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Some Comments on John Shorey's Teaching on the Mid-Week (Mid-Trib) Rapture, Part 1 (of 4 Parts)
by Karl Kemp
6/06/2015 / Bible Studies
[[All quotations in this paper were taken from the New American Standard Bible, 1995 edition, unless otherwise noted. Sometimes I make comments in the middle of quotations using brackets [ ] or [[ ]] to make them more obvious. I am using straight quotation marks ("), hyphens (-) instead of dashes, no footnotes, and a few other things like this because some of the internet sites where I post these articles require it. Cf., e.g., means "compare, for example."]]
I am interested in John Shorey's book, "The Window of the Lord's Return, 2012-2020," because he is teaching the mid-week rapture (mid-seventieth-week-of-Daniel rapture, based on Dan. 9:24-27). It was published in 2010, but I have the second edition, which according to Shorey, is the latest edition (as of April, 2015). I initially read his e-book, and later, for review before I wrote this paper, I read the paperback book. The content of both books is the same. I recommended that Shorey read my books on this topic, and I informed him that I was going to write this paper and offered to send him a copy of the paper, but I didn't get any response.
Shorey (and many others) calls it the mid-tribulation rapture, but we agree that the rapture will take place right in the middle of the seven-year period. I have been teaching the mid-week rapture since 1970, and I wrote a 360 page book titled "The Mid-Week Rapture: A Verse-by-Verse Study of Key Prophetic Passages" (published in 1991). In 2014 I wrote an e-book titled "Introduction to the Mid-Week Rapture" that is easier to read and should be read first, but it only contains about half of the information available in the paperback book. (Both books are available at amazon.com.) I also have quite a few papers on my internet site dealing with the end times. (Google to Karl Kemp Teaching.) Between the books and the papers every verse of the all-important book of Revelation is discussed, for one thing.
Shorey said that for most of his thirty-eight years as a Christian he held to the pre-trib (better "pre-week") view of the rapture. He became a born-again Christian in 1974. (This fact doesn't prove anything, but I was teaching the mid-week rapture before he became a Christian.) I'm thankful that he is teaching the mid-week rapture now. He has been influencing many people through his writings and his appearances on the Jim Bakker TV program. And I'm confident that Shorey is a solid evangelical Christian who puts a high priority on trying to be faithful to God and His Word. However, it is rather amazing how different his teaching is from mine on this topic, especially dealing with the first three and one-half years while we Christians will still be living on the earth before the Lord Jesus returns and the rapture takes place in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. I could say a lot about places where Shorey and I agree (for one thing, he spends a lot of space refuting the pre-week rapture, which he taught for most of his thirty-eight years as a Christian), but I'll mostly be dealing with places where we don't agree in this paper. We desperately need to find and hold the balanced truth of what the Bible teaches on every topic, including the end times. I know Shorey agrees. My goal is not to point out places where I believe Shorey is wrong, but to present what I'm confident is the correct view.
The issue that bothers me the most is that Shorey teaches that the passages that speak of Antichrist "waging relentless war" against the saints prophesy regarding the saints who will be living on the earth during the first half of the seven-year period, BEFORE THE RAPTURE. I have always believed and I am confident that those passages prophesy of things that will come to pass during the second half of the seven-year period, AFTER THE RAPTURE. Antichrist will not begin his three and one-half year super-evil reign (throughout which he will be making war with the saints and overpowering them [cf. Rev. 13:5, 7]) until right after the rapture. We will be discussing this very important difference, and other issues, in this paper. I'm sure that most readers would strongly prefer that I am right in at least most of the places where Shorey differs from me. May God guide all of us to the balanced TRUTH of what His Word teaches as we humble ourselves before Him! God loves the TRUTH!
