Appearing” of Yeshua (Jesus Christ)… So let’s look at the differences between the two…

      1. Where is the Church found in each event? At the Rapture, Yeshua (Jesus) comes FOR His Church; John 14:1-3; 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 …At the Glorious Appearing, Yeshua (Jesus) comes WITH His Church; Zechariah 14:5, Colossians 3:4, Jude 14, Revelation 19:14.

      2. Where does Yeshua (Jesus) appear in each event? At the Rapture, Christians are caught up to meet Yeshua (Jesus) in the air; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 …At the Glorious Appearing, Yeshua’ (Jesus)' feet touch the earth, Mount of Olives in Jerusalem; Zech. 14:4; Rev. 19:11-12.

      3. Who is taken and who is left behind? At the Rapture, Christians are taken first and unbelievers are left behind; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 …At the Glorious Appearing, the wicked are taken first, but the righteous (the tribulation saints) are left behind; Matthew 13:28-30.

      4. What will Jesus do at each event? At the Rapture, Yeshua (Jesus) will gather His Bride, the Church, unto Himself in preparation of the Marriage of the Lamb; Revelation 19:6-9 … At the Glorious Appearing, Jesus will execute judgment on the earth and establish His Kingdom; Zechariah 14:3-4; Jude 14-15; Revelation 19:11-21."
      The husband and wife team who run the site publish monthly articles relevant to the end times.

  10. Here's my take on the first resurrection

    The first resurrection explained

    There are two different resurrections, first is the resurrection of all righteous people, people that will be in heaven for all eternity.

    The second Resurrection is the resurrection that takes place at the end of the millennial Kingdom, it's the resurrection of The Condemned, those that will be in the Lake of Fire for all eternity.

    The first resurrection, the resurrection of the righteous happens in three different parts.
    This is the resurrection that I'm going to focus on right now.

    These three different parts of the resurrection of the righteous happened at three different times in the history of the world.

    The first resurrection, AKA the resurrection of the righteous, is likened to the harvest of a field. There are three parts of a Biblical Harvest.

    The first part is the first fruits offering, this is where a Sheaf of the crop is waived before the Lord. This represents the resurrection of Christ.

    Christ is called the first fruits of all those who sleep and of all those who will be Resurrected.

    The second part of a harvest is the majority of the field. This represents the resurrection of the dead in Christ.

    The third part of the Harvest concerns the corners or the edges of the field. God commanded that this part of the field was to be left for the poor and the foreigner in the land. This part of the Harvest represents the tribulation Saints and any righteous person that is not considered part of the body of Christ. all of those resurrected after the Rapture of the church, those who come after.

    The first part already happened almost 2,000 years ago. This was the resurrection of Christ. This Resurrection also included those who came out of the Graves when Jesus arose from the dead.

    The second part of the resurrection of the righteous is going to happen a split second before the Rapture happens. This is the resurrection of the Dead in Christ. This Resurrection is for those members of the body of Christ who have died throughout the Church age. The people who take part in the second part of the resurrection of the righteous are the ones who will be raptured along with we who are alive and remain.

    The third part of the resurrection of the righteous includes the tribulation Saints and any other righteous person who is not included in the body of Christ. This Resurrection takes place after the tribulation, and after Christ returns to earth.

    All three parts of the resurrection of the righteous take place before the millennial Kingdom starts.
    All who take part in the first resurrection will receive glorified bodies, and the second death will have no power over them.

    So you ask, who will repopulate the earth during the millennial Kingdom?

    Anyone who survives to the end of the tribulation will repopulate the earth. These people will be primarily Jewish people that were protected during the second half of Daniel's 70th week.

    There will be no Wicked people left alive to enter the millennium.

    Shortly after Jesus returns to earth, he is going to redeem His People Israel. Their sins will be atoned for, most likely on the day of atonement.

    The atonement of the Jewish people is what the tribulation is for. These will be the people that will repopulate the earth during the millennial Kingdom.

    1. Well said! I'm in complete agreement. The harvest cycle is yet more evidence for the pre-trib view.

    2. What about the OT men of faith/children of Israel? (Adam, Noah, Daniel, Abraham, Moses, etc) When do they resurrect?

  11. Distinction  between Body of Christ and tribulation Saints

    In Revelation, the body of Christ and the tribulation Saints are defined, very clearly, as two different groups of people.

    Jesus is speaking to the 7 churches in chapters 2 and 3. For each Church he gives a promise or a gift to those who overcome. Remember that, to overcome, does not have anything to do with what we do in our own strength. We overcome by the blood of the Lamb, we overcome because we belong to Christ and because he redeemed us by grace through faith not of ourselves.  We were given the power to choose or reject him. Those who chose to believe on Jesus Christ and to believe in the gospel have overcome through Christ.

    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

    Revelation 2:7 KJV

    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

    Revelation 2:11 KJV

    He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

    Revelation 2:17 KJV

    And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:   And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.   And I will give him the morning star.

    Revelation 2:26‭-‬28 KJV

    He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.

    Revelation 3:5 KJV

    Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.

    Revelation 3:12 KJV

    To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.   He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

    Revelation 3:12‭, ‬21‭-‬22 KJV

    All these gifts, all these promises are given to those who overcome from all the churches. I believe that these seven churches represent the true Body of Christ throughout the age of Grace.

    One of the gifts given to those who overcome is power over the nations:  And he shall rule them with a rod of iron... Revelation 2:26

    And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

    Revelation 12:5 KJV

    The authority to rule the nations with a rod of iron was given, by Christ, to his body of the redeemed.

    And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;  And hast made us unto our God KINGS and PRIESTS: and we shall reign on the earth.

    Revelation 5:9‭-‬10 KJV


  12. In this passage, Christ is about to break the first seal. The breaking of the first seal is all about the Antichrist rising to power just after the Rapture.

    This passage is also talking about the Redeemed, the newly raptured Body of Christ and how he has made us Kings and Priests unto our God and we shall reign on the Earth.

