A Response to David Cloud’s Misrepresentation of the Prewrath Viewpoint

David Cloud in a Q&A writes:

What about the pre-wrath position that says believers will not be raptured until part way through the Tribulation?

The “pre-wrath” doctrine says that the Rapture occurs mid-way between Daniel’s 70th Week. It is based on the view that the “church” is to be kept from God’s wrath and the wrath is limited to the last half of the seven-year tribulation period, beginning when the antichrist sets himself up in the Jewish temple as God.

I believe this position is wrong for three reasons, chiefly.

1. The first reason I believe this position is wrong is the Bible’s teaching about the imminency of His coming (Mat. 24:44; 44; 25:13; Mark 13:33; Phil. 4:5; Jam. 5:8-9; 1 Pet. 4:7).). If the believer is not taken away until part way through the Tribulation, he would know the time of the Rapture precisely, almost to the day, because he would see the events unfold during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week.

2. We do not accept the teaching that only the last seven judgments are the wrath of God (Rev. 15:1; 16:1). The wrath of God is mentioned in Revelation 6:16-17, at the beginning of the Tribulation. The fact is that the entire Tribulation is the wrath of God, each part growing in intensity. The seal judgments affect a fourth of the world (Rev. 6:8). The trumpet judgments affect a third of the earth (Rev. 8:7-11; 9:15). The vial judgments affect the entire world (Rev. 16:2, 3, 4, 8, 10, 14, 20).

3. The entire period of Daniel’s 70th Week pertains to Israel and not to the church. As we have seen, the church is not seen on earth after Revelation 3. Everything described on earth in Revelation 6-18 pertain to the Gentile nations and Israel. The “pre-wrath” position does not make a proper and consistent distinction between Israel and the church.

http://www.wayoflife.org/index_files/the_pre_tribulation_rapture.html

 

David Cloud seems not to be serious about representing accurately the view he disagrees with. These are not misrepresentations we have not seen before. Nevertheless, I want to comment on them:

1. The prewrath position does not believe “the Rapture occurs mid-way between Daniel’s 70th Week.” Um…that is called the midtribulational view. That he confuses these two positions tells me he has not actually read any primary prewrath literature. If he had, he would not have made this blunder.

He asserts: “It is based on the view that the ‘church’ is to be kept from God’s wrath and the wrath is limited to the last half of the seven-year tribulation period, beginning when the antichrist sets himself up in the Jewish temple as God.” Again, that is the midtrib view, not the prewrath position.

2. Cloud asserts: “The first reason I believe this position is wrong is the Bible’s teaching about the imminency of His coming.” This is circular reasoning. It begs the question. Notice he just assumes the Bible teaches imminence. Mr. Cloud, the question before us is does the Bible teach imminence? That is at the core of the debate of whether prewrath or pretrib is true. So it is logically fallacious to assume your conclusion as a premise in your argument. In other words, you are in essence asserting, “Pretribulationism is true because pretribulationism is true.”

3. Cloud asserts: “If the believer is not taken away until part way through the Tribulation, he would know the time of the Rapture precisely, almost to the day, because he would see the events unfold during the first half of Daniel’s 70th week.” Again, Cloud is assuming prewrath is midtrib. That is actually the very argument that I use against midtribbers! That Cloud uses it against prewrath reveals his sloppy effort on this issue.

4. Cloud asserts: “We do not accept the teaching that only the last seven judgments are the wrath of God (Rev. 15:1; 16:1).” I have something in common with David Cloud! Mr. Cloud, I also do not accept that “only the last seven judgments are the wrath of God.” Once again, Cloud is ignorant of the very basics of what prewrath teaches. Notice that he does not give any primary sources to his assertions. He cannot, because there are not any.

Here is a succinct—accurate—definition of the prewrath position:

The Church will first experience the Antichrist’s Great Tribulation, which will be cut short by the Return of Christ to resurrect and rapture believers, and then the rapture will be followed immediately on the same day by the onset of the Day of the Lord’s wrath executed upon the ungodly—hence, Prewrath. The prewrath position holds that the day of the Lord’s wrath begins with the seventh seal being opened containing the wrath of God in both the trumpet and bowl judgments.

In this instance, I think Cloud is confusing prewrath with posttrib, since it is posttribs that commonly believe the wrath of God is contained in only the bowls.

5. Cloud asserts: “The entire period of Daniel’s 70th Week pertains to Israel and not to the church.” Pink elephants will be excluded from the 70th week of Daniel. Mr. Cloud, your assertion must be given biblical support. You cannot just assume this, just like imminence.

6. Cloud asserts: “As we have seen, the church is not seen on earth after Revelation 3. Everything described on earth in Revelation 6-18 pertain to the Gentile nations and Israel.” This claim has been thoroughly refuted here.

7. Finally, Cloud asserts: “Thepre-wrath’ position does not make a proper and consistent distinction between Israel and the church.” I am convinced that Cloud has no conception to what the prewrath position believes on the relationship between Israel and the church. So until he can describe this, I am not able to respond to him.

Brother Cloud is long on assertions and short on biblical support. He is well known in fundamentalist Baptist circles, and I think it would be good to have a public moderated debate on this subject. I am willing to put my prewrath assertions under his cross-examination. Would he be willing to do the same with his? I believe a debate would be beneficial for the people of God, and most of all glorifying to God.

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email