What is the Rapture? A Look at the Different Views

by Jack Wellman on December 19, 2011 · Print Print · Email Email

What is the rapture? Is it in the Bible?  Why do some believe in the rapture and some do not?  Who is right?

The word rapture is not in the Bible but neither is the word Trinity.  Some theologians, Christians, and churches believe in the rapture and others do not.  Some believe in the Great Tribulation, while others do not.  What are we to believe if some teach about the rapture while others do not?

What is the Rapture

Some theologians, Christians, and churches believe in the rapture and others do not.

Theologians Who Do Not Believe in the Rapture

There are many outstanding theologians who do not believe in a Rapture.  Some of these include R.C. Sprouls with Ligonier Ministries,  Hank Hanegraaff, the Bible Answer Man, and many outstanding Bible scholars.  These men are theologically sound teachers and evangelists.  They believe that there is no rapture and that there is also no Great Tribulation from what many presume Jesus taught in Matthew 24 or the Olivet Discourse.  Several scholars, like those mentioned above, believe that the events in the Book of Revelation have already occurred or might have already occurred in A.D. 70 when Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans.

We must have grace for those who do not believe in non-essentials.  If a believer feels differently about something than we do, and the subject is not essential to salvation, then there should be tolerance.  It is wrong for Christians to argue over doctrines that are not crucial to the gospel and how a person is saved.  For example, we know that there is only one way to the Father and that there is no other way to salvation except through placing your faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12, 16:30-31; Rom 10:9-13, etc.).  We also know that we are not saved by works (Eph 2:8-9; Rom 3:20, 28, etc.).  These issues are non-negotiable.  These truths cannot be compromised.

One person I know argued over the question of whether Adam had a navel or not because he did not have a mother.  An ensuing argument erupted over this single topic that was not considered important enough to be included in the Scriptures.  Paul wrote to Timothy and said to “Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen” (2 Tim 2:14).

Theologians Who Believe in the Rapture

The vast majority of Bible scholars, churches, theologians, evangelists, and Christians do believe in a coming rapture.  Even though the word rapture does not appear in the Bible, they base their beliefs on a passage from 1 Thessalonians.  In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 Paul writes, “Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope.  For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.  After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.  Therefore encourage one another with these words.

The church at Thessalonica were worried that Jesus would return and that those who had already died were going to be left behind in their graves.  That is the reason why Paul wrote to the church at Thessalonica.  Paul reassures them by writing that “we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep“ (1 Thes 4:15).   Even though the word rapture is not in the Bible, the Greek word for “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is harpazo.  In Latin it is called Rapturo from which we get the word rapture.  The New Testament was written in Greek and the English words “caught up” is literally harpazo.   Harpazo means “to seize, carry off by force; claim for one’s self eagerly; to snatch out or away”. A good rendering of harpazo is like that of being kidnapped.  The Lord is thought to be coming to seize or carry off by force all believers, just before the coming Great Tribulation.

Many believe that the rapture occurs just before the Great Tribulation (Pre-tribbers).  Others believe it will occur during the middle of it (some call it Mid-tribbers).  Still others believe the church will go through the Great Tribulation.  And of course the first group mentioned at the beginning of this article neither believes in the rapture or the Great Tribulation.  The vast majority of Christians believe that the rapture will occur just before the Great Tribulation  This belief is based upon Scriptures like 1 Thessalonians 5:9 (and elsewhere) that, “God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The wrath of God was poured out on Christ at Calvary so it would not have to be poured out on those who have placed their faith in Christ.  The wrath of God is said to be “poured out” on the sinful world in the Book of Revelation and since God has not appointed Christians to suffer His wrath, He will take believers out of harm’s way in a rapture.  I find it interesting that 1 Thessalonians 5:9 is mentioned right after what many believe is the rapture where Paul wrote about being “caught up” in 1 Thessalonians 4.  Another reason that many believers feel that the church will be raptured is that the church is not mentioned when the Great Tribulation events begin to occur in the Book of Revelation.

Millennium Views: Premillennial, Postmillennial and Amillennial

Different beliefs include the premillennial view.  In this view, Christ comes before the millennium. Then there is the postmillennial view which teaches that Christ comes after the millennium. There is also the amillennial view which holds that Christ also comes after the millennium, and it is also sometimes called the no millennial view.  This is quite confusing to many Christians but this a theological issue that is not essential to salvation.  The Second Advent where Christ returns to judge the world is a certainty.  We therefore are told to witness to those who do not know Christ as their Savior.  Jesus will return again; either as a person’s Judge or as person’s King.  If someone does not place their faith in Christ and He returns, He will be their Judge at the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20.  They will be cast into the Lake of Fire.  However, if someone believes in Christ today, or does so before He returns, then they will love His appearing.  Paul wrote about this in his last letter to Timothy.  Paul is about to be executed and tells Timothy, “Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing” (2 Tim 4:8).  A crown of righteousness is reserved for those who long for Jesus’ return.  But for those who are not believers, then it will be a most dreadful day indeed (Rev 20:12).

When I am asked whether I hold a postmillennial view, the amillennial view, or a premillennial view, I tell them that I am a panmilleniast – that is, I believe it will all pan out in the end.  I think we need to be ready for His return at any moment.  A danger in believing in the rapture is that Christians may become lazy or slothful and not want to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.  They feel that they can rest on their laurels and not worry about the future because they’ll be taken out of this world by Christ before it gets bad.  The danger in that thinking may be why Jesus gave the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13:

“At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom.  Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them.  The wise ones, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps.  The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep. “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps.  The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’ “‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’ “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. “Later the others also came. ‘Lord, Lord,’ they said, ‘open the door for us!’ “But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I don’t know you.’ “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

That last line, “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour” is a sobering reminder to always be ready for His return.  Whether you believe in the Great Tribulation, the Millennium, the rapture, or none of these, you must believe in Jesus Christ and place your faith in Him today.  Tomorrow may be too late and you might hear Jesus say, “I don’t know you”.  My prayer for you is that Jesus does know you and that you might know Him and that by knowing Him, you may have eternal life (John 20:31).

What this article helpful? You might also want to take a look at this one:

Biblical Signs of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ

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{ 88 comments… read them below or add one }

Pam December 19, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Good article Jack on a possibly very deep subject … I love how you said “… I tell them that I am a panmilleniast – that is, I believe it will all pan out in the end”. And as you followed up with reminding us that we just need to “be ready”! Good job friend. Keep up the great work, I have been blessed in reading!

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Jack December 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm

Thank you Pam. Always the edifier my friend. May God richly bless you for you truly are an encourager.

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Tracy @ Hall of Fame Moms December 20, 2011 at 5:01 pm

This was very interesting- in particular for me, the part about the two well known preachers who do not believe in the rapture.

I’m not a follower of either of them anyways, but still this was something I didn’t realize or remember about them.

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Jack December 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm

Thank you so much Tracy. Even though these teachers do not believe in the Rapture, these are sterling quality teachers nonetheless and I highly recommend them…especially R.C. Sprouls and John Piper. They are extraordinarily biblically sound teachers. Hey, I loved the name of your website and I checked it out. What a great resource for mom’s and homeschooling parents. Its awesome. My compliments. And thank you for adding to the discussion. I hope you’ll come back soon.

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Claudia February 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm

Hi Pastor Jack,
I liked your article. Really do. You’re honest and say what you thinking not matter what other Theologians say. Because it is not a thinking, this is Bible doctrine. We share the same thinking about the Rapture, Great Tribulation, Millenium. For those that study the scriptures, specially on the book of Daniel and Revelation we find clearly, no doubt, about these events. They will still happen. It is schatological, didn’t happen yet. Like you said “these issues are no negociable; these truth can no be compromised”.

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Jack February 4, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Thank you so much Claudia for an uplifting comment. I loved your comment that truths can not be compromised. You can watch talk shows today and see many different opinions but the truth found in the Bible can not be broken. Please come back to visit us again Claudia.

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Tiffany March 5, 2012 at 3:12 am

This has been so insiteful! This article encouraged me. Especially about the 10 virgins 5 wise and 5 foolish and their lamps. Wow, I see that scripture now with better understanding. May God bless you cause you truly blessed me.

