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Defense of the Pre Trib Rapture

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On 1/14/2018 at 5:42 AM, Pudgenik said:

Pre-wrath, lol. Now there is something different. I've never heard that one before.

I really love all these time lines everyone has, they are almost comical.

I have to say, the problem that everyone makes is the presumption that you all think you know what the first seal is. When you do not.

I have repeatedly heard the first seal as being represented as the anti-Christ. It isnt.

But what do I know. 

Where are all your so called prophets. Does anyone use the Gifts of the Holy Spirit anymore.

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Pudgenik, you need to read more widely. Although the name pre-wrath is relatively new, 40 years or so, the teaching it represents is found in the historical records of the Church over the past 1900+ years. Unlike the pre-trib and post-trib positions the pre-wrath position has 1) the church seeing the Antichrist, 2) the church going through great tribulation, and 3) the imminent expectation of the church being removed from the earth before the wrath of God is poured out in the day of the Lord.

All three of these positions can be seen time and time again in the teachings of the early church.

Shawn White in his excellent paper on the Pre-wrath Rapture says:

“It was never taught that the rapture could come before the antichrist until the 1800s. Larry Crutchfield, a professor at Columbia seminary, and a pre-tribulationist, is an expert on the early church fathers. He wrote a paper called “Rudiments of Dispensationalism in the Anti-Nicean Period”. He was looking for pretribulationalism in the early church fathers. But, he has this to say, “While there are in the writings of the early church fathers seeds from which the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture could be developed. It is difficult to find in them an unequivocal statement of the type of immanency usually believed by pre-tribulationists.”

Thomas Ice of the Pre-trib Research Center quotes Crutchfield in his article, “The History of the Doctrine of the Rapture” as his evidence of a belief in an imminent return of Christ in the early church. And he said patristic scholar, Larry Crutchfield, argues that the early church fathers believed in what he calls imminent intra-tribulationalism. That is, they believed that they were in the great tribulation but not the Day of the Lord. He summarizes the views of the pre-tribulation scholars on the issue as follows. With few exceptions the pre-millennial fathers of the early church believed that they were living in the last times. Thus they looked daily for the Lord’s imminent return. Disbelief in the imminent return of Jesus Christ within the context of ongoing persecution has prompted us to broadly label the views of the earliest fathers imminent intra-tribulationalism.”

Accordingly, we see that references to the imminent return of Christ by the early church were predicated upon their believing that the Antichrist was present and that they were experiencing the great tribulation.

Eckerty in “The Case For the Pre-Wrath Rapture”  gives some examples of the early eschatological beliefs of the church:

Tertullian: “That the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God....Since, then, the Scriptures both indicate the stages of the last times, and concentrate the harvest of the Christian hope in the very end of the world.” 

Justin Martyr: “The man of apostasy...shall venture to do unlawful things on the earth against us, the Christians.”

The Pastor of Hermas: “Happy ye who endure the Great Tribulation that is coming.”

Irenaeus: “And the ten kings...shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight.”

Barnabas: “Take heed, lest resting at our ease, as those who are called of God, we should fall asleep in our sins, and the wicked prince, acquiring power over us, should thrust us away from the Kingdom of the Lord.”

Hippolytus: “Now concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary. That refers to the 1260 days during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church.”

Each of these historic saints associate the church with the “great tribulation” persecution of the Antichrist. Not a single one exempts the church from his reign of terror. There is no mention of a great escape of the church from great tribulation.

Spurgeon on the Rapture

Arguably the most published Christian in history, outside of the writers of the Bible, is Charles Haddon Spurgeon. The prince of preachers, as he has been called, preached the Word so often and effected so many people that his sermons and his Bible teaching were recorded for posterity and have been read and studied for over a hundred and fifty years. We have the good fortune to examine the understanding of Charles Spurgeon on most every text of the Holy Scriptures.

In 1988 a man by the name of Tom Carter compiled a book that he titled “Spurgeon at His Best” in which he presents 2200 quotes from Charles Haddon Spurgeon. These quotations were categorized and labeled so that one might get an idea about what Spurgeon believed and taught about nearly any biblical subject. In his book Carter identifies the eschatological understanding and teaching of Spurgeon as that of a post-tribulation premillennialist. The reason for this identification is that there are many unambiguous statements that Spurgeon made concerning Christ’s pre-millennial return. It was also true that his exposition of various texts concerning the “Parousia” included an expectation that the church would see the Antichrist and experience great tribulation first.

Kenneth W. Eckerty in “The Case For the Pre-Wrath Rapture” provides us with more of Spurgeon’s teaching on the timing of the rapture in relation to the events of the seventieth week:

“Charles Haddon Spurgeon, of the nineteenth century believed in these signs prior to Jesus coming back for here is a quote that confirms it: "I must leave this first point, concerning the terrible time [a time of fearful national trouble] when this precept is to be carried out, by just reminding you that, when the Lord Jesus shall come, the heavens shall tell us. There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars. ...Now I come to THE REMARKABLE PRECEPT ITSELF. Then look up, and lift your heads. ...let there be no looking down because the earth is quaking and shaking, but let there be a looking up because you are going to rise from it."

In his sermon entitled “The Joyful Anticipation of the second Advent” he says, "The great tribulation by Antichrist, first, then, there is a terrible time...a time of fearful national trouble, then the signs appear in the heavens, when the Lord shall come, the heavens shall tell us, there shall be signs in the sun, moon and stars. Then the rapture and the resurrection of the saints, our own eyes shall tell us, for they shall see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory...look up lift up your heads...because the graves are opening... you will quit the grave never more to die." April 23, 1885.

