Jun 012012
 
This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

In this series of discussions I really haven’t sought to make a case for a pre-tribulation rapture, but rather, to demonstrate that there are pictures that point to something very similar throughout scripture.  I believe that, when put together with all of the Scriptural arguments that have already been established by so many others, the arguments are only strengthened.  I also find it intriguing that there are 7 such occurrences from Genesis to Revelation.  If there are others I would be interested in hearing about them.  If there are types that would seem to rebut any of these, I would be interested in hearing about them as well.  So far I haven’t found any and so the 7 types remain.  Here are the links and synopsis of the pre-tribulation rapture types along with the initial introduction:

  • Part 1: Introduction
  • Part 2: Enoch, the man who walked with God, was removed from the earth prior to the flood of Noah.
  • Part 3: Lot and his family were removed from Sodom and Gomorrah prior to their destruction.
  • Part 4: Abraham commissioned Eleazer to find a bride for his son Isaac after Isaac’s offering on Mt. Moriah.  The bride is brought to Isaac as Isaac is going out to meditate in the evening.
  • Part 5: Rahab is removed from Jericho prior to it being burned for destruction.
  • Part 6: Ruth is at the feet of Boaz near the threshing floor through the night.
  • Part 7: Daniel is mysteriously absent while Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego refuse to worship a false image and are subsequently thrown into the fiery furnace for their refusal.
  • Part 8: All mention of the church ceases from Revelation 6 through the rest of the tribulation described by the book.  Those who are left on the earth are simply referred to as ‘those that dwell on the earth’.

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.

May 312012
 
This entry is part 8 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

Revelation chapters 2 and 3 are a collection of 7 letters written each by Christ to a specific body of believers and ultimately to all believers.  They hold many parallels to church history that  mirror the approximately 2,000 years since the birth of the church in Acts 2.  If these 7 letters were in any other order the sequence would be broken.  This 7th and final picture of a pre-tribulation rapture found in Scripture will look at a pattern that develops and is anchored in these 7 letters.

The 7 letters all have certain features in common.  There is a particular structure to them and within that structure you will find that some letters have parts of the structure removed while others have pieces added.  All of these patterns play a direct role in the content of the letter and to whom its addressed.

With all of that in mind we can take a look at the churches to whom these letters were written:

  1. Ephesus (Maiden; Darling)
  2. Smyrna (Myrrh)
  3. Pergamum (Mixed Marriage)
  4. Thyatira (Continual Sacrifice; Daughter; Semiramis)
  5. Sardis (Remnant)
  6. Philadelphia (Brotherly Love)
  7. Laodicea (People Rule)

Rather than digging into the 7 letters themselves, the main purpose for this writing consists of a pattern that develops.  In Revelation 1:19, John is told to write the things he has seen, the things that are and the things that will take place after this.  This will take shape the book progresses.

From Revelation chapters 1-3 the word church (ἐκκλησία) occurs a total of 19 times; that is, 4 in chapter 1, 9 in chapter 2 and 6 in chapter 3.  From there John is taken up to the throne room of God in chapters 4 and 5 and after a description of what he sees we are brought to an allusion of the levirate marraige as seen in Ruth 4 and discussed in Part 6 of this series.  Once the ceremony is complete, the opening of the 7 sealed scroll begins which ushers in what is commonly called the tribulation period.

Thyatira

The last four letters have direct references to this period of time whereas the first three seemingly have no mention of it.  It starts with Revelation 2:22 in the letter to Thyatira.  It is a promise to throw into ‘great tribulation’ those who commit adultery with Jezebel.  While this isn’t a look into what that entails, it is worth mentioning that, from this reference, Thyatira is linked back to Semiramis.  Prior to being named Thyatira the city was named Semiramis who was the wife of Nimrod from Genesis 10:9.  The parallels of Semiramis and Jezebel are many.  Thyatira is often compared to the medieval church from roughly 600-1500 AD and ultimately Catholicism today.

Sardis

In Revelation 3:3 we have a promise to the church in Sardis that states for those who do not wake up, Christ will come upon them like a thief.  This certainly echoes 1 Thessalonians 5:1-5 where Paul explains that his readers are not of the darkness that The Day Of the LORD should surprise them like a thief (1 Thess 5:5).  Sardis had a name, or reputation, but was dead.  It is often compared with the period of the reformation which started off well but failed to remove much of the paganism of Rome and ended up in the denominational church. If this is true then it is particularly relevant that Jesus would promise Sardis that The Day Of the LORD would overtake them as a thief.  The denominational church never bothered to correct its replacement theology and amillennial doctrine.  It’s because of this that even today most denominational churches believe that Israel no longer has any place in God’s plan and that there is no millennial reign of Christ on earth even though Revelation 20:6 clearly states otherwise.  Even the most basic understandings of dispensational teachings are denied and thus there is hardly even a period of tribulation to mention.

Philadelphia

From Sardis we move to Philadelpha, one of only two churches in these letters that have no condemnation; Smyrna being the other.  Philadelphia means brotherly love.  In Revelation 3:10 we read a promise that Christ will keep them from the hour of trial that is about to come upon the entire world, another reference to the period known as the tribulation.  Unlike Thyatira and Sardis who have promises that they will go through and be surprised by the tribulation, Philadelphia is promised to be removed from it.  Philadelphia is often referred to as the missionary church.  This period started roughly in the early 19th century.  It corrected the errors of denominationalism, replacement theology and amillenial doctrine.  Instead of having a clergy who ruled over the people, the church that came about in the early 19th century returned to the roots of the Christian faith in the teaching that all men are equal in Christ; this is brotherly love.  It is largely understood that because of this, the church was able to flourish and do much with so little.  In Revelation 3:8  Christ states he has set an open door which no one can shut and even though they have little power they refuse to deny his reputation (his name).  Christ promised to return but throughout most of church history the church has denied this teaching.  Jesus refers to himself in Revelation 3:7 as ‘the true one who has the key of David’.  This is the one who was promised to sit on David’s throne.  This hasn’t happened yet.  Finally, in Revelation 3:9, Jesus states that he will make those who claim to be Jews but are not (replacement theology) come and bow down at the feet of the Philadelphia church.  It’s because of these corrections that the church flourished so greatly.  Missions took off all over the world and the promise of the return of Christ is being proclaimed even today.

