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Question:

  Does the Bible teach that the Church will go through a 7 year "Tribulation", or will the Church be removed before a world wide "Tribulation" period?

Answer:

  I believe the Bible teaches that the next event on the Christian calendar for the Church will be the "Rapture" of the Church, the removal of all the living saints, before the 7 year "Tribulation, as stated in 1 Thess 4:13-18. I believe Jesus will return and catch the living saints (Church) up "in the air" BEFORE the 7 year Tribulation, and then Jesus will return to this earth, WITH those saints, at the end of the 7 year Tribulation (Second Advent) to rule and reign on this present earth, from Jerusalem, "with a rod of iron", over the nations of this present earth for 1000 years.

  I believe that, immediately after the "Rapture of the Church", the world will be ruled by a "world dictator" for 7 years. The first 3 1/2 years, he will be an apparently "benevolent" dictator and even allow the world to worship as they please. The second 3 1/2 years will be escalating wars that will end with an exchange of nuclear weapons so powerful that Jesus said in Matt 24:22 that if it was not stopped at that point, "no flesh would be saved". The 7 year "Tribulation" begins with a peace pact between Israel and her Arab neighbors, Dan. 8:25, 9:27 and 11:21, 23, & 24.

  I believe the Bible teaches that prior to the 7 year Tribulation, the Church will be removed from the earth, caught up in the air with Christ and taken to the third heaven for the duration of the 7 year tribulation. The next event on the Christian calendar is the "Rapture", or "catching up" of the Church. This is stated in 1 Thess 4:13-18. At that point in time, the dead "in Christ" and the living children of God receive a resurrection body like Jesus' resurrection body, 1 John 3:2, and are removed from earth by Jesus and taken to heaven to be with Him.

  There is no prophecy to be fulfilled between this present time and the "Rapture" of the Church. The Rapture is taught in the Scriptures as imminent, or can happen at any moment.

  In Biblical eschatology (the study of end-time events), this position is called the "Premillennial" and "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" position.

  In 25 years of Bible study to satisfy myself on which position to believe, I have compiled a list of 21 reasons why I am "Premillennial" and believe in a "Pre-Tribulation Rapture" of the Church. I do not ask you to believe me, but, with an open Bible, go through the following Scriptures, asking God to reveal the truth to you concerning this issue.

21 REASONS WHY I BELIEVE IN A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE of the CHURCH

  Reason 1: The translation and Rapture of the church is a MYSTERY doctrine, 1 Cor 15:51 & 52. (Greek word MUSTERION was a secret society word meaning a teaching that the insiders know, but the outsiders can't know. It must have galled the secret societies of Jesus' day for their word "musterion" to be used in Scripture!) The Rapture of the Church is a point in time where the dead in Christ and the living saints will be changed, at the speed of light, at the LAST TRUMP. (A trump blows at each change of dispensation) (God will see to it that the Rapture WILL BE A MYSTERY to the people left behind, 2 Thess 2:6-11)

  1 Cor 15 and 1 John 3:2 explain that there are many types of bodies, and that all the Church Age believers get one like Jesus' resurrection body at the instant the "Rapture" occurs.

  The Tribulation and 2nd Advent is NOT a MYSTERY doctrine, itís the opposite! The Tribulation starts with the revealing of the Antichrist and a peace pact negotiated by him between Israel and her Arab neighbors.

  The Scriptures that teach about the Second Advent give us a timetable in days, & if you were in the Tribulation, you could COUNT THE DAYS from the time the Antichrist takes over the world to the Abomination of Desolation in the mid point and from there to the actual 2nd Advent! The actual number of days is declared. (Dan 12:10 the wise will know!) The Rapture of the church is a MUSTERION, so we must study diligently and depend on Godís Spirit to reveal the truths about it. God has to reveal the truth to us about each of the 11 mysteries (musterions) in the N.T.

  Reason 2: Two "doors" are opened in the book of Rev, Rev 4:1 the Church goes up, & Rev 19:11 the Church comes back with Jesus!

