On the Testimony of Three Witnesses . . .

by Jack KinsellaOmega Letter Editor

There are at least five distinct views within the Church concerning when (or whether) the Lord will return for His Church in an event commonly called “The Rapture.”

The proponents for each view are all sincere, believing Christians who believe their interpretation is right to the exclusion of all others.

I understand and appreciate that more than a few of the members of our fellowship hold to different understandings of the Rapture and I respect their scholarship.

However, we know that things that are different cannot be the same. No matter how kindly or charitably one tries to frame it, while all are sincere, at least four of these views are sincerely wrong.

How can this be? Is not the same Holy Spirit guiding us all? How can there possibly be so many different understandings of the same doctrine?

If there are five different views of the Rapture, does that suggest the doctrine itself is weak?

In brief, the five views of the Rapture are as follows:

1. Pre-Tribulational: The Rapture of the Church takes place before the start of the Tribulation Period, defined as two consecutive periods of 1280 days each. (Daniel 7:25, 9:2712:7 Revelation 11:2, 11:3 12:6, 12:14, 13:5)

It begins with the revelation of the antichrist as the guarantor of Israel’s security with the confirmation of a seven year peace agreement.

The dividing point between the first and second parts of the Tribulation is the cessation of Temple sacrifices (Daniel 9:27)

2. Mid-Tribulational: This view sees the Church being Raptured at the half-way point when the Temple sacrifices are suspended by the antichrist, but before the Great Tribulation of the 2nd half.

3. Pre-Wrath: This also puts the Church through the first half of the Tribulation, but the dividing point is not the Temple sacrifices, but the judgments, specifically, the Sixth Seal judgment, the “Blood Moon.”

4. Post-Tribulational: This view sees the Church put through the entire Tribulation, with the survivors being Raptured at the Second Coming.

5: There is no Rapture. This is the default view of amillennialism and post-millennialism and probably the majority view of world-wide Christendom today.

Only one view can be correct. So why five? Different methods of interpretation of prophecy affect the conclusions that are drawn from prophetic passages. If one reads a passage of prophecy and interprets it literally, one comes away with a different conclusion than if one reads the same passage symbolically.

There are places in Scripture where something is intended to be understood symbolically and places where it is intended to be literal. Context and usage generally make the intent obvious, but the best rule of interpretation remains the old adage, ‘when the clear sense makes sense, seek no other sense.’

But it should be obvious that those who draw their conclusions based on a symbolic understanding of Scripture arrive at different conclusions than those who view Scripture from a literal point of view.

“That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in Him:” (Ephesians 1:10)

What is the ‘dispensation of the fullness of times?’ Literally, the phrase means the final dispensation, or the Millennial Kingdom.

“If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:” (Ephesians 3:2)

What is the dispensation of the grace of God? Literally, that is the Church Age.

“Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God.” (Colossians 1:25)

It seems clear to me that when interpreted literally and with a clear understanding of the Dispensations of God, one arrives at the conclusion that the Rapture of the Church must take place before any part of the Tribulation begins.

There is a clear Dispensational division between the Church Age and the Time of Jacob’s Trouble, or the 70th Week of Daniel. The Church Age MUST end so that God can pour out His grace upon the whole House of Israel.

“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Romans 11:25)

When Scripture references “a mystery” it refers to something not previously revealed by God now being revealed to the Church. The first to use this word was Christ Himself in Mark 4:11:

“And He said unto them, Unto you it is given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God: but unto them that are without, all these things are done in parables.”

The Dispensation of the Age of Grace is acknowledged even by those who argue against Dispensationalism. It must be acknowledged, since it cannot be ignored.

Without Dispensationalism, there can be no reconciliation between the Old and New Testaments. The problem with that is that, without the harmony of the Scriptures, it would mean the same God didn’t inspire them both.

Is it, “an eye for an eye”? Or is it “turn the other cheek?” Does God demand blood sacrifices in payment for sin? Or has the blood sacrifice demand been satisfied?

It depends on whether one is under the Dispensation of the Law, or the Dispensation of the Age of Grace, does it not?

