MARANATHA or REFRIED ROSENTHAL?
". . . Maranatha." -- 1 Cor. 16:22
By Herb Evans
The Flaming Torch
HERB EVANS VS. ROLAND RASMUSSEN
". . . Occupy TILL I COME." -- Luke 19:13
". . . The Lord is AT HAND." -- Phil. 4:5
". . . Surely I come QUICKLY." -- Rev. 22:20
Roland Rasmussen, author of the book, "THE POST-TRIB, PRE-WRATH RAPTURE," has been converted from pre-tribulationism to post-tribulationism. Annoyed at being ostracized by former preacher friends, who avoid him and his novel post-trib doctrines (p. 54-56), Roland expects a more charitable attitude, quoting notable pre-trib authors (p. 357-360), who do not demand prophecy as a test of orthodoxy. But can Roland expect such charity, while uncharitably portraying pre-tribs as confused termites in a yo-yo (p. 277) and perpetrating a "hoax" (p. 14)? Rasmussen must admit that he once perpetrated this hoax, if it is a hoax. If the pre-trib position is not a "hoax," then Brother Roland is now perpetrating his own hoax (post-trib).
Rasmussen scolds many notable pre-trib’s and their supposed inferior induction methods of interpretation (p. 16, 17). Yet, modern post-tribs inductively weave and link their dogmatic assumptions, partial truths, complex formulas, convoluted interpolations, and forced word associations together with a host of misunderstood, misapplied, and dislocated proof-texts (lumping many dissimilar prophetic events together as if they were one event).
Roland scoffs at the pre-tribulationist claims to "literal" interpretation of the Bible (p. 287-290), for some notable pre-tribs have interpreted some things symbolically (as if literal interpretation means you can never interpret anything symbolically). Still, "literal" interpretation is to be understood in the contradistinction to "allegorical" interpretation. Even Roland interprets "falling stars" as "falling angels" (p. 146, 147), while claiming to be more literal than pre-tribs (p. 262). There are differences within the ranks of both pre-tribs and post-tribs. It is not very hard to pick and choose some of their quotes to set up extreme positions and then attack them. Rasmussen substitutes his false post-trib premises in place of carefully chosen pre-trib imperfections. But Roland's false premises result in Roland's false conclusions.
Rasmussen's opportunism is quick to take advantage of imperfections and variations between notable old pre-trib and new pre-trib writers. The same can be done with post-trib writers, if one had time to waste and did not have weightier arguments. Still, the pretribulational system is touchable. It must, like other systems, be open to investigation, scrutiny, and exploration, because end time prophecy is a vast and complex subject, which is often filled with speculation and guesses, which are in need of refinement and even correction. Still, you don't have to throw the baby out with the bath water.
Rasmussen, a clever writer, manipulates biblical terms into a hodgepodge of prophetic obfuscation in order to prove that the church saints go through Daniel's seventieth week/tribulation and that Christ comes for the saints after the great tribulation (p. 15). Roland's key proof-texts are repeated throughout his book (i.e., 2 Thess. 2:1-3, Dan. 9:27, Rev. 6:13-17, Matt. 24:15, 29, 31). If he is wrong about one or more of these, his rationale is seriously flawed. A post-trib chain of events is like a serially connected string of ornamental lights; if one goes out, they all go out.
Roland's book begins with his home spun analogies of pre tribulationism, i.e., a Pearl Harbor with no warning and a life threatening situation on an airplane in which airline employees comfort the passengers (p. 13, 14) by lying to them. The back cover of the book clearly declares Rasmussen's expectation. He looks for the Antichrist, rather than the Christ. He says, "Are you ready to face the Antichrist?"
In chapter one, Roland warns us of Russian and U.N. troops with their trucks, missile launchers, tanks, and black helicopters on U.S. soil. He warns of United States "FEMA" detention centers, thousands of stockpiled guillotines, the Illuminati, New Age activities, and the Maitreya (who Roland thinks may be the Antichrist, p. 33-35). Such alarms, if true, partially true, or untrue, do not have anything to do with whether church age saints are raptured before or after Daniel's 70th week/tribulation or whether the church goes through the tribulation or whether or not we should expect Christ and the rapture. (Roland's motto - "Scare one another with these words." - 1 Thess. 4:18!)
Often, pre-trib date setters use the same kind of conspiracy and fear tactics to authenticate and sell their books. We are reminded of the fellow, in the forties, who published a book proving that Mussolini was the Antichrist. When Mussolini was executed, the author cried "My God, they have killed my Antichrist and I have just printed thousands of books!"
Roland's book boasts a list (p. 364-369) of notable post-tribs, but many if not most of them are post-mill (something to consider). All post-trib writers agree that pretribulationism is not the historical, majority view, but they don't all agree, who began it. Post-mill Catholics (and her Protestant daughters) support Rasmussen's "historical" and "majority" approach to eschatology. (Ask for scripture, and you are given the Fathers - Luther!) Of course, no post-trib book would be complete without the story of Margaret MacDonald and her pre-trib rapturism (p. 17, 18) in 1830 (despite her post-trib sounding view that the church will go through a fiery trial from the wicked one, from Antichrist, who shall be revealed with all power and signs and lying wonders).
In chapter two, Roland lays ground work for the rest of the book in which he repeats (again and again) his few key proof-texts, quoting pre-tribs and post-tribs extensively. Roland loses the reader in a maze of O.T. prophetic passages, marrying them to some not so clear rhetoric (despite Rasmussen's claims of, "What could be clearer?" and "How could anything be clearer?" and "Simple as two plus two equal four." - p. 87, 144, 150)
Rasmussen’s repeated and excessive appeal to an underlying Greek text, in our opinion, is at bestsuspicious. Still, Rasmussen does rightly criticize those, who attack the KJB Text and replace (in Greek and English) the "Day of the Lord" for the "Day of Christ" (p. 52) in 2 Thess. 2:2. Yet, we are puzzled, when Rasmussen tries to convince us that "a falling away" in this context is really "THE" falling away according to the underlying Greek (p. 49, 50).
As we lay the axe to the root of Rasmussen's post-trib tree, we will not get bogged down in pre-trib or post-trib quotes or technical meanings of words. A detailed critique would require another book; so our general critique must do. Our exception to quoting post-tribs is John Scruby's sub-headings, on page 132 of his book, "The Great Tribulation," which say, "Post-Tribulation-Rapturism Beneficial Even If It Should Prove to Be Erroneous" and "Pre-Tribulation-Rapturism Injurious Even If True."
These sub-headings say a great deal about the lengths to which post-tribs will go to advance their preconceived agenda, which adds one conclusion to another in a continuous chain of events using partial truths without regard to the whole truth. Rasmussen's book is nothing more than "Refried Rosenthal."
THE MATTHEW 24 POST-TRIB RAPTURE
"And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." -- Matt. 24:31
"And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven." -- Mark 13:27
"... in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left ... And he shall ... assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth." -- Isa. 11:11,12
"... then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all nations, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the outmost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee:" -- Deut. 30:1-4
"... though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there." --Neh. 1:9
"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land." -- Joel 3:1,2
"... for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven." -- Dan. 8:8
"... I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the heaven ..." -- Zec. 2:6,7
"The two leading proponents of modern pretribulationism concede that no single scripture or explicit reference exists that proves a pretribulation rapture. There are, however, explicit references in the Bible to a post-tribulational rapture. It has been demonstrated that Matt. 24:31 and Mark 13:27 are indeed explicit references to a post-tribulational rapture." -- Dr. Ronald Rasmussen (p. 174)
Some pre-tribs believe in both a Matthew 24 rapture and a pre-trib rapture, which in itself dampens Rasmussen's boast and challenge. Still, it is unlikely that Matthew 24 and Mark 13 even remotely refer to a rapture or gathering "into" heaven of any kind. They do not mention nor even hint of a resurrection let alone a rapture. Yes, one is taken and the other left (Matt. 24:40, 41). The one that is taken is destroyed not raptured, just as in the days of Noah and the flood (Matt. 24:37, 40).
The language of the above "gather" passages (uttermost part of heaven, four winds, four corners, etc.), do not permit Rasmussen to twist the figures of speech of Mark 13 and Matthew 24 the way, which he would like. (Even the Elam outcasts were scattered to the four winds - Jer. 49:35, 36.) Rasmussen will ignore the connotation of such phraseology, when it interferes with his preconceived agenda. Despite which captivity or dispersion, God's elect Jews are gathered from one end of heaven to the other and from the extreme parts of the earth to the extreme parts of heaven.
Israel's outcasts were driven to the outmost part of earth and heaven, and that is from where the dispersed and scattered remnant shall be gathered together (Joel 3:1, 2 - Armageddon). There are no rapture, no resurrection, no rewards, and no day of Christ in Matthew 24 nor Mark 13. Matthew 24:31 speaks of the Jews being gathered together from all nations. They will be gathered into the land of Israel as even Rasmussen admits (p. 139). Rasmussen scolds pre-tribs for their lack of explicit rapture chronology. Yet, Rasmussen and post-tribs, unlike pre-tribs, lack an explicit people for their Matthew 24 gathering - Jews! Still, can the lack of specificity be a license for bogus chronological precision and specificity?
We can go to Seven Day Adventists and Jehovah’s Witnesses for all that. Who or what should the saints be ready for, looking for, waiting for, watching for? Angels or the Lord Jesus Christ? Always Christ! Whether O.T., N.T., or tribulation! Whether first coming, rapture coming, or coming in glory! Still, looking for angels is somewhat better than looking for the tribulation, the beast, or the Antichrist! "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," Roland!
"For these be the days of vengeance ... for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." -- Luke 21:22-24
And out of one of them came forth a little horn ... and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered.
"Then I heard one saint (O.T.) speaking, and another saint (O.T.) said unto that certain saint (O.T.) which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed." -- Dan. 8:9-14
"... they shall pollute the sanctuary ... take away the daily sacrifice ... place the abomination that maketh desolate ... they shall fall by the sword ... by captivity ... many days." -- Dan. 11:31-33
"Behold, the day of the LORD cometh ... For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle ... and half of the city shall go forth into captivity ... Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations ... And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives ... and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof ..." -- Zec. 14:1-4
"For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. -- Joel 3:1,2
"And I will bring you out from the people, and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm, and with fury poured out ..." --Ezek. 20:34
"Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe ... for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." -- Joel 3:12-15
"The Lukian account of Jesus' answer to the disciples' first question deals with the desolation and destruction of the second temple in A.D. 70 ... This people, namely, Israel was led away captive into all nations in A.D. 70. However, they will not be led away captive into all nations at the time of the end. Rather, they will be gathered from all nations into the land of Israel." -- Rasmussen (p. 139)
Rasmussen gives the impression (p. 139) that the distinctly Jewish, prophetic overview in Luke merely refers to the Jewish temple destruction in 70 A.D. and denies that there is any captivity during the tribulation period. Yet, Luke 21:20-25 talks about the temple even the desolation of Jerusalem and the sword and captivity and treading down the city and sanctuary (Dan. 8:13) and cosmic signs. Luke's account matches the end time events of Mark and Matthew, which includes the wrath on this people, great distress, days of vengeance, and the cosmic signs. Daniel, Zechariah, and Joel confirm this captivity and treading down. How can Rasmussen consign all this to merely the temple destruction of 70 A.D.?
The destruction of the temple in 70 A.D. was but a "precursor" of the tribulation period. Captivity, battle (armies), and nations are connected with the Lord touching down on the mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:1-4). Clearly, an Armageddon "day of the Lord" time-frame (Joel 3:1-2, 12-15) includes the gathering and bringing back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem into Israel, a captivity which was scattered among the nations.
"And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer." -- Rev. 6:2
"And white robes were given unto every one of them; and it was said unto them, that they should rest yet for a little season, until their fellowservants also and their brethren, that should be killed as they were, should be fulfilled. -- Rev. 6:11
"And hath made us (church age saints) kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. -- Rev. 1:6
"... and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. -- Rev. 4:4
"If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: -- 2 Tim. 2:12
"... 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 Tim. 4:8
"... when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory ..." -- 1 Pet. 5:4
"Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection ... they shall ... reign with him a thousand years. -- Rev. 20:6
"... it is established by the Scriptures that the tribulation for the saints of God comes from the Devil, the Antichrist, and wicked men who hate Christ, His Word, and His people ... tribulation for believers comes from the Devil, his people, and the world. Therefore tribulation for the saints is not equivalent to divine wrath upon the wicked. Divine wrath comes fromGod, and it is poured out upon the wicked, not the saints." Rasmussen - p. 114
When the seals of wrath are opened, the Antichrist is first on the scene (first seal - 6:1, 2). The seals that follow - war, famine, pestilence, and persecution match Matthew 24 (parallels O.T. judgment on Israel - Ezek. 5:12-17; 14:21, 22). Roland downplays tribulation "wrath" by pitting the Bible term, "wrath," against Rasmussen's term "unparalleled wrath" (a Rasmussen semantic twist - p.81, 90, 114, 116, 119). Post-tribs insist that the tribulation wrath is the devil's wrath not God's wrath. (What about the devil's "great" wrath - Rev. 12:12 ... after the seals, after Rasmussen's tribulation?) And who opens seals of wrath, Herr Rasmussen, the devil or Christ? Rasmussen allows himself a great and terrible aspect of the DOL (p. 78). But let pre-tribs plead a distinction between the "day of the Lord" versus a "great, terrible, or notable" day of the Lord (a broad day and a narrow day), regarding pre-trib end time events, and then wait and see his outrage.
In heaven abide "crowned" and "rewarded" elders (Rev. 4:4; 2 Tim. 4:8; 1 Pet 5:4) before the first seal is even opened (Rev. 5:5) and before any Rasmussen rapture or resurrection. Now, who are the elders? Elders have always been men and never angels or heavenly beings. Who can they be but resurrected, raptured, and rewarded church age saints, "representatives" of the great number that will have been resurrected, raptured, and rewarded before the first seal? An elder is a representative leader (O.T. and N.T.). These "crowned," "white robed" human elders maintain that they are kings and priests to their God and expect to reign on the earth (Rev. 5:10). What angel or created being was ever entitled to this (2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 1:6; 20:6)?
The martyrs of the fifth seal are in heaven after being killed in the tribulation for the word of God and for their testimony (6:9) by the first seal's Antichrist (6:1, 2, 8). Yet, their brethren, still alive on the earth, must meet the same fulfilled fate (6:11). The request of the 5th seal's brethren to be avenged (6:10) must also be fulfilled.
The fulfillment of the fate of these brethren and the subsequent revenge never occurs during the seals, for the cosmic signs occur and the Rasmussen tribulation is over (note the revenge of Rev. 18: 20; 19:2). Neither is any rapture or resurrection recorded in the seals (nor in Matthew 24). Roland's Day of the Lord/Wrath begins at this point. Now, are these brethren killed before or after Rasmussen's tribulation/seals ends? Are they killed in the trumpets, in the vials, in the day of the Lord, in the millennium? If there is a split time period in this regard, what distinction splits these two sets of believers’ deaths into two different time periods.
THE SIXTH SEAL
"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and ... the sun became black ... and the moon became as blood; And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth ... And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand? -- Rev. 6:12-17
Rasmussen, Rosenthal, and post-tribs place a particular emphasis on the 6th seal of (Rev. 6:12-17 because it is an indispensable part of their carefully woven scheme. Rasmussen grudgingly concedes to pre-tribs that church age saints are NOT appointed unto wrath, but doesn't think they are really going through the wrath of God, when they go through the tribulation; they merely go through the devil's persecution. Roland insists his "unparalleled" wrath of God begins at the end of the great tribulation (and lasts 1,040 days into the millennium). The church age saints, therefore, are raptured not before but after the great tribulation, before the real wrath of God begins. On the surface, such a rationale could seem plausible if repeated again and again and again. And we can trust Rasmussen to do just that.
Rasmussen's view on the beginning of the "real" wrath of God is based on what the lost of the tribulation say in the 6th seal. Now, if I were a post-trib, I would be rather ashamed to have to take the word and testimony of the unsaved crowd of Revelation 6:15-17, who for fear are hiding from God. Especially since 1 Thess. 5:2 states that the DOL will come as a "thief" on the children of darkness and of night (1 Thess. 5:5). The DOL participants should be ignorant of any pending, future wrath, for the children of the night say, "peace and safety" (1 Thess. 5:3)! How does Rasmussen’s children of darkness (Rev. 6:15) get warned?
Either they are mistaken about the DOL, or they are already in the Day of the Lord and just finally realize it is God's wrath (Isa. 2:21). Or the Armageddon part of the DOL is upon them with its cosmic sign preceding it (Joel 2:10, 11; 3:1-2, 11, 12). Many pre-tribs would not be disturbed if the seals complete a general outline of the tribulation period, i.e., Antichrist, war, famine, pestilence, persecution, and cosmics. Many such pre-tribs view the seals, trumpets, and vials as parallel overlaps (partially overlapping) rather than serial, consecutive, sequential events, i.e., the Seals are Daniel's 70th week, the Trumpets are the 3 ˝ year Great Tribulation, and the Vials are the latter part of the Great tribulation. The 7th seal, 7th trumpet, and 7th vial all coincide with similar occurring events.
Rasmussen plays up the phrase "is come" (Rev. 6:17) and that not without Greek gymnastics. Yet, after his 7 seals, God's future wrath also "is come" and the time of the dead, the resurrection, and judgement "is come" for the prophets and saints in Rev. 11:18. The harvest wrath "is come" (Rev. 14:7-19). The future vials of God's wrath are poured out on the earth (Rev. 15:1,7; 16:1). Prophetic fulfillment and prophetic announcements do not alter or void other prophetic pronouncements, announcements, or fulfillment (past or future), especially those pronouncements or announcements that are made by unrepentant sinners, who hide from God.
