Keith Hunt - The Triumphant Return and Kingdom - Page Six   Restitution of All Things

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The Rapture-Resurrection

The Two-Phased Return of Christ?

                 THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN AND THE KINGDOM #6



IT IS TRULY AMAZING HOW "EDUCATED" PEOPLE, SOME WITH THEIR PHD,
JUST CANNOT PUT THE SCRIPTURES TOGETHER ON THE TOPIC OF CHRIST'S
RETURN. IT SEEMS THEY SIMPLY CANNOT READ THE BIBLE AS A CHILD
WOULD READ IT. HENCE THEY HAVE COME UP WITH A TWO-PHASE RETURN,
ONE SECRET AND THE OTHER VISIBLE. SUCH A TEACHING IS NOWHERE
TAUGHT IN THE SCRIPTURES.
THIS WILL BE THE MOST INDEPTH ANSWER AND DETAILED REPLY TO
JEFFREY'S CHAPTER ON THE RAPTURE RESURRECTION.
THIS CHAPTER IS LONG, SO ROLL UP YOUR SLEEVES, HERE WE GO! 
Keith Hunt



The Rapture: The Resurrection Prophecy


     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 Thessalonians 4:16-17)


     During the last two thousand years, the vast majority of
Christians have believed in and longed for a future resurrection.
They have clung to the promise of the Scriptures that one day
they will be resurrected from death to join Jesus and all of the
saints in His heavenly home. Christians today call this future
resurrection the Rapture. When the Rapture occurs, the bodies of
all Christians living throughout the world will suddenly be
spiritually transformed and ascend from the earth to heaven to
join the other saints who were resurrected from their graves a
moment earlier. The Bible declares that all believers shall rise
to meet Jesus Christ when He descends to the air from heaven to
meet the saints. There are a number of other prophecies that
refer to this resurrection event; they include John 11:25-26;
John 14:3;1 Corinthians 15:51-52; Philippians 3:20-21; 2
Thessalonians 2:1; and 1 John 3:2.

(No problem: the Bible indeed does teach the resurrection of the
saints at the coming of Christ - Keith Hunt)


     The Rapture is the modern term used to describe the
supernatural moment when Jesus Christ will transform the bodies
of all living and departed believers into their new spiritual,
immortal bodies that will "rise to meet him in the air."
     Naturally, the word "rapture" does not appear in the English
translations of the Bible, yet the concept of the resurrection-
rapture is taught in a number of passages. For the critics who
deny the truth of the Rapture by claiming the term is not
actually used in the Bible, it is important to note that the word
"trinity" does not appear in the Bible either. However, most
great theologians over the last two thousand years have declared
that the concept of "a triune God" is revealed in numerous
passages, from Genesis to Revelation. 

(What man teaches has no bearing on what the Word of the Lord
teaches, the Scriptures. The "triune God" idea is the idea of
men. Growing up in a "church school" - reading the Bible for the
first half our of the school week, and attending Sunday school
all the time from age 6 to 18; reading my Bible each night before
going to sleep, I never ever thought of the Godhead as "triune" -
a three in one. Well that subject is covered in detail on this
Website in many studies - Keith Hunt)


     The word rapture is derived from the Latin word "rapere,"
which means to "snatch away" suddenly or be "caught up." The
Latin word "Rapere" was first used by the early Church writer
Jerome (385) in his Latin translation of the phrase "caught up"
as it appears in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: "Then we which are alive
and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds."
The concept of the Rapture has been popularized in the past
decade by many books and films. The most popular of these books
has been the famous "Left Behind" series of prophetic novels
written by my friend Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. Numerous
recent books and films portray the supernatural resurrection of
the saints. Millions of nonreligious people in North America have
recently become aware of the fact that many evangelical
Christians believe the Scripture's promise that Christ will
return in the air to gather his people to heaven, whether they
are living or dead. (Ah, notice Jeffrey just throw in "gather his
people to heaven." It is to me strange that somehow people just
"get to heaven" where God is NOW living. Either people go to
heaven when they die, or they spend the 1,000 year millennium
there as the Seventh Day Adventists teach, or they get to heaven
for 7 or 3 and 1/2 years at the end of this age, in some "secret"
rapture idea - Keith Hunt)


     Although most non-Christians today reject the Bible's claims
about Jesus Christ as well as its teaching about heaven and hell,
they are intrigued by the Scripture's prophecies about end time
events concerning the Second Coming of Christ.


The Reason Our Bodies Will Be Resurrected

     When Jesus comes for His Bride, the Church will consist of
two distinct groups - those who have previously died in the faith
and those who are still alive. We cannot enter or live forever in
an incorruptible heaven with a corruptible body, which is subject
to sin, decay, and death. Paul said it best in 1 Corinthians:

     "For this corruptible [our natural body] must put on
     incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality" 
     (1 Corinthians 15:53).

     We must receive a new spiritual body to experience all that
Christ has prepared for us in heaven and the kingdom of God on
earth where we shall rule with Him. (Notice again, the accepted
fact, as all Christians seem they must have, is that somewhere,
at some time, to have to get to heaven where God now lives -
Keith Hunt). 
     Therefore, at the moment of His coming, He will transform
the bodies of the living saints simultaneously as He transforms
the bodies of those believers who have previously died. The
spirits of those Christians who have died in the faith are now in
heaven, the Paradise that Christ promised to the thief on the
Cross when He said, "To day shalt thou be with me in paradise"
(Luke 23:43). 

(No, they are NOT in heaven! The truth about "death" is on this
Website in all of its in-depth study. In the original Greek MSS
there were no punctuation whatsoever. What Jesus said to the
thief on the cross was: "Truly I say unto you today, you shall be
with me in paradise." Jesus was telling him as they hung on the
crosses at day, as they hung there, that the thief would make it
into God's Kingdom. Again, the truth about "death" is covered in
detail with many studies on this Website - Keith Hunt)


     However, those saints living today in heaven (ah, there it
is again, Jeffrey, a man with his PhD, does not understand the
truth of what happens at death - Keith Hunt) do not yet have the
resurrection body that they will receive on the day of the
Rapture. "The dead in Christ will rise first" indicates that the
spirits of the Christians in heaven (nope, they ain't in heaven -
Keith Hunt) will receive their newly resurrected bodies, which
will rise to meet their descending spirits in the air. A moment
after their spirits join their new resurrected spiritual bodies
in the air, "we which are alive and remain shall be caught up
together with them ... in the air: and so shall we ever be with
the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 4:17).

(Now this is quite the information he gives you, but the
Scriptures do NOT back up his statement. Anyone can say anything,
it is the Word of God that is truth (John 17:17) not the ideas of
men. Christians who have died are not walking and talking as they
live now in heaven. Christians of all ages will be resurrected
and will have glorified bodies, and those alive will be changed
in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor.15) at the LAST trumpet sound,
and yes we shall all be caught up in the air, in the clouds to
meet Jesus as He comes from heaven, from the throne of the
universe - Keith Hunt)

     Our bodies will be transformed at the Rapture into a new
supernatural resurrection body similar to the body of Jesus
Christ after He rose from the empty tomb: "Beloved, now we are
the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but
we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we
shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).


The Sequence of Prophetic Events

     The precise chronology of the events of the Second Coming
has always been a point of debate with biblical scholars. They
have presented three different scenarios regarding the timing of
the resurrection of the saints, popularly called the Rapture:

pre-Tribulation, mid-Tribulation, or post-Tribulation. Will the
Church be raptured to heaven before the Great Tribulation begins,
or will Christians living in the last generation be subjected to
God's wrath during the Tribulation together with nonbelievers?

     Many prophecy scholars, including this author, believe that
the Bible teaches that the Rapture will precede the Great
Tribulation. Some teachers suggest the resurrection will not
occur until the midpoint of the seven years. Yet others believe
that, while there will be a resurrection-rapture, it may not
happen until the end of the seven-year Tribulation period at the
final return of Christ at the Battle of Armageddon.

(The truth of the Scriptures is that the rapture-resurrection
will come at the ONE and ONLY coming of Christ in visible glory,
at the END of THREE AND ONE HALF YEARS, 42 MONTHS, 1260 DAYS,
with some added days that Daniel was told [Daniel 12], and NOT
AFTER 7 years. Daniel's 70th week prophecy is not understood
correctly by these fundamental prophets, and the book of
Revelation only mentions 42 months, or 1260 days - Keith Hunt)
 
     Some Christians have even suggested that the timing of the
Rapture is unimportant, half-jokingly proclaiming their belief in
a "pan-Tribulation" theory (that it will all somehow "pan out" in
the end). However, that is an irresponsible attitude that
dismisses the scriptural truth that the Tribulation will be a
time of historically unparalleled persecution so terrible that
Jesus Christ warned, "For then shall be great tribulation, such
as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor
ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there
should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days
shall be shortened" (Matthew 24:21-22).

