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Discussion Forum : General Topics : Why should I believe in bible prophecy if I do believe in a pre tribulation rapture

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docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1911


 Re:

Mu curiosity with Darby is partly because many of the ideas that have grown up around and follow the pre-trib teaching today began with his ideas and writings. If It's a bit of an enigma to me how one can teach as he did such things as tribulation saints will not be part of the church nor indwelt by the Holy Spirit even though they are saved by faith in Christ and His atoning work. That just doesn't work for me and was never taught in church history before he began to espouse it. I have therefore searched some of his writings to see if I can pinpoint how he came to these conclusions. There's no doubt he was the earliest and leading advocates of these ideas and if one knows nothing of Darby and his theological beliefs then one knows little or nothing about the origins of the pre-trib belief when they themselves may be following.

That's all. Thank your for your thoughtful comments.


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David Winter

 2019/6/10 15:52Profile
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Joined: 2003/11/23
Posts: 4491


 Re:

Hi docs,

Like I said, I am not well-versed in Darby's writings or teachings. And, of course, I really don't care what Darby taught. His views had no influence on my views on eschatology. I know many people who embrace the idea of a rapture who just don't know who Darby is.

I do have a couple of comments though on what you've just posted. Please don't mistake this for any sort of smug attempt to "call you out" or as any sort of public rebuff/rebuke. I simply want to share a few things that came to mind when reading your post.

You said, "There's no doubt he was the earliest and leading propagator of these ideas..."

Actually, I believe that there is doubt. That is part of the reasons why there is a never-ending debate on this issue. Sometimes, the words "no doubt" often are used as a precursor to a discussion to end it before it begins (or to offer a conclusion). It can become a "shutdown" statement used to digress and pull the discussion in a certain direction rather than by conversational analysis.

In this case, you're saying that there is no doubt that one man -- Darby -- originated this concept (of a "rapture" or gathering of the Bride before the Lord's wrath is poured out upon the world).

Normally, I would ask what led you to this conclusion. What research did you perform? Is this a conclusion drawn from others who have staked this claim? Are you actually well-read into what Darby, the writings of his contemporaries or whatwas written or taught alongside other believers over the last 2000 years (for comparison's sake)?

This oft-repeated belief -- pointing the finger at John Darby -- has been repeated many times by teachers, books and websites that espouse the view that the Bride of Christ will not be gathered prior to the wrath of God being poured out upon the Earth. In the times that I have inspected the claims (including books), they seem to be somewhat short on proof. Yes, they can point to things that Darby has written. Yes, they can point to some things that are attributed to Darby.

However, the statement itself is very wide. The evidence is often presented as not being available because the idea is that it doesn't exist (i.e., the idea of a gathering of the Bride prior to the wrath of God on the Earth). Thus, if those individuals cannot find it, then they deduce that Darby must be the guy who came up with it!

I sometimes wonder if it is the same sort of circular citations that are similar to the KJV-Only phenomenon. The books and websites often quote one another rather than by presenting evidence that no one else prior to Darby had any such view.

You also wrote, "...if one knows nothing of Darby and his "movement" then one knows little or nothing about the origins of the pre-trib belief."

I disagree. First of all, this statement relies upon the notion that the previous statement is absolutely true and beyond reproof.

And, yes, there is at least some anecdotal written evidence from early church writing that indicated that some early Christians at least believed in protection during the time of God's wrath (or even removal prior to it). While such examples are few in number, one could also point out that there aren't exactly large libraries of early church writings to be seen (and most never touched on eschatological specificity).

Since there is very little Christian writings that exist from the first century (partially because literacy wasn't common, printing didn't exist and writing materials were hard to come by and those that did exist decomposed by time), this primary belief cannot be proven.

I would touch a little further on your statement. Does one have to know about Darby to believe that the idea of a "rapture" is possible? I would say no.

There are many believers who embrace the idea of a "catching away" prior to the wrath of God. Like I said, many of them really don't know who Darby is. I would think (or hope) that many of them may have studied this and attributed their belief to a Biblical foundation.

This does raise a very big issue in the Church today.