Not even Rasmussen can make his serial, sequential, consecutive scheme work without an overlap or parenthetical. Rasmussen's post-trib implication of a strict, chronological, consecutive, serial order of the Book of Revelation is overshadowed only by his contradictions of it. How do the two witnesses begin their 1,260 day prophesy in the middle of the great tribulation (Rev. 11:3) long after Roland's seven seals and great tribulation end? They can't unless Rasmussen breaks his own rules. Still, the two mid-trib witnesses begin their ministry at the beginning of the great tribulation, which lasts until the forty two months or 1,260 days. These 1,260 days match the treading of the holy city by the Gentiles for 42 months (Rev. 11:2) and Israel being hid in the wilderness for 1,260 days and a time and times and a half time (Dan. 12:7; Rev. 12:6, 14) and the beast shooting off his mouth for 42 months (Rev. 13:5, 6). Rasmussen has already agreed that 42 months and 1,260 days refer to the great tribulation time (p. 97, 98, 122, 123). He can't have his cake and eat it too.
WHO IS THE 70TH WEEK FOR?
"... 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." -- 1 Cor. 15:51-52
"Having made known unto us the mystery of his will ... That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him ..." -- Eph. 1:9, 10
And he shall ... wear out the saints of the most High ... they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time." --Dan. 7:25
"... when ye shall see the abomination of desolation ... standing where it ought not ... then let them that be in Judea flee ... For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither SHALL be." -- Mark 13:14,19
"... there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered ... And I heard the man ... sware ... that it shall be for a time, times, and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished. -- Dan. 12:1, 7
"... And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah ... Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble ..." --Jer. 30:4-7
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob ... shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth." -- Isa. 10:20
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation ... stand in the holy place ... Then let them which be in Judea ... But pray ye that your flight be not ... on the sabbath day: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. -- Matt. 24:15-21
"When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days ..." -- Deut. 4:30
"Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city ... And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease ..." -- Dan. 9:24-27
It is not only impossible but irresponsible to date prophetic church events by O.T. prophecies. The "church" was a "mystery," which was not revealed in the O.T. (Col. 1:24-26; Eph. 5:31, 32). The rapture and resurrection of church age saints were also "mysteries," which were not revealed in the O.T. [The first hint of a rapture of any kind (in the Bible) is found in John 14:3]. Roland's post-trib rapture of church age saints is founded mainly on the Jewish 70th week or Jacob's trouble and the O.T. prophetic plan for the Jews.
Post-tribs, like post-mills, abhor more than one different prophetic group or plan. The Bible is clear to whom the 70th week belongs. "Thy people" means Daniel's people - the Jews! There is no 70th week for the church. The 70th week is "Jacob's trouble" not the Church's trouble. Israel is in "tribulation" in the latter days not the church. Israel is scattered not the church. Daniel's people are in a "time of trouble" not the church. Israel is in captivity not the church. Israel is gathered not the church. The Antichrist makes and breaks a covenant with the Jews - not the church.
Rasmussen stops the Jewish sacrifice – which is not a church sacrifice. The abomination stands in the Jewish "holy place" in Jerusalem - not the church. The "sabbath" and "Judea" in Matthew 24 have nothing to do with the church but all to do with Israel. This time is unequaled by any past, present, or future affliction. As plain as the nose on your face (Roland's phraseology - p. 153)!
Like post-mills, post-tribs try to force church age saints into prophetic scriptures that belong to Israel. Roland takes great pains to minimize certain words as they refer to Israel. Roland overemphasizes the church age "elect" and "saints," to downplay the Israelite tribulation "elect" (p. 126-131, 169) and "saints" (p. 123-125). Also, Roland minimizes the words "affliction, sorrow, and tribulation" (p. 107,116) to make more palatable Rasmussen’s assumption that church age saints go through Daniel's 70th week.
WRATH, VENGEANCE, ANGUISH, DISTRESS, TRIBULATION
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." -- Matt. 24:21
"For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be." -- Mark 13:19
"For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled ... for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people ... This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled." -- Luke 21:22, 23, 32
"Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. -- Eph. 5:6
"But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God ... unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile (second); -- Rom. 2:5-9
"I will send him against an hypocritical nation, and against the people of my wrath will I give him a charge, to take the spoil, and to take the prey, and to tread them down ..." -- Isa. 10:6
"And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." - 1 Thess. 1:10 (2 Pet 2:9)
"For God hath not appointed us to wrath ..." -- 1 Thess. 5:2-4, 9
"... he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him." -- John 3:36
"... it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you ..." -- 2 Thess. 1:6
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the UNJUST unto the day of judgment to be punished: -- 2 Pet. 2:9
"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. -- Rev. 11:18
"... If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead, or in his hand, The same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God ..." -- Rev. 14:9, 10
"And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God." -- Rev. 15:1, 2
"And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.-- Rev. 16:1
The post-trib modus operandi is to play semantic word games with the word "wrath." They zero in on Rev. 6:17 as the beginning of the DOL and God's wrath, while ignoring the wrath of Luke 21 (p. 22, 23), which matches the 4 Gospels and the early seals of Rev. 6). Roland minimizes this tribulation wrath by calling it "persecution" (p. 119).
Will the next Rosenthal or Rasmussen say that the church age saints will go through the seven trumpets because of the expressed future wrath (Rev. 14:9,10) fulfilled in the vials (Rev. 15:1,2,7)? Will the next one say that the DOL begins after the 7th vial (Rev. 16:15), when the Lord comes as a thief (Rev. 16:15), since the cosmic signs (Rev. 16:10) precede the DOL and the Armageddon DOL (Joel 2 & 3). God deals with unjust, unbelieving, impenitent, disobedient, evil doers with wrath, anguish, distress, vengeance, and tribulation. Yet, there are more than one program of His wrath and more than one wrath recipient group.
There is wrath on the unbelieving Jews first and wrath on their unbelieving, persecuting Gentiles second. Wrath begins in the first seal and escalates throughout the tribulation period and culminates with the sickle and wine press and Armageddon. Still, the Lord is able to deliver his own blood bought church age saints from all end time wrath and tribulation to come, for they are not appointed to this wrath and this tribulation.