And also, I agree with Pam, love the panmilleniast – panning out in the end was funny!

Thank you!

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Jack March 5, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Hello Tiffany. Thank you so very much. You got the point of this article, exactly! Yes, we need to focus on Jesus saving and that we need to understand the plain things but give grace to those who may not fully agree with our own view. Instead of arguing over the non-salvation, non-essential doctrines, we need to focus of what we do know and allow others to, respectfully, hold their own opinions.

I believe one of the things we will here the most when we get to heaven is “Ohhhh, I see now!”.

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ALBERT March 11, 2012 at 1:00 pm

The point that i got we need to live and serve god at all times,so we can make heaven.

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Jack March 11, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Amen Albert. You got my point exactly. Thank you sir for your spot on comment. I concur with you.

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Nikita May 24, 2013 at 10:34 am

Dear Jack
Thank you for your great article. It reawakened many truths.
However, I have been searching through the comments for an answer to my question and came upon this one from Albert, which is where I have stopped, so I apologise if there is a similar comment further down.

My question was as follows: is it to be understood that the 5 virgins without oil were non-believers?

Because it is my understanding that only those who do not believe in Jesus as our only way to heaven due to his dying for our sins, will not go to heaven, and it is not due to our works here on earth that will get us into heaven. Trust me, by no means am I saying that a true Christian believer should say “well I believe Jesus died for me so that I can have eternal life” and then not follow Christian paths. As you say, we must not rest on our laurels, as we will have to answer for this.

If a person is a true Christian, they will WANT to follow Christian paths and works (sorry, I’m not expressing myself very well), not because they think they have to, but because they want to, as a Christian.

It is also written elsewhere in an article on this site that we do not get to heaven through our works, and it seems to me what you are concurring with Albert on the contrary. Your entry is guaranteed just because you believe, right?

However, you will still have to answer for why you did not walk a Christian path during your life. So your “glass” will not be very full. So back to my question: were the 5 ‘unprepared’ virgins non-believers? That is surely the only reason they were shut out.

Sorry for such a long-winded email. I hope I have made myself clear in what I wanted to ask about.

Thanks,
Nikita

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Nikita May 24, 2013 at 10:49 am

Hi again

I just read your reply to Mr Hawkins. I see why you say we need to live as a Christian too, but this really confuses me with regard to being taught (elsewhere here as well as at my own church) that it is not by our works that we may enter heaven.

Please understand – I am in no way saying that I am trying to find excuses for not following a Christian way of life. On the contrary, although I fail many times, I am trying hard to be a better Christian.

Jack, I am an analytical person and this works against me many times, and perhaps displeases our Lord. But I need to know exactly what is required of me, although I am willing and want to do more. I also need to know because I am trying to convert my father and I know he is like me, so I need to know how to answer him.

Thank you for your patience.

Regards,
Nikita

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Jack Wellman May 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Excellent my friend Nikita. I do believe I see what you are saying and I love an analytical mind by the way. Unless we tell people the bad news first the good news of the gospel is useless.

First, the bad news (so that the good news makes sense and is truly “good!”) that if anyone dies without without Christ as their Lord and Savior, they’re going straight to hell because their sins have only earned them eternal death (Rom 6:23)…that those who are not saved are presently separated from a Holy God by their sins and they need to repent (Isaiah 59:2)…that only Jesus can become sin for them and through Him alone can they be seen as having His righteousness (2 Cor 5:21)…that ever one of us fall far short of God’s standard (Rom 3:23)…that we are not without sin (1 John 1:8)…that we are making God out to be a liar if we deny we are not sinners (1 John 1:10)…only then, in these dire straights, is the good news like water to a dying plant. Until a person sees that they’ve got the death penalty hanging over their head they won’t seek an Advocate (1 John 2:1) any more than if they don’t know their incurably sick they won’t seek a cure (Jer 17:9).

Tell your father this. Pray for Him and I will too because saving him is not your responsibility but it is HIS response to GOD’s ability. Make sense? I believe your desire to save your father pleases the Lord greatly!

KaroleKay December 12, 2013 at 11:15 am

Hi, Jack. Just found your site, was blessed by the clarity and brevity of your article, and have been reading through the comments. I am confused by your response to Albert. If his hope of getting to heaven is “to live and serve god at all time,” isn’t that a false doctrine of works? Regardless of whether we get to heaven in the Rapture or through death, we get there because of our belief in Christ – period. Believers should definitely live our lives serving the Lord, but that is because we ARE saved, not to get or stay saved so we can make it to heaven. Jesus already paid for that ticket.

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Darryl Ward December 12, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Hi KaroleKay

The Bible makes it clear that faith without works is dead.

14 What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill’, and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that? 17 So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, ‘You have faith and I have works.’ Show me your faith without works, and I by my works will show you my faith. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder. 20 Do you want to be shown, you senseless person, that faith without works is barren? 21 Was not our ancestor Abraham justified by works when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was brought to completion by the works. 23 Thus the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness’, and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 Likewise, was not Rahab the prostitute also justified by works when she welcomed the messengers and sent them out by another road? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead. (James 2:14-26)

Peace and blessings

Darryl

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KaroleKay December 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm

You’re preaching to the choir, Darryl. From what I’ve read, Jack believes Scripture teaches that as well, but Albert said, “The point that i got we need to live and serve god at all times,so we can make heaven.” Jack replied, “Amen Albert. You got my point exactly. Thank you sir for your spot on comment. I concur with you.” To me, that means Jack agrees with Albert’s comment that we have to do things to make heaven.

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Jack Wellman December 13, 2013 at 9:42 am

Thanks Darryl. So spot on is your answer that I should have answered KaroleKay and Albert as such. We know that if a person has no works then that person may not actually be saved because even though works don’t save us a saved person naturally does works showing evidence that they are saved.

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Jack Wellman December 13, 2013 at 9:41 am

Thank you KaroleKay. You made an excellent observation and I did a poor job and should have clarified to Albert that we don’t get to heaven by works but if we are saved we will do works so my apology. John 6:29 is where I should have directed Albert as Jesus said “Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” Thank you for pointing out my lack of response in a biblical way.

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KaroleKay December 13, 2013 at 8:47 pm

Thanks, Jack. God bless you.

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obi victor ogaga June 8, 2012 at 7:31 pm

hi jack,how is the faith?i want you to throw more light on those christians who by their lukewarmness and unseriousness missed the rapture.what wawits them?

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Jack Wellman June 8, 2012 at 7:54 pm

Hello Obi. Thank you for your question my friend. To my understanding, no Christian will be “left behind” but only those who are not believers. Some will come to faith during the period that is called the “Great Tribulation” but they will have to go thru horrible experiences. Yes, many are lukewarm and I believe we are living in the last church age called the Laodicean era, but no one knows with certainty. I am not fully convinced that there will be a rapture. I AM convinced that Christ could return at any moment and we should live as we are ready for his appearing and not be ashamed when He does come “And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming”(1 John 2:28).

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Anthony Hawkins June 10, 2012 at 10:47 am

Hello Jack. I love reading your articles and have found them very encouraging. I especially appreciate the way you give your opinion without being ‘pushy’ as to right or wrong views on non-essentials, there are many good teachers on both sides of the percieved fences, but we are all in the same enclosure belonging to our Lord Jesus Christ! Amen.
When you mentioned the parable of the ten virgins, it got me thinking (something I am not the best at). What is meant by ‘oil’? I had been led to believe it was being filled with the Holy Spirit, but we know the Holy Spirit (and his Gifts) is something that cannot be bought (Acts 8:18). Is this why these 5 virgins were foolish, or am I missing the point?
Many thanks and God Bless you.