Many people believe in particular doctrines because they are taught to believe in those doctrines. There are probably people who believe that the rapture is indisputable because they were taught this by their local church and favorite Bible teachers. The weight of their own research is in reliance -- relying upon the research and "expertise" of others.

This is a flawed perspective no matter what we believe. Men -- and Bible teachers -- are fallible. We cannot blindly "follow" what they've said without questioning, testing or proving it from Scripture. Every preacher of the Gospel included on SermonIndex is fallible. We are all confined to this side of that "glass darkly."

Even if we go back to the Early Church, we find some corruption and compromise of the faith early on. Many of these are mentioned in the Book of Acts and in the epistles.

Furthermore, by the time of Constantine (b.272 A.D.), the heresies of pagan Rome were already being grafted into an eventual Empire-regulated "official" church. There was corruption found in "Christian" writings before and after the Edict of Tolerance and Edict of Milan. Many would even argue that the official state "church" had become little more than a compromised tool of the Roman Empire.

Most importantly, the discussion of doctrines should be done primarily by Biblical exegetical study (and discussion) rather than by pointing at quite limited anecdotal manuscript evidence (scarce as it is) from the centuries AFTER the Gospels and epistles were written.

Even as limited as it is, I think that we would be hard-pressed to find someone who has sifted through every ancient manuscript attributed (at least in part) to Christianity. Moreover, the time from the beginning of the Church until Darby is roughly 18 centuries. That is a lot of time (and evidence) required to sort through before we can declare such a "no doubt" statement.

Again, I hope that you didn't take this wrong. I am not motivated to point out any perceived flaw in your post. Rather, I think that it is important to approach this issue (and all non-essential doctrinal discussions) with the understanding that most of us are not here to take sides on an issue but to search for truth.

Sometimes, even after much study, we still don't arrive to a point where we can honestly say "yea" or "nay" on such matters. This is despite amazing access to materials that believers in the past never had access to.

This is why I think that it is always good to revert to the simplicity of the faith. As nice as it is to have so many resources (e.g., concordances, Bible dictionaries, commentaries, books, etc.), it is interesting to think that none of such things were available to the early believers. Many of them didn't even have copies of the Bible (and the New Testament was a set of books and letters passed between the local churches).

When people ask me about my views on eschatology and, specifically, the idea of a "rapture," I tell them that I am not certain. However, I tell them that I am certain about something much more important -- the need to be prepared. This preparation only comes about by keeping our eyes on the Lord. We must seek God always -- in prayer, study of the Word and worship. I believe that this will keep us during any period or trial, tribulation and, yes, wrath that we may or may not have to endure.


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Christopher

 2019/6/10 17:13Profile
docs
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1911


 Re:

/You said, "There's no doubt he was the earliest and leading propagator of these ideas..."

Actually, I believe that there is doubt. That is part of the reasons why there is a never-ending debate on this issue. Sometimes, the words "no doubt" often are used as a precursor to a discussion to end it before it begins (or to offer a conclusion). It can become a "shutdown" statement used to digress and pull the discussion in a certain direction rather than by conversational analysis.

In this case, you're saying that there is no doubt that one man -- Darby -- originated this concept (of a "rapture" or gathering of the Bride before the Lord's wrath is poured out upon the world).

Normally, I would ask what led you to this conclusion. What research did you perform? Is this a conclusion drawn from others who have staked this claim? Are you actually well-read into what Darby, the writings of his contemporaries or what was written or taught alongside other believers over the last 2000 years (for comparison's sake)?/

I've done the research more than once and came to the same conclusions each time. The early church fathers nearly as a whole were not pre-trib in their views. There are a few here and there who make some small or passing reference that may lead some to believe that they were referring to a pre-trib catching away etc. but even then in my opinion their statements seem to be stretched a bit beyond what they actually meant. Notable and well respected scholars such as Tregelles, Newton and George Mueller and others who were contemporaries of Darby objected to the "new theories" being promoted because they saw no evidence of them in church history. So yes, I have done research and tried to look objectively at the historical evidence.

/This oft-repeated belief -- pointing the finger at John Darby -- has been repeated many times by teachers, books and websites that espouse the view that the Bride of Christ will not be gathered prior to the wrath of God being poured out upon the Earth. In the times that I have inspected the claims (including books), they seem to be somewhat short on proof. Yes, they can point to things that Darby has written. Yes, they can point to some things that are attributed to Darby.