Laodicea

Unfortunately that leaves us with the church of Laodicea.  Often referred to as the lukewarm church, and indeed it is, it should likewise be referred to as the ‘people rule’ church.  In Revelation 3:20-21 we have a reference to the second coming of Christ in that Christ promises those that hear his voice and open the door he (Christ) will eat with him (the church) and he (the church) will eat with him (Christ) and will grant him to sit on Christ’s throne.  This is often understood as the ‘Wedding Supper of the Lamb’ and the ‘Consummation of the Ages’.  Laodicea is frequently compared to the church today, in particular the word-faith/charismatic/name-it-and-claim-it church that is so focused on material wealth and light on theology and doctrine.  They neither confirm nor deny the second coming of Christ, the place of Israel in God’s redemptive plan or the tribulation and persecution of the church.  They think of these topics as divisive and would rather not bother with them.  It is this that makes them lukewarm, rather than just their passion for Christ.  This movement has really come about in the latter part of the 20th century.  It has become a plague for the believer in that it is a horrible witness for the work of Christ.

Much more could be said about each of the letters.  I’ve only touched on just a few examples of how they relate to church history in general and point to the church being either led through or taken out of the tribulation for sake of the picture of a pre-tribulation rapture in this discussion.  Coming back to Revelation 1:19 in which John is told to write the things he saw, the things which are and the things which must take place after this, we read in Revelation 4:1:

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Re 4:1). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Note, this is the same voice he heard from the start in Revelation 1:19 which was a loud voice like a trumpet (Revelation 1:10) and turns out to be Christ himself as noted in Revelation 1:12-16.  This should lead us to conclude in Revelation 1:9 that the things John saw were the visions in Revelation 1:9-20.  The things which are are the 7 letters to the churches of history.  And finally the things which must take place after this are the rest of the book of Revelation from Revelation 4:1 to the end.

At the start, I mentioned that the word for church shows up 19 times in the first 3 chapters of Revelation.  The reason that is important is because the church isn’t mentioned throughout the rest of the book until the very end in Revelation 22:16 in which Jesus says he sent his angel to testify about these things for the churches.  Is this the church through history?  Perhaps.  I point this out because the reference to those on the earth throughout the rest of the book is simply ‘those that dwell on the earth.’  You almost get the feeling they were left behind (for lack of a better term).

One might presume that the language is just being used differently and could be interchangeable.  But that really doesn’t make much sense.  Obviously ‘those that dwell on the earth’ are not the church since the church is discussed liberally in the first few chapters.  Then in Revelation 13:6 we see the beast uttering blasphemies against God and his dwelling that is, those who dwell in heaven.  Are those angels?  Raptured saints?  Both?  I can’t say for certain but I point it out simply to contrast that with how the term ‘those that dwell on the earth’ is used throughout the rest of the book.  The term doesn’t appear while the church is the primary topic, only afterwards and it’s for this reason that I believe the final picture of a pre-tribulation rapture is the pattern from Revelation 1-5 as outlined here.

The church (Philadelphia) is raptured prior to the tribulation (Revelation 6-19).

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.

May 282012
 
This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

The book of Daniel is certainly no stranger to eschatology.  With ample dreams, visions, cryptic riddles and symbolism, it is a fascinating book to study and interestingly becomes a key and anchor to understanding much of the timeline of Scripture in regards to the first and second coming of Christ.  Scholars argue endlessly about it and attempt to late-date its authorship due to the fact that its accuracy in prophecy is so sharp.  They claim it couldn’t possibly have been written at the time of the Babylonian exile.  For the Christian, this sort of attempt is meaningless since Jesus spoke of a key event prophesied by Daniel in Daniel 9:27; 11:31 and 12:11 and refers to Daniel by name as the author in Matthew 24:15-18 (also Mark 13:14).

At the beginning of the Babylonian captivity we find Daniel and three of his friends receiving prominent status in the King’s service.  They are educated for three years upon arrival in order to learn of the literature and language of the Chaldeans (Danial 1:4-5).  All four of them receive Babylonian names and we end up knowing Daniel’s three friends by those names moreso than their Hebrew names.  They are Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

In Daniel 2:1-6 we find King Nebuchadnezzar has a dream that bothers him so much so that he commands the wise men of Babylon to not only give him an interpretation of the dream but to tell him what the dream was.  Of course, they ask the king to tell them the dream first and then they will interpret it but the king sees through this and demands they should be able to explain the dream as well.  When they are unable, King Nebuchadnezzar orders the wise men to be killed, among them, Daniel and his companions (Daniel 2:13).  When Daniel hears about the order he petitions the captain of the guard to give him an opportunity to fulfill the king’s request (Daniel 2:24).

Daniel is brought before the king and announced as a man from among the exiles from Judah who can make known the dream and its interpretation.  The king questions Daniel if he is truly able and Daniel responds:

“No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Da 2:27–28). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

Clearly, Daniel isn’t about to take any credit for explaining the dream and its interpretation.  He then goes on to explain the dream to the king in Daniel 2:31-35.  He explains that the king saw a great image that had a head of fine gold, a chest and arms of silver, middle and thighs of bronze, legs of iron and its feet of iron mixed with clay.  Suddenly a stone ‘cut out by no human hand’ struck the image on its feet and the feet shattered followed by the iron, bronze, silver and gold.  After the statue was destroyed, the stone that struck it became a mountain and filled the earth.

The dreams interpretation is the history of man followed by the setting up of God’s kingdom.  Daniel explains in 2:36-45 that the head of gold represents Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon followed by the silver representing a kingdom inferior to Babylon that will arise, followed by a third kingdom of bronze that will rule.  Finally a fourth kingdom that will divide and break into pieces until finally the stone ‘cut without hands’ destroys the fourth kingdom and sets up his kingdom that will never be destroyed which is God’s kingdom.

