As you can see from my postings regarding the end times – the rapture, etc. I’m getting a lot of flak from the Puritans and Spurgeon’s. Apparently they call themselves reformed theology. From the comments I’ve been getting they believe all prophecy has been fulfilled with John the Baptist. They don’t believe in the end time events especially the rapture. Apparently reading just a little bit about Spurgeon I would say he was an Amillennialist and didn’t believe there would be a Millennium with Christ Jesus ruling for a thousand years. So here is some of my replies to counteract their saying that there is no rapture. Thought you might be interested and like to have a look at it and what’s been happening.
Reply – There is no rapture – all prophecy has been fulfilled (Puritans and Spurgeons)
I noticed your comment regarding Revelation 20:1-6 as these verses according to you prove beyond any reasonable doubt that the pre-tribulation rapture is a false doctrine. I totally disagree with you and Scripture bears this out.
So, with that in mind I would like to give you a complete verse to verse understanding as to what the Bible teaches us in Revelation chapter 20. First, chapter 20: is about the Millennium – Christ’s 1000-year reign on earth (also known as the millennial kingdom). The 1000-year reign of Jesus after the 7-year Tribulation period and before the Great White Throne Judgement of the wicked.
In these first seven verses of this chapter, we see the words “thousand years” mentioned six times. For God to mention it once should be enough but note here, He repeats it six times. Since the Latin equivalent for these words is “millennium,” this period of time is called the millennium. During the millennium, Jesus will reign as king over Israel and all the nations of the world (Isaiah 2:4; 42:1). The world will live in peace (Isaiah 11:6–9; 32:18), Satan will be bound (Revelation 20:1–3), and, at the beginning, everyone will worship God (Isaiah 2:2–3). At the conclusion of the 1000 years Satan will be loosed to make one final attempt to overthrow Christ, but without success (Rev. 20:7-9).
You may ask: “What is the purpose of the thousand-year reign of Christ?” The purpose of the 1,000-year reign is to fulfill various promises God made to the world. Some of these promises, called covenants, were given specifically to Israel. Other promises were given to Jesus, the nations of the world, and creation. Jesus’ 1,000-year reign will be a time of promises kept. God always keeps his promises.
Now, let us look at Revelation 20:1-7 and what these verses teach us:
20:1 – Before the Millennium begins, Satan must be restrained. In one sense, our Lord bound Satan when He came to earth (Matt. 12:29). So this is another stage in his binding.
20:2 – The Angel seized Satan and bound him for a thousand years.
20:3 – During the Millennium, the archenemy is confined to the bottomless pit. The abyss is sealed so that he cannot go forth to deceive the nations. Towards the end of Christ’s Reign, he will be released for his last brief rebellion (vv. 7-10).
20:4 – John now sees people enthroned in heaven with authority to rule. These are saints of the Church Age who will reign with Christ as His Bride. John also sees a company of martyrs, who had refused to take the Mark of the Beast. These are clearly tribulation saints who died for their faith. Both companies will reign with Christ during the golden age of peace and prosperity in the Millennial Kingdom.
20:5 – The first part of verse 5 must be understood as a parenthesis. “The rest of the dead “refers to unbelievers of all ages who will be raised at the end of the Millennium to stand before the Judgement of the Great White Throne.
The statement “This is the first resurrection” is not a single event. It describes the “resurrection” of the righteous at various times. It includes “the resurrection” of Christ (1 Cor. 15:23), “the resurrection” of those who are Christ’s when He rapture’s the church (1 Thess. 4:13-18), “the resurrection” of the two witnesses whose bodies will lie in the streets (Rev. 11:11), and “the resurrection” of tribulation saints who are described here (see also Daniel 12:2a). In other words, “the first resurrection” includes “the resurrection” of Christ and of all true believers, though they are raised at different times. It occurs in several stages.
20:6 – Those who participate “in the first resurrection” are “blessed” because they will not be included in “the second death,” when all unbelievers will be cast into the lake of fire (v. 14). True believers “shall be priests of God and of Christ and shall reign with Him a thousand years.
20:7 – Now when the thousand years have expired, Satan will be released from his prison.
I’m going to stop here as Facebook only allows so many words on a comment. I have told you what I believe the Bible teaches us regarding these verses and if you believe differently then that is your prerogative to believe what you want to believe. I post to over 120 Christian groups, and this is the only group where some individuals keep insisting that there is no rapture. Yes, sometimes a discussion comes up with believers who believe that the rapture is midway through the tribulation and some others who believe that the rapture is after the tribulation, but this is the only group where some individuals insist that there is no rapture – 1 out of 120 groups. One has to ask. “Are the members of this group getting the full counsel of God’s word?”
The concept of the “carrying off” or the rapture of the church is clearly taught in Scripture. The rapture of the church is the event in which God “snatches away” all believers from the earth in order to make way for His righteous judgement to be poured out on the unbelieving inhabitants of earth during the Tribulation period. The rapture is described primarily in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 and 1 Corinthians 15:50-54. God will resurrect all believers who have died, give them glorified bodies, and take them from the earth, along with all living believers, who will also be given glorified bodies at that time. “For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the Archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be Caught Up (raptured) together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
After four years and hundreds of postings I have learnt not to get too involved with what people believe – not what the Bible teaches but what people believe. I have spent in some cases days going back and forth with individuals spending tens of hours of my precious time and in the end, they’re going to believe what they want to believe regardless of what Scripture (Holy Spirit) teaches so I tend not to get caught up with what individuals say or what they believe except maybe occasionally to correct scriptural error and leave it at that.
Now, getting back to the subject of Revelation 20:1-6 and looking at this from another angle as to what is the first resurrection as well as what is the second resurrection. Revelation 20:4-6 mentions a “first resurrection” and identifies those involved as “blessed and holy.” The second death (the lake of fire, Revelation 20:14) has no power over these individuals. The first resurrection, then, is the raising of all believers. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14) and the “resurrection of life” (John 5:29).
The first resurrection takes place in various stages. Jesus Christ Himself (the “firstfruits,” 1 Corinthians 15:20), paved the way for the resurrection of all who believe in Him. There will be the resurrection of “the dead in Christ” at the Lord’s return in the air for His church – the rapture (1 Thessalonians 4:16) and the resurrection of the martyrs (saints of the tribulation period) at the end of the Tribulation (Revelation 20:4).
Revelation 20:12-13 identifies those comprising the second resurrection as the wicked judged by God at the Great White Throne Judgement prior to being cast into the lake of fire. The second resurrection, then, is the raising of all unbelievers; the second resurrection is connected to the second death. It corresponds with Jesus’ teaching of the “resurrection of damnation” (John 5:29).
The event which divides the first and second resurrections seems to be the millennial kingdom. The last of the righteous are raised to reign “with Christ a thousand years” (Revelation 20:4), but the “rest of the dead [that is, the wicked] lived not again until the thousand years were finished” (Revelation 20:5).
Therefore, the first resurrection is for the people of God; the second resurrection is for the judgement of unbelievers. The difference between these two groups is based on one’s relationship with God through Jesus Christ. This is why it is essential for every person to hear the good news and be saved by grace through faith to receive eternal life.
I’m going to stop here as I think I have explained this as clearly as one can and I’ll leave it at that. If you still disagree then that is your prerogative, to believe what you want to believe. Like I mentioned earlier that out of 120 Christian groups that I post to this is the only group where some individuals insist that there is no rapture and again the question needs to be asked: “Are the members in this Christian group getting the full counsel of God’s word?”