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Jack Wellman June 10, 2012 at 1:42 pm

Hello Mr. Hawkins. What an awesome question sir. I must say that the “oil” is representing the Holy Spirit as in the Old Testament the anointing of kings and priests were done with oil to represent God’s anointing to follow His will. You are correct sir that we can not purchase the Holy Spirit. Simon found this out the hard way in Acts 8:1-25. So the foolish virgins were the ones who were without the Holy Spirit. Notice that “The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them” meaning that they never received the Holy Spirit in the first place. Their attempt to buy some oil shows that they thought that they could attain salvation by works since wages for money are worked for. That is my interpretation of it and it seems to fit since at the return of Christ as recorded in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

The point is that many who I witness to think that they are a good person and will go to heaven since they’ve done a lot of good things but this is working for salvation and works can never substitute for the finished work of Christ at Calvary. Does this make sense Mr. Hawkins?

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Anthony Hawkins June 12, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Yes it does, thank you. I had never related ‘those who do good works only for salvation’ as those lacking oil. This was a new concept about this passage and sheds more light. May God bless you abundantly.

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Chaplain Bob Walker October 1, 2012 at 1:28 pm

That is a good answer that I like and can live with. One can study the scriptures for years and learn something new everyday. I am just saddened by those that believe that obedience is a “work” or other extreme that grace is a license to sin. Yes it will pan out in the end. I guess that makes me a pan tribulational rapture believer…AMEN

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Chaplain Bob Walker April 6, 2013 at 10:13 am

I like that reply you made and that makes more sense to me that anything else I had read on the subject. It is also short and to the point.

James wrote well on faith and works
works was proof of faith….works was not our salvation by our hands that is for sure.

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Jayla June 12, 2012 at 7:17 pm

It’s me again Mr Wellman and i just wanted to know that even if you have done horrible things in your life and your trying to stay Holy but it’s hard but your REALLY trying and if the rapture comes will you go to heaven?!

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Jack Wellman June 12, 2012 at 7:37 pm

HI Jayla my friend. Amen…we are all horrible in contrast to a Holy God but Jesus became sin for us and we have His righteousness imputed to us so God sees us as having Christ’s righteousness. That’s great news! Trying hard will never do it Jayla for that is works and no one is saved by works or trying hard, or I’d be very, very worried. I am not 100% certain of a “rapture” but I am 100% certain that no one who places their faith in Christ and trusts Him to forgive them and save them should have to worry about this. Let me say that you can be sure you are saved. I love to have those who doubt their salvation read 1, 2, and 3 John. These three little books in the New Testament are wonderful in reassuring a believer that they are saved….or, if they are not, they show that they are not. They contain tests of what John says you can “know” for sure or whether you are not saved for sure. I highly recommend you read these three small books in the New Testament and the gospel of John for the reassurance of your salvation. It is not about what you feel but about what you can know for sure. You don’t have to feel doomed. You just have to come to Jesus, confess your sin, acknowledge your sinful nature and you need cleansed, we have the wrath of God on us still, but then place your trust in Him to save you and He will. Does this help?

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Teresa Hoover July 14, 2012 at 12:25 pm

Jack, Your article was great. I have been reading the “Left Behind” series and have been researchine the end times. I grew up being taught the PreTrib view, but recently when asked what my view is, I say a “panmilleniast”. It seems that there are more scriptures pointing to the pre trib view but I really appreciate your take on this. Thank you. God bless you and your ministry.

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Jack Wellman July 14, 2012 at 12:48 pm

Thank you so much Teresa. I believe that we need to allow for others to have differing views on non-essential things to salvation and accept others with what they believe to be true where the Bible is not crystal clear. Views on the divinity of Christ, and His living a sinless life are essential so the view of the Rapture being true or not is what I hope does not lead to arguments as your comment leads me to believe we can all agree, even if we disagree on the Rapture being true or not. Thank you so much.

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Melissa July 23, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Hello Jack,

I was recently on a trip with a few friends and in conversation about church and God, etc, I mentioned that the Bible says that the only way to get to Heaven is through Jesus. My friend said, “See.. I have a problem with that, because what does that mean for Jews?” We also have Jewish friends. I wasn’t sure how to respond to her question. What DOES it mean for Jews? Or for anyone who believes in something else? I mean, how do we tell people that Jesus is the only way, when other religions teach that THEIR truth is something else? Everyone feels that THEIR teaching is the right one, so just as I feel strongly about Jesus, someone else may feel the same way about their “god”. Do you know what I mean? If I respond with a Bible verse, people say “the bible was written by man, and has been added to and taken from forever. How do we know what’s real and what’s been added or removed?” Any suggestions?

Thank you!
Melissa

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Jack Wellman July 23, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Thank you so much Melissa. Let me say that they might feel that their teachings are right but who is right? They, me, or Jesus? If they disagree with your point that Jesus is the only way (Acts 4:12) they are disagreeing with Jesus, not you. Tell them that this is what Jesus says. By the way, there are MANY Messianic Jews who have placed their trust in the Messiah so the Jews are not being left out. When other religions say that they are right, then ask them by whose authority says that they are right. I met we a Buddhist today and shared the gospel with him. He said he follows Buddha…but Buddha is dead & in his grave. Jesus is alive and the only leader of any religion in the world that died and was resurrected. There is no other name by which we can be saved….that is by GOD’s authority…not my opinion, not Oprah Winfrew’s or Larry King…but Jesus said it Himself (Acts 16:30-31).

Yes, the Bible was written by man but so was the Torah or the Ko’ran but does it make it less truthful? Speed Limit signs or Dangerous Curve signs were written by men but does that make them wrong?

Ironically, just today we published a new article that mentions the Jews by name and extreme care they took to write down exactly what God told them to called “How Do We Know the Bible is True? Is it Really the Word of God?” Isn’t this awesome timing and just how God works?

Read this at: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-do-we-know-the-bible-is-true-is-it-really-the-word-of-god/

and let me know what you think. Stick by your guns. Jesus said He is the one and only way….God can not lie. By the way, God is not done with the Orthodox Jews as we read in Revelation.

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Johnson Chege July 30, 2012 at 9:27 am

Hello Pastor Jack. I thank God for this article and the message aimed at preparing it. To me the facts about rapture are the hardest to fathom in the bible. The topic is rarely taught in churches I dont know whether its the scheme of the devil to keep people unaware of Christ second coming. Because it is hard topic, the obvious is the rapture of the church is real and the greatest test a true believer should have is to keep examining ourselves whether we really pleases God in anything we do or whether our walk with God is upto Christ’s standards. Are there things in our life that can deny up entry into paradise. It is not only believing because he the latter is the measure we could all pass the test but its whether we are truly obedient to God through Jesus Christ. Its not being a christian that qualifies us who will be alive then to catch up with the dead in Christ in the clouds to meet Jesus. The measure will be the righteousness test as is the case of the five wise virgins.. Otherwise will mean we’ll be left to face the tribulation part the fate that befell the other lot of the foolish virgins. The clear message is that as long as we obey, trust and have faith in Jesus which is to maintain righteousness, we will be raptured or saved from the wrath of God. May God help us through His Holy Spirit that the small things we find in ourselves that would make us miss the bus to that golden city.
God bless you Pastor.

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Jack Wellman July 30, 2012 at 2:55 pm

Johnson my brother, you are always the encourager my friend. I can’t wait to meet you in person and love that we are not friends…and more than on just Facebook. God bless you friend.

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Johnson Chege July 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm

Proverbs 27:17 AS IRON SHARPENS IRON, SO ONE PERSON SHARPENS ANOTHER. My brother am glad that your articles has been very helpful to me and especially your take on biblical facts which ought to be taught but everyone else appear to get carried away by the gospel of prosperity. The latter creates a lot of hope for tomorrow, to advance in substance, hence we tend to forget that the Christ is almost to be revealed. I too long to meet you and perhaps get an opportunity and acquire some theological training meant to equip my heart for spreading the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Keep up and keep watch, time is far much spent hence our salvation is near than the time we believed.

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Oyeye Godsfavourite August 2, 2012 at 7:39 am

I’m support of Johnson Chege,

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Emmanuel August 4, 2012 at 2:32 am

Bro. Jack, first of all,I thank God for what He is using you to do. keep up and God bless you. Pls I’m on this site for the first time.I would like to know how I can get your articles.thank you.