If one is under the Dispensation of Grace, it follows that, “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)

But the Prophet Daniel says that during the Tribulation Period, the Law will be in effect. The Temple will be restored — as will the Temple system of animal sacrifices. Is that literal? Or symbolic?

And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease . . .

An ‘oblation’ means ‘a thing presented or offered to God.” If the ‘covenant’ is literal, and the ‘week’ is a literal shabua (week of years) then it follows that both the sacrifice and the oblation are just as literal.

In 1st Corinthians 3:16,17, and 6:16, Paul points out that during the Church Age, believers are the Temple of God.

“Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?”

“If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

The Apostle Paul writes of the restored Temple (the only place where Daniel’s prophecy of sacrifice and oblation can be valid) and the antichrist’s desecration of it thusly:

“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.” (2nd Thessalonians 2:4)

Notice that Paul refers to it as the “Temple of God.” Is Paul speaking of all Church Age believers in which the antichrist takes a seat? Or a literal Temple of God?

Let’s ask Jesus.

“But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:” (Mark 13:14)

The abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet is when the antichrist defiles the Temple, causing the sacrifice and oblation to cease. It is the same abomination of desolation that Paul is referring to in 2nd Thessalonians 2:4 — when the antichrist desecrates the Temple by sitting down in it proclaiming himself to be God.

Daniel says the Third Temple is legitimate in the eyes of God. And it is desecrated halfway through the Tribulation Period. It cannot be desecrated unless it is holy and it is God who calls it an abomination.

Jesus Christ says the abomination spoken of by Daniel takes place in “the holy place” and says when that happens, it is time to flee Judea for the mountains.

Paul says that this desecration is perpetrated by the antichrist and it takes place “in the Temple of God.”

So, on the testimony of three witnesses; Daniel, Jesus Christ of Nazareth and the Apostle Paul, during the Tribulation to come, the antichrist desecrates the Temple of God.

And, on the testimony of the Scripture, we are told three times that during the Church Age, WE are the Temple of God.

Things that are different are not the same. We find that the Temple of God, during the Church Age, is NOT a building, but the Temple of God, during the Tribulation, IS the literal Temple building.

Daniel said so. Paul said so. JESUS SAID SO.

If Daniel, Jesus and Paul say the Tribulation’s Temple of God is a building and a legitimate holy place that is capable of being desecrated, then what happened to the Church Age Temple[s] that the SAME Apostle Paul defines as Church Age believers?

The Scripture offers only one explanation that answers those questions without contradicting itself elsewhere.

“For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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.”

The Rapture of the Church is one of the most divisive doctrines within the Church today. And, as I’ve said many times, NOBODY is saved by their understanding of the timing of the Rapture.

So why do I keep hammering away at it? Because the Scriptures exhort me to.

We live in the most terrifying time of uncertainty in human history — the wrong move by the wrong guy could set off a chain of events that could potentially exterminate the human race. We have but a short time to spread the message of salvation, and it doesn’t help if we are paralyzed by fear.

The Lord knew the conditions that would exist just before His return. Which is why Paul ends his explanation of the Rapture with this exhortation:

“Wherefore comfort one another with these words.” (1st Thessalonians 4:16-18)

Maranatha!

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Published in: on June 16, 2009 at 2:26 pm  Comments (12)  
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  1. I believe that Jesus will return in a Rapture…that’s not the 2nd Coming. That’s the “meeting in the air.” The Second coming is when Jesus comes back to earth to save us all before we destroy ourselves and the world. Many people will come to accept Jesus as their personal Savior after the rapture because of witnesses that knew the Truth but didn’t live it and by the two witness’ that God sends to the earth to help those left behind to save their souls. I plan to go in the Rapture and I pray that you do to. I want you to accept Him now as your Savior, study the Bible and learn to walk that great, and happy walk for Jesus now, before its too late. Living for Jesus is a beautiful life. How have you lived without him so long…has your life been sad and lonely?

