Partial Replacement Theology or Replacement Theology Lite PART 1
by James Sundquist
“I think you are on the precipice of uncovering the smoking gun concerning the surgical procedures from the koine period. I have never heard anyone other than yourself articulate this. It will put to rest forever the claim that apostasia doesn’t refer to physical departure in the koine period. You remind me of the timex watch. You take a licking and yet keep on kicking. You also remind me of Rockey Balboa who was down for the count and always came back swinging. You’re to be commended for your perseverance and not cowering to the man-made narrative of today. You’re definitely my kind of guy.”Andy Woods, Th.M., J.D., Ph.D., Senior Pastor, Sugar Land Bible Church, Sugar Land, Texas
If the Pre-Wrath position is true…
1. Then The Rapture is no longer a surprise event. And it’s effectively Satan saying “you can’t come for the Rapture until I come!” It sets up a false construct that certain signs and events must precede the Rapture, which collides with Jesus saying the timing of this nanosecond event is known only by the Father. The Pre-Wrath position steals Imminency from the Lord. We must be prepared and watchful for the rapture, because it could happen at any moment, like the Watchman on the Wall in Ezekiel on military guard duty.
2. Then the conditions for the timing of the Rapture are no longer as in the days of Noah. (Was Noah rescued mid-40 days? Did even one drop of rainfall on him?) We tend to emphasize the state of the fullness of wickedness of mankind on the earth in this passage in Genesis, which it certainly was. Jesus states that the Last Days will be as in the days of Noah when the fullness of wickedness took 120 years (360 days per year) in the Jewish Calendar (which is about 118 years, or 365 days) (+leap year which is 366 days in our calendar) in the days of Noah. The Jewish Biblical Prophetic Calendar is 360, but the current Jewish Calendar is 355 days. So rejection and defection of true Christianity would similarly be “as in the days of Noah” and extend long before the Tribulation and of course, continue throughout it. Therefore, if Apostasy means only the narrow time window duration of the first half of the Tribulation as Pre-Wrath proponents suggest, then it rules out the falling away prior to the beginning of the seven-year Tribulation.
Noah built the Ark, but he did not determine the timing, nor was it even he who shut the door and sealed it (Genesis 7:16). It was God alone. Genesis 7:16 and Matthew 24:37-39 are perfect mirrored Scriptures to use to defend the Imminent Pre-tribulation Rapture as in the days of Noah. God decides the timing, and he shuts the door of the symbolic “Rapture Ark” to keep Noah and his family safe from judgment on all the earth for 40 days and nights that it rained; and 150 days that the Flood remained on the earth! Noah actively built the Ark but was passive in the door being closed and the Flood floating him up in safety. The closing of the door was imminent, but not known to Noah, but only known by God. Noah and his family were also safe from all of the wicked mankind on the earth while it was raining, up to the point when the Flood waters drowned the wicked. Remember, the Ark sat there for seven days before even one drop of rain began to fall!
3. Then the terms Tribulation and/or its duration “Day of the Lord” and “wrath of God,” “wrath of Satan,” and “one week” of years would have to be redefined. Pre-wrath divides the Tribulation into three parts vs. only two. It reminds me of the redefining that false teachers like Carl Jung do, who turn the Trinity into a Quaternity. Roman Catholicism who does the same thing by adding Mary as a Co-Redemptrix. Two halves are what Scripture describes for the Tribulation. Three-thirds is found nowhere in Daniel or Revelation, except to describe the Trinity. Plus it’s confusing because Marvin Rosenthal is not talking about three equal thirds, but rather he refers to the first half 3 ½ years as the first part and then divides the last half in half with two-fourths becoming the other two-thirds of seven years. A three-part Tribulation is pure invention and a private interpretation on the part of Marvin Rosenthal and Robert Van Kampen, and many others. Doesn’t this three-part invention constitute strongholds of imagination, mythology, and pseudoscientific numerology condemned in Scripture?
Pre-Wrath disciples hang their hat on 2 Thess. 2:3 that the Rapture can’t happen until first the man of lawlessness is revealed. But what struck me like lightning was Daniel 9:27: “And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week…” This means that the Antichrist is already revealed by the very first day at the very beginning of the 7 Years of Tribulation when the Antichrist signs a peace treaty (at the very beginning of the 70th week) according to Daniel 9:27. This is SEISMIC because a week in Daniel is the entire 7 years (84 months). And peace treaties don’t just pop instantly out of thin air; they require weeks if not years to negotiate and plan. The signing is to just formally confirm it and launch it.
