I'm sorry again for any misunderstandings or offenses that came because of my past discussions. I have always intended to go through Dave Hunt's points and share my view of them. I did them sort of I am in a hurry because of time constraints so I could probably say more. Feel free to reply if you are inclined. Thank you.
1) Hunt: At the Rapture Christ does not return to earth but catches believers up to meet Him above the earth, taking them directly to heaven: “I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” (Jn:14:); “caught up...to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thes:4:17)
In contrast, at the Second Coming Christ returns to this earth to rule Israel and the world from David’s throne in Jerusalem: “His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem” (Zec:14:4); “the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end” (Lk 1:32-33); “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him....The armies which were in heaven followed him....Out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron” (Rv 19:11-15).
Docs: I Thess 4:17 is what will happen at the rapture but the resurrection of Israel occurs after the tribulation of those days. See Daniel 12:1-2.
1 “Now at that time Michael, the great prince who stands guard over the sons of your people, will arise. And there will be a time of distress such as never occurred since there was a nation until that time; and at that time your people, everyone who is found written in the book, will be rescued.
2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the ground will awake, these to everlasting life, but the others to disgrace and everlasting contempt.
After the “time of distress such as never occurred” and following in very close time proximity we then see the resurrection of Daniel 12:2. Isaiah 25:7-8 is referred to by Paul in I Cor 15:54 and Isaiah's context is when Israel experiences her final deliverance. The blessed hope of the OT saints of Israel has now become the blessed hope of all those who believe in Israel's Messiah. We shall ALL be changed. So, in my opinion, Brother Hunt was as sincere a person (and a soul winner par excellence) as ever was but I believe the day of Israel's deliverance at the end of the age coincides with the resurrection of the dead and this was revealed by the Gospel message as the now blessed hope of the church. Everyone believes in a rapture but when it occurs is the main question. To see the deliverance of Israel coinciding with the resurrection is a very insightful key in my view (Daniel 12:1-2) and Paul did the same in I Cor 15:54 in describing the resurrection of the Christian church living and dead. I Cor 15:54 and the context of Isaiah 25:7-8 should not be missed in my opinion as Paul clearly linked the two.
2) Hunt: At the Rapture there is a resurrection of all believers who have died up to that time: “The dead shall be raised incorruptible” (1 Cor:15:52-53); “the dead in Christ shall rise first....” (1 Thes:4:16).
In contrast, at the Second Coming there is no resurrection until Antichrist is defeated, he and the false prophet have been “cast alive into a lake of fire” (Rv 19:20), and Satan has been bound in the “bottomless pit [for] a thousand years” (20:1-3)—none of which is even remotely relaed to the rapture of believers to heaven. Then, to “the first resurrection” that occurred at the Rapture are added a unique group: “Them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshiped 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” (4-5).
Docs: We already discussed point two.
3) Hunt: At the Rapture, the bodies of living believers (like those who are resurrected) will be changed to become immortal: “We shall not all sleep [i.e., die], but we shall all be changed...the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [who are living] shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor:15:51-53); “We which are alive...shall be caught up together with them [the resurrected saints]...to meet the Lord in the air [clearly requiring immortal bodies].” (1 Thes:4:17)
Docs: Agreed, but I believe this rapture - “we all (all saints past and present living and dead) shall be changed' takes place at the second coming. The OT clearly portrays the OT saints as being raised at the end of the age. Jesus referred to this as the “last day” (John 6:39,44,54).
Hunt: In contrast, at the Second Coming all of the saints return with Christ from heaven and will therefore already have been changed into immortality: “The LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee” (Zec:14:5); “I saw heaven opened [and one] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood...and the armies which were in heaven followed him [to] smite the nations” (Rv 19:11-15).
Docs: Why do the armies of heaven necessarily have to be Christian saints? There are vast armies in heaven (Matthew 26:53) that are not human.