  THE BOOK OF REVELATION OUTLINE IS CHRONOLOGICAL, IN THREE SECTIONS: In REV 1:19 John is told to report events which were PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE, and the book of Revelation is written in three distinct sections: Rev Ch 1, the things which John "saw", Rev Ch 2 and 3, the 7 churches of Asia, things which were in existence in 96 AD when John wrote Rev., and Rev Ch 4 begins all that is future with a door opening in heaven, a trumpet blowing, and a voice saying "come up hither".

  The going up in Rev 4:1 is immediately after the 7 churches which typify the present Church Age. In 1 Thess 4:13, the Rapture occurs at the "LAST TRUMP" (a trump blows at each change of dispensation, so I take this to be the "last trump" of the Church Age in Rev 4:1 and 1 Thess 4:13), and we, Godís people, are changed and go UP.

  After the 7 churches in Rev chap 2&3, the "church" is not mentioned again until after the Tribulation is finished. After the Rapture occurs, I believe the Scripture is teaching that all the O. T. saints, all the Church Age "dead in Christ", and all the Church Age saints who were alive and "raptured", are in heaven during the whole Tribulation and are joined by all of Godís people on earth who die or are martyred during the Tribulation.

  Reason 3: I believe that the 24 elders in Rev 4&5 represent all the O. T. and N. T. believers, in heaven, after the Rapture. 12 tribes of Israel + 12 Apostles. Rev 5:8-10 states that the 24 elders were redeemed by the blood of Jesus, out of every kindred, tongue, people and nation, and God has made them kings, and priests and they shall reign on EARTH. To me, the 24 elders must represent the Church and the rest of the saved in Heaven during the Tribulation.

  Reason 4: The promise given to the Philadelphian (brotherly love) Church in Rev 3:8&10. The open door of Rev 3:8 I take to be the same as Rev 4:1, and Rev 3:10 is a promise to keep them out of the Tribulation by taking them through that "open door". I believe the 7 churches of Asia in Rev 2 & 3 are typical of 7 "TYPES" of churches in any part of the Church Age, as well as 7 distinct periods of church history. The promise in Rev 3:10, "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", I take to be for all Godís people who are keeping His word when it is time for the Tribulation to start. It could be that only "in fellowship" Christians are alive at the point in time the Rapture takes place. Jesus has the "key" to all death. Rev 1:18.

  Reason 5: In the passages that describe the Rapture, the context is "Tribulation to THEM, and rest to US" : 1 Thess 4:16-18, 5:1-5&9, 2 Thess 1:6&7. (Survey 1&2 Thess, and notice the "US & THEM", US is removed from the earth, and THEM go into the Tribulation. )

  Reason 6: The Tribulation is the "Age of the Jew" resumed, as in Daniel's 70th week in Dan 9:24-27:

  The church is a mystery inserted between Daniels 69th and 70th week. These "weeks" are periods of 7 years. This is clear from the Jewish usage of the term "weeks" found in Gen 29:18-30. The Church Age was not known to the Old Testament prophets (Eph 3:5) and is completed at the Rapture of the Church. The Jewish Age then resumes (Rom 11:25). The Church Age is "the times of the GENTILES" in Luke 21:24, and Romans chap 11, esp verse 25, and a MYSTERY hid in Christ in Eph 1:9 and 3:1-11, Col 1:26, Rom 11:25, and 1 Cor 2:7&8. According to Rom 11:7-27 Israel was the branch that was "broken off" of Godís olive tree, and blindness came upon Israel as a result. The church was "grafted in" in place of Israel. The blindness that came upon Israel is removed when the Church Age, or "times of the gentiles" is completed.

  The 2nd half of the Trib is called "Jacobs trouble" in Jer 30:1-10 (God calls the Jews Israel [prince of God] when they're in fellowship, but calls them Jacob [chiseler or cheat] when they're out of fellowship).

  The Tribulation is taught only in the O. T. and Gospels, all in the Age of the Jew.

  The two 3 Ĺ year periods that make up the Trib are taught in Dan 7:25, 9:27, 11:2&3, 12:7,11&12, Rev 12:6&14, and Rev 13:5. I find absolutely no mention of the church after the 7 churches in Rev chap 3. Again, this indicates that the Trib is back to the Jewish Age.

