THE RAPTURE: But which rapture?
1. "PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE" Many Dispensationalists believe this view of the rapture. In this view the rapture will occur before the period of persecution, before the tribulation period begin. The rapture and an invisible second coming will take place before the seven-year tribulation. After the seven-year rapture Jesus will return to earth. Some, who believes this view, believe that there will be one coming of Christ, some two, and some three or more. More PreMillennialist than may believe this view than any of the others. The pre-tribulation rapture was not taught before about 1830 by anyone and only became well known after the Scofield Reference Bible was published in 1909. Dave MacPherson says, "We have seen that a young Scottish lassie named Margaret Macdonald had a private revelation in Port Glasgow, Scotland, in the early part of 1830 that a select group of Christians would be caught up to meet Christ in the air before the days of Antichrist. An eye-and-ear witness, Robert Norton M.D., preserved her handwritten account of her pre-trib rapture revelation in two of his books, and said it was the first time anyone ever split the second coming into two distinct parts or stages. His writings, along with much other Catholic Apostolic Church literature, have been hidden many decades from the mainstream of Evangelical thought and only recently surfaced. Margaret's views were well-known to those who visited her home, among them John Darby of the Brethren. Within a few months her distinctive prophetic outlook was mirrored in the September, 1830 issue of The Morning Watch and the early Brethren assembly at Plymouth, England. Early disciples of the pre-trib interpretation often called it a new doctrine." "The Incredible Cover-Up: The True Story of the Pre-Trib Rapture" 1975, Page 93.
2. "MID-TRIBULATION RAPTURE" This view is that the church will be raptured away during the middle of the tribulation.
3. "POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE" This view is that the rapture will occur after the seven-year tribulation.
4. "PARTIAL-RAPTURE" Only certain believers will be raptured. They do not agree with each other on whom or how they will be chosen or why only some of the saved will be raptured. This view is somewhat like the Pre-tribulation rapture, which believes the church is composed of true Christians and those who only make a profession of being a Christian. The true Christians will be raptured away and not go into the tribulation but those who only make a profession of being a Christian will be left on earth and be in the tribulation.
5. "PREWRATH RAPTURE" Believers will escape the wrath by being removed from the earth before it begins.
6. "MANY MINI-RAPTURES" This view is that there will not be just one rapture but many mini-raptures at different times. They do not agree with each other on (1) how many there will be, (2) if any are all are passed, (3) if any are all of the mini-raptures are yet to be.
7. "ALREADY PAST RAPTURE" Or the A. D. 70 rapture. If you are living today, you have been "left behind." This view, like the above views, crosses denominational lines and is found in many of them.
8. "SECRET RAPTURE" In many of their books of fictions there is a secret rapture? Secret from whom? If it were secret where did they find anything about it? When they tell about it in their books, how can it be secret? If all Christians were suddenly absent from the earth, how could there be anything "secret" about it? They are doing all the teaching they can to make sure that it is not a secret from anyone. The resurrection is never called a “secret,” it will come as unexpected as a thief, but it will be seen and known about by all.
9. "FIRST AND SECOND STAGES" R. H. Boll's view is that Christ will come in two states. In the first stage the saints will be removed from the earth for a time; then the "real second coming" will be when Christ returns after the first stage.
"COVENANT THEOLOGY" is that God covenant of grace remains the same in all the seven dispensations throughout the Old and New Testaments as opposed to the different purposes for each of the seven dispensations of Dispensational beliefs. Covenant Theology especially believe Israel and the church are under the same covenant of grace as opposed to both being under different covenants of grace as Dispensational PreMillennialist believe them to be.
PRETERITS (full) view is that the second coming of Christ has already taken place along with the great tribulation, the rapture and the final judgment occurred in A. D. 70 when Jerusalem was destroyed and no second coming of Christ, no resurrection, no tribulation is yet to come, and the old heavens and earth completely passed away and now we are living in the new heavens and earth; the Great Commission has been completely fulfilled. The A. D. 70 theory called "Realized Eschatology" seems to be a renewal of the Preterits belief under a new name. Realized Eschatology teaches that Christ came in A. D. 70, all prophecies were fulfilled at that time, the Old Testament saints were resurrected, and all that are in Christ go to be with Christ (supposedly in Heaven) at the moment of their death.