However, the statement itself is very wide. The evidence is often presented as not being available because the idea is that it doesn't exist (i.e., the idea of a gathering of the Bride prior to the wrath of God on the Earth). Thus, if those individuals cannot find it, then they deduce that Darby must be the guy who came up with it!/

I believe what is being taught today as far as pre-trib goes was mainly pushed and advanced by the Brethren Movement of the 1830s of which Darby made himself the unchallenged head. Many sources attest to this. They sponsored many conferences and Darby himself made several trips to America to evangelize for his view and for Christ and then Scofield took up the mantle.

/We must seek God always -- in prayer, study of the Word and worship. I believe that this will keep us during any period or trial, tribulation and, yes, wrath that we may or may not have to endure./

I couldn't agree more. Well said and thank you again for your thoughtful and well laid out and spoken thoughts.

Blessings.


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David Winter

 2019/6/10 17:47Profile
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Joined: 2004/7/7
Posts: 7431
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 Re:

Chris,

I understand well your point and do appreciate it.

I also think it is tragic when churches split over differing views of eschatology. I knew it has happened in Mennonite Churches but did not realize others can be that narrow minded as well. Oh, well...all are human....

In any case I believe the devil is having fun getting people all in a wad about their differing points of view on end times. Conflicts so severe it will intimidate people from studying Revelation: "if more learned men cannot agree on it why should I think I can make sense of it" so the devil argues. And people listen and refuse to read the book that promises a blessing to those who read it. Sad.

I think people make a big mistake that they think they need to know exactly when these events will take place. I believe one should read it for the sheer enjoyment of learning to know God, how he thinks, how he acts and what heaven is like. To visualize the events described therein...Oh, Lord! so awesome. All major doctrines are addressed in the book - it is doctrinally rich, chuck fill of inspiration. I have read it many times and every time I do I gain new insights, so much it has become my favorite book in the New Testament!

Love the book. And have learned to enjoy OT prophecy as well.

Sandra


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Sandra Miller

 2019/6/17 22:12Profile
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1911


 Re: Proper context also important

/I have read it many times and every time I do I gain new insights, so much it has become my favorite book in the New Testament!

Love the book. And have learned to enjoy OT prophecy as well./

Wow, that's something!

One of the things that has helped me is reading the book of Revelation in what I think is its proper context.

There is a symmetry between OT prophecy and what is found in the NT capped off by the Revelation of John.

Moses made an astounding prophecy in Deut 4:30-31:

30 When you are in distress and all these things have come upon you, in the latter days you will return to the Lord your God and listen to His voice.

31 For the Lord your God is a compassionate God; He will not fail you nor destroy you nor forget the covenant with your fathers which He swore to them.

Here Moses has made a accurate forecast that trouble and tribulation would follow the nation even into the latter days of history and this age.

Then Daniel spoke of a unprecedented time of trouble to occur for the nation just before the resurrection of the dead occurs:

“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.

Jesus spoke of this same time of trouble:

21 For then there will be a great tribulation, SUCH AS HAS NOT OCCURRED (quoting Daniel almost verbatim word for word)
since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will.

22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matt 24:21-22)

The Revelation of John describes this time of trouble in my opinion. True to the words of Moses even until the end, Daniel and Jesus and the Revelation describe the time of unprecedented trouble to come at the end of this present evil age. There is a divine symmetry at work here as they describe the same thing.


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David Winter

 2019/6/18 9:18Profile
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Joined: 2005/2/24
Posts: 3188
Texas

 Re: Todd

Quote:
Todd...Folks get very jumpy and defensive when long held views are challenged. Its like having to give up a security blanket or teddy bear.

It certainly applies to eschatology, but also many other areas.

It would seem that the best attitude would be "I think I have this right, but there is certainly a possibility that I might be wrong."

For some reason people don't like to do this; like Chris said they either feel its being wishy-washy or weak in faith. Nothing could be further from the truth. It's just being honest.




This right here folks is probably one of the best posts I've ever witnessed on SI. There's a great message here for all of us that like to keep God in a box...Thanks for this wonderful and refreshing post.