  It is inconceivable to me that the Church (Mystery Age) could continue at all, when the Jewish Age resumes for its last 7 years.

  Even the New Covenant was promised to and pertains to the NATION of ISRAEL, Jer 31:31-35, Jer 32:37-40, Eze 11:17-21, Eze 16:60-63, Eze 37:26, and Rom 11:26-29. The Church does not replace Israel in Godís plan. The Church was a mystery hid in Christ that just pops in and pops back out, and are temporary beneficiaries of the New Covenant to Israel, and are capable of partaking in a form of Millennial blessings, (Heb ch 4), but at the Rapture, the Mystery Age that popped in is GONE, and Godís plan for Israel RESUMES. The Church only has access to the New Covenant given to Israel because Jesus is a natural descendant of Abraham, and the Church is "espoused" in marriage to Him, which is legally binding according to Jewish custom, and we are therefore, "in Him". Neat! The gentiles have access to the New Covenant by marriage, just like Moses, a type of Christ and his "gentile bride", and the gentile "Shulamite woman" of Song of Solomon.

  Reason 7: The Holy Spiritís ministry to the earth through the church is changed when the church is removed at the Rapture: 2 Thess 2:6. God is "withholding", or "restraining" evil at the present time, and when He stops restraining, the wickedness of the earth will leap forward with full force. Jesus told his disciples, who became the first church, that they were the "salt of the earth". In a sense, we are the present "salt of the earth". Remove the salt or preservative and the earth will rapidly spoil. (I believe the Trib begins with unbelievers only)

  Reason 8: In 2 Cor 5:20 we are Christís AMBASSADORS. Ambassadors do not live in their home country. They live in the country to which they are assigned and represent their home country. Our home country is Heaven and we are ambassadors to earth. Ambassadors are recalled before war is declared on the country to which they were assigned.

  Reason 9: Old Testament Shadows and types:

  New Testament Bible truths are not only taught directly in the Scriptures, but also have Old and New Testament "pictures", "shadows", and "types" that indirectly illustrate, and confirm the direct teachings of Scripture. These shadows and types are like the Bible parables that say one thing and, in a parallel way, mean another.

  The book of the Song of Solomon in the Old Testament is like a parable in itself that is a "type" of the First Advent of Christ, the Church Age, and the Church awaiting the Rapture:

  a. THE PROPHETIC TYPE FOUND IN THE SONG OF SOLOMON:

  The King (Jesus 1st Advent) came to see how his vineyard (Israel) was coming along, and discovered that the keepers (Jews) left in charge had not taken care of it. The only thing he found there that he loved was a GENTILE WOMAN (US). The King kicked out the wicked vineyard keepers (Destruction of Israel in 70 AD) and assigned new keepers (The age of the GENTILES) and said he was going away (Ascension), but would return and marry the gentile woman (Rapture of the Church). The story ends with the gentile woman eagerly awaiting the Kings return (Us awaiting Jesus return) and her marriage to him (Wedding Supper of the Lamb). Last verse says "make haste my beloved", just like in 1 Cor 16:22 where Paul says "maranatha", or "Lord come quickly"!

  So, the Song of Solomon is a prophetic "type" of the First Advent, Church Age and Rapture of the Church.

  b. ISA 26: 19-21 A "shadow" of the first resurrection (Rapture of live Church Age saints and resurrection of the dead in Christ), then our "hiding" in heaven until the "indignation" is finished, and our return with the Lord to punish the inhabitants of the earth. Note: the term "indignation" is the Hebrew word "zaham" meaning "fury" and is used in many contexts as a term for the Tribulation, such as Isa 13:5, Dan 11:36, and Zeph 3:8.

  c. ENOCH: In Jude 14, A 2ND ADVENT CONTEXT, Enoch is a "type" of the Rapture of the Church.

