Monday, February 7, 2011

Is the Rapture Imminent?


Is the rapture imminent? The believers in Thessalonica were addressed by God through the apostle Paul on that very subject. The Thessalonians thought that the Day of the Lord/rapture was ready to occur or had already occurred and they missed it.

1. Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 2. That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. 2 Thes 2:1,2

Paul was trying to comfort their shaken mind regarding the timing of the rapture--"the coming of the Lord and our gathering together unto him." Paul's response...

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; 4. Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. 5. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

Here Paul clearly tells them that the day--day of Christ/the rapture--cannot come unless a couple of things happen first;

1. A falling away.

2. The man of sin--the antichrist--is revealed, worshipped as God and sits in the temple as God.

The falling away is a time when Christians in large numbers will suddenly forsake the faith. The man of sin sits in the temple as God at the abomination of desolation which happens near the middle of the last 7 years.


With that in mind let me state the verse more plainly; let no man deceive you by any means: for the rapture shall not come, except there come a falling away first and the antichrist performs the abomination of desolation. So how can the rapture be imminent if those things have to happen first? It can't be. The rapture cannot be imminent until these things are fulfilled. BTW without imminency the pre tribulation rapture theory cannot stand.

So to answer the question; Is the rapture imminent? No, it will not be imminent until the great falling away and abomination of desolation occurs--let no man deceive you by any means.

15 comments:

  1. The discussion in that passage from Chapter 2 is normally understood to be about the Second Coming, not the rapture. We can conclude this because when we look at the broader context, we see that Chapter 1 is talking about the Second Coming, which is clear by the events described therein, and Chapter 2, continuing the thought, begins by saying "Now about that coming, don't be confused..."
    Therefore, the Day of the Lord / Day of Christ mentioned in Chapter 2 is most commonly understood to refer to the Second Coming, which is consistent with the other uses of those terms in the Bible.

    Grace and peace.

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  2. Sandra says. I have been pondering the pre trib rapture as well as the pre wrath rapture and are of the opinion, that maybe both are correct, and maybe there will be more than one rapture. The former and the latter rain etc. As well as the bridgroom calling the bride x 2 in Song of Solomon. I also refer to the visions of the 14 year old boy on 5 doves yesterday, confirming this. I would really like your opinion on this. Also about the possibility that at the 1st rapture there will be given a choice, either to depart with Jesus or to stay through the first part of the tribulation to assist in bringing in the harvest. Thanx for this excellent site. Glory to God!!!!

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  3. Jay

    Thank you for your input and willingness to share your thoughts. I am sure there are many who share your beliefs. At one time in my life I believed what you are proposing. I was taught by the best and believed what I was told. The problem was that these well meaning teachers were approaching scripture from a pre-disposed mind set and made passages fit into their belief syatem rather than taking scripture at face value for what it said.

    In regards to 2 Thes 2 it is clearly talking about the rapture. It refers to "our gathering together unto him." When are you and I going to be gathered together unto the Lord? At the rapture, not at the second coming. We will already be gathered unto Him at the time of the Second Coming. So to say this is in reference to the Second Coming does not make sense.

    I agree with you that 2 Thes 1 has some references to the Second Coming but it also has references to the events directly after the rapture before the Second Coming.

    2 Thes 2 also uses the phrase the "day of Christ." Look what God says through Paul concerning that in 1 Thes 5.

    But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 3For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. 4But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

    What event comes as a theif in the night that will not overtake believers as a theif in the night? the rapture, and God calls this the Day of the Lord. The day of the Lord and the day of Christ are synomonous terms. So clearly 2 Thes is talking about the rapture when it uses the phrase "the day of Christ." That is what a plain reading of the text would indicate.

    Think about this why would Paul have to address Christians who thought that the the Second Coming and Millennium was about to occur or had already occured? It would not make sense.

    Even Walvoord a staunch Pre-tribber believes that 2 Thes. regards the rapture.

    So a clear reading of the passage says that the rapture will not come until after the falling away and the antichrist performs the abomination of desolation.

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  4. Sandra

    THX for your comments--you raise some interesting ideas that show you are thinking things through for yourself rather than just believing what well meaning people tell you.

