The Pre-Trib Rapture 13

Points so far:

  • The tribulation has a number of functions: the pouring out of God’s wrath, the returning of God’s focus from the Gentile churches back to the Jews, the return of Christ as King, and the final defeat and punishment of Satan and the fallen angels
  • God has never punished believers along with the wicked, but always taken the believers out of the picture before pouring out His wrath.
  • the only exception was the Jews in Egypt during the ten plagues, and as a whole, the Jewish people were not saved until the last judgment, death of the firstborn, when the blood was applied to the doorposts.
  • All the prophecies to Israel must still be fulfilled.
  • Preterism is unBiblical
  • “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.” Mark 13:32 (KJV) If the Rapture occurs at any time except for before the Tribulation, then we pretty much would know the day and hour.
  • Dispensationalism shows that God dealt with the Jewish people for 2,000 years and right now is dealing with the Gentiles in the Christian age of Grce.
  • Matthew 24 is speaking to a Jewish audience, which is proved by the use of the words “The temple”, “The elect”, and “Sabbath day”
  • Gentiles do not keep the Sabbath. Jews do.
  • “The gathering from the four corners of heaven” is the return of Christ.
  • The last few verses of Matthew 24 ARE referring to the rapture. So, then if there is pictured a “Gathering from the four corners of heaven” in Matthew 24, it stands to reason the Bible is teaching they all were previously brought to heaven.
  • The book of Revelation should be read literally until the Bible specifically tells you not to.
  • Belief in the Pre-trib rapture is often a litmus test for how doctrinally correct you are. wavering in that doctrinal stand is a hint there may be other areas of doctrinal error creeping in.
  • Departure from a correct understanding of a single Biblical doctrine usually is quickly followed by others, until one is an apostate.
  • Amillennialism is a denial of the literal words of the Bible.
  • the method of calculcatin the number of the Beast is called Gematria, but it should really be avoided as it can lead to divining and witchcraft, which are forbidden in the Bible.
  • Margaret MacDonald’s infamous visions were post trib. so is it possible that the post-tribbers all got their doctrine from the visions of a Scottish girl in 1850?
  • There are no quotes or mention of the Irvingites – who were all post trib – in John Darby’s writings
  • It took Darby a few years to develop his dispensational doctrines. If he was getting them from the Irvingites, why not just a few months?
  • There are no quotes nor mention of any of the Irvingites in Darby’s writings.
  • The Bible says we know not the day nor hour of the Lord’s return, the Lord will return as a thief, and that we will be kept from the hour of trial and temptation. These biblical statements are irreconcilable with any view other than Premillennial, Dispensational, Pre-trib rapture doctrines
  • the events of the seven seals are initiated by the Lord opening the seven seals, not the Antichrist
  • The sixth seal is described as the wrath of the lamb, not the antichrist

I am amused to note in an e-book on the tribulation I have, the author describes his mission as “to deliver the believers from the deceitful, false doctrine of pre-tribulation rapture that is leading them to destruction.”

Hm. I think by now I’ve made a VERY strong case that if there is any deciet, it is any position that does NOT teach a pre-trib rapture!

The first time I read Revelation, it seemed to me automatically that Christians were raptured. I picked up on that right away, which is why I’m so dumbfounded by all those well meaning Christians who say things like, “I can’t prove it one way or another just from the Scriptures.” Kent Hovind comes to mind, because he’s smart, has a VERY good grasp of the Bible, but in this one area I’m absolutely amazed he cannot see what seems so obvious to so many Godly Christians!

What awaits you when you try to understand the difficult parts of Revelation? What ARE the difficult parts of Revelation??? Uh…. who’s the woman with twelve stars? Who’s Mystery Babylon and the Harlot? Why is the one Angel standing with one foot on the land and one on the sea? Why do frogs emerge from the mouths of the Antichrist and the false prophet? Who is the Antichrist? What does 666 stand for?