    If you will notice, the body of Christ is referred to as KINGS and PRIESTS.

    And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.  But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.  Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be PRIESTS of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    Revelation 20:4‭-‬6 KJV

    This passage is clearly talking about the tribulation Saints. This passage says that they shall be PRIESTS of God and of Christ and shall reign with him a thousand years.

    The body of Christ is referred to as KINGS and PRIESTS as we reign with Christ. The tribulation Saints are referred to as PRIESTS only as they reign with Christ.

    And this is the distinction between we, the body of Christ, raptured before the tribulation, and those saved after the Rapture, the tribulation Saints.

  13. Wonderful article Gary. Thank you brother.

    I will try to get my mum to read it, as she is POST-TRIB, and unfortunately believes we can LOSE OUR SALVATION if we don't persevere to the end. She also believes she is part of the 144k in Revelation. Hard to understand, when she ain't male, Jewish or unmarried!!


    If anyone wants to pray for her, I would be very grateful. Her name is Geri.

  14. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  15. Jeff, Job says it all when God the Father of Jesus speaks one way but Man perceives it not or wrongly. 2 Cor. 13:1 (every charge must be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses) immediately comes to my mind where the final two witnesses in Revelations come to Earth in the very last days. Every scholar and writer speculates about who they might be but isn’t it more important to for us (and scholars/writers) to understand why they are coming, what will be their testimony for 1,260 days and what is the charge they will bring? And finally why with all the power that they will have why many will still not believe - as Job states because they perceive it not. Still searching for something written about what and why not who....

  16. Thanks Gary! I'm so Pre-Trib, I stopped eating Post cereal.😀

    1. Yeah, no Post cereal for me, haha.

    2. Me Either - NO Post Cereal...LOL... it was a plan dot com - www.HeDied4U.com

      and 12 rapture dreams - https://prayat316.com/rapture-dreams

      the first three are really special

  17. Thank you, Gary. Great article. Cannot wait for the Rapture.

    1. Very soon, Sister! We're gonna fly.

  18. OMGosh, Gary, brother, this is SO good!!! Confirms my own heart so beautifully! Father has given you SUCH a gift of articulation, and encouraging the saints!
    Glory to God! Even so, come Lord Jesus!!!

  19. “We’ll see Christ - not the Anti-Christ !”
    This statement has healed me to no end. Thanks Gary

    Also, I can’t wait for His coming for us - the Rapture.
    I’m against date-setting . But I’d love to know your thoughts on how close are we to His appearing.
    I’m eagerly waiting to be Raptured right now , but my husband says that it’s 10-20 years more to go.
    I don’t agree with him,

    I feel like it’s almost close, even next month too
    Christ is coming sooner

    Please enlighten me on this .
    I’d be grateful

  20. Hi Gary. I fully agree with the pre-trip rapture, but looking at the
    word apostasia, according to Thayer and Strongs do not mention departure:
    Original: ἀποστασία

    Transliteration: apostasia

    Phonetic: ap-os-tas-ee'-ah

    Thayer Definition:

    a falling away, defection, apostasy
    Origin: feminine of the same as G647

    TDNT entry: 09:33,9

    Part(s) of speech: Noun Feminine

    Strong's Definition: Feminine of the same as G647; defection from truth (properly the state), (" apostasy" ): - falling away, forsake.

  21. Hi Gary. I fully agree with the pre-trip rapture, but looking at the
    word apostasia, according to Thayer and Strongs do not mention departure:
    Original: ἀποστασία

    Transliteration: apostasia

    Phonetic: ap-os-tas-ee'-ah

    Thayer Definition:

    a falling away, defection, apostasy
    Origin: feminine of the same as G647

    TDNT entry: 09:33,9

    Part(s) of speech: Noun Feminine

    Strong's Definition: Feminine of the same as G647; defection from truth (properly the state), (" apostasy" ): - falling away, forsake.

    Please enlighten me on this .

  22. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7WPZfLPTFA

    Has anybody seen the vid above where a 3 year old girl gets launched 100 feet into the air by a kite? The kite looks like a dragon snatching up the child and trying to devour it...

    1. Good catch. I knew there was somwthing peculiar about that story.

  23. Great article! I love it when people dig in and look at both sides of an issue to really discover the truth. This is what I think should be done in all matters if debate - give both sides a clear and thorough examination and then select the one that best fits ALL the evidence. After all, if you can't handle looking at the "other side", then you really aren't sure that what you believe is true - you just hope it is and have to stick your fingers in your ears and sing to ignore the alternative. Instead, you should be able to look full on at the opposition, see their arguments, and walk away fully satisfied that your position is firm.

    Anyway, I love how this is thorough and faith affirming on both faith-alone and the Pre-Trib Rapture. Great teaching, thank you!

  24. The Wrath of God cannot fall on His Son twice.

    John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

    John 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.

    John 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.

    Rev 3:17-18 The last words to the Churches is the Church of the Laodiceans, the end time Church. A very wealthy Church, even received from Rome the status of “Free”.

    Jesus counsel them to buy from Him Gold (Faith, Hebrews 11 without which no one will see God). But Gold tried in the fire(Works, Hebrews 11 just like James describes).

    Hebrews 11 are examples of “Gold tried in the Fire”

    The question then becomes “am I so complacent, increased with goods and have need of nothing”

    The Parable of the Ten Virgins is very enlightening to say the least.
    Not only Half don’t make it to the wedding feast the call comes at midnight and there is a delay and a shout(a gap of time perhaps?)

  25. The AC is here but doesn't become the AC till 3½ into the Tribulation.
    He is the Peacemaker! And very well liked and respected by all!

  26. Great article! Thank you. I think it's important to understand both sides as well.

    I was just looking at the calendar. Rosh Hashanah begins sundown on September 19 right? I noticed that September 21 is International Day of Peace. I find that interesting since "(False) peace" is going to be the message proclaimed after the church is gone.

