We know it's been a long time. We're sorry for the big delay between the last episode and this one. In this episode Doug Hamp and Rob Skiba pick up where they left off, still dealing with the opening verses of Revelation 4. They discuss the various views concerning the Rapture. Is it Pre, Mid or Post Tribulation? They give their opinion, based on their Quest 4 Truth and understanding of the Scriptures. Now, you decide.
I'd just like to point out a few Scriptures to my Pre-Trib Rapture brothers and sisters. Instead of letting man define doctrines for us, why don't we let the Scripture speak for itself? Many say that Christians won't go through the Tribulation. What does the Bible say?
"These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”
I'm not sure what part of that Scripture is hard for Christians to understand. Perhaps it is because here in America, we don't really experience much persecution. But as a former missionary, having served in about a dozen restricted access countries, I can testify to the truth that Christians around the world experience tribulation/persecution on a daily basis.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, 22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, and saying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
Entrance into the Kingdom of God comes through tribulation!
The Apostle Paul understood this probably better than anyone:
22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me. 24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.
1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.”
37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
9 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 6 Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope for you is steadfast, because we know that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so also you will partake of the consolation.
2 Corinthians 6:
3 We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. 4 But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, 5 in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; 6 by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, 7 by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, 8 by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; 9 as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; 10 as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.
2 Corinthians 7:4
Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my boasting on your behalf. I am filled with comfort. I am exceedingly joyful in all our tribulation.
Therefore I ask that you do not lose heart at my tribulations for you, which is your glory.
1 Thessalonians 3:4
For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.
2 Thessalonians 1:
3 We are bound to thank God always for you, brethren, as it is fitting, because your faith grows exceedingly, and the love of every one of you all abounds toward each other, 4 so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, 5 which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer; 6 since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, 7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, 10 when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.
11 Therefore we also pray always for you that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfill all the good pleasure of His goodness and the work of faith with power, 12 that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
No one wants to experience the coming Tribulation and no one wanted to go through tribulation/persecution throughout all of history. There's nothing new here. Scripture is abundantly clear that "in this world, you will have tribulation," but my prayer is the same as Paul's: That "I may finish my race with joy, , and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."
Who goes first, the wheat or the tares?
Consider what Yeshua had to say when He explained this parable in Matthew 13:
36 Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.
37 He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;
38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;
39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.
40 As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the END OF THIS WORLD.
41 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;
42 And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
43 Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
Paul is the one who wrote the most about the Rapture. He said in 2 Thessalonians 2:
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.
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.
The latter event happens at the Abomination of Desolation, which nearly everyone agrees is a Mid-Trib event (for those who believe in the 7 year Tribulation). So, right here we see there is no room for any other prior gathering. Paul also said that we will meet Christ in the clouds in 1 Thessalonians 4:
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN (remain after what?) unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then WE WHICH ARE ALIVE AND REMAIN (remain after what?) shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
When will Christ be in the clouds?
No other Pre-Trib "gathering" is mentioned anywhere in the Bible, nor is there any other mention of Christ ever being in the clouds at anytime prior to "immediately AFTER the Tribulation." Thus, the only "gathering" that is mentioned is in the end, as also stated earlier in the parable of the wheat and tears in Matthew 13:
29 Immediately AFTER THE TRIBULATION OF THOSE DAYS shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man COMING IN THE CLOUDS of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall GATHER TOGETHER his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.
I don't know about you, but I'm listening, and from what I am hearing from the Scriptures here, is that it is the tares that go first, not the wheat.
In the meantime, what are the wheat to do prior to the harvest?
12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS OF GOD, and the faith of Jesus.
13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.
Just some food for thought...
Here are the Rapture Riddle links Rob mentioned in this episode:
Rob also suggests you watch the following video: