Rapture Timing Tidbits (part 3)

This series is written as a defense of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Timing

Far be it from You
to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Genesis 18:25

Why understanding the correct Rapture Timing is important

This has been super difficult for me deciding where to end each segment. I believe we all want to know the Rapture timing. Intending to keep it short and condensed has not worked well, as questions have been thrown out in recent discussions along with teachings of popular PreWrath teachers, or even accusations from some of the followers. So knowing where to draw the line was so hard, I had so much I wanted to say (But I still have several parts coming right behind this article). Forgive me if it feels too editorial. But so much has come up recently in discussions, I felt the need to explain some things that may be helpful to give a foundation for the upcoming parts.

Prewrath Timing

If PreWrath timing were somehow correct, then the church is put through the Tribulation, along with the wicked, to be purged and killed alike. Some say we’ll somehow be protected, but 1 Thess 1:9-10 says we’re delivered from the wrath to come. And Luke 21:36 speaks of those who are worthy to escape all these things (the Tribulation), and it’s not to be delivered on earth but TO stand before Him. These passages don’t differentiate (as PreWrath does) as to whether it is Satan’s wrath, Man’s wrath or God’s wrath (although we firmly believe all the seals, vials and trumpets, to be His wrath).

In that, I believe PreWrath timing contradicts Scripture. The Bible calls the Rapture ‘the Blessed Hope’. The coming Rapture is what we are told to ‘comfort one another with’. The Rapture is what we are ‘predestined to’ (the redemption of our bodies-Romans 8:23). We are awaiting the adoption. So the question is whether we can find the truth of the Pre-Trib timing in Scripture.

This part will be like a short parentheses in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture series, similar to how Revelation has several parenthetical passages. This is for narrative and further explanation. I hope you will find it easy to understand and orderly. 

Because I don’t like to reference other sites, initially I didn’t footnote a lot of the pages, but eventually decided to edit to include some quotes directly from Van Kampen’s site and Alan Kurscher (both strong PreWrath positions). I apologize for not having more citations, but am willing to try to look them up later for someone who sincerely would like them, or if someone has the citation I will edit it in..

Should we study prophecy?

Absolutely! I believe it is necessary and good for all of us to study prophecy, it is the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev 19:10). Some religions and factions have dismissed Revelation as already fulfilled. Others do not study it at all, they just ignore it. We have a problem in many of our churches. Not only is prophecy not studied, but the OT which contains many outstanding prophecies and foundation for understanding them, are completely ignored most of the time.

Some totally skip prophecy altogether. For example, search on Rick Warren’s website and see if you can find prophecy, rapture, end times (you won’t really find anything). And as for the Dominionists and New Apostolic Reformation false teachers, they believe they will bring about the Kingdom. We need to study all of His Word, because all of it is inspired (or God-breathed) and is profitable for everything we need to be complete and thoroughly equipped as a man or woman of God (2 Tim 3:14-17). 

The PreWrath Position

I hadn’t intended to share much of the PreWrath position initially, but it became kind of hard not to, while I saw so many comments by these teachers stated as a Biblical fact (without really backing up with much context or OT Scriptures that actually contradict them). Either can be wrong, but only one timing is right. But listening to (and reading them), I understand why there is more confusion these last days. The tendency seems to be offering up of opinions as fact, and usually a refusal to answer or just exchange reasoning with Scripture back and forth.

One thing I’d like to encourage believers to do (regardless of their position), is if you are involved in one of these discussions, please keep sound speech that can’t be condemned when you are disagreeing with others. Please be kind, gentle, meek, apt in instructing, be patient with others (2 Tim 2:23-26). People are out there calling each other heretics and worse (on all sides). This ought not to be so, just because someone doesn’t understand timing, or believes a different one than you. Don’t strive.