RASMUSSEN'S CHRONOLOGY AND COSMIC SIGNS
"Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients (Jews) gloriously." -- Isa. 24:23 (kingdom)
"Come near, ye nations, to hear ... his fury upon all their armies ... and their stink shall come up out of their carcases ... And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved ... and all their host shall fall down ..." -- Isa. 34:1-4 (Armageddon)
"The earth shall quake before them; the heavens shall tremble: the sun and the moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their shining: And the LORD shall utter his voice before his army ..." -- Joel 2:10,11 (Armageddon)
"Let the heathen ... come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen ... Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the DAY OF THE LORD is near in the valley of decision. The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining." -- Joel 3:12-15 (Armageddon day of the Lord)
"And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity ... Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken." -- Luke 21:25, 26 (6th seal)
"And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth ..." -- Luke 23:4
"And the fourth angel sounded, and the third part of the sun was smitten, and the third part of the moon, and the third part of the stars; so as the third part of them was darkened, and the day shone not for a third part of it, and the night likewise." -- Rev. 8:12
"And the fourth angel poured out his vial upon the sun; and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire ... And the fifth angel poured out his vial upon the seat of the beast; and his kingdom was full of darkness ..." -- Rev. 16:8-10
"... the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit." --Rev.9:2
"... and there was a thick darkness in all the land of Egypt three days: -- Exo. 10:22
"The Bible is crystal clear about the commencement of the Day of the Lord. Joel says, The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. (Joel 2:31) ... Therefore, the Bible teaches that the Day of the Lord will not begin until after the sun and moon are darkened immediately after the Great Tribulation." -- Rasmussen (p. 87)
The cosmic signs, occur throughout the Bible. They are as old as the Old Testament (Ex. 10:22) and as recent as the Gospels (Luke 23:44). Yes, they occur after the Great Tribulation (Matt. 24:29) in the sixth seal (Rev. 6:12). They also occur after the sixth seal in the 4th and 5th trumpet and the 4th and 5th vial (Rev. 8:12; 9:2; 16:8,10). Cosmic signs, indeed, refer to the great and terrible Day of the Lord (Joel 2:31), but "in those days" the captivity is brought back (Joel 3:1,2). Still, the cosmics refer also to Roland's 70 A.D. temple destruction of Luke 21:25 -26 and Armageddon (Isa. 34:1-4; Joel 2:10-11; 3:1-2, 12-16), the kingdom reign (Isa. 24:19 -23), the dissolving of the heavens (2 Pet. 3: 10), and events that occur long after the sixth seal (if a serial, sequential chronology is insisted upon rather than a parallel overlap of the seals, trumpets, and vials).
For all practical purposes, the darkness over all the earth (Luke 23:44) during Calvary satisfied the O.T. prophetic day of the Lord's pre-cosmic signs. Yet, there are more prophetic cosmic signs to come. But Roland only likes cosmic signs, which occur immediately after the great tribulation but curiously slights cosmic signs, which occur before Matthew 24, after Revelation 6, and between Armageddon and the 6th seal (Joel 2:10, 11, 30 - 3:1-2, 15-16; Rev. 19).
Roland prejudices his argument by saying the cosmics "begin" rather than "precede" the day of the Lord. Cosmics do occur immediately after the great tribulation (Matt. 24:29; Rev. 6:12-17) and precede the Day of the Lord. Still, if you can force the church into the tribulation with cosmic signs, which occur in the 6th seal, you can force the church through the trumpets and vials until the wedding, glory coming, and Armageddon (Rev. 19:7-19). For cosmic signs precede these, according to Joel. However, if the end of the seals, trumpets, vials, Matthew 24:27-31, and Rev. 19:7-19 are parallel overlaps, the church age saints cleanly escape them.
THE DAY OF THE LORD
"... the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them ... But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. For God hath not appointed us to wrath ... -- 1 Th. 5:2-4, 9
"... the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah ... Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble ..." -- Jer. 30:4,7
"For the day is near, even the day of the LORD is near ... it shall be the time of the heathen." -- Ezek. 30:3
"For the day of the LORD is near upon all the heathen ..." -- Obad. 1:15
"The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished ..." -- 2 Pet. 2:9
The day of the Lord is a long period of time and is sometimes called a point in time. The DOL has many aspects and programs (war, woe, judgement, wrath, persecution, and judgement on the heathen, the unjust, and the children of the night/darkness). The Day of the Lord will not overtake the church age children of the light and day. It is the unjust and unbelieving children of night/darkness that shall be overtaken, they are appointed to the day of the Lord/wrath.
The day of Christ is a shorter period of time (reward, crowns, blessings to church age saints) but not necessarily a single moment in time; its recipients are not appointed to any day of wrath. The godly children of the day, church age saints, will be delivered!
There is more than one phase or aspect of the DOL, whether Rasmussen acknowledges them or not. Still, due to the time lapse between the statements, "the great day (day of the Lord according to Rasmussen) of his wrath is come" (Rev. 6:17) and "thy wrath is come" (Rev. 11:18).
Rasmussen is forced to double clutch saying, "there is a distinction between the time of the entrance into the condition of the great day of His wrath and the time of entrance into the unparalleled wrath itself" (p. 234, 235), making a sharp distinction between "wrath" and "unparalleled wrath" (p. 235-237).
Will Rasmussen allow such a distinction between the "day of the Lord" and "the great and the terrible" day of the Lord (Joel 2:31) or "that great and notable" day of the Lord (Acts 2:20) or the "great and dreadful" day of the Lord (Mal. 4:5) or the "great day of God Almighty (Armageddon)," when He comes as a "thief" (Rev. 16:14-15) as they relate to end time events. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander! Rasmussen raises issue whether the DOL occurs before the seven year tribulation (pre-trib) or after (post-trib), calling the pre trib view a "theological necessity" and "clever eschatological bootlegging" (p.85-87) and tells us (p. 58, 59, 84) that the coming of Elijah will be far too late to "precede" the beginning of the Day of the Lord, if the day of the Lord would begin with Daniel's 70th week (as pre-tribs believe - Rev. 11:11-14), since they will prophesy 1260 days. Yet, Elijah's name is not even mentioned in the Revelation or Revelation 11. Still, for all practical purposes, Elijah has already come (Matt. 17:12). Yet, there is a great deal of difference (and time) between the time of the "sending" or the "coming" and the time of the "ministry" of the witnesses and/or Elijah.
