The Day of the Lord
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What Does It Mean To Be Saved

"More Solid Evidence Against The Pretrib Rapture"
Scripture For Today

Acts 3:19-21 KJV

19 Repent therefore, and be converted that your sins may be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord 20 And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you. 21 Whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things which God has spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. 

When I was researching and writing my doctoral dissertation in Biblical Studies on the Day of the Lord, I discovered copious Scriptures for that topic which circumvented the pretribulation doctrine. However, recently I received a contact from someone who is also writing a book about the Day of the Lord (posttribulation position) and he pointed out another Scripture that is rock-solid evidence the pretrib rapture is bogus - Acts 3:21. After reading it, I realized he was correct, but I recommended adding Verses 19 and 20 to it as all three are posttribulational. 

Since we are most certainly very near the final seven years of this present age, it is extremely important that believers know what the Word says about the timing for the First Resurrection/Rapture and the parousia, the literal return of Yeshua/Jesus back to this earth. 

The passage in question will reveal the timing.

Acts 3:19-21 deals with the healing of a lame man probably the next day or two after the coming of the Holy Spirit on the Feast of Pentecost (50 days from the ascension of Yeshua/Jesus to the Father God's throne in the third-heaven). The lame man was sitting at the gate of Solomon's portico begging for money since that was probably his only means of support. When he saw Peter and John, he asked them for alms (money). Looking upon him, Peter said, "Silver and gold have I none, but what I do have I give to you", 


Then Peter grabbed him by the hand and raised him up. Immediately he began walking and leaping and praising God. The commotion attracted a large crowd that were amazed at what they saw, meaning they recognized the lame man who sat daily at Solomon's colonnade begging for money. 

When Peter beheld their amazement, he quickly addressed the crowd, assuring them he had nothing to do with the lame man's healing, but he was healed by his faith in the name of Jesus (false prophets and false healers should heed this Scripture in Acts as Peter did - taking no credit for the healing power of Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God). 

This is where the above passage picks up and the subject of today's Daily Bread. 

First, Peter told the crowd to repent of their unbelief in Jesus as the Messiah so their sins could be forgiven. Then he mentions three things that strongly discredit a pretrib rapture (for those who may be reading this and don't know anything about tribulation doctrine, pretribulationism teaches at the end of the present Church Age, the living saints on the earth will be caught up to the Lord's presence to join the resurrected saints to be followed by seven years of unprecedented persecution of tribulation saints and horrible judgments on earth). Seldom do pretrib proponents mention the rapture is part of the First Resurrection not the other way around - the First Resurrection is part of the Rapture. 

However, Verses 19-21 above destroy that supposition for that is what it is, which I also prove without doubt in my Day of the Lord book.

What did Peter mean by the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord?  

The Greek word for presence is a strong word, prosopon, stronger than parousia, which is the typical word used for the return of Christ. Prosopon means face-to-face or right in your face. It means the up-close personal appearance of Christ back to this earth. Prosopon indicates the saints are conversing or talking to the Lord.  This personal prosopon appearing of Christ Jesus does not take place until the Day of the Lord which IMMEDIATELY follows the tribulation period (See Matthew 24:29-31). This is the same time as the times of refreshing for the saints when Jesus is back on earth walking and talking among us - the born-again saints of God.  There is no prosopon appearing of Christ Jesus before the tribulation period thus no pretrib rapture. The dead resurrected and living raptured saints do not experience this time of refreshing until the posttribulation appearing of Christ. (Note: I Thessalonians 4:13-17, a passage that pretrib tries to insert a pretrib rapture, there is no prosopon appearing, but the general word for appearing - parousia;  Parousia indicates the fact of the Lord's coming while prosopon means He Has come back and is now on the earth tabernacling with the saints).

2 Thessalonians 1:7 helps out understanding also:

And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.

All pretrib theologians agree that the Greek word for revealed - apokalupsis, refers to the literal second coming of Christ back to the earth. So here we see Paul discussing the times of rest and refreshing to mean the prosopon- close and personal encounter with the saints BACK ON THE TERRA FIRMA.  The difference between apokalupsis and prosopon is one of encounter - Apokalupsis Christ is revealed to the inhabitants of the earth, but in prosopon, he is not only revealed, but conversing with the saints. 

Pretrib theologians try to twist the Scripture by saying the parousia is the personal appearing of Christ Jesus in the air to rapture the saints before the tribulation period while prosopon is the personal literal physical presence of Christ at the end of the tribulation, therefore they split the appearing of Christ in two phases. The Acts 3 text above does not split the appearing of Christ into two phases, but is singular in application. 

How do we know this for sure (Verse 20) - the very next phrase proves it - He shall send the Lord Jesus, which before was preached unto you. Now there is a law in biblical interpretation that every seminary student learns or should, which is, no one word of Scripture stands alone by itself but must be understood in the larger context. What is the context for the Father God sending the Lord Jesus back to earth - THE PROSOPON-the literal face-to-face walking, talking appearance of Jesus. This is no AIR meeting seven-years prior to the Day of the Lord, but a posttrib event (Note: the living believers will be caught-up and raptured at the beginning of the Day of the Lord, which is the very next event to take place after the tribulation has ended).

Verse 21 nails down what is the meaning of the two verses preceding it. 

21 Whom the heaven must receive until the time of restitution of all things which God has spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. 

The Greek word for restitution is apokatastasis and means to reconstitute, that is, to restore to a former condition, and notice two things: This reconstitution involves all things as pertaining to heaven and earth and it won't happen until it is time for Christ to come back to earth to setup His millennial kingdom on the posttrib Day of the Lord. The phrase whom the heaven must receive means that Jesus is not coming back to earth until it is time to rebuild what the tribulation and Day of the Lord destroyed, which also includes the souls of mankind  - overcoming saints shall receive their glorified bodies and the sheep nations shall be allowed in the Messiah Kingdom. 

If the heavens must receive (Greek - lambano - to take and get hold of) the Lord Jesus and hold Him thereuntil the time of restitution or reconstruction of planet earth, then there can no pretrib rapture before a seven-year tribulation and a physical coming to earth after the tribulation ends for that would violate this passage, which denies a two-phase second coming. The coming in Acts 3:19-21 is a singular coming not a rapture-rupture two phase coming. 

Thanks Barry for bringing this to my attention.