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Jack Wellman August 4, 2012 at 1:05 pm

Thank you for the kind words Emmanuel. I have a link that has most of my 160 plus articles on it at:

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/author/jack/

Let me say that you can also enter in the the Search box any subject you like and search our website for hundreds of articles on things of the Bible you are interested in because I am far from the best writer here at this site. Thank you.

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Cyndee Linn August 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

So with the signs of Jesus returning is all around us, should we say that the time is coming on December 21, 2012, like the mayan calender does exist in the bible. Nothing makes sense anymore, I am sorry, but what is true and not? I believe in Him. Too many books have been written about the ending times, when we will blow up and right now I getting feed up with everything.

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Jack Wellman August 4, 2012 at 2:12 pm

Thank you Cyndee. I can see why you might seem frustrated because of all of the voices saying this and saying that. The Mayan myth is truly mythological but as for the Bible, as it says, God can not lie and so we need to be ready at all times for Jesus’ return to judge the world, ironically, you can read it in Revelation 20:12. Don’t believe the many books, but THE book, the Bible. We need to place our trust in Christ alone and that is what will ultimately save. The Bible is true…what humans write is not. Believe the Bible and to be saved today you have no other books of man to make you or I worry. Does this help Cyndee?

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Cyndee Linn August 4, 2012 at 8:31 pm

It does help. Do you know if any good bible studies for women? Thank you so much for the truth.
Cyndee

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Jack Wellman August 4, 2012 at 8:43 pm

Hello Cyndee. Let me tell you that one of our writers is so wonderful that I am providing a link to her works. She is such a wonderful and godly woman of faith, full of wisdom and writing of truth from the women’s perspective and I so respect her. Click on the link below and get ready to dive into some of the best teachings you will ever find, not just here, but anywhere on the web, worldwide. Pam is extraordinarily good.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/author/pam/

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Rick September 8, 2012 at 7:01 pm

Hi. Thanks for your article. I think John Piper would be post-tribulational (see http://www.desiringgod.org/resource-library/articles/definitions-and-observations-concerning-the-second-coming-of-christ). Sometimes people say the “Pan” comment as a cop-out or to be funny (and possibly to aviod serious study of the matter). People want to hear what your best studying has come up with, so tell us what you think.

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Jack Wellman September 9, 2012 at 7:21 pm

Thank you Rick. If I have to make a choice then it would be along John Piper’s which is close to R.C.Sproul as well. John Piper is a very good Bible teacher, theologian, pastor & author. I was not trying to avoid a choice or “cop out” or to “avoid serious study” as you said, but just as the article’s title said and the intent of what the article was written for, “what are the different views of the rapture” and that was the whole point of this post. It is not an issue that is essential to one’s salvation however.

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karen September 30, 2012 at 8:24 am

Hi Jack
Thank you so much for your articles on the end times. They were very informative and encouraging.I do feel, like my brother Johnson, that there is too much focus in the church on the gospel of prosperity and nowhere near enough on the end times which could be part of Satan’s scheme! I agree with you wholeheartedly that salvation is paramount. There is a lost and broken world out there who will suffer the wrath of God and a lost eternity unless we preach the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
I have been studying the end times a lot recently and certainly believe we are in the very last days (the Laodicean letter Rev 3 is to the church of today). It concerns me that many Christians I speak to just aren’t that bothered.(lukewarm perhaps?) They don’t even look at the book of Revelation cos it either scares them or makes no sense to them. This is why the church needs to teach it!!
I am not convinced about the ‘pretrib rapture’. I do believe that unfortunately we may well be here for the reign of the anti Christ but that we could be ‘raptured’ just before the wrath of God is poured out. Rev 14:19. I think that there is confusion over the Great Tribulation and the wrath of God. The Great tribulation I believe to be the seven year reign of the anti Christ but this is NOT the wrath of God! Do you think that Rev 14:14 could be the ‘rapture’ of the church just before God’s wrath is poured out? If believers are here for the Great Tribulation as some will be (Rev 13:9) they will need as much ‘oil’ as is possible to endure those times, in other words they will need to be spiritually prepared.
However it ‘pans out’ (thought that was great by the way!) the main thing is that we keep our ours firmly fixed on Jesus, continually seek His face and spread His glorious gospel throughout the nations.
God bless.

I would be interested to know what your interpretation is of these following verses Jack?

Mark 13 V20 Jesus says ” In fact , unless the Lord shortens that time of calamity, the entire human race will be destroyed. But for the sake of his chosen ones he has shortened those days”
Luke 17 V34-35. Jesus says “That night two people will be asleep in one bed; one will be taken away and the other will be left.Two women will be grinding flour together at the mill; one will be taken , the other left.”

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Jack Wellman September 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I so agree Karen that we are not reading Revelation much. Ironically, this was part one of my message this morning at church. We miss out on a blessing from just reading it (1:3)! I do believe that this church age is reflective of the Laodicean age where now only 21% of Christians attend church & thus are detached from the Vine and Matthew 7:21-23 lurks ahead I fear for many. I can see where some might be left behind in regard to the Luke 17:34-35 but I think this is also thought to be the rapture, one taken one left. One saved, the other not. The fact that one is in bed while taken & the other is grinding flour is taken indicates that this disappearance of the ones will be at night time for some, (sleeping) and day for the other, since it could be midnight on one place & noon at the other.

The time of calamity that unless it be shortened could be part of the plagues or nuclear threat or something yet unveiled. That is my take on these but again, you are right, we must keep our focus on Christ and putting Him first (Matt 6:33) because many will believe that they will be saved (Matt 7:21) but alas, many will not be (Matt 7:22-23).

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vid November 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

i read luke 17 and matthew 24 abut one taken and one left and it points to the second coming of Christ. i just dont see where the bible points at some half coming before the second coming Jesus has been so clear about His second coming but just as you said pastor the vast majority of christians are believing in a non clear biblical interpretation of a Christ coming event.

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vid November 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

hi karen God bless you specially for your desire to seek the truth through scripture. as i have read in the books of Daniel and revelation the reign of antichrist is not limited to 7 years neither is the tribulation 7 yeas is only the treaty that he will break in the middle of the 7 years leading to 3.5 years of tribulation or 42 months as revelation repeatedly says but think about this: could antichrist be in power years and years or at least in the open political scene years or some significant time before the 7 year treaty? please anyone reading this have insight comment and let me know

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vid November 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

hi pastor thank God for the wisdom bestowed by Him upon you. i often debate with my christian friends about end times. you are so right what will be will be regardless of our interpretations but The Gospel must come first. salvation is something all christians must agree upon. i don’t believe in rapture but i believe in what the scripture really says :resurrection. The church will not be removed, as revelation and Daniel speak about saints ‘during this time of horror. We are not appointed to wrath which is God final judgement not the suffering of this earth as of the apostles and disciples of old and current go through. “He who is to go in captivity will go into captivity he who will be killed by the sword will be killed by the sword heres endurance patience on the part of the saints”. also martyrs are awaiting for those to be martyred to join them ,also in revelations. As you wisely were divinely revealed earlier the important thing is that we are saved in Jesus Christ before his return.

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Jack Wellman November 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

Hello Vid. I am so with you on this. My intent on this article was not to persuade anyone to believe that there is a rapture but to show what the differing views are and the main thing is to be ready, always, for our Lord comes in a day or hour which none knows and we must be ready today for today is the day of salvation for those not yet saved (2 Cor 6:2). Tomorrow may never come for some, it may come too late, and we are all one heartbeat or breath away from eternity. There are either “saints” or “aints”. I beg those who are “aints” to secure your eternity today by placing your trust in Jesus Christ. I truly am I am a panmilleniast – that is, I believe it will all pan out in the end regardless of which view I hold.

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Roger December 8, 2012 at 12:09 pm

Please relate these thoughts with “once saved alaways saved” and apostasy.

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Jack Wellman December 8, 2012 at 12:17 pm

Thank you Roger for your question. What many called “once saved always saved” is called the perseverance of the saints by many protestants. Apostasy is where Paul says to “Let no one in any way deceive you, for it [Jesus' return] will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,” (2 Thess. 2:3).