(Certainly there will be a Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord,
of about 42 months, on this earth, to close out this age - Keith
Hunt)

     I cannot agree that the timing of the Rapture is
unimportant. The Tribulation will be a time of unparalleled
horror for all those left behind to live through the final seven
years of this age; (here we go again with this 7 year stuff -
just is not there folks, not there at all - Keith Hunt) everyone
must either take the Antichrist's satanic "Mark of the Beast" or
suffer terrible persecution including beheading. If the Rapture
does not precede the Tribulation, then hundreds of millions of
those Christians living in the last generation of the Church Age
must experience mass martyrdom. 

(Yes they will, but it will not be hundreds of millions, for the
very elect of God, living at the time of the end, will not even
be a million, no where near a million. Most so-called
"Christians" will be sucked in by the anti-christ, the false
prophet of Revelation - Keith Hunt)

     Therefore, the timing of the rapture is a matter of great
concern to determine the truth of God's revelation about this
matter and this necessitates in-depth study of the relevant
scriptural passages.

     There are no biblical prophecies that reveal the precise
date of the Rapture. The Lord has specifically hidden the time of
the future resurrection of the saints. Jesus told us, "But of
that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven,
but my Father only" (Matthew 24:36). By intentionally not
revealing the time of the coming resurrection, the Lord has kept
His Church waiting expectantly, in every generation for the last
two thousand years, until the final day when we shall be called
up in the air to join with all of the departed saints to return
to heaven with Christ. (Once more Jeffrey just tells you the
saints will return to heaven, the Scriptures say no such thing -
Keith Hunt). We are simply instructed "to wait for his Son from
heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered
us from the wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1:10).


The Rapture and the Revelation

     The Rapture of the Church should not be confused with the
Revelation of Christ's Second Coming. Although these two events
are the two most significant occurrences connected with Christ's
return in the last days, they are quite separate events involving
separate participants, as well as different times, purposes, and
locations.

(Jeffrey just tells you this, that the coming of Christ is in TWO
PHASES. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Scriptures
teach ONE VISIBLE second coming of Christ. As a child reading my
Bible for YEARS, I NEVER got the idea that Christ's return would
be in TWO separate events, at different times. It is just NOT
there. When I first came into contact with "fundamental theology"
of North America, I was 18 years old and had recently arrived in
Canada. I literally laughed at the teaching that Christ would
come in two separate events at two different times. A child
reading the Bible would never get such an idea as what these
fundamental prophets want you to believe - Keith Hunt)


     The word Rapture known as "parousia" in Greek, denotes a
personal presence or appearance of Jesus Christ. The use of this
term is best exemplified in i Thessalonians 4:13-18. The Parousia
provides a message of comfort to the righteous saints (I
Thessalonians 4:18). The Rapture will be announced with the voice
of the archangel (1 Thessalonians 4:16) and will take place in
the air as all living and departed saints rise to meet Christ and
return to heaven (Matthew 25:10), (hummmm....we are off to heaven
once more, but 1 Thes.4 says no such thing, the word 
heaven" is not there, read it for yourself - Keith Hunt) while
the Revelation of Christ at Armageddon will take place when He
and His saints as part of His victorious army return to earth to
defeat Antichrist at Armageddon (Revelation 19:7-9). The Rapture
will precede the Tribulation. At the time of the Rapture, Christ
will come to take His saints home. Only the saints will
experience the Rapture; non-believers will not be aware of it
until they witness the disappearance of the saints (1
Thessalonians 4:13-18). 

(AGAIN, all fundamental FOLLY, all just words from Jeffrey,
making out that the Scriptures teach this doctrine, which they DO
NOT. I'll go into detail later to prove fundamental "two phase
return" is indeed fundamental folly - Keith Hunt)


     The Rapture will reveal the Lord's transformation of the
mortal bodies of believers into new resurrection bodies for
eternity (1 Thessalonians 4:16), while His Revelation at the
Battle of Armageddon will reveal the glory of Jesus Christ as our
returning Messiah.

(No such two phase return of Christ is taught in the Old
Testament for sure, and only in the New Testament as the
fundamental prophets cannot put the Scriptures together correctly
- Keith Hunt)


Triumphant Return

     The word revelation, known as the "apokalupsis" in Greek,
denotes an unveiling and a time of "shining forth" of Christ's
glorious return (2 Thessalonians i:7). The apocalypse reveals
a message of terror to the unrighteous (2 Thessalonians 1:7-8),
as Jesus Christ and His mighty angels will come in judgment upon
the wicked. Christ's Revelation will occur on the earth, at the
Valley of Megiddo and, later, at the Mount of Olives opposite
Jerusalem (Zechariah 14:4), and will victoriously end the
Antichrist's seven-year Tribulation. (Once more, here we are with
Jeffrey telling you it is a 7 year tribulation. The book of
Revelation mentions no such time as 7 years or 84 months, it only
mentions 42 months, 1260 days, a time, times, and half a time
which also equal 42 months - Keith Hunt). 
     At the time of His glorious Revelation, Christ will return
from heaven with His enormous army of angels and resurrected
saints (Revelation 19:11-16). Every person still surviving on
earth at the end of the devastating Tribulation period will
witness Christ's glorious Second Coming (Revelation 1-7). The
Gospel of Matthew records Christ's prophecy: "For as the
lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west;
so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.... 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" (Matthew 24:27,29-30). At His revelation, Jesus Christ
will appear in glory, destroying the Antichrist and his wicked
army before they can destroy His Chosen People Israel (Matthew
13:41-43, 2 Thessalonians 2:8).

(Yes Jesus will come to destroy those who are destroying the
earth. His coming will cut short those days, or there would be no
flesh left alive on earth (Mat.24:22) - Keith Hunt)

     The Lord will save the believing remnant of the Jews in
Israel who repent of their rejection of His messianic claims
during the final devastating attack on the Jewish defenders of
Jerusalem by the surviving forces of the Antichrist following the
battle of Armageddon. When Jesus descends on the Mount of Olives,
He will supernaturally destroy the remnants of the satanic forces
who still desire to destroy the Chosen People. The prophet
Zechariah declared: "And this shall be the plague wherewith the
Lord will smite all the people that have fought against
Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon
their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and
their tongue shall consume away in their mouth. And it shall come
to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lord shall be
among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his
neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his
neighbour. And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem" (Zechariah
14:12-14).


Biblical Support for a Pre-Tribulation Rapture

     The Scriptures clearly support a pre-Tribulation Rapture of
believers. (Oh, they do? Jeffrey telling you it is so, does not
make it so. You have to search the Scriptures and put them
together correctly to find any truth of any Bible topic - Keith
Hunt) 
     
     At the Second Coming at the Battle of Armageddon, Jesus
Christ will return from heaven to earth in glory with His
resurrected. In the book of Revelation John wrote, "And I saw
heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him
was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge
and make war.... And the armies which were in heaven followed him
upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean"
(Revelation 19:11,14).
     Therefore, logically, if the Christian saints will join in
Christ's heavenly army to participate in the Battle of
Armageddon, then they must be translated to heaven and given
their immortal resurrection body at some point in time prior to
their leaving heaven with Christ to return to earth to defeat the
armies of the Antichrist. 

(Wait a minute! Did you see what Jeffrey has done? He has you
believing, without proof, that the saints are already IN heaven,
so they can be in the army of Christ's at His coming. The verses
of Matthew 24:29-31 give you the truth of the matter. The
Tribulation has taken place, the heavenly signs take place, THEN
appears the sign of the Son of man in heaven. The sound of the
Trumpet is given [see also 1 Cor.15 and Rev.11:15] the angels GO
FORTH, and gather the elect TOGETHER [1 Thes.4] - the
resurrection and instant change for living saints, takes place,
they rise to the clouds in the air [1 Thes.4] and meet with
Christ in the air, in the clouds. THEN in THAT DAY [Zech.14]
Christ bringing with Him the saints, just resurrected and/or
changed, will come down to the Mount of Olives. 
Do you see how SIMPLE it is to put Scripture with Scripture and
find the truth? More later! Keith Hunt)


     The alternative theory developed by those who espouse the
post-Tribulation Rapture suggests that the saints will be
resurrected at the end of the Tribulation, rise in the air to
meet Christ together with the souls of the departed saints,
participate in the Bema Judgment seat and marriage supper of the
Lamb in the air, and then instantaneously reverse direction to
return to earth with Jesus Christ to participate in the Battle of
Armageddon. A careful reading of Revelation  does not suggest the
above post-tribulation scenario is at all credible or in
agreement with the scriptural prophecy.