PreWrath teacher Charles Cooper says,

“After twenty years of study concerning the eschatological return of Jesus Christ for the joyous aerial reunion with his entire bride, we continue to marvel at the now thoroughly discredited defense of the view known as pretribulationism. It has changed very little despite the beating up it has received. As advocates of the PreWrath view, we remain on the lookout for anyone who seeks to present a compelling case for a Pretribulational Rapture. If PreWrath is not thought to be biblical, we want to be shown “why not?””1

Funny, I hadn’t heard that the Pre-Tribulation stance was ‘now thoroughly discredited.’  These types of statements are why I personally don’t tend to want to tarry long with them. They feel as if they have given us a sound beating, and yet we just stupidly and ignorantly plod on. Anyone who disagrees with them just do not present a ‘compelling case’.

With many of these in this doctrine, I have seen a pattern of commending of one’s length of study, what seminary they attended, how long they have been a believer, or how many church fathers and scholars they say agree with them. Some go further and mock the pre-trib position, or suggest we’re twisting Scripture (God forbid).

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2 Cor 10:12

Those tactics are not really conducive to wanting to hear them out (or even the KJVO pre-trib or pre-wrath position which can be just as harsh — I’ve seen both). I believe instead of listening to them, we should study the Word with God’s approval as our goal, and let it work as the Holy Spirit leads. Always being open to let go of tradition if it doesn’t line up. Ask questions. Observe the passage. Trust Him to teach you (Pr 22:17-21) and trust His timing in it as you apply yourself.

With PreWrath and Post-Trib (very similar positions), they often attack the Pre-trib view. Why not simply and calmly defend their position Biblically? I don’t want to be guilty of the same. We are all responsible to find out why what we believe is or is not Scriptural. I don’t think their debates are wrong if they choose to partake without being nasty towards one another, but I also haven’t found it particularly useful or beneficial for that reason.

Is Pretribulation a New Teaching?

PreWrath states pre-trib is new — a ‘young position’, or a ‘remote position’. I can only conclude the same for their timing position, which is ironically very recent. Robert Van Kampen came up with this around 1970, and as far as I know, no one else ever had a similar timing position. That doesn’t necessarily prove anything if we see it in Scripture, but I think this is a new and unusual thought process. 

Van Kampen, Kurschner, Cooper, Rosenthal and other pre-wrathers say they can cite all sorts of ‘church fathers’ to prove their position is the correct one. (I haven’t read their entire list, some I would never quote myself).

I will provide some other sources later, that contradict their assertions, but I don’t feel historical sources are something I want to base my beliefs on, rather stick with the Word instead.

Pan Trib

Because some argue or get angry over timing, people sometimes tend to avoid the discussion altogether. I get it, it is tempting to just stay quiet. Others might jokingly say they are a pan-tribber (it will all pan out in the end). But reading, hearing and keeping the words of Revelation comes with a Blessing (Rev 1:3). The book also comes with a warning for any who would add or take away from it (Rev 22:18-19). Should we not discuss it all?

I don’t believe we have to study every position out to the end simply because they use a lot more theological terms, or claim great lengths of time in studying eschatology in order to find the truth. I sat through a Phx Seminary course with my old pastor on Revelation. It was interesting, but it was more about the poisitions then studying the Scriptures themselves. End times theology (eschatology), without a solid balance of a multitude of counsel (all the Scriptures) seems lopsided to me. The book of Revelation quotes the OT more than any other book in the Bible. How will you correctly understand, without a concrete and deep foundation of those Scriptures? Or a willingness to study the cross references in context? That is not meant to be some sort of cut to anyone by any means. Just that we do not think of men beyond what is written (1 Cor 4:6).

Manipulative Language

I’m troubled that many of the main Prewrath teachers often use manipulative or unkind statements with their new teaching. Comments such as, serious Bible students will understand this”,  or those who are ‘Bereans’ are turning to this position”. I’ve heard them refer to Pre-tribulation believers as those who are led astray, carried about every wind of doctrine by the trickery of men.