    The pre trib rapture and pre wrath rapture cannot both be correct. It has to be one or the other. Scripture tells us that the rapture occurs at the beginning of the event known as the Day of the Lord as mentioned above in regards to I Thes. Scripture also tells us in Acts and Joel that the moon must be turned to blood before the Day of the Lord. That places the Day of the Lord and the rapture after the sixth seal is opened. The sixth seal is opened after the persecution of the antichrist in seal 5 and as discussed above that occurs after the abomination of desolation when he rules the world for the last 3.5 years. So the order has to be: midpoint, antichrist, seal 5, seal 6, rapture, God's wrath.

    I would be extremely careful about dreams. The only sure foundation for doctrine is scripture. I mention this because a dream may have resulted in the pretrib rapture belief today. It is thought by many that one of the main sources for the pretrib rapture theory came from a girl's dream/vision. See most ancient church fathers and some modern ones believed that Christians would be persecuted by the antichrist. This all changed about 100 years ago when the pretrib rapture theory came about which some attribute to the dream. From there the pre trib rapture probably gained such wide acceptance because it was easy and pleasant to believe. I cover this extensively in Chapter 5 of The Coming Epiphany linked above.

    The only righteous ones specifically listed in scripture that will be on earth after the rapture are the 144,000 and the 2 witnesses. Revelation 7 specifically tells us that the 144,000 will be from the tribes of Israel. There is no indication the 144,000 will be raptured saints.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful questions that will help others think this through.

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  5. Revelation 3:10
    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee (from, Greek, ek- out of) The (hour, Greek, hora- season) of (temptation, Greek, peirasmos- adversity or tribulation) which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    The word (From) in Greek is as "out of" (Greek word, ek) Strong's Number: 1537 out of, away from.


    2 Timothy 4:18
    And (the Lord shall deliver me (from) every) evil work, and will preserve me unto his heavenly kingdom: to whom be glory for ever and ever. AMEN.

    Reference:
    http://bibleprophecy-rapture.blogspot.com/2008/09/bible-prophecy-rapture-of-his-bride.html

    Kind Regards,

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  6. Rapture of His Bride

    THX for your comment--many feel as you do concerning that verse. Here is what I have written in The Coming Epiphany about Rev 3:10

    Some pre-trib adherents make further claims, citing Revelation 3:10 as evidence that God will not only keep the Christian from His wrath, but will also keep them from the hour of temptation—that is, the entire 70th Week: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” However, a careful examination of the Greek used in this passage actually shows that the passage supports the view that believes that the rapture will occur at the sixth seal.

    Robert Van Kampen, in The Rapture Question Answered Plain & Simple, has made a thorough analysis of this verse. Let us examine a few excerpts from that section.

    When the underlying Greek text is studied carefully, comparing Scripture with Scripture, we will discover that the “hour of testing” refers specifically to that time associated with antichrist’s persecution. . . . More importantly we will see that the Greek words underlying our English translations argue that this terrible time of testing cannot be the wrath of God, but must be the wrath of satan. . . . If the Greek word peirasmos, as used in the Revelation 3:10 passage, is compared to its use in other New Testament passages, we will see that the “hour of testing” cannot refer to the wrath of God but, quite the opposite, to the wrath of satan. . . . They all say the same thing: satan is the source of all peirazo, not God. Like the logical argument, the biblical argument from scripture demonstrates that the “hour of testing” in Rev. 3:10 cannot refer to the wrath of God but, by definition, must be the wrath of satan.[1]

    Another phrase in Revelation 3:10 that we need to consider is “will keep thee from.” The Greek phrase used here is tereo ek. Van Kampen has this to say about that phrase:

    Tereo ek, is used in conjunction, can only refer to guarding or protecting those who persevere while they are within the sphere of danger, and then bringing them safely out from the midst of that danger. Thus the meaning of the text is clear. Tereo ek should be translated, “a watchful protection within the sphere of danger, with a safe deliverance out from the midst of it.[2]

    Combining the analysis of the Greek into a translation of Revelation 3:10 yields a rendering that shows that the Christian will not be spared from the great tribulation, but will be rescued out of it:

    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will rescue you out of the midst of the hour of satan’s temptation, the great tribulation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    So the analysis of the Greek in Revelation 3:10 does not support a pre-trib view, but supports a pre-wrath view of the rapture.