But even if the Rapture can’t happen until after the beginning of the 70th week, it would logically follow that the Rapture could happen right after the signing and not have to wait 3/4 of the Tribulation! Prewrath followers have confined the Day of the Lord to a period supported nowhere in Scripture. In 2 Peter 3:10, Peter described the Day of the Lord as the day and time when new heavens and new earth are created. But Peter is not confining the “Day of the Lord” into only the new heavens and earth event that occurs at the end of the Millennium (a thousand years after the entire 7 years of Tribulation). The wrath of God is also poured out during the end of the Millennium on Satan and those humans whom Satan recruited for his final act of wrath. Besides that, the New Heaven and Earth Day of the Lord is also described as a blessing. And the same phrase occurs 18 times in the Old Testament. So are we then going to say that there was never any Day of the Lord prior to that? If you follow Marvin Rosenthal’s statements, the Great Tribulation would be confined only to the 21 months in the first half of the second half of the Tribulation. Then he contradicts himself, saying this period must be shortened to less than 21 months (1.75 years) because he says this is what Jesus meant that the days must be shortened or no flesh would survive.
But this is not at all what Jesus meant. What he meant was that the entire Tribulation of his great wrath would have been longer (prolonged) because the earth deserved it due to its wickedness, but because of his mercy, he shortened those judgment days so that they would end precisely at the end of the seven total years of the Tribulation. And the Elect he was referring to were the Jews still alive (mortals) during the Tribulation (i.e. Jacob’s Trouble), not the Elect of the Church. Pre-Wrath proponents’ attempt to tamper with this timing wreaks of Replacement Theology, screaming from every pour, and diminishes the central point and focus of the Tribulation which is the restoration of the Jews throughout the world to the Land of Israel from the Great Diaspora. The Church is not being restored to Israel, it’s the Jews. Yes, the Jews have been troubled ever since they began, which was magnified during the Holocaust, but Jacob’s Trouble is specific and final persecution of the Jews’ timeframe referred to in Jeremiah 30:7. And there is absolutely no foundation or precedent in Scripture for 21 months in prophecy. NONE. Twenty-One is used to describe the age of Zedekiah when he began to reign, but that’s years. Twenty-One is used to describe the length of time the King of Persia withstood Daniel, but that’s days, not months. And if the Day of the Lord described in 2 Peter 3:10 means 21 months, then Pre-tribulationalists couldn’t be right either. Just as there was no other “first resurrection,” there could be no extra Day of the Lord; it could not cover any of the seven years of Tribulation because the Day of the Lord couldn’t have happened until the New Heavens and Earth are created.
But of course, we should know that the Day of the Lord covers both the entire Tribulation period as well as the Lord creating a New Heavens and Earth! God’s wrath is not confined to the Tribulation, as it is both present and future, as Paul teaches in Romans 1:18 (present, i.e., this Present Age), and Romans 2 (future). It was God’s curse on everyone who did not bless the Jews in Genesis 27:29. God’s curses were, and are God’s wrath. It’s just that his present wrath is reversible upon repentance, while God’s future wrath in the Tribulation and during the Millennium reaches its climax when the fullness of wickedness occurs on the earth, and the Final Judgment at the Resurrection of the damned is irreversible. The wrath of God and the wrath of the Lamb ends at the end of the 7 Year Tribulation. That wrath period is the wrath of the Lamb while the Lamb of God who is Christ is still in Heaven physically. But when He returns, He returns with the armies of heaven to make war on the earth, when His wrath continues as soon as He lands on the Mount of Olives, with blood on His garments as He destroys all of His enemies. And is this not also the Day of the Lord? In Jeremiah 46:10 it says that the Day of the Lord is also called the “day of vengeance”. And here is more proof from Scripture:
“God is jealous, and the LORD revengeth; the LORD revengeth, and is furious; the LORD will take vengeance on his adversaries, and he reserveth wrath for his enemies.” Nahum 1:2
If the Old Testament is not enough proof, here is the Apostle Paul declaring it in the New Testament:
“Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19
Note that the vengeance of the Lord and his wrath are virtual synonyms. So war (God’s vengeance and wrath) launches the Millennium, not the Wedding Feast. Christ in person carries out his wrath AGAIN:
“And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.” Rev. 19:15
So this can’t also be concurrent to the Marriage Feast or Marriage Supper. But you might rightly ask: “But isn’t there a supper on the earth? Yes! In fact, there will be great celebrations, feasts, and festivals, on earth by the Jews throughout the Millennium, such as the annual Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in Jerusalem. And, of course, there will be a feast when Jesus dedicates the New Temple. But none of these feasts is THE Marriage Feast. But before that, there will be a supper of the Great God of the fowls of the air devouring the dead from Christ’s victory, not a marriage supper (Rev. 19:17-18). And the entire Millennium contains mortals, so neither the Wedding nor the Marriage Feast can occur then.