  Enoch was the 7th generation from Adam, and was "translated" and didn't die, then after an interval of time (not immediately), the great flood came and swept away all the godless population of the earth. Only Noah and his family were saved to repopulate the earth. Enoch is a "TYPE":

(1.) Of the 7th church, who will be raptured and not see death, like Enoch did not see death.
(2.) In that he was "taken" BEFORE God declared war on the Earth and swept all the unbelievers away in the Great Flood of Noah.
(3.) Being a GENTILE, not a Jew (The Jews are primarily set aside and in "blindness" during the Church Age).
(4.) And the flood is a "type" of the Tribulation and Second Advent, where Godís judgement came upon all the earth and the unbelievers were swept off the earth and the world was started over with only Godís people. Notice he was "taken" BEFORE the flood STARTED, and that is a "picture" of the pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
Note: The Matt 24:37-42 passage where two are in the field, two grinding at the mill etc. is often misinterpreted! Those who are "taken" in the Matt 24 context are the ungodly being swept off the earth as the flood did, and those who are left, inherit the Earth for the Millennium!

  d. PROPHETIC "DAYS" IN THE SCRIPTURE:

  God doesn't want us to be ignorant! Peter tells us in 2 Pet 3:8, in an eschatological context, that "a day to the Lord is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like a day". If we take this to be a key to prophetic interpretation, one day and one thousand years can be interchanged in prophetic scripture. Lets see if it fits, now that we are not "ignorant" :-)

    (1.) THE CREATION ACCOUNT:

  6 days of creation, on the 7th - REST, on the 8th, a NEW BEGINNING. 6000 years for man and Satan, a 7th thousand is a REST for the people of God, the 8th thousand is a new beginning in the eternal state! 6 is the Bible number for man, 7 is the number of completion, and 8 is a new beginning. God has stamped these three numbers on His creation. There are only 7 whole musical notes, the 8th is a new beginning. The Reynolds curve of the elements is a perfect periodic chart with 7 elements of each type, then the 8th is a new type. There are 7 days in a week and the 8th is a new week etc. (Early Church fathers believed that God has given the earth over to Satan for 6000 years, and the 7th thousand completes Godís dealings with the natural man, fallen angels, and Satan! Epistle of Barnabus 13:5 and writings of Iranaeous).

  Adam to Abrahamís generation was about 2000 years, the age of the Jews was about 2000 years, Church Age has been approx 2000 years = 6000 years. The millennium is the 7th thousand, a "DAY" of "REST". God starts over on the 8th thousand with new heavens and a new earth.

  The millennium is a 1000 year "REST" for the people of God: Rev 20 says its 1000 years 6 times! Here are 5 Illustrations where the term "rest" is a technical term for the 1000 year Millennial reign of Christ:

  --- Genesis 2:1, 6 days of creation, REST on the 7th.

  --- Isa 11:10 & 14:1-7 Millennial "REST" ending with Satanís judgement.

  --- Heb chap 4, two types of rest: temporal and Millennial.

  --- Ver 1 Temporal for us now.

  --- Ver 2 The Exodus generation who did not reach the promised land and "rest".

  --- Ver 3 Temporal for us again.

  Ver 4-9 Israel said to be SET ASIDE (Church Age) then grafted in again (7 year Tribulation) and are then due a Millennial rest.

  --- Ver 10 & 11 Take in the Word & stay in fellowship and we can have temporal rest.

  --- Psa 95:7-11 The resurrected Exodus generation is still due a "REST". Because of their lack of faith, they missed the first one!

  --- Matt 26:36 Three "comings", (Representing the First Advent, Rapture, and Second Advent), then take your "REST" (Millennium).

     (2.) JOHN CHAP 2 MARRIAGE AT CANA: ON THE 3RD DAY = 2000 YEARS AFTER JESUS WAS incarnated, at the beginning of the 3rd thousand, we will be wed to Jesus and his disciples will be there. The Millennium is basically a wedding feast for Jesus and His bride. In O T times, the wedding feasts would last for days or even weeks and were limited in duration and glamour only by the wealth of the father of the groom!

    (3.) LUKE 13:32, JESUS MINISTRY THROUGH US IS 2000 YEARS AND IN THE 3RD 1000, JESUS is perfected. (His marriage to us, a 2000 year betrothal, then - together at last, for the Millennium!)