  2. Good post!!!

    Actually, there is another reason to “hammer away.” I discovered that there was a certain amount of anger involved when I challenged pre-wrathers and post tribbers. In fact, this anger troubled me and I started bugging the Holy Spirit about it. Now I understand completely.

    You see, the devil is not a dummy at all. He knows scripture. (He just does not believe it.) But I think he knows something that many beleivers do not know. I am convinced that Jesus will come for those that are “looking for” his coming. It is obvious that prewrathers and post tribbers will be looking for the antichrist. Oh, they will SAY they are not, but their belief insists that they are!!! I now believe that they will not hear the trumpet, will not be changed, and will NOT rise up into the air. I believe Satan KNOWs this, and so is busy deceiving as many believers as possible, so they will have to face the antichrist. It is his great desire that they will get into fear, and take the mark. He would be so delighted if many born again people missed the rapture, and had to face the beast.

    What am I saying? Prewrath came from hell. Posttrib came from hell. ANYthing but pretrib is deception and came from Satan to deceive, kill, steal and destroy.

    Pretribbers have done a TERRIBLE job of exegesis, which allowed an open door for prewrath thought. How?

    1) The rapture is NOT Rev.4:1 That is pitiful exegesis.

    2) The 70th week does NOT start with the first seal. More poor exegesis.

    Anyone that tries to be honest with the scripture will know these things. Rev. 4:1 is JOHN being called to heaven. On HAS to add meaning to get anything else. And there is NO REASON to add.

    A careful study of chapters 4 & 5 reveal the timing of the first seals. VERY few get this right.

    Isaiah 2 and Joel two point straight to the 6th seal. There can be NO doubt of this.

    The 7th trumpet “marks” the exact midpoint of the week. There can be no doubt of this either.

    The 7th vial ends the 70th week. Again, it is written: “it is done (finished, ended).

    If the 7’s “mark” the midpoint and end, what do you suppose “marks” the beginning?

    Coop

  3. Hi Lyle,
    Thanks for your post! You will not find anger from me in discussing scripture. God intended for us to discus scripture and come to an understanding of it. He told us so:

    Proverbs 27:17Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

    Satan wants us to become angry when discussing scripture so nothing constructive is gained.

    I do have a difference of opinion with you on some of the things you mentioned. First, it doesn’t matter what position you hold on the rapture…when it happens we will all go up at one time…not some left and some to stay. God is always the same and never changes (Hebrews 13:8). He has always spared his people from wrath ie. Noah, Sodom & Gamorah. We are saved by our faith in Christ (Romans 10:9) and not by our viewpoint of the rapture. We are commanded to watch for the return of Christ (Mathew 24:42-44, Mark 13:32-37)and told we will know when it is upon us (1Thessalonians 5:4-6, Hebrews 10:23-25). Even if your theory were correct and some were left behind, they still could not be taken by satan and recieve the mark, because Jesus told us he would lose none whome the Father had given him and that belong to him:

    John 10:29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all ; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.

    Second, I believe Rev. 4.1 is the rapture and John is a type of the church. As you may know there are many instances that are “Types” in the Bible. For example:

    Isaac is one such type. God asked Abraham to sacrifice his beloved son, Isaac. God had promised Abraham that through Isaac, the nations of the earth would be blessed. Abraham trusted in God and prepared to make the sacrifice. “And Isaac spake unto Abraham his father, and said, My father: and he said, Here am I, my son. And he said, Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?” (Genesis 22:7)
    Isaac was to be the sacrifice, but God replaced his sacrifice with that of a ram. Isaac didn’t struggle against his father; he was apparently willing to let his father sacrifice his life to God. It is through Isaac’s lineage that Christ came and Christ fulfilled the sacrifice that Isaac was willing to make because his father asked him to. Christ was also willing to make His sacrifice at His Father’s command, and did so for our sakes.

    Moses is another type of Christ. The Israelites were kept captive as slaves in Egypt and God sent Moses to save them. We were helpless slaves to sin until God sent Jesus to save us.