SHOREY SPECIFICALLY USES THE FOLLOWING PASSAGES TO BACK UP THE IDEA THAT ANTICHRIST WILL WAGE RELENTLESS WAR AGAINST THE SAINTS (OVERPOWER THEM, ETC.) THROUGHOUT THE FIRST HALF OF DANIEL'S 70TH WEEK. (See his pages 107, 126-134, and others. From my point of view there is no way that he can be right on this point.):
REVELATION 13:5, 7 (I'll quote these verses from the NASB, which I always use unless I mention otherwise. I'll comment further on these verses, and other relevant verses, later in this paper; for one thing, I'll give a brief overview of Revelation chapters 11-13, which are super-important chapters; for more details see my books and papers that I mentioned above.): "There was given to him [to Antichrist; ultimately this authority comes from God, who uses Antichrist in His end-time judgment of the world (cf., e.g., Dan. 11:36; 8:19; Zech. 11:15-17; 2 Thess. 2:11, 12); He will use him like he used Pharaoh at the exodus from Egypt, but very much more so] a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. [[It has always seemed clear to me that this "forty-two months" refers to the second half of the seven-year period that will start right after the rapture. (This forty-two month super-evil reign will come to an end at the end of the seven years when the Lord Jesus casts him and the false prophet into the lake of fire [Rev. 19:20].) Antichrist will not become Antichrist in the full sense until his abomination of desolation, and he has been killed and come back from the dead (Rev. 11:7; 13:3, 12, 14; 17:8), and the devil has given him "his power and his throne and great authority" (Rev. 13:2) right after the devil is cast down to the earth with his angels (Rev. 12:4, 7-9) in the middle of the seven years, at the time the Lord Jesus returns and the rapture takes place.
Matthew 24:29 (and Mark 13:25; cf. Rev. 6:13) confirms that the devil will be cast down at the time the Lord Jesus returns in that it prophesies of the "stars" falling to the earth and the powers of the heavens being shaken at the time the Lord Jesus returns (Matt. 24:30, 31). The "powers of the heavens being shaken" will take place when the devil and his angels are cast down to the earth, and the stars falling from the sky is explained by the stars being cast down to the earth in Rev. 12:4, 7-9. Satan's angels are called stars in Rev. 12:4. Satan and his angels being cast down to the earth is a major feature in God's end-time judgment of the world.
Antichrist will not begin to look and act like Antichrist until the abomination of desolation, when he stops the sacrifices in the temple and demands worship in the (approximate) middle of Daniel's 70th week (cf., e.g., Dan. 9:27; 12:11; Matt. 24:15; 2 Thess. 2:3, 4). Daniel 9:27 shows that the abomination of desolation will take place "in the middle" of the seven-year period. As I discuss in some detail in my books, I believe Dan. 12:11 enables us to see that the abomination will take place in the approximate middle of the seven-year period, some thirty days before the more precise middle. (This approximate middle is 2.38 percent removed from the more precise middle. It is significant that the Hebrew noun "chatsi" that is translated "middle" in Dan. 9:27 is sometimes used in very imprecise ways in the Old Testament, like "in the middle" of the night and "in the middle" of a person's life.)
As I mentioned, Antichrist will not begin to fully function as Antichrist until he is killed and comes back from the dead (he will probably be killed during the very intense warfare of the sixth trumpet, and we know he will come back from the dead in time to kill the two witnesses [prophets] three and one-half days before they are resurrected and raptured in the middle of the seven years [Rev. 11:7-12]; see my books for more details) and then a short while after he has come back from the dead the devil gives him "his power and his throne and great authority" (Rev. 13:2) right after he is cast down to the earth in the middle of the seven years (Rev. 12:4, 7-17 and 13:1-2). Antichrist's super-evil reign will only last for three and one-half years, throughout the second half of the seven-year period, AFTER THE RAPTURE. Then he will be cast into the lake of fire at the end of the seven years (Rev. 19:20). The devil will be cast into the abyss at the end of the seven years (Rev. 20:1-3) and then into the lake of fire at the end of the millennial kingdom (Rev. 20:10).]] (7) It was also given to him [to Antichrist] to make war with the saints [[This refers to the "saints" who become Christians after the rapture, centering in the elect end-time remnant of Israel. Many passages prophesy of the very difficult three and one-half years that the end-time remnant of Israel must endure throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week (cf., e.g., Dan. 7:21, 25; 12:7; we will discuss these verses as we continue), but it will work for the glory of God and for their good (cf., e.g., Dan. 12:10; Zech. 13:9). They (at least many of them) will become Christians (cf., e.g., Zech. 12:10-13:1) in the middle of Daniel's 70th week (cf. Rev. 11:13), but not in time to be taken in the rapture. These things are discussed in some detail in my book, "The Mid-Week Rapture." See under Zechariah chapters 12-14 and under Rev. 11:13 in the chapter on Revelation chapter 11; we will discuss some key verses from the book of Daniel as we continue (Daniel chapters 2, 7, 8, 9, 11:36-45, and chapter 12 are discussed in detail in my book).]] and to overcome them, and authority over every tribe and people and tongue and nation was given to him." It seems clear to me that this authority given to Antichrist (for forty-two months [Rev. 13:5]) refers to the second half of Daniel's 70th week, after (for one thing) the devil has given him "his power and his throne and great authority" (Rev. 13:2).
DANIEL 7:21, 22, 25, 26. (Daniel chapter 7 is discussed verse-by-verse in "The Mid-Week Rapture."): "I kept looking and that horn [Antichrist] was waging war with the saints and overpowering them [[This will take place (as in Rev. 13:5, 7 and other passages) throughout the second half (not the first half) of the seven-year period, after the abomination of desolation, which will take place in the (approximate) middle of the seven years, some thirty days before the more precise middle (cf., e.g., Dan. 9:27; 12:11). Verse 25 mentions the equivalent of three and one-half years. Daniel 7:18-22 (and other passages, including Dan. 9:27; Rev. 19:19-21) show that Antichrist's reign ends when God judges and removes him at the end of the seven years, at which time the saints begin to reign in the millennial kingdom.
In the context of the book of Daniel (in the Old Testament), "the saints" refer to the believers of Israel (Israel, the "people" of Daniel; see Dan. 12:1, for example). (The book of Daniel doesn't give us any insight regarding the Christian church, with its large numbers of Gentile believers.) In the New Testament we learn that Gentiles become "saints" (saints in the full new-covenant, born-again sense) by submitting (in faith) to the God of Israel and being grafted into the tree of God's true Israel (Rom. 11:17-24) through new-covenant salvation in Christ Jesus. "The saints" of the people of Israel will not take possession of the kingdom (see Dan. 7:22) until the end of the seven years. I believe this makes it clear that their three and one-half years of being overpowered (Dan. 7:21) by Antichrist (after his abomination of desolation and his coming back from the dead and being empowered by the devil after he is cast down to the earth when the Lord Jesus returns in the middle of the seven years) will take place throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week. This super-evil three and one-half year reign of Antichrist will not come to an end until the Lord Jesus judges him at the end of the seven years.]] (22) until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom. [[The saints spoken of here (the elect end-time remnant of Israel) will not take "possession of the kingdom" until Antichrist is destroyed at the end of the seven years. He will overpower them (to the extent God permits), and many of them will be martyred for Christ, throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week (cf., e.g., Rev. 20:4).]] ... (25) He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest one, and he will intend to make alterations in times and laws; and they [the saints who will be living on the earth during the second half of Daniel's 70th week] will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time [which equals three and one-half years, the second half of the seven-year period, after Antichrist has begun to fully manifest himself as Antichrist, as in Rev. 13:5, 7]. (26) But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever." It is very clear that Antichrist will not be destroyed and his dominion "taken away" until the end of the seven years (cf., e.g., Dan. 9:27; Rev. 19:19-21). This corresponds perfectly with the fact that Antichrist's super-evil forty-two month reign when he wages war against the saints (and does other things, including destroying Babylon the great harlot according to the plan of God, which is a major feature of judgment day [cf., e.g., Rev. 17:16, 17]) will begin right in the middle of the seven years.
Remember that Shorey specifically uses the passages we are discussing from the book of Daniel to back up his idea that Antichrist will wage relentless war against the saints throughout the First Half of Daniel's 70th week.