Apostasy means to fall away from the truth. Therefore, an apostate is someone who has once believed and then rejected the truth of God. The Primary Non-Essentials are biblical teachings that if denied do not affect one’s salvation. But, because the Bible teaches them, denying them is a sign of apostasy. Some say that they were once a Christian and then decided to not believe or “fell away” but 1 John 2:19 explains that “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.”

I do not like the term “once saved, always saved” because it is not in the Bible. I prefer to stick to Scripture:

John 6:37 “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”They don’t feel worthy to come to Christ but this verse shows that Jesus is not going to turn any away that come to Him.

John 10:28-29 “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.” Here is another tremendous promise. This reminds me of what some call the “perseverance of the saints.” That is, what He has committed to save, He will save. As Paul told Timothy near the end of his life, “I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (2 Tim 1:12).

Does this help sir? Thank you Roger for your comment.

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Dan January 1, 2013 at 2:16 pm

John 6:37 “All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.”They don’t feel worthy to come to Christ but this verse shows that Jesus is not going to turn any away that come to Him

Its not just coming to Him…..its those the Father has given that come…….. not just walking into a church and coming to a show.

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jim January 3, 2013 at 9:05 pm

Pastor, I have not been in church in so long a time.
I need your help if you are a man of God please give me some food.
Why do so many church’s throw out the Bible?
is it not the ”contract” (if you will) that was written for us to base our lives upon? to guide us, to reach for in a time of need? Why then do they turn away from the very word that Christ spoke to us? I stop going to church (A.Of.G.)
When our pianist ask a question about what the Bible says about Chirst changing His mind about what He has said in the Bible,the pastor laughed it off and never gave her a awnser , the next Sunday she asked him again ”why do we as christan say we beleve but when it comes to getting right down to it we as much as call Chirst word to nonefect , we say ”Oh that is alright if we do that or this or if we change this part of the Bible after all God paid the price for us”.
to that Evlen said ”Pastor you shuld be ashmed of yourself,You call yourself a man of God but you go right along with the world” then he told her if you speak of this again that she would be kicked out of the church that she was raised in some 44years she had been going to that same church, and the frist time she had a question about following word for word she was told that, well she did leave that church and so did I. She and I started sutdying together until she passed away. and I left that church.never to go back. and that is why I ask……Why dose the church turn
from ”The Word”?

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Chaplain Robert Walker January 4, 2013 at 9:07 am

Jer 23:1 Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the LORD.

Isa 30:10 (people) Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:

Jer 23:2 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD.

Jer 12:10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.

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Jack Wellman January 4, 2013 at 9:11 am

Jim, thank you so much for your comment. I am so saddened by the state of the American church. It seems that we compromise the Word of God to water it down so that churches can fill more of the pews, but what happens is that more and more tares are sown into the church and more and more of the authentic Christians who hold the Word of God in fear and trembling have to seek another place where the Bible is still respected. I the church that I am under-shepherd of that “Part of my sermon today will be perfect! The part where I read out of the Bible. My part, not so much.”

The point is that the power is in the Word and not in the pastor. The message has the power but never the messenger. This pastor will have to face the judgment seat of Christ to give an account for his altering the Word of God. I wish you and Evlen could join our church in SE Kansas. I am preaching on a series of bring the manifest presence of God back into our churches by glorifying God in Jesus Christ and that is done by preaching His Word, not our own pathetic human opinions. This pastor and church is no better than an Oprah Winfrew show…where you can not hang your hats on an opinion or fact. Please know that there are SOME churches that remain faithful to God’s Word. Find one that elevates Jesus Christ, upholds the veracity of the Word of God and you’ll find the presence of God. If God isn’t showing up in your church, you are free to leave.

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Tom February 7, 2013 at 10:56 am

Its in the Bible. I believe in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17. Christ said he would keep us from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them on earth. (Revelation 3:10) The same hour the beast receives his kingdom. (Revelation 17:12)

A voice told John to come up hither into heaven (Revelation 4:1) John was told what heaven looked like. A preview of the rapture.

Revelation chapter seven mentions the Jewish 144,000 preaching to the entire world about Jesus Christ. Why?
The rapture has taken place; the true believers in Jesus Christ are gone. Preaching must continue in the tribulation.

Jesus Christ has promised us protection from the hour of temptation. (Revelation 3:10) There has to be a rapture since tribulation Christians will be beheaded for their testimony.
(Revelation 20:4)

The Bible does not contradict itself. (1) There has to be a rapture-people going up to heaven (2) Christ returns from heaven with the raptured ones (Revelation 19:14-19) These are the make up of the armies in heaven. They confront the beast and his armies on earth. (Revelation 19:19) (3) Those beheaded ones shall reign with Christ for 1,000 years. (Revelation 20:4)

Israel shall burn its enemies weapons for seven years. (Ezekiel 39:9) The tribulation is for seven years. Ezekiel chapters 38-39 is about God helping Israel destroy Iran and Iran’s non-Arab allies.

Iranian president Ahmadinejad has been speaking about destroying the nation of Israel.

All it would take to stir up Iran into action is the disappearance of Bible believing Christians the majority whom support Israel to suddenly disappear. Then the Russians and Iranians seeing the United States greatly weakened would launch their attack upon Israel and God will then magnify himself (Ezekiel 38:23) among many nations. God will send out the 144,000 at the same time the false prophet and anti-Christ are establishing a false peace in the Middle-East.

The anti-Christ will break this peace pact in 42 months and the last 42 months the anti-Christ will control the one world religious system, the one world economic system and mock God in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. (2 Thessalonians 2:4)

Already the Temple Mount Faithful in Jerusalem are planning to build their temple but must wait until the Moslem armies opposed to Israel are crushed.

This generation indeed will see the fulfillment of these later days prophecies. Just how close are we in seeing Assad doing something stupid and Damascus being destroyed (Isaiah 17:1) in one night? (Isaiah 17:14)

God’s word is amazing isn’t it?

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Jack Wellman February 7, 2013 at 11:35 am

Amen my friend. God’s Word is amazing, just as much as His grace is. God has said that He would not reveal anything that He would not first reveal to His prophets and the time of His coming appears to be close for we are to be always ready, at any given moment and the way the world is decaying day by day, I pray “Even so Lord, come quickly.”

Thank you for your great observations from the Bible.

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Lujack Skylark February 21, 2013 at 8:15 am

The Rapture maybe coming soon.

Israel became a nation reborn on May 14, 1948

Four red moons followed. (1) April 13, 1949 Passover blood red moon (2)October 7, 1949 Sukkot blood red moon (3)April 2, 1950 Passover blood red moon (4)September 26, 1950 blood red moon.

June 6 Day War in 1967. (1)April 24, 1967 Passover blood red moon (2) October 18, 1967 Sukkot blood red moon(3)April 13, 1968 Passover blood red moon (4)October 6, 1968 Sukkot blood red moon. (One red moon before the 6 Day War followed by three more red moons)

What will happen in 2013 since Four blood red moons will follow? OR will April 15,2014 pass with one red moon like what happened in the Six Day War followed by three red moons meaning the Sunni Arabs will go to war against Israel sometime after April 15,2014 and before October 8,2014?

(1)April 15,2014 Passover blood red moon (2)October 8,2014 Sukkot blood red moon (3)April 4,2015 Passover blood red moon (4)September 28,2015 Sukkot blood red moon.

Will 2013 A.D. be the year when Israel crushes the Sunni Arab terrorists living along all her borders in fulfillment of the Psalms 83 prophecy? Or will this prophecy fulfillment take place after April 2014 & before October 8,2014?

Syrian president Assad has told his generals should he die he wants his generals to launch their rockets upon Israel’s cities. Should the Syrian commanders follow Assad’s advice Damascus will be destroyed (Isaiah 17:1) in one night. (Isaiah 17:14)

God used the sun to help Joshua destroy Israel’s ancient enemies. (Joshua 10:12-14) Today, God uses the four red moons to warn the Israelites their enemies plans of attack.

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Jack Wellman February 21, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Very interesting reading Mr. Skylark. I am intrigued by this for sure. I feel that the Lord’s return is soon but we are to be ready at all times but it appears that you are ready now sir. May God richly bless you and thank you so much for such great insight. Wow…this is very impressive.