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  7. Thanks for your good blog. Wondering if you have ever Googled "Famous Rapture Watchers," "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Pretrib Rapture - Hidden Facts" or "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." Terry

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  8. Jim

    I would encourage you to read The Coming Epiphany for a fuller understanding of the issues but here is a snippet from Chapter 4 regarding these issues.

    Revealing of the antichrist
    Another argument presented by pre-trib adherents against the rapture occurring during the 70th Week is that they assert that the rapture occurs at the same time or immediately following the revealing of the antichrist. They reason further that since the antichrist is revealed at the signing of the peace treaty (the event that starts the 70th Week), the rapture must occur at the beginning of the 70th Week.

    Proponents of the pre-trib rapture formulate this belief from two passages:

    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. (2 Thess. 2:3)...

    So an analysis of the Hebrew brings out the fact that, when the antichrist is revealed and comes to power in the midst of the 70th Week, the peace treaty will already be in effect and “he,” the antichrist, will merely confirm and or strengthen it. Thus, a more accurate translation of the verse would read: “And he will strengthen the covenant that was made with many for a week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease.”

    So if the antichrist will not be the one to make the peace treaty, who is? The Hebrew rendering of this verse tells us the peace treaty will be made with “the many.” This suggests that the treaty will probably be the result of an effort by many nations—like we see now with the “Road Map”—to bring peace to the tumultuous Middle East situation.

    Scripture tells us that the antichrist does not come to power and reign until the last 3.5 years of the 70th Week of Daniel after the Abomination of Desolation has occurred. In reference to the antichrist, Revelation 13:5 says, “and there was given unto him a mouth speaking great blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” His reign starts shortly after the occurrence of the Abomination of Desolation in which he deceives the world into thinking that he is God and his reign continues until he is thrown in the lake of fire at the conclusion to the battle of Armageddon.

    2 Thessalonians 2:4 confirms when the revealing takes place:

    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; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

    That verse tells us that the man of sin will not be revealed until he sets himself up as God, and he does that at the Abomination of Desolation: “and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition . . . so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.” The verse further tells us “that day shall not come,” in reference to the Day of the Lord and the rapture, until after the antichrist sets himself up as God. As we have just pointed out, that does not happen until after the Abomination of Desolation...

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  9. [Bro. William, I spotted this on the net. Ramon]

    Is the Pretrib Rapture Imminent?

    by Bruce Rockwell

    (Pretrib rapturists claim that Christ's return is imminent, that is, that it can occur at any moment. Theologian and pastor Norman MacPherson, in his excellent book "Triumph Through Tribulation," offers proof that the Bible has never taught an any-moment return of Christ. Here are the points brought out and discussed at length by MacPherson:)

    1. Great Commission fulfillment implies a long period of time.
    2. Seed growth in Matthew 13 is a time-consuming process.
    3. Paul expected death, not rapture, in II Timothy 4:6-8.
    4. Jesus predicted Peter's martyrdom in John 21:18-19.
    5. Matthew 24 teaches that signs must come first.
    6. Many passages speak of a large interval between Christ's ascension and return: Jewish dispersion into "all nations" (Luke 21); "man travelling into a far country," "after a long time the lord of those servants cometh" (Matthew 25).
    7. Apostasy of last days takes time to develop.
    8. Bridegroom tarried in parable of virgins.
    9. Pastoral epistles teach Church's continuing ministry, which involves time.
    10. Paul says Christ's coming is not imminent (II Thessalonians 2:1-3), for apostasy and Antichrist must come first.
    11. View of seven phases of church history (seven churches of Revelation) involves big lapse of time and imminence difficulties for pre-tribs; could Christ have come before the last phase?
    12. Exhortations to watch and be ready are tied to what pre-trib teachers regard as the second stage (which is necessarily non-imminent) in Matthew 24 and 25, I Corinthians 1:7, Colossians 3:4, I Thessalonians 3:13, II Thessalonians 1:7-10, I Peter 1:13 and 4:13, and I John 2:28.