    David is another example of a type of Christ. He was a shepherd, a hero, had to endure the wilderness and the trials there and finally became king. Jesus Christ is our Shepherd, leading us to salvation and protecting us from death. He was hero to a multitude on earth, survived His own trials in the desert and finally, is our King.

    Joseph was a type of Christ and there are many more. I believe John was a type of the church being raptured. Mainly becuase the church is not mentioned again until Rev. 19:7-8 in which the saints are already in Heaven and have recieved their white linen. By this time the tribulation period is well under way!

    Third, I believe the 70th week (the tribulation period) will start when a peace treaty is signed between Israel and the nations (Dan. 9:27). The person confirming the peace treaty is the anti christ and it is at this time he will be revealed….Thus the church is already gone because once he is revealed he is no longer restrained (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). The restrainer is the Holy Spirit that is in all believers (the Church). As far as when the mid point of the tribulation occurs, Dan. 9:27 tells us it will be when the anti christ enters the rebuilt temple and declares himself to be God (the abomination of desecration).

    This is my understanding and belief. Thanks for sharing yours! May God bless you!

  4. Hi Jack Kinsella,
    I would like your opinion. Is Rev 7:4 “Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel” in anyway related to the rapture. Is there a specified number of people who will experience the rapture.

    I have been going through ur articles every month. Just wanted to appreciate your job and thank you for your articles that has helped me and many others around the world to be aware of these things and seek understanding, wisdom and insight that comes from above. I wish to meet you someday in this lifetime. Thank you

  5. Hi Sourav,
    Thanks for your comments and encouragment! I have to give credit where credit is due though. I am not Jack Kinsella. Jack Kinsella is one of the writters whose articles I post here to go along with my website at http://www.rapturewatch.us I enjoy his writtings also. If you like you can check out his website at this Link! As far as your question goes, some people believe there is a specific number of people who will experience the rapture because of a scripture in Romans:

    Romans 11:25
    [ All Israel Will Be Saved ] I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part
    until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.

    They believe that God has a specific number for the gentiles who will be saved during this age of grace and once the last person recieves Christ and is saved then God will send Jesus for us in the rapture. What that number is….nobody knows but God! As far as the 144,000 in Rev. 7:4, they do not have anything to do with the rapture. They are Jews from the 12 tribes of Israel that God has set aside to preach the gospel to the Jews and gentiles during the tribulation period. People can and will still be saved during the tribulation period. The rapture occurs prior to the start of the tribulation period (in my opinion). God has turned his focus on the gentiles during the age of grace (which is now), but once the age of grace ends and the rapture occurs he turns his attention back to the Jews in the tribualtion period to bring them to salvation through Jesus Christ:

    Zechariah 12:10
    [ Mourning for the One They Pierced ] “And I will pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication. They will look on me, the one they have pierced, and they will mourn for him as one mourns for an only child, and grieve bitterly for him as one grieves for a firstborn son.

    I hope this helps! May God bless and protect you!

    • Thank you Faithwalker for showing urgency in replying.
      I once read an article in 666beast.net about the Antichrist where the author says that the Antichrist will be the last Pope, the eighth king …..
      Once i started reading, I could not stop at any point. By the time I finished, I was terrified by the contents.
      If possible please help me out with this.

      Thank you once again for your good job and I want to thank everyone of them who is associated with this job.

      May God bless us and guide us in the right direction.

  6. Hi Sourav,
    First I would say to you that there are a lot of endtime websites on the web. Many of them teach false/misleading/inacurate information. Always be discerning when studying things you read on the web and always verify it in scripture! I don’t know anything about the website you mentioned, but I would stay away from any teachings that gives names or attempt to pinpoint who the anti christ, false prophet, etc. is. Scriptures does not give us that information and to try and say who the anti christ is would only be speculation. Here are a couple of links to good websites in which most of what they post is good information:

    http://www.raptureready.com

    http://www.rapturealert.com

    I believe Christians will be gone in the rapture before the anti christ is revealed:

    2 Thessalonians 2:6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.

    The one who holds him back is the Holy Spirit that is sealed within each believer in Christ. Once the rapture occurs the Holy Spirit (the one who holds satan back)will be taken out of the way and the anti christ will be revealed.
    He will be revealed by his actions with Israel. He will confirm and peace treaty between Israel and the nations:

    Daniel 9:27 He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And on a wing of the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

    The man who confirms this peace treaty with Israel IS the anti christ and not until this happens will anyone know who he is! The above scripture is talking about “Daniel’s 70th” week. I have linked it in case you are not familiar with it so you can read about it. Here are some links you might find interesting concerning prophecy and understanding it:

    Seven Things You Have To Know To Understand End Times Part 1

    Seven Things You Have To Know To Understand End Times Part 2

    Seven Things You Have To Know To Understand End Times Part 3
    I hope this helps! If there is more you would like to discuss, you are welcome to ask questions here or you can email me from my website @ http://www.rapturewatch.us

    May God bless you Sourav with wisdom,knowledge, and discernment!

  7. Hi Faithwalker
    Thankyou once again.I’ve already gone through all theses articles as they come on a monthly basis.
    Iam just too curious to know about things and I want God to speed up things but I realize I need to have patience.
    I have always wanted to work for God but to survive in this world I need to work and the job I’am into doesn’t involve that. So I keep coming back to you always.

    It really feels good to be in touch with you.

    If at all you find some time in your busy schedule, visit the website which i had mentioned earlier.

  8. IF I died today my next moment of awareness would be at the judgement day for when I AM asleep I will have no conscious memory of elapsed time if the final battle etc . did“““`nt happen for a thousand years in earthly time it would be instanttaneous in my minds eye because I will not be aware of the passing of time ( this is the time space continuum theory of ALBERT AEINSTEIN as manifested by the ALLMIGHTY I AM ALPHA/OMEGA… IT says in the good book ” The KINGDOM OF HEAVEN is not to be waited on but is within” so quit all yur ballyhooing about who has the right propaganda in place ….. sell your possesions and follow the LORDS example….. AMEN!

  9. Sorry Undergroundinfirmary, I disagree with you! Soul sleep is unbiblical. God’s word is clear:

    A. 2 Cor. 5:6-8 says, “Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. We live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord.”

    Phil 1:23-24 says, “I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.”

    Some examples are: Moses…he was seen by the deciples with God at the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-3).
    The rich man (Luke 16:19)could see Abraham across the chasm. He was fully aware of his situation.
    The thief on the cross with Jesus (Luke 23:43). Jesus told him “TODAY” you will be with me in paradise.

    Or we could discuss the the battle you mentioned. The rapture of the church occurs, the seven years of tribluation starts, and then at the end of the tribulation the battle of armegedon (which you mentioned)takes place. That concludes God’s judment and then we enter the millenial kingdom. In which Jesus told us that we will reign and rule over his kindom with him for the 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-6). That would be hard to do if we were asleep (if you meant the completion of all judments), because the final judment of non believers doesn’t occur until the end of the millenial kingdom.

    Besides…..God commands us to “Watch” for his return:

    Mathew 42 Watch therefore, for you do not know what hour your Lord is coming. 43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. 44 Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

    Mark 32 “But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. 33 Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. 34 It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. 35 Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— 36 lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. 37 And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!”

    He also told us to look forward to it:

    First Peter 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

    Jude 1:21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

    I recomend you spend less time reading ALBERT AEINSTEIN’s theories and study the word of our Lord God Almighty! May God bless you!

  10. Faithwalker; Thank you for the wonderful scriptures and the recomendation to study the “word” more (instead of dwelling on Einsteins theories). My apology to you kind sir as my grasp of the scriptures is limited at best and I can only assume that my rude remarks towards your blog were driven by a contenscious spirit and are hypocritical at best.Please keep up the Good work of blogging in the spirit of good will,and once again thank you for the sound advice.

  11. Thanks Undergroundinfirmary! I am happy you have visited my site and we are able to have discourse on God’s word! It is one of the ways we grow in Christ! May the Lord bless you as you continue to study and grow in your relationship with Christ!


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