Challenge from Reader Concerning Timing of Rapture – David L Lamon – ldlamon@consolidated.net
 
Key Verse
 
Revelation 3:10 is rightly know as a passage that supports the pre-trib rapture doctrine, but the second half of the verse introduces us to the first use of the term "earth dwellers." "Because you have kept the word of my perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell upon the earth.
 
Note: See research at bottom of page for explanation of the significance of “earth dwellers” as it relates to the rapture.
 
From Reader to me
 
I appreciate your writing on the rapture and that Christians are being deceived into believing there will be no rapture. I have really been looking at this very carefully over the last 9 months or so and I believe by the Holy Spirit’s guidance He has shown me the teaching of the rapture (the way you think it will happen) is very false and it will catch a lot of Christians off guard when the trib happens.
 
 The main scripture is Thess and Corinthians about the catching away of the saints. I challenge you to look into this a little further – It clearly shows that the dead in Christ will be caught up first at the last trumpet(trumpet #7 in Revelation) the great Day of the Lord when Jesus is handed the kingdoms of this world. Now look at John 6 – 4 times Jesus talks about those who believe in Him and are saved, etc. Jesus says at "the Last Day" he will raise them up – so if we now from Thess that the dead in Christ are raised up first and Jesus says that will happen on the Last Day! The Second Coming and the Rapture are the same day. There are many other scriptures that I can just nail this rapture theory to the Last day it’s not even funny.
 
Proverbs says a wise man sees evil and hides himself from it. In revelation we see many times when it talks about the hell breaking loose with the anti-Christ, that "here is the patience and faith of the saints"
 
 My friend we will have to live by complete faith just as the Israelites did in the Exodus when God fed them Manna day by day – Noah wasn’t taken out he was protected – in Rev 3 when it talks about He will keep us from the hour of Trial – in the original Greek this means he will preserve thru the times. James says those who endure to the end will be saved. I really hope the Spirit of the Lord will start to reveal these things to you as we are entering a time where we as the   church will have to live by faith and faith alone – in America –   Christians don’t know what this means.
 
Like I said I have many other scriptures to point out – but I need to   go now.
Blessings
Reader
 
Dear Reader,
 
First I would like for all to see the evidence as given by the scripture to prove we are in the last days. There are seven major passages that warn of the dangers during the church’s last days (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; 4:3-4; James 5:1-8; 2 Pet. 2:1-22; 3:3-6; Jude 1-25). Interestingly, all of these comments come from the epistles written shortly before the death of each Apostle writing (i.e., during the last days of the various Apostles), as if to highlight their warnings about apostasy in the last days of the current church age. Every one of these passages emphasizes over and over again that the great characteristic of the final time of the church will be that of apostasy.
 
 Laodicea is the seventh church of Revelation 2—3 and likely represents the condition of the final stage of the church. Laodicea is clearly the most apostate of the seven churches. In fact, our Lord threatens to spew this self-sufficient church out of His mouth (Rev. 3:16) and he is pictured as outside of His own church knocking (Rev. 3:20). Individual believers within this church are not threatened, but it is clear that this church is primarily made up of apostates, who are not true believers. The apostasy of the church in our day is preparing Christendom for her role during the tribulation as the Great Whore of Babylon (Revelation 17:1-7) that will be used by the Antichrist to gain world power. This condition at the close of the age is seen to coincide with the state within the Laodicean Church, before which Christ must stand to seek admission. In view of its close it is not surprising that the age is called an "evil age" in Scripture. There does seem to be an attitude of “don’t call us, we’ll call you” and we’ll authorize you to do this and that as it pertains to seeking God. The New Testament pictures the condition within the professing church at the end of the age by a system of denials. Notice I said the professing church.
 
• Denial of God—Luke 17:26; 2 Timothy 3:4-5
 
• Denial of Christ—1 John 2:18; 4:3; 2 Peter 2:6
 
• Denial of Christ’s return—2 Peter 3:3-4
 
• Denial of the faith—1 Timothy 4:1-2; Jude 3
 
• Denial of sound doctrine—2 Timothy 4:3-4
 
• Denial of the separated life—2 Timothy 3:1-7
 
• Denial of Christian liberty—1 Timothy 4:3-4
 
• Denial of morals—2 Timothy 3:1-8, 13; Jude 18
 
• Denial of authority—2 Timothy 3:4
 
 There will be a manifestation of characteristics which belong to unregenerate men, though it is under the profession of "a form of godliness" (2 Tim. 3:1-5). The indication is that, having denied the power of the blood of Christ (2 Tim. 3:5 with Rom. 1:16; 1 Cor. 1:23-24; 2 Tim. 4:2-4)! , the leaders in these forms of righteousness will be unregenerate men from whom nothing more spiritual than this could proceed (1 Cor. 2:14). All should be warned of these things that are happening in the so-called church of our day and heed the apostle’s words, Galatians 1:8 but though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As a matter of fact, he considered this so important he repeated it a second time.
 