Finally, the wrath of Satan described in Revelation 12:12 is not confined to a short burst of time during the Tribulation, as Marvin Rosenthal would have us believe. “His time is short” began when he was cast down from Heaven; it’s just even shorter today. Satan’s wrath is not confined to part of the Tribulation, but the entire church age on Christians and the entire history
of the Jews, and for a short season right after the End of Millennium. This would include, for example, Pharaoh’s command to kill every male infant (to include Moses), the Slaughter of the Innocents in Bethlehem (to kill Jesus), the Roman Catholic Inquisition and Islam, and more to https://amos37.com/jewish-wedding-picture-of-rapture/come; though Satan’s wrath certainly will reach its fullest fury as he sees that his time becomes even shorter.
4. Then Apostasia can’t mean physical departure. The Apostle Paul defines it as an event, not a process. Yes, it can mean both a physical and spiritual departure. But the word itself can either be a good and righteous departure, or an evil one. The Day of the Lord is distinct from Last Days which is plural for the meaning of spiritual defection. And in I Timothy 4:1, Paul talks about departing from the faith in the Last Days for giving heed to doctrines of demons and seducing spirits, but we are already in the Last Days and already seeing this happen in front of our very eyes BEFORE the beginning of Tribulation. The context in 2 Thess. 2:3 is a singular twinkling of an eye in a tiny fraction of the second that launches the Day of the Lord which is 7 years of days or approximately 7 times 360 days. So Pre-wrath Rapture dictates and confines Christ the Groom to 630 days out of two thousand years without authority to do so! “Instant” means it begins as a physical departure and is instantaneous (twinkling of an eye). When Paul was abandoned, there was both physical departure and spiritual departure. Falling away is a process not just during the Tribulation, but the entire two thousand years of the church. There is no surprise in that.
5. Then Michael the Archangel would be the Restrainer. At least this is how Marvin Rosenthal identifies the Restrainer. But this too is highly improbable if not impossible, because Jude tells us that Michael the Archangel would not even contest with Satan over the body of Moses in what appeared not even to be that consequential. Note in the passage in Jude states: “he [Michael] did not presume to pronounce a blasphemous judgment against Satan.” But this is a more generalized statement proving where not even angels dare to tread! What to do with the body of Moses pales in comparison to an all-out war with Satan. So if Michael is named in such a relatively insignificant matter as what to do with Moses’ body, then wouldn’t something as cataclysmic and apocalyptic as the Global final world war in this present age include Michael’s name? And wouldn’t going to war with Satan and his Antichrist on earth be engaging in a judgment in which most of the entire Book of Revelation is pronouncing judgments? Yes, God does send other angels to exercise judgments on earth, whom the Lord does not name, but if this were Michael, wouldn’t he be named (and not presumed that it is he)? The Lord sends other angels to make war with the Antichrist and his legions, not Michael. And note it is not war against Satan or judgment on Satan, but only judgments on men that angels conduct. And who is it that ultimately does judge the Antichrist and Satan? The Lord himself!
Yes, Michael fought Satan in Heaven where Satan lost, and he will again defend Israel in the Tribulation, but there is no Scripture to support his fighting for the Church on earth, or for that matter even fighting to defend Gentiles who become saints. Michael’s defined actions are only defensive (not offensive) and protecting, similar to the cherubim guarding the Garden of Eden from the entrance with a sword! The Antichrist is not Satan, but rather one of his human servants. Plus Jesus said in Mark 13:32 and Matthew 24:36, that the time of His return is not known by ANYONE, not even the Angels in Heaven. That means that even Michael is clueless, so how would he even know when to initiate his restraint on the earth? But he announces the Rapture, and therefore the when the Restrainer is removed from the earth (who is the Church), but he is not the restrainer. And don’t forget that this restraint has been going on since Creation and magnified during the Church Age during which all Christian Saints possess the Holy Spirit.