4) Hunt: The Rapture occurs during relative peace and prosperity when the world does not expect judgment from God: “And as it was in the days of Noah [the last thing they expected was God’s judgment]...they did eat, they drank...married wives...were given in marriage [and as in] the days of Lot...they bought, they sold...planted...builded....Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” (Lk 17:26-30)
Docs: Possibly the eating and drinking and building and marrying etc. does not necessarily mean the lack of conflict. The mark is to be give so that if you don't take it you can't buy or sell - “and he provides that no one should be able to BUY or SELL , except the one who has the mark” (Rev 13:17). So things will be continuing to a degree.
Also, the fall of Babylon is lamented in Rev 18:22 which is dramatically involved in commerce, buying and selling and trafficking. And it's not out of the way to think that people will not still being married and trying to get by. You will just need a mark to buy or sell or likely build.
Hunt: Again in complete contrast, the Second Coming occurs in the midst of the worst war the world has ever seen and following the greatest devastation this planet has ever suffered or ever will: “Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world...nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved” (Mt 24:21-22); “Behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed...power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger....There was a great earthquake...every mountain and island were moved out of their places...[men] hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks...for the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?” (Rv 6:8-17); “And the four angels were loosed...to slay the third part of men” (9:15); “and the...sea...became as the blood of a dead man: and every living soul died in the sea. And...the rivers and fountains of waters...became blood...the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and...men were scorched with great heat...and...there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth....And every island fled away and the mountains were not found. And there fell upon men a great hail [of large stones]...every stone about the weight of a talent” (16:3-21); “And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True....And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen....And I saw the beast [Antichrist], and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat upon the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and...the false prophet [and they] were cast alive into a lake of fire...” (19:11-21).
Docs: Yes I agree but the second coming signifies the last trumpet (Matthew 24:31; I Cor 15:51-54). The Berean Call also advocates that the OT saints will be raised at a pre-trib rapture but I remain convinced the OT scriptures reveal otherwise. They are clearly portrayed as being raised at the end of the age. (Job 19:25; Daniel 12:2; 12:13) and not seven years before.
5) Hunt: The Rapture occurs when conditions in the world seem to indicate that all is well—when very few expect Christ to return, and He catches even the church by surprise: “Of that day and hour knoweth no man...in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” (Mt 24:36, 44)
Docs: I would say that the commencement of the final tribulation catches everyone by surprise. It will come during a deceptive time of relative peace and a seeming possible solution to the problem of the Jews in Palestine and the conflict over the land. When they say peace and safety then sudden destruction will come and will have what many believe to be world wide reprecussions.
Hunt: In contrast, when the Second Coming occurs, not even Antichrist is caught by surprise—the many visible signs alert everyone that Christ is right at the door: “When ye shall see all these things, know that it [Christ’s coming] is near, even at the doors” (Mt 24:33); “The beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse” (Rev 19:19).
Exactly. The church will not be in the dark because it will see these signs and realize what is occurring and because they understand these signs and what they mean they will be able to give understanding to many - “but the people who know their God will display strength and take action. And those who have insight will give understanding to the many” (Dan 11:32-33).
6) Hunt: The Rapture occurs when the church is sleeping, with little expectation of the Lord’s return: “While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept” (Mt 25:5); “Watch ye therefore...lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.” (Mk 13:35-36)
In contrast, the Second Coming occurs at the end of the Tribulation in the midst of worldwide devastation and hopeless distress; the Antichrist and his armies are attacking Israel, much of Jerusalem is already captured (Zec:14:1-2), and Israel is on the verge of annihilation. It is inconceivable that the church, if it were still here, would be slumbering in complacency and under the delusion that “surely Christ wouldn’t come now”!
Docs: Brother Hunt has hit the nail on the head here in my opinion. The church will not be slumbering in complacency at this point because it will know by the prophetic scriptures and by the Spirit within what is transpiring. They will know beyond a doubt that the coming of Christ is near. They will not be in hopeless despair because they will be prisoners of the blessed hope that the entire church has always looked to as their final anchor and security. Christ is to come and the resurrection of the just will occur. Those slumbering and playing at this point may not have been part of the true church to begin w8ith. The church will be made up of those “who have insight” (Dan 11:33).