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Pre-wrath rapture in a nutshell

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by npetreley, Jul 1, 2002.

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  1. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    In case anyone is interested, here's a short description of the pre-wrath rapture view, which IMO is the best fit to scripture. I'm leaving out a LOT of information to keep it simple. All I'm presenting here, in a nutshell, is a comparison of the chronology of the olivet discourse in Matthew vs. Revelation, to show how the two fit.

    There are some simple premises:

    1. Tribulation is NOT the same as wrath

    2. The Bible not only fails to say that we will be spared tribulation, it says we WILL experience tribulation

    3. The Bible says we are not appointed to WRATH

    4. The great tribulation begins immediately after the man of sin is revealed (abomination of desolation)

    5. At some unknown point during the great tribulation, Jesus returns

    6. He gathers His elect (the rapture occurs)

    7. The Day of the Lord, which is identified by the celestial signs, ends the great tribulation and begins the period when God pours out His wrath upon the world

    -----------------

    Examine the chronology of events in Matthew 24 and the parallels elsewhere.

    Here we see that the great tribulation (great distress) begins with the abomination that causes desolation.

    The great tribulation will be cut short. Nobody knows how short, which is one reason why we do not know the hour or the day when the Lord will return. The fact that believers will experience this calls for patience and endurance, and knowledge that Jesus will return in glory, and will return in such a way that it will be unmistakable.

    Immediately after the great tribulation is cut short, the celestial signs of the Day of the Lord will occur.

    The elect are gathered, which puts the rapture here.

    After this, God pours out His wrath upon the world.

    -----------------

    Now let's look at this again from Revelation, starting with Revelation 6. For the sake of brevity, I'll leave out most of the verses, but this should show that it includes great persecution and tribulation.

    Now here are the celestial signs that signal the Day of the Lord is about to begin. Note the words, "For the great day of their wrath has come," which identifies this as the END of the great tribulation, and the BEGINNING of God's wrath.

    Revelation 7 begins with the sealing of the 144,000 from the tribes of Israel for special protection during the outpouring of God's wrath.

    Then suddenly there appears this great multitude in heaven from every nation, tribe, people and tongue.

    Then one of the elders asks John, who are these folks? John basically says, "darned if I know."

    So who are they?

    They are the saints from every nation, etc., who have been raptured out of the great tribulation because the time of wrath is about to begin, and we are not appointed to wrath.
     
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  2. Justme

    Justme Senior Veteran

    +44
    Christian
    Hi,

    Speaking of chronology, it is written at Rev 19 :11:

    And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat..........

    He saw it 'opened, I assume saw it 'opening'.
    At Rev 4 :1 John saw heaven standing OPEN and the angel called him up and told John what was going to happen.
    SO did all this from 4:1 to 19:11 happen BEFORE chapter 4 or what?

    Here is one thing about the book of Revelation. I do not see the Olivet discourse even remotely similar to the way you see it, yet Revelation verifies my interpretation as well.Amazing book.

    Anyway what do you make of the 4:1 thing?

    Justme
     
  3. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    It sounds like this is the author simply explaining how the revelation was given to him. I don't see how this has anything whatsoever to do with the prophecy itself.
     
  4. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    The key to understanding Jesus’ Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 (also Mark 13 and Luke 21) is the apocalyptic “event” which happens "Immediately after the tribulation of those days.” As Matthew records it:

    Matthew, following the precedent of the Old Testament prophets, uses apocalyptic imagery to describe such "the coming of the Son of Man" after "the tribulation of those days" to "gather his elect from the four winds.” But what is this actually describing? The distinguished New Testament scholar N.T. Wright, in his book The Millennium Myth, (Westminster/John Knox 1999, pp. 41-42) addresses a popular misconception concerning this “coming.”

    So, if we are to fully understand the reality Jesus speaks of in the Olivet Discourse, we must, as Wright suggests, take seriously “the whole biblical picture.” In so doing, we will find that the often enigmatic apocalyptic language of the synoptics is interpreted more plainly within the canon itself.

    John (who gave us his fill of apocalyptic with Revelation) states in clear language in his Gospel the exact means by which Jesus gathers his elect:

    It would appear that John equates Jesus' death with "gather[ing] into one the children of God who are scattered abroad." Paul agrees, proclaiming that the cross is God’s instrument of reconciliation:

    But if the cross is the instrument through which Christ "gathers" his elect, what is the purpose of Matthew's apocalyptic imagery concerning something that, contextually, appears to be describing something that happens after the crucifixion? A careful reading of Matthew reveals that he is not ignorant of the significance of the cross in bringing "all these things" about:

    Luke, also, in an even more explicit manner, connects the cross with the cataclysmic "events" spoken of by Matthew and the other synoptics:

    (It is significant to note that he "curtain of the temple," guarding access to the Holy of Holies, was a tapestry resembling the stars of heaven.)