Everywhere throughout the Scriptures there is this double message of our Lord—“Watch, for I may come at any moment. Expect Me to come, and to come soon; yet never be terrified as though the time were immediately at hand, for there are certain events which must occur before My Advent.” How to reconcile these two thoughts, I do not know and I do not care to know. I would like to be found in that condition which consists in part of watching and in the other part of patiently waiting and working till Christ appears.”

We see that the teaching of Charles Spurgeon concerning Christ’s coming and our gathering unto Him was consistent with what today is called the pre-wrath rapture model. It’s no wonder, he was known for having the Bible flowing through his veins.

Walvoord on the historical church’s expectation of experiencing the great tribulation

Dr. John Walvoord, Christian theologian, pastor, president of Dallas Theological Seminary, pre-tribulationist, and a highly recognized eschatological scholar, writes concerning the fact that early Christian writers considered that they were in the great tribulation:

“Generally speaking, the early church fathers, as well as the Protestant Reformers, tended to identify contemporary events with the events of the Great Tribulation and because of this could look for the imminent return of Christ.” (John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question, rev. and enl. ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing Co., 1979), p. 51.)

Among the early church writers, any statement of the expectation that Christ could come at any moment was facilitated by the fact that at that time they believed that the Antichrist had been revealed and that they believed they were presently in the “great tribulation”.

The belief in imminency among the historic church was due to the belief that they were in the “great tribulation”

As was mentioned earlier, Larry Crutchfield, a pre-tribulationist, concluded through exhaustive research that the earliest church fathers were imminent intra-tribulationists; that is, they were looking for the Lord’s return at any moment because they thought the Antichrist had been revealed and that the persecution they were experiencing was the “great tribulation”. When this is taken into consideration the supposed historic proofs of the early church believing in an any moment rapture (imminency) offered by pre-tribbers are exposed and found, on the contrary, to support the pre-wrath model of the church’s gathering to Christ.

Again, from the writings of Justin Martyr, a second century Christian apologist who was martyred in 165AD, we read:

“Christ shall come from heaven with glory, when the man of apostasy . . . shall venture to do unlawful deeds on earth against us Christians.”

The church’s expectation of seeing the Antichrist and experiencing “great tribulation”, as supported by sound biblical exegesis, has continued throughout the history of the church from the days of the apostles to today.

The Reformation saints believed that they had identified the Antichrist

The belief that the conditions for Christ’s return had been met was the very same reason the reformers expected Christ at any moment.

Hugh Latimer, who was burned at the stake by Queen Mary in 1555, set forth his understanding of the timing of Christ’s Parousia in a sermon on the Lord’s prayer saying:

“St. Paul says, “The Lord will not come till the swerving from the faith cometh” (2 Thess. 2:3), which thing is already done and past. Antichrist is already known throughout all the world: wherefore the day is not far off.”

He clearly believed that the church would see the Antichrist and suffer at his hand in what Jesus calls “great tribulation”.

These are just a few examples of the pre-wrath belief of the historical church.

As comforting as it is to see the pre-wrath position espoused throughout history, we must recognize that it is not the fact that the pre-wrath model is ancient which makes it true but that it is supportable by the Holy Scriptures. It is the testimony of Christ, the Apostles, and the Prophets as recorded in the Bible which makes the post “great tribulation” pre-wrath of God return of Christ for His saints certain.

All praise, honour, and glory be unto the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Alpha and Omega, our Saviour Jesus Christ.


End of the Age Chart PDF.pdf

End of the Age Chart 2018.jpg

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On 12/22/2017 at 9:22 PM, Montana Marv said:


We are to Forgive others, not once but, seven times 70.  Romans 12:14 - Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse, v. 19 - do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath... For It is mine to avenge, I will repay.

We as Believers already know that God will avenge; so we do not need to ask Him to do so.  Those souls under the Altar are the ones who have been beheaded.  No other mode of death is given, only one for those under the Alter.

In Christ

Montana Marv

Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ,

Montana Marv, they are asking how long. They wanted to know when the long suffering of God would be over (2Pet 3:9-10) and His wrath would fall upon their persecutors. For on that very same day (Lk 17:26-30) they would be clothed upon with their incorruptible body at the first resurrection (1Cor 15; 1Thes 13-17; 2Thes 1:7; 2:1; Rev 20:4-6; Dan 12:1-2). 

Rev 6:9  And when he had opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Rev 6:10  And they cried with a loud voice, saying, How long, O Lord, holy and true, dost thou not judge and avenge our blood on them that dwell on the earth?
Rev 6:11  And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled.

Note some of what we can learn from these three verses:

1) There is no such thing as "soul sleep". The souls under the alter are martyred saints and they are waiting on the resurrection. They are conscious and communicating.

2) At the opening of the fifth seal God's vengeance or wrath has not yet been poured out upon the Beast worshiping earth dwellers who have persecuted the church. Therefore the day of the Lord has not yet begun. (God's wrath upon the day of the Lord shall come suddenly on the very day of Christ's "appearing." 1Thes 5:2-3, Lk 17:26-30).

3) At the opening of the fifth seal, it is said that it will still be a little season before the blood of the martyrs is avenged. (Compare to 2Thes 1:6-10 where God tribulates those who were tribulating the saints.) It is upon the day of the Lord that God's wrath is poured out upon their persecutors. (Note: Joel says that the day of the Lord follows the cosmic sign that John sees at the opening of the sixth seal, Joel 2:31; Rev 6:12-17. Also, Jesus says that the cosmic sign immediately follows the great tribulation, Matt 24:29. So, the wrath of God on the day of the Lord comes after the great tribulation, and we are caught out between the two because we are not appointed unto God's wrath. 1Thes 5:9)


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