Nebuchadnezzar is astounded and of all things, falls on his face and pays homage to Daniel recognizing that Daniel’s God is truly the God of gods.  Daniel is promoted ruler over Babylon (next to Nebuchadnezzar, of course) and chief of the wise men.  Daniel then promotes Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego to be put in offices over Babylon while Daniel remained in the court of the king.

Daniel was raised up as the leader of the world (Babylon) second only to the king.  Back in Genesis 41 Joseph rose to power in a very similar scenario.  He had interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh and Pharaoh proceeds to promote Joseph as ruler over Egypt (Genesis 41:40-41).  In Revelation 5:9-10 the church is referred to as a kingdom of priests who will reign, some translations state ‘kings and priests’.  Revelation 1:5-6 also makes this statement.  It is with this idea in mind that Daniel becomes a picture of the church.

Nebuchadnezzar had an image of gold created whose height was 60 cubits and breath 6 cubits (Daniel 3:1).  This statue was all gold (probably wood overlaid with gold) and perhaps a reaction to the dream and its interpretation in chapter 2.  Of course in the dream, the head was of gold and Nebuchadnezzar was told that he was the head of gold.  The king to some degree figured better to make this image of all gold, not to let his pride be outdone.  In Daniel 3:4-6 he further commands that everyone is to worship this image whenever certain music is played and if they do not, they will be thrown into a fiery furnace.  Of course, any exile from Judah who worships Yahweh knows that this is strictly forbidden and this becomes a problem for Daniels three friends, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  They refuse to bow down and worship the image and the kings magistrates make this known to the king (Daniel 3:9-12).  Nebuchadnezzar has the three summoned to be interrogated and surely they answer the king that it is indeed the case, that they worship Yahweh and cannot worship the image (Daniel 3:16-18).

Of course the king isn’t happy about this response.  He has the furnace heated 7 times hotter than normal and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are thrown into it.  The furnace was so hot that the flames even killed the men who were taking the three in.  Once they were in, the king watched but to his amazement he counted four men in the furnace (Daniel 3:24-25), one with an appearance ‘as that of a son of the gods’.  Nebuchadnezzar orders them to be removed from the furnace and not a hair on their head had been burned (Daniel 3:27).  The king orders that no one is to speak against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego under penalty of death and promoted the three.

The fiery furnace is easily a picture of the tribulation and Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are much like the remnant of Israel.  The question in all of this is: Where is Daniel?  The first two chapters wouldn’t exist without Daniel.  The rest of the book (except for chapter four) surrounds Daniels life.  Surely, Daniel must have been around at the time this had gone on, or perhaps he was on travel somewhere but the absence of him in Daniel 3 is peculiar and not unlike the absence of Isaac after he was taken up to Mount Moriah to be offered by Abraham.  It is with his absence that a picture of a pre-tribulation rapture can form.

Daniel (a picture of the church) is removed prior to the fiery furnace (the tribulation) while his three friends (the remnant of Israel) are being saved (or sealed) by God.

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.

May 242012
 
This entry is part 6 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

Often praised as an incredible piece of literature, the little 4 chapter book of Ruth is a rich tapestry of allusions and types.  It seems almost daunting to write of a particular topic that stems from the book, not because the topic is tough to deal with, but because it’s hard to keep your thoughts focused when there is so much treasure to dig into.  While the Bible as a whole is instructional, devotional and should be a part of the Christian’s daily life, the book of Ruth is what Charlotte Mason or Susan Schaeffer Macaulay would call a “living book”.  It is one that should and could be read and re-read and re-read again – not just for its literary merit but because it’s short and even though the tale is done in a matter of minutes, it leaves you wanting more.

In the Days when the Judges Ruled…

The book of Ruth takes place in the period of the judges which is why it is placed in our Bible as part of the historical books; however, in the Tanakh, Ruth is placed with the writings, just after Song of Solomon.  Ruth begins with a very important introduction to the family of Elimelech who is the husband of a woman named Naomi.  They have two sons and though they were from Bethlehem in the land of Judah (the tribe; this is prior to the civil war that took place after Solomon’s reign) a famine had brought them to Moab.  Naomi’s husband dies but her sons take Moabite brides which allows them to remain in Moab.  But once Naomi’s sons die, she is left destitute with two daughters-in-law.  A widow and foreigner in the land of Moab, Naomi is left with little choice but to go back to Bethlehem after hearing that the famine has seemed to pass (Ruth 1:6).

Naomi urges her daughters-in-law to stay in Moab.  Obviously for them it would be easier if they did.  It is their own land and they can likely return to their family as noted in Ruth 1:8 and have the possibility to remarry another Moabite.  Eventually Orpah departs but Ruth remains (Ruth 1:14) and Ruth states what is one of many most often cited passages in the Bible:

Ruth 1:16-17 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried. May the LORD do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you.”

The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. 2001 (Ru 1:16–17). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

This is a huge sacrifice for Ruth for several reasons, not the least of which, she isn’t Jewish nor has she lived in a Jewish society and culture whose way of life is going to be extremely different from that of the Moabite.  Her only claim to the Jewish culture and faith is that she married a Jewish man who died (more on that later) and is now a Jewish widow’s daughter-in-law.  As an aside, if you recall in  Part 3 of this discussion which had to do with Lot, Lot was left without a wife.  As a result, Lot’s daughters try to raise up sons for him, one of those sons is Moab who is the father of the Moabites (Genesis 19:37) and whom Ruth is a descendent of.

At the Beginning of the Barley Harvest

So Naomi and Ruth return to Bethlehem and the narrative let’s the reader in on a little bit of information – that a relative of Elimelech (Naomi’s husband) named Boaz owns part of a field where Ruth heads to glean from.  There are a few things to note here.  First, the narrative states that it was the beginning of the barley harvest.  This has a two-fold purpose in that it demonstrates the famine has passed and it hints that something good is going to come of this situation.  Second, the fact that the text states that they return to Bethlehem, in Ruth 1:22, indicates something more than just returning to the land.  As far as the reader is concerned, Ruth has never been to Bethlehem so the idea of returning must mean something more.  As Arnold Fruchtenbaum’s commentary on Ruth states:

…the word shuv is used twelve times in this chapter. Ruth had never been to Bethlehem before, and therefore, the word shuv, meaning “return,” carries more than just a physical connotation. It connotes a return to God, and a return to the Land of the people of God.Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (2006). Ariel’s Bible commentary : The books of Judges and Ruth (1st ed.) (304). San Antonio, Tex.: Ariel Ministries.

Third, what Ruth participates in when the text states that she goes to glean is a part of Jewish law stemming from the Torah.  The idea is that when the fields are reaped, the reapers are not to pick up anything that accidentally falls to the ground.  If anything is left behind it is reserved for those who are less fortunate.  Leviticus 19:9; 23:22 and Deuteronomy 24:19 discuss this concept and the verse in Deuteronomy specifically mentions the widow as one of these who are to be allowed in this process.

As Ruth is gleaning in the field of Boaz his eye falls on her and he takes a liking to her.  In Ruth 2:15-16 Boaz instructs his men to intentionally leave some of the harvest behind for her to pick up and that she isn’t to be rebuked for it.  Ruth returns home with a bountiful harvest which seems to catch Naomi’s attention – first, in that she had been blessed with so much by someone and second, in that it was Boaz who is a relative of Naomi’s (Ruth 2:20-21).

One of Our Redeemers

The concept of redeeming is foreign to modern western society.  In Israelite culture everything a person had was passed down through the male line starting with the first-born.  Progeny was extremely important in this regard but even more important, the idea of continuing the family name through the son is a blessing but if you have no sons to carry your name then you are considered blotted out; your genealogy is cast off.  The example I gave earlier of the situation Lot was in without a wife and no sons demonstrates this importance in the ancient near-east.  On the one hand, Lot’s daughters could be reprimanded for what would later be reprehensible for the Israelite community (not specifically stated but certainly inferred from Leviticus 18:10), but on the other hand these laws weren’t necessarily in existence at the time and Lot isn’t a descendent of Abraham.  And so for these circumstances the Kinsman-Redeemer comes into play.

There are two aspects being used in Ruth which demonstrates there was probably some blending of them in Israelite society and that is the Levirate Marriage from Deuteronomy 25:5-10 and the kinsman-redeemer (Leviticus 25).  The main idea is that the nearer kinsman could marry a widow of a man in order to raise up sons for the family and extend the man’s name.  In the aspect of the kinsman-redeemer there were roles to fill based on the situation; namely, the redeemer had to be willing and able to redeem his brother’s inheritance, to raise up sons and to serve as what was called the avenger of blood if the man had been killed.

In the story of Ruth, Boaz is a kinsman and Naomi recognizes that he has a role to fill.  Naomi instructs Ruth to ask Boaz to fulfill his role and she agrees in Ruth 3:1-5.  What follows is often misunderstood as a sort of sexual advance on Ruth’s part but the reality is not sexual in nature at all.  Rather, Ruth is asking Boaz to fulfill his duty as the kinsman-redeemer and in particular asking Boaz to marry her.  The idea of uncovering the feet in Ruth 3:7 has several idiomatic inferences.  The rank of a man in Israelite society was demonstrated by the hem of the garment he wore.  Not unlike military officials wearing their rank on the arm or left side of the chest.  In Matthew 9:20-21 we see the woman with the issue of blood desiring only to touch the hem of Jesus’s garment trusting that it will be enough to heal her; she was looking to his authority.  So when Ruth uncovers and lays at Boaz’s feet, she is asking for his protection, his covering to be brought over her in marriage.

Boaz agrees and gives Ruth 6 measures of barley (Ruth 3:15) and Ruth takes it back to Naomi.  It is a sign, an answer.  Unfortunately, there is an obstacle to Boaz becoming the kinsman-redeemer in that there is a nearer kinsman (Ruth 3:12) and this matter needs to be settled.  When Naomi receives the 6 measures of barley, she understands that Boaz intends to get the matter settled immediately.  Why?  The number 6 is associated with the idea of incompleteness.  In Genesis 1-2 we have the creation wrapped up on the 6th day, but God rests on the 7th and only then is the genealogy of heaven and earth given.  Likewise all throughout Scripture we have references to 7 inferring completeness.  Jacob must ‘complete the week’ he agrees to with Laban.  It is this idiom that Naomi understands Boaz’s message from.

Boaz Redeems Ruth

Of course, Boaz does redeem Ruth.  In Ruth 4:1-6 we see the discussion between Boaz and the nearer kinsman (who is never named) and ultimately the nearer kinsman declines to redeem Naomi’s property and marry Ruth for the sake of his own inheritance.  Boaz then takes the role.  He is able to redeem the property of Elimelech and his two sons and marry Ruth in order to perpetuate the name of the dead (Ruth 4:10).

Much as the story of Isaac and Rebekah becomes a type of Jesus and the church, the story of Boaz and Ruth does the same.  Ruth is a gentile who is able to introduce the redeemer to Naomi.  She marries a Jewish redeemer.  Ruth is a picture of the church.

Naomi was cast out of her own land due to a famine.  The Jewish people were cast out of their land roughly 2,000 years ago until relatively recently.  While the church was introduced to The Messiah through the Jewish believers, the Jewish people have been blinded in part (Romans 11:25) to seeing him.  Ultimately it is through the church that the Jewish people will come to know their Messiah just as Naomi came to know Boaz through Ruth.  Naomi is a picture of the Jewish people.

The two husbands of Ruth and Naomi had died.  But through Boaz the inheritance and name of the deceased was able to be perpetuated.  This becomes a picture of the resurrection of the dead.  For a rabbinic telling of this:

The soul of a man who had died childless finds no rest. This troubles his widow because his name is forgotten in Israel. In the event of her marrying his next of kin, and a child being born, it is as though the soul of the departed has been revived. The child would receive the name and status of the deceased and continue the line of the inheritance.

Fruchtenbaum, A. G. (2006). Ariel’s Bible commentary : The books of Judges and Ruth (1st ed.) (324–325). San Antonio, Tex.: Ariel Ministries.

So where does the picture of the rapture fit in?  When Ruth uncovers Boaz’s feet, there are three items that should be noted.  The first is in Ruth 3:6 where Ruth goes down to the threshing floor.  The second is in Ruth 3:8 where it notes that Boaz had awoken at midnight.  The third is in Ruth 3:13 when Boaz tells Ruth he will have the matter resolved in the morning.  In the post on Rebekah I introduce the concept of evening and morning being symbolic of coming times of trouble and times of restitution respectively.  We are seeing these same idioms used here in the narrative.  But if that wasn’t enough to satisfy the picture of night being symbolic of the tribulation we are told that this had taken place at the threshing floor (Ruth 3:6).  The threshing floor is indeed a picture of the tribulation.  We see the idiom used numerous times in the Old Testament (Amos 1:3; Isaiah 21:10; 41:14-16).  Ultimately we see the same imagery in Revelation 14:19-20.

Ruth (the church) is at the feet of Boaz (Jesus) seeking his covering during the threshing at midnight (the tribulation).

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.

May 222012
 
This entry is part 5 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

If you are familiar with how Enoch and Lot picture a pre-tribulation (or perhaps mid/pre-wrath) rapture and are at least familiar with the story of Rahab and Jericho then it certainly won’t be hard to see how her story fits that model as well.  While the first three types all occur within the first half of Genesis, the next one doesn’t happen until the Israelites finally go in to take possession of the promised land, well over 500 years after Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24.

A lot has taken place in those 500 years, primarily the entrance and subsequent slavery in Egypt followed by the Exodus and the wilderness wanderings.  At this point, in Joshua 2, the Isaelites are about to cross the Jordan river to begin dispossessing the land of its occupants but not before Joshua sends two spies out to take a look at the land, especially Jericho (Joshua 2:1).  These two spies come upon Rahab’s house and Rahab takes them in.  When word gets to the king that the spies are residing at Rahab’s, he sends messengers looking for them (Joshua 2:2-3) but Rahab tells the messengers that the spies have already left in Joshua 2:4-5.  In reality, she had hid the spies upon her roof and sent the men who were looking for them on a futile chase, as noted in The New American Commentary on Joshua:

2:7–8 In response to Rahab’s incorrect information, the king’s agents set out in hot pursuit of the spies, heading in a logical direction (toward the Jordan), where the spies would likely be returning to report to Joshua across the Jordan. A comical note is sounded, not only in these agents being sent off by Rahab on a futile chase, but also in the statement that the city gate was shut behind them as soon as they left! Since Rahab reported that the spies had just escaped before the gates were to close (v. 5a), the pursuers must have thought that they were hot on their trail. This note also reinforces the picture of Jericho as a heavily guarded city and it explains why Rahab let the spies out of the city through her window (v. 15) rather than escorting them out of the gate.

Howard, D. M., Jr. (2001). Vol. 5: Joshua (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (101). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

After Rahab sends the kings men off she heads up to meet the spies and gives them her confession of faith in the God of the Israelites.  From Joshua 2:9-13, Rahab tells the spies how they have heard of all the things that God has done for the Israelites, beginning from Egypt through the current time.  The spies acknowledge this and inform her that they will deal kindly with her as she is doing with them in Joshua 2:14.  They made a deal that she would be saved so long as she didn’t foil the plan; this was extended to anyone in her home (Joshua 2:18-19).  She let them down out her window and had them flee in the opposite direction of the kings messengers for 3 days.  As they determined, she tied a scarlet chord on her window in order for the Israelites to know which home should be spared (Joshua 2:21).  Sure enough, in Joshua 6:23, we see that Rahab and her entire family are saved.

Joshua and the Foreshadowing of Revelation

It is often noted how the book of Joshua foreshadows the book of Revelation in many ways.  The name Joshua is the Hebrew form of Yeshua so it actually bears Jesus’ name on the cover.  In Joshua 5:13-15, Joshua himself, the commander of the Israelite army, encounters the commander of Yahweh’s army, none other than Jesus.  Jesus is the one who actually conquers Jericho.  There are numerous other allusions to Revelation but for this particular narrative the one that needs to be mentioned is regarding the two spies.

Joshua sent the spies out to check out the land.  The narrative doesn’t give us any information about that mission other than the story of Rahab.  As far as the story is concerned, no intelligence was gathered.  Their mission was purely focused on saving Rahab; in fact, the whole of Joshua 2 is focused on this event.  It is for that reason many people choose instead to call the two spies ‘The Two Witnesses’.

In Revelation 11:1-12 we are introduced to two witnesses.  These two are given particular powers reminiscent of the powers of Moses and Elijah.  In Revelation 11:7 the two witnesses are killed and their bodies are left in the streets for 3 and a half days.  The people rejoice over this and exchange gifts (Revelation 11:10) until after the 3 and a half days when they are resurrected and taken up (raptured?) to heaven.  When Rahab is instructing the spies on where to go, she tells them to head to the hills in the opposite direction of the kings men who were after them.  She tells them to stay there for 3 days.

Rahab Saved

The scarlet thread that is tied to Rahab’s window so the Israelites know to spare her and her family brings a lot of discussion to the table.  Of interest from the start is the color which is symbolic of blood and sacrifice.  The Israelites were instructed to put the blood of the lamb on the lintel and the two doorposts of their home in order for the angel to pass over their house in Exodus 12:7.  The scarlet thread speaks of atonement; Rahab is saved and does not have to partake in the destruction of Jericho.

Rahab becomes a picture of the church.  She is gentile, a prostitute, and confesses faith in the God of the Israelites.  She cares for the Jewish people who were responsible for her salvation.  Because of this, she ends up in the genealogy of Jesus.  While the lives of her and her family were indeed saved, it’s important to keep in mind that her life was to undergo a huge change.  As a gentile living among the Jewish people she was adopting a new culture, faith and daily routine very different from where she’d come from.

Jericho is clearly a picture of the world that is reserved for Judgement.  Much could be said about Joshua 6 and the symbolism in regards to marching around the city.  Of one aspect it coincides with history until Rahab is removed and Jericho is burned entirely (Joshua 6:24).  But that’s another discussion.

Rahab (the church) is removed from Jericho (the world) prior to its destruction (the tribulation).

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.

May 172012
 
This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

The story of Isaac in Genesis 21-25 is such a rich and fascinating narrative that it’s impossible for any one discussion to do it justice.  There are a few areas in Scripture where, hidden in plain site, a plethora of illustrations abound that once you find a few, they almost start leaping off the pages at you.  Isaac’s story is just like that and it actually begins a bit before he even arrives in person – back in Genesis 17:17 when God tells Abraham that he will have a son through his wife Sarah.

When God announces that Sarah will have a son she laughs in her heart (Genesis 18:10) and God calls her on it.  An often overlooked item is that Abraham laughed as well when God first makes the promise that he will have a son through Sarah in Genesis 17:17.  Sure enough, in Genesis 21:1-3 we see the birth of Isaac just as God had said and his name actually means ‘he laughs’ which is a play on the word used for Sarah’s laughter in Genesis 18:12 and Abraham’s laughter in Genesis 17:17.  There are several instances where God intervenes to produce a child throughout the Old and New Testaments.  In Judges 13 God appears to Manoah’s wife first and then to Manoah and announces the birth of Samson.  In both of these cases the women were barren but God opened their wombs.  There are others in the Old Testament but I want to point out that the angel Gabriel announced the birth of both Jesus and John the Baptist to Mary and Zechariah, respectively.  Of course Mary was a virgin, an unlikely predicament to be in while pregnant.  In the case of Zechariah, Luke states that Elizabeth was barren (Luke 1:7) and as Zechariah is doubting Gabriel he notes that both he and Elizabeth are too old to have children (Luke 1:18).

The birth of Isaac was a fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham.  God had promised a son through Sarah and it was through him that he would become a great nation and ultimately through Jesus (from Abraham to Isaac to Jacob to Judah to David) that all nations of the earth would be blessed (Genesis 12:1-3; 17:18-19; 22:18).  But if the announcement that Sarah could give birth at the age of 90 was surprising enough imagine Abraham’s belief that Isaac would be resurrected by God some 30 years later.

In Genesis 22 God tells Abraham to take Isaac up to the land of Moriah and offer him as a burnt offering.  There are a few things worth mentioning here to help establish Isaac pre-figuring Christ:

  • Isaac was called Abraham’s “only son” (Genesis 22:2) even though Abraham had 2 sons at this point.  Jesus is called God’s only son.
  • Isaac was to be sacrificed at the same place Jesus was crucified (Genesis 22:14).
  • The journey to the place where Isaac would be offered was a 3 day journey (Genesis 22:4) as Jesus was in the grave for 3 days and 3 nights.
  • Isaac carried the wood up the mountain (Genesis 22:6) just as Jesus carried part of the cross.
  • Abraham and Isaac went together in agreement (Genesis 22:8) as Jesus and His father were in agreement.

The entire chapter of Genesis 22 seems inexhaustible at times but I think this should suffice for the purposes of this discussion.  At the end of the chapter God interrupts Abraham from finishing the task (Genesis 22:11), just as Abraham had cryptically predicted in Genesis 22:8.  Abraham calls the place ‘The LORD will provide” in Genesis 22:14.  Hebrews 11:17-19 declares that Abraham believed God would raise Isaac from the dead.  This is genuine faith.  God had promised through Isaac the nation would be born so as far as Abraham was concerned God would have to resurrect him.

In Genesis 24:1-9 Abraham commissions his eldest servant to find a bride for Isaac.  The servant agrees and what follows is a lengthy passage regarding the servants journey to the country from which Abraham came.  Abraham had told the servant to find a bride for Isaac from among his kindred in Genesis 24:4 instead of from the land they were currently staying.  When the servant arrives he prays that God would make the bride he should choose be known to him by way of a sign – in particular a sign that demonstrates Rebekah’s hospitality (Genesis 24:12-14).  As he’s praying Rebekah arrives and does as he had asked of God.

Rebekah and the servant introduce themselves and the servant asks for a place to stay.  We are introduced to Laban who is the grandson of Abraham’s brother Nahor.  He shows up later in Genesis as Jacob flees from Esau.  Laban offers the servant some food and a place to stay (Genesis 24:31-33).  It’s at this point the servant explains the reason for his being there.  As the narrative continues we see they are all in agreement.  Rebekah leaves with the servant and they head back to the Negeb to meet Isaac (Genesis 24:50-60).

So how does any of this prefigure the rapture?  The stories of Enoch and Lot weren’t quite as subtle as all of this may seem but what actually takes place across the chapters from Genesis 21-24 is a panorama of history; from the offering of Isaac pre-figuring the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ to the marriage of Isaac and Rebekah pre-figuring the gathering of the bride of Christ, His church.

One of the first things to note is the absence of Isaac from the narrative between Genesis 22:9 and Genesis 24:62.  Genesis 22:9 is where Isaac is bound; it’s at this point where we can figure he is offered as a burnt offering – figuratively speaking.  In Genesis 22:19 we see that Abraham returns to his servants but there is no mention of Isaac.  Of course, we presume he is there since he wasn’t literally sacrificed but the text has gone out of it’s way to eliminate Isaac from the picture.  This isn’t unlike the New Testament where we understand that from Acts 1:6-11 (the ascension) through Revelation 19, Jesus is not physically on the earth.

When Abraham commissions his eldest servant he is not mentioned by name.  In fact, throughout the entire narrative of Genesis 24 the servant is never mentioned by name.  But we do know his name; from Genesis 15:2 we meet him as Eliezer.  At the time, he is the heir of Abraham since Abraham is childless.  In John 15:26-27 we read two things about the Holy Spirit: He is called The Comforter (Helper, Counselor, Encourager; also John 14:26) and He testifies of Christ or, in other words, He will not testify of Himself (also, John 16:7-8 and John 16:13).  The servant in Genesis 24 never speaks of his own accord, but continually speaks for his master, Abraham (Genesis 24:12; 27; 34-35; 49; 56).  What’s more, the name Eliezer means ‘comforter’.  The servant, Eliezer pre-figures the Holy Spirit.