  27. Pre and post trib rapture cannot be solved without the doctrine of dispensationalism. Not all of the bible can be applied to us today. Study it here https://youtu.be/DzxMhIhG4YM

    1. There are many Raptures during the Trib, but only one for the Church(Body of Christ).
      Gods wrath cannot fall on His son Twice.
      Mose was supposed to speak to the Rock (Type of Christ) but hit it twice and for that he didn't go into the Promised land.

      A little more study and you can answer your own questions.

  28. You really don't have to guess at who qualifies as the Peacemaker!

    The AC is not the AC until the beast from out of the pit possesses him, until that time, he is the Little Horn on the rise.

    And it’s the little horn that confirms the peace, and he comes out at chapter 6.

    He rises to being the false deliverer of the Jews and the Maudi of the Moslem world because of the act of confirming the peace.

    There are only 2 obstacles to peace in the Mideast today
    the temple mount in Jerusalem and the Refugees(Palestinians).
    Both are in the hands of the Hashemite King the 43rd direct descendant of the prophet Mohammed.

    To be Maudi, you must be a descendant of Mohammed to be Messiah to the Jews, you have to be anyone who brings peace and security to Israel and builds the temple.

    The King's kingdom is on the Palestinian home land.

    The peace that allows the Jews to have temple mount rights on a shared temple mount that is confirmed by a leader from out of the Seleucid portion of the Old Grecian Empire who is given power by the kings on the land that were once ruled by Rome in her day.

  29. Is the End of Days Prophesied in the First Word of the Bible?
    This video will make you praise His power. Watch it to the end.

  30. Is the End of Days Prophesied in the First Word of the Bible?
    This video will make you praise His power. Make sure you watch it to the end.

  31. Gary, really good article. When I look at 2nd Thessalonians 2:1-3, I compare it to Revelation 12:1-5, where I see the man child born and caught up to be the Church. As does several prominent church leaders of the past do. So I also look at the Holy Spirit filled Church, the true bride; as the restainer. Unless I'm totally incorrect on the child of Revelation 12, then I'd also be incorrect on the restainer. My focus is on the Restainer not so much the falling away or departure. What are your thoughts on who is the restainer?

  32. Thanks for sharing your studies - I always enjoy them. I feel compelled to challenge you to also take an inventory of verses supporting grace alone throughout the Old Testament. It's there! Salvation was never by works - that is simply the twisting of Torah by man throughout all ages. God repeatedly states throughout OT that He desires a contrite heart, full love and devotion, repentance and turning away from sin. The Torah is the target we aim at to live a full, prosperous life evidencing our trust in Him! Yeshua is the Living Torah - He is also throughout the OT. The only change that occurred after the resurrection of our Messiah is that He paid the penalty for our sin, He is the slain sacrificial lamb, voiding any further need for animal sacrifice. Just more evidence that God doesn't need our animal sacrifices which tended to be given without a proper heart. God did not change the method of salvation. The OT is a beautiful thing that I wish you would explore.

  33. Wonderful article, brother Gary, as usual. Thank you!

    This may seem slightly off-topic, but it's really not. Have any of you read a book called, "Earthquake Resurrection: Supernatural Catalyst for the Coming Global Catastrophe" by David W. Lowe. It was published in 2005, but I've only just now discovered it.


    Anyway, Derek Gilbert did a two-part interview with the author for his and Sharon's "Unraveling Revelation" series on Skywatch TV and I was intrigued by the book's premise. Here's part one of the interview if anyone's interested https://youtu.be/ClmJaSDKofQ

    I've copied and pasted the summary from the book's page on Amazon:

    "Earthquake Resurrection explores the possibility that the disappearance of a large group of believers worldwide will be masked by global catastrophe. This possibility is based on a pattern found in scripture that the power unleashed when a human being is resurrected into an immortal body causes a shaking of the surrounding earth.

    What does this portend for the future, much larger, global resurrection of the dead in Christ? Will there be a global shaking of the earth from the power of the resurrection? Is the "trump of God" that accompanies the resurrection event the voice of God that will once again shake the earth, as it did at Mount Sinai?

    These questions and many others are explored in Earthquake Resurrection. If you have any interest in (a) the current natural disasters engulfing the earth, (b) the prophetic Word of God, or (c) the future of the planet, then this book is for you."

    David Lowe supports the Pre-Trib Rapture view, but he also has an interesting theory on where he believes we could be on the timeline of the events of Revelation.

    FYI, the book is a part of the Kindle Unlimited library. So, if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, you can read it for free, yay! 😃 Here's the link https://amazon.com/Earthquake-Resurrection-Supernatural-Catalyst-Catastrophe-ebook/dp/B001BUMIH6/ref=sr_1_1?crid=31NFMJY9C4KEA&dchild=1&keywords=earthquake+resurrection+by+david+lowe&qid=1599072848&sprefix=earthquake+res%2Cinstant-video%2C158&sr=8-1

  34. From the Times of Israel:
    "US President Donald Trump’s administration is working toward holding a ceremony at the White House on September 13 for the formal signing of the normalization agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, a Palestinian report said Tuesday evening."
    * * * * *
    Anyone know the origin and scripture reference(s) for "As in Heaven, so on Earth"?
    With so very much going on down HERE, I am curious to know WHAT is going on UP THERE!

    1. I see a 3/7 in there....

      Sep 13 = 7 days before FoT.
      Tue = third day.

    2. Sept means 7! Also sept is 7 in French

    3. you know God must have a sense of humor because the initials for the Abraham Accord, AA, = 11 since A is the first letter. 11 being the number for division. "Bringing together" the three faiths without realizing Christianity is the true one = simply division.

  35. For those of you who have not seen this YouTube video from Brenda Weltner, please watch. She supports the R12 sign and is very encouraging and ties the signs in the heavens for the 1st Coming to the signs in the heavens for His Return. It's called "Faith or Wishful Thinking".

    The video is only 27 minutes and just posted yesterday. It's a must watch (in my humble but accurate opinion. Ha!)

