I expect pop pretrib teachers such as Thomas Ice, Tim Lahaye, and others to misrepresent the prewrath position—they do it all the time, and don’t care. They do it on purpose and we know this because they have been repeatedly corrected in private emails and in public on the Internet. This is why Thomas Ice refuses to debate me in a public moderated debate, because he knows he cannot answer his false misrepresentations and defend his bad arguments against the prewrath position.
Michael Vlach’s Misinterpretation
But I was surprised to learn that Dr. Michael Vlach , a professor at The Master’s Seminary teaching a course in theology with a lecture on the rapture, grossly misrepresented the prewrath position. You can hear his misrepresentation starting at 29:30 minutes in the video below.
I would think Dr. Vlach would have done his homework and given his students an accurate representation of the prewrath position. Prewrath teachers properly represent pretrib theology, why can’t they return favor? The primary prewrath resources are readily available. Even though my book was published soon after his lecture, Vlach does have access to Antichrist Before the Day of the Lord in the Master’s Seminary library. So he could easily consult this work that gives a full-orbed prewrath position.
I have said this before and it needs to be said again. One of reasons why pretribs are coming over to prewrath is because exactly this kind of misrepresentation. It conveys to people a lack of security and weakness in pretribulationism (I have first hand knowledge of Master’s students who are prewrath. It is an encouraging trend).
Let me address these misrepresentations by Dr. Vlach. I will be brief, since we have been over these common erroneous notions many times.
1. He says that prewrath basically believes the rapture will happen 3/4th into the seven-year period.
This is not true. Pretribs cite from each other all the time instead of going to primary sources. So it is a myth within pretrib circles. Vlach perpetuates this myth by his own ignorance and lack of scholarly willingness to cite primary prewrath literature.
What prewrath does teach is that the rapture will happen sometime within the second half of the seven-year period. We do not know the day or hour. How hard is it to grasp this simple point?
2. Vlach says prewrath teaches that the bowl judgments will happen after the rapture.
Once again, this is false. The trumpet judgments will happen first, then the bowl judgments. The rapture will occur between the sixth and seventh seal. When the seventh seal is opened, the trumpet judgments will begin. The trumpet judgments will be followed by the bowl judgments.
3. In his white board chart in the video he has the second coming at the end of the seven-year period.
That is the case for pre, mid, and post trib. But not for prewrath. In fact, this is a definitional point in prewrath eschatology. The rapture is not disconnected from the second coming of Christ. The rapture is one of the very first divine purposes of the second coming (parousia). The second coming will begin sometime during the second half. It would have been very helpful for Vlach to explain this vital point to his students.
4. The last point that Valch failed at is not explaining that prewrath views the important biblical distinction between the Antichrist’s great tribulation and the day of the Lord’s wrath.
He gave some lip service to a general comment on it, but not specifically to prewrath eschatology. Vlach presupposed the term “the tribulation period,” which skews his “objective” explanation.
Perhaps someone would care to forward to Vlach this primary prewrath source.
I would be willing to come to The Master’s Seminary and explain the prewrath position to his students and take any questions they have on it. And I am also willing to take any objections that Vlach would have to the prewrath position in front of his students, or even to the student body of The Masters’s Seminary. I think this interaction would be beneficial for Master’s students by listening to a prewrath primary source.