There are several items that deserve attention in regards to Rebekah.  She comes from the same city that Abraham came from, Mesopotamia, which is Babylon.  Babylon is very much a picture of the world throughout the Bible.  Further, she comes from Abraham’s family line just as the Christian is the spiritual seed of Abraham (Romans 4:16).

In Genesis 24:11 we see that Eliezer arrived at the well in the evening.  This is significant because the evening symbolizes disorder, confusion, chaos and in this regard could be likened to the coming persecution and tribulations experienced by the Jewish people as well as the Christian from the time of the ascension to the present day.  The Jewish day begins and ends at sundown in order to help signify the idea of light coming after the darkness.  This is why in Genesis 1 we see that for each day there was evening and morning.  To further illustrate this, when Jacob flees Esau in Genesis 28:10-11 the narrative notes the sun had set and it was night.  Likewise when he returns in Genesis 32:31 the narrative notes that the sun rose as he passed Penuel, a changed man. This deserves attention because when we do meet Isaac again, in Genesis 24:63, the text makes special mention that Isaac was coming out toward the evening which can be symbolically linked to the Great Tribulation; only here, Rebekah is now with her husband taking shelter, reminiscent of Isaiah 26:19-21.

Note also, in Genesis 24:11, Eliezer arrives at a ‘well of water’ which may be symbolic of the outpouring of the Spirit.  In Genesis 24:16 Rebekah is noted to be a virgin, likewise Paul in 2 Corinthians 11:2 states that he wants to present the believer to Christ as a pure virgin.  Finally, Rebekah is gifted by Eliezer just as the believer is gifted by the Spirit (Genesis 24:22).  After Eliezer explains the proposal to Rebekah, the narrative notes that Rebekah went and told all of this to her mother’s household (Genesis 24:28) much like we are commissioned to spread the Gospel.  Much more could be said about Rebekah but this should at least demonstrate that she is the type of the bride of Christ.

It is at the end of the passage, Genesis 24:62-67, we see Isaac (the groom) returns as evening is coming (the Tribulation) and Eliezer (the Spirit) is bringing (the rapture) Rebekah (the bride) to meet him face to face for the first time; much like at the time when the bride of Christ will be changed to meet Jesus face to face for the first time.

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.

May 142012
 
This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

While Enoch was removed from earth prior to the flood of Noah, Lot’s experience is quite different but probably no less intense.

In Genesis 12:1-3, God calls Abram and tells him to leave his country, his kindred and his father’s house.  Interestingly in Genesis 12:4 we see that Abram’s nephew Lot went with him.  While they were sojourning in the land of Canaan both of them continued to prosper – so much so that the land they were staying in couldn’t contain them (Genesis 13:6) and there were quarrels happening between the herdsmen (Genesis 13:7).  Eventually Abram and Lot part ways.  Abram’s desire is to have no strife between the families and in Genesis 13:8-9 he offers Lot the first choice of where to go.  Genesis 13:12-13 explains that Lot chooses the Jordan Valley and moves his home as far as Sodom.  This is where the text first hints at the wickedness of Sodom.

There are two occurrences in the narrative that affect Abram, Lot and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  The first happens in Genesis 14 where we read of a rebellion against Chedarlaomer, the king of Elam, that results in the people and possessions of Sodom and Gomorrah being taken captive.  Abram gets word of this from one who manages to escape (Genesis 14:13) and takes off to rescue his nephew.  The mission is successful (Genesis 14:15-16) and the people and possessions of Sodom are restored.

The second occurrence happens a bit later in the narrative of Genesis 18-19.  Abraham (who’s name had been changed from Abram in Genesis 17:5) is greeted by 3 men whom we find out to be YHWH along with two angels (Genesis 18:1-3).  When YHWH takes the form of a man in the Old Testament it is often referred to as a theophany, or pre-incarnate Jesus.  Most of these occurrences are more subtle but this particular one in Genesis 18 is made very clear.  After they eat, the two angels depart and God stays back in order to let Abraham know that He is going to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.  What then follows is an interesting dialogue where Abraham intercedes and pleads for the life of the righteous in the city.  He starts by asking God if he would destroy the city if there were 50 righteous in it (Genesis 18:23-25).  God answers that he would not destroy the city for the 50 (Genesis 18:26).  Abraham continues to ask if the city would be spared for 45, 40, 30, 20 and finally 10.  Each time God answers that he would spare the city.  We can imagine that Abraham wanted to ask if he would spare the city for 1 righteous but at this point he doesn’t dare to.  We’re immediately taken to Sodom where the two angels who had left Abraham earlier arrive and Lot greets them.

Lot is ‘sitting in the gate’ in Genesis 19:1 which demonstrates that he has become a man of prominence in the city.  This probably is somewhat due to the fact that his uncle had rescued the city and restored the people along with all their belongings but no doubt Lot left many compromises along the way.  While there is much to be said of Genesis 19, the main point for our sake is that the angels insist that Lot and his family be gathered and leave the city immediately.  Lot’s soon to be sons-in law think that Lot is kidding and don’t bother to listen (Genesis 19:14) and Lot himself is having a hard time leaving (Genesis 19:16).  Eventually the men grab all of them, Lot, his wife and his two daughters and forcefully remove them from the city.  One of the angels explains that they must flee and not look back.  Lot asks permission to go to Zoar instead of the hills to which they were told to run to and the angel grants him the request in Genesis 19:21-22.  Unfortunately, Lot’s wife does look back and turns to a pillar of salt while Lot and his daughters head to Zoar.  Sodom and Gomorrah are destroyed.  Abraham looks up from where he had pleaded with God and sees the smoke billowing up from the land.

An interesting observation of the two occurrences concerning Lot and the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.  In the first, Lot is taken captive and the city is saved for his sake.  In the second, Lot is freed and the city is destroyed for the sake of Abraham and Lot (Genesis 19:29).  The second probably wouldn’t have happened had Abraham not saved Lot to begin with.  What would have become of Lot if Abraham hadn’t rescued him?  It is through Abraham’s intercession that Lot was saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah at all and if these cities are pictures of sin and the world it shows that Lot was a slave to them even though his intentions may have been good.