    But you have to cut and paste! Sorry! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-h4fn4T07_Q

    1. Facinating teacher. Thanks for pointing this out - her teachering on the various harvests was thorough and not something I've thought about in such depth before.

    2. Hmm.. I've been watch a bit more and now feel less enthusiastic. I thought her teaching about the phases of Harvest of the Barley (Passover) we're very insightful, but she seems to think that "good people" don't go to Hell. She seperates Believers, "good people", and the wicked into three different groups, despite the Bible saying that there are none that are good, and gives this third group a different destiny than standard Christianity teaches. That's a huge problem for me! And makes me look at her other teachings with skepticism.

      I also have some issues with her choice of the "First Fruits of Pentecost Harvest" being the Apostles (although this is certainly a lesser issue). From the couple of videos I watched, the lady has some good ideas, but also has some things that are "No one else thinks this way, but I do, and I therefore have special Revelation" which I don't care for. Eh. I'll probably watch a few more of her videos, but I wouldn't recommend this teacher to baby believers or anything.

  36. I have something exciting to share but first
    I want to share something cute with y'all. As if God was giving us a wink.
    I have to get my ac worked on. The tech that was coming out is named Jesus. ( Hispanics say it like
    Hay-soose). The ac company sent me a message letting me know that Jesus was on his way. 😁 I got a real chuckle out of that.

    1. Hey, you never know!
      Could be anytime NOW!
      Made me chuckle - thanks!

  37. I've been debating if I should share this or not. I don't want to get peoples hopes up, only to be wrong and cause disappointment. It might have only been my own thoughts and not God talking to me. But if it was God, Then it's meant to be shared. So I'm finally bringing myself to share this. But please keep in mind, it may only be my thoughts. Just think of it as a possibility and not a definite.
    This happened about 3 weeks ago. It's a little long, so I apologize in advance, but it is very interesting, at least to me. 😊

    I was praying, asking God if He was going to rapture us before the mandatory vaccines came out. (I was thinking this November) When I was praying, the  4 blood moons came to my mind, and the thought  "how does God count?"  Then "count the passovers, NOT the years came to my mind.

     I've always wondered why God gave us the blood moons. What was their purpose. They had to mean something. 

    The 2 cows with the #7 on their heads the same year as the first 2 moons made me think the blood moons and cows meant 7 years of good left. (7 years till the tribulation), then 7 years of bad. And maybe that's why we had 2 sets of blood moons on the exact 2 feast days each year. (Passover and Tabernackle)To say 7 good years left  starting from 2014 and 7 bad years left starting the next passover after the first 7 years is up. 

    Well, when I had the thought count the passovers, I got excited. If I count years, the 7 years of good would be up in 2021. But if I count passovers, the 7th Passover has already passed 😁 and the 7th Tabernackles is this Oct 3rd. So 2020 could definitely be the year of the rapture. This is the 7th good year and it's almost up! We are gone before the 7th bad year starts. 

    The blood moons fell on  2 of the 3 feast days that are required for the Jews to keep. Those feasts are VERY important to God. (Passover and Tabernackle) I've been wondering why God picked those days to use for the blood moons. They were specifically chosen to give a sign and warning.  Could it be that the 7 years of good started with the first passover in 2014 and ends at the 7th Tabernackle of 2020 like bookends? 

    And same with the tribulation, that the Trib starts on passover 2021 and ends on Tabernacle 2027?

    we could be raptured before the end of the 7th good year ( if you can call this year good) on FOT rapture, then the end of the 7 good year ends on Tabernackle.  

    I've never ever had that thought to count that way before, (count the passovers) so I am truly hoping it was God speaking. But just in case it wasn't, just take all this as my thoughts and not "God told me". 

  38. Also, what if...

    if Daniels prophecy for the messiah to come began at the declaration to rebuild Jerusalem, perhaps the beginning date for Israel becoming a nation (the generation that sees Jesus coming) begins at the declaration, not the actual signing. 

    On November 29, 1947 the United Nations adopted Resolution 181 (also known as the Partition Resolution) that would divide Great Britain’s former Palestinian mandate into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948 when the British mandate was scheduled to end.

    If that is the case, that generation that saw the "budding" of the fig tree (Isreal) would end in NOVEMBER of 2027. Making the time line fit perfectly for the Trib to start 2021 And end in the fall of 2027, counting the passovers, and Tabernackles, not the years. 

    I think by the time passover of 2021 comes, chaos will be  bad enough for the world to BEG for a savior, a leader, (the anti-christ) a one world order, one world government, the mark of the beast, etc.  Everything is in place, I think it could all come together very quickly. Including the covenant with many from the anti Christ.

    It's exciting to think we could possibly have only weeks left before the rapture.  

    Also, something else that is interesting. The cows with the #7 on their head were born 5 months after the first blood moon. 5 days apart. The revelation 12 sign came 3 years and 5 months, 8 days after the first blood moon.  and 3 1/2 years (plus 4 days) later is passover 2021 (march 27). This seems to line up perfectly with the time line that we had 7 years before the rapture and then the tribulation starts. If we aren't taken this fall, I'll be VERY disappointed. But at least there is hope that we will not be here longer then march 2021. That's counting "years" though. Counting passovers, and tabernackles, gives me hope 2020 will be the year. 

    1. That is a great observation! I too have often thought we would experience a 7 good 7 bad scenario as well. God has woven the scriptures in and out of each other so beautifully, It is hard to comprehend all the shadows of everything. How much control! It is breath taking, mind blowing. Just fascinating.

      I also liked the thought of a gap; there has often but much debate on this topic; but in my opinion it logically makes since that there needs to be some time for the world to process that many people disappeared and the unrest that will truly follow after that. It just seems to me the world will need a little time to really "call for the antichrist"

      Anyway, great thoughts. I am in agreement. I am just as eagerly awaiting as all. I do so hope it is soon!

      My heart breaks for those who are not saved. truly. I wish they would listen, some are family and friends and it makes me sad. But, the Father know what He is doing, so hopefully, they will choose soon!

      keep spreading the Love! Jesus is Coming!!

