The Pretribulation Rapture of the Church

A Biblical Rebuttal of the Book Entitled

"The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church" by Marvin Rosenthal

By Bill Pierce KJBPIERCE@juno.com

There seemed to be a need for a scriptural rebuttal of Marvin Rosenthal's book, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church. This little booklet, we believe, will be sufficient to convince you that Marvin Rosenthal's book teaches heresy and that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming for his church before the antichrist is revealed and the tribulation period begins. We do not attempt to set any dates, for the Lord Jesus Christ said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only" (Matt. 24:36).

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Table of Contents

 INTRODUCTION
  • MARKING HERESY
  • DEFINITION
  • HERESIES AMONG YOU
  • THE SCRIPTURAL REACTION TO HERESY
  • A VERY SERIOUS HERESY
  • PURPOSE
  • GENERAL COMMENTS
  • IMMINENT RETURN OF THE LORD
  • THE EFFECT OF TRUTH
  • THE EFFECT OF ERROR
  • SPECIAL MEANS OF HIGHLIGHTING

THE DAY OF THE LORD

  • JUDGMENT AND BLESSING
  • BEGINNING OF THE DAY OF THE LORD
  • TWO RESURRECTIONS
  • DURATION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD
  • HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY
 TWO FUTURE RAPTURES
  • PRIVATE INTERPRETATION
  • THE DELIVERER(S)
  • STRONG DELUSION
  • A PREPOSTEROUS INTERPRETATION
  • DECEPTION OF GOD
  • STRAINING REASON
  • THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH
  • A MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATION
  • 144,000
  • TRIBULATION SAINTS
  • TWO SONGS
  • ANGELS OR SAINTS
  • BLIND SPOT
  • ATTACKING THE WORD AND DOCTRINE
  • THE CHURCH IS COMING WITH THE LORD
  • ARMIES IN HEAVEN
  • GOD'S WARNINGS
  • THE FOUR GOSPELS
  • CONCLUSION

INTRODUCTION

MARKING HERESY

Now I know that the Lord hates "he that soweth discord among brethren" (Prov. 16:9). Plainly, an heretic sows discord in the church by teaching something contrary to the scriptures. It is the heresy that causes the discord, and not the Bible believer who exposes the heresy by the word of God. It is the duty of the Bible believer who recognizes the heretic to mark him and warn the rest of the church about the heresy in order that they may be strong in the faith and not led astray. There are several clear scriptures that agree with these statements. We will point out several of them below.

DEFINITION

According to Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary, a heretic is, "A person under any religion, but particularly the Christian, who holds and teaches opinions repugnant to the established faith, or that which is made the standard of orthodoxy. In strictness, among Christians, a person who holds and avows religious opinions contrary to the doctrines of Scripture, the only rule of faith and practice."

HERESIES AMONG YOU

It should be no surprise that there are heresies among Christians in the churches. We have been sufficiently forewarned about that:

1 Cor. 11:19 For there must be also heresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

This means that they which have studied to show themselves "approved of God" (2 Tim. 2:15) will be able by the scriptures (Acts 18:28; Rom. 16:26; 1 Cor. 2:13) to make known the truth and clearly expose the heresy.

Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

2 Pet. 2:1 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 Tim. 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

SCRIPTURAL REACTION TO HERESY

The scriptures give us clear commandments concerning our handling of heresies in the church:

Rom. 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark THEM which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid THEM.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

2 Thess. 3:6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.
14 And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed.
15 Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.

Titus 3:10 A man that is an heretic after the first and second admonition reject;
11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

Not only does the apostle Paul write these commandments, but he practices what he preaches as an example for us:

2 Tim. 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

1 Tim. 1:18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;
19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:
20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.

A VERY SERIOUS HERESY

A very serious heresy among us today is taught in the book by Marvin Rosenthal entitled, THE PRE-WRATH RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. At first reading it wasn't difficult to see where Brother Rosenthal was in great error, but I didn't see the need to write this booklet until after I had begun to hear about the devastating effects of this heresy: a missionary who lost most of his support, a man who was disfellowshipped from his church, and a Bible teacher who was marked by this heresy and banned from teaching in several independent Baptist churches. These men were marked by their adherence to the heresy of what Brother Rosenthal calls "The Pre Wrath Rapture of the Church," and rightfully (scripturally) so (Rom. 16:17-18)! His book teaches the heresy that the Church will go through part of the "great tribulation" and will not be raptured out until just before the seventh seal (Rev. 8:1) is opened.

PURPOSE

This booklet is written in an effort to fulfill the commandment of God concerning heresy, in particular the heresy which is taught by Brother Rosenthal in his book. We trust that the scriptures in this booklet will be more than sufficient to show you the grave errors of Brother Rosenthal's PRE-WRATH RAPTURE heresy and that they will firmly establish the doctrine of the PRETRIBULATION RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH in your mind, according to the word of God.
So the purpose of this booklet is two fold: first, to mark Brother Rosenthal as a true heretic by exposing his teaching as false, according to the scriptures; and secondly, to edify the reader as to the truth about the PRETRIBULATION RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH.

Eph. 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ

GENERAL COMMENTS

Brother Rosenthal spends much time in his book quoting the statements and positions of Bible scholars. We will do none of that. We will not waste our time with what the Bible scholars have said, or with what the historic position of the church has been, or with what "the Greek" says. We want to know what God will teach us from his pure and preserved word, the Authorized King James Bible, by "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1Cor. 2:13).

Brother Rosenthal corrects the word of God:

"The phrase 'the end of the world' (as in the Authorized Version) is particularly misleading. It is better translated 'the end of the age' (p. 225).

"'Saints' in this verse [1 Thess. 3:13] is an unfortunate and inappropriate translation. 'Saints' in this verse does not refer to believers. The Greek word hagios should be translated holy ones and is a reference to angelic beings" (p. 218).

We will not correct the word of God, that "we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear" (Hebr. 12:28; Rev. 22:18 19).

Certainly, we do not intend to answer all of Brother Rosenthal's "arguments" for we neither have the time nor space to expend on such an endeavor. We believe that the comments from his book that we have chosen to quote will be sufficient to show the reader the heresy that he is teaching. Furthermore we most certainly believe that the scriptures given in this booklet will be sufficient to refute the heresy taught by Brother Rosenthal and that they will show beyond any doubt to the believer that the born again, blood washed church of God will be leaving this earth BEFORE the great tribulation begins, that is, BEFORE the Lamb of God opens the first seal (Rev. 6:1-2) and the antichrist brings his false peace to the world.

IMMINENT RETURN OF THE LORD

Brother Rosenthal makes the following statement:

"No amount of rationalizing can explain away the fact that if the coming of the Lord is imminent and pretribulational, He will, of an absolute necessity, return as 'a thief in the night' even for the believers" (p. 224).

What Brother Rosenthal is saying is that IF the rapture of the church has always been imminent [always impending; could happen any time], then the church would have no signs to look for concerning the rapture. Then, he says, if that is so, then the church could not know the times and seasons of the Lord's coming! Brother Rosenthal claims that pretribulationists have ALWAYS believed that the rapture of the church is imminent. This is not true, for other Christians have recognized that the regathering of Israel must first take place and that the second coming of Christ would be around the year 2000. Before the canon of scripture was complete I don't doubt that many believers were looking for the Lord to come for them at any time. But after the completion of the scriptures, the believers who were noble and searched the scriptures would know that the Lord was not going to come back for the church until after two thousand years!