    (4.) MARK 9:2, AFTER "6 DAYS" JESUS IS TRANSFIGURED! (6000 YEARS). (A picture of the Second Advent, Jesus coming in His glory).

    (5.) HOSEA 6:1-3, 1ST ADVENT + 2000 YEARS AND AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 3RD THOUSAND God raises up Israel! (Millennium)

  We cannot be "dogmatic" on these points, but they sure make Biblical sense to me!

  Reason 10: NO scripture, that I know of, teaches that the church will enter or pass through the Tribulation. But, scripture teaches that Israel is the CENTER of it! Jer 30:7, it is "Jacobs trouble". Tribulation scripture in Dan and Rev constantly uses Old Testament terminology and figures. Even the O T sacrifice system and priesthood is resumed in the first 3 Ĺ years of the Tribulation and then stopped by Antichrist at the mid point "Abomination of Desolation" when Antichrist begins to claim that he is god and demands universal worship of himself.

  The only Scripture in the New Testament epistles to the Churches about the Tribulation is in 2nd Thess where the Antichrist is revealed and it states "wrath" to "them" and "salvation" to "us".

  Reason 11: The whole earth is subjected to the wrath of God in the Tribulation and the subjects of that wrath in Daniel, the Major prophets, the minor prophets, and Revelation are always the Jews and the Godless world.

  Reason 12: The Church is taught that the Rapture is eminent - no prophecies to be fulfilled first, but technically can occur at any moment. But the Second Advent has many prophecies to be fulfilled first and has a virtual timetable so you can count the days between events! We look for Jesus, they will look for Antichrist and follow the timetable. If we were going into the Trib, we would look for Antichrist and his 7 year peace pact, and 1290 days to the Abomination of Desolation, 1290 more to the 2nd Advent. There are even two martyred prophets whose bodies lie in the street for 3 Ĺ days and people from the whole world see it and rejoice, then in the sight of the whole world they are resurrected and transported to heaven.

  We are instructed to look for Jesus, not for Antichrist: 1Thess 1:10, 2 Thess 3:5, Titus 2:12&13 (this present world = aion or age or dispensation!).

  Reason 13: Rev 13:15-17 and ver 8, All men both rich and poor, free and bond, small and great must take the mark of the beast, or they cannot buy or sell. All who take it are cast into the lake of fire at the great white throne of judgement, Rev 14:12.

  Where is the church? You cannot buy or sell in the last 3 Ĺ years of the Tribulation without the Mark of the Beast.

  The last Church is characterized as boasting that they are rich and increased with goods in Rev 3:17, and 1 Tim 6:17 (rich in this world = age or dispensation) (Laodicea means Church of "human rights")

  Romans chapter 13 commands us to obey all the authorities placed over us. Can you imagine obeying the authorities during the Tribulation as we are told to do in the Church Age, as in Rom 13 and 2 Pet 2:12-15! Godís people will have to live in the mountains and barter to stay alive during the last half of the Tribulation. I see the Tribulation as back to the Age of the Jew and the church is in heaven..

  Reason 14: Jesus taught the Jews that he would be returning not to marry them, but ALREADY MARRIED! Luke 12:35-40, and the Parable of the virgins in Matt 25:1-13. The Jews are not taught that Christ will come back to marry them. The Church is espoused to Christ and will return from heaven with Him, as His bride, at the Second Advent.

  Reason 15: A Post Trib Rapture viewpoint would force the Amillennial viewpoint to be correct. We have a huge amount of Scriptures about the Millennium, and when they are all examined, it is impossible for me to not believe in a literal Millennium of 1000 years with Jesus reigning on this present earth, over the nations, with his throne in Jerusalem, with a rod of iron (Rev 12:5, 19:15, Psa 2:9, Isa chap 11, especially verse 4) and with His Church, in resurrection bodies, co-reigning and co-ruling with Him.

  Scriptures concerning the Rapture that are literally clear:

  --- 2 Cor 5:1-10 a Rapture context, judgement of the Church at the BEMA! (A raised platform for giving out Olympic awards in ancient Greece)

  --- 1 Cor 3:11-16 Trial by fire - rewards. (Rev 4:4, I believe a picture of the church in heaven, judged and rewarded!)

