Dr. Brown Speaks with Prof. Craig Keener about the Left Behind Movie and the Pre-Trib Rapture

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Dr. Brown interviews Prof. Craig Keener, one of the world’s foremost New Testament scholars, on the doctrine of the pre-trib rapture. Prof. Keener will also be taking your calls on a wide range of New Testament subjects. Listen live here 2-4 pm EST, and call into the show at (866) 348 7884 with your questions and comments.


Hour 1:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: Jesus promised us tribulation in this world, but He said “Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” In Him, we have all that we need to endure.

Hour 2:

Dr. Brown’s Bottom Line: We must recapture the reality of the return of Jesus, the power of the reality of His return while living in the world.


This week, Dr. Brown is offering Adrian Warnock’s newest book, Hope Reborn: How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus, along with his Line of Fire Radio Interview with Adrian Warnock for the special price of $15, Postage Paid! (US Only) Order Online Here!

Other Resources:

MIRACLES: An Interview With Professor Craig Keener

Interview with Prof. Craig Keener on the Book of Revelation; and Revelation 1-3

Dr. Brown Interviews Michael Licona on the Resurrection of Jesus; and How What We Believe Affects How We Live

  1. Pre-trib ‘rapture’ can be Biblical, but only IF only the ‘gospel’ of resurrection of the FLESH’ being preached along with Sola Scriptura accurate description of tribulation FINALE, greater than any previous, NEVER again as great in all of eternity beyond this ‘gospel’ of ‘resurrection of the flesh’ (AFTERWARDS the first resurrection AND the ‘rest of the dead) which “lived not again” UNTIL the ‘ending’ of the ‘first fruits’ Sabbath day resurrection of ‘week’ (of 7 THOUSAND years since first Adam’s FALL from grace given him) as first resurrected man (of modern human beings made in the image of, yet lower than non-divine, moderns, unable to be numbered, ever increasing angels) Adam making possible the resurrection from the ‘dust of the ground’ IN THE FLESH (also of his ‘son of man’, OUR MESSIAH of Israel).

  2. Hi Brian,

    The way I understand Scripture, the wrath of Messiah will descend in an instant at the end of the tribulation. I believe it’s certain the Church will go through it, but, when His wrath falls on the wicked we’ll still be standing. 🙂

    The Lord only returns one time that I can see, I don’t see where we can show He would sneak back, grab His Church, make a u-turn and take us back to Heaven. I see where we will be gathered to Him when He returns, the dead in Christ will rise first and we who are alive will be caught up together with them in the air. We will be here for the millennium in our resurrected, immortal bodies.

    According to Daniel 7, the saints will be persecuted until the end of the tribulation when the last beast, the antichrist, is overthrown.

    9 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others. It was very dreadful, with two rows of iron teeth and bronze claws, and it devoured, crushed, and trampled anything that was left with its feet. 20 I also wanted to know the meaning of the ten horns on its head, and of that other horn which came up and before which three others fell. This was the horn that had eyes and a mouth speaking arrogant things, whose appearance was more formidable than the others. 21 While I was watching, that horn began to wage war against the holy ones and was defeating them, 22 until the Ancient of Days arrived and judgment was rendered in favor of the holy ones of the Most High. Then the time came for the holy ones to take possession of the kingdom.

    23 “This is what he told me:
    ‘The fourth beast means that there will be a fourth kingdom on earth
    that will differ from all the other kingdoms.
    It will devour all the earth
    and will trample and crush it.
    24 The ten horns
    mean that ten kings will arise from that kingdom.
    Another king will arise after them,
    but he will be different from the earlier ones.
    He will humiliate three kings.
    25 He will speak words against the Most High.
    He will harass the holy ones of the Most High continually.
    His intention will be to change times established by law.
    They will be delivered into his hand
    For a time, times, and half a time.
    26 But the court will convene, and his ruling authority will be removed—
    destroyed and abolished forever!
    27 Then the kingdom, authority,
    and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven
    will be delivered to the people of the holy ones of the Most High.
    His kingdom is an eternal kingdom;
    all authorities will serve him and obey him.’
    28 “This is the conclusion of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts troubled me greatly, and the color drained from my face. But I kept the matter to myself.”

