| THE SECRET RAPTURE LIE
Many honest Christians believe that Christ is going to come back to this earth in two ways--one being in secret, the other visible. The former will be silent in which Christ comes to secretly rapture or remove His followers from earth before the great time of trouble and tribulation occurs. Then after several years, the visible and literal appearing of Christ will take place in which those who were not ready during the time of the secret rapture will have a second chance to make themselves ready throughout the tribulation, after which Christ will come to save them.
There are many Bible texts regarding the second coming of Christ. But do any of these refer to a silent or secret return, or do they all speak about the same visible glorious event? Let us find out what the unerring Scriptures teach.
The apostle Paul reveals that the coming of Christ to this earth will be as follows:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “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.”
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 “Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”
Paul declared that when Christ should come, there would be a shout; a voice; a trumpet; the righteous dead would be resurrected, and along with the righteous living, would be caught up from the earth to meet the Lord in the clouds never to part again.
The apostle John reveals that the coming of Jesus to this earth will be as follows:
Revelation 1:7 “Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.”
John declared that when Christ should come, it would be with clouds, and every eye on the earth would miraculously see him, and all the kindreds of the earth who have rejected Him would wail. (The Old Testament prophets also spoke of the Coming of Christ see Psalms 50:3-5, Jeremiah 25:30-33.)
And Christ Himself reveals what His coming to this earth will be like:
Matthew 24:30-31 “...then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
Christ declared that when He returns the second time, it would be with a sign; all people on the earth would see Him coming in the clouds of heaven and with power and great glory; the great majority of all the people of the earth would not be happy, but would mourn; there would be a great sound of a trumpet; and God would gather His obedient elect to Himself from every part of the world.
All of the above Scriptures are in complete harmony with each other regarding what it will be like when Christ comes back to this earth in the last days. Signs will occur just prior to His arrival. Every eye on the earth, every person of every nation and tribe will see Him return in power and great glory; there will be great noise, a shout, a heavenly voice, and a great loud trumpet will sound; the righteous dead will be resurrected from their graves, and together with the living righteous will be caught up into the air to meet their Lord in the clouds because they chose to sacrifice all to follow and obey God. While those who had rejected Christ's offer of salvation will be destroyed.
WHERE DID THE SECRET RAPTURE ORIGINATE?
It wasn't until the early or mid 1800's that there was any significant group of believers around the world that looked for a "rapture" of the Church prior to a seven-year tribulation period. The "secret rapture" teaching was NOT taught by the early Church, it was NOT taught by the Church of the first centuries, it was NOT taught by the Reformers, IT WAS NOT TAUGHT BY ANYONE (except a couple Roman Catholic theologians) UNTIL ABOUT THE YEAR 1830!
The Roman Catholic Church had to come up with a view of prophecy to counter the Historic view of prophecy that the Reformers had used to identify the Church of Rome as the ‘little horn’ and the Harlot of Revelation 17.
This new scheme of prophetic interpretation became known as FUTURISM.... It was a Jesuit priest named Ribera who, in the days of the Reformation, first taught that all the events in the book of Revelation were to take place literally during the three and a half years reign of the Antichrist away down at the end of the age.
Later, Emmanuel Lacunza, also a Jesuit priest, built on Ribera's teachings, and spent much of his life writing a book titled "The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty." Lacunza, however, wrote under the assumed name of "Rabbi Ben Ezra," supposedly a learned Jew who had accepted Christ as his Saviour; he did this so that the unsuspecting Protestants would accept his book; for the Protestant world then wanted nothing from a Jesuit. His book was published in 1812.
Now enter the name of Edward Irving. Born in Scotland in 1792, Irving discovered Lacunza's book and fell in love with it, translated it into English, and it was published in London in 1827. Then Irving began to hold Bible Conferences throughout Scotland, emphasizing the coming of Jesus to rapture His Church.
Later, J.N. Darby then was introduced to the "secret rapture" doctrine by the Irvinites (Followers of Edward Irvin), as well as the famous book by Rabbi Ben-Ezra [Jesuit priest Emmanuel Lacunza]! Darby was himself a prolific writer and from that time a constant stream of propaganda came from his pen. His writings on biblical subjects number over 30 volumes of 600 pages each. Darby developed and organized "futurism" into a system of prophetic teaching called "dispensationalism."
The Secret Rapture teaching was introduced into the United States and Canada between the 1840's and 1870's. A Congregationalist preacher by the name of C. I. Scofield came under the influence of Darby and the Plymouth Brethren. Scofield became a strong promoter of the teaching that had been promulgated by Darby, whom he considered "the most profound Bible student of modern times." He incorporated this teaching into his SCOFIELD REFERENCE BIBLE. Three million copies were published in the first 50 years! Through this Bible Scofield shrewdly carried the teaching of the Secret Rapture into the very heart of Evangelicalism.
