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The Emperor Has No Clothes & the Pretrib Rapture Doctrine Has No Verse!

THE EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES: An analysis of the so called pretribulational verses as taught by Mark Hitchcock, and many other prominent pretrib rapturists.

I had the privilege of eating breakfast with Hitchcock at the Pretrib rapture Conference in Dallas, TX in 2012, so this is

“WHILE NO SINGLE VERSE SAYS JESUS IS COMING TO RAPTURE HIS SAINTS BEFORE the seven-year Tribulation…” Pg 136

not an attack on his character or love for the Lord. I simply think that it is time that we demand to see the evidence which the pretrib rapture doctrine is based on. We can no longer claim that the timing is a mystery on the one hand, and then on the other hand, claim that it will certainly happen before the tribulation. If someone has a verse or contiguous passage to prove the pretribulational rapture, let him submit that evidence once and for all.

Hitchcock admits that there isn’t a single verse for the pretrib rapture. Notice that his evidence rests on other verses, namely that we will be delivered from the wrath to come. So, if it could we show (which we can) that the wrath is not the entire seven years, but the very day that Jesus’ comes back (which the eye witnesses in Rev 6 shout out), then the entire pretrib rapture argument fails.

QUOTE from Hitchcock’s book, The End:
“WHILE NO SINGLE VERSE SAYS JESUS IS COMING TO RAPTURE HIS SAINTS BEFORE the seven-year Tribulation, there are clear statements that He is coming to deliver His people from the coming wrath (1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10). Thus, it STANDS TO REASON that God will use the Rapture to accomplish this promise. Also, it’s important to note that many biblical doctrines, such as the Trinity, the inerrancy of Scripture, and the dual nature of Christ, are NOT SPELLED CLEARLY IN ONE VERSE.” Mark Hitchcock, The End, Pg 136. [emphasis mine] END QUOTE

As expected, Hitchcock, like every other Pretrib teacher, must call the “Trinity” to the stand as a witness as a distraction to the real question – “where is the timing verse for the pretrib rapture?” Let’s not get caught in that trap but actually look at the verses that he has offered as proof of the pretrib rapture.

The first supposed proof is in Revelation 6 where the men of the world in are eye witnesses of the return of Jesus! This fact is missed because pretribbers almost always read Revelation as a chronologically straightforward book, when it is anything but (we see ALL the islands and mountains moving out of their places in BOTH Revelation 6:14 and Rev 16:20 – thus proving that they are same exact event but repeated in the text.)

Then the sky receded as a scroll when it is rolled up, and every mountain and island was moved out of its place. (Rev 6:14) And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, (Rev 6:15) 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: (Rev 6:16) For the great DAY OF HIS WRATH is come; and who shall be able to stand? (Rev 6:17)

I have included the “pretrib rapture” verses that Hitchcock cites in his book The End, pg 150. Please read them slowly and thoughtfully. Notice that NONE of them…NOT EVEN ONE gives us the timing of the pretrib rapture. Some speak of the resurrection or the transformation but NOT EVEN ONE tells us that the (PRETRIB) Rapture will happen before the Great Tribulation. I hope that it will become evident that the EMPEROR HAS NO CLOTHES.

John 14:1-3 1 “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rom 8:19 For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Cor 1:7-8 7 so that you are not lacking in any gift, as you wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ, 8 who will sustain you to the end, guiltless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. ESV2011[WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Cor 15:51-53 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? – SURE, WE HAVE THE RESURRECTION, BUT NO TIMING REFERENCE AT ALL]

1Cor 16:22 If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed. Our Lord, come! ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Phil 3:20-21 20 But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THERE IS A TRANSFORMATION BUT NO TIMING REFERENCE]

Phil 4:5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Col 3:4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Col 3:1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 1:10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE WRATH OCCURS AT THE SECOND COMING, ACCORDING TO THE EYE WITNESSES IN REVELATION 6:16-17]

1Thess 2:13-18 13 And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers. 14 For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind 16 by hindering us from speaking to the Gentiles that they might be saved—so as always to fill up the measure of their sins. But wrath has come upon them at last! 17 But since we were torn away from you, brothers, for a short time, in person not in heart, we endeavored the more eagerly and with great desire to see you face to face, 18 because we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, again and again—but Satan hindered us. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 5:9 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE WRATH OCCURS AT THE SECOND COMING, ACCORDING TO THE EYE WITNESSES IN REVELATION 6:16-17]

1Thess 5:23 Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Thess 5:2 For you yourselves are fully aware that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? LATER PAUL SAYS THAT THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL NOT BE LIKE A THIEF TO US BELIEVERS BECAUSE WE ARE OF THE DAY AND NOT THE NIGHT]

2Thess 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Thess 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THE DAY OF THE LORD WILL NOT COME UNTIL THE MAN OF SIN IS REVEALED. NO MENTION OF THE RAPTURE.]