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Emman February 21, 2013 at 2:42 pm

Thanks for all your articles, it’s really encouraging. Please what I want to know is not about rapture anyway, it about head covering in the church in 1Corinthians 11. Is a woman’s hair a covering or must she as well cover her hair with something else? Thanks.

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Jack Wellman February 21, 2013 at 3:01 pm

Thank you Emman for your question. We simply do not have enough evidence to conclude that it was a binding custom. New converts who were formerly accustomed to idols need to be handled with kid gloves when it comes to the issue of meat offered to idols. Their ‘custom’–which they, as Christians, are still somewhat observing–is not something that Paul endorses. He would certainly rather that they all be strong Christians and not have such a custom. Hence, the custom here is not binding either. It is one borne of personal preference or attitude. In sum, when someone looks just at 1 Cor 11:16, a good case could be made that the practice in the early church of women wearing a head covering may well have been no more than a community-wide habit. Once, however, v 2 is examined, it is evident that v 16 is saying much more.

In conclusion, I do not believe that this is commanded because Paul never concluded as much and it was very specific to the church at Corinth. I agree that a woman’s hair is her covering and some who women who were into idolatry were even know to have shaven heads. Does this help?

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lane February 25, 2013 at 6:48 pm

Hey, John Piper does believe in the rapture, check out his website desiringGod.com, he preaches on believing in it! you might want to fix this

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Jack Wellman February 25, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Thank you so much Lane. We will this reference to John Piper with Desiring God out of this article. I apologize for the inconvience and for my missing the mark. John Piper of Desiring God does believe in the rapture but not in the traditional sense and I should have deliniated that point. John Piper believes in the Post-Tribulational view of the Rapture and leans towards historical premillennialism. He believes that Romans 11 teaches many ethnic Israeli people will be saved at Jesus’ second coming. Thank you for pointing out my error.

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Darryl Ward March 9, 2013 at 4:38 am

I respectfully dispute your suggestion that, “The vast majority of Bible scholars, churches, theologians, evangelists, and Christians do believe in a coming rapture.”

Orthodox Churches and and the Roman Catholic Church, which together account for the overwhelming majority of the world’s Christians do not believe in a rapture followed by a great tribulation. Neither do most mainstream Protestant Churches. Most Christians only believe in a rapture in the context of a general final resurrection following the Parousia.

The concept of a rapture followed by a great tribulation is a modern idea. It was invented by American Puritans in the 1600s, although did it not really take off until the 1970s. Belief in this concept today is largely confined to Pentecoastal churches and some other Protestant sects, which don’t even come close to accounting for even a simple majority of the world’s Christians.

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Jack Wellman March 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm

Thank you Mr. Ward for your comment and critique. Did you actually read my conclusion sir? How can you say you disagree with me. I strongly suggest you read my conclusion.

A survey from 2011 shows the majority of evangelical Christian leaders worldwide believe in the Rapture, the teaching that as the end of the world draws near, Christians will be instantly taken up to heaven, leaving non-believers behind to suffer on Earth.

Six in 10 evangelical leaders, or 61 percent, say they believe in the Rapture of the Church compared to 32 percent who say the End Times doesn’t happen exactly this way, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life survey.

The survey was based on responses from nearly 2,200 evangelical leaders at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization – a global gathering of 4,500 evangelical leaders from over 190 nations that was held last fall in Cape Town, South Africa.

Majorities of leaders from the Global South – which included Asia & the Pacific, Central & South America, Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa – and the Global North – which included Europe and North America – with the exception of Europe believe in the Rapture of the Church.

The Pew Forum surveyed 2,196 evangelical leaders from 166 countries. The survey was conducted in nine languages, including English, from August to December 2010 through Web and paper questionnaires.

Now, please show me your statistical report proving otherwise sir.

Also, I myself never said that I believe in any rapture. Did you not read my conclusion sir? Please re-read the article and you will see I never concluded that I did, in fact I said,

“When I am asked whether I hold a postmillennial view, the amillennial view, or a premillennial view, I tell them that I am a panmilleniast – that is, I believe it will all pan out in the end. I think we need to be ready for His return at any moment. A danger in believing in the rapture is that Christians may become lazy or slothful and not want to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord. They feel that they can rest on their laurels and not worry about the future because they’ll be taken out of this world by Christ before it gets bad. The danger in that thinking may be why Jesus gave the Parable of the Ten Virgins in Matthew 25:1-13.”

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Darryl Ward March 9, 2013 at 5:48 pm

Dear Jack.

I did indeed read your original article. But I sincerely wonder whether you properly considered my comment, because I did not at any stage discuss your personal position on the rapture.

I questioned the validity of ONE major statement in your article, namely you assertion that, “The vast majority of Bible scholars, churches, theologians, evangelists, and Christians do believe in a coming rapture.”

That statement is completely wrong.

To claim a survey of 2,200 “evangelical” Christian leaders is a valid sampling of the world’s Christians would be like surveying 2,200 Russian Orthodox leaders about the date of Christmas, and then claiming that, “The vast majority of Bible scholars, churches, theologians, evangelists, and Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January”, on the basis of a sample of just one denomination of the Church.

A survey of 2,200 “evangelical” Christian leaders is not a valid sampling of all Christians, because only a tiny minority of the world’s Christians are what you would call “evangelical”. We cannot give a precise number of the world’s Christians, but a reasoned estimate would be 2-2.2 billion. Of these, about 1.2 billion are Roman Catholics, 600-800 million are Protestants, and about 230 million belong to eastern Orthodox churches. The number of “evangelical” Christians pales in comparison.

A survey of 2,200 “evangelical” Christian leaders can not ever be representative of the world’s Christians, and it is highly misleading to suggest otherwise.

Peace and blessings

Darryl

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David July 12, 2013 at 3:14 am

hi Daryl, I am sure that there are “evangelical“ Christian leaders in the established denominations. I, for one used to attend a Church of England church where the vicar was certainly born again, baptized in the Holy Spirit, and where the gifts of the Holy Spirit and great healings took place.
I`m sure there are many R C priests who are born again.
Maybe Jack was including these in the survey.
Blessings. David

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Derek Hill March 24, 2013 at 5:48 pm

This was a really enlightening article Jack. Thank you for giving us a glimpse into all 3 views of the rapture. I don’t know personally what I believe on it yet, but I do know that I love Jesus and believe His Holy Word. He is the only way and the only solution. Wonderful job brother. The panmilleniast view was funny but so true. It reminded me of something Billy Graham mentioned, “I’ve read the last page of the Bible; it’s all going to turn out all right.” Great job as always brother! God bless you!

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Jack Wellman March 24, 2013 at 7:23 pm

Thanks brother. I appreciate your words….always encouraging, edifying and exhorting. You are too kind as always my friend.

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rob April 4, 2013 at 2:49 pm

In regards to the rapture I fully believe that the 1st resurrection and the rapture or more biblically the catching up to be with the Lord . All takes place on the Last day( as Jesus said )in John many times . There is no time between them as far as days goes that is . This error that most make is that the rapture and 1st resurrection are 2 different times . But biblically its the same event . First the dead are raised and we that are alive are Raptured to be with the Lord at His Coming .

To also give some perspective on this Awesome event that is our hope !
When we meet the Lord in the air we then come with him to the earth , and reign with him a 1000 years .

This could be explained much better , so I will try to do it some . When a King or VIP would visit a city or place , often the people would rush out and meet the Dignitary before they got to the city and escort them to the city. What a way to be welcomed HuH! Makes sense to me .

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Jacob Pitchford April 6, 2013 at 8:22 am

In this article it says “The Lord is thought to be coming to seize or carry off by force all believers, just before the coming Great Tribulation.”