    2. When we continually mull over scripture and commentary on it, I know God often does give us insights into His Word. He expects us to make connections!
      I'm sending you the link to Jack Kelly's article on LEVELS OF INTERPRETATION on Grace Through Faith:
      * * * * *
      I agree with Lyndsey, GOOD observation!
      God has woven EVERYTHING together so masterfully that it is mind boggling to comprehend.


    Our Time Is Short

    Thinking about the coming three-year anniversary since the Great Sign of Revelation 12...

    On the first pass, one could take these statements made by brother Ty as sensational and fringe. Where is the promise of his coming? Indeed, dust off your Bible and dig deep into the word given here and you will find this is not sensational -- what Ty shares and teaches here are from the Word and Holy Spirit. Time is indeed very short. Soon we will know. Soon we shall see.

    Many of you already know that Strong's Greek Concordance (G726) details the word, harpazó: to seize, catch up, snatch away,

    Original Word: ἁρπάζω
    Part of Speech: Verb
    Transliteration: harpazó
    Phonetic Spelling: (har-pad'-zo)
    Definition: to seize, catch up, snatch away

    9/23/2020 will mark the three-year anniversary of the advent of the Great Sign of Revelation 12 (Revelation 12:1) In this sign we see the birth of the man child that is caught up to God and His throne. (Revelation 12:5) This is where we see the word "harpazó", as in Strong's Concordance (G726), used in context to the Great Sign. In these verses we see the birth of the Christ as well as the birth of His body the church. The head of the Church is Christ just as the body of Christ is the Church. Is not the head born first? Are we not one in Christ? Take heart and know that at His coming on the clouds we will become as He is. Changed, forever!

    Looking at solar data for Jerusalem, Israel for Wednesday, September 23, 2020 we see that Nautical Twilight (sunset) will occur at 7:26 pm local time. The length of that day (9/23/20) also happens to be 7:26:01 (HH:MM:SS). Could it be that on the third day, in this case, counted as years since the Great Sign of Revelation 12, that we see the harpazó take place? Could it be that on the *third day* we will be lifted up? Raised?! In the last second of the day even at the seventh hour, twenty-sixth minute and last second?

    Will we not be changed in the twinkling of an eye?

    Indeed we will.

    We ask such questions not to know the day nor the hour. We ask such questions because we are awake and we watch. We encourage one another with these things as we see the coming of the Day. So be encouraged! We know our Salvation, our Jesus, draws near! Stay awake and keep watch and share the Love given you by God through Christ Jesus our Lord.

    His Love was made to be shared and is meant to be shared. Share it today and how Jesus has changed your life. His story is yours. Your story is His. By faith, you carry His Holy Spirit within you as a living temple to God. By adoption, you are a child of God and heir to all the Kingdom. By birth, we all bear the image of God and through our confession the promise of His merciful grace and forgiveness of sin once and forever through the atoning sacrifice made by Christ Jesus upon the cross. (Romans 10:9-10)

    In Jesus, it is finished.

    Through Christ, we are made alive forevermore!

    A rich treasure is to be found. Break out your Bible and dive into prayer as you seek the riches of His Kingdom!


  40. But, the things that shall be after these things, namely, the Church, begins in chapter 4.

    The Church is where the four and twenty elders are. Gone.

    With the war in Heaven, the Devil is cast onto the earth.

    The sun clothed woman is here. The remnant is here, the man child is born, and the Dragon, now restrained to the earth is waiting to destroy that man child, but it's caught up, the 144,000, the sealed ones, they're taken, the man child is taken. That happens during the tribulation.

    The Church is not on this earth from Revelation 4, till they come back in Revelation 19.

  41. You make void the word of God by their traditions.

    “Can’t know the day or hour”. Is the most accepted traditional Lie.

    And it’s happening all over again. Noah’s time, who laughed at that strange old man building a boat in the middle of nowhere. The moment it began to rain, that door closed, and they were lost; every last one of them.

    When that Rapture happens, 40 days after First Fruits, it’s the same point in time all over again. That door is closed, and those who remain will find that their blood is the only redeeming factor they have left.

    Paul taught to watch for that timed event.

    But, you must know three things first, or you won’t see or understand the warning sign.
    You must know where to look, what to look for and finally why you are looking there to see it, else you won’t believe it.

    The Laodiceans were told to by from Me “Gold tried in the Fire”
    Thats Faith and Works, both taught by Paul and James.

    Not the traditionaly accepted definition of works.

    Sin isn’t the issue FAITH is and by definition its an action word!

  42. Who has MREs, a bugout bag and a hole in the ground :) Great article Gary. Looking up every day.

  43. I have MRE...and a lot of other stuff...that I know will help me preach the gospel of Christ as we all go through tough times just ahead. I often wonder how much turmoil, strife and persecution we go through before some start realizing we are in tribulation. I see horrible persecution already happening to thousands of Christians in much less blessed countries than ours. But, we are a sick country having turned from our faith as a whole....we will be persecuted as a country. I just never will buy why Christians in my country feel they get a pass....when our country is a mockery to God.

    1. Nations can't have faith!  People have faith! It's a common misnomer that the USA, or England,  or France, or Italy or any country for that matter, is a "Christian Country", just because lots of the people in those countries believe that Jesus is the Messiah.

      The governments of those countries couldn't care less about the Messiah.  God called governments "beasts", all governments!  I don't care if they are democratic, autocratic, or any other cratic, God considers them beasts.

      The Jews are under the LAW and are punished accordingly if they break the law.  Their prophecies are full of examples.  God provided them a way of atonement, but it’s presently a rubble heap, and temporarily on hold.

      I don't think that God is singling out America for any special treatment for the “sins” of their government or it’s unbelieving citizens.  The outcome of the Covenant is already spelled out in scripture. Don't you think that God would have spelled out everything that he was going to include in the covenant from the beginning?  I do, because in all instances, that’s His manner!