  3. Brian,

    The Orthodox Jewish interpretation is that the saints of Daniel 7 are the nation of Israel and the tribulation is the “time of Jacob’s trouble.” I can agree with the latter, but, believe the saints are both those of the Church and Israel.

    If we look at the state of affairs in the world today it seems highly likely that the Islamic Caliphate that ISIS wants to establish is an excellent candidate for the antichrist and his prophet. They will change laws and times (their holy day is Friday) and will seek to then institute sharia laws. That seems highly likely to me. Also, when the Bible says “all nations” and “the whole world” I don’t believe antichrist has power over the entire earth. It seems from Revelation that he gets trouble from the north—Russia perhaps? The Bible is Israeli-centric and so the prophets spoke from that perspective always. Just as when in Acts 11:28 we’re told there would be a famine “all over the world” in the days of Claudius Caesar. There were 4 famines during his reign between 41-48 AD and Josephus records the same. That Rome bought grain in Egypt and figs in Cyprus and food elsewhere we know the famine wasn’t worldwide.

    It seems likely that the Islamic Caliphate would seek to establish a false peace with Israel only to break their treaty in order to destroy it. No big stretch there… Islam is the kingdom of the antichrist. It’s not “one” kingdom, but, will align muslim nations for a short while, eventually overthrowing three nations rulers and consolidating the power of the antichrist and his prophet.

    Much to consider these days for sure!

  4. Sheila,

    Appreciate your overview. I am post-trib as well, having come to that conclusion after putting down voices and reading Scripture in its context. I just wanted to understand what you meant by pre-wrath, and your explination is clear.

    Interestingly enough, I had a unique debate with an individual who is a Messianic Jew and holds to the pre-trib view, while I, a Gentile, posited the post-trib position. He was the first Messianic Jew that I came across that believed such.

    Dan Juster and Asher (Keith) Intrater (both leading Messianic Jews) co-authored an insightful read, “Israel, the Church and the Last Days.” Dan also wrote “Revelation, the Passover Key” wherein he demonstrated how the plagues of Egypt coincide with the last day judgements found in Revelation.

    Grace & Peace

  5. John 17:15 is about ENTIRE sanctification (ENTIRE setting apart) FROM this world, quite obviously by it’s context, before end of their brief lives on this tiny foostool ‘of HIS’ (keeping them from the ‘wicked’ from Adam, who fight to their death down here, while not ever having come to even begin ‘taking up ONE’S OWN cross’, following Messiah of ISRAEL unto COMPLETE dedication in ENTIRELY no longer (once having drank of that SAME ‘CUP’, that which HE drank, while on HIS OWN cross) of being even FINISHED being tempted toward ANY future establishment of ANY kingdom rule of G-d EVER, on this always expendable, tiny ‘copy’ only, that which Abraham could not count of LIGHTS, of those heavenly PATTERNS above in own orbits around them above, of that which can be seen, REPRESENTATIVE of that which cannot be seen, except by TRUE faith (as of our earthly father of true faith which comes only from ABOVE)

  6. Dr. Brown or whoever,
    Have to say I am now very confused about this position that Michael is taking. Very disappointed in their interpretation of these scriptures. Yes, I am pre-trib, am not saying I’m right as to what I have been taught, but questioning this interpretation as so many of teachers/pastors/theologians that I have respected do not hold this view. I have always felt He might leave us for part of the tribulation so as to lead more people before the wrath falls. So while I would like to believe we will escape all of it, I can see why He might leave us until mid taking. Post not making sense to me of His love for his bride.

    Signed, Now Confused, as I love my brother in Christ Michael Brown.

  7. I have a question for everyone who is post-trib. When 1Thess.4:13-18 (the rapture) occurs and we meet the Lord in the air, what happens next? Do we come back down to earth or do we go up to heaven? If the former, when do we appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ and attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? If the latter, Christ’s Second Coming will have to occur in two phases — 1 coming FOR His Bride, to take us to heaven for those two events, and 2 — coming WITH His Bride, in power and great glory to judge the earth. If we are on the earth for the entire tribulation (= post-trib), when do we attend those two events?

  8. Joyce,

    G-d has poured out His wrath upon the earth before, and that was with the flood. He did not take them out of the flood, but kept them while in the flood. That was a picture of His keeping power during His judgments.