Hosea 6:2 After two days [the 2000 year church age] will he revive us: in the third day [the 1000 year day of the Lord] he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

2 Pet. 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

Believers would also have the sign of the fig tree putting forth leaves and would know that the Lord would come before that generation passed away.

Matt. 24:32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree [a type of Israel (Gen. 3:7; Hos. 9:10; Joel 1:6-7; Luke 13:6-9)]; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it [the second coming] is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass [the generation living to see Israel become a nation in 1948], till all these things be fulfilled.

We are NOW nearing the year 2000. The rapture of the church will be seven years BEFORE the Second Coming of Christ, according to the scriptures and as we shall show in the following pages. Therefore we know the "last days" are upon us. The world of unbelievers knows nothing of these things, and so "when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction" shall come upon them, "as a thief in the night" (1Thess. 5:2-3).
We NOW believe in the imminent return of the Lord for the church with NO FURTHER SIGNS to be given! Had we been living in the 1800's,we would have known that we were not living in the generation of the Lord's return, and therefore would not be looking for the Lord's "imminent" return.

THE EFFECT OF TRUTH

God's word is always effectual toward them that believe it:

1 Thess. 2:13 For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received it not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe.

The truth will always provoke unto love and good works:

Hebr. 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works

My profession of faith is based solely and entirely upon the word of God. If we will hold fast to the word of God and his promises, we will always be provoked to do good works. We know by the word of God that the church will be raptured out of this world without any further warning and BEFORE the antichrist is revealed. The knowledge of this provokes the Bible believer to stay right with God and to get busy doing the work of the Lord.

THE EFFECT OF ERROR

A Christian who has been subverted by the heresy of The Pre Wrath Rapture of the Church will be looking for the signs which will appear before the wrath of God is poured out upon the earth (mark of the beast, the beast sitting in the temple as God, supernatural locusts coming out of the pit of hell, two hundred million supernatural fire breathing horsemen to kill a third of the earth, the sun darkened and the moon turned to blood), and he won't expect the Lord to come "as a thief in the night" (1Thess. 5:2)!

Because of this heresy he will believe that he will receive almost a seven year warning that the Lord is coming. As a result of this, man's corrupt human nature being what it is, he will slack off on his service to the Lord. The heresy has made the word of God of none effect! It has promoted coldness toward the things of God.

Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

A nonbeliever having heard this heresy will be encouraged to put off his salvation at least until he begins to see the signs! If he continues in this expectation, looking for signs, then he will find himself suddenly destroyed (1Thess. 5:3) when "God [as a thief in the night] shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they ALL might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2Thess. 2:11-12).

SPECIAL MEANS OF HIGHLIGHTING

All bold faced type, and all words written with ALL CAPS have been added by the author to emphasize certain words and phrases. All words contained in [brackets] are added to give the proper context or to add explanatory notes. Words which have been italicized within quotations are reprinted as found.

All scripture quotations are from God's pure and preserved word, the King James Authorized Bible (Ps. 12:6-7).

Return to Table of Contents


 

THE DAY OF THE LORD

JUDGMENT AND BLESSING

Concerning the "day of the Lord" Brother Rosenthal makes the following statements:

"The error of such logic [that the Day of the Lord begins with the tribulation period] is that it assumes that the Day of the Lord commences when the seventieth week of Daniel begins. But a careful examination of the biblical data will clearly indicate that it does not" (p. 117).

We do not intend to look at "biblical data," but carefully and prayerfully at the living word of the living God. When we do, I trust that you will find Brother Rosenthal's statement to be completely false, as we most certainly have!

Concerning the extent of "the day of the Lord," Brother Rosenthal wrote:

"There is no blessing associated with the Day of the Lord. It is the most awesome period of divine judgment the world will ever know. Nonetheless, and amazingly, some Bible teachers insist that the Day of the Lord is a time of darkness and light, judgment and blessing, night and day. They do so by starting the Day of the Lord at the beginning of Daniel's seventieth week and then extending it through the millennial kingdom " (p. 126).

Brother Rosenthal sets forth four arguments contrary to the scriptures concerning the Day of the Lord:

"Concerning the termination point of the Day of the Lord, four arguments are advanced to show that the Day of the Lord cannot include the Millennium, as pretribulationism normally teaches. First, the description of the Day of the Lord in the Old Testament is exclusively a time of devastating judgment. No blessing is associated with it" (p. 127).

Jer. 23:28 The prophet that hath a dream, let him tell a dream; and he that hath my word, let him speak my word faithfully. What is the chaff to the wheat? saith the LORD.

When we look at the Old Testament we find the statement that, "the day of the Lord cannot include the Millennium" to be false. We find both judgment and blessing in "the day of the Lord," for it is "one day which shall be known unto the Lord" (Zech. 14:6).

In Zechariah's prophecy we find that the day of the Lord includes both judgment AND blessing:

THE JUDGMENT
Zech. 14:1 Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

THE BLESSING
Zech. 14:6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9 And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin's gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king's winepresses.
11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
To say that "that day" (Zech. 14:8) does not refer to "the day of the Lord" (Zech. 14:1) is simply NOT TRUE! "That" is a pronoun whose antecedent is "the day of the Lord." The Bible says, "in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem" (Zech. 14:8). We read about the millennial temple in Ezekiel and how there will be waters issuing out from it at that time. Is this not a blessing?

Ezek. 47:1 Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward: for the forefront of the house stood toward the east, and the waters came down from under from the right side of the house, at the south side of the altar.
8 Then said he unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: which being brought forth into the sea, the waters shall be healed.
12 And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine.

If you have any doubt that Ezekiel is talking about the millennium, then read Ezekiel chapters 47 and 48 and note the context.

In Isaiah's prophecy we find the day of the Lord includes both judgment AND blessing:

JUDGMENT
Isa. 24:21 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth.
22 And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.

BLESSING
Isa. 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

Compare Isaiah 24:23 (above) with Zech. 14:6-7:

Zech. 14:6 And it shall come to pass in that day [the day of the Lord (Zech. 14:6)], that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the LORD, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.

Read Isa. 11 and 12 taking everything in context and you will find a mixture of judgment and blessing "in that day," "the day of the Lord."

BLESSING
Isa. 11:10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

JUDGMENT
Isa. 11:13 The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim.

BLESSING
Isa. 12:4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the LORD, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
5 Sing unto the LORD; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.
6 Cry out and shout, thou inhabitant of Zion: for great is the Holy One of Israel in the midst of thee.

Read the following verses from Joel and see the same mixture of judgment and blessing included in "the day of the Lordthat day."

JUDGMENT
Joel 3:14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.
15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining.
16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.

BLESSING
Joel 3:17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.
18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim.

And yet, in the light of all these clear scriptures, Brother Rosenthal continues with his second argument against the scriptures:

"Second, the supposed exegetical basis for extending the day of the Lord through the Millennium rests solely on one verse of Scripture" (p. 128).