Rasmussen vacillates between Elijah being one of the two witnesses (p. 84) and "if" he is one of the two witnesses (p. 58, 268, 269), for he has the same problem as he charges to pre tribs. In Rasmussen's time scheme, the great tribulation has ended with the sixth seal of Rev. 6:17. Rasmussen's two witnesses appear at the tribulation's 3/4 mark, after the seals. They are killed, resurrected, and raptured after the seals, trumpets, and Roland's second tribulation (Rev. 11:10-14; 13:5, 6, 15, 16) - p. 97, 98, 104, 120-123, 209. Their deaths, according to Rasmussen, will occur somewhere near the middle of the 1,040 day overrun past the 70th week into the Day of the Lord part of the millennium (p. 268, 269). Now, that your head is spinning with this "theological bootlegging," consider that Rasmussen's Day of the Lord begins in the 7th Seal (Rev. 8:1). If the two witnesses' ministry starts at the 3/4 mark of the 70th week (p. 268, 269, 299), this places their ministry during the seals, which according to Rasmussen, precede the Day of the Lord (p. 58). Roland can’t have his cake and eat it too.
THE DAY OF CHRIST?
"And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." -- 1 Thess. 1:10
So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; When he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) IN THAT DAY ... Let no man deceive you by any means: for THAT DAY shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; -- 2 Thess. 1:4-10 with 2 Thess. 2:3
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand." -- 2 Thess. 2:1-2
Paul beseeched these saints in comforting them by the Lord’s coming and our "gathering unto him [the rapture]" but not to be shaken or troubled by the day of the Lord in 1 Thess 5, which is the day of vengeance. And he reminds them that the Day of Christ or judgment seat or rewarding seat is at hand. Now, there are two ways to read the last phrase. Not to be troubled because the Day of Christ is AT HAND or not to be troubled by thinking the Day of Christ is at hand. Either way, we must consider what the Day of Christ is.
The setting of 2 Thess. 2:3 is a persecuted and troubled Thessalonian church, who were undergoing and enduring tribulations. They were to find comfort in the fact that it is the enemies of God and not them, who were going to be recompensed with tribulation (1:6) and vengeance (1:8) at the revelation of the Lord Jesus and His mighty angels IN THAT DAY. Paul beseeches these troubled Christians by the coming of the :ord and the gathering unto him (not by the tribulation nor by the Antichrist) not to be shaken in mind nor be troubled (2 Thess. 2:1). Now, what in the world could be more troubling and less comforting than looking forward to the tribulation or the Antichrist?
Most prophetic students agree that the "Day of Christ" refers to the Judgment Seat of Christ. The raptured saints are rewarded in this time and also appear at the wedding supper after their marriage and then saddle up to come back to war on earth. So, in short, the Day of Christ or JSOC appears to be the time time frame that spans the seven-year tribulation period on earth but occurs in heaven and not on earth. The judgment seat begins some time after the rapture and probably is a portion of those seven years. However the JSOC and all the other events in heaven are during those seven years on earth. In other words the beginning of the Day of the Lord on earth begins after the rapture and ushers in the beginning of the Day of Christ or JSOC in heaven, at some time afterwards, but it is erroneous to call the Day of Christ the “RAPTURE” which occurs first.
If "that day" of 2 Thess. 2:3 refers to "that day" of 2 Thess. 1:10 (Christ's coming in vengeance and glory?) rather than referring to the "day of Christ" (2 Thess. 2:2), the problem is solved. For both of these days of recompense ("that day") would then harmonize the Text by occurring after a falling away and the unveiling of the man of sin. Still, it is correct to say that the KJB’s "day of Christ" belongs (2 Thess. 2:2) and not to be substituted with the "Day of the Lord" Still, It would be very interesting to hear Roland’s expert Greek exegesis of "for that day shall not come" (1 Thess. 2:3).
Suppose that "that day" does refer to the "day of Christ" (1 Thess. 2:2). Must our conclusions depend on pre-trib, post-trib, and/or Rasmussen definitions of the DOC? Are Rasmussen or the post-trib or even some pre-trib definitions of the "day of Christ" correct? Is it a moment of time or a period of time? Doesn't any time at all elapse between the meeting in the clouds and the standing before the judgment seat (Rom. 15:10) with its fiery examination for rewards? One 24 hour day? Twenty three hours? Thrre and one half years? Can this be established by scripture?
Roland Rasmussen's and many pre-tribbers’ views are that the "DOC" begins at the same exact moment as the rapture (arrived at by Rasmussen's pre trib "induction" methods). Still, the emphasis, which the scriptures place on the "Day of Christ," is not "rapture" but "rewards." It is the day that the waiting saints will be declared judicially blameless (1 Cor. 1:7, 8). It is the day that the spirit is judicially saved by fire (1 Cor. 5:5; 1 Cor. 3:15). It is a day in which our work shall be judicially revealed by fire (1 Cor. 3:13). It is a day of rejoicing, crowns of reward, blessings, and even LOSS to the church saints but not wrath (2 Cor. 1:14; Phil. 2:16).
Roland sees a problem (p.66) with Christ performing a good work in the saints until the "DOC" (Phil. 1:10) and the saints being sincere and without offense until the "DOC" (Phil. 1:6), supposing that an intervention of time between the rapture and the judgement seat would prevent such language. (Roland demands absolute juncture and precise timing of the order of events.) Yet, a time intervention between death and the judgement seat (Phil. 1:6,10) would present the same problem to Rasmussen.