So you go online and start searching for explanations on the book of Revelation. You find that almost all of the classical commentators all believed post-trib, and that makes you wonder. Many of the Calvinists are post trib, and amillennial. You find some teachings on the book of Revelation – a lot of them – but suddenly they start talking about a woman that lived in America in the 19th century, Ellen G. White. Huh? Who’s that?

Then finally you find names that seem to make sense. John Walvoord. Thomas Ice. Bill Pierce. Tim Laheye. David Cloud. D. A. Waite. Philip Dean. Wait, that last guy just CAN’T be right!!!

I’m going to use this e-book to briefly illustrate some of the problems that arise from poor doctrinal understandings. In certain groups of Christianity, to hear a Pastor preach on “What is sound doctrine?” would be considered boring. So, pastors don’t preach on it in those denominations. And to make the problem even worse, we’ve got entire demoniations based upon an insufficient understanding of doctrines, and worse, an entire movement (because they refuse to be labeled a denomination) in which not one of the first 30 or 40 years of that movement, not a single pastor in that denomination ever completed seminary. They don’t emphasize sound doctrine in that movement because to be honest, they really don’t have the foggiest notion what sound doctrine is! But I digress.

There are certain common errors that people make interpreting Revelation. Pretty much the first one is to add an “S” at the end of the namer of the book, but that’s nitpicking, I know. If you learn to spot common errors, it will help you to keep from falling for every writer who takes on the Book of Revelation, and gets it wrong, to your dismay.

Friends, here’s how the Bible works. We read it. we understand it literally, not bothering to look for controversies and mysteries. I’ve said it before and it bears repeating, you’ll find in the Bible what you look for in it. If you want proof that your preconcieved notions are correct, you’ll misinterpret whatever proof text you’re looking at to find it. I demonstrated that in my articles on Calvinism.

However, if you search the Scriptures to find the Truth, and allow the Holy Ghost to teach you that truth, then you will. It’s all in your attitude! “Lord, open thy word to me, that I may keep thy precepts!”

Here’s an example of a complete departure from any semblance of sound doctrine, from the E-book I quoted in the beginning of this post. The author apparently has never been trained in how to read or study the Bible. Let me teach you how to read the Bible, so you can see where he went wrong. I’m not picking on him, I’m using this as an example so you can learn to spot incorrect thinking and doctrine, and avoid it.

In a recent sermon, I taught the congregation I belong to how to read the Bible. It basically calls for three simple steps.

  1. read it
  2. take it literally
  3. think about what you just read. make notes if you have to.

In addition, there’s some Biblical rules of interpretation that we use, and I’;; give those shortly. Watch for words that define where, when, how. Look for words that join together thoughts. Years ago, I attended a congregation in which people would mindlessly quote Bible verses taken out of context, and it sounded so good! Like, “Hey, I know the Bible!” It sounded impressive.

In reality, lifting a Bible verse out of its context is often a pretext for making the Bible say what you want to say. Let me give an example from that E-book.

“Chapter 6 may be described as the blueprint for the seven eras that God the Father has planned for the humankind in Jesus Christ. In this blueprint of God is found the divine providence for the seven eras that God will bring to the human race. When we know and understand what these seven eras are, we will be able to realize in which of these eras we are now living.”

HUH??? Um… NO!!! Chapter Six describes “the things which shall be hereafter” – in other words, it’s in the FUTURE.

19 Write the things which thou hast seen, and the things which are, and the things which shall be hereafter; Revelation 1:19 (KJV)

“The things which thou hast seen” is what John saw on Patmos. “The things which are” is the Seven churches, and “the things which shall be hereafter” refers to everything AFTER Chapter 4.

1 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks; Revelation 2:1 (KJV)

Revelation 2 and 3 are ” the things which are”- as proved by the present tense commandment “Write unto the church that is at…”.

But what’s the first words of Revelation 4:1?

1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. Revelation 4:1 (KJV)

“after this…” and the verse ends with, “I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.” In other words, and this is key to understanding Revelation – EVERYTHING FROM CHAPTER FOUR, VERSE ONE ONWARDS IS IN THE FUTURE!!!