  --- Rev 19:8 The marriage is come and we're all in white linen.

  --- Rev 19:4, Jude 14, 1 Thess 2:19, and 1 Thess 3:13, Jesus comes back at the 2nd Advent WITH all His saints, not for all His saints!

  We have to believe that Jesus is going to catch the church up in the air according to 1 Thess 4 and 1 Cor 15. If he is going to do it at the END of the Tribulation, it is impossible for me to reconcile it with scripture. Itís clear that Jesus will Rapture all the believers. It is clear to me, according to the above Scriptures, that they come back with Jesus, already JUDGED, GLORIFIED, REWARDED, and MARRIED, to destroy all the unbelievers and cast them off the earth.

  Putting together all that we know into a supposed "post trib" Rapture:

  At the end of the Trib, Jesus catches all the believers away, judges, glorifies and rewards and marries them in the air below the highest mountain top (Greek word for air is "ether") and then they all come back down to the earth to kick all the unbelievers off the earth - then they all stand around wondering who they're going to reign over - at that point, every human being that existed would be in a resurrection body! Who would Jesus reign over with a ROD OF IRON, as in Rev 20? And who is going to fight the battle of Gog and Magog against Jesus and His army at the end of the Millennium in Rev 20:7-9? How can the government of Christ be ever increasing, according to Isa 9:6&7 if the number of Godís people is fixed to the number of the saved at the Second Advent?

  Zech 13:1-9 says God will bring 1/3 of Israel through the Trib to inherit the earth. Jer 3:17 speaks of all the NATIONS being subjected to Israel during the Millennium.

  Reason 16: In the RAPTURE BOOK, 1 Thess 1:10, we are said to be delivered from the WRATH TO COME.

  Reason 17: 2 Thess 2:1-3 The fake letter! Paul says to the Church at Thessalonica that they have not missed the "Day of Christ", or Rapture, as Hymenaeus and Philetus had apparently written to them and signed it "Paul" (2 Tim 2:17&18). Paul says that they cannot be in the Tribulation because three things must happen first:

  1. THE "FALLING AWAY" FIRST - Greek = THE DEPARTURE, with the Greek article "the".

  2. The REVEALING OF THE MAN OF SIN (the Antichrist)

  3. HE THAT WITHHOLDETH MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE MIDST. HS removing the salt.

  In 2 Thess 2:3, and 2 Tim 2:17&18, Paul recounts something he already told them. They had apparently received a fake letter from two men named Hymenaeus and Philetus, stating that the resurrection had already come and they were now in the Tribulation.

  The word translated "falling away" in 2 Thess 2:3 is the Greek word "apostasia" meaning simply "to remove, depart, or go away". The context must determine who and what is "removing, departing, or going away". In this verse, the Greek word "apostasia" has the Greek article "THE" in front of it, making it a TITLE OF AN EVENT, "THE REMOVAL or DEPARTURE". The KJV translators chose to "transliterate" the Greek word "apostasia" into an English word "apostasy", and the English reader naturally assumes that a "falling away from the truth" has to happen first, but that makes no sense at all! Paul is listing these three proofs to prove to his hearers that they have not missed the Rapture!

  Scripture states that there will be many massive periods of "apostasy" throughout the Church Age. Jesus even said the church would be like a lump of dough with a little yeast in it - tending to be worse and worse, but Paulís proof to the Church at Thessalonica is "THE REMOVAL", an EVENT! I believe, and the most respected Greek scholars, including Kenneth Wuest and Bob Thieme believe that "THE REMOVAL" is obviously the Rapture of the church - itís the SUBJECT OF THE PASSAGE, AND A PROOF TO THE HEARERS AT THESSALONICA THAT THEY ARE NOT ALREADY IN THE TRIBULATION! In verse 5 Paul says "remember I already told you these things" (His first letter to the Thessalonian Church). If Paul is saying that a falling away from the truth must come first, that means nothing to the Thessalonians OR to us, since the church has been "falling away from the truth" since it started, and has already seen "dark ages" where the "God's Truth" could hardly be found in public at all on the whole earth!

