Promises and Secrets

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A website for those not afraid to examine their beliefs, compare them to the real world, and make sure they fit.

The Rapture


This is an abbreviated version of the page in the Main Menu called "The Rapture". That page has more detail, but this one will give you the basics when perusing the subject of the Antichrist.


Many want to escape the Bible predicted persecution of the Antichrist.


A question for supporters of the pre-tribulation Rapture concept, "Just where do you find this definition of the Rapture in the Bible?"

It's easy to understand the desire to avoid all the bad stuff that the Antichrist is suppose to do to the saints in that last seven years before the Second Coming of Christ. But, since saint persecution is predicted to happen in the Bible, how can you turn around and use the same Book to prove it will not happen? Does God speak contradicting words out of opposite sides of His mouth?

What do you mean, "predicted"?

Well, the most known of the Bible prophecies of the Antichrist are probably the ones in Daniel 7 and Revelation 13. Daniel 7:20-25
20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

23 "He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.' " (NIV)

is probably the clearest where Daniel describes him as a little horn and explains some of his actions. Note verse 25 where Daniel defines the length of time that the saints will be delivered into his hands - half of the seven years of what many people call the tribulation period. By this description, the tribulation will only last 3 1/2 years, not seven. That period will include the violence of the antichrist and the wrath of God.

Next, we have Reveleation 13:1-8
The Beast out of the Sea

1The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. 2The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. 3One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. 4People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, "Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it?"

5The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7It was given power to wage war against God's holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation. 8All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast - all whose names have not been written in the Lamb's book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. (NIV)

, where the Antichrist is described as a "beast", with power to continue for the same length of time as in Daniel, and to make war with the saints (see verse 7
7 It was given power to wage war against God's holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.


So, here you have two clear predictions of the beast that will come at the end times and persecute the saints. How do we know that it will be during the end times? Well, there is that "vague", "hard to understand", "philosophically deep" reference at 2 Thessalonians 2:8
And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. (NIV)

that says that Jesus will destroy him "by the splendor of His coming." (NIV). And, that one is even in the New Testament for you scoffers.

Now what?

So, where does this leave us? Well, just about the only thing we haven't covered here is why people think that the Bible-predicted persecution event is not going to happen. Most people use 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17
13 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. 14 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. 15 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. 16 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. 17 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. (NIV)

as a description of the "rapture" (some hold it as "pre-Trib" while others hold out for "mid-Trib", which is really still "pre-Trib").

First, if you read it for what it actually says, this whole passage is written to assure some believers who were afraid that those who had already died would not be saved. Evidently they thought that Christ would only save those who were alive at the time of His coming. Some even thought that it was too late because Jesus had been killed already.

Paul explained this by describing the sequence of events that would happen when Jesus returns. Nowhere in the verses will you see anything about rescuing anyone before the tribulation - whether "pre-" or "mid-". Only that this will happen at "the coming of the Lord", and not in secret, but with a lot of shouting and fanfare, I might add (O.K., I just did add it).

"But, the church fathers wrote about it..."

After some review of the claim that some of the "church fathers" made direct reference to the "pre-Tribulation rapture", you can see that the explanation of that thought is a lot like trying to explain to KJV readers that Romans 10:4
4 For Christ is the end[a] of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. (KJV)

See the Greek below for the proper meaning, followed by a note on the context of the word "end".

The NASB adds an explanatory note that says "[a]Romans 10:4 Or goal"
does not mean that the law was "done away with". The words can be construed in just about any way you want, until you take them to the Greek and find out that the Greek word "telos", interpreted as "end" in the KJV, actually means "goal" or "purpose", and is not a statement of termination.

Much like my goal of graduating with my B.S. did not mean that colleges or learning no longer exist. The reasons for the colleges still exist, so they are not gone. And, to say that education is dead and the principles that got me through college no longer apply to me because I have graduated is pure nonsense.

It's the same with these writings of the "church fathers", you can twist the words the same way some twist the words of the Bible. But when you get there, if it doesn't line up with the rest of scripture, someone's interpretation is wrong.

Again, it's kind of like the Bible predicting something that many claim will not happen simply because we don't want it to happen. It's not like we have a choice. One site at Rapture Ready criticizes those who believe what the Bible says like this:

Persecute Me Please
You would think the desire to go through the tribulation would be as popular as the desire to jump into a pit filled with vipers and broken glass. As illogical as it may seem, there appears to be a large number of Christians that fully expect to get roughed up before Christ returns.

Many Christians argue strongly for the right to suffer persecution at the hands of the Antichrist and the one world government. These tribulation saint wannabees constantly harp, "Because Jesus and His disciples suffered persecution, we should expect no better." It's been my experience that people with the weakest faith are generally the ones that talk the boldest. When the slightest difficulty comes their way, they cry to high heaven.

So, here we are to understand that if it is not popular, it won't happen? What will this person do if the rapture he so desperately needs does not happen until Jesus' Second Coming? Will he "cry to high heaven"? As for me, if it does come, I will be surprised and happy. If not, I will be neither surprised nor unhappy, as God will be doing just what He said that He would. However, this tells me not spend my time trying to calm the fears of people by making promises that contradict the word of God. Even when the truth is hard, it is still better to believe it than a lie.

What happened to recognition of the faith of those who believe what the Bible says, even if we don't like it? We can't just change the meaning of the Bible because we don't want to be persecuted or even if we just don't like what it actually says. Jesus said in Matthew 10:21-23
21 "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. 22 You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. Truly I tell you, you will not finish going through the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes." (NIV)

that we will be persecuted. But, He also said that He will come shortly thereafter. I believe He was speaking of the End Times, and that this was a promise to us. To deny this is to believe in a different Jesus, and I think that is called idolatry.

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