I have been looking at this off and on for close to 40 years and still don’t have all the answers. You insinuate what I teach is evil and I admit it does amaze me that you one year wonders (nine months in your case) have accomplished more than I have in close to 40 years. Actually, I think what you are saying is evil and I will attempt to show you why.  I don’t say that to be mean-spirited but only using the scripture, as in I would not have you be deceived. To follow any teaching that would teach contrary to pre-tribulation rapture defeats the purpose, plan of God and placing these scriptures in the bible for our edification. You would have us not see what he/she can avoid by going in the rapture and also give one the false allusion they can fool around and no sweat make it in the tribulation when the fact is it is going to be almost impossible to make it during the tribulation because of the conditions on planet earth. You would take away one of the most important tools God gave us to encourage men/women to get right with God to escape the evil of the anti-Christ and the judgment of God because of the teaching you aspire to, which is called post-tribulation rapture. Below I give you the scriptures that teach the rapture will occur before the anti-Christ is revealed. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Notice it says there must come a falling away first and we would probably agree that is happening as I write with all the false religions such New Age, Emergent Church doctrine and Replacement Theology and on and on. I am not sure you adhere to Replacement Theology but many of those that hold to post-tribulation rapture do, which is all prophecy ceased in A.D. 70, the church replaced Israel etc. Add to that the many years the high percentage of children have grown up in single parent homes and this is worldwide without much guidance and leadership other that their peers. In other words, it has been the blind leading the blind. Over 30% of our youth today don’t know whether there is a God or not and many of them have never been in a church. Having the knowledge of when the children of God would be raptured was put in the scripture for our benefit so we could recognize the time we are living in and know his coming in the clouds for the church is very soon when we see the events leading up to his revealing. Notice I didn’t say coming to the earth to receive them. Do not overlook the fact he isn’t coming to earth at this time and this is very key to your understanding the truth of the matter. 
 
You say we are going to have to live by complete faith just as the Israelites did in their exodus from Egypt. Yea, I know what you mean. Forget the blood on the door post and all of that other stuff he did, huh! In other words, because of the blood they were spared the wrath of God weren’t they, hum? Reckon there was a message in this for future generations such as ours? It took the blood then for them and it does now for us doesn’t it? I agree we have to live by faith but not as you do. James 2:18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
 
The scripture you are referring to is 1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
 
Just to tease you a little please answer these questions. 
 
• Are these spoken of here going to rein as priest in their new glorified bodies with Christ during the millennium here on earth?  
 
If they are as you say going to be raptured at the end of tribulation and you say the above 1Cor 15:52 refers to this time are they going to heaven in this twinkling of an eye considering the fact Christ is going to be here on planet earth reigning for a thousand years? Your problem with saying the rapture is at the end of the tribulation is the fact these people saved during the tribulation are going to reign with Jesus 1,000 years here on planet earth and it makes no mention of them being raptured to heaven at this particular time. However, those (ten thousands) of the saints of the pre-tribulation rapture will descend with him at the end of the tribulation period that brings about the millennium reign of Christ. Remember it is during the tribulation these that cried out and asked how long were killed during the tribulation period. Understand no man has entered into heaven to date except Jesus. All are in waiting somewhere (I don’t know where) and these during the tribulation are such; however as I have proven those that come back with the Lord at his second coming have been in heaven. And here is the nail in the coffin of what you teach and believe. Rest yet means they didn’t get raptured at this time. Revelation 6:11 and white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellow servants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. Revelation 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.
             