6. Then Satan’s wrath would be greater than the wrath of God. This is impossible because Satan is not omniscient or omnipotent which God alone is. No contest. The notion that Satan’s wrath could exceed God’s wrath is farcical and mocks God, who will not be mocked. It is a reproach on Christ’s own words.
7. Then the Marriage Supper (Marriage Feast) of the Lamb would be cut short. The Rapture must occur when Christ the Groom will snatch up his Betrothed (now his bride-to-be who is the Church). Revelation 19 makes clear that the marriage feast MUST be in Heaven, not on the earth; because the marriage must consummate, as well as the marriage feast take place, in His Father’s House, not the Bride’s House. It can’t be on earth, because there are NO mortals attending the Wedding and NO mortals at the Wedding Supper. Those who attend the Wedding are one and the same as those who attend the Wedding Feast. They include the Bride, the Groom, Old Testament Saints (Guests from Paradise), and Angels. They are ALL immortal! (The Jewish Wedding System Explained) Historical Gramactical Hermeneutics.
Jewish weddings throughout history have typically lasted 7 days. So 7 days of years is the precise length of the Tribulation, and therefore, the duration of the Marriage, including the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. I wrestled and agonized recently because I love my brothers in Christ who subscribe to Pre-wrath Rapture and longed to be in unity on this. But Marvin Rosenthal and Pre-Wrath Rapture disciples are usurping the timing of when Christ the Groom can take up his Bride. They are virtually handcuffing the time frame when Christ is allowed to take up his Bride from the beginning of the two-thousand-year history of the church. But we champion Imminency for Christ’s Return. It is also Imminency for the Day of the Lord and it is simultaneous! It is the Imminency of Christ the Groom taking up his Purchased Bride. (It is the Groom alone, upon council with the Father, who decides when to obtain her!) Is this the Lord’s Providential timing or what?
I was also just struck like lightning with one more thing regarding the Bridegroom (Christ) and Bride of Christ (the Church) and that is the Bridegroom Parable as the irrefutable proof that Pre-Wrath = The Foolish Virgins! If Mid-Trib or Pre-Wrath Rapture has any logic or credibility, they would have to think there is no reason to be watchful for Pre Tribulation because they think Imminence is impossible. If they are not watchful at all they could simply wait it out until all of the signs and at least half of the 7-year Tribulation has already taken place. If they are here during the first half of the Tribulation, they think they can fill their lamps anytime up to ¾ of the Tribulation, because Marvin Rosenthal says Christ the Groom can’t come any day or hour. But all Christians are commanded to be watchful for the Rapture (i.e., The Marriage) and prepare for it, NOT watchful for when the Tribulation begins! The whole picture of our relationship with Christ is constantly being compared and captured as betrothal, marriage, parables, and The Marriage Feast of the Lamb. In the Old Testament, God calls Israel his wife. Literal marriage forensic protocols and timing are revealed in light of Jewish marriages. We cannot jettison or redesign these procedures with man-made traditions, vain imaginations, or distortions of timing to conform to Mid, Pre-Wrath, or Post-Tribulation blueprints. The Bride would not make herself ready for the Slaughter of The Tribulation, or dress in a white wedding gown drenched in blood from head to toe. This is why Pre-wrath Rapture is not possible! Here is the Bridegroom Parable in Scripture:
The Parable of the Ten Virgins Marriage
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.”Matthew 25:1-13 ESV
8. Then Peace and Safety would only last during the first half of the Tribulation and not prior to the beginning of the 7 years of Tribulation. Surely the biblical details describing the first half of the 7 years of the Tribulation can’t mean that the whole earth is living in peace and safety. The Man of Peace (The Antichrist) signs a peace treaty for only a brief period before the angels begin their judgments on the earth, which certainly could not be described as peace and safety during the Tribulation. “Peace and safety” must refer to the Last Days up to the beginning of birth pangs. But only the first birth pang is a surprise; after that, there are many birth pangs, and they become severe during the second half of the Tribulation. But the severe birth pangs don’t come as a surprise!
