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“The Pre-Tribulation, Pre-millennial Rapture of the Church”
by Art Sadlier   
May 1st, 2009

Some people say we should not be concerned about Bible prophecy. The fact is that more than 25% of the Bible is predictive prophecy. If we are not interested in Bible prophecy we are not interested in the Bible.  God thinks prophecy is important. We see that in Genesis 18:17, "And the Lord said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do." How can we say we are not interested in what God desires to reveal to us about what He intends to do?     

About 50% of Bible prophecy has been fulfilled and that 50% has been fulfilled literally. We can logically conclude that the remaining 50% will be fulfilled.  We also conclude that the remaining prophecies will be fulfilled literally.

Logically, it  follows that the predictive prophecies concerning, the Rapture; The Tribulation Period; The Second Coming; and The Millennial Kingdom will all be fulfilled literally just as the First Coming of Christ was fulfilled literally.

You cannot understand what the scriptures teach unless you interpret them correctly. There are two basic methods of interpretation, Literal and Allegorical. Only one can be right.

Literal Interpretation:

Literal interpretation involves the Grammatical, the Historical and the Literal aspects of interpretation.                                         .
In the Grammatical interpretation we understand that God communicated through human language. Therefore the meaning of the message is to be understood in the normal sense and use of the language. We must understand the language to understand the message.                                             .
In the Historical interpretation we must understand that God communicated in a historical setting. Therefore the historical setting gives meaning to the communication.
In the Literal interpretation we are to understand the message as it is literally given to us. There are figures of speech, there are allegories and there are types. We must understand that the text will make it obvious when these figures and types and allegories are to be applied, as is the case in any normal language. You cannot take the scripture and arbitrarily give meanings to the words, meanings that are not there.

Allegorical  Interpretation

Allegorical interpretation destroys the scripture. Anyone can give a text any meaning they choose to give it. The meaning then is determined by the reader rather than the giver of the scriptures. Allegory is a literary device in which each object, character or event is given a symbolic meaning. The meaning of scripture is then determined by the one doing the interpreting rather than the author.

Allegorical interpretation is the basic method of Amillennialists.  Literal interpretation is the basic method of Premillennialists.

The PREMILLENIAL, with regard to eschatology, through a literal interpretation of scripture, sees some of the basic future events as follows:

  1. The Rapture of the Church is always imminent.  It is the blessed hope of the Church.
  2. The Tribulation Period is seven years of catastrophe for the earth and its citizens.  It follows the Rapture.
  3. The Second Coming of Christ is at the end of the tribulation period with His Bride, the Church.  He comes to bring judgment on the gentile nations.
  4. The Earthly Millennial Kingdom follows after the Second Coming of Christ.  The curse on the earth is lifted as Christ comes to reign in righteousness and justice (Luke 1:32, 33).   Isaiah 11 will be fulfilled at that time.
  5. The White Throne Judgment comes at the end of Christ's thousand year reign.
  6. The Eternal Age is ushered in with the transition between the millennial kingdom and the eternal age.

The Amillennial by way of contrast, through an allegorical interpretation of scripture, sees a different scenario:

  1. The Tribulation Period is past; supposedly it took place in 70 A.D.
  2. The Kingdom of God on Earth is now! The State Churches and the Catholic Church claim to be administrators of this kingdom. Notice that Isaiah 11, and Luke 1:32, 33 have not yet been fulfilled.  The imagination of the post-tribulationalist knows no bounds at this point.
  3. Christ will return and all will be caught up.
  4. The Earth will be destroyed and that will be the end of the earth (see Psalm 104:5). The promises to Israel will not be fulfilled. (The whole thrust of the O.T. is the redemption of Israel and her return to the promised land with the Son of David reigning on the throne of David.)
  5. The Beginning of Eternity will happen at the same time as items 3 and 4, either simultaneously or in rapid succession.
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