2Thess 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Tim 6:14 to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Tim 6:2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Tim 4:1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

2Tim 4:8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Titus 2:13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Heb 9:28 so Christ, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a SECOND TIME, not to deal with sin but to save those who are eagerly waiting for him. ESV2011 [THIS IS TALKING ABOUT THE SECOND COMING!]

Jas 5:7-9 7 Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. 8 You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand. 9 Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Jas 5:1 Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 1:7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 1:13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ESV2011 [THE REVELATION OF JESUS IS THE LITERALLY THE UNVEILING OF JESUS AKA THE SECOND COMING – AGAIN THIS IS NOT A PRETRIB RAPTURE VERSE]

1Pet 5:4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1Pet 5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

1John 2:28-3:2 28 And now, little children, abide in him, so that when he appears we may have confidence and not shrink from him in shame at his coming. 29 If you know that he is righteous, you may be sure that everyone who practices righteousness has been born of him. 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him. 3:2 Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? THIS SPEAKS OF OUR TRANSFORMATION BUT NOT THE TIMING OF A PRETRIB RAPTURE…IT SAYS WHEN HE APPEARS]

Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???]

Rev 2:15 So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE???] Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth. ESV2011 [WHERE IS THE PRETRIB RAPTURE??? – AN HOUR OF TEMPTATION NOT A SEVEN YEAR TRIBULATION] I remember looking at such a huge list of verses and thinking that it had to be true simply because there were so many verses in favor of it. But when we actually go through the list verse by verse and demand to see the evidence, it is clear that it just isn’t there. So, from one of the premiere pretribulational scholars of our day, there isn’t a single verse, which he already admitted, that gives the timing of the pretrib rapture. As a Bible teacher, I can teach nothing more than what is truly in the text and the pretrib rapture is not in the text. If you know of any other verse, please share the verse and show us where it says it.

About Douglas

9 comments

  1. *[[Pro 2:21-22/LXXE]] For the upright shall dwell in the earth, and the holy shall be left behind in it. The paths of the ungodly shall perish out of the earth, and transgressors shall be driven away from it.

  2. Is this article supposed to be “ministering” to readers? The way it is written smacks of condescension and pride and may leave some readers feeling discouraged and confused. I will be deleting your website address, Mr. Hamp, from my list of resources—NOT because I disagree with you, but because I am saddened by your tone in communicating with and about fellow believers.

  3. Please show me in the New Testament except for Revelation where Paul or any other author tells us Believers will go through the Tribulation. Also if we do then why did not Paul tell us, and then give us suggestions or advice on how to survive, or exhort us to have courage etc.

    It seems to me the Holy Spirit is the restrainer, and once the Church, the Called Out ones leave, darkness will fall on this Earth like we’ve never seen, and then Satan can do his evil deeds unchecked. Right now he is restrained.

    Paul says we are sealed with the Holy Spirit until we are redeemed. Paul says we are meant for Wrath. The OT says the last 7 years is the Day of God’s Wrath on sinful man. Since we are Believers we are sealed for Redemption and not Wrath.

    • 2 Thessalonians 2 v 2-5. Matthew 24verse 29 – 30 says:

      29Immediately after the TRIBULATION of those days: ‘The sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from the sky, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.’ 30At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn. They will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.…

    • I agree with you Charyl, I am not an expert but If the church of God has authority over satan and his angels how would it be possible for them to do their thing on earth during the tribulation if we could just say get out of here in the name of Jesus? The church must be out of the picture for satan to be able to do what he wants, simple as that.

  4. “The rapture Question” by Dr. John F. Walvoord (past president of D.T.S.) gives a great view into the pre-trib rapture view. At the end of the book, Dr. Walvoord has a chapter entitled, “Fifty Arguments for Pretribulationism”. It is classic and yet easy to read and understand. I recommend it to those wanting to know what the Bible says about the Rapture of the church.

  5. 2 Thesssalonians 2:1-6

    “1Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessnessa is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

    5Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.” [End quote]

    What or who do you think is holding him back? I am inclined to the point of view this is the Holy Spirit indwelling believers, who is removed with those believers, that releases the Antichrist. And that this implies a pre-tribulation 7, or at least 3 1/2 year prior rapture of the Church.

    • Perhaps what was holding him back was the fact that in Paul’s time the Roman Empire was ruled by an emperor. But we see that in the 400’s the Catholic Church and what was left of the Roman Empire was ruled by a pope. And many popes have stated they are the vicar of God, many even saying when they speak they are the voice of God.

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