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  10. http://www.arewelivinginthelastdays.com/article/rapture/rapture.htm

    Read it, it proves that the rapture happens before the tribulation.


    "Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth." Revelation 3:10

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  11. What About Revelation 3:10?
    Some pre-trib adherents make further claims, citing Revelation 3:10 as evidence that God will not only keep the Christian from His wrath, but will also keep them from the hour of temptation—that is, the entire 70th Week: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” However, a careful examination of the Greek used in this passage actually shows that the passage supports the view that believes that the rapture will occur at the sixth seal.

    Robert Van Kampen, in The Rapture Question Answered Plain & Simple, has made a thorough analysis of this verse. Let us examine a few excerpts from that section.

    When the underlying Greek text is studied carefully, comparing Scripture with Scripture, we will discover that the “hour of testing” refers specifically to that time associated with antichrist’s persecution. . . . More importantly we will see that the Greek words underlying our English translations argue that this terrible time of testing cannot be the wrath of God, but must be the wrath of satan. . . . If the Greek word peirasmos, as used in the Revelation 3:10 passage, is compared to its use in other New Testament passages, we will see that the “hour of testing” cannot refer to the wrath of God but, quite the opposite, to the wrath of satan. . . . They all say the same thing: satan is the source of all peirazo, not God. Like the logical argument, the biblical argument from scripture demonstrates that the “hour of testing” in Rev. 3:10 cannot refer to the wrath of God but, by definition, must be the wrath of satan.[1]

    Another phrase in Revelation 3:10 that we need to consider is “will keep thee from.” The Greek phrase used here is tereo ek. Van Kampen has this to say about that phrase:

    Tereo ek, is used in conjunction, can only refer to guarding or protecting those who persevere while they are within the sphere of danger, and then bringing them safely out from the midst of that danger. Thus the meaning of the text is clear. Tereo ek should be translated, “a watchful protection within the sphere of danger, with a safe deliverance out from the midst of it.[2]

    Combining the analysis of the Greek into a translation of Revelation 3:10 yields a rendering that shows that the Christian will not be spared from the great tribulation, but will be rescued out of it:

    Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will rescue you out of the midst of the hour of satan’s temptation, the great tribulation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

    So the analysis of the Greek in Revelation 3:10 does not support a pre-trib view, but supports a pre-wrath view of the rapture.

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    Replies
    1. Well studied and well said Mr. Frederick. After being saved in 1977, I spent the next three years studying the very topic and came to the same conclusion as you. Still surprised how many men of GOD come to this topic with so many presuppositions that we've already been gone by then.
      I've spent the last 35 years trying to do my part to obey Matt.28:18-20 and will continue to do so . Thanks for sharing , THam............

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    2. THX for sharing and doing your part to wake others up.

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  12. / Right on, William. Following is what I happened to see on the web recently. /

    Franklin Graham's Warning !

    Franklin's warning of coming persecution of Christians echoes what his mother Ruth and father Billy have clearly stated. Re Ruth, see search engines including Google for "Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham." To see what Billy has written, Google "Famous Rapture Watchers - Addendum."
    Since Franklin blamed the Obama administration for his own National Day of Prayer snub and persecution, and since he accused "Christian" Obama of "giving Islam a pass," readers can get some rare insights into Obama and his fellow travelers by Yahooing "Obama Supports Public Depravity," "Obama Avoids Bible Verses," "Separation of Raunch and State," and "The Background Obama Can't Cover Up."
    To see some exceptional in-depth studies of coming persecution, see two unique books by media figure Joe Ortiz entitled "The End Times Passover" and "Why Christians Will Suffer 'Great Tribulation' " - both published in the US and UK by AuthorHouse. Also Google "Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart," "The Unoriginal John Darby," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy," "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," "Pretrib Rapture Pride," "Pretrib Rapture Politics," and "Pretrib Rapture Stealth" - most by the author of "The Rapture Plot" (the most accurate and comprehensive history of the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view) available by calling 800.643.4645.

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    Replies
    1. It is highly possible that the 70th week started on 10/29/10 and if so we will see the antichrist arise this spring and then the great persecution begins.

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