    Understanding the cross as the center of God's redemptive plan is key to understanding the eschatological prophecies concerning "the end of the age." For, in Christ, that "end" has come. Paul even goes so far as to equate Christ with "the end of the ages" (1 Corinthians 10:11). But history continues under the long shadow of the cross until it has served God's purpose in gathering all his people into one. For everything that God has spoken forth into being will endure for as long as it is accomplishing that for which he created it:

    Meanwhile, a "new" temple is being built, not of stones and mortar but, as Paul continues in his epistle to the Ephesians:

    This "temple" is, at one and the same time, a finished product (established from the foundation of the world) and a work in progress, building both upon and toward the ultimate victory of God in Christ.

    The big transition which takes place in the midst of history after the cross, however, is that any and every "event" which takes place from now on is understood by looking back to Calvary, whereas previously (that is, in the Old Testament), all such "events" looked forward to it.

    The fall of Jerusalem is the first major "event" to be understood from such a post-Calvary perspective. If one is looking for a precise event or series of events which bring the Olivet Discourse to fulfillment within history, one need look no further than the fall of Jerusalem some forty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection. There are countless other "events" which have since taken place which have, for one all too brief moment, caused the whole world (or a significant portion of it) to be reminded of God's eternal truth, established from the foundation of the world and made plain in the death and resurrection of Christ: Whenever we are confronted with the harsh reality of our sinfulness and its devastating consequences, we cannot seek refuge in a temple made by human hands. We must go all the way to Calvary, be crucified with Christ, and find there the only path God has provided for redemption, restoration and resurrection.

    What, then, is "the sign of the Son of Man?" It is the cross, shining with a splendor that outlasts the sun, the moon and the stars of heaven, casting its long shadow over the whole of human history, gathering God's elect and reconciling all things to God in Christ.

    What, then, shall we say about "rapture" theology? In his first letter to Timothy, Paul warns his young protégé about those who “devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith” (1 Timothy 1:4).

    Vain speculations about “the end of the world” do not serve the kingdom of God well. Good stewards of the mysteries of God will guard well the grand depositum of faith bequeathed to us by the Apostles, who received them from our Lord himself. Central to the proclamation of the kingdom of God is the cross of Jesus Christ which is, at one and the same time, the sign and symbol of both the suffering servant and the glorified Son of Man who is forevermore King of kings and Lord of lords.
     
  5. Justme

    Justme Senior Veteran

    +44
    Christian
    To npetreley,

    No, nothing to do with the prophecy angle. Just what happened when.
    John looks up in chapter 4 and sees Heaven open, then 15 chapters later he tells us he sees heaven 'opening'.It was already open from chapter 4.
    Or whatever???

    Justme
     
  6. Justme

    Justme Senior Veteran

    +44
    Christian
    Hi Patmosman,

    From your post:

    The key to understanding Jesus’ Olivet Discourse in Matthew 24 (also Mark 13 and Luke 21) is
    the apocalyptic “event” which happens "Immediately after the tribulation of those days.”
    ******************
    I think the KEY is to determine the timeframe of the tribulation that Jesus considers the Great Tribulation. If you knowthat then you cansort out what the coming of the son of man is all about and the Book of Revelation suddenly becomes understandable.

    I don't disagree with what you wrote other than I don't find it decisive. Let's just say "all these things will happen before this generation passes," and remember it was Jesus that said it, and remember who He said it to.

    Justme
     
  7. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    If the cross is not decisive, then I don't know what is. And you will note that I am not ignorant of the obvious meaning of "this generation." I said:

     
  8. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    I still don't understand what's confusing about this. One is what happened to John, and the other is a vision of the future.

    Are you simply having trouble with the fact that it opens twice? Don't the doors in your house/apartment/whatever open and close? Or once they are open, are they stuck in that position forever. ;)
     
  9. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    Sigh. And I came here to get AWAY from the preterists.
     
  10. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    What John sees in chapter 4 and what he sees in chapter 19 are one and the same. The Greek is an aorist passive, "having been opened." The nature of apocalyptic vision is such that the seer (in this case, John) relates what he sees sequentially while actually having seen it synchronously. It's like trying to describe the panoramic view you would have from the top of a mountain overlooking a vast terrain. You see everything at the same time, but you can't describe the whole vision all at once.

    The passive voice indicates that the entrance into heaven has been opened as a result of some past action, namely, the death and resurrection of Christ.
     
  11. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    The above quote is attributed to me, but I have never said anything of the sort, nor do I find this quote in any post on this thread.
     
  12. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    If you honestly didn't realize I was inserting my interpretation of what you posted, then I apologize.
     
  13. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    I don't necessarily agree, but your point is?
     
  14. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    My point is that Jesus' death and resurrection have opened the "door" into heaven. More generally speaking, the whole book of Revelation has to do with the implications of Jesus' death and resurrection. Everything that was, is, and is to come must be understood in light of this one decisive act of God in human history. Leave that out of the equation and you get, well, the goofy theology of Tim LaHaye, et al.
     