It clearly says in Matthew 24:8 “All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

And then it proceeds to say “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”

Also Mark 13:24,25 “But in those days, *after that tribulation*, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light…”

I coud go on, in the king james bible it clearly states numerous times that after the great tribulation “Then we which are alive and remain 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.” – but all of this scripture occurs AFTER the tribulation has taken place. We need to fight the evil in this world and have faith, not just lay down and go along with everything because we think we will escape the great tribulation. All of the prophets went through tribulations, yet the most corrupt, and sinful society yet to date will just be saved without going through trials and tribulation? – I highly doubt so. My common sense and the word of God states that we will go through tribulation, yet have faith and fight for justice. Go on youtube and search After The Tribulation, great film.

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Chaplain Bob Walker April 6, 2013 at 10:04 am

People should listen to this comment. It is true and on the mark. Nice to read something from someone that reads and knows the Bible. If you just read the KJV Bible alone and had no notes or a “preacher” explaining the
“pre tribulation rapture” to you – then one would NEVER see pre trib from the Bible alone. AMEN

Good points – even if most shall reject it

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Charles April 20, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Pastor. Go back and read again Mtt 24 the text is very clear starts with signs of the second coming followed by tribulations and lastly is the second coming of Christ mentioned by the apstole Paul.
Tribulations first then redemption of God people followed.

Let’s go back to ancient church lsreal redeem after the tribulations that’s some applies at the second Coming

Rapture mentioned by apostle Paul he mean the first ressurection is of the just thy are only two ressurections second ressuraction is of. condemnation will took place after 1000 years mentioned in the book of Revelation chapter 20 the bible is very clear on that one sir

If rapture comes first before the tribulations thy is no Purpose of the second coming becomes the very people Christ want to redeem from earth went already to Heaven

So the word redeemer will never work again Christ must come first when the church in a great tribulations like what what he did to Pharaoh

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Sam May 26, 2013 at 4:43 pm

Hi Jack
What a great article, thank you. I’m not sure and am not bothered about what comes first, second, third or last, in the final days. In fact, it’s all quite confusing after reading these comments. All I want to be sure of is that my loved ones, my brothers and sisters in Christ, and I, join Jesus in the end. Therefore, please can you tell me whether there are any articles on how to explain the bible to a very young child (she is 3) and how to keep her faith and belief in Christ? Can she understand at his age that Jesus died for us? I hardly think she can? She is already a sinner at this age, so what would happen to her if second coming happened now?
Thank you as always,
Sam

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Jack Wellman May 26, 2013 at 5:31 pm

Hi Sam. Thanks for your question. I don’t believe that a 3 year old is old enough to understand that they are a sinner yet and to see their need to repent. How can ca 3 year old repent of sin when they neither can know truly what sin is and how it is offended God and how they should repent. Can a 3 year old repent if they don’t even know what it is? I don’t think they can. Neither can they understand why Jesus had to die for them when 3 year olds can really understand the concept of death, redemption, reconciliation and so forth.

Otherwise, I am glad you want to have your child put their trust in Christ. Let me say you have nothing to worry about for if Christ comes to judge the world and your child is not yet saved, they are not accountable for they have not yet reached the age of accountability yet.

Now we do have an article about how to share the gospel with family at the link in this comment of mine. Check it out and see if it helps for at least when they get a little older.

http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/how-to-share-the-gospel-with-family/

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stanley rosario July 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm

well i just want to say that yes i agree that we must be on the alert an not fall asleep but the parable of the 10 virgin it can not be for believers because he said i never knew you and which means he was never a child of god and also it would mean that believers can lose there salvation which i disagree because the holy spirit is our guarantee our down payment until the day of redemption and we are keept by his power not our own strengh, god bless you but i would have love to hear what ravi zacharias would comment on this view. god bless you .

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David July 10, 2013 at 12:54 am

I think if you read the paeable of the sower and Jesu`s explanation it should answer your question,
Only God Himself sees the heart [even the prophet Samuel wanted to annoint the wrong son of Jesse], and Jesu`s words “I am the way the truth and the life. No-one can come to the Father but through Me“
Jesus again says “he who endures to the end will be saved“ which echoes Paul`s words “you have to finish the race to win the prize“ [paraphrased]. And what then is the prize? I think it is eternal life.
Blessings

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David July 9, 2013 at 2:19 am

Dear brother Jack. Stumbled on this website this morning.
AGREE especially the 5 wise virgins, True we have to be ready, and accountable for our time on Earth. Even though I have beev born again for over 35 years, it is great to be reminded that the race has to be completed to win the prize, The parable of the sower and the seed also springs to mind.
May the Lord richly bless your ministry.
In His love Who died on the cross for our sins. Jesus is Lord, and when He returns I am looking forward to our conversation in heaven. D P

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Munya August 6, 2013 at 3:56 pm

..the day and hour is not known to men.
..call upon the name of the Lord and be saved.
..not all who say to me Lord Lord will enter the kingdom of heaven.
..so what can we say? we are saved by grace through faith and heaven is a matter of grace, thats why some will look like they just escaped the fire. so to guard your freedom in Christ, continue in the first love you had when you allowed Jesus into your boat. continue in love of Christ for the brethren, shun evil, do not grow weary in well doing, pray at all times in all prayer and supplication, do the work of an evangelist and above all, seek the face of God and his righteousness and all will be well with you for the bible says: it is well with the righteouss.

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Lujack Skylark December 13, 2013 at 2:45 pm

The most important prophecy Ezekiel 39:6 maybe overlooked.

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Lujack Skylark December 13, 2013 at 2:48 pm

The rapture occurs before Israel burns its enemies weapons for 7 years. (Ezekiel 39:9)

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Samuel A. Huber December 18, 2013 at 1:12 am

Lujack Skylark,
I do believe that in Ezekiel Ch.39 it is talking about the battle of Hamangog, which will occur just before Christ returns. God will fight this war along with Armageddon. God will do this in a way that “They will know I am God” as God keeps saying there.

Anyway, back to this “Rapture” thing. If by rapture a person means the event of our gathering back to Christ at his return, then I’ll go along with that.
But, if they are talking about some special “Pre tribulation Rapture” as some like to call it then I think that is soooooooo wrong. It is in man’s nature to try to get out of the hard things. I do not know how they can think that Christ will return pre tribulation and take some special ones out so they don’t have to go through it. The Word actually tells us that it is the job of the elect to witness against Satan when we are delivered up to the synagogues of Satan. The Word also continues with we are not supposed to premeditate what we will say for it is the Holy spirit that will speak through us at that time. So, you see it is the duty of God’s Elect, or Zadok or set aside ones to witness against the Antichrist. That tribulation is called the tribulation of Antichrist, why would anyone want to avoid it?

Jesus (Yahshua) is only going to return one more time, a second time. I don’t understand what the rapture believers think, do they think that Christ is going to return to take them & other special people (Transfigure them into spiritual bodies) leaving the rest of us here, then come back again a third time somewhere down the line then the rest of us will be transfigured into spiritual bodies?

As someone said earlier, 1 Thess. 4:17 clearly tells us that when Christ returns we which are alive and remain will all be transfigured into our spiritual bodies. All of us, all at the same time.

ll. Thess. 2:3 says “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.”

The son of perdition is one of Satan’s many names. This “falling away first” is the great apostasy. Verse 4 goes on to tell us how Satan as Antichrist is going to sit in the Holy place claiming to be God. He will deceive many, especially those who are primed up for a pre tribulation rapture. That will be his (Satan’s, The false Christ’s) message, I have come to fly you on out of here, just worship me and get on my band wagon. The ones who are deceived and believe that the Antichrist is the real Christ will believe his lies (In the forehead) and most will even be doing something to help his cause (ON/BY their right hand, as in doing works for him.)

These people are what make up the great falling away that must first happen before the true Christ returns. Word tells us he will return expecting a virgin bride. It also says woe to those who are with child or give suck in that day. This is to let us know his emotions in a way we can understand. If you have been away for 2,000 years and when you get home your bride is either pregnant or breast feeding a baby, what does that mean? It means she was not faithful.
The bible says that those people will be praying for mountains to fall on their heads.
It sure would suck to be believing the fake Christ was the real one, doing his work you think you are doing good and then the true Christ shows up. I can’t even imagine how I would feel when I realized the grave error I had made.