      The real problem is that once again in history, the word of God, which is His covenant has been turned from a life style into a religion. The Jews did the same thing, resulting in them missing the Messiah when He came on the scene, which is what Scripture says will happen to Christians in the end. The only special warning that God gives in the end time is to the Church of Laodicea, the final age of the Church. He says; either ask me in, and join me in my throne, or don't and get spit out.

      Today the emphasis is placed on salvation and that's all they talk about. There is no teaching going on past that; only condemnation for your sins, which should never be a concern. It's much more important in my opinion to learn about Christianity as a life style because once you accept Christ, you are saved. After that it's a matter of learning to live like you are, and that's what they don't teach which is what I find to be most disturbing, because therein lies the road to Laodicea.

      Paul taught love, forgiveness and reward. The “Church” teaches fire and brimstone along with doom and gloom and being left behind, which are the things slated for those who did not choose Christ!

  44. https://www.nowtheendbegins.com/abraham-accord-fever-sweeps-across-middle-east-as-bahrain-becomes-next-muslim-nation-to-normalize-relations-with-israel/

  45. Zeal...I totally agree. We as Christians have our most rewarding times ahead the next few years
    ..and that is evangelizing to this lost world. I said it will be rewarding, but very tumultuous times. This doesnt tickle ears, but our ears are not to be tickled.

  46. My thinking is this...
    Why would Noah and his family and Lot and his family be spared destruction during their time, but we have to go through the destruction in our time? They were just children of God. We are the Bride of Christ. We are rewarded for choosing Christ and living to please Him. The tribulation in revelations is for those who rejected Christ. What hope would we have if we had to face what's coming during the wrath. Our tribulations that the new testament talks about are the trials of life. Not the punishment the Father sends to the wicked. We are not subject to wrath. We are promised a wedding feast.
    Would you bring your fiance into a thug town, leave her/him to be beat, rapped, starved, etc then come get her/him and marry them? Would you put your children in a dangerous place and say this is to teach you a lesson, I'll come for you after you suffer? What would the point of JESUS suffering for us, if we have to do it ourselves?
    Why did all the other Christians who died before us only have to go through trials in life and yet the last generation have to go through the wrath? None of that sounds like what the Bible teaches for God's beloved.
    And He does not favor one of His children over another. What He does for one He does for all. To those who honor Him, like Noah and Lot, and the bride of Christ, He will rescue. The rapture is a reward and a rescue for those Christ had redeemed. That rescue happens BEFORE the wrath. Jesus is our hope.

  47. My thinking is this...
    Why would Noah and his family and Lot and his family be spared destruction during their time, but we have to go through the destruction in our time? They were just children of God. We are the Bride of Christ. We are rewarded for choosing Christ and living to please Him. The tribulation in revelations is for those who rejected Christ. What hope would we have if we had to face what's coming during the wrath. Our tribulations that the new testament talks about are the trials of life. Not the punishment the Father sends to the wicked. We are not subject to wrath. We are promised a wedding feast.
    Would you bring your fiance into a thug town, leave her/him to be beat, rapped, starved, etc then come get her/him and marry them? Would you put your children in a dangerous place and say this is to teach you a lesson, I'll come for you after you suffer? What would the point of JESUS suffering for us, if we have to do it ourselves?
    Why did all the other Christians who died before us only have to go through trials in life and yet the last generation have to go through the wrath? None of that sounds like what the Bible teaches for God's beloved.
    And He does not favor one of His children over another. What He does for one He does for all. To those who honor Him, like Noah and Lot, and the bride of Christ, He will rescue. The rapture is a reward and a rescue for those Christ had redeemed. That rescue happens BEFORE the wrath. Jesus is our hope.

    1. Lovin' Jesus

      Your double posting, I think it might be your computer or maybe not!

      It's happened before to me, and I don't remember how it was resolved.

    2. A quick overview of things.
      As far as the middle east is concerned. Do you sense a peace head nodding action going on?
      Ever since the Israel annexation announcement, kinda started the pot stirring again.
      Pretty much when the pro Israel Trump administration was in place unlike when the anti Israel Obama administration was in place.

      The thing is the Peace was already agreed upon During the Bush administration except for the three in the very area designated by Daniel.
      The Hashemite king wants to restore "The Hashemite Kingdom back in Iraq" where it used to be.
      Seria and Egypt hate the Hashemites and both sides know it.
      The Palestinians do get back there land Jordan. Wouldn't that make them happy, enough.

      And on Earth "Distress" yea I think it's pretty much distressed.

  48. Ryan...Well said...

    The great tribulation is satans wrath...not Gods wrath..Revelation 12:12 clearly states it is the devils wrath.. Gods wrath comes with Christ at His 2nd coming.

    If we go by feelings...then it isnt fair that thousands upon thousands of Christians overseas are being persecuted , some even being martyrs for Christ...having only lived a life of poverty. Compare that to my almost embarrassingly easy, blessed life God has blessed me with and many others with varying +/- levels of blessing. Why should we not have severe trials?? It doesnt go by fairness.

    However, I am totally expecting to very soon be experiencing a more difficult life...and I pray daily to be protected from it. But scripture says many of us will die for our faith...

    I pray that as we enter tribulation, most will admit and adapt to it quickly...but I am afraid many will not believe they are in it as they were supposed to be taken out of it.

    Believe me, as a very strong believer in Christ, acknowledging by my mouth that He died for our sins and rose again.....I would love to escape these things coming as my views tell me. If I am wrong...that would be great...because contrary to what has been said to me, I will be going up with all you fine people...at the same time whenever it is. I refuse to tag divergent views with comments that they will soon smarten up.....or the scoffing at my prepping.

    How are any of you saying so certain we wont ever have an emp attack...solar flare....war coming to our country..

    I will not be one of the five foolish virgins who did not prepare...and had the audacity to seek from the five wise who did prepare

    We will be here this time in 2021, 2022, 2023....I of course very well may not make it....but I am ready to go deep into tribulation as our finest evangelical time this world will ever see will coincide with the worst times as well.