  15. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    I wouldn't call Tim LaHaye's theology goofy. IMO it is based on a misreading of scripture and incorrect assumptions. Therefore it is seriously flawed. IMO, preterism is based on even more misreadings of scripture and is even more seriously flawed.

    I reserve words like "goofy" for things like Jesus being a time traveller, or the belief that we're all going to be resurrected in Harry's Bar and Grill in Jersey City, NJ.
     
  16. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    There are a good number of serious theologians who use the word "goofy" to describe LaHaye's theology.

    The basic flaw in all systematic approaches to eschatology--whether it's preterism, historicism or futurism--is the confident assumption that the whole plan of God for the salvation of the world can be neatly placed along a rigid, linear, chronological timeline. The emphasis is placed on "events" rather than on the Person in Whom "all things" are restored and shall be restored. Incarnational eschatology is a far superior method because it keeps the focus squarely on Christ and keeps his death and resurrection squarely in focus as the decisive act of God in human history to effect the salvation of humankind and, eventually, the restoration of all things.
     
  17. npetreley

    npetreley pumpkin sailor

    +2
    I think you're making a connection between motive and method that doesn't exist.

    The motive for using the method you chose is terrific. I'm all for getting our priorities straight and focusing on Christ over interpretation of prophecy. But while that motive may be unassailable, it doesn't mean the method you've BASED on that motive will lead you to a correct interpretation.

    Not that any of us do have a totally correct interpretation. IMO, we're ALL going to look back and slap our foreheads...
     
  18. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    Of course, none of us are going to get it entirely correct, but it is important to be faithful to the tradition of the Apostles, all of whom viewed Christ as the fulfillment of the Old Covenant and the mediator of the New Covenant. John, in particular, was meticulously incarnational in his theological method, as witnessed in all his writings including, indeed especially, Revelation. Paul, as well, took an incarnational approach (even though scholars have often looked at him as the first "sytematic" theologian), as did Peter.

    The only truly "systematic" book in the New Testament is the Epistle of James, not exactly the favorite of "Sola Fide" Reformed types.

    I lean heavily toward the incarnational approach to eschatology because, first of all, I believe it is true to the Apostolic faith and, second, it is more holistic in its understanding of how our salvation is complete and being completed and how creation is redeemed and being redeemed. Also, such an approach is, by necessity, only one part of a wholly developed incarnational theology, which sees the Person of Christ as the pattern for living a life which truly reflects the image of God and the values of the kingdom. Most of the people I have observed who use a systematic (chronological) approach to eschatology do not have a fully developed systematic theology. Their charts, maps and timelines apparently stand on their own, which is why they are so prone to aberration.
     
  19. rollinTHUNDER

    rollinTHUNDER Veteran

    +8
    United States
    Protestant
    Married
    US-Libertarian
    Some preachers are called of God and some call themselves. Some of us put and have faith in God. Some chase after mere teachings of men. It is the Holy Spirit's ministry to convict the nonbeliever and guide him into all truth, but that is very hard to do if your faith is strangled by the teachings of men. We were commanded to seek and keep knocking. It appears that you refuse to take your eyes off the cross, which is good when you are leading someone to the knowledge of the truth, but these babes are gonna grow. If they do, they will want to eat meet. A baby only drinks milk for so long. Your keep passing the bottle around, and because you are following the teachings of mere men, you are missing all the the Holy Spirit would have you to know. The Bible says that in the last days scoffers will come. Is this your theme??

    I'll pass on your milk. Save it for the next nonbeliever. Some brothers are mighty hungry, and I doubt that they will be satisfied with the milk you have to offer. Aren't you holding on to and posting your preterist view, which is violating the wishes of the management of this forum??
     
  20. Patmosman_sga

    Patmosman_sga Member

    375
    +3
    Protestant
    ROTFLOL!!! I was particularly amused by your comment about me refusing to take my eyes off the cross. Since Jesus said we are to take up our cross daily and follow him, I suppose I'm in pretty good company.

    With regard to spiritual food, there is milk for "babes in Christ" and there is "solid food" for the mature believers. A sure sign of spiritual immaturity is presumptuousness, which leads to smug statements like, "Some of us put and have faith in God. Some chase after mere teachings of men." It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out the implication of such a statement. Believers who are truly mature do not have to go around touting their spiritual superiority at the expense of others, whom they presume to be lacking in some area of the faith. The beliefs and teachings of such "scoffers" (eg. pre-wrath rapture) are less even than "milk." They amount to nothing short of pabulum.

    As for living in the last days, I would say we certainly are. That is, the last days of such anti-biblical views as rapturism. Thank God for people like N.T. Wright, Ben Witherington and Scott Hahn, who are presenting articulate, scholarly challenges to such nonsense and cannot, in any way, be accused of holding on to a "preterist" perspective. 
     
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