Of course, we have already looked at several verses of scripture, taken in context, which show a mixture of judgment and blessing during the "day of the Lord." Which "one verse of Scripture" is Brother Rosenthal talking about? He is talking about 2Peter 3:10! The verse needs very little explanation. Nevertheless, we will compare "line upon line" (Isa. 28:10, 13) and ask that the Holy Ghost teach us:

2 Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

BEGINNING OF THE DAY OF THE LORD

According to Brother Rosenthal, the "day of the Lord" does not begin until the seventh seal is opened. This means, according to Brother Rosenthal, that the church will have seen and experienced the results of the first six seals prior to the rapture of the church!

"After the opening of the sixth seal there is cosmic disturbance, and then men flee to the mountains to attempt to escape from God's wrath. That is precisely what the Old Testament writers said would occur immediately prior to the Day of the Lord" (p. 170).

In order that you will know part of what Brother Rosenthal teaches that the church will go through prior to its rapture, read what John writes in Revelation about the events of the sixth seal:

Rev. 6:12 And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;
13 And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind.
14 And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places.
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?

Please take careful note that these men did NOT "say, Peace and safety" (1 Thess. 5:3) just before "the great day of his wrath is come" (Rev. 6:17). They "said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us" (Rev. 6:16). So, how could Revelation chapter six possibly be speaking of the coming or beginning of "the day of the Lord" when the Bible clearly says that "they shall say, Peace and safety" (1Thess. 5:3) when "the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (1Thess. 5:2)? The day of God's wrath does not come as a thief in the night! It comes with many signs, those which Brother Rosenthal calls "cosmic disturbances."

Brother Rosenthal comments in another chapter of his book on the day of the Lord:

"Sixth, John notes that with the opening of the seventh seal there is silence in heaven: "And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour" (Rev. 8:1). That silence is immediately and directly associated with seven angels who were entrusted with the seven trumpet judgments (Rev. 8:2). Why this silence in heaven immediately prior to the trumpet judgments? Simply stated, because there is a command for silence associated with the outpouring of God's wrath during the Day of the Lord. In this regard, the prophet Zephaniah wrote, "Hold thy peace at the presence of the Lord GOD: for the day of the LORD is at hand: for the LORD hath prepared a sacrifice, he hath bid his guests" (Zeph. 1:7). The world is called upon to be silent with the awareness that the Day of the Lord has arrived that divine judgment is about to fall" (p. 171).

Brother Rosenthal states that the world will be aware that the day of the Lord has come. The "silence" was in HEAVEN, not on the earth! It is impossible to reconcile his statement with the scripture which says, "the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2)! A thief coming in the night to steal your pearls doesn't warn you that he is coming! He doesn't run his automobile up and down the street in front of your house blowing his horn and flashing his lights on and off to wake you up before he breaks into your house! The scriptures clearly teach that the "day of the Lord" begins with the rapture of the Church. Look at the context:

1 Thess. 4:16 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 [the first resurrection]:
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. 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

We need not remain in darkness because we have the light of God's word (Ps. 119:165), but the world is in darkness and not the least bit concerned about the "thief in the night". They laugh at us Bible believers who are looking for him. We are looking for him because we know the truth! We hear the Shepherd's voice and we hear not the voice of a stranger!

John 12:46 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.

Ps. 119:105 Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

One of the many things the truth will make the Bible believer free (John 8:31-32) from are heresies such as The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church.. Christians are NOT looking for the events of the first six seals! We are NOT looking for "the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, [to] stand in the holy place" (Matt. 24:15), nor are we looking for any of the other events of the great tribulation. We are NOT looking for the day when men will run and hide from the face of the Lord, but for the day when men will say, "Peace and safety" (1 Thess. 5:3), the day when the Lord will call his Church out of this wicked world, the day when God will destroy all of the Christ rejecters with a "strong delusion" (2Thess. 2:8-12) and NOT with "hail and fire mingled with blood" (Rev. 8:7) as taught by Brother Rosenthal!

We are "Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ" (Titus 2:13), who will come into the clouds of this world "as a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2) to take his bride away. Those who were called by the Holy Ghost (Eph. 4:4; 2Thess. 2:14) when they heard or read the "gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24) and refused to come to Jesus Christ (John 5:40) will not know what happened! They will be suddenly destroyed by the "strong delusion" of God and will believe a lie. They will ALL "be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2 Thess. 2:10-12)!

The rapture of the Church precedes a day of great delusion by the antichrist (2 Thess. 2:7-12; 1 Thess. 4:165:5). The rapture of the tribulation saints precedes a day of great destruction on the day of God's wrath. See the section on TWO FUTURE RAPTURES. Brother Rosenthal's gravest error is the lack of discernment between the rapture of the Church and the rapture of the tribulation saints!

So we see that "the day of the Lord" WILL begin when the Lord Jesus Christ comes as a thief in the night for his Church, the "pearl of great price" (Matt. 13:46). Therefore the rapture IS included in and marks the beginning of "the day of the Lord" according to the scriptures.

Also included in "the day of the Lord" is the destruction of this earth.

2 Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

How much plainer can that be? "Which" is the pronoun whose antecedent is "the day of the Lord," so we would be grammatically correct to say that this scripture is saying that, "IN the day of the Lord the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up".

For further clarification of this grammatically correct interpretation read the following:

2 Pet. 3:12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Listen to Noah Webster's definition of wherein: "In which; in which thing, time, respect, book, &c." In other words, during "the day of the Lord," in that time period, the heavens shall pass away.

TWO RESURRECTIONS

The rapture of the church is part of "the first resurrection" or "the resurrection of life." The Lord Jesus, speaking of the two resurrections, spoke in similar terms:

John 5:28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,
29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation. See also Acts 24:15; Dan. 12:2.

This "hour" cannot literally mean an hour with only sixty minutes, but a time period during which both "the resurrection of life" AND "the resurrection of damnation" occur. We believe that the two resurrections will occur in the same day called, "the day of the Lord." This means that "the day of the Lord" is a thousand years, because after the first resurrection [the resurrection of life], the saints reign with the Lord for a thousand years, and only then are the rest of the dead raised [the resurrection of damnation] for judgment at the great white throne AFTER the "heaven and earth fled away".

Rev. 20:4 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.
11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.
12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

DURATION OF THE DAY OF THE LORD

Brother Rosenthal, did some expounding of 2 Peter 3 in his book and correctly establishes that the context of 2 Peter 3 is the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, but for some strange reason he completely ignores 2 Peter 3:8. He skipped over the key prophetical verse, the one that warns about being "ignorant"!:

2 Pet. 3:8 But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.

In the context, "one day" would be a reference to "the day of the Lord" (2 Peter 3:10)! God said that it was a thousand years long (2 Peter 3:8). The Lord will reign on this earth for a thousand years (Rev. 20:4). Since God rested on the seventh day of creation (Gen. 2:2) and "the day of the Lord" is a thousand years long, we should not be surprised that the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, should reign as the KING OF KINGS during the final day (a thousand years) to bring peace and rest to this earth prior to the passing away of this present heavens and earth and his creation of a new heavens and a new earth. So we read:

Isa. 11:10 And in THAT DAY there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.

Isa. 24:23 Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.

Brother Rosenthal states his third argument against the scriptures:

"Third, if Peter is speaking of A day of the Lord at the end of the Millennium, there must be two distinct prophetic occasions called the Day of the Lord. As has been demonstrated, the Millennium cannot properly be included in the Day of the Lord" (p. 129).

We have demonstrated that the Millennium, the thousand year reign of Jesus Christ on the earth, IS INCLUDED in the Day of the Lord, according to the scriptures.

HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY

Brother Rosenthal then states his fourth and final argument against the scriptures regarding the Day of the Lord:

"Fourth, 2 Peter 3:10 is not describing a judgment at the end of the MillenniumIn verse 6 Peter reminds his readers that in the days of Noah "the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished." Although the word perished was used to describe the flood judgment, it was neither the end o f the earth nor of all life. After the flood, Noah, his family, and the animals disembarked from the ark and replenished the earth. In the same manner, when Peter speaks of "the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men" (v. 7) and "the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are in it, shall be burned up" (v. 10), he is not talking of total annihilation of the earth any more than the earth perishing in the days of Noah was total annihilation. He is talking of nonannihilative judgment during the Day of the Lord as the prophets foretold, but in connection with Christ's return before the Millennium begins. In verse 9 Peter declares" (pp. 129-130).

The word "perished" is used by Peter concerning the flood. Perish means 'to destroy,' and if we go back to the scriptures and find out what God said he was going to accomplish with the flood we can see that he never intended to destroy the earth itself, but "every thing that is in the earth"

Gen. 6:17 And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and every thing that is in the earth shall die.

But this is NOT what 2 Peter 3:10 says:

2 Pet. 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, THE EARTH ALSO AND the works that are therein shall be burned up.

The apostle writes that God is going to destroy not only "the works that are therein," but also "the earth also" itself. Is this the only scripture that makes such an astounding statement? Of course not! It is recorded three times that the Lord Jesus Christ said:

Matt. 24:35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Also see Mark 13:31 and Luke 21:33.

This of course agrees with 2 Peter 3:10. The Lord didn't say there would be a "nonannihilative judgment" of the earth! He said, "HEAVEN AND EARTH SHALL PASS AWAY"! Heaven and earth WILL pass away, and they will pass away IN the day of the Lord, because the Lord will make a new heavens and a new earth for the righteous to dwell in. I wonder why Brother Rosenthal failed to mention any of the above scriptures nor any of the following scriptures which CLEARLY state what God is going to do with the earth regardless of what anyone has to say about it!

Isa. 65:17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the FORMER shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

God's word says that this earth, "the FORMER" (after he burns it up), will not be remembered nor come into mind. We won't have a milky way or a big dipper or a little dipper in the heavens to remind us of this old wicked and sin-cursed world. There won't be anything in the new earth either that will remind us of this old earth, because, according to the scriptures, this old earth will be burned up! Unfortunately, Brother Rosenthal uses the word "annihilation," which isn't even a scientifically correct word, much less a Bible word. Some of us believe that the present heavens and earth, which WILL BE BURNED UP, will not be annihilated but that "the lake of fire" will be composed of the for ever burning remains. See the second law of thermodynamics.

Isa. 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

Notice that in contrast to THE PRESENT EARTH, which is "reserved unto fire" (2 Peter 3:7), the Lord said that THE FUTURE EARTH "which I will make, shall remain before me" (Isa. 66:22).

Rev. 20:11 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.

Rev. 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

And, brother, it makes no difference what ANY Bible scholar drew up in an impressive chart about the renovation of the earth, or how intelligent his argument sounds, or how well this fits with your "Christian philosophy". What did God say in plain English? I trust that this is enough scripture to convince the Bible believer of the truth on this subject.
The "day of the Lord" begins with the rapture of the church from the earth to face "the judgment seat of Christ" (Rom. 14:10; 2 Cor. 5:10) and ends with the rapture of the damned out of hell to face Jesus Christ (John 5:22; 2 Tim. 4:1) sitting on the "great white throne" (Rev. 20:11). See also 2 Tim. 4:1.

Return to Table of Contents


TWO FUTURE RAPTURES

Col. 2:8 Beware lest any MAN spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

PRIVATE INTERPRETATION

Speaking of the rapture of the church, Brother Rosenthal wrote:

"4. The apostle Paul gives the timing for the Rapture of the church. Writing to the Corinthians he said, "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump" (1 Cor. 15:51-52). In context, Paul is not simply speaking about resurrection but of the believer's future glorified body and the fact that one generation will escape physical death by rapture. That Rapture will occur at the last trump. The last trump is the final outpouring of God's wrath.

A cursory examination of the book of Revelation will indicate that all seven trumpets are contained in the seventh seal, and the seven bowls are contained in the seventh trumpet. Therefore, the trumpets and bowls are contained in the seventh seal. They are a comprehensive whole, the final wrath of Godthe last trump" (pp. 131-132).

This is stretching things a bit, don't you think? Please take note that "trump" is the sound made by a trumpet and not the trumpet itself. The word "trump" is only found two times in the Bible: in 1 Cor. 15:52 and 1 Thess. 4:16, both being references to the rapture of the church. What this has to do with the seven trumpets of Revelation is still a mystery to me, but Brother Rosenthal uses the argument above to place the timing for the rapture of the church. He comes up with the private interpretation that since "the trumpets and bowls [He means "vials". There aren't any "bowls" to be found in Revelation.] are contained in the seventh seal. They are a comprehensive whole, the final wrath of God the last trump".

2 Pet. 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

If Brother Rosenthal can pull out that kind of private interpretation, then what is so strange about a Bible believer connecting the "trumpet" that "trumps" (1Cor. 15:52; 1Thess. 4:16 17) to call the church out to meet the Lord in the air with the "trumpet" that talks with John the apostle and calls him to heaven to view the events of the "great tribulation"? Brother Rosenthal makes light of the "pre-tribulationist" who refers to similitudes and types, even though that is one of the ways God teaches his people!

Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.

THE DELIVERER(S)

One of the most obvious reasons that we know there are two future raptures is because of the different deliverers God will send for the two groups.

We have already looked at 1 Thess. 4:16, but lets's look at it specifically to find WHO is coming for the Church.

1 Thess. 4:16 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:

I have highlighted the words, "the Lord HIMSELF shall descend from heaven" There is also no doubt that this is a reference to the Church, for the Church is the body of Christ and the only ones "in Christ" at this present time.
What a blessing! THE LORD HIMSELF is coming to catch us away! This is why the apostle Paul wrote that we are:

Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ

Not only is the Lord coming for the church, but he is not coming himself to get the tribulation saints, but will send his angels.

Matt. 24:31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

And what will the tribulation saints SEE before they are delivered by the angels?

Mark 13:24 But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
25 And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.
26 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.
27 And THEN shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.

May I remind you that when "the Lord himself" comes for the church that he will come "as a thief in the night" (1Thess. 4-5)? These are two different raptures, and don't let any MAN teach you differently!

STRONG DELUSION

Again, Brother Rosenthal writes:

"Deliverance of the righteous immediately precedes judgment of the wicked. To postulate a period of time between rapture (deliverance) and wrath (judgment) is to contradict the Scriptures" (p. 140).

