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darksunmoon3.jpg (19403 bytes)  The Post-Trib, Pre-Wrath Rapture
Will the Church face the Anti-Christ?

The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.                                                                  Joel 2:31
 

 

The Post-Trib Pre-Wrath Rapture

 

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Level 2. In Depth Study
    Step 2. The Day of Christ: Imminency Examined

The Day of Christ: Imminency Examined

"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, 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. 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, showing himself that he is God."

II Thessalonians 2:1-4

    We have already demonstrated that several past events had to transpire before Christ could return, now let's take a closer look at the Doctrine of Imminency.

What future events must occur prior to Christs' return?

    Are there any events which must occur in the future before Christ can return? In the passage above, the Church of Thessalonica was worried "shaken in mind" that the "day of Christ" may be "at hand". We have already demonstrated that the day of Christ is the Rapture, so why would the Church at Thessalonica be worried that the Rapture is coming soon? If the Church at Thessalonica is "Pre-trib" why would they be "shaken in mind"; they would be raptured prior to the tribulation. They would not have to face the anti-Christ nor suffer any persecution. If, on the other hand, the Church at Thessalonica is Post-trib, then they have every right to be "shaken in mind".

     If the "day of Christ" or rapture were at hand, as the Church believed, then they would soon face the anti-Christ and suffer persecution, but Paul tells them not to be troubled. Why? He says that two events must occur prior to that Day of Christ(rapture).

1.    A falling away first

2.    The man of sin is revealed, when he sits in the Temple as God

    Hence Paul tells the Church at Thessalonica not to be worried that the tribulation they were presently experiencing was not a foreshadowing of the Great Tribulation. He tells them that two events must occur first: there must come a "falling away", and the "man of sin must be revealed". Where does Paul get this bit of information? Answer: Matthew 24 and Mark 13, Jesus' Olivet discourse.

  • The Falling away

Matthew 24:10 "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."

Mark 13:12 "Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death."

  • The Man of Sin Revealed

Matthew 24:15 "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place"

Mark 13:14 "But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not"

    So here we have two major events which must precede the Day of Christ or Rapture, a falling away, and the man of sin must be revealed. So, when do these events occur? Before we answer this question, why was the Church at Thessalonica worried that the Day of Christ or Rapture was at hand?

Why were the Thessalonians Shaken in Mind?

The truth is, they knew that prior to the Day of Christ, (Rapture) they would have to experience tribulation, this is why they were "shaken".

    At that time the Church of Thessalonica was going through tribulation and persecution. How do we know that, because it says so in II Thessalonians 1:4 "we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:" They were concerned that the present tribulation they were going through could have been a foreshadowing of the Great Tribulation.

The Church at Thessalonica knew something that the Church of today doesn't know; that they would have to go through the tribulation before they were raptured.

    The Bible does not teach a pre-trib rapture, as a matter of fact, the Pretribulational rapture of the Church was never taught before 1830.   It's been said, the Pre-trib secret rapture of the Church, was so secret that up until 1830 not even the Church knew about it.

So what is the falling away? What does Pre-trib say the falling away is?

What is the falling away mentioned in II Thessalonians referring to? In order to deal with this verse, Pre-trib scholars have two varying opinions.

    1. The "falling away" is the rapture, that believers "fall" off of the earth to meet Christ in the air.

    2. The "falling away" is the church gradually moving away from God, backsliding.

Very few pretribulationalists believe the falling away is the rapture, most believe that it is a slow migration away from sound biblical doctrine; Indeed the Bible says, "For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." But, is the "falling away" in II Thessalonians referring to a slow movement away from sound doctrine, or is it referring to something else?

    Most Posttribulationalists believe that the "falling away" is likely when the anti-Christ will require believers and others to take the mark of the beast in order to buy and sell goods. This will occur at the midpoint of the Seventieth week of Daniel. At this time, those people who have been "playing church" will leave in a mass defection and receive the mark, rather than be killed or suffer persecution.

   Revelation 13:15-17 says, "And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name." People will either have to flee for their lives or receive the mark of the beast. The falling away is not a gradual migration from the faith, as pretribulationalists claim, but rather a mass defection.

When is the man of sin revealed?

    The anti-Christ being revealed is another event which must occur prior to the Day of Christ (rapture). The man of sin, or the anti-Christ is revealed to the world when he defiles the Temple at the midpoint Daniel's Seventieth Week. We can get this information from several sources; one source is from the text mentioned above in II Thessalonians chapter 2 when the "Man of sin is 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, showing himself that he is God"

    Also, from Matthew 24 and and Mark 13. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)...For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."

    At the midpoint of Daniel's Sevetieth Week, the anti-Christ's mask will be removed. No longer will people see him as a Savior of the world,  as someone who brings peace and safety to Israel, but rather as a counterfeit, a truce breaker.

    We can also learn an interesting fact about the defilement of the Temple, by the anti-Christ, from Daniel 8:13,14. In this passage we learn that the temple is defiled for 2300 days, "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed."   At the midpoint of the tribulation the Temple will be defiled by the anti-Christ when he "stands in the holy place" Hence, we see that for 2300 days after the midpoint of the tribulation the temple is defiled, and at the end of the 2300 days God will destroy the temple. (This issue will discussed in more detail later). 

What have we learned? Are there any events which must precede the Rapture?

    I ask you, are there any events which must precede the Day of Christ? Yes! As has already been stated earlier, II Thessalonians chapter two clearly teaches this point when it tells us not to be concerned about  the "coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him,...as that the day of Christ is at hand" Christ cannot return until these two future events occur.

  • A Falling Away

  • The Man of Sin is Revealed

    The doctrine of imminency is definately, all wet! Christ did not teach imminency, he taught that Peter had to die and old man and that the Temple would be destroyed before his return. Paul did not teach imminency either, he taught that the "falling away" and that the "man of sin" had to be revealed before"our gathering together" occurred.

 

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Last modified: February 07, 2004