Thanks. Wow, I feel better. It’s good to shout every now and then. Whew. Okay. This is what I’m tlaking about. The author of the E-book read Revelation 6 as if it was a separate book in itself, as if what is written in Revelation 6 is it’s own unit. If you read it by itself, you’re stuck with: what does this mean? Who is this talking to???

But if you understand that a blueprint of Revelation is given in Rev. 1, and is expounded on in chapters 2&3… you’re set up for… “Something’s going to happen in Revelation 4.”

It did. Something dissapeared. What?

“I know, the churches!!!”

What, have you been paying attention to what I’ve written about for the last 12 days? Stop that, that’s annoying!!! Okay, I’m kidding. That’s right. Doesn’t take too much to see that the Bible switched from talking to the churches in Rev. 1, 2&3, mentioned over and over again, to suddenly talking about Israel. This is important. I’m going to come back to this. Let’s continue with that e-book.

“As described in Revelation 6, when the first seal was opened, there came out a white horse. Its rider held a bow, was given a crown, and he went out conquering and to conquer. The rider on the white horse here refers to Jesus Christ, while the fact that He had a bow means that He will continue to fight against and win over Satan. Put differently, the era of the whilte horse refers to the era of the victory of the gospel of the water and the Spirit that God has allowed on the earth, and this era will continue until all God’s purposes are fulfilled.”


Okay, if you’re trying to force Revelation 6 to be the church ages… then this would make sense. Alas for his basic premise, I just demonstrated that Revelation 4:1 through to the end of the Bible is ALL FUTURE EVENTS. Why would we go forward in time in Revelation 4:1, then jump backwards to 30 AD just two chapters later???

The white horse and the Pale Rider is the ANTICHRIST. Jesus Christ did not go forth conquering and to conquer. Indeed, He rebuked the disciples when they suggested it to Him in the Gospels!

But the Antichrist does.

Indeed, another point is… the Tribulation is the wrath of God and the Lamb poured out on mankind.

15 And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; 16 And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: 17 For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? Revelation 6:15-17 (KJV)

the arrival of the Lord Jesus Christ is not a condemnation, nor an outpouring of wrath, but rather, a time of great rejoicing – “Peace on Earth, Good Will towards men.” The point here is, if the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth seals are described by the Bible as God’s Wrath, it stands to reason that if the Bible does not tell us otherwise, the first Seal must ALSO be God’s Wrath. And the coming of Jesus Christ on earth as the Lamb of God was not a judgment or wrath, but rather, love and self sacrifice, as the Lord died for ALL who would accept Him. So the author’s contention that Jesus Christ is the White Rider is actually profaning the name of the Lord Jesus Christ!

If you noticed, I’ve been showing you how to read the Bible. There’s no code to decipher, I simply look for words that tell me how, when, who. If you didn’t spot it, go back and read the last three paragraphs.

After the era of the red horse comes the era of the black horse, when famine will strike both the souls and the bodies of the people. You and I are now living in this era of spiritual and physical famine. When this is followed by the era of the pale horse in near future, the Antichrist will arise, and with his appearance the world will fall into deadly calamities.

There’s ABSOLUTELY no justification to be found in this text WHATSOEVER for splitting up Revelation 6 into past and present like this. The author contends that the Second and Third Horse are the past and the present… and that the Fourth seal is the future. Why?

7 And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 8 And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth. Revelation 6:7-8 (KJV)

Because NEVER in the history of mankind (except for Cain and Abel – think about it) has 25% of mankind been wiped out by warfare, animals and famine. The author is aware of this. The first three seals are approached by the author in a 60/40 mix of allegory and literal interpretation. After this, the author evens the mix to more 50/50 literal and allegorical. He seems to combine all the Seals, the trumpets and the vials all at once, instead of a literal, chronological order.

The era of the pale horse is the fourth era. In this era, the world will be struck by the plagues of the seven trumpets, where one-third of the forest will burn off, one-third of the sea will turn into blood, one-third of the fresh water will also turn into blood, and one-third of the sun and the moon, having been struck, will turn dark. (pg 29)

What else has the author done?