DANIEL 12:5-7. (Daniel chapter 12 is discussed verse-by-verse in some detail in "The Mid-Week Rapture." I'll just quote verse 7 here, but I'll mention that Shorey and I agree that "the man dressed in linen" in verses 6 and 7 is the Lord Jesus Christ.) "I heard the man dressed in linen, who was above the waters of the river [The time setting is the middle of Daniel's 70th week, as the words that follow in this verse demonstrate. This is the Lord Jesus at the time He returns in the clouds and the rapture takes place.], as He raised His right hand and His left toward heaven, and swore by Him who lives forever [referring to God the Father, but once we get the New Testament we learn that God the Son, who wasn't clearly revealed in the Old Testament, lives forever too, and the Holy Spirit] that it would be for a time, times, and half a time [three and one-half years]; and as soon as they finish shattering the power of the holy people [throughout the second half of the seven years], all these things will be completed." "Shattering the power of the holy people" will take place throughout the second half of the seven-year period, as in Rev. 13:5, 7; Daniel 7:21-26; and other passages. The "holy people" (saints) are the elect, repentant, end-time remnant of Israel, who will have become Christians after the rapture. I believe many Gentiles will become Christians after the rapture too, but that detail isn't mentioned in Daniel chapters 7 or 12 (it doesn't fit the book of Daniel, which deals with Israel).
REVELATION 13:11-18. ((These verses deal with the false prophet, who demands the worship of Antichrist, which includes taking the mark of the beast (Antichrist) and worshipping the supernatural image of the beast that is built to commemorate the fact that Antichrist has come back from the dead. Antichrist will come back from the dead in time to kill the two witnesses (prophets) who will lie dead in the street of Jerusalem for three and one-half days before they are resurrected and raptured right in the middle of the seven years (see Rev. 11:7-12). Shorey believes that the things spoken of in Rev. 13:11-18 will take place throughout the first half of the seven year period, but I am sure that they will take place throughout the second half of the seven-year period, during the three and one-half year super-evil reign of Antichrist that begins when the devil gives him his power and his throne and great authority (Rev. 13:2) right after he is cast down to the earth in the middle of the seven-year period at the time of the rapture (Rev. 12:4, 7-17), and ending at the end of the seven-years when the Lord Jesus casts Antichrist and the false prophet into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20).)): "Then I saw another beast [the false prophet (cf. Rev. 16:13; 19:20; and 20:10)] coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. (12) He exercises all the authority of the first beast [Antichrist] in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. [Antichrist will probably be killed during the very intense warfare of the sixth trumpet; he will come back from the dead in time to kill the two witnesses three and a half days before the Lord Jesus returns and the rapture takes place (see Rev. 11:7-12).] (13) He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men. (14) And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast [Antichrist], telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life. [This supernatural image will celebrate the fact that Antichrist has come back from the dead and he must be worshipped.] (15) And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. [Something supernatural will be taking place here. On these supernatural signs, compare 2 Thess. 2:8-12.] (16) And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, (17) and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name. (18) Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for the number is that of a man; and his number is six hundred and sixty-six." Revelation chapters 11-13 are discussed verse-by-verse in both of my books. Being able to calculate the number of the beast will probably enable us to confirm the identity of Antichrist before he begins to act like Antichrist. The fact that Antichrist will make or confirm the seven-year treaty/covenant involving Israel may not suffice to confirm his identity, and he will not be acting like Antichrist at that early time.