(Again, Jeffrey telling you what we have just seen with our own
eyes in the Scriptures, that it is wrong, does not make it so. Do
not fear the words of men, even those with PhDs - Keith Hunt)


     Significantly, John records that the angels will withhold
their threatened judgment during the Tribulation until they first
supernaturally seal the "servants of God" to protect them from
the coming wrath of God (Revelation 7). This revelation is
consistent with the complete biblical record that shows that God
never pours His wrath upon the righteous. John reveals that
those who are supernaturally sealed for protection against the
wrath of God are 144,000 Jews (12,000 from each of the twelve
tribes of Israel). However all Christians are also "the servants
of God" as Peter affirmed, "For so is the will of God, that with
well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As
free, and not using your liberty for a cloak of maliciousness,
but as the servants of God" (I Peter 2:15-16). The question is
this: Why would God supernaturally seal the 144,000 Jews to
protect them only but leave hundreds of millions of Christians
unprotected from His coming wrath? The only logical reason for
not protecting the millions of Christians as "the servants of
God" is that these Christians will no longer require supernatural
protection. All Christians will already be raptured to heaven
before the wrath of God is poured out upon unrepentant sinners
during the Tribulation period.

(JUST THE OPPOSITE IS TRUE! Jeffrey is not understanding the
difference between the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Wrath
of God. The 144,000 Israelites and all the other saints on earth
are sealed, still living AFTER the Great Tribulation, need now to
be protected from all the horrors to be poured out on the people
of the earth, the Beast power etc. that will now happen during
the "Day of the Lord." Keith Hunt)


     The Church Age, the period of time from the birth of the
Church at Pentecost in A.D.32 (actually 30 A.D. is when Jesus
died and the "church age" began - there is a study on this
Website concerning the birth of Jesus and hence His death - Keith
Hunt) until the future Rapture, is known as the Age of Grace.
During this period, the Holy Spirit reveals there is "no
difference between Jew and Greek" (Romans 10:12) because all
genuine born-again Christians, regardless of race, are
spiritually and truly one in Christ. Yet the prophecies in
Daniel, Matthew, 2 Thessalonians, and Revelation that reveal the
events that will occur during the final seven-year Tribulation
focus repeatedly on Israel, Jerusalem, the Jews, and their
separate identity from the surrounding Gentile nations. (Another
time Jeffrey tells you it is "seven years" where there is no
Scripture, especially in the NT, where they supposedly get this
two-phase coming of Christ from. They say tell a lie often enough
and people will believe it is truth - Keith Hunt)
     These prophetic passages discuss the Jews, Israel fleeing
into the wilderness, the rebuilt Temple, the resumption of animal
sacrifice, the purifying of the Levites, the Antichrist's claim
to be Israel's Messiah, the False Prophet bringing fire down from
heaven in imitation of the prophet Elijah, the Law, and the
144,000 Jewish witnesses. All of these issues concern Israel, not
the Church.

(All just utter false ideas from the fundamental prophets. They
repeat this so-called prophetic outline over and over again. They
just do not understand the Scriptures nor the power of God. When
it comes to putting the Scriptures together correctly they are at
the bottom of the class, even with their PhDs - Keith Hunt)

     From the day of Pentecost when the Church was first born,
the Scriptures declared that the Holy Spirit, the Comforter of
the Church, is restraining the mystery of iniquity, the
appearance of Antichrist, the man of sin. Paul wrote, "And now ye
know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For
the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now
letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then
shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with
the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of
his coming" (2 Thessalonians 2:6-8). The word "let" means hinder.
Paul's use of the personal pronoun "he" in this verse proves that
the restrainer of the Antichrist is a person, the Holy Spirit,
not a political-military power such as the Roman Empire, as some
scholars have suggested. Jesus Christ promised that He would give
us the Holy Spirit as our Comforter and that the Holy Spirit will
never leave the Church "comfortless." The apostle John recorded
these words of Christ, "And I will pray the Father, and he shall
give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever.
. . . I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you" (John
14:16, 18). Since God affirms that the man of sin cannot appear
until the Holy Spirit is removed from His role as restrainer of
the Antichrist, and since Christ declares that the Holy Spirit
will never leave His Church, the logical conclusion is that the
Church must be taken to heaven at some point prior to the
appearance of the Antichrist.

(Whattttt .... to jump to that conclusion from what he stated
about the Holy Spirit is one mighty big jump!! The prophecy of 2
Thes.2 is also not understood in detail by the fundamental
prophets. You will find a full in-depth study on this Website
devoted to a detailed understanding of 2 Thes.2. The Holy Spirit
being removed from restraining, so the man of sin can appear, has
NOTHING to do with the saints "going to heaven in some secret
rapture" idea. It is the mind of Jeffrey [and others like him]
who come up with this "human reasoning." The appearing of the man
of sin, the great tribulation, the day of the Lord, have nothing
per se to do with the "resurrection" or "rapture" of the saints.
The falsehood of the idea of two phases to the return of Christ
and WHEN the saints are resurrected and/or changed from mortal to
immortality, is shown CLEARLY by the Scriptures, not the fancy
theologies of ideas of men - Keith Hunt)


     The Lord commands the Church to always be watchful for
Christ's coming, which could happen at any moment. (No, the
coming of christ cannot happen at any moment. Certain prophecies
HAVE TO COME, be fulfilled BEFORE Christ can return - Keith Hunt)
     Jesus Christ commands us, "Therefore let us not sleep, as do
others; but let us watch and be sober" (1 Thessalonians 5:6).
     This doctrine of watching expectantly for the imminent
return of Christ to resurrect His saints is logically consistent
with a pre-Tribulation Rapture. (No it is not, we are to watch
the signs of prophecy, we are to watch even living in those days
of the fulfilling of the signs of the end time. We are to watch
at all times, for not one person will ever know the very DAY that
Christ will return - Keith Hunt)
     However, if the Lord intended that the Church should live
through the terrible wrath of God as hundreds of detailed
prophesied events unfold during the seven years of the
Tribulation period, (back we go again to this 7 year stuff -
which is not there - certainly not in the NT, and only there if
you do not understand Daniel 9 correctly - Keith Hunt) 
it would be misleading for the Scriptures to continually motivate
Christian believers to "be ye therefore ready also: for the Son
of man cometh at an hour when ye think not" (Luke 12:40).

(Why would it be misleading? The truth is the coming of Christ,
the ONE coming of Christ, does not happen until AFTER all the
great tribulation and day of the Lord has taken place. Christians
are to watch those world events, to be aware what they are and
when they are, so they can be ready for THE DAY of Christ's
coming, that no ones knows but the Father. The truth is in
reverse to what Jeffrey says. If Jesus is going to come in a
first phase, a "secret" rapture, to take the saints to heaven, 
AWAY FROM the great tribulation and day of the Lord, then there
would be NO NEED to watch anything. All you would need to do is
be a "good" Christian, watch nothing as to the signs of the
times, for it need not matter, as you will not be here anyway,
but up in heaven, when all the signs and evens of the end of the
age are unfolding. If it is true as Jeffrey and others tell you,
then why did not Jesus just simply say to His disciples when they
asked Him about the signs of His coming, "Oh, you need not bother
yourself with them, it will not matter to you, for I will come
unknown to anybody but you, and take you to heaven with me, while
all these horrible things are taking place on the earth." There
is not one single word of Christ, or any apostle, to tell us that
Christians at the end time, need not be concerned with any of the
end-time signs of the close of this age, because Jesus will come
secretly and unknown to the un-converted world, and take His
resurrect dead saints, change the living ones, and take them to
heaven, to escape the horrors of the last years of this age.
Surely somewhere, at some time, this would have been said by
someone in the NT Scriptures. But it is just NOT THERE! Keith
Hunt)

 
     If the Rapture will not occur until the future conclusion of
the Battle of Armageddon (following the prophetic events of seven
years involving global government, a world dictator,
an ecumenical world religion, a rebuilt Temple in Jerusalem,
resumption of animal sacrifice in the Temple, the Two Witnesses,
and a final global war between the East and West, et cetera), as
some critics suggest, 

(Again, he goes with what the prophetic outline of the
fundamental prophets preach. Which is just about ALL wrong,
certainly wrong as to the two-phased coming of Christ, and the
first one being a "secret" rapture, unknown but to the saints -
Keith Hunt)

there would have been no need for the Lord's command to believers
to be ready and watchful for His imminent return. Even those
sinners who reject Jesus Christ during the Tribulation will be
fully aware of both the prophecies of the Second Coming and the
obvious buildup for the cataclysmic and global Battle of
Armageddon. 