PRETERITS (partial) view is that Christ did come in judgment on Israel in A. D. 70 and came in judgment on others nations, but the judgment of all at the second coming of Christ is yet to come.
AMILLENNIALIAL VIEW believes the thousand years (ten time ten times ten, a full or complete period of time; ten in the Bible denotes a fullness, a thousand denotes a large indefinite number, God owns the cattle on a thousand hills Psalms 50:10) are symbolic of a long period of time, which begin with the establishment of the kingdom of God or Heaven (the church) in A. D. 30 and will last unto the return of Christ when the kingdom will be delivered up to God [1 Corinthians 15:24]. Amillennialist believe the "signs of the times" (tribulation, apostasy, the spirit of the Antichrist, etc.) to be marks of this present time, and there will not be a "golden age" of unprecedented gospel victory over all the earth before His return. The symbolism of the binding of Satan in Revelation 20 refers to Satan now being limited by the victory of Christ over death.
JEHOVAH'S WITNESSES view of the Millennium is that 144,000 will be chosen to go to Heaven and with Christ rule over all others who will be on earth. Also, all will be given a second chance in the Millennium.
SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST view of the Millennium is that the Millennium will be in Heaven. During the thousand years the saints will be in Heaven, and at the end of the Millennium a Holy City will descend from Heaven and the saved will live a wonderful life in it forever. Their Heaven will be on this earth. The resurrection and destruction of the wicked will be at the end of the Millennium. They believe that at the second coming of Christ the unrighteous will be kill, the righteous will be taken back to Heaven for a thousand years. During the thousand years only Satan and his angels will inhabit the earth. At the end of the thousand years Christ will return to earth with the saved and the unrighteous will be raised for judgment. Satan gathers his angels and with the help of the resurrected unrighteous will attempt to interfere with the judgment. They will be destroyed. No seven-year rapture.
LATTER-DAY SAINTS (Mormons) view of the Millennium is that Christ will destroy the wicked at His coming and the earth will be transformed to a terrestrial glory, as they believe it was before Adam's sin. During the thousand years, life on earth will be about as it is now but without sin, poverty, or crime. They will have children, build houses, and in all ways go about life as now. With their "new revelations" they add many more details, to many to list in the space I have. After the Millennium, they have three degrees of glory. The highest will be the celestial glory that will be on this earth, which will have the things the earth now has, cities, rivers, animals, etc. The Terrestrial and Celestial glories will not be on earth, but I have not found where they tell where these two glories will be. All that are not Mormons will be in one of the two. Only the few who were Mormons and fell away will be cast in outer darkness where there is no glory, but what happens to them seems not to have been made known at this time; or just not made known to those who are not Mormons; they keep much of their beliefs from those who are not Mormons.
THE TEN LOST TRIBES ARE ENGLAND, WHICH IS THE REAL ISRAEL TODAY! I found it difficult to believe, and I think many will find this just as difficult to believe as I did, yet there is a rather large group within the Millennium beliefs that believe that the Anglo-Saxons Race is the true Israel. Richard Brothers was the originator, and it was later spread by Piazzi Smyth. There are books both pro and con on this theory. Perhaps the best book in defense of this theory is by Professor E. Odlum, "God's Covenant Man: British Israel." Herbert W. Armstrong of the Church of God taught this. For those who would like to know more of this theory, Foy E. Wallace, Jr. in "God's Prophetic Word" Pages 386-450 is good. That the Anglo-Saxon race is the ten tribes of Israel is completely contrary to the history of the origin of that race. The Mormons make a similar claim, that the Americans Indians are the lost ten tribes.
For more on this see my web page at: http://www.robertwr.com/rapture.html