Of course, we do not postulate anything. What greater illustration of God's wrath could be demonstrated than the "strong delusion" God will send immediately after the rapture of the church (2Thess. 2:7), when "that Wicked be revealed" (2Thess. 2:8), "That they ALL might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness" (2Thess. 2:12)? God is not going to kill these men, He is going to send them strong delusion and a deceiver to deceive them. The Lord will fix their darkened hearts so that they CANNOT REPENT! These men will experience the terrible judgments and the wrath of God upon the earth, but they will not repent because God will have rendered them reprobate and incapable of repentance! Those who have heard the gospel and have rejected Jesus Christ will suffer not only the wrath of God's delusion, but some of them will go through His terrible judgment robbed by the Lord of the ability to repent.
After being tormented for five months by supernatural locusts to the point of wanting to die but not being able to die (Rev. 9:1-10), and after seeing a third of the men on earth killed by supernatural horsemen (Rev. 9:16-19) we read:

Rev. 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk: 21 Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.
9 And men were scorched with great heat, and blasphemed the name of God, which hath power over these plagues: and they repented not to give him glory.

God has rendered these men incapable of repentance! God sent them a "strong delusion" at the same point in time as the rapture of the church! They not only suffer the wrath of God in a physical judgment, but they have been deluded by God with a spiritual judgment since the very beginning of the "great tribulation".

Is not this certainly a manifestation of the WRATH OF GOD? Does Brother Rosenthal not believe God's total and absolute and final deception of a man to destruction to be the administration of his wrath, and further, does he not know that the WRATH OF GOD abides upon all lost people at this very moment?

John 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

A PREPOSTEROUS INTERPRETATION

On page 142 of his book, Brother Rosenthal makes the statement:

"The first seal depicts a white horse and rider (Rev. 6:1-2). Dispensational pretribulationists have consistently and almost universally interpreted the emergence of this horse and rider to represent the Antichrist who will at first conquer by deception (Matt. 24:5; Rev. 6:2). If the second, third, and fourth seals are attributed to God, so also must the first one be. If the seals are God's wrath, then God alone must take direct responsibility for a counterfeit religious system and the emergence of the Antichrist, for that is precisely what the first seal depicts.

To attribute the emergence of the antichrist to God is obviously preposterous" (p. 142).

When I first read this I could hardly believe the words! Have no doubt about it, GOD WILL "TAKE DIRECT RESPONSIBILITY FOR A COUNTERFEIT RELIGIOUS SYSTEM AND THE EMERGENCE OF THE ANTICHRIST"! This statement is NOT preposterous to a Bible believer! May we briefly give a few reasons why?

DECEPTION OF GOD

God told Ezekiel very plainly that when men set up idols in their heart and turn away from God that he will deceive the false prophet as a judgment against them:

Ezek. 14:6 Therefore say unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Repent, and turn yourselves from your idols; and turn away your faces from all your abominations.
7 For every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart, and putteth the stumblingblock of his iniquity before his face, and cometh to a prophet to inquire of him concerning me; I the LORD will answer him by myself:
8 And I will set my face against that man, and will make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from the midst of my people; and ye shall know that I am the LORD.
9 And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel.
10 And they shall bear the punishment of their iniquity: the punishment of the prophet shall be even as the punishment of him that seeketh unto him;

Did you see that? God said, "I the LORD have deceived that prophet" (Ezek. 14:9)! If God deceived the false prophet to Israel, is it any wonder that God will deceive the final and greatest false prophet the world will ever see? The antichrist is part of THE JUDGMENT OF GOD upon a wicked and Christ rejecting world. Observe carefully the following verses:

Ps. 9:16 The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah.
17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Ps. 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword:

They would not listen to God, therefore God will send them one of their own kind using their own devises to destroy them!

Prov. 1:30 They would none of my counsel: they despised all my reproof.
31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
The classic scriptural example of this is found in 1Kings chapter 22. The scene is where Ahab king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were discussing whether they should go up to Ramoth in Gilead to take it out of the hand of the king of Syria. Jehoshaphat asked Ahab to enquire of the Lord about the matter. So Ahab gathered about four hundred prophets together to enquire of them who with one voice affirmed to the king, "Go up; for the Lord shall deliver it into the hand of the king" (1 Kings 22:6).

1 Kgs. 22:7 And Jehoshaphat said, Is there not here a prophet of the LORD besides, that we might inquire of him?
8 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, There is yet one man, Micaiah the son of Imlah, by whom we may inquire of the LORD: but I hate him; for he doth not prophesy good concerning me, but evil. And Jehoshaphat said, Let not the king say so.

Ahab hated God's prophet who spoke God's word faithfully because what he preached was obviously against this wicked Ahab!

1 Kings 22:9 Then the king of Israel called an officer, and said, Hasten hither Micaiah the son of Imlah
15 So he came to the king. And the king said unto him, Micaiah, shall we go against Ramothgilead to battle, or shall we forbear? And he answered him, Go, and prosper: for the LORD shall deliver it into the hand of the king.
16 And the king said unto him, How many times shall I adjure thee that thou tell me nothing but that which is true in the name of the LORD?
17 And he said, I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd: and the LORD said, These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.
18 And the king of Israel said unto Jehoshaphat, Did I not tell thee that he would prophesy no good concerning me, but evil?

Ahab hated Micaiah because his preaching went against Ahab's will! That is exactly why sinners hate God's preachers today. God is against their wilful sin!

1 Kings 22:19 And he said, Hear thou therefore the word of the LORD: I saw the LORD sitting on his throne, and all the host of heaven standing by him on his right hand and on his left.
20 And the LORD said, Who shall persuade Ahab, that he may go up and fall at Ramothgilead? And one said on this manner, and another said on that manner.
21 And there came forth a spirit, and stood before the LORD, and said, I will persuade him.
22 And the LORD said unto him, Wherewith? And he said, I will go forth, and I will be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets. And he said, Thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also: go forth, and do so.
23 Now therefore, behold, the LORD hath put a lying spirit in the mouth of all these thy prophets, and the LORD hath spoken evil concerning thee.

The LORD put a lying spirit in the mouth of four hundred false prophets so that Ahab would go up to the battle at Ramoth in Gilead and be killed. Is it then "PREPOSTEROUS" that God would send the devil to incarnate the antichrist so that those who reject his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ would be deceived and damned? Certainly not!

Dan. 4:17 This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men.

The most base of all men who will ever walk the face of the earth is the antichrist, and there is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that God is going to give the kingdom of men to him during the great tribulation to accomplish His purposes. Please read the following additional six examples of the LORD's strange work of deception:

1. It was the LORD who even wrote his Bible to deceive and stumble those who despise it that they might be destroyed!

Isa. 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.
12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.
13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

Prov. 13:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed: but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.

2. It was the LORD who sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem so that they would destroy each other:

Judg. 9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech:
24 That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.

3. It was the LORD who caused Absalom and all his men to reject the good counsel of Ahithophel:

2 Sam. 17:14 And Absalom and all the men of Israel said, The counsel of Hushai the Archite is better than the counsel of Ahithophel. For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom.

4. It was the LORD who hardened the hearts of the nations occupying the promised land that they might be destroyed:

Josh. 11:19 There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle.
20 For it was of the LORD to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly, and that they might have no favour, but that he might destroy them, as the LORD commanded Moses.

5. It will be the LORD who will put into the hearts of the ten kings the desire to destroy the whore:

Rev. 17:16 And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire.
17 For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled.

6. God hardened Pharaoh's heart in order to accomplish his purposes:

Exod. 14:4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, that he shall follow after them; and I will be honoured upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host; that the Egyptians may know that I am the LORD. And they did so.