There is one final link in the chain of the development and spread of the rapture theory that should be mentioned in passing. Scofield and Darby influenced D. L. Moody, and Moody influenced the early PENTECOSTAL MOVEMENT. How? you ask. The Assemblies of God is today by far the largest Pentecostal denomination in the world. In 1914 they ordered their Sunday School and study materials from the Moody Press. So the Assemblies of God believed what the Moody Bible Institute taught, which included the "Secret Rapture".
ONE TAKEN ONE LEFT BEHIND?
But what about those Scriptures which talk of one being taken and the other being left behind (see Matthew 24:37-41); surely this backs up the belief in a secret rapture?
Matthew 24:37-39 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Now in the days of Noah, who was taken and who were left? The wicked were taken and the righteous were left.
He represented this also in Luke 13:35-36, “Two women shall be grinding together, the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left”.
Now some teach that those who are left will remain alive and experience 7 years of tribulation. In truth it is those who are taken that are receiving the "trouble". Those who are 'taken' are those who are not prepared to meet the Lord when he comes, and they are taken in death, just like the wicked were taken in death when the flood came.
The Apostles asked Christ where would those who were taken be?
"And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord?", then Christ answers "Wheresoever the body is thither will the eagles (Vultures) be gathered together" Luke 17:37.
Here Christ is clearly teaching that those who are taken, will be DEAD. Their bodies will be food for the birds.
Revelation chapter 19 depicts in graphic detail the return of Christ, with him calling for the birds of the air to “Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God…That ye may eat the flesh of the kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh OF ALL MEN, both free and bond, both small and great” Revelation 19:17-18.
When the Lord returns who will be removed from the earth, the wicked or the righteous? Matthew 13:41-43 The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. (Also see Matthew 13:49).
Proverbs 10:29-30 ¶ The way of the LORD is strength to the upright: but destruction shall be to the workers of iniquity. The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.
Proverbs 2:21-22 For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.
Isaiah 45:18 For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else. (Also see Matthew 5:5, Psalms 115:16)
But what about the belief that Christ would rapture all of His people off the earth before the time of trouble, tribulation, persecution, and the working of Satan with lying wonders?
The prophet Daniel declared that “there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was...And at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Daniel 12:1.
The apostle John declared that God's righteous people who were living when Christ returned to earth would be those “which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.” Revelation 7:14.
Matthew 24:29-31 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Did Jesus ask his Father to take us out of the world? Christ Himself prayed that His Father would not take His people “out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.” John 17:15.
Will the return of Christ happen before or after the revealing of Anti-Christ?
2 Thessalonians 2:3 "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; "
The Bible teaches us that those who think the Rapture will occur before the man of sin is revealed, are deceived. That day will not happen until the man of sin is come to power, and the great tribulation has come upon the earth.
2 Thessalonians 2:4-6 "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. "
Why would Paul warn the believers in this verse if they were supposed to be raptured up beforehand anyway?
2 Thessalonians 2:8 "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: "
Here we see the wicked one is revealed, and THEN the Lord comes. Notice the coming of Christ destroys the man of sin! Did you notice? It does not mention 7 years, and it doesn't mention anything about it being a "secret" rapture either.
Those who teach the lie of a pre-tribulation rapture, also teaches that during the 'tribulation period' while the saints are in heaven, there will be many people 'born again', and saved. Now this is truly a contradiction of terms. These teachers tell us that when the Church is removed, the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit is removed. Now if there is no preachers here, no convicting Spirit, how can anyone be saved???
What this false doctrine does is:
#1. It makes the Church unprepared for the time of trouble that it must enter.
#2. It teaches the sinful world that they can reject Christ, until all the Christians disappear, then they can accept his salvation.
But as we have seen, Those who have rejected Christ, will be destroyed when he comes.
Those 'virgins' who come knocking after the door is closed will be shut out! (Mat 25)
Christ taught that his coming is about as secret as a Nuclear bomb!
Luke 17:22 -27 "And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
"Just like in Noah's time?" Did Jesus lie when He said..."So shall it be..."? Don't these verses seem a bit obvious? The ones in the ark were SAVED. The ones that decided to ignore the warnings of Noah of world wide flood were DESTROYED. And they were destroyed UNEXPECTEDLY! For it says they "did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark.."
The pre-tribulation preachers are bluntly stating JESUS LIED! Are they not? Is it any wonder some of them choose not to mention this passage "in context" from their pulpits? Common sense, it proves they are lying.
Luke 21:25-28 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.
Christ purchased us on the cross, he is going to receive his purchased possessions when he returns. He tells us when he comes to receive us it will be visible, and he tells us to LOOK UP! Which is completely contrary to logic, if there is a ‘secret rapture’.