He has confused… what?

Let’s see if you were paying attention to my earlier articles. What do you have to confuse in order to place the churches in the Great Tribulation? There’s NO Reference to the churches in the Great tribulation. There is a large body of believers, but what are they called?

Israel. To place the churches in the Great Tribulation, you have to confuse the churches and Israel, until they become one and the same.

Okay, what mistake did YOu make, following his logic? Did you open your King James Bible to Revelation 6 and see if what he’s teaching conforms to the Bible?

Was there ANYTHING in Revelation 6:7-8 talking about water turning to blood? Or a third of the sun and moon turning dark?

Nope. not at all. How about verse 9? Get your Bible. Look it up. i’ll wait. (whistling tunelessly to myself)

Huh. How about that. Nope.

How about the forests burning?

Um… no. These things all happen later in the book of Revelation. And it says that one third of all PLANTS, including grasses are burnt up. Not forests.

You know, it’s those little things you don’t look up. It’s like standing on the seashore with your feet under the water. The sea digs the sand out from under your feet, and washes it back, burying you. If you let it, little by little, your feet get lower in the sand.

He’s doing the same thing here, little by littll one error after another. Don’t rush through commentaries on the Bible. It’s those little comments that erode your doctrinal understandings.

Here’s how the Great tribulation works.

The Frst six seals are opened. The seventh unlocks the Seven Trumpets. They do not happen at the same time, like I’ve seen in so many charts. If they did, that’s what the Bible will say. But it doesn’t.

So who’s right, the author of this e-book or me? Personally, I’d say the Bible. Read it for yourself. Interpret it literally. You know, that thing the Pope calls a “disease” or a “Mental illness”, the urge to read the Bible and believe literally what it says.

Didn’t Jesus Christ ask the Pharisees, “Have ye not read?” He’s teaching us we must READ the Bible and understand it literally.

Didn’t Jesus Christ say, “Have ye not read in the Beginning…” He’s teaching us when we get confused on something, look up its first mention in the Bible.

Didn’t Paul advise Timothy to compare Spiritual with Spiritual? That teaches us that we must… compare scripture with scripture. Did you get that, from reading the text?

Weren’t the Bereans commended for searching the Scriptures daily?

Do the First Seal, first Trumpet and First Vial all happen at the same time? I see a LOT of charts on the internet that show this. No, it shows a releasing of the next set of woes every seventh seeal, or trumpet, or vial.

If the BIBLE says that the seventh seal releases the seven trumpets, why are people bothering to make up any kind of chart showing them happening at the same time?

To realize the truth revealed in Revelation, however, we must first discard such false teachings as the theories of pre-tribulation rapture, amillennialism, and post-tribulation rapture, and return to the Scripture.

My response is, a LITERAL – which is not the approach you’re taking, but rather an allegorical – interpretation of the Bible (which you are advocating) leads one to believe in the CORRECT Biblical teaching of a pre-trib rapture.

Where do you see the churches after Revelation 4? Where are they in the Bible? Please cite chapter and verse. You CAN’T, because they’re not there.

1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2 Peter 2:1 (KJV)

I’d be more than happy to help this man get his eschatology right. Because right now it’s so far off base, that I can only describe it as heresy.

What are today’s points? Well, to start with, don’t just read books about the Bible. Read the Bible. If you’re reading ANY book about the Bible, have the Bible with you. If I’d done that the first time I’d read Marv Rosenthal, I’d have rejected everything he wrote immediately.

and most of all, pay attention to what the Bible tells you!


Author: philipdean2013

Seminary graduate with a Ba. in Theology/Pastoral Studies, Happily married, Independent Baptist. I can't keep silent about what I see going on in Christianity any longer! Apostasy reigns around us, churches are sliding into worldiness, a whitewashed Gospel is preached everywhere... "Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein. Jeremiah 6:16 (KJV) So, I'm speaking out. ...Why aren't you???