(Not so. Jeffrey does not catch the Satanic DECEPTION that will
cover this earth in the last years of this age. Surely you would
think, by reading the book of Revelation, that deception will be
so great, the false prophet so convincing, the absence of TRUE
Christianity in the world, that Jeffrey would see his argument is
no valid. The world will be so full of deception that they will
not even recognize that the two witnesses in Jerusalem, are
teaching and preaching the very truths of God. When those two
witnesses are killed, the world will REJOICE! So it is written!
Even after all the pouring out of the plagues etc. by God during
the Day of the Lord, it is written, they STILL WILL NOT REPENT!
See Rev.9:20,21. Why even MOST of the world will come together at
Armageddon, to FIGHT Christ on His return. Jeffrey is DREAMING
and his mind so bent on holding this false doctrine of the two-
phased coming of Christ, that he cannot see the folly of his
argument. The world will NOT COME CLOSE to seeing the prophecies
of the Bible being fulfilled before their eyes. Satan and his
demons will have deceived them so greatly, they will literally
think the returning Christ and His armies are either an attack
from outer-space, or the very anti-christ. Such will be the
deception on the world by the Satanic false prophet and the man
"beast" - Keith Hunt)

 
     If the Rapture will not happen until the end of the
Tribulation period at the end of Armageddon, then there is a
serious contradiction with the repeated scriptural warnings that
the Rapture of the saints by Jesus Christ will come suddenly and
without any warning.

(No contradiction whatsoever. For Jesus told his disciples over
and over, that the very DAY of His return cannot be known. Hence
His disciples were to WATCH the signs of the last age events. For
those living DURING those last events, there will be need to
watch, they will want the encouragement that knowing the
prophetic events (given in detail in Revelation, Matt.24, Mark
13, and Luke 21) they can know the coming of Christ is at hand,
their time of endurance to the end, is not far from being ended,
that their prayers for the Kingdom to come, is close to being
answered. The arguments by Jeffrey are human reasoning arguments.
None of those kinds of arguments are worth anything. The ONLY
truth you want to ascertain is what does the Scriptures teach on
the coming of the Lord. Any human reasoning and argument is
worthless and useless, in comparison to the TRUTH of the WORD!
Keith Hunt)


 
     When speaking to the Christians in the church at
Thessalonica, the apostle Paul affirmed the fundamental
importance of this imminent return of Christ as follows: "For
what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye
in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?" (1
Thessalonians 2:19). 

(What Paul was here doing was giving a FACT, he was NOT saying
the coming of Christ was "imminent." The word "immanent" is not
there. The word "secret" or "any-moment" or any other such word
is NOT there. Paul was giving a FACT of Christian reality, it is
going to be a joy for him and others to see the fruits of his
ministry present at the coming of Christ - Keith Hunt)


     It is significant that Paul described the resurrection of
the saints in such positive terms. Paul certainly knew the truth
concerning God's intention about the timing of the Rapture from
the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Paul encouraged all believers
to look forward to the imminent resurrection of the saints
through his use of words such as hope, joy, comfort, and
rejoicing. (The word "immanent" is not there; it will be as
should be, a joy to see the fruits of the Gospel ministry at the
appearing of Christ, when He comes in ONE coming only [not a two-
phased coming] and the resurrection of the saints takes place -
Keith Hunt)
     Paul's words of hope and joy are consistent with his
compelling teaching that the rapture of the Church will deliver
the saints from this world into the presence of Christ in heaven.

(No such teaching is found in the NT that the saints will go to
heaven with Christ in some coming of Jesus that is secret or un-
known by the world - Keith Hunt)


     These terms "our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing" would
have been totally inappropriate if the apostle Paul knew he
needed to prepare the Christians living in the last days for the
coming wrath of God which they would endure for the seven years
of the Tribulation period. 

(Not so, that is Jeffrey's thinking and reasoning only. The
enduring through the end time Tribulation and Day of the Lord,
has nothing to do with the hope, the joy, and the crown of being
in the presence of Jesus WHEN He returns. Paul's mind was not on
the endurance of Christians during the last years of this age
[note again Jeffrey's mention of 7 years, which is not so]. The
work of Paul and his helpers was that the very people they wanted
to visit [note in the context, Satan had prevented this
happening], their hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing, was to see
those people in the very presence of Christ at his coming. The
context had nothing to do with anything in the last years of this
age, but only with the very DAY Jesus would come back - Keith
Hunt)

 
     The only logical conclusion is that the apostle Paul knew
and believed that the Lord would return imminently, without
warning, to take His believers home to glory before the world
will experience the Tribulation at the end of this age.

(All Jeffrey's ideas, and reasoning. Paul did not use the word
"immanent" - and it had nothing to do with "going to heaven" -
those words are not there either. Jeffrey is reading into verses
that have nothing to do with his interpretation and arguments.
How the human mind can contrive things to hold onto a doctrine
that is not in the Scriptures, but only in the darkened deceived
minds of men. Certainly, it will be a joy, a hope, a crown of
rejoicing, FOR ME, to know that YOU, from my ministry will be in
the presence of Christ at His coming. That is all these verses
are saying, no more and no less - Keith Hunt)


     Jesus was the first to teach about the Rapture when He spoke
to his friend Martha after the death of her brother Lazarus.
Martha said, "Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not
died." Jesus responded by saying, "Thy brother shall rise again."
Martha acknowledged her belief in the resurrection of the
departed saints as taught by the Old Testament in her answer, "I
know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last
day." Jesus then declared, "I am the resurrection, and the life:
he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live."
He closed this dialogue with this fascinating remark, "And
whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest
thou this?" (John 11:21-26).

(The NT Greek actually reads: "in no wise shall die forever" - it
is not, or Jesus did not state, that people continue to live
after death, He was not teaching the immortal soul idea, but that
people would not die forever, BECAUSE, the context, there will be
a RESURRECTION - Keith Hunt)


     For many years, when I read this well-known passage in the
gospel of John, I thought that Christ was simply repeating
Himself in His last sentence. However, upon closer examination
and serious reflection, I believe that this remarkable passage
contains the first teaching in the New Testament about the
Rapture of the Church. Notice that Jesus is teaching about the
destiny of two distinct groups of believers. The first group is
made up of all of those believers who will have died during the
period between the birth of the Church at Pentecost and the
Second Coming of Christ: "He that believeth in me, though he were
dead, yet shall he live." This statement of Jesus to Martha
confirmed the doctrine of the Old Testament regarding the
resurrection of the believers in the last days as taught by Job
19:25-26 and numerous other scriptural passages.

(I agree - Keith Hunt)

     The second group of Christians as covered in Jesus' second
statement includes all believers who will be living at the time
of the return of Jesus Christ. This was an entirely new
revelation: "And whoever liveth and believeth in me shall never
die." Jesus revealed that there will be a generation of believers
who will not have to pass through death to reach eternal life;
the generation of Christians who are living at the resurrection
will be "caught up together ... to meet the Lord in the air" as
Paul taught in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-18.

(This is not actually what Jesus said, as I note above. Jesus
said, "shall in no wise die forever" because there will be
resurrection. But the NT Scriptures do indeed teach that some
will be alive when Jesus comes and will be changed in the
twinkling of an eye, and will with those resurrected, be caught
up in the air, in the clouds, to be with Christ, to meet with him
on His return, see 1 Corinthians 15 with 1 Thes.4 - Keith Hunt)


     The apostle Paul reaffirms this great truth when he wrote to
the Corinthian Christians during his third missionary journey,
probably during the winter of 55.