SAVED FROM WRATH?
Some of the pretribulation preachers use the following verse to 'justify' their secret rapture doctrine.
Romans 5:9, "Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him."
1 Thessalonians 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
First the great tribulation is NOT the wrath of GOD. It is really the WRATH of Satan upon God's Church.
Revelation 12:12-13 ¶ Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
The wrath of GOD is contained in 7 Vials. Which is poured out upon the wicked at the time of Christ's coming.
Revelation 15:7 And one of the four beasts gave unto the seven angels seven golden vials full of the wrath of God, who liveth for ever and ever.
Now some teach that we must be 'raptured up' so that we will not suffer from the wrath of GOD. But that is not the teaching of the Bible.
The Bible teaches that GOD knows those who are his. He has sealed his people with the Holy Spirit of promise, He has purchased them, they are his servants and his name is upon their foreheads. And they are protected from his wrath.
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.
Just as the Jews were protected from the wrath that was poured out upon Egypt. Not by being 'raptured' off, but by having the blood applied, so do we.
Exodus 12:13 "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite
the land of Egypt."
The Lord protected His own in the Old testament, and He promises to protect us New Testament believers as well! And BOTH sets of believers show their faith by the BLOOD of Christ! The Old Testament believers had the blood of a Lamb upon the doorposts of their houses, we have the Blood of the Lamb upon the heart! Praise the Lord for His truth being so blunt and powerful even in the most graphic examples!
MORE ABOUT THE THIEF IN THE NIGHT SYMBOLISM
This next passage has to do with the "thief in the night" analogy that I spoke of earlier. ALL of the pre-trib preachers use the following passage to confirm and or validate their SECRET rapture theories. They will always do the following, they will read to you...
1 Thessalonians 5:2, "For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night."
AND THEY STOP!
Some refuse to read further, and rightly so. For if they read further a multitude of problems arise! For example, look a the next verse..
1 Thessalonians 5:3 "For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape."
Again the "Thief" in the night symbolism, means UNEXPECTED, not SECRET (Also see 2nd Peter 3:9-10 to see how the analogy of the thief means unexpected not secret.) And notice that this coming brings SUDDEN DESTRUCTION UPON THE WICKED. This again proves the pre-tribulation theory FALSE!
1 Thessalonians 5:4 "But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief."
The "Secret rapture" preachers use the verses above this passage (verse 2) to say Jesus comes as a thief in the night for the Christians. But this verse (verse 4) proves they are bold faced liars. This verse is plain! It says clearly that Jesus does NOT come as a thief in the night to the Christians! And why doesn't the Christian have to worry about Jesus coming as a thief to them?
1 Thessalonians 5:5,6 "Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober."
The pre-trib preachers declare Jesus comes as a THIEF in the night, and they define that event as being "in secret." However, the Bible says we as true Christians will NOT have Jesus coming to us as a thief. And the the Bible explains why. It's because we are "looking up" or "looking for" that great day.
NO MAN KNOWS THE DAY!
Think about this as well. If the seven, or three and half year theory were fact, then we would have to remove verse Matthew 24:36 from the Bible along with other references to the fact that. It PLAINLY says... "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." The reason being, if the Christians all of a sudden disappear from the face of the earth on a certain day, all one needs do is calculate three and a half years forward, or seven years forward to get the exact day and hour that Jesus would return! No, we will not know the exact day or hour years in advance! That is an out and out lie!
A PROPHETIC TWIST ON DANIEL 9
This seven year tribulation theory actually originates from a mis-understanding, or deliberate re-writing of the prophecy in the ninth chapter of the book of Daniel. Many take this prophecy out of context to explain a seven year,(Pre-Trib) or three and a half year, (Mid-Trib) time of great tribulation for the Christian believer. However, you will find by studying this prophecy that it does not speak of a time of tribulation at all. In fact, it speaks of a time that all believers both Old and New Testament alike hold very dear to their hearts. It is the prophecy that describes the coming of Jesus as the Messiah in 27AD, his death in 31 AD, and the Gospel going to the Gentiles in 34 AD.
It is sad that ‘pre-tribulation rapture preachers’, take the ‘he’ in Daniel 9:27, and say it is anti-christ, when it refers to Jesus Christ. Who confirmed the covenant of promises to the Jews by both his Preaching and the Apostles (Romans 15:8). Who by his death, caused the significance of animal sacrifices to cease, in fact the veil that separated the inner rooms of the temple was ripped into at his death. By Israel’s constant rejection of the Gospel and their abominations, the Jewish nation has been left desolate.
As we see friends, there is absolutely no reason to detach the last week and stick a 2000 year gap before it, nor is there any reason to apply it to Anti-Christ and the tribulation period.