3 proofs for a pre-tribulation rapture - J.D. Farag

Discussion in 'Revelation & Eschatology' started by Filter, Jan 19, 2020.

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  1. Filter

    Filter Puritan Board Freshman

    My dispensational friend who knows I’m reformed sent me a video that ‘proves the pre-trib rapture’. I watched it, and he had three main points that i thought were inadequate but honestly some of the arguments I’m not too familiar with. I wanted to post them here to see if any of you had studied or heard any of them to see if they actually have an merit. The message was, of course, based off 1 Thess. 4:13-18.

    1) In v.16, Paul writes of the trumpet of God. There are two trumpets, one of God which refers exclusively to the church and the trumpet(s) of angels which applies exclusively to Israel. I’m not familiar with this concept, but I’m assuming it has to do with the trumpets of Revelation and their belief that chapter 4-19 deal only with Israel in a 7 year tribulation.

    2) God’s eschatological plan as taught by Jesus in Matthew 24 and expanded upon by the NT authors follows the pattern of Jewish wedding customs and cannot deviate from them. I.e the groom snatches the bride prior to betrothal, wedding consummation lasted 7 days, etc. I’m familiar with this argument but I’ve never understood how this is a Biblical argument.

    3) Paul says to encourage each other with these words (v. 18) Essentially, if the church was going to go through the tribulation, Paul would say these words are a warning not an encouragement.

    Any help would be appreciated. He also made typological statements that I haven’t heard, such as as that 1) Moses was deprived of entering the promised land for breaking the typology of Christ by striking the rock a second time (when Christ was only crucified once) and that Daniel ascending to a high place prior to the fiery furnace was a type of church being raptured and Meshach, Shadrach, and Abendego being in a furnace 7x hotter signified Israel in the tribulation. Do these have merit? Thanks!
  2. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    This is evidence showing dispensationalism is a method and a system, regardless of what its proponents claim for it.

    It seems to me, #1 is a claim oriented toward other dispensational interpreters, i.e. people who share the basic premillennial idea. I cannot fathom any other reason why the speaker would first unite the language of "trumpets" in two completely distinct passages, and then differentiate the supposed events that they are part of.

    For those outside the paradigm, in our circles the end of 1Ths.4 is a passage about the resurrection, which we understand is at the end of time. The trump figuratively wakes the dead. Rev.8's trumpets are basically "warnings" (cf. Num.10:9; Jol.2:1, etc.), and those who do not regard Rev. as a sequential pre-history of future events wonder who would be uniting those passages. Mt.24:31 also mentions the last trumpet; which I suppose gets us from 1Thes.4 to the Gospel of Mt.

    That step lands us at #2, and I think you are correct to doubt that there's a cultural pattern that informs biblical eschatology. There's no "golden key" to unlocking the mysteries of prophecy, least of all an unwritten (in Scripture) rule for Israelite weddings. "Cannot deviate" is cult-language. As if "bride-snatching" was a glorious tradition to be celebrated, if tamed a bit after a few generations of non-nomadic settlement in Canaan? Please.

    There's also the whole question of whether Mt.24 addresses two questions or one question in two parts. Does Jesus intentionally divide the questions, in order to fully expose the errors (false thinking) of his disciples? Again, one must question the starting principle that in speaking of the end Jesus runs through a sequential series of events. For example, you can only speak (coherently) about a complex event, involving simultaneous motions, taking one thing at a time, going back and taking a second thing, etc.

    Now, I'm prepared to grant a dispensationalist his due, as he offers what to him is a plausible unpacking of that and other passages, consistent with the system. But then, if he follows up by insisting that his is the only faithful treatment of the passage, it is self-evident, and thus to disagree is tantamount to objecting to Scripture itself--now one must find the underlying interpretive basis, and show its faults.

    Dispensationalism is a method and a system. It doesn't fall apart by offering an alternative exposition of crucial passages which is bound to have superior appeal to a dispensationalist mind. It won't appeal, because he already knows how the passage reads, generally. Within the system, the disputes arise not from the method, but in application.

    As for #3, again the whole interpretation assumes the dispensationalist framework. Why will the hearers be encouraged? Well, the only reason he can think of is that they'll already be with Jesus, and so won't be with the sufferers on earth. It never occurs to him that our expectation of Jesus' Second Coming is a "blessed hope" that will help get us through the tough times.

    As for the last bit, his typology is a mixed bag. There is something to be gathered from Moses' error (2X strikes the rock), but the speaker doesn't (in my judgment) have a very deep grasp of the issues.