     Behold, I show 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.
     For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this
     mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible
     shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have
     put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying
     that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory. (1
     Corinthians 15:51-54)

(Exactly, indeed so. But notice when this takes place - at the
LAST trumpet .... AND so you can find the last trumpet, the 7th
trumpet in the book of Revelation, and if  you will read
carefully, that 7TH TRUMPET sounds AFTER the Tribulation and
heavenly signs of Revelation 6; AFTER the sealing of the 144,000
and large multitude; AFTER the Day of the Wrath of God. Well you
can understand the book of Revelation. I expound it for you as
the last book of the NT Bible Story series, on this Website -
Keith Hunt)


     In this passage, Paul taught about the Second Coming of the
Lord and His promise of the Rapture of the saints. There are five
new points that Paul revealed in his teaching. The first point is
that not all Christians will die - many believers will be alive
in the final generation at the moment when Christ returns to
resurrect all of the saints. (True, but remember now when the
resurrection comes - Keith Hunt). The second point is that Christ
will first resurrect the bodies of those believers who have
already died. (True - but remember now when the resurrection
takes place - Keith Hunt). The third point is that the
resurrection will be instantaneous, in one-tenth of a second, in
"the twinkling of an eye." (True - it is written in 1 Corinthians
15 - it is not the idea of men - Keith Hunt). Another is that
this Rapture will be accompanied by the blowing of "the last
trumpet." (Ah, very true, but you can find when the last trumpet
sounds in the book of Revelation, and is it AFTER the
Tribulation, heavenly signs, and day of God's wrath, of
Revelation chapters 6,7 etc. - Keith Hunt). And the final point
Paul makes is that all believers - both dead and alive - will be
changed into their new supernatural, immortal, resurrection
bodies. (And that is also written in the Scriptures - Keith
Hunt). The Lord will transform our mortal, corruptible earthly
bodies into incorruptible, immortal, heavenly bodies fit for
heaven as well as the Kingdom of God on earth. (Ah, now Jeffrey
is back to teaching we will go to heaven at the resurrection and
coming of Christ, a teaching that cannot be found in the
Scriptures - Keith Hunt)


Early Church Teaching about the Rapture

     The doctrine of the pre-Tribulation Rapture has produced
conflict and debate during recent years as many Christians
attempt to determine the truth about this vital doctrine about
the resurrection of the saints in the last days. The Protestant
Reformation was predominantly based on the rejection of centuries
of accumulated man-made doctrines, church traditions, and a
return to the authority of the Word of God as found in the Bible.
The Latin phrase Sola Scriptura, meaning "Scripture Alone" became
the rallying cry of the reformers who ignored centuries of
medieval tradition and Church councils in their insistence that
spiritual truth could only be discovered in the literal teaching
of the Word of God. It is important to answer the arguments of
those who disparage the blessed hope of the Rapture with
misinformation claiming that no one ever taught or believed in
the pre-tribulation rapture at any point prior to the 1800s.
     During the last century, many post-Tribulation Rapture
writers have attacked the pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine by
claiming that it cannot be valid because no Church writer or
Reformer ever taught it until about 1830. 

(Well I surely have not, for it makes no difference WHO or HOW
MANY may have taught this idea; it makes no difference WHEN they
taught this idea; the idea is still false - Keith Hunt)


     The argument that no one ever taught the pre-Tribulation
Rapture during the first eighteen hundred years of Church history
has been very effective, and has caused many Christians to doubt
or abandon their belief in this doctrine. However, this claim of
the post-Tribulationists is false.
     Many contemporary writers claim that the pre-Tribulation
Rapture theory originated approximately 1812 to 1830. They
ascribe the theory's initial creation to Emmanuel Lacunza (known
as Ben Ezra, 1812), Edward Irving (1816), or Margaret Macdonald
(1830), and finally to John Darby (1827). For example, Dave
MacPherson stated in his 1975 book "The Incredible Cover-Up":
"Margaret Macdonald was the first person to teach a coming of
Christ that would precede the days of Antichrist... . Before 1830
Christians had always believed in a single future coming, that
the catching up of I Thessalonians 4 will take place after the
Great Tribulation of Matthew 24 at the glorious coming of the Son
of Man when He shall send His angels to gather together all of
His Elect."

(And MacPherson has it correct, according to the Scriptures -
Keith Hunt)

     Another preterist, Rev.John Bray, in "The Origin of the Pre-
Tribulation Rapture Teaching"  declared, "People who are teaching
the pre-tribulation rapture teaching today are teaching something
that never was taught until 1812 ... Not one of those early
church fathers taught a pre-tribulation rapture."
     Post-tribulation authors should correct their previous
statements. A remarkable textual discovery conclusively proved
that an important Christian teacher, living almost fourteen
centuries before John Darby, clearly taught that the Rapture
would occur before the Tribulation. During the summer of 1994,
after more than a decade of diligent searching in libraries and
rare bookstores throughout North America and Europe, I discovered
an important manuscript that provides compelling evidence of the
teaching of the pre-Tribulation Rapture more than a thousand
years before the 1800s.
     Ephraem the Syrian Taught the Pre-Tribulation Rapture in 373
Ephraem the Syrian (306-373) was a very important writer, poet,
and theologian of the early Byzantine Church. He was born near
Nisbis, in the Roman province of Syria, near present-day Edessa,
Turkey. Ephraem displayed a profound love of the Scriptures in
his writings as illustrated by several of his written comments
quoted in the Works of Nathaniel Lardner, Vol.4,1788: "I esteem
no man more happy than him, who diligently reads the Scriptures
delivered to us by the Spirit of God, and thinks how he may order
his conversation by the precepts of them."

     After seventeen centuries, Ephraem's hymns and homilies are
still used today in the liturgy of the Greek Orthodox and Middle
Eastern Nestorian Church. The well-respected sixteen volume
Post-Nicene Library (which includes the most important Christian
writings after the 325 Council of Nicea) contains a number of
homilies and psalms by Ephraem. The editors noted that he also
wrote a large number of biblical commentaries that have never
before been translated into the English language
     In Ephraem's "On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End
of the World" (probably written A.D. 373 by Ephraem; but
definitely written before 622), he reveals a literal method of
scriptural interpretation regarding the prophecies about the
Antichrist and the premillennial return of Christ to set up His
kingdom of God on earth. Ephraem's text contains a very clear
statement about the pre-tribulational return of Christ to take
His elect saints home to heaven before the coming Tribulation and
the horrors of the satanic persecution during the seven years
leading to Armageddon: "For all the saints and Elect of God are
gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken
to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the
world because of our sins."

(Wellllll......so what if some guy called Ephraem taught a
"secret" rapture doctrine, way way back when. As Solomon
declared, "There is nothing new under the sun." It makes no
difference to TRUTH, who taught what, or when they taught it. If
it is not according to the Word of Scripture, it is STILL WRONG,
it is still ERROR. Having an early date on some teaching does not
make it a truth of God. All it shows is that ERROR can be as old
as the hills, and that some people far back, GOT THINGS WRONG!!
Keith Hunt)


     Ephraem also declared his belief in a Jewish Antichrist who
will rule the Roman Empire during the last days, a rebuilt
Temple, the Two Witnesses, and a literal Great Tribulation
lasting 1,260 days. 

(Now we really see the ERRORS of this fellow. A Jewish anti-
christ - he got that one just as wrong. Roman empire of the last
days, yes, he got that one correct. A "rebuilt temple" - now, he
got that one wrong. A literal Great Tribulation for 1260 days,
hummmm... got part right. The Tribulation is not the Day of the
Lord. The last 1260 days of this age, includes BOTH the Great
Tribulation and the Day of the Lord, which will be for about 1260
days [Daniel adds more days - Daniel 12] - Keith Hunt)
 

     He also taught that the war of Gog and Magog (Ezekiel 38-39)
would precede the Tribulation. 

(Sure got that one WRONG! Keith Hunt)


     In another text called "The Book of the Cave of Treasure,"
Ephraem taught that Daniel's seventieth week would be fulfilled
in the final seven years at the end of this age that will
conclude with Christ's return at the Battle of Armageddon.

(Ephraem should have stayed in his cave, he obviously had more
treasure there than in his writings on the truths of the
Scripture - Keith Hunt)

     In 1995, after I discovered "On the Last Times, the
Antichrist, and the End of the World," I arranged for Dr.Cameron
Rhoades of Tyndale Theological Seminary to translate it. This
fascinating document states that the Lord will gather together
the Elect of the Lord "before the tribulation" and that the
saints will be "taken to the Lord" to escape "the confusion which
overwhelms the world." Ephraem's text includes his understanding
of the imminent return of Christ, the need to turn from worldly
concerns.

(The whitings of men, do not prove anything. The proof is in the
understanding and correctly searching the Scriptures, putting
them together in the right way to get the clear truth of the
matter, on what you are studying - Keith Hunt)


     Most dearly beloved brothers, believe the Holy Spirit who
     speaks in us. Now we have spoken before, because the end of
     the world is very near, and the consummation remains. Has
     not the first faith withered away in men? ...
     We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers
     what is imminent or overhanging. Already there have been
     hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs,
     which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already
     been fulfilled, and there is not other which remains, except
     the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman
     kingdom. Why therefore are we occupied with worldly
     business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the
     world or the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not
     reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves
     for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that He may draw us
     from the confusion, which overwhelms the world? Believe you
     me, dearest brothers, because the coming of the Lord is
     nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at
     hand, believe me, because it is the very last time....      

