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1 Thessalonians 4:13 - 5:1-6 KJV


13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

I Thessalonians 5:1-6 KJV

1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.
2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

The original manuscripts of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments did not have chapter divisions rather they were linear or a continuous narrative. The chapter and verse divisions were added later (13th and 16th Centuries). However, the Hebrew Bible divisions in contrast to the Greek New Testament had several variants. In studying the Bible in great detail the past 46 years, I have seen how this division of the Bible has contributed to confusion and misunderstanding. One example is the passages above in I Thessalonians 4 and 5.

Now consider that you are living in the First Century A.D. when Paul's letter to the Thessalonians was not divided into chapter and verse. When you came to the end of Chapter 4 the context would continue without a chapter break. The last verse of Chapter 4 says, Wherefore comfort one another with these words. Then the very next thing Paul wrote concerned the prophetic future - times and seasons, specifically in Verse 2 about the Day of the Lord and he told them there was no need to explain the Day of the Lord to them because he had already taught them that. In what context did he teach them about the DOTL?

2 Thessalonians 2:1-5 KJV

1 Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,
2 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 the Lord] is at hand.
3 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; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.5 Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

From this passage, it is clear that Paul taught the Thessalonian Church the Day of the Lord was AFTER the great end time apostasy - strong rebellion against biblical truth - in essence rejecting the Bible as the authentic Word of God - that is already happening in the United States and the world over. Secondly, he said the Day of the Lord would not come until the man of sin, the Antichrist was revealed (that is at least a mid-trib event). So two things would have to be in place before the Day of the Lord could commence - the great apostasy and the Antichrist revealed - physically and publicly seen.  This passage alone refutes pretribulationism. 

The Old Testament usage of the word DAY of the Lord is Yom meaning "hot". This supports the context that the Day of the Lord will be one of intense fire and heat - see Isaiah 24 the whole chapter where it says the earth shall be burned with fire and few men left or few humans. 

Jesus Himself taught the Day of the Lord was posttrib - see Matthew 24:29-31. 

The comfort Paul was giving the Thessalonian Christians was not due to a pretrib rapture, but to inform them the Day of the Lord and the wrath of God was not occurring in their day. They had not missed the First resurrection and rapture. 

As I explain in my book, The Day of the Lord, The Key To Understanding End-Time Prophecy, there is no Scriptural evidence I Thessalonians 4 was teaching a pretrib rapture. You would have to isogete the text to make that happen - add to it. 

When the chapter divisions are removed from I and 2 Thessalonians it it clear Paul was teaching a posttrib return of Christ as well as a posttrib First Resurrection and Rapture. 

The Pretrib theologians are so hung- up on their traditional dispensational doctrine they fail to pay attention to the biblical text.