On the cover of Brother Rosenthal's book are found the words, "A new understanding of the Rapture, the Tribulation, and the Second Coming". There's nothing new about Brother Rosenthal's philosophy. The Charismatics have been tossing people about on the dark waters of this same exact issue for years! Thank God that the Bible believer can be solidly anchored to the rock of scripture, and no kind of heretical storm can move him!

STRAINING REASON

Brother Rosenthal highlights the following statement in his book:

"It strains reason to think that once God begins His Day of the Lord wrath, the Antichrist is able to assume control of the world" (p. 143).

Throughout his book, Brother Rosenthal uses the phrase "Day of the Lord wrath," which is NOT the Bible phrase, "the day of the Lord's wrath" (Zeph. 1:18), neither is it a grammatically correct phrase. It means NOTHING scripturally! As we have shown, "the day of the Lord" DOES include both judgment and blessing. I believe what Brother Rosenthal is saying here is that it strains HIS reason to think that the antichrist can assume control of the world within "the day of the Lord". This is not at all unreasonable when we understand that the antichrist is serving God's purposes during the tribulation!

Ps. 17:13 Arise, O LORD, disappoint him, cast him down: deliver my soul from the wicked, which is thy sword

The antichrist is called, "that Wicked" (2 Thess. 2:8). Therefore, the antichrist is God's sword to bring judgment upon a God forsaking world during the great tribulation! Now THAT may strain Brother Rosenthal's reason, but that is what the Bible says! We Bible believers find "rest" and "refreshing" from the word of the Lord (Isa. 28:12)!

1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.

Now, let's zero in on these two future raptures and prove by the scriptures that these things are so (Acts 18:28).

THE RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH

Prov. 8:8 All the words of my mouth are in righteousness; there is nothing froward or perverse in them.
9 They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge.

In Rev. 4, John the apostle is caught up into heaven to be shown the "things which must be hereafter" (Rev. 4:1). John was to be shown the things which would come to pass in the FUTURE, not the things as they were in heaven in John's lifetime. John first sees the twenty four elders sitting around the throne of God, and he sees the four beasts in the midst and round about the throne. THEN, in Rev. 5, which is obviously a continuation in time of what John saw, John sees the seven sealed book in the right hand of him that sat on the throne (Rev. 5:1). THEN, John saw the Lamb of God take the book out of the hand of him that was sitting on the throne after being told by one of the elders, "Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof" (Rev. 5:5). Now, let's let the scripture continue to describe what John saw.

Rev. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;
12 Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Who are "they" who sing a "new song" and number over a hundred million? Why, there is no doubt about it: this is the "church of God" seen by John already in heaven BEFORE the first seal was opened by the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev. 6:1).

A MISTAKEN IDENTIFICATION

Brother Rosenthal identifies, "they which came out of great tribulation" (Rev. 7:14) as the church. The "church" is in heaven BEFORE the first seal is opened. These are in fact the "tribulation saints":

"Fourth, in Revelation 6 John immediately recognizes the martyrs as those who "were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held" (v. 9). In Revelation 7 it is clear that John does not recognize who this great multitude is. To the question directly proposed to John, "Who are these?" (v. 13), he gives this response: "Sir, thou knowest" (v. 14), a clear admission that he did not recognize them.

If this great multitudewhich suddenly appears in heaven, which no man can number, and which has universal representationare not martyrs, who are they"

This great multitude, innumerable, universal, and suddenly appearing in heaven with white robes (purified) and palm branches (triumphant), is the raptured church" (pp. 184-185).

HERESY! Brother Rosenthal teaches that the multitude seen in Rev. 7:9-14 is "the raptured church"! The reader should kindly take note that these "which came out of great tribulation" are seen AFTER the sixth seal (Rev. 6:17) and BEFORE the seventh seal (Rev. 8:1)! Brother Rosenthal uses this as an argument in his book for the PRE WRATH RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH. However we have already seen "the church" in heaven BEFORE the first seal is opened. Let us go on now and establish that these over a hundred million in heaven are in fact the church.

Can we find any other references to this multitude "which came out of great tribulation" (Rev. 7:9-14) so that we can identify them? Thank God, we can!

144,000

First of all we notice that the 144,000 male, virgin (Rev. 14:4), Jewish servants of God (Rev. 7:1-8) were also singing "a new song before the throne" in heaven (Rev. 14:3). They were singing a new song which no other man could learn! They were seen in heaven before the seven vials containing the seven last plagues were poured out upon the earth (Rev. 15-16). Therefore the MULTITUDE singing "a new song" BEFORE the opening of the FIRST SEAL cannot be the same as the 144,000 singing "a new song" (which only the 144,000 could learn) in heaven AFTER the opening of the SIXTH SEAL!

TRIBULATION SAINTS

Secondly, we again see the tribulation saints, and there is no doubt that they are they which went through part of the great tribulation. Read the following account:

Rev. 15:2 And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God.
3 And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.
4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

These "that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, and over the number of his name" are the same as "they which came out of great tribulation" (Rev. 7:14). They both are said to have come out AFTER the opening of the SIXTH SEAL! They CANNOT be the church, which was raptured BEFORE THE FIRST SEAL!

TWO SONGS

Furthermore, this cannot be the church of God which sings "a new song," for these people are singing two songs: "they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, AND the song of the Lamb" (Rev. 15:3). This multitude is made up of the Jewish remnant which naturally sings "the song of Moses the servant of God" and of the Gentiles which sing "the song of the Lamb". To say that this group is the church is not only heresy, but it reveals a strange BLINDNESS to the clear and plain statements of the scripture!

Let's go back to Revelation 5 where we found the church in heaven before the first seal and head off an argument that will surely surface sooner or later.

Rev. 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
11 And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;

ANGELS OR SAINTS

One might well point out that John heard the voice of many "angels" and that it was the "angels" that numbered over a hundred million. One might use this to attempt to refute the assertion that this is indeed the church of God in heaven before the first seal is opened. First of all, verse 9 states that "people" were speaking and singing to God and not angels.

Secondly, these people had been "redeemed" by the BLOOD!

Eph. 1:7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace

Thirdly, John said that he "beheld" [saw] "many angels". This explanation may lose some of you, but if you are a Bible believer, then it's simply "line upon line," brother! The Lord Jesus Christ, speaking of the state of those who are counted worthy of going to heaven spoke the following:

Matt. 22:30 For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.

So, when John saw the redeemed in heaven after the resurrection, he saw them "as angels" and reported exactly what he saw! Not only that, but the "angel" which showed John "that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God" (Rev. 21:10) turned out not to be an angel, as John recorded that he was, but one of his brethren, a prophet, even though John SAW HIM AS AN ANGEL!

Rev. 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which showed me these things.
9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: worship God.

BLIND SPOT

Brother Rosenthal has a blind spot which causes him to skip the appearance of the Church in Revelation 5:

"Chapters 4 and 5 describe a heavenly scene depicting God seated upon His throne. In this heavenly scene, the church would not be expected to be in view [and why not, Brother Rosenthal?]. Chapter 6 describes the opening of the first six seals and concludes with the statement that God's wrath "is come" (i.e., is about to occur). It is precisely at this point of time, before the opening of the seventh seal and the commencement of God's wrath, that the church is raptured in chapter 7" (p. 245).

PLAINLY therefore, we have Brother Rosenthal's heresy revealed as a nonscriptural PHILOSOPHY.

Eccl. 10:1 Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savour: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honour.