(Just like many before and after him, Ephraem could not see the
signs of the times; he was not living in the last days, a long
way from them; he could not understand the book of Daniel, for
the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation was not to be understood,
but only at the time of the end, when people would run too and
fro and when knowledge would be increased. Ephraem was living not
far from the time the DARK AGES would ascend on this earth,
knowledge would be covered and put under the rug, and it would be
over a thousand years later, that knowledge would be increased
and people would run too and fro - Keith Hunt)

     Because all saints and the Elect of the Lord are gathered
     together before the tribulation which is to come and are
     taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any
     time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our
     sins [italics added]. And so, brothers, most dear to me, it
     is the eleventh hour, and the end of this world comes to the
     harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in
     their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord ... 

(It was not the eleventh hour, FAR from it. Old Ephraem boy could
not see it. He had most of it un-side-down and in-side-out -
Keith Hunt)


     When therefore the end of the world comes, there arise
     diverse wars, commotions on all sides, horrible earthquakes,
     perturbations of nations, tempests throughout the lands,
     plagues, famine, drought throughout the thoroughfares, great
     danger throughout the sea and dry land, constant
     persecutions, slaughters and massacres everywhere ...
     When therefore the end of the world comes, that abominable,
     lying and murderous one is born from the tribe of Dan. He is
     conceived from the seed of a man and from a most vile
     virgin, mixed with an evil or worthless spirit.

(Now all that Jeffrey is doing here is showing you how NUTTY this
Ephraem guy was. He was obviously still very anti-Jewish,
thinking the vile false prophet of the book of revelation would
come from the Jews, and from a "virgin"! You have to be kidding!
No, I guess the fellow was not, this is what he taught! There is
ONLY ONE woman that bore a man child who was a virgin - Mary the
mother of the Messiah Jesus. No prophecy in the Word of God tells
you the anti-christ will come from a vile virgin, I guess then
who has sex with a man. This whole thing of Ephraem's writing
shows he was a false prophet, anti-Jewish, and a dreamer of WILD
dreams - Keith Hunt)


     But when the time of the abomination of his desolation
     begins to approach, having been made legal, he takes the
     empire... Therefore, when he receives the kingdom, he orders
     the temple of God to be rebuilt for himself, which is in
     Jerusalem; who, after coming into it, he shall sit as God
     and order that he be adored by all nations ... then all
     people from everywhere shall flock together to him at the
     city of Jerusalem, and the holy city shall be trampled on by
     the nations for forty-two months just as the holy apostle
     says in the Apocalypse, which become three and a half years,
     1260) days.

(Ephraem shows the false idea of a re-built Temple in Jerusalem
goes back a long way - nothing new under the sun. You will notice
he mentions nothing of a 7 year tribulation, at least he could
read the book of Revelation, which many fundamental prophets
today, like Jeffrey, seem not to be able to do - Keith Hunt)


     In these three years and a half the heaven shall suspend its
     dew; because there will be no rain upon the earth ... and
     there will be a great tribulation, as there has not been,
     since people began to be upon the earth ... and no one is
     able to sell or to buy of the grain of the fall harvest,
     unless he is one who has the serpentine sign on the forehead
     or the hand...
     And when the three and a half years have been completed, the
     time of the Antichrist, through which he will have seduced
     the world, after the resurrection of the two prophets, in
     the hour which the world does not know, and on the day which
     the enemy or son of perdition does not know, will come the
     sign of the Son of Man, and coming forward the Lord shall
     appear with great power and much majesty, with the sign of
     the word of salvation going before him, and also even with
     all the powers of the heavens with the whole chorus of the
     saints.... Then Christ shall come and the enemy shall be
     thrown into confusion, and the Lord shall destroy him by the
     Spirit of his mouth. And he shall be bound and shall be
     plunged into the abyss of everlasting fire alive with his
     father Satan; and all people, who do his wishes, shall
     perish with him forever; but the righteous ones shall
     inherit everlasting life with the Lord for ever and ever.

(Ephraem was able to read, he did have the book of Revelation and
he could read it, so he did get SOME THINGS correct. I mean you
have to really be from the mental hospital, if you could not get
SOME things right from the book of Revelation. We do notice no
mention here of a 7 year tribulation - Keith Hunt)


     Ephraem's manuscript is unusual among ancient Church
writings about prophecy in that it presents the events of the
last days in a detailed chronological sequence. Significantly,
Ephraem began his series of future events with the Rapture of the
saints, saying it was "imminent or overhanging." He explained
that God will rapture the Church before the tribulation in these
words: "all saints and the Elect of the Lord are gathered
together before the tribulation which is to come and are taken to
the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the
confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins."

(Just shows that false doctrines have been around for a long long
time - Ephraem had his share of them - Keith Hunt)


     Ephraem used the word "confusion" as a synonym for the
terrible persecution of the final seven-year tribulation period.

(Nowwww .... there was no quote from ephraem that the last
tribulation would be 7 years. It would seem the fundamental
prophets have elaborated on Ephraem's work - Keith Hunt)


     Then he described the Great Tribulation, which will occur
during the last three and a half years of the seven-year
tribulation, under the Antichrist's tyranny, including the Mark
of the Beast. He concluded his prophetic sequence of events with
the Second Coming of Christ from heaven to earth with His saints
to defeat the Antichrist.

(Did I miss something? In what was presented to us from Ephraem's
work, I did not see where he mentioned anything about 7 years -
Keith Hunt)


     Dr.Paul Alexander, one of the most authoritative scholars
studying the writings of the early Byzantine Church, concluded in
his book, "The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition," that Ephraem's
text on the Antichrist taught that the Lord would supernaturally
remove the saints of the Church from the earth "prior to the
tribulation that is to come." 

(It really does not matter what Ephraem did or did not do, what
he taught or did not teach; the truth of the doctrines of the
Lord are found in the Scriptures, NOT in the writings of men -
Keith Hunt)


     Dr.Alexander believed some unknown writer may have written
this text in the sixth century and added the name Ephraem to it
to honor the great teacher. Alexander concluded that it was
derived from an original Ephraem manuscript from 373. However,
one of the greatest scholars of eschatology, Wilhelm Bousett,
accepted the 373 date and Ephraem's authorship as probably
genuine. In his book, "Alexander's Gate: Gog and Magog and the
Enclosed Nations," Professor Andrew R.Anderson also supports the
early date of 373 for this important manuscript.
     Other scholars, including the German editor Professor C.P.
Caspari, who wrote a German commentary on this ancient Latin
manuscript in 1890, believed that the genuine Ephraem could have
written this important manuscript in 373 but also suggested that
some unknown writer might have written this manuscript based on
Ephraem's original work at some point in the fifth or sixth
century. Regardless of whether this manuscript was written
originally by Ephraem or by some unknown writer using his
manuscripts as a source a few centuries later, most scholars
agree that this was written at some point before the year 622
when Mohammed introduced the Islamic religion. This discovery
also demonstrates that the pre-Tribulation Rapture was taught and
attributed to Ephraem the Syrian, one of the greatest and most
respected of the teachers of the ancient Greek Christian Church.

(He may have been "respected" by men, but that does not prove
anything. All kinds of men and women are respected by men, and
they have been some of the dumbest and sometimes "evil" people of
history [Adolf Hitler would have been one of them - many
thousands lived and died because they "respected" him]. So the
acclaim from men means nothing if it is not truth or acclaimed by
God. What any man has to teach better be backed up by the Word of
the Lord, and you, your responsibility is to "search the
Scriptures daily" to see that what you read and hear, IS from the
Word of the Lord - Keith Hunt)


Why a Pre-Trib Rapture?

     In the great purging of evil civilizations recorded
throughout the Scriptures, God has never once poured out His
wrath upon His faithful and righteous followers. The wrath of God
has always fallen solely upon unrepentant sinners; it has never
fallen upon the righteous. This is demonstrated clearly in the
accounts of Noah's flood and the destruction of Sodom and
Gomorrah. It would be a contradiction of God's holiness and just
character if He exposed His saints to seven years of His wrath
during the future Tribulation.