Van Kampen says the only reason you believe what you do, is that you are “unwilling to give up your ‘traditions’ for the truth.” I do realize that can be true of a lot of people in a lot of areas of understanding. I know many who just want the facts (as Joe Friday used to say). Don’t let those statements affect you, a teacher should be seen teaching in the manner of 2 Tim 2:23-26 if they’re trying to recover someone from error. We can all learn something new if we are willing to keep studying and be open to the Lord and His Word vs. every new book that comes from man.

Consequently, the only implication I can receive from the main teachers, is that if you disagree with their teaching, you are not a serious student, nor a Berean, you cling to traditions, and you are deceived and immature. They also add that this is a matter of life and death for the elect, and cite Matt 24:31. This seems to be a serious misunderstanding of Eternal Security, so I also part there. Again, not all who believe this timing teach it.

What Bible Translation should one use to study?

Briefly, I personally am only interested in using literal translations. King James translation is one of the better literal ones out there (if you are willing to research the obsolete words – and you should if you use it). Whatever one chooses, I’d encourage you to stick with a literal translation always. Try to use the Strong’s concordance and cross-references to contrast to other Scriptures. Don’t allow another person’s interpretation of a passage to get in between you and the Word’s original intent when you are studying.

I like to have a few literal translations with two or three parallel translations open (I use biblegateway but be very cautious with all the false things they recommend as devotionals, etc.). I also may have another site opened with the Strong’s concordance or lexicons available. Blueletterbible includes the parsing (as others may), but again, all these sites have advertisements and recommendations to teachers/authors/past theologians, so be very careful and prove all things by His Word.

Be cautious with those who are KJVO (or say that the King James is the inspired Word vs. the copies of manuscripts we have). No time to get into the KJVO double-inspiration problems here, but beware of their leaven and the elevation of a translation over the original Word of God.

Our Blessed Hope

PreWrathers tend to mock (not all) Pre-Tribulation believers about all sorts of things, including, but not limited to, our denial of God (becoming apostate), taking the mark, our lack of preparation. An amusing one is ‘pretribbers just want to escape tribulation’. Admittedly, that time is frightening. But in that time of what I believe is God’s wrath, no one would be able to stand, if not by the power of the Lord. Are they taking glory for themselves, because they believe they will be standing by their own strength? That’s inexcusable, He is our strength. We have always had tribulation, but as the world gives, not as the Lord will give in His wrath.

Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand. Rom 14:4

Who are the elders in Heaven?

The elders in heaven (who Revelation 4 and 5 address), have to be the raptured church. Some argue they are angels or OT saints, yet these are already wearing fine white linen (evidence of resurrection). They already have crowns (I believe having been to the judgment seat of Christ, where we receive our crowns). They cast their crowns before the throne. Revelation 5:3 says that ‘no man in heaven‘ (or on earth) is worthy to open the seals — so there are most definitely people in heaven. Who are they?

And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.  And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. Rev 5:3-4

They’re singing a new song about how He redeemed them with His blood from every kindred, tribe, people and nationevery nation, not just Israel. They are Redeemed and so not angels as some teach (Rev 5:9). Remember, the Tribulation has not started yet. Verse 10 says these were made unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. Now, Israel was a Levitical Priesthood. The church is after the order of Melchizedek, our priest, who is both a King and a priest. A royal priesthood, Kings and Priests (Revelation 1:6). 

Spoken of the church: But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. 1 Pet 2:9

Again, I don’t believe this can be representative of Israel or the OT Saints, as these are recognized as redeemed from all nations. In addition, this is before Israel is resurrected at the end of Jacob’s trouble (Rev 20:4-5; Dan. 12:1-2; Job 19:25-27; Ez 37:13-14).

And then all the elders, and angels (identified separately) and beasts, say this (among other things) right after Jesus takes the scroll (with the judgments) from the Father:

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing. 

Jesus is ready to put all things under His feet.

Notice He is no longer sitting at His right hand, Jesus has stood for the judgment (Psalm 110:1; Matt 22:44; 1 Cor 15:25). Jesus is the Judge standing at the door (James 5:9; Revelation 4:1; John 5:22,27).

So who do you think the people in heaven before the seals are?