The CHURCH IS SEEN IN HEAVEN BEFORE the Lord Jesus Christ opens the FIRST SEAL, while the TRIBULATION SAINTS are seen in heaven AFTER THE SIXTH SEAL is opened. Can they be the same group? Of course not!

ATTACKING THE WORD AND DOCTRINE

Brother Rosenthal changes God's word and then use his change to argue his own heresy! Commenting on 1 Thess. 3:13 he wrote:

" 'Saints' in this verse is an unfortunate and inappropriate translation. 'Saints' in this verse does not refer to believers. The Greek word hagios should be translated holy ones and is a reference to angelic beings. These angelic beings will accompany Christ at His coming (parousia) [cf. Matt. 25:31; 2 Thess. 1:7-8; Rev. 19:14]. In no sense, then, can 1 Thessalonians 3:13 be used to support the teaching that the Lord comes for the church at the beginning of the seventieth week and then with the church at its end, as some contend" (p. 218).

Clearly speaking of the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, we read:

NEW TESTAMENT

1 Thess. 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

OLD TESTAMENT

Zech. 14:3 Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

Here is an Old Testament reference to the second coming which ALSO says that "the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee". God said that the Holy Ghost would teach the child of God by "comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (1Cor. 2:13), therefore let God teach you that when the Lord Jesus Christ comes at the second coming He will bring "ALL THE SAINTS" with him! He will bring the Old Testament saints (the firstfruits). He will bring the church age saints (the harvest). And He will bring the tribulation saints (the gleanings).

Even Enoch, who IS A TYPE OF THE CHURCH, prophesied of the second coming:

Jude 14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

Three times, God said that the Lord was coming WITH HIS SAINTS. Do you know what that means? It means the Lord is coming with his saints!

THE CHURCH IS COMING WITH THE LORD

Now, let's look at the three references given by Brother Rosenthal in the above quotation from his book on page 218 and see if these texts will introduce any problem to our understanding of what we have clearly seen the scriptures teach about the SAINTS coming back WITH the Lord.

Matt. 25:31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:

2 Thess. 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

We have already shown that the resurrected "saints" will be "as the angels" (Matt. 22:30), and how the "angel" that showed John things in heaven was a resurrected "prophet" (Rev. 22:9). We also know that Jesus Christ will come "with all his saints" (1 Thess. 3:13). Therefore there are certainly not any contradictions. Either the "angels" (Matt. 25:31; 2 Thess. 1:7) are a reference to the resurrected "saints," or Jesus Christ is coming "with all his saints" (1 Thess. 3:13) AND "all the holy angels with him" (Matt. 25:31). We see no problem here.

ARMIES IN HEAVEN

The last reference given by Brother Rosenthal which supposedly backs up his heresy is Revelation 19:14:

Rev. 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

Joel chapter two whose context is "the day of the Lord" refers also to the Lord's army:

Joel 2:11 And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the LORD is great and very terrible; and who can abide it?

Who are these "armies" (Rev. 19:14)? There are some definite answers to be found in the scriptures. Bildad asks:

Job 25:3 Is there any number of his armies? and upon whom doth not his light arise?
Bildad is no doubt talking about how many individuals make up the armies or hosts of the Lord, but there are some distinct armies of the Lord mentioned. We know who the captain of the host of the Lord is! The captain of the host is also the captain of our salvation the Lord Jesus Christ.

THE CAPTAIN

Josh. 5:14 And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant?
15 And the captain of the LORD'S host said unto Joshua, Loose thy shoe from off thy foot; for the place whereon thou standest is holy. And Joshua did so.

Hebr. 2:10 For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.

ANGELS are said to be an army:

Dan. 4:35 And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou

RESURRECTED ISRAEL is said to be an army (Read Ezekiel 37 for details):

Ezek. 37:10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

THE CHURCH OF GOD is said to be "an army," and yet, "two armies"!

Song 6:4 Thou art beautiful, O my love, as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem, terrible as an army with banners.
10 Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners?
13 Return, return, O Shulamite; return, return, that we may look upon thee. What will ye see in the Shulamite? As it were the company of two armies.

The church of God is one church, but it is made up of Jew and Gentile, so it is "as it were the company of two armies" (Song 6:13).

Eph. 2:14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby

I do not know the line up of all those who will make up those armies which will come with the Lord at the second coming, but I know for certain that the church of God will be among them! The same chapter shows that the "wife hath made herself ready" (v. 7), and that she was "arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints" (v. 8). Then I read in Rev. 19:14 that the armies were "clothed in fine linen white and clean" (v. 14). The scripture did not say that the fine linen is the righteousness of angels! So, the "saints" are coming with the Lord, according to the scriptures, as we have observed.

GOD'S WARNINGS

In reference to Matthew 24, Brother Rosenthal states:

"This entire passage is composed of warnings inside the seventieth week prior to the prewrath rapture and commencement of the Day of the Lord By its commitment to rapture before the seventieth week begins, pretribulationism totally negates these God given warnings to the church" (pp. 285-286).

Again, because Brother Rosenthal does not recognize that there are TWO raptures in the future, he fails to see that part of the verses in Matthew chapter 24 refer to the rapture of the church while some of them do in deed refer to the rapture of the tribulation saints. Pretribulationism doesn't negate anything in the scriptures. We certainly don't miss the rapture of the church and mistakenly identify the tribulation rapture as such! We would be the first to agree that the Bible has much to say concerning the rapture of the tribulation saints, however, the Bible also has much to say about the rapture of the church. We don't confuse the two, that's all.

To be more specific, there are verses that speak to the Jews who were blinded "in part" (Rom. 11:25) before the rapture of the church, and to the Gentiles who were never called by the gospel of grace prior to the rapture of the church. These now find themselves in the great tribulation. The following scriptures are speaking to these people:

Matt. 24:13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved [He does not take the mark of the beast. He escapes the sword and is not killed by the plagues and wars. He will be saved from physical death if he makes it to the time of the end when the Lord will send his angels to deliver them at the tribulation rapture].
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come [The gospel of the kingdom will be preached AGAIN; not the gospel of the grace of God. These are not the same! See section on THE FOUR GOSPELS].
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) [this happens in the middle of Daniel's seventieth week or the middle of the tribulation and is no doubt a tremendous SIGN]
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.
30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

No doubt about it, the people who are left in the world after the rapture of the church and are still at liberty to repent and turn to God, will have many signs and warnings before the tribulation rapture. Remember that there are some men who cannot repent because of God's delusion (See section on DECEPTION OF GOD).

Now, compare these verse with the following which are no doubt written to those people living in the church age before the rapture of the church:

Matt. 24:38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Notice carefully the wording: "knew not," "for ye know not," and "in such an hour as ye think not". These people will not see the signs given in the verses directed to the tribulation saint.

Even more graphic are the warnings of Luke chapter 21. Notice the following verses addressed to the people already in the tribulation:

Luke 21:11 And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.
25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
26 Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

They are looking for signs!

To the ones living in the church age before the tribulation, the Lord said:

Luke 21:35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

Notice that the church age saints may be accounted worthy to escape "all these things," and that the day of the Lord will come "as a snare on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth" (v. 35). Sounds like the Lord will come "as a thief in the night"!