• What does from corruptible to incorruptible mean? 
• What are they going to be doing in heaven while he is down here?
• What about those elders that is already in heaven before the tribulation begins in the sixth chapter and are the elders representative of the church? Hint! Revelation 4:4 and round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. Since these are already in heaven who are those he appeals to late in the book of Revelation as the bride of Christ? 
• At what point does the following occur? Revelation 18:23 And the light of a candle shall shine no more at all in thee; and the voice of the bridegroom (Jesus) and of the bride (church) shall be heard no more at all in thee: for thy merchants were the great men of the earth; for by thy sorceries were all nations deceived. Revelation 21 speaks of the seven last plagues but something interesting happens. John was taken up high and shown the bride of Christ already in the New Jerusalem descending out of heaven meaning before they can descend they had to have ascended doesn’t it? After all it worked that way for Jesus didn’t it?   Ephesians 4:10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things. Now that we have established the fact they were already in heaven then who are these he is appealing to in Revelation 22:17 and are they to be raptured up to heaven when he is going to be reigning here on earth a thousand years or is this being spoken before his second coming? And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.
• What was the purpose of Jesus speaking to the churches in Revelation? 
 
Now I realize this is going to throw you a curve but it is a fact. During the tribulation people are going to receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in other tongues just as they are today.  Revelation 9:4 and it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads. The seal of God is the in-dwelling of the spirit of God.
 
God knew the winds of doctrine that would permeate the air and using such tools as these scripture, which reveals the pre-tribulation rapture will be received by the unknowledgeable because they can see what is happening for themselves. Already non-bible reading and non-church attendees are saying things like something is going on that is bad and they are befuddled by it. They are seeing things happen never witnessed before right here in their own country and it has them worried and concerned for themselves, their children and grandchildren. For many of these people hearing these words of scripture (pre-trib escape) will turn their lives over to the Lord, which is the whole purpose of this teaching of the rapture. By the way, he said he did not appoint us to wrath.   1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ. Since Luke 21 deals with the tribulation consider this: Luke 21:36 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. I ask you escape what things to come? Read the chapter to find out it is talking about the time when the anti-Christ will reign and you can know this when you harmonize all the prophetical verses of scripture. It is important to understand all people that don’t make the rapture will be forced to take the mark of the beast if they want to eat and live a semi-normal life and we know the bible says whoever does is going to hell. Revelation 13:17 and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 14:9-10 And the third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation; and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb. Revelation 14:11 and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Failure to worship the anti-Christ means getting your head chopped off as those do during the tribulation. I want you to notice these that were beheaded were done so during the reign of the anti-Christ because they didn’t take his mark and did not worship him (anti-Christ) Revelation 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.
 
These dead in Christ at the last Trumpet are those killed during the tribulation. The rapture that occurs prior to the tribulation also says the dead in Christ will rise first and those of us who are alive will follow. I want you to consider where the tribulation begins and ends. Also, notice the church is not mentioned anymore after the fourth chapter of Revelation but the elders, which is representative of the church are already around the throne before the tribulation begins in the sixth chapter of Revelations. Another point for you to consider is those ten thousands of saints that come back with Jesus at his second coming. Could these be those that were caught up in the air in the clouds to meet Jesus? 1 Thessalonians 4:17 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. Again I emphasize Jesus didn’t come to the earth as he will in his second coming; he received them in the clouds.
 
Finally,   2 Thessalonians 2:3-8 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, (restrain or hinder) until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. What else besides the spirit of God and his spirit-filled children could hinder the anti-Christ which Satan incarnate. This is proof positive the anti-Christ cannot be revealed until the church is out of here! I barely touched on the horrible happening during the tribulation period but there is enough here or should be convinced that you don’t want to be here during the tribulation period so I encourage you to shuck those traditions and get on your face before God and honestly seek him for salvation of your soul if you haven’t already. One might say what if you’re wrong? I say the evidence speaks for itself and it is not me that says it but the word of God and these post-tribulation teachers can’t respond to the questions here in this paper because it would tear their little play house down and they know it. On the other hand, I can answer them as I have done with scripture. But for the sake of argument if I am wrong and we do have to go through the tribulation I ask you what is it going to take to be able to defy the anti-Christ and make it to eternity with the Living God instead of going to the eternal lake of fire with Satan for eternity.
 
Heaven or Hell You Decide
 
It is a fact Jesus spent more time and effort speaking about Hell than he did Heaven but why?
 