(Now first of all, the saints and 144,000 are sealed by God to
protect them from the "day of the wrath of God" on this earth. We
see that clearly in Revelation 7. Secondly, this is a crazy
statement by Jeffrey, for history bears out that MANY from the
ages past have suffered, even to death, for holding to the truth
of God, just read Hebrews 11 for starters. And when God was
punishing Israel under Elijah, no rain fro 3 years, do you think
the 7,000 that had not bowed the knee to Baal, were up in heaven,
raptured away. Or do you think those true people of God had rain
on their gardens while it was only "no rain" for the evil
unconverted ones in Israel. Then you need to read about the woman
Elijah went to who gave him of the little she had left, and the
miracle God did for her - Keith Hunt)


     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. Likewise also as it was in the days of
     Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they
     planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of
     Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and
     destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when
     the Son of man is revealed. (Luke 17:26-30)

(So, is it impossible for God to PROTECT His children while they
are still on the earth? Noah and family was not taken off into
heaven in some "secret" movement. Yes, Jesus did say we need to
pray that we can escape what is coming in the last days on this
earth. He said that in Luke 21:36. But He did not come close to
saying his people would be saved by some "secret" return of His,
unknown by the world - Keith Hunt)


     As recorded in the book of Genesis, God withheld His
wrathful judgment upon the wicked and rebellious population of
the world until the righteous Noah and his family entered the
ark. Significantly, the wrath of God unleashed the Flood only
after "the Lord shut him in" for protection. God supernaturally
destroyed the wicked city of Sodom, but only after Lot and his
family escaped from the city. The angel warned Lot, "Haste thee,
escape thither; for I cannot do any thing till thou be come
thither" (Genesis 19:22). This significant passage reminds us of
a fundamental principle of God's dealing with mankind - despite
the wickedness of Sodom, the angel declared that he could not
destroy the evil city and its perverse population until the
righteous Lot and his family escaped.

(So big deal, all this shows is that God is able to save, protect
His people, move them out to another part of this earth, give
them protection from the evil and destruction He may send. None
of this proves a "secret" rapture, first coming of a two-phased
return of Christ - Keith Hunt)


     The wrath of God is reserved for those who reject the Lord's
offer of salvation. When Abraham asked God for mercy for the
other citizens of Sodom, he pled, "That be far from thee to do
after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and
that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from
thee: Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" (Genesis
18:25). In Paul's book of Romans, we read, "For the wrath of God
is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and
unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness"
(Romans 1:18). While believers often experience God's loving
chastening for our correction and we often endure the
consequences of our sins and the sinful decisions of others, the
Scriptures clearly reveal that the wrath of God is reserved for
unrepentant sinners.

(And so it will be. Not because of some un-Scriptural teaching of
a secret rapture of saints to heaven, but because God will
PROTECT His children indeed from the "day of the wrath of God"
[Rev.6:17] - He will seal them from what the woes that will come
on this earth during the prophetic "day of the Lord" - Keith
Hunt)


     In Paul's first letter to the church at Thessalonica, he
wrote about the different character and final spiritual destiny
of the saints, "the children of light," in contrast to the
unrepentant sinners, "the children of darkness." Paul affirmed
Christ's absolute promise to His followers of supernatural
deliverance from the coming wrath of God, "For God bath not
appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus
Christ" (1 Thessalonians 5:9). In this passage, it is very clear
that the destiny of "the children of light" (Christians) is "to
obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ." However, the destiny
of "the children of darkness" (those who rebelliously reject
Christ's offer of salvation) is to endure the eternal wrath of
God.


(Now, Jeffrey wants you to believe the wrath of God also includes
the Great Tribulation. But the facts of the Bible show that the
Tribulation, Heavenly signs, and the Day of the Lord, are all
DIFFERENT events. I have proved this to you many times in other
studies on "prophecy" and "end time" on this Website. It is a
fact of history that many of the very elect of God have had to
suffer persecution and torture and DEATH, for the truths of God.
It has been this way for centuries and it will be no different
during the last Great Tribulation to come on this earth. More on
it all later - Keith Hunt)


     In another passage, Paul specifically declared that Christ's
Second Coming will protect His Church from "the wrath to come."
The apostle encouraged Christians "to wait for his Son from
heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered
us from the wrath to come" (1 Thessalonians 1: 10). Note that
this verse specifically outlines the precise chronological order
of prophetic events: First, Christians are to expectantly wait
for the imminent return of His Son from heaven. (The word
"imminent" is not there - and "wrath of God" in many places could
just as well refer to the "second death" NOT anything to do with
the last 42 months of this age - Keith Hunt). Second, Jesus will
come from heaven for His Church. (True, for the saints are in the
grave or waiting for the ONE and ONLY ONE return of Christ, to be
with Him via a resurrection or instant change - Keith Hunt).
Third, Christ's coming for His followers will deliver "us from
the wrath to come." (So, indeed so, Jesus' disciples will have
the wrath of God on this earth all AROUND them, though under
protection from it, and it will be a wonderful deliverance to be
taken out of this world, glorified, and rise to meet Jesus in the
clouds and be with Him forever more - Keith Hunt). 

     In this one definitive verse we have the clearest possible
expression that the resurrection of the saints will precede the
Tribulation when "the wrath to come" will be unleashed from
heaven upon the unrepentant sinners who will worship Satan rather
than God.

(Ah ... ah, do you see what Jeffrey did? He puts the Tribulation
and Wrath of God as ONE. They are NOT ONE!! They are TWO events.
The one - the great tribulation - saints will face and go
through, some protected in a "place of safety - the wilderness"
as Revelation 12 tells you. And the other - the wrath of God -
protection, sealed by God's Spirit, wherever the saints are on
this earth - Revelation 7 etc. UNTIL Jesus comes to resurrect the
dead saints and to change from mortal to immortal, the saints
living at the time of His return - Keith Hunt)


     Some scholars suggest that Christians must experience the
Tribulation to somehow spiritually purify them in preparation for
heaven before they will be raptured. 


(There is nothing "spiritually purify" about the saints going
through the great tribulation. It is all a matter of what God has
DECIDED will be, and so it will be. Nowhere does God say the
tribulation is to purify saints that need purifying. It is simply
a matter of what the Lord has willed, and certainly one reason is
that it will all be a FINAL GREAT WITNESS to the world, that
God's people are willing IF it so be, to give up their LIVES for
obeying the truths of God - Keith Hunt)


     However, this argument fails for two reasons. First, the
majority of all the followers of Christ who compose the Church
that will be present at the Rapture include hundreds of millions
of departed Christian saints who died during the last two
thousand years. 

(Yes, that is so, not hundreds of millions [for few are really
the true servants of God] but ten of thousands, will be in the
resurrection at Christ's coming - Keith Hunt)

     Since these Christian souls are already in heaven without
suffering the persecution of the future Tribulation, it does not
make sense that believers living in the last days would be
required to experience the persecution of the Tribulation to
spiritually prepare them for the coming resurrection. 

(First, Jeffrey does not understand the truth of death. Saints
are NOT today in heaven, they are DEAD, waiting for the
RESURRECTION. This is all proved in many studies on this Website.
Second. Many saints have suffered death in past ages, not to
purify them, but to be a witness to the commandments of God and
the Testimony of Jesus Christ - Revelation 12:11,17. see also
Rev.6:11 where MANY are yet to be KILLED as other of their
brethren were - Keith Hunt)


     Second, there is no need for believers in the last days to
experience the Tribulation to purify them spiritually before they
reach heaven - all believers in every generation are purified
solely by the atoning power of Christ's blood shed for us at
Calvary. Christ's atonement, by His perfect sacrifice on the
Cross, is the only thing that can justify us and fully pay the
price for our sins.

(Absolutely! The idea that saints have to be "purified" by going
through the tribulation, is also the idea of men, it is not
specifically stated that is the reason why SOME must experience
life in the Tribulation. Some are protected from this
Tribulation, but not by the means of a "secret rapture"
[Revelation 12:13-17 - Keith Hunt)


The Importance of Teaching the Pre-Tribulation Rapture

     Why is it important to teach the doctrine of the
pre-Tribulation Rapture? The apostle Peter warned that many
people would challenge our Lord's promise of His Second Coming in
the last days: "Knowing this first; that there shall come in the
last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying,
Where is the promise of his coming?" (2 Peter 3:3-4).