Beware my fellow Christians, if you do not know that the false Christ comes first then you better get to studying God’s Word. We are in that end generation, the generation of the fig tree. Do you know about the generation of the fig tree?
Did Christ say maybe you should learn it? or, I think it would be good if you learned it? No! He said LEARN IT!!!

The generation of the fig tree started in 1948 when Israel became a nation again. Christ said in
1.Matthew 24:34
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
2.Mark 13:30
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.
And…
3.Luke 21:32
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.

All prophesy will be fulfilled before this generation comes to pass.

Sorry I am so windy, hope this helps someone.

Humbly,
Samuel A. Huber

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Tiffany B. July 15, 2014 at 10:15 pm

This is a very good article. My husband does not believe in the rapture and I am on the fence about it. I have always been taught about it but I still wonder because I have difficulty understanding and interpreting the timeline of events as they occur in the bible. I have also had people tell me that if I do not go to church or do not tithe, I can’t be saved. The only thing I am certain of is that Jesus is Lord and I hope that all of these other items that cause disputes do not matter.

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Jack Wellman July 16, 2014 at 8:50 am

Tiffany, I personally feel that it is a non-essential but I just wanted to give others a view of differing beliefs. I do not believe in it the way that it is taught and lean toward your husband’s belief but you are right, Jesus is Lord and He is coming again and that is all that we can know with 100% certainty. Thank you.

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Carl September 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm

[Greets, Jack. Interesting. Here's a thing I found on the net. Any reactions?]

The Pretrib Rapture Jackpot!

by Bruce Rockwell

Attention, writers. You can make millions by promoting the pretrib rapture!
As you know, pretrib began in Scotland in 1830. Early developers including Edward Irving and John Darby admitted it was then a totally new view that had never been part of any theology or organized church.
They also admitted that it had suddenly sprung from only OT and NT “types” and “symbols” and not from any clear Bible statement! (Part of their “cut and paste” included stretching forward “gather” (Matt. 24:31) on their “charts” and turning it into a pretrib coming!)
As late as 1957, pretrib expert John Walvoord admitted in “The Rapture Question” (p. 148) that “pretribulationism” is NOT “an explicit teaching of Scripture”!
Since the early 1900s pretrib has been sold by novelists like Sydney Watson (in 1913) and by Salem Kirban whose “Left Behind”-type novel “666” came out in 1970 – the same year Hal Lindsey’s “The Late Great Planet Earth” started breaking sales records.
The very first pretrib rapture novel titled “Left Behind” came from the joint pens of Peter and Patti Lalonde in mid-1995 before Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins somehow came up with the very same title: “Left Behind”!
The pretrib rapture view, which admittedly is only an “inference” and not “explicit,” rests basically on verses in John 14, I Thess. 4, and I Cor. 15, none of which have either a “taken/left” separation or exciting, nail-biting scenarios that can “sell” pretrib.
You have to go to Revelation’s action-packed chapters instead. When you do, you discover they can be tied to end time details found basically in the Olivet Discourse.
As you know, pretribs believe in two stages; Stage 1 is the pretrib rapture which supposedly occurs several years before Stage 2 which is the posttrib second coming to earth.
Since the three “rapture” chapters listed above don’t have any clear rapture-type separation between the “righteous” and the “wicked,” your best launching pad if you want to be a bestselling author is “the one shall be taken, and the other left” phrase in Matt. 24:40, 41 and Luke 17:34-36.
Trouble is, Dr. Walvoord and many other pretrib leaders declare that the “one taken” refers to the “wicked” taken in judgment while the “righteous” are left! But since average pew-sitters don’t seem to know this, you can easily convince them that the “one taken” is a sort of code for an any-moment pretrib rapture!
And the pew-sitters don’t know that Walvoord etc. also teach that the same phrase is part of “non-imminent” Stage 2 which is posttrib (and not pretrib) and is on “Jewish” (and not “Church”) ground!
In order to preserve Stage 1 (the long-stretched-forward pretrib rapture), pretrib merchandisers in recent decades have been stretching forward various aspects found in Stage 2 and quietly applying them to Stage 1. Aspects include “the day of the Lord,” “God’s wrath,” “the taken/left phrase,” “the unknown day and hour,” and Christ’s coming “as a thief” (which in the Bible is always tied to Armageddon and other posttrib events).
(For more on the above, Google “The Correct Answer to Who’s Taken” etc. on Joe Ortiz’s blog of Apr. 12, 2010. Sure, there’s disagreement on who’s “taken” first, but pretrib pew-sitters forget or don’t know that THE TAKEN/LEFT PHRASE IS FOUND IN ONLY A POSTTRIB SETTING IN THE BIBLE!!)
Yes, I’ve told you how you can turn yourself into a bestselling, wealthy author.
But unfortunately you have some competition because LaHaye and Jenkins have long been aware of the above facts. And for years they’ve been milking their 19th century cash cow (which hasn’t dried up yet) to shatter all-time sales records and make millions of pretrib dollars that are destined to be left behind!
For more on them and their partners, Google “The ‘Left Behind’ Rupture,” “LaHaye’s Temperament,” “Jerry Jenkins Apologizes for Being Seen Gambling in Casinos,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism,” “Evangelicals Use Occult Deception,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Stealth,” and “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty.” (Most of these were written by the author of “The Rapture Plot” which bills itself as “the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history.” I add that if you echo its message you will never be a bestselling author!)
In closing let me say that Jeremiah 17:11 warns that “he that getteth riches, and not by right, shall leave them in the midst of his days, and at his end shall be a fool.”
And you can bet on this!

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Jack Wellman September 23, 2014 at 8:29 pm

Thank you Carl for letting me know about this. Wow…the shame of it all. I wonder who is really interested in getting rich…the guy behind it I suspect. To me I think this exploits people’s faith and they are placing their faith in the wrong place, the wrong man, and the wrong thing. It is the most accurate yes…in falsified teachings The only thing that is true about this is that the guy’s spelled his name correctly. All else is fable and for-fortunes. Good work Carl for exposing this fraud.

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Chaplain Bob September 26, 2014 at 1:34 pm

In Revelation 20:4-6 there are only 2 Resurrections spoken of:
4 And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years.
5 But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the FIRST RESURRECTION.
6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the SECOND DEATH hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.

In the above scriptures, these are the Martyrs. John said “this is the first resurrection.” John didn’t say this is the “second phase of the first resurrection,” as pre-tribbers claim.

If this is the FIRST resurrection, can there be a resurrection before this one? Of course not, unless you want to ADD to the bible which is forbidden!

The First Resurrection is of the dead in Christ and the Second is after 1000 years. Paul wrote that the Dead in Christ MUST rise FIRST, THEN we who are alive and remain will be caught up to meet the Lord in the air.

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
16 …and the dead in Christ shall RISE FIRST
17 THEN we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them…

In Rev. 20:4-5, John sees the souls of Saints who were BEHEADED for refusing the Mark of the Antichrist during the Great Tribulation. John writes that they will rise and reign with Christ for 1000 years and that this is the FIRST RESURRECTION!

If according to John, the beheaded rise in the FIRST resurrection and Paul said those who are alive and remain are not caught up until AFTER the dead in Christ are resurrected, then this means the catching up or rapture takes place AFTER tribulation!

Now compare the above with 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-23:
20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of those who slept.
21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; AFTERWARDS THOSE WHO ARE CHRIST’S AT HIS COMING.

Notice only one resurrection of the dead in Christ is mentioned here! Which, according to Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 must take place BEFORE we who are alive and remain are “caught up” with them!

When did Jesus say the dead in Christ would be resurrected?
John 6:39-40: Jesus said, “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up ON THE LAST DAY.

John 6:44: Jesus said, “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up ON THE LAST DAY.”

So if Jesus himself said the dead in Christ will be raised on the LAST DAY, and Paul said we who are alive and remain will not be caught up (raptured) until AFTER the dead are raised, then where does secret pre-trib rapture fit in?

Hint: It does not “FIT IN”

1 Cor 15:52 – In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

We are changed at the LAST TRUMP and where is this found?

In REVELATION, the LAST BOOK of the Bible there are 7 trumps and the 7th trump is the LAST ONE and is at the end of the tribulation

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