  So, the three proofs that Paul gives the confused Thessalonians that they have not missed the "Day of Christ" are:

  1. THE DEPARTURE of the church must occur first.

  2. The REVEALING OF THE MAN OF SIN, the Antichrist must occur first.

  3. And THE RESTRAINING MINISTRY OF THE HOLY SPIRIT MUST BE REMOVED FIRST.

  Then the Tribulation can start.

  Reason 18. My studies have led me to agree with J. Dwight Pentecost, that the Posttribulation Rapture position is a system of "denials" rather than an exposition of what the Scripture literally teaches. The Posttribulation Rapture position:

     a. Must be based on a denial of dispensationalism and all dispensational distinctions. It is only thus that the church can be placed in that period which is particularly called "the time of Jacob's Trouble" (Jer. 30:7).

     b. Denies the distinctions between Israel and the church.

     c. Denies all the distinctions observed from the Scriptures between the Rapture and the Second Advent, making them one and the same event.

    d. Denies the doctrine of imminence, which says that the Lord may come at any time, and substitutes the teaching that a multitude of signs must be fulfilled before the Lord can possibly return.

    e. Denies any future fulfillment to the prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27, claiming for it an historical fulfillment.

    f. Denies major passages of Scripture that outline God's program for Israel (Matt. 13; Matt. 24-25; Rev. 4-19) and spiritualizes them to apply them to the church.

  Dwight Pentecost states: It will thus be observed that the Posttribulation position rests essentially on a system of denials of the literal interpretations held by the Pretribulation Rapturist, rather than on a positive exposition of the Scriptures.

  Reason 19: Morning star vs sunrise, Rev 2:28 & 22:16, Jesus is the "morning star" to the CHURCH.

  In Mal 4:2, a Second Advent passage written to ISRAEL, Jesus is the "sunrise" to Israel.

  The "Morning Star" appears in the Eastern sky a short period of time before the sun rises and then it disappears, and a short while later the sun rises. To me, this again is God's Word teaching us that the Rapture and Second Advent do not occur at the same point in time. The church must leave, (Morning Star) and an interval of time transpires before Jesus comes back at the 2nd Advent (Sunrise).

  Reason 20: The church is told to joyfully await Christ, not Antichrist: Phil 3:20, Heb 9:28. And a special crown to those who "love His appearing", 2 Tim 4:8. If the church was in the Tribulation, I imagine every Christian would "love His appearing", and there would be no need for a "special crown". But here in the Church Age, it's hard to find a Christian who is ready for the return of Jesus to "catch us up in the air". But, Paul says a "special crown" ("stephanos", meaning "award") goes to those who do love His appearing.

  Reason 21: The "Rapture of the Church" is described in 1 Thess 4:13 - 5:9, and in 1 Thess 5:3, the condition of the world at the time of the Rapture of the Church is stated as "when they shall say, peace and safety". The Greek verb, translated "say" here is in the present tense, indicating that "they" will be in the habit of "saying" "peace and safety". To me, this completely eliminates the possibility of the Rapture being anywhere in the second 3 1/2 years of the Tribulation, or at the Second Advent. I also see absolutely no Biblical reason for a "Mid-Trib Rapture", so, again, this places the Rapture at the point where the Antichrist is negotiating a 7 year peace treaty between Israel and her Arab neighbors, at the beginning of the 7 year Tribulation, and the world is saying "peace and safety".

  When the Day of the Lord (Tribulation) is described to Israel, itís the TERRIBLE Day of Wrath come upon all the earth! See Amos 5:18-20!

  If I had any idea that the church could go into the Tribulation, I would be looking for the Antichrist, and making plans to be self sufficient, and protect my family and loved ones from the system of Antichrist, in case it came to be in my lifetime. If that were true, we would not be looking for Jesus, because He could not return until the end of the Tribulation! Once the 7 year Tribulation begins, it has a virtual "timetable" so we could know where we were in it, and we could count the DAYS until the Second Advent!!

  May the Lord bless your study on this subject, and as Paul says in Eph 1:15-18:

  "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints, cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, And what [is] the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power."

  Even so, come Lord Jesus!

  Bob Jones