(What's that got to do with a pre-tribulation rapture? It has
nothing to do with it. Peter is teaching that in the last days,
end-time, people would scoff at the teaching of Christ's literal
visible return to earth. Why most today scoff at the Bible
period! Keith Hunt)


     What does the Bible teach us about the proper attitude of a
Christian with respect to the subject of Christ's return? In 1
Corinthians 1:7, Paul tells us, "So that ye come behind in no
gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." Paul also
commands Christians to demonstrate a constant expectation of the
Rapture in Philippians 3:20: "For our conversation is in heaven;
from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ."
The great reformers of the Church encouraged believers in their
constant hope of the Second Coming. John Calvin wrote, "It ought
to be the chief concern of believers to fix their minds fully on
His Second Advent." Martin Luther, in his Sermon of Consolation,
declared that the hope of Christ's return is an absolute
necessity for a Christian:

     If thou be not filled with a desire after the Coming of this
     day, thou canst never pray the Lord's prayer, nor canst thou
     repeat from thy heart the creed of faith. For with what
     conscience canst thou say, 'I believe in the resurrection of
     the body and the life everlasting,' if thou dost not in thy
     heart desire the same? If thou didst believe it, thou must,
     of necessity, desire it from thy heart, and long for that
     day to come; which, if thou doest not desire, thou art not
     yet a Christian, nor canst thou boast of thy faith.

(Why of course, anyone with any brain, reading the New Testament,
can see it is FULL of the teaching that Jesus WILL COME AGAIN, to
live and rule on this earth. As a child growing up I came to see
this truth, just from reading the New Testament. My "church" I
went to from age 6 year old, DID NOT TEACH OR BELIEVE IN THE
SECOND COMING OF CHRIST! Yet I could see it as one of the very
foundational teachings of the Lord. But NEVER did I get from the
NT that the coming of the Lord would be in TWO PHASES, one
secret, unknown to the world, and another in visible glory "ex"
number of years after the first phase. That teaching is just NOT
taught by Jesus or any apostle - Keith Hunt)


     The New Testament contains numerous exhortations to hold on
to the hope of our Lord's soon return as the focus of our
spiritual life. The "blessed hope" of the Rapture should be a
cornerstone of every Christian's spiritual life, for many
reasons.

*    Expecting Christ's soon return calls all believers to
constant spiritual watchfulness. "But ye, brethren, are not in
darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 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" (1 Thessalonians
5:4-6).

(I have no problem with the child of God want the soon return of
the Lord, and in so doing, praying for it, and hence living as a
true Christian, in thought, word, and action - Keith Hunt)

*    This hope motivates us to witness to unbelievers in light of
His imminent coming. "I must work the works of him that sent me,
while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John
9:4).

(We witness for the Lord in HOW we live, and the good deeds we do
- this should go without saying, it is a natural part of being a
child of the Father. Going around telling people about Christ and
the Kingdom .... sometimes it should not be done, as Jesus said,
do not throw your pearls before swine, lest they not only trample
the pears but turn and trample you also. Most Christians by name,
do not understand the salvation plan of God for all who have ever
lived. It is explained to you in full detail with studies on this
Website - Keith Hunt)

*     It reminds us to walk daily in holiness in an immoral world
while we await His soon return. "And every man that hath this
hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure" (1 John 3:3).

(Very true, but we should be so doing even if Jesus does not come
in our lifetime - Keith Hunt)

*    His return comforts the saints by reminding them of their
eternal destiny with Christ. "Let not your heart be troubled: ye
believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many
mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to
prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am,
there ye maybe also" (John 14:1-3).

(So it is good to know a place is being prepared for us in the
very family of Kingdom of God, which we shall have when Jesus
returns in the ONE return of power and glory - Keith Hunt)

*    God promises a crown for those who long for the Second
Coming. "Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of
righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me
at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love
his appearing" (2 Timothy 4:8).


(Indeed, we can have a rulership position with Christ, to rule
this world and the nations upon it, under His kingship and
priesthood, for He will come and be King of kings and Lord of
lords - Keith Hunt)

*    Finally, the approaching return of Christ encourages sinners
to repent and accept the Lord while they still have time. "Repent
ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted
out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of
the Lord; And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was
preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times
of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth
of all his holy prophets since the world began" (Acts 3:19-21).

(Yes, the age is here when once the winking of God is no more and
He calls everyone, everywhere to REPENTANCE! See Acts 17:30 -
Keith Hunt)


     Unfortunately, some peoples' enthusiasm regarding the
Rapture has led them to unwisely propose specific dates for
Christ's return. The Scriptures specifically warn that no one but
God will know the time of His return. The Gospel of Matthew
declares, "Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the
hour wherein the Son of man cometh" (Matthew 25:13). For example,
Harold Camping's book, 1994, claimed that Christ would return on
September 17, 1994.  Millions of readers of this book and other
similar speculative writings were deeply disappointed when these
unscriptural predictions proved false.

(Yaaaa .... it's been going on for centuries - people setting
dates or years for Jesus to return. Yessss .... there nothing new
under the sun - Keith Hunt)


     Christians must not abandon our hope for an imminent Rapture
of Jesus because others have foolishly been misled. We must
simply be obedient to Christ's scriptural command: "When these
things begin come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads,
for your redemption draweth nigh" (Luke 21:28). John Wesley De La
Fletchere wrote a compelling letter to Charles Wesley in 1755
that expressed the proper attitude all Christians should adopt
concerning the Lord's return: "I know that many have been grossly
mistaken as to the year of His return, but, because they were
rash, shall we be stupid? Because they say 'Today!'; shall we
say, 'Never!' and cry 'Peace, Peace,' when we should look about
us with eyes full of expectation?"

     Christians live in a dynamic spiritual tension where we walk
in daily expectation for our Lord's return while we obediently
complete the Great Commission to "Go ye into all the world,
and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15). On the one
hand, since the Lord might return at any moment, we need to watch
expectantly for His coming. 

(NO!! I can tell you quite DOGMATICALLY, that Jesus CAN NOT
return at just any moment or minute of the day. Unless the
nations of the world will REPENT, which is just about impossible
now, the day of sin and evil too far spent; ceratin prophecies
MUST come to pass BEFORE Jesus can return in triumph to rule this
earth and all nations upon it. That is the reason we have the
book of Revelation, to tell us certain events WILL come to pass
before Christ comes in power and glory - Keith Hunt)


     However, the Lord also commands us to "occupy till He
comes," which reminds us to be faithful servants building
churches and orphanages, support evangelical and medical
missions, and witness to those around us until He returns.
     If we are to be obedient to the command of Jesus Christ, we
must live in daily holiness and constant expectation of our
Lord's Second Coming; Christ could return at any moment. (NO just
not so! - Keith Hunt). No other generation has ever witnessed so
many prophecies fulfilled in its lifetime as we have witnessed
since the rebirth of Israel in 1948. The following chapters will
examine a number of fascinating prophecies fulfilled in our
generation that point to the nearness of the Lord's return.

"Blessed are those servants, whom the lord, when he cometh shall
find watching.... Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man
cometh at an hour ye think not" (Luke 12:37,40). 

     The apostle Peter warned, "Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye
know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away
with the error of the wicked, fall from your own steadfastness"
(2 Peter 3:17). While we are commanded to live each day in
holiness and urgently witness as though He will return before the
dawn, (which He will not until all things be fulfilled - Keith
Hunt) we are also called to plan and work to fulfil the Great
Commission as if He will tarry for another hundred years.

(And yes that is so. We must be about our Father's business. We
do not know how long the Father will "stretch" the fulfilment of
prophecy out. He is in charge of time and events. He can lengthen
and He can shorten. We are given things to watch for, things that
must come to pass on this earth BEFORE Revelation chapters 17,
18, and 19 come to reality. Until them, while the day is light,
we must work the work of God, for the day comes, the night comes,
when none shall be able. Yet beyond that dark night we have the
sure hope of the return of out Lord and the resurrection of the
saints, and finally the age to come, the restitution of all
things, as the prophets have spoken about from the beginning -
Keith Hunt)

NOTE:

IN THE NEXT CHAPTER I WILL LEAVE OFF GOING THROUGH THIS BOOK BY
GRANT JEFFREY, AND I WILL SHOW YOU FROM THE SCRIPTURES THE ONE
TRUTH OF THE EVENTS LEADING TO THE RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS AND
THE TRIUMPHANT RETURN OF CHRIST. YOU WILL SEE IN PLAIN CLARITY
THAT NO "SECRET" RAPTURE WILL HAPPEN BEFORE THE GREAT
TRIBULATION, AND THAT JESUS' COMING IS ONE EVENT ONLY, WITH THE
RESURRECTION OF THE SAINTS AT THAT TIME, WHICH WILL BE AT THE END
OF THE LAST 42 MONTHS OF THIS AGE!

                         ........................


To be continued


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