  49. Excellent article Gary! :)

    This article reminds me a lot of recent conversation on the question about the nature of the "restrainer". Most would immediately say it is the Holy Spirit, and ultimately it is yes, but not His person, but His mission in this Dispensation.

    We need to understand the root word meanings and language in context of what is around it. And we need to bring to bear the hermeneutical use of other scripture to define the context as well.

    What was most striking even for me as I wrote this was the realization of "Covenant" for proof of promise in the gift of Resurrection and Rapture for the Grace Age saints, which equally verified the emphatic requirement of God fulfilling it in His own working and NONE of our own.

    This covenant, like that with Abraham, is a covenant witnessed and fulfilled by God alone. Once we are taken under that covenant, we can't lose it, nor can we maintain it, even in spite of ourselves. Glory to God!

    Like Abraham rejoiced to see that day on Mount Moriah, I rejoice to see it in my past as already done.

    This is a profound realization and a sure comfort against the doubts thrown at me throughout the day. God never changes, He can't break His covenant, and more importantly neither can I! :)

    --- Pt 1

    Perhaps it's good to look back on the 3 ways the Holy Spirit has been applied to a believer pre and post Christ.

    The root languages show the differences which get lost in the English translation when not brought in through context.

    - There was "next to / stand beside" as with Joshua and others.
    - There was "Upon/resting on" as with the prophets.
    - And then there is "Within" as with believers in the Age of Grace starting with Pentecost.

    The "Within" is specific to Grace Age believers and I believe this is the key to realizing what happens after the Resurrection and Rapture. This is a gift to the Church, the Body of Christ, as we are a part of Him by this, as He is a part of us by it.

    The church was given power and authority by it, and when we depart, that power and authority returns to the Head which is Christ.

    Because of this I hold that the restrainer is US (the Church, the Body), and while we are here still, the gates of Hell can not prevail. But they can after we are removed.

    The Holy Spirit working through us is the restrainer yes, but that is His mission to witness to Christ Jesus in our lives. He is not removed when we are, but His work changes in the Tribulation.
    Which gives rise to the AC and satan being able to proceed unhindered.

    The promise that all who come to Him in whatever fashion will never be lost, is all encompassing, ALL believers past and present, Grace Age, OT, and otherwise. Tribulation Saints are no less saved. Eternal life is for all who believe in Him.

    But the Church is a special close relationship with Christ, the Bride and the Lamb are wedded, the two become as one. Always to be with Him, wherever He is. This is a marriage covenant beyond just salvation in this case.

  50. --- Pt 2

    I've considered for a long time that the "Oil" is faith, and not the Holy Spirit. Once you have the Holy Spirit you are set aside, you are kept, you can not be lost. Christ won't allow it, He saves us from even ourselves, once we have accepted that covenant of His salvation. That covenant does not rely on our ability to keep it, and only on His ability to do so. We have no work in it of ourselves to meet it's requirements.

    The Holy Spirit is never measured in quantity. It is eternal and overflowing, never lacking, cup running over.

    But Faith is measured in quantity all the time...

    - No Faith
    - Little Faith
    - Faith of a mustard seed
    - Lost Faith
    - Loosing Faith
    - Growing Faith
    - Increased Faith
    - Added Faith

    All these conditions of Faith are "quantity" whether lacking, decreasing, increasing... All are from "choice" and "focus" from the perspective of the person. God never changes.

    More importantly, once saved (in the Age of Grace), it has no effect on Salvation, which is entirely a work of Christ once attained and accepted. Christ will complete the work He started in us.

    This relationship and covenant is specific to this people (this nation set apart), and this may not be true post-rapture and resurrection.

    Reverting to the previous versions of how the Holy Spirit worked ad "Next to/Standing besides" and "Upon", the two ways reflected in Trib saints and the Two Witnesses, I think.

    Thus the need to NOT LOSE FAITH (or your "Oil"). They will indeed need the "Extra Oil" for the times that are coming to last through it.

    And why the Two Witnesses?

    They will be witness to the truth of Christ Jesus vs the AC's lies about himself. Christ Jesus is the true Messiah.

    But more than this, in relation to the Holy Spirit right now while we are still in the Age of Grace, is that He (the Holy Spirit) is the witness to Christ Jesus as come in the flesh and is the Messiah. Once we are gone, that becomes the job of the Two Witnesses and the 144 thousand, to Israel about Him.
    And finally, resurrection and rapture is a reversal of "Pentecost".

    It's not about removing the Holy Spirit, it's about that particular mission coming to and end, as is the end of this dispensation.

    I have come to find that as the most fitting explanation for me in all of this.

    Salvation is for all who call upon Him. Simply Faith as with Abraham, before all of us, our father of the promise of God to all nations.

    But how that is worked out is a bit different for each group and dispensation.

    Not as in works for these and faith for those, but as in trial and perseverance in that faith regardless of the dispensation.

    And I begin to understand how fitting it is for the Two Witnesses to Preach about Christ Jesus as the messiah to the current Israel. :)

    Two prophets from the OT times witnessing about Jesus from their OT position.

    Israel will not accept Gentile Christian and New Testament positions on "their" religion?
    Okay, here's two of your very own brethren to prove it to you.

    How Gracious a God to His own people, long suffering that all might come to Him, beyond their pretense and objections based in tradition.

    It reads like a drug dependency, breaking the addiction of their own understanding.
    Patient and kind, yet still stern on His not letting them relapse.

    Extra Oil (Faith) indeed!

    And that "little strength", the Philadelphian "Patient Endurance" in keeping His word, and Not Denying His name. The pure essence of saving faith.

    1. Mathew 25:7-8

      Implies that they did have oil in their lamps to start since their lamps were going out...

      7 Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.

      8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

    2. :) I understand Zeal... I'm not trying to hammer a position on you or anyone, just sharing my take based on the words used and the subtleties of the context.