Roland Rasmussen contends that pre-tribs cannot deny that these two events (apostasy and man of sin) must occur before the "day of Christ" (p. 64). Regarding 2 Thess. 2:1-3, he thinks that his position is unassailable because a one famous fundamentalist was unable to answer his DOC timetable and a college president said his position is unanswerable (p. 53, 54). Roland informs us that most pre-tribs believe that the man of sin will be revealed as the son of perdition in the midst of Daniel's 70th week (p. 66). What if some pre-tribs and Rasmussen are wrong about the time of that revelation?
There is nothing that demands that the man of sin be "revealed" in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. Whether the Antichrist is revealed at the beginning of the 70th week of Daniel or in the middle of it is disputable in that the Antichrist makes the covenant in the beginning of the week and breaks it in the midst of the week. What if the man of sin is "revealed" at the beginning of the 70th week, when he makes the covenant?
How does Rasmussen's tribulation church even know that they are in the first part of Daniel's 70th week, if the antichrist is not revealed until the second part of the week? Where is the event that marks the beginning of Roland's 70th week? Wouldn’t Roland's church know of the covenant at the beginning of the week? Would not Rasmussen know that it is the Antichrist that makes the covenant? Will Rasmussen's church recognize the rider on the white horse of the first seal as the "Antichrist" (Rev. 6:1,2)? Will Rasmussen's church know that peace is taken from the earth in the 2nd seal (Rev. 6:4)?
A date setter pre-trib could end Rasmussen's whole post-trib argument by simply surrendering "imminency" and buying into an apostasy and revelation of the man of sin immediately before the rapture, followed by the seven year tribulation. Date setter pre-tribs could easily satisfy the horns of Rasmussen's dilemma (1 Thess. 2:1-3) without adopting or helping his claim to post-tribulationism, which is not found in this passage nor any other in any way, shape, or form. Still, we doubt whether they would be willing to replace an imminent coming of Christ with an imminent Antichrist, apostasy, or tribulation period.
If the "DOC" is only the "examination and rewarding period," which begins after the rapture (say, 1 to 23 hours removed), there would be plenty of time between the rapture and the standing before the rewarding seat for the Antichrist to be revealed. Moreover, an "apostasy" would be a natural outcome of the rapture of every living saint from the earth. Both the rapture and the rewarding period could still be in the very same hour or 24 hour period (and last between one hour and seven years) and still satisfy the text. The time between could easily accommodate the man of sin and apostasy.
Now, is Paul comforting the Thessalonians with information that the day of Christ is "at hand" or were they troubled and shaken at the prospect of the DOC being "at hand?" Were they being encouraged by the DOC being "at hand" or were they discouraged that the DOC was "at hand?" The Thessalonians had already been told to "wait" for his Son from heaven (1 Thess. 1:10); they had not been told to wait for the apostasy or the man of sin or the tribulation!
How does the fact that the Lord is "at hand" (Phil. 4:5) and the end of all things is "at hand" (1 Pet. 4:7) play into Roland's timing? Why would the Thessalonians be troubled or shaken at the prospect of either a day of rapture or a day of rewards being "at hand?" Unless, they thought that they had missed one or the other?
RASMUSSEN'S STRANGE MILLENNIUM
"... the Bible teaches plainly that a time, times, and a half a time is 1,260 days. This fact is established by John, who writes, And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days." Rasmussen on Rev. 12:6 (p. 97-99)
"This passage (Rev. 13:5, 6) reveals that the power of the Antichrist will be global and that he will use his power to make war with the saints and overcome them. The coming tribulation will be great because of its universality and its severity ... This passage(Rev. 13:15 16) predicts clearly the severity of the Great Tribulation for the saints of God." (p. 120)
"In Revelation, John confirms that the Great tribulation is three and one half years in duration, when he writes, ' ... and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months ... and it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. '"Rasmussen on Rev. 13:5-7 (p. 122-123)
"The two witnesses will not begin their ministry until approximately halfway through the last half of Daniel's Seventieth Week. This is evident for their ministry of 1,260 days ends after the sixth trumpet judgement and before the seventh trumpet judgement. The fact is revealed in Revelation 11:7-14 ... The two witnesses will prophesy for 1,260 days, beginning somewhere near the middle of the great tribulation and continuing until they are killed after the sixth trumpet judgment in the day of the Lord" --Rasmussen (p. 299)
The mathematics of Rasmussen's millennium is something to behold. Rasmussen's 2,300 day temple cleansing start in the middle of Daniel's 70th week along with the great tribulation, which is 1,260 days or 42 months or 3 ˝ years (time, times, and a half time). The cleansing overruns the great tribulation by 1,040 days (2,300-1,260=1,040); that is 1040 days into the millennium. [Rasmussen's computation is based on the 2300 day cleansing found in Dan. 8:9-14 (p. 207-214), which he says overruns the millennium by 1,040 days.] But the two witnesses do not begin, when the cleansing starts; they begin 630 days later in the middle of great tribulation, but they are not really in it because the seals are already ended. Rasmussen's 7 trumpets and 7 vials occur after the tribulation period and even during 1040 days of the millennium (p.88, 89, 211, 228, 241, 244). Roland's two witnesses and their ministry begin somewhere near the middle of the last half of the 70th week (p. 268) near the middle of the great tribulation (p. 269). Still, Rasmussen's two witnesses prophesy 1,260 days (p. 58). Their ministry ends after the 6th trumpet and before the 7th trumpet. Their deaths will occur somewhere near the middle of the 1,040 day overrun into the millennium (p. 299).
The Antichrist and the devil are still around in the first 1,040 days (34 months and 20 days) of Roland's millennium (p. 210- 214). In other words, the saints reign and the devil is bound for 997 years and 1 month and 10 days (Rev. 20:2,3) and not 1,000 years. Rasmussen's time interval between his post-trib rapture/coming of Christ and Christ's Armageddon coming is the 1,040 day overrun (p.248, 254). The saints and two witnesses must die in Rasmussen's millennium (Rev. 14:13). Satan's miracles and image and the mark of the beast must occur in Rasmussen's millennium (Rev. 13:13-18; 14:9-11; 16:2,14). Armageddon must occur in his millennium (Rev. 16:14-16). The dragon /devil/Satan fall from heaven to earth in his millennium (p.211-212). Satan, the devil, the serpent, beast, the false prophet, and the beast's kingdom are found in Rasmussen's millennium along with their blasphemy, murder, and persecution (Rev. 11:7; 12:1-17; 13:1-18; 16:10, 13; 17:17).