    Moses wasn't "breaking typology" the second time, but he did obscure some element of the divine intent (will of precept) to reveal himself by Moses' proper performance of duty, when Moses disobeyed. Which record of his failure then became a different revelatory element, one complementary to the first sign and supplemental to the second sign (the speaking to the rock) which is still considered a sign, even though it was not fully carried out.​

    Yes, there's a lot more going on than "Moses broke typology." Daniel in a "high place" relative to the fiery furnace? A "higher" appointment in the govt. of Babylon? If the story wasn't in Daniel's prophecy, allegedly speaking to unfulfilled restoration of Israel, would such a read have occurred to any interpreter? I don't think so. The Three Hebrew Children as stand-ins for a future restored Twelve Tribes? This is allegory, not typology.
  3. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    2 Thess. 2:3. Before Jesus comes back there must be two things: a falling away and a revealing of Antichrist.
  4. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    They also interpret the entirety of Daniel's 70th week as the wrath of God, but then they have a hard to explaining why the wrath of God begins after the seventh seal is broken, or why there are martyrs in Revelation 6.
  5. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    Here is a tip in dealing with complex eschatological discussions. Try to get the other guy to just focus on one question or topic. It's tempting for people in eschatology to copy and paste fifteen pages and say, "So there.' (Amils and postmils do the exact same thing) You won't change his opinion overnight, so you have time to hold off on the other questions.

    Alan Kurschner is the best response to pretrib.
  6. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate

    This isn't a response to your questions, but you might enjoy it. It is Martin Lloyd Jones describing the origin of the doctrine of the secret rapture in 1830, by speaking in tongues at a prophecy conference.

  7. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    A well-read pre trib person can respond effectively to that argument. For one, it is a logical fallacy. Two, they claim that Pseudo-Ephrem in the 9th century taught it.
  8. Charles Johnson

    Charles Johnson Puritan Board Freshman

    "It is false because it originated as a prophetic utterance in 1830" is fallacious.
    "Most things that no one (or few) believed until a 19th century false prophecy are false" is not.
    MLJ seems to be more in line with the latter.
  9. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    I agree, but why stop at eschatology. Most people in church history didn't believe in justification by faith alone until Luther. Even those who did believe in predestination (Augustine, Aquinas) didn't hold to sola fide. The argument we use against dispensationalism can just as fairly be used against us.

    Or more to the point: strict Cocceian covenant theology is not even two centuries older than Darbyism. Anything we say against Darby in terms of novelty just as easily applies to Cocceius.
  10. Charles Johnson

    Charles Johnson Puritan Board Freshman

    I'm not aware of any living Cocceians. His distinctives, like the entirely positive nature of the sabbath, the ten commandments being the substance of the covenant of grace, and a sharp contrast between berith and diatheke and between the states of the elect in the old and new testaments, aren't at all popular in the reformed churches.
    As far as whether the argument could be applied to Protestant doctrine, I would agree that it could, although to a lesser degree, since there are patristic, medieval, and renaissance humanist witnesses in support of sola fide. Nevertheless, I think all would agree that the argument is not sufficient to prove the falseness of anything, and is fallacious when it is used for such, and is only sufficient to give a cause for concern and further dogmatic investigation, so if the argument were turned against Protestants in a non-fallacious manner, it wouldn't be of too much concern to me, since I believe that Protestant dogma is far more resilient in the face of rigorous scrutiny than dispensational dogma.
  11. BayouHuguenot

    BayouHuguenot Puritanboard Amanuensis

    R. Scott Clark.

    But any full-orbed Covenant of Works theology will do. We can find antecedents in church history, but we won't find the system. That's all that Dispensationalists like Ryrie claim.
  12. Charles Johnson

    Charles Johnson Puritan Board Freshman

    Clark sponsored the republication of the Summa Doctrinae de Foedere et Testamento, but he doesn't to my knowledge advocate any Cocceian distinctives. Imagine the Twitter outrage that would ensue from the WSC crowd if [redacted] taught that the ten commandments are the substance of the covenant of grace.
    But I agree that the covenant of works doctrine wasn't developed before the 1580's. Even Perkins, who died ~1602, explicitly contradicted it.
  13. Tom Hart

    Tom Hart Puritan Board Senior

    If I may ask, where does Perkins contradict the CoW?
  14. Charles Johnson

    Charles Johnson Puritan Board Freshman

    Unfortunately I don't remember the citation. I've read more of Catholicus Reformatus than any other work of his, so there's a good chance it's there. The gist of the quote was that the state of the believer is better than the state of Adam because Adam was promised no reward, but only continuation in his present state. I think I misstated things earlier though. Perkins only denied a prelapsarian covenant of works. Of course, the doctrine of the covenant of works that later developed was that Adam's state was probationary, and that for obedience he would be rewarded with incorruptible life.
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