In contrast, to the one already in the tribulation, the Lord said, "And when these things begin to come to pass for your redemption draweth nigh." The redeemed at the rapture of the church will "escape ALL these things," but the tribulation saint is told to watch for "these things" to mark the coming of the angels to redeem him from the earth.

To recap: In Matt. 24:38-44 his coming is "as a thief," but in Matt. 24:30-31 with signs! In Luke 21:35-36 he is coming "as a thief" and promises the possibility of escape from "all these things". In Luke 21:11, 25-28 his coming is "with signs".

The Lord will send his angels and gather together his elect AFTER they have finished serving God during the great tribulation by preaching "the gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 24:14) right up to the very end ["the times of the Gentiles" (Luke 21:24)], just before God pours out the vials containing his wrath upon the earth.

Is there any precedent set whereby we may divide verses in a chapter between such diverse events as the church age and tribulation raptures? Yes, of course! The example was given by the One who has preeminence in all things, the Lord Jesus Christ. When the Lord was given the scroll of Isaiah to read in the synagogue one day, he read the portion of Isa. 61:1-2 that pertained to his first coming and then returned the scroll and sat down. The interesting thing is that he did not even finish reading verse 2! He stopped reading at the comma! He stopped, because after the comma the scripture was speaking of his second coming. Look at the two parts of verse two:

Isa. 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;

The Lord stopped at the end of the highlighted portion because, "and the day of vengeance of our God" speaks of the second coming:

2 Thess. 1:7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ

Look at Luke's account of this:

Luke 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord [THIS IS WHERE THE COMMA IS IN ISAIAH 61:2].
20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

The Lord said that, "This day is THIS SCRIPTURE fulfilled in your ears," not the scripture that he didn't read! In the same manner we are to seek the guidance and leading of the Holy Ghost to be able to discern the proper divisions in the scriptures.

1 Cor. 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

2 Tim. 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Brother Rosenthal has completely overlooked the rapture of the church age saints just before the first seal is opened! He therefore is in great error! Because of his strange blindness to that tremendous Biblical event, he has therefore misappropriated the verses which apply to the rapture of the tribulation saints and has applied them in error to the church.

THE FOUR GOSPELS

One more point, then we must close this booklet. Look at Brother Rosenthal's comment on the preaching of the gospel:
"Second, in direct response to the inquiry of the disciples concerning "the end of the age," the Lord taught this truth: "And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matt. 24:14). The end had still not yet occurred, although the context is well into the seventieth week. But a new truth is added. The gospel will be preached in all the world before the end will come" (p. 227).

Brother Rosenthal goes on to tie the "gospel of the kingdom" to what is called "the great commission" given to the disciples by the Lord in Matt. 28:18-20, however this is a misapplication.

First of all, the disciples inquired of "the end of the WORLD" (Matt. 24:3)! Secondly, it is absolutely true that "The gospel" will be preached in all the world BEFORE the end will come. But which gospel? The "gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24)? No! The "gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 24:14)! The end of what? The church age? No! The WORLD! That is, the world governments will all end at the second coming of the King of kings!

The Lord Jesus Christ spoke of the "gospel of the kingdom" in relation to "the end".

Matt. 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

It is very important that the reader understand that "the gospel of the kingdom" (Matt. 24:14) is not the same as "the gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24). The gospel of the kingdom was preached by the Jewish disciples only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel before the Lord's resurrection (Matt. 10:5-6). After the resurrection, and after the "gospel of the grace of God" (Acts. 20:24) was revealed to the apostle Paul, the church knew that if they preached any other gospel they would be accursed (Gal. 1:8-9).

The only people preaching the "gospel of the kingdom" today are the cults such as "The Worldwide Church of God" and the "Jehovah's Witnesses". After the Church is raptured BEFORE the first seal is opened, THEN, during the great tribulation period, "the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations" (Matt. 24:14). To preach the "gospel of the kingdom" during the church age brings a curse! (Gal. 1:8-9).

We know that there are four separate gospels mentioned in the Bible and that they are all different. We know they are different because the WORDS ARE DIFFERENT! Things that aren't the same are different. I thought it might be helpful to list these so that the reader can see for himself.

1. The "gospel unto Abraham" prophesied the coming of the Lamb of God:

Gal. 3:8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Gen. 22:8 And Abraham said, My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering: so they went both of them together.

2. The "gospel of the kingdom" declared that the kingdom of God was at hand:

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God,
15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

The first time this gospel was preached only to Israel. The second time it will be "preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations" (Matt. 24:14).

3. The "gospel of the grace of God" (Acts 20:24) declares that the Lamb of God has already come and died for the sins of the world and is risen again! It would not have even been possible for the Jewish disciples to preach this gospel to Israel BEFORE CALVARY! It is the gospel given first to the apostle to the Gentiles by special revelation (Gal. 1:11-12). It is the gospel the Church has been commanded to preach to every creature (Matt. 18:18-20; Mark 16:15). The Church will fail to carry out this commission seeing that there will be a great multitude of Gentiles who will come out of great tribulation who had never heard the truth (Rev. 7:9-14; 2 Thess. 2:9-12).

1 Cor. 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

4. The everlasting gospel preached by an angel toward the end of the great tribulation period:

Rev. 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,
7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.

CONCLUSION

Almost two thousand years ago "Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15). More than fourteen years ago while reading "the record that God gave of his Son" (1 John 5:10) the Holy Ghost came to me and called me by the gospel (2 Thess. 2:14). Very soon, according to the scriptures, the Lord Jesus Christ will come "as a thief in the night" (1 Thess. 5:2) to call me up to himself in the clouds. I am certain of what the scriptures teach about this great event for the church. I hope and pray that God will teach you the same great and infallible truths; and that these truths will provoke you to a closer walk and a more effective service for the Lord until he comes.

We believe that the scriptures given in this little booklet are sufficient to establish the truth about the pretribulation rapture of the church. We purposely omitted many typologies which support the doctrine, but which are not necessary to establish the doctrine. We have also refrained from quoting other men on this subject, because our faith does not rest on the testimony of men, but rather on the testimony of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Rev. 19:10 for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

Rev. 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bill Pierce has been working as a missionary in the R.J. Donovan State Prison in San Diego, California and has been a member of the Lighthouse Baptist Church in San Diego for the past 9 1/2 years. He teaches verse by verse Bible classes in the Lighthouse Bible Institute and also in a Sunday School Class.

For additional copies of this booklet ($3 post-paid to anywhere in the United States, or $2 plus postage anywhere else) please write:

E-mail: KJBPIERCE@juno.com
Lighthouse Baptist Church
7024 Amherst St.
San Diego, CA 92115

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Before you accuse these two fine Christian brethren, first get your facts right. Attacking the cults is good and useful; however, don't focus on the minor cults without exposing the biggest, most evil and dangerous one first. Otherwise, don't be surprised if true born again Bible-believing Christians view your efforts with suspicion.

Before you accuse either of them of "hating Catholics," find out what you're talking about. It is not hate, but true love, that motivates these men to cry out to deceived lost souls perishing in a false religion. Who is guilty of hate? Men who try to awaken and rescue the perishing, or pious religious leaders who deceive multitudes and help push them into the eternal flames of hell?

No, it is neither Rivera or Chick who are guilty of hate. They are to be commended for their genuine love and compassion for the lost. If you care to discuss hate, study the history of the Catholic institution. Their past is replete with acts that perfectly define the word hate.


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