Most debates about the Rapture are simply framed between Pre-Tirbbers and Post-Tribbers, with Mid-Trib/Pre-Wrath/7th Trumpet type views not being taken too seriously and just written off as compromises. Thing is there are different layers to the Rapture debate, and Mid-Tirbbers rather then being normal compromisers, in my case at least agree with the Post-Tirbbers absolutely in one area but with Pre-Tribbers absolutely in another.
I discussed already where I agree with
the Post-Trib camp, that there are things that must come first. But now
I want to address were I agree with the Pre-Tribbers. And that's the
issue of if there are "Tribulation Saints", people saved after the
Rapture who aren't part of The Church, but are Saved before the
Church Missler was half right when he says if
your disagree with him on the Rapture your problems is not understanding
the Uniqueness of The Church. It is indeed an issue that Post-Tirbbers
don't understand that. However Mid-Tirbbers do. And so do Pre-Wrath
people, even tough they still are under the Post-Trib mistake that those
Beheaded for not taking The mark are part of The Church. Since they
see persecution as occurring only in the last 42 months.
want to discus the favorite argument of certain Post-Tribbers I've seen.
That's a focus on the connection between the Rapture and the
Resurrection. They view the Resurrection in Revelation 20 (which
clearly references martyrs from the second half of the 70th week, whore
fused to take The Mark) and the phrase "this is the First Resurrection"
as insisting no Resurrection happened before this.
Resurrection and the Second Resurrection are categories more then a
chronological sequence. The Revelation 20 Resurrection doesn't just include
that victims of The beast, it is explicitly only of those if you read
The First Resurrection is the Resurrection of
the Saved and begins with Jesus, then Matthew 27:52&53 says "And the
graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the
holy city, and appeared unto many." Some want to label this only a temporary resurrection like Lazarus, but that would have
been nothing new, this is being cited as a sign that the Redemption has
been achieved. Also this is why Jesus descended into Hell, to take the
saved that had been collected in Abraham's Bosom, Jesus' descent into
Hell is scripturally supported by Matthew 12:40, Acts 2:27-31, 1 Peter
3:19-20, 4:6, Romans 10:6-8, and Zechariah 9:11.
know the First Resurrection isn't all at once, that was the first phase,
then the Rapture, then any Tribulation saints or any others left at the
start of the Millennium. Revelation 20:4&5 is only referring to
the Resurrection of Tribulation Saints specifically Martyred for not
taking The Mark. The Second Resurrection happens seemingly entirely at
the end of the Millennium. But that The Beast and The False Prophet are
thrown alive into the Lake of Fire without needing to be killed first
suggests to some that they may be early partakers in the Second
The statement "But the rest of the dead lived not
again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first
resurrection." Is simply indicating that this is when the First
Resurrection is complete.
The uniqueness of The Church is easily
provable just from certain verses about John The Baptist. In The
Gospel According to John chapter 3:25 and following John The Baptist
clearly defines himself as not being part of The Bride. Matthew 11:11
and Luke 7:28 record Jesus saying "Verily I say
unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a
greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the
kingdom of heaven is greater than he.. If you deny the
Uniqueness of The Church you have to include the kingdom of heaven
refers to Angels, but elsewhere we know that we once we're Resurrected
will outrank the Angels. And you clearly can't exclude john from being
among the Saved.
New Testament believers have a promise that The
Holy Spirit will not leave us. Samson and Saul clearly had no such
guarantee. David did, he was a preview of us in that sense. But during
this age that promise is for all believers.
Recently, I noticed something interesting. Revelation 21 treats New Jerusalem as synonymous with The Bride of Christ. First verse 2 says "I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride
adorned for her husband". That could be purely a poetic expression,
the big thing comes latter in verse 9 "Come hither, I will show thee the bride, the Lamb's wife". New Jerusalem descends at the start of the New Heaven and New Earth. So the implication of that is that The Bride
isn't on Earth during the Millennium. So that means there is no way
you can make those "Tribulation Saints" refereed to as being part of the
Millennium a part of The Church.
But what about the Saints that
come with Jesus in Revelation 19? I believe these are those who were
Resurrected soon after him in 30 A.D.
So clearly since those
beheaded for not taking The Mark are clearly on Earth during The
Millennium, they can't be part of The Church.
A notable majority
of Post-Tribbers hold some form of replacement theology, which Romans
9-11 refutes. The Church and Israel are separate covenants (and
Salvation is separate from either of those), not all Saved are a part of
either, and some will be part of both. The Church I do view as part of Israel, but a specific distinct part of it.
The thing is
Pre-Tribbers have this idea that God can only deal with one at a time.
Israel was still the main focus of Acts for several chapters after
Pentecost. As I just said some saved people get to be part of both
Israel and The Church this starts with the 12 Apostles themselves who
are promised that they "shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:30.
think it's possible the 144,000 are part of that overlap, they like the
Two Witnesses shall lay the the ground work for Israel's national
salvation during the First Half of the Tribulation. Their literally of
the 12 Tribes and so are definitely Israel biologically/nationally, not
just a metaphorical or spiritual Seed of Abraham. The Gentile spiritual
Seed of Abraham is mentioned at the end of Revelation 12 where it
refers to saints of the second half of the 70th Week.
14 speaks of them in terms that can seem like uniquely Church/Bride of
Christ imagery. And refers to them as "Redeemed from the Earth" and as
"The first fruits" suggesting their already in their Resurrected state.
So that is why I've come to favor a Midway Point view.