      And before I say anything else, I am still unsure if this has anything to do with the church or not. :D

      I start with verse 3 really where it is stated the foolish took their lamps but did not take any "Extra" oil. Verse 4 is explicit in the fact that the wise did take "Extra" Oil.

      Both imply Oil in the lamps initially but "All" ran out while they "All" slept.

      As I stated before the foolish request Oil from the Wise in verse 8 because their lamps are going out, which further implies they had oil to begin with. It burned while they "All" slumbered, including the wise. The wise of course had planned ahead for this.

      It is also interesting what the wise tell the foolish. If they shared, there would not be enough for all. The wise tell the foolish to go out to the near by town (into the world as it were) to buy more Oil.

      We see a truth here if the Oil is "Faith". Faith can not be shared. Faith is intrinsic and specific to the individual believer and their relationship with the Savior. We see this when the door is closed and the foolish are told He never knew them.

      No one can be saved by another's faith. You can't sell Faith so to speak. Salvation is a personal choice and responsibility of each and every one of us as are it's consequences good or bad.

      If the Oil is Faith (as I think it is), then the second half of verse 9 is an indictment of those who "sell faith", such as Joel Osteen for instance, and it seems like a bit of remarkable wisdom on the part of the Wise virgins too, to discern the difference of being half in the world still or to be ready completely and fully.

      The wise are solely focused on the goal and their object of adoration, and not so-so, or half dedicated to the goal, still tied to the world for preparation.

      The foolish, seemingly have this notion they can get by somehow without a full commitment.

      If this does have anything to do with the Church, then I see it's parallels in the differences between Philadelphia and Laodicea (the opened door and the shut door). These two are the transition churches. One removed from the Trial to come upon the whole world (future tense), and the other in a (present tense) state just about to be locked out in the Trial to come upon the whole earth (soon - future tense).

      We know that eventually Laodicea is behind the closed door, or why say "Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me." (Rev 3:20)

      Matthew 25:3-9

      3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take along any extra oil.

      4 But the wise ones took oil in flasks along with their lamps.

      5 When the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

      6 At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’

      7 Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.

      8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

      9 ‘No,’ said the wise ones, ‘or there may not be enough for both us and you.
      Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

    3. You are reading from KJV then I see. :)

  51. THank you so much JackN, your way of thinking has a very interesting point of view. I find it very logical. Carole

  52. Matthew 24

    Needs I think needs further clarification.

    Matthew records the words of Jesus, spoken to the Jews about their “end times”, in chapter 24.

    We have to understand that Jesus was not speaking of the “Church” that you and I belong to today. How could he have been? Jesus was alive and well when He spoke those words; there was no “Church”, and Jesus did not come to start a church. He came to fulfill the prophecies made to the Jews about a Messiah that would come through the Jews to atone for the fall of man.

    the Apostle Paul was the only person to whom God revealed the mystery of the Church, and at the time that Jesus was speaking the words that Matthew is recording, Paul was not an Apostle! Paul did not become an Apostle until years later. So, the “Church” that you and I belong to today was still a mystery, hidden in the mind of God. Ergo, these words are not recorded for the “Church”, but for the Jews. Jesus fulfilled the Messianic prophecies made to the Jews!

    To establish this truth once and for all, Jesus Himself ratifies Daniel as the Prophet who recorded the events of the their end times at verse 15.

    Right there and then, Jesus set the time and the place for the end time events. There can be no mistaking this if you can understand that this message is not directed at the Church, but to the Jews. The Prophecy of Daniel, written to the Jews, is all about their end time and where it takes place.

    1. Peter is not the Rock, Jesus is. He was referring to Himself.
      Jesus picked Paul to reveal everything about the "Church Covenant", beginning and completion.
      Paul knew both issues, Law and Grace.
      The Jews finally reject Jesus as there Messiah and there covenant was put on hold.

    2. And if you are attentive enough you can pick out where the narrative is commingled

      with Catholicism. Peter "The vicar of Christ" given the keys of Haven?

      Yea and in the next breath He calls Peter Satan, get behind Me.


  53. Jonah’s landscape reveals that the two events that remain unfulfilled are the 40-day warning and the saving from destruction.  The 40-day warning will be given by the dead in Christ that rise on First Fruits and the saving from destruction, is the Rapture on the day of Christ’s ascension.

    From Biblical prophecy we know that the peace must contain the provision for the Jews to resume sacrifice on Temple Mount, to be the peace of the prophecy.

    From history we know that the keeper of the Temple Mount is the Hashemite King.  From history we know that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan is a Johnny come lately and was once Palestine.

    From history we know that there are more Palestinians in Jordan than Hashemites, and that the Hashemite Kingdom is Iraq, which was usurped in 1958 by Egypt and Syria.

    That is in fact exactly why the role of Peacemaker falls into the lap of the Hashemite King.  The two sticking points standing in the way of peace are both centered in his domain.

    From history we know that Jordan belongs to the Palestinians.  But in contrast to that, Iraq belongs to the Hashemites.

    From the Bible we know that the Mount is shared, and that the King of the North gets his kingdom given to him in honor right at the time of the peace.  Also we know that the peace doesn’t last very long, because the three dissenting kings get uprooted.  The king of the North is a benevolent king and shares the wealth with the people.
    This is the part that is yet to come.  But, before it can come, the Rapture must happen first, and it must happen on a day that is 40 days after the Feast of Firstfruits, in a year when this peace is at the brink of being signed.

    Revelation 4 & 5 shows the Church in heaven prior to this peace being made, but it’s made in chapter 6, so it comes quickly after the Rapture.

    Now Paul said that the dead in Christ will rise first, and then we who are alive will be caught away with them.  Matthew adds a piece to the First Fruits landscape when he tells of the Dead in Christ that rose after Christ and went into the holy city.  Paul taught that the feast were shadows of things to come for the Church, with the substance being Christ.
    Many of those dead will rise on First Fruits, to complete one of the remaining items in the shadow of the landscape of Jonah, the 40-day warning, (Revelation 3:20) at the end of which, will be Ascension day! Revelation, chapter 4, verse 1!



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