Prewrath or Pretrib Timing?

It is only the Lord who can make His servant stand. It will not because I somehow understand timing better then another, or because I have a stockpile of food and ammunition. If someone thinks they will be able to withstand it because they are ‘PreWrath’, they might want to think again about somehow glorifying even their preparedness.

We shouldn’t study to prove something to someone else, (it is only for His approval- 2 Tim. 2:15, and to feed His sheep in love – Jn 21:15-17). Also we should be ready with an answer for the reason of the hope that is within us. The Bible also says that the pre-trib Rapture is part of our Hope (Titus 2:13), so be ready to answer why you believe. Some say because the Rapture is a mystery we cannot know the timing — I disagree. I am not suggesting we know what year or day or hour, but the generation for the coming of the Lord (Matt. 24:33-34) – which shall be 1) for His saints and 2) to set His feet down on the earth).

Our desire should be for the truth always above any tradition we have learned. So as we study with His approval we pray and trust the Lord to guide us. Prove all things (1 Thess 5:21). Get the multitude of good counsel, and make sure your counsel only comes from people who get the gospel right first, and are willing to be questioned without taking offense (Acts 17:11).


Inevitably people will get offended in these discussions. The biggest one these days seems to be between the PreWrath and Pre-Tribulation positions. One woman who believed in the PreWrath timing told me that some pre-trib believers had told her she wasn’t saved for believing a different timing. I have never once seen a pre-trib believer say anything like that but it doesn’t mean that it hasn’t happened. Especially at the hands of some of the KJVO crowd. KJVO’ers like PreWrather ‘pastor’ Steven Anderson are awful railers. Avoid those who are contentious in their ‘teaching’. Likewise I see people like Pre-wrather Jacob Prasch as similar in his railing style with those who disagree with him.

Most of the abuse I’ve personally suffered regarding our gathering to Him has been at the hands of PreWrath or Post-Trib and Amillennialists. Mocking and sarcasm seem to be a predominant way some respond with if you don’t see timing like they do. That is not to say I haven’t had civil discussions with a couple who disagree, but it’s the exception rather than the rule in my experience. The discussions have been confusing (and of course, the option remains that it could be me). But when others don’t see it the same and ask questions, they either don’t know, they won’t answer, or they ask a question instead. So we don’t seem to get anywhere.

The most important thing we should keep in mind, is how we present the entirety of God’s Word with respect and trembling and with no disdain for others. We should never lord it over someone, and we should also trust the power of God’s Word to work for those who will apply their hearts to it (Pr 22:17-21). 

Love in Christ, RedeemingMoments

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Part 4 of the PreTribulation Rapture Explained Found Here

10 Responses to “Rapture Timing Tidbits (part 3)

  • I’m so glad you are covering this topic and I am looking forward to the next sections! God bless you!

    • Thank you Kathy. Please feel free to make sure to let me know if you feel something was left out. I started with a quick outline and have about 70 pages and so much more to go. The next couple of parts will go into more detail and Scriptures.

  • Prewrath being a relatively new teaching should show us to steer clear of it. Many do not understand that the Tribulation is Jacob’s trouble. It is concerns Israel, not born again believers. The rapture is the resurrection of the Church. This will take place when the fullness of the Gentiles comes in (when the last gentile comes to Christ), then God will turn His attention back to the Jews. The Church is nowhere in Rev. The 7 churches mentioned in chapters 2 and 3 are not Christian churches. They are Jewish assemblies. Note that Jesus tells them they must overcome first before he will give them manna and of the tree of life. Believers do not need to overcome as they are ALREADY in Christ. Note also the language is not church/Pauline language. Nothing here about grace, peace, the resurrection, etc. The member of these assemblies did not possess salvation yet.