Rasmussen interprets the seals (Rev. 6:15-17) as the end of the tribulation with the future, sequential vials (and some trumpets) as part of the millennium (p. 211, 228). Still, Rasmussen contradicts his whole premise of no 70th week/tribulation after the sixth seal (Rev. 6:17) by confessing that the 42 months (Rev. 13:5,6) are the great Tribulation. He admits that it is unparalleled in the past or future (p.120, 122, 123) and that the 1,260 days, 42 months (3 ˝ years) refer to the great tribulation (p. 97, 98, 104, 122, 123, 209). Now that you are caught, Roland, now, will you appeal to a parenthetical or a concurrent overlap?
RESURRECTION OF THE O.T. SAINTS
"And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth." -- Rev. 11:18
"And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them." -- Rev. 14:13
"And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection." -- Rev. 20:4-5
"... there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." - Dan. 12:1, 2
"Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly ... And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days (1290). Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days (1335). But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." -- Dan. 12:10-13
Both Daniel and his people's (Jews) resurrection is at the end of the time of trouble on his people. The tribulation ends 1260days from the abomination in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. Also, something happens at the 1290 day mark, perhaps the bride's wedding (Luke 12: 36-40). Then there is the 1335 day mark, which is the resurrection of the O.T. saints, the time when Daniel stands. So, there is room for a 75 day gap between the great tribulation's end and the resurrection of O.T. saints and the millennium.
FOR WHAT OR FOR WHOM ARE YOU WAITING FOR?
"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come agina, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also." – John 14:3
"... when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." -- 1 John 3:2
"And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. " -- 1 John 2:28
"And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come." --1Thess.1:10
"And the Lord direct your hearts ... into the patient waiting for Christ." –2 Thes. 3:5
"When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory." -- Col. 3:4
"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:" -- Phil. 3:20
"Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand." -- Phil. 4:5
"... we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for ... the redemption of our body. – Rom. 8:23
"Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord." -- James 5:7
"Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh." -- James 5:8
"For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry." – Heb. 10:37
"So that ye come behind in no gift; waiting for the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ ..." -- 1 Cor. 1:7
"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." -- Rev. 22:20
We propose a test to Rasmussen, regarding the above scripture passages, a multiple choice sort of thing. Who or for what should we church age saints wait, look, watch for, be ready?
E. Mark of Beast
H. MARANATHA! The rapture by Jesus
THE CHRONOLOGY OF HIS COMING
"... the coming of Christ in the clouds (Rasmussen's rapture) will occur at the time of the sun and the moon are darkened, immediately after the Great Tribulation at the opening of the sixth seal ... the coming of Christ on a white horse cannot occur at the opening of the sixth seal, for it will not occur until ... after the pouring out of the wrath of the Lamb during the seven vial judgments (Rasmussen's Armageddon); and after the destruction of the whore."-- Rasmussen (p. 252)"
"... a time interval between the coming of Christ in the clouds and the coming of Christ on a white horse must be recognized by the literal interpreter of the Bible." -- Rasmussen (p. 253)
"And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore ..." -- Rev. 17:1
"For true and righteous are his judgments: for he hath judged the great whore, which did corrupt the earth with her fornication, and hath avenged the blood of his servants at her hand." -- Rev. 19:2
"Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself READY." -- Rev. 19:7
"And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army." -- Rev. 19:19
"And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return FROM THE WEDDING; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants, whom the lord when he cometh shall find watching ... Be ye therefore ready therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not." -- Luke 12:36-40
"Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh ... But and if that EVIL servant shall say in his heart, MY LORD DELAYETH HIS COMING ..." -- Matt. 24:44, 48
Rasmussen, unlike most post-tribs, agrees to a two phased coming. Pre-tribs and Rasmussen hold to Christ coming in the clouds to rapture the saints and coming on a white horse to fight the armies of Armageddon. Yet, the difference is that Rasmussen’s first phase of that coming is shifted in time from that of pre-tribs. He believes that Christ comes in clouds after the tribulation (with a 1,040 day gap/millennium overrun until his Armageddon coming - p.254). Pre-tribs believe that Christ comes in clouds before the tribulation and comes in power/glory at Armageddon.
Rasmussen's convoluted chronology breaks down, when you consider that Christ comes back to gather the tribulation saints (Jews, who are instructed to be ready - Luke 12:36-40) after the vials and after the bride's wedding. The church age saints are to look, watch, wait, be ready, and will be raptured. The tribulation saints, are to watch, wait, be ready, and will be blessed. Unsaved tribulation saints will not watch nor be ready and will be punished. The problem, for Rasmussen, is that the wedding does not occur until Revelation 19:7. Christ's bride, the church age saints, have seven years to prepare and make ready for that wedding (Rev. 19:7). The bride's wedding cannot take place before this passage.
It might be noted that neither the saints of the tribulation nor the present saints are ever instructed to, look, wait, watch, or be ready for the tribulation, the Antichrist, the abomination, the Beast, or the tribulation. There are some "when you see(s), do this," but that is all. But what if you don’t see?
Whether you are Jew or Gentile, you are always instructed to look, wait, watch, and be ready for your Lord's return. Pre-tribs have "explicit" scripture to look, watch, wait, and be ready. Post-tribs have zilch! The Jew and Gentile church age saints have their program - wheat first, tares last (1 Thess. 4:15,16). Tribulation Jews have their program - tares first, wheat last (Matt 13:30,40). Why listen to Roland's instructions to wait for the Antichrist; why not listen to the word of God's instructions to wait for Christ, who comes for His saints (1 Thess 4:16) before the tribulation and with His saints (1 Thess. 3:13) after the tribulation? It is not a question of imminency; it is a question of expectancy! The word of God's watch word is "Maranatha" not 666.
-- by Herb Evans
Flaming Torch - Oct/Nov/Dec 1997, p. 1