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Mr. Bill

 2019/6/18 9:41Profile
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Joined: 2005/1/6
Posts: 1775
Hemel Hempstead

 Re:

Believing in a post tribulation rapture has caused me much pain church wise as I had to move out of a church because in a sermon they called it leaven of those that don't believe
It is hard when you so want to find a church that is a spiritual home and even when you evangelsie people are as dead

It has been so hard going from a church that was about as friendly as a graveyard which taught the NAr then a porsperity church.

It has been so hard as with church I find it hard to relate to people if the church is full of 90 year olds and will be dead in 20 years or does not sing any hymns that I know .

I just want exegetical preaching of the word where people can go through a book of the bible rather than what they have had for lunch last Saturday or a pep talk

I found it hard to listen to things on bible prophecy if say certain groups don't believe they will go through the tribulation it is like preaching about riding a bike but never ride a bible , why believe that the mark of the beast will be an RFID chip , if you don't believe that won't happen.

I have been thinking of doing a bible for those that believe in the pre tribulational rapture with most of Revelation such as the antichrist and the parts not written to the Jews taken out

Pray as i found it so hard since working at the Christian.

Most non Christians do not care about anything

There is lots in the early church fathers to do with the tribulation , I keep on finding new things


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Dominic Shiells

 2019/6/18 14:23Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5244
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 Re:

Dom-

How will you know when the tribulation period actually begins? Of course pre-tribbers say it begins immediately after the pre-trib rapture but I am not sure how post- tribbers time its beginning.


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Todd

 2019/6/19 7:05Profile
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Joined: 2006/9/16
Posts: 1911


 Re: Jesus crystal clear when the tribulation begins

15 “Therefore WHEN YOU SEE THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand),

16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.

17 Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to get the things out that are in his house.

18 Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.

19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days!

20 But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.

21 For THEN (when you see the AOD) THERE WILL BE A GREAT TRIBULATION, SUCH AS HAS NOT OCCURRED SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD UNTIL NOW, NOR EVER WILL. (see Daniel 12:1 for the same time of trouble being declared))

22 Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. (Matthew 24:15-21)

It's obedience to the words of Jesus to go to Daniel in reference to the abomination and the resulting tribulation. The abomination is not mentioned once but four times.

11 It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down.

12 And on account of transgression the host will be given over to the horn along with the regular sacrifice; and it will fling truth to the ground and perform its will and prosper.

13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to that particular one who was speaking, “How long will the vision about the regular sacrifice apply, while THE TRANSGRESSION OF DEDSOLATION (KJV)causes horror, so as to allow both the holy place and the host to be trampled?”

14 He said to me, “For 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the holy place will be properly restored.” (Daniel 8:11-14)

27 And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the WING OF ABOMINATIONS will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.” (Daniel 9:27)

29 “At the appointed time he will return and come into the South, but this last time it will not turn out the way it did before.

30 For ships of Kittim will come against him; therefore he will be disheartened and will return and become enraged at the holy covenant and take action; so he will come back and show regard for those who forsake the holy covenant.

31 Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION.(Daniel 11:29-31)

11 From the time that the regular sacrifice is abolished and the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION is set up, there will be 1,290 days. (Daniel 12:11)

Paul elaborates on this event in the NT in II Thess 2:3-4.

It was Jesus who gave us this invaluable key and it's obedience to His words to go and make note of what Daniel spoke of. It's not seeking prophetic sensationalism but simply taking heed of and obeying the words of Jesus regarding the end of the age and the signs of His coming.

WHEN you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION spoken of by Daniel the prophet THEN shall be GREAT TRIBULATION since as has not occurred since the beginning of the world nor ever shall again. Ending in the second coming of Christ AFTER THE TRIBULATION of those days (Matt 24:29-31).

Thank Jesus for personally instructing us ("let the reader understand" - Matt 24:15)) to go to Daniel to see when these things begin. Hardly difficult and shedding light on the fact that all prophecy is not shrouded in a great lack of clarity as if to be a mystery within an enigma no one can understand. The words of Jesus instructing us are BASIC 101.




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David Winter

 2019/6/21 7:23Profile





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