9. Then equating Revelation 20 (First Resurrection) with Rapture would then have to mean Christ was not the First Resurrection. The true Rapture requires the inclusion of “we who are alive.” (1 Thess. 4:17). Pre-wrath Rapture could not include the martyrs in the Tribulation because none of them were resurrected until the END of the entire 7 years (week of Daniel). But if that’s true, then Post-Tribulation Rapture (which is also incorrect) would have to be the sequence, not Pre-wrath Rapture. The First Resurrection in Revelation 20 therefore could not be the very first resurrection in history. John is using “first” to contrast it with the last (or second) resurrection of the damned; otherwise, it makes absolutely no sense! It is first (collectively all of the righteous) in a sequence of two in that grand scale of history. But there is another colossal use of the term “first” and that is the term “firstborn.” The original Greek word is πρωτότοκος prōtótokos. It parallels if not mirrors the virtually identical meaning of the term “first resurrection.” The word“firstborn” is used both as a singular as well as a plural word in Greek. It is even the very same Greek word, but the text of the entire verse reveals whether it is singular or plural. Christ was singular “The Firstborn,” as told in:
“And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.” Col 1:18
but and we all, as Christians are called plural firstborns in Greek in this passage:
“To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,” Heb 12:23
But new firstborns, as in being born again, happen over and over for two thousand years since the Church began. Every year there are thousands of firsts! Seems like a contradiction once again. So just like we Christians are all part of the First Resurrection, likewise, we are all part of the Firstborn, even though there are millions of us firstborns. There are no secondborns! The Lord is both the Helper and the Hinder. He is the eternal Helper for all Christians. He Hinderer (Restrainer) since Creation, and only removes being the Hinderer during the Tribulation and for a brief season after the Millennium. After that God not only hinders but obliterates Satan’s power, wrath, and all activity on earth and heaven. Michael indeed helps all Jews and helped by winning a war against Satan before Creation in the Third Heaven. But he is not THE Helper! And he certainly hindered Satan on earth in protecting the Jews. But he is not The Hinderer! Eric Douma did a brilliant sermon on proving that firstborn is both singular and plural. I invite you to hear it at:
Those who are born and die during the Millennium and those who are alive at the end of it will be part of the First Resurrection. There will be no more “First Resurrection” after that. You can’t call the believers at the end of the Millennium “the Second Resurrection,” because that title belongs only to the damned of all time. The First Resurrection is first and last in sequence; the Second Resurrection applies collectively to all of the wicked and is subsequent to the First Resurrection. All believers are part of the First Resurrection because the second death has no power over us. And everyone in the First Resurrection will become citizens of the New Jerusalem. Glory to God!
Dr. Andy Woods captures it well with this statement:
“I will just add three little things.
First, the first resurrection concerns only the dead. Look at the language carefully in Revelation 20:4–5 and Daniel 12:2. The rapture, by contrast, doesn’t just concern the dead in Christ but also those that are alive on the earth at the time (1 Thess. 4:17).
Second, if the first resurrection is the first resurrection ever not only could there have not been a pre-tribulation rapture but neither could there be a pre-wrath, mid-trib. or post-tribulation rapture either. Beyond that, there couldn’t even have been a resurrection of Jesus from the dead, which is obviously problematic in light of 1 Cor. 15: 14.
Third, the number “first” in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4-5) is simply distinguishing that resurrection from the resurrection of the unsaved at the end of the thousand years. It’s not talking about the first one ever in human history. If so, then Christ has not been raised!”
The Tribulation Martyrs and the Old Testament Saints were not part of the Church and therefore not part of the Rapture. However, they become included (fellow participants) in the totality of the First Resurrection when God raises them up to reign with us for the entire Millennium.
Here are just some of the best refutations I have ever heard and seen in 50 years on Pre-Wrath Rapture by Pastor Dr. Andy Woods videos below and additional resources refuting the Pre-Wrath Rapture Position.
Additional Resources Refuting Rosenthal
The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church: Is It Biblical?
2 Thessalonians 2:1-8: Does it Support a Pre-wrath View? By Eric Douma
A Review of “The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church” — By: Gerald B. Stanton
Dr. Alan Kurschner’s Pre-Wrath Chaos:
A Review of His “7 Pretrib Problems and the Prewrath Rapture”
Rapture Sermon Series 42 – Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Part 1. Rev. 6:16-17. Dr. Andy Woods
Rapture Sermon Series 42 – Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Part 2. Rev. 6:16-17. Dr. Andy Woods
Here are some of the best refutations I have ever heard and seen in 50 years on Pre-Wrath Rapture by Pastor Dr. Andy Woods.
Rapture Series 47 Explaining & Refuting Pre-Wrath, Pt 6 Daniel 9:2
But he also did a third sermon on Rev. 20:4 which addresses “The First Resurrection”.
Here is that link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3m8AdLZoo0