05 The Rapture Question – Prewrath ; All views

Prewrath – Charpie  Dr. Elbert Charpie gives a good Graphic overview of all four views of the Rapture: 1) Pre-Tribulation, 2) Mid-Tribulation, 3) Post-Tribulation, and 4) Prewrath.

The Rapture Question?

  Is this an important question?  This question apparently never came up during all of Church history until approximately 1830 A.D. Thus it was not an essential in the history of the Church.  If it was not taught and it is not a Fundamental of the Faith why do Christians separate on the basis of the position someone takes regarding it?  Now take Pre-millennialism,  that is another question. Pre-millennialism was clear taught by the early Church and many  of the Church fathers essentially held the same viewpoint as Pre-millennialists today with the exception that they do not teach any type of Rapture.   Instead they taught that the Rapture and first Resurrection took place at the same time.   They did not use the word “Rapture” because it is a recently created term taken from the Latin Bible “rapiemur”  1 Thess 4:17 (Vulgate)

Notice in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 that both the resurrection of dead Christians and the catching up of live Christians (rapture) happens at the same time.

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. 15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent (precede) them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain 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. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thess 4:13-18 (KJV)

Wouldn’t this “dead in Christ shall rise first.” refer to the First Resurrection mentioned in Revelation 20:4-6 and this passage occurs just after Daniel’s Seventieth Week.

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.  Rev 20:4-6 (KJV)

What is the importance of the Rapture?    Many believe that it is an escape hatch from the  end-times Daniel’s Seventieth Week.   All of the viewpoints on the Rapture question deal with the timing of the Rapture.  All believe that God will not put His children through His Wrath.   The question all boils down to the timing of the Wrath of God.  All four of the views differ on this one point.   The Pre-trib view believes that the total 7 years of Daniel’s Seventieth Week is the Wrath of God.   The Mid-trib view believes that the Wrath of God will only begin at the mid-point of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.  The Post-trib view is that the Wrath of God will fall at or near the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.

There now happens to be a fourth viewpoint called “PreWrath”.   While all of the views are actually “prewrath”  they differ on when the Wrath of God will begin. The Prewrath viewpoint believes that the Wrath of God will begin in the Seventh Seal (or at the very end of the Sixth Seal).

This is a very logical and rational thing since the Scripture in the Book of Revelation seems to clearly state that the Wrath of God has come at the end of the Sixth Seal.

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? Rev 6:16-17 (KJV)

Unfortunately, I had not seen this for all the years I studied Scripture.  Some how I missed this clear statement.  If the Seven Seals are continuous and sequential as Dr. Gary Cohen argues in his book Understanding Revelation: A chronology of the Apocalypse, It probably indicates that the Wrath of God will be poured out near the end of Daniel’s Seventieth Week.   And to speculate, if each seal is somewhat parallel with each of the seven years, then the Wrath of God would begin sometime at or near the beginning of the seventh year.   All of the Wrath of God is in the Seventh Seal and the Seven Trumpets come out of the Seventh Seal.  Then finally the Seven Bowels or Vials come out of the Seventh Trumpet.  So apparently all the Wrath of God in essence comes out of the Seventh Seal. All of the prior destruction and blood shed of Daniel’s Seventieth Week are the results of mankind, Satan, and the Anti-Christ.

Regardless of  what view you take regarding the Rapture question I believe the following statement is the wisest advice:  “Hope for the best, and plan for the worst!”  Above all things be spiritually prepared and in tune with God.

Since we cannot determine when this event will happen, we should be humble and kind to those who disagree with us. If you believe that there will be a Pre-trib rapture, but there isn’t you will be deeply disappointed and unprepared.   If you do not believe in a Pre-trib rapture and you are wrong  you will be raptured anyway.   You do not have to believe in Pre-trib rapture in order to be raptured. Jesus said, “Occupy until I come!”  That is the best advice.  Serve God on all opportunities. TLC