It has always seemed clear to me, and it still does, that these passages do not apply to the Christians who will be living on the earth throughout the FIRST HALF of Daniel's 70th week. REVELATION 3:10 is a very important verse that is packed with good news for all the Christians who will be faithfully living for God (by grace through faith) when He returns in the middle of the seven-year period: "Because you have kept the word of My perseverance [They have been keeping the word of Christ (by grace through faith) that requires perseverance.], I also will keep you from [or "out of"; Greek preposition "ek"] the hour of testing, that hour which is about to come [or, "which is going to come"] upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth." The Greek makes it quite clear that He is going to keep us "out of" the hour of testing, not to keep us during, or through, the hour of testing. We will be kept out of the hour of testing through being raptured from the earth right before the hour of testing begins. I believe we have enough information to understand the "hour of testing." The "hour" will take place throughout the second half of Daniel's 70th week. (It is interesting that the word "hour" [or "one hour"] is used several times in the book of Revelation to refer to the second half of Daniel's 70th week [see Rev. 17:12; 14:7, 15; cf. Rev. 18:10, 17, and 19].) The test will involve whether people will submit to Antichrist when it will be very difficult to not submit to him (see Revelation chapter 13 for example) or submit to God (cf. Rev. 14:6, 7). God makes it very clear that those who submit to Antichrist will suffer very severe consequences; they cannot say they haven't been warned. I'll quote REVELATION 14:9-11: "Then another angel, a third one, followed them, saying with a loud voice, 'If anyone worships the beast [Antichrist] and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or on his hand [see Rev. 13:14-18], (10) he also will drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in full strength in the cup of His anger; and he will be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb. (11) And the smoke of their torment goes up forever and ever; they have no rest day and night, those who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.' "
A DISCUSSION ON THE RAPTURE AND THE SEVEN TRUMPETS OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION AND THE THREE OTHER VERSES THAT MENTION TRUMPETS SOUNDING AT THE TIME OF THE RETURN OF THE LORD JESUS AND THE RAPTURE:
I'll start with the seven trumpets of the book of Revelation. The seven trumpets announce the return of the Lord Jesus, the rapture, and the official beginning of the Day of Judgment. The sounding of the first six trumpets are discussed in Revelation chapters 8 and 9 and the seventh and LAST trumpet sounds in Rev. 11:15. I believe this is one of the primary places where Shorey is misunderstanding the all-important book of Revelation. He believes (but he certainly isn't the only one) that the seven trumpets will all sound AFTER the rapture. I am quite sure that the Lord Jesus will return and the rapture will take place at the sounding of the seventh and LAST trumpet and that this trumpet is to be equated with the trumpets of Matt. 24:31; 1 Cor. 15:52 ("the LAST trumpet"); and 1 Thess. 4:16. Shorey agrees regarding the last three verses I mentioned, but he cannot agree regarding the LAST trumpet of Rev. 11:15 because he believes that the seven trumpets will all sound after the rapture.
The seventh and last trumpet will sound right in the middle of Daniel's 70th week. I believe REVELATION CHAPTERS 11-13 are some of the most important chapters in the Bible on the end times, and they are a very big part of the reason that I am sure that the seventh trumpet will sound, the Lord Jesus will return, and the rapture will take place right in the middle of the seven years. IT IS VERY SIGNIFICANT THAT THE EQUIVALENT OF THREE AND ONE-HALF YEARS IS USED FIVE TIMES IN THESE CHAPTERS. THE FIRST TWO, which are mentioned in Rev. 11:2, 3, REFER TO THE FIRST HALF OF THE SEVEN-YEAR PERIOD, when the Jews will be worshipping and offering sacrifices in the temple that will be rebuilt in Jerusalem, before Antichrist stops the sacrifices at his abomination of desolation, which will take place in the approximate middle of the seven years (Dan. 9:27; 12:11; and other verses). (The temple will probably be built about a hundred yards north of the Dome of the Rock, where the original temple(s) apparently stood, which will probably be proven to the satisfaction of most people in the near future. The treaty/covenant of Dan. 9:27 will apparently allow Israel to rebuild the temple. That treaty will apparently also grant the nations authority over the city of Jerusalem [see Rev. 11:2].) And Rev. 11:3 shows that the super-important ministry of the two witnesses (prophets) that will touch the world will take place throughout the first half of the seven-year period, during which they will be warning Israel and the world that the Lord Jesus is coming very soon to save His people and judge the world. THE NEXT THREE PLACES the three and one-half years are mentioned in the book of Revelation (Rev. 12:6, 14 and 13:5) COVER THE SECOND HALF OF THE SEVEN YEAR PERIOD, within which Antichrist's super-evil reign will take place.
RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SEVEN YEARS THE SEVENTH TRUMPET WILL SOUND (Rev. 11:15):
We will continue this study in Part 2.
Copyright by Karl Kemp
http://www.karlkempteachingministries.com Karl Kemp worked as an engineer in the space field throughout the 60s. He became a born-again Christian in 1964. He received an MA in Biblical Studies in 1972. He has been a Bible teacher for 45 years. See the website for more info on his books, papers, etc.
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