It is because he didn’t create hell for people. He created it for Satan and his imps (fallen angels that followed Satan, the Anti-Christ and False Prophet). Unlike us he obviously has all knowledge about this place and is not willing that any should perish and go to the dreadful place forever of torment and suffering. I am convinced none of us can really fathom what living in an eternal place of torment is about and Jesus knows this and that is why he spent more time teaching about hell than he did heaven and is why he is so longsuffering for our sakes. He knows people can avoid this place if they will live a life holy and acceptable to God so he pleads with mankind to repent or perish. People have the misconception that living for God is a boring non-eventful life when that is not the case at all. We have so many examples for our edification for what living a sin-filled life produces it is not even funny. Take a look at all the filthy rich people that have come and gone that could do anything money could buy but ended up dying miserable people and many of them through the use of mind-altering drugs to escape the realities of what a sinful life produces, whereas those that lived a life pleasing to God lived a life of peace, joy and contentment and spent their lives enjoying the things that really count in life and that is their relationship with God, families and friends. They are also the most likely to freely give because they understand they have freely received from the one true God and savior Jesus Christ.
 
Contrast This (Heaven) Choose you this day Rapture or stay an Earth Dweller
 
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him” (1Cor. 2:9) Revelation 7:17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. Revelation 21:4 and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
 
With the Alternative for the Earth Dweller (Hell)
 
Revelation 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man. Revelation 14:11 and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up forever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name. Revelation 19:20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Revelation 20:15 and whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.
 
Who Are the Earth Dwellers and What is their Significance as it concerns the Rapture
 
This research was done by several scholars and needs to be understood by everyone that thinks they can continue to live a sinful life and/or procrastinate about their eternal existence. It is important to understand who these “earth dwellers” are because it has a lot to do with the subject of the rapture as the key verse above states. I have stated it is an almost impossibility to be saved during the tribulation period and here is what the scripture says about this subject. When we survey the eleven uses of "earth dwellers" in Revelation, we see an interesting composite that develops. Not only are they to be tested in order show their true metal (3:10), they are clearly identified as those who are persecuting and killing believers during the tribulation (6:10). Many of the judgments of the tribulation are targeted for the "earth dwellers" (8:13). It is the "earth dwellers" who rejoice and send gifts to one another when the two witnesses are killed in Jerusalem during the middle of the tribulation (11:10). When the Beast (Antichrist) is introduced in Revelation 13, it is noted that, "all who dwell on the earth will worship him" (13:8, 12). Thus, 100% of the "earth dwellers" receive the mark of the beast and will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire. During the tribulation, as followers of the Beast, the "earth dwellers" will be deceived by the false signs and wonders of the Beast and will erect an image of the Beast, likely in the Jewish Temple (13:14). While the target of the preaching of the gospel by an angelic messenger will be "earth dwellers" (14:6), not a single one of the will follow the Lamb, instead they will wonder after the Beast (17:8). The term "earth dwellers" conveys an eschatological meaning in the book of Revelation because it denotes the unsaved at the time of the end who steadfastly continue in their rejection of God. Thus, "earth dwellers" are a moral rather than a geographical term, even though the phrase has a geographical connotation. The short definition for "Earth dwellers" in Revelation is unbelievers during the tribulation period.
 
 "Earth dwellers" are contrasted to the proper focus in Revelation upon the heavenly temple, from where God’s orders go forth in order to establish the Kingdom of God upon earth. Instead, the focus and ambitions for the "earth dwellers" are limited to the earth and not God’s will, which is issued from heaven and enacted upon the earth. This fact explains why the events of Revelation include great judgments poured out upon the natural systems of the earth for the earth has become an idol of worship for the earth dwellers. In contrast to the faithful who are aliens and sojourners upon the earth (Lev. 25:23; Num. 18:20, 23; 1Chr. 29:15; Ps. 39:12; 119:19; John 15:19; 17:14, 16; Php. 3:20; Heb. 11:13; 1Pe. 2:11) and whose hope is heavenward (Heb. 11:13–16; Rev. 13:6), these that dwell upon the earth are trusting in man and his environment. All of these Revelation references to ‘them that dwell upon the earth’ clearly indicate that they will be unsaved people of the future period of testing who will never get saved. . . . In spite of the devastating horrors of the sixth trumpet, which will kill one-third of mankind, the earth-dwellers will not repent of their wicked deeds (Rev. 9:20–21).
 
Hopefully with this understanding you will make the decision to right yourself in the eyes of God by repenting of your sins, being baptized in the name of Jesus Christ and receiving the baptism of the Holy Ghost, which will lead and guide you into all truth so you will have your best chance to spend your eternity with a loving God instead of the pit of hell that promises eternal torment and suffering.
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