    • I would have to disagree with you on the assemblies in Rev 1-3. And yes, they did have eternal life. Remember, no one ever has been justified by the law. We are saved by faith, it’s always been that way. Those are literal churches, which depending on the area would have Jew and Gentile alike (the church of God). I know some divide as they have trouble understanding the overcoming part. I believe it’s answered in 1 John 5:4-5, although some say it only deals with rewards. Which ever it is, we know it is not eternal life. The just have always lived by faith (Hab 2:4; Rom 1:16-17) and no one has ever been justified by a work of the law (Gal 2:16) so that can’t be what overcoming is.

      I really just don’t go the way of what I see is hyper-dividing when we get to seemingly difficult passages. I am what some might label a classic dispensationalist, definitely not Pauline. Some of my family have taken teaching from Feldick from way back in the early 2000s, I searched what he taught in contrast to the Bible and just don’t agree with him or others who teach it. I do of course believe Paul’s ministry was mainly to the Gentiles, but he was also a chosen vessel to bring the gospel to Jews and Kings (Acts 9). I do not believe it was a different gospel, our hearts purified in the same manner (Acts 15). I believe from the time of His death on the cross the New Covenant was dedicated (Heb 9). And when the Holy Spirit was given that people were added to the church of God from that day on (Acts 2; 1 Cor 12:13; Eph 4:4-6). There are three people, the unbelieving Jew, the unbelieving Gentile and the church of God (1 Cor 10:32).

      Other than that, I agree with you completely on God turning His attention back to the Jews. Their is a difference between the fullness of the Gentiles and the Time of the Gentiles. The tribulation is the last 7 years of Daniel’s 70 x 7 prophecy. Appreciate you commenting, just so you know, none of the admins here are Pauline. We do rightly divide, just not that far 🙂

      In Christ, Holly

      • The 7 “assemblies” in chapters 2 and 3 of Rev are Jewish assemblies, not Christian churches. The language associated with them is wholly Jewish; no Pauline or Church language is present. Everything the Lord said was associated with Israel and concerned God’s judgment and how to obtain salvation during those seven years.

        The message Jesus gave to the members of each assembly was a message of salvation, i.e., “eat of the tree of life,” “not hurt by the second death,” etc. Nothing in Jesus’ words indicate that the members of these assemblies had salvation as a present possession. He said, “I will grant/give” salvation to those who “overcome.” Such language is entirely different from Paul’s teaching that believers “have” salvation as a present possession on the basis of believing his gospel 1 Corinthians 15.1-4; Ephesians 1.7; Colossians 1.13-14). For those whom Jesus addressed in Rev 2-3, salvation is based upon “overcoming.” If they “overcome” they will (future tense) be saved.

        I’m not one to argue with anybody, and this isn’t a salvation issue. but I have sat with wonderful Bible teachers who rightly divide. Who do not mix Israel with the Church, law with grace or the apostles with Paul.

        Grace and peace,

        • I will post this one comment about this and just say I don’t get into the discussion much, because I find it doesn’t usually get that fruitful. I do have plenty of understanding of Pauline or hyper and ultra dispensational doctrine, starting with people like Bullinger and ending with people like Les Feldick and I just think that it’s a misunderstanding of the speech. Since John wrote this in 90-95 A.D. and there was no temple, there is no reason to believe that this was law. And if people understand the whole counsel of God’s Word, they would look at other passages to understand that the Jews were not under the law. Paul said he was not under the law, and Peter was living in the manner of the Gentiles (Gal 2).

          Books written by John are ignored by hyperdispensationalists and he absolute taught salvation was a present possession (just read 1 John 5:13), and the word ‘echo’, possessing, to have to hold. 1 John 5:4-5 (as I mentioned) identifies who an overcomer is. A born again believer.

            For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?

          I don’t desire to argue with anyone either, and yet, as far as who rightly divides? The Lord will decide that, so we need to be sure that we’re studying with His approval in mind. I do not mix Israel ever with the church, and the just have always lived by faith. Grace was before, during and after the law. So we stay in the whole counsel of His Word (Acts 20:25-32), examining context and asking the pertinent questions so we won’t be misled. Don’t confuse missions with the fact that all the apostles were ministers of the reconciliation.

          As even Peter and John said, yes, grace and peace <3

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