Lot is indeed gentile even though he is Abraham’s nephew since the people of Israel only came from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob.  In 2 Peter 2:7-8 Peter calls Lot righteous and explains that he was distressed over the wickedness of Sodom.  He probably desired to reform the city through his position.  2 Peter 2:8 indicates his heart was tested (he was tormenting his heart) so he clearly didn’t approve of what was going on in the world in which he lived.  The text in the Genesis narrative demonstrates that the angels had to forcefully remove him and his family from the city.  The word harpazo in the greek, translated rapturo in the latin which we get the word ‘rapture’ from, is a ‘snatching up’ indicating a forceful taking.

Jesus makes a linkage to this event while describing the coming day of judgement both in Matthew 10:15 and Matthew 11:23-24.  He also links it to the time of his second coming in Luke 17:28-30, the same passage where he linked back to the flood of Noah.  Sodom and Gomorrah very much typify the world and their destruction much as the Great Tribulation.

Lot and his daughters (a picture of the church) are removed prior to the destruction (the Great Tribulation) of Sodom and Gomorrah (a picture of the world).

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.

May 102012
 
This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

There are a few characters in the Bible that have so much mystery surrounding them that it’s nearly impossible to ignore.  Enoch is probably one of the greatest examples of such, and one that pops up in the earliest sections of the Torah, Genesis 5.  But for those few verses, Genesis 5:18-24, there is very little known about him.  He gets one more mention in the Old Testament, a genealogy given in 1 Chronicles 1:3.  In the New Testament he gets another mention in the genealogy of Christ through Mary that Luke gives us in Luke 3:37.  Enoch gets added to the hall of faith chapter in Hebrews 11:5 and finally Jesus’ half-brother Jude writes of Enoch in Jude 14 and seems to quote from a passage in the apocryphal 1 Enoch 1:9 (the passage in Enoch probably has other source material so the question of what exactly Jude is quoting is up for discussion.)  In all, Enoch’s name shows up 10 times in 10 verses, not counting Cain’s son from Genesis 4:17-18.

So just who is Enoch? Genesis 5:21-24 states:

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah. Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years. Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.

This far back text introduces us to him and alludes to the idea that Enoch didn’t die but couldn’t be found because God took him.  One could argue he must have died, but there’s a problem with that.  There is a consistent theme in Genesis 5 in that every person we meet in the genealogy has one thing in common: and he died (save Noah and his three sons who ultimately die after the flood). Nevertheless, Hebrews 11:5 makes it very clear that he did not die:

By faith Enoch was taken up so that he should not see death, and he was not found, because God had taken him. Now before he was taken he was commended as having pleased God.

Enoch looks like a picture of the church.  He is a gentile (Abram hasn’t been called this far back) who is taken up by God and doesn’t see death.  He is called a prophet in Jude 14.  Enoch, to the best of our understanding, was raptured.  669 years later the worldwide flood destroys all of man except for Noah, his 3 sons and their wives – 8 people in all.

The ark has often been described as a picture of Christ.  The same word used for pitch is used for atonement many times throughout the Bible.  There is one door (John 10:9) and many rooms (John 14:2).  The only ones who were saved were those in the ark (John 10:9).

Likewise the flood is often viewed as a picture of the great tribulation.  Jesus makes a direct link to the time when discussing the signs of his 2nd coming in Matthew 24:37-42 and Luke 17:26-27.

Noah and his family were preserved in the ark during the flood. They become a picture of the remnant of Israel being preserved through the tribulation as discussed in Revelation 12:14, Zechariah 13:8-9, Micah 2:12 and elsewhere.

Enoch (the church) is raptured prior to the flood (the tribulation) while Noah and his family (the remnant of Israel) is saved.

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.

May 082012
 
This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series Eschatological Types: A Pre-Trib Rapture

Several years ago I had undertaken a task to find all the illustrations (pictures or types) of a pre-tribulation rapture in the Bible. If I remember right, it was part of some work I was doing in a class at KI. While I think the case of a rapture is pretty solid, I’ve often bounced between a pre/mid-rapture view for several reasons. Of course, in eschatology, the timing of the rapture is a never ending discussion – but after realizing there are no less and no more (as far as I can tell) than 7 of these pictures I think the book is pretty much closed on a post-tribulation view.  It may be up for discussion again if we could find these sorts of illustrations that typify a post-tribulation rapture.  I have yet to find them.

In regards to the debate about whether there actually is a rapture or not, I feel the text is very simple.  There are two descriptions of a rapture occurring at some point given to us in 1 Corinthians 15:51-54 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18.  Often discussions of whether the rapture happens at all takes place around the 1 Thessalonians 4 passage and the passage in 1 Corinthians 15 doesn’t get addressed.  This isn’t a discussion about that but I thought I would sum up 3 things from these passages before looking at the 7 illustrations individually.  They are:

  1. The dead will be raised prior to the living being translated (1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:15-17)
  2. The living will be caught up (harpazo; rapture – 1 Thess 4:17) and changed or translated (1 Cor 15:52)
  3. All this will take place in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:52), at the sound of the trumpet (1 Cor 15:52; 1 Thess 4:16)

I think it’s clear that Paul has the same time frame and ideas in view for both of these passages.  The fact that Paul is addressing this same topic in much the same fashion demonstrates that he isn’t just creating some idea on a whim.  Rather, his doctrine has been ironed out and dealt with.  At some point, no matter how much you choose to allegorize the text, people who are living are going to be changed/translated into their eternal state and this is what we commonly refer to as the rapture.

With that understanding in place, the posts that follow will discuss each of the 7 types in detail that are found throughout Scripture illustrating a pre/mid-tribulation rapture.

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© 2011-2017 David Christopher. This post along with all content on this site (except citations) is the property of davidchristopher.net and is made available for individual and personal use. Please give appropriate citation along with a link to the URL and the date it was obtained.