    You see it again when Israel was in the land of Goshen and G-d sent the angel to strike the first born dead in every household. Again, He didn’t take His people out of the judgment on the land, but kept them through it based upon the blood being seen in each household.

    More importantly, in reading the book of Revelation, each of the judgments that will strike the earth have a signature – meaning G-d’s wrath is only poured out on the wicked and not His people at all (those who don’t have the seal of G-d on their forehead, those who blaspheme His name, etc…). You will be wonderfully blessed when you read them carefully in seeing that truth.

    The great blessing in all of this comes in the faithful promise that G-d does keep His people in the midst of the storm. The judge of all the earth will do right in not destroying the righteous with the wicked.

  9. John was taken to heaven by the ‘fellow servant’ who came first to him on Patmos, then thru an open door INTO HEAVEN for ‘things yet to come’. What happens on this Earthly footstool is not any full fulfillment of ‘things yet to come’ beyond this footstool here below. A ‘shadow’ can be given us, BUT COMPLETE FULFILLMENT must take place IN ABOVE Jerusalem, and the resurrected peoples of the Nations being gathered from one end of HEAVEN to the other (each in their own order). Tribulation already happened to Israel down here, their ‘grain’ from their threshing floor now burned up leaving no root, nor branch down here WAS REFERRED BY JESUS as HIS F-ther and G-d being not the G-d of the dead, but of the yet living). A tribulation is still ahead IN THE RESURRECTION of the flesh “ABOVE” THESE HEAVENS, real fire SUDDENLY ENDING ALL human SOUL LIFE for this footstool ‘of HIS’. The tribulation coming is beyond anything ever past, NOR anything beyond it’s sure future yet to come AFTERWARDS the great MOST ANCIENT of Dragons is loosed for a short season from being purposefully locked up by a great angel IN HEAVEN for the duration of ‘first resurrection’ (last millennium of the 7 great first millenniums, plan of G-d from the fall of first Adam)

  10. J.J.L.

    You asked ” When 1Thess.4:13-18 (the rapture) occurs and we meet the Lord in the air, what happens next? Do we come back down to earth or do we go up to heaven?”

    When believes ascend to meet the Lord in the air it will be for the marriage supper of the Lamb. This why both those who have died and those who are alive will all come together to welcome the long awaited groom. We will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye putting on immortality. We are told that He will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body (Phil 3:21). We all (dead and alive) will hear his voice and come to him to meet the Lord having the promise, ” Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb” (Rev 19:9). After the celebration of the bride being joined to the groom, we will indeed come back to the earth with the King of kings and the Lord of lords to rule and reign.

    You asked, “when do we appear before the Judgment Seat of Christ and attend the Marriage Supper of the Lamb? If we are on the earth for the entire tribulation (= post-trib), when do we attend those two events?

    The judgment will come at his appearing when he shouts with his voice:

    For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation (John 5:26-29).

    J.J.L, consider this, the return of Christ is two-fold: He is coming both to get his bride, and he is coming to execute judgment. This is definitively seen in 2 Thess 1. Paul, as the author of both epistles to the Thessalonians did not write of two separate comings but saw them co-joined in the one event wherein he actually brings into greater light what he previously wrote to the church in 1 Thess. 4. Let’s look at 2 Thess 1:6-10.

    ” since it is a righteous thing with God to repay with tribulation those who trouble you, and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power, when He comes, in that Day, to be glorified in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”

    Please notice the two grand themes that occur upon the Lord’s return:

    1. He will be revealed in flaming fire judging those who do not know G-d, and those who do not obey the gospel. Their judgment is final.

    2. The other theme being revealed is that Christ will be glorified in his saints and will be admired among all the believers. That describes a grand welcoming event that will take place all at the same time.

    What Paul teaches us is that Christ will come as both the Judge of the wicked and as the one being welcomed by His people (bride) – each taking place at his one appearing.

  11. J.J.L.

    I do have a question for you as well.

    Revelation 1:4 tells us that John is specifically writing to the seven churches which are in Asia. Yet in verse 7, John declares:

    “Behold, He is coming with clouds, and EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM, even they who pierced Him. And all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of Him. Even so, Amen.”

    According to this text, John is writing to the “church” that will be present upon the earth with the return of Christ, how is it possible for every single person to see Him if there is a secret rapture?

  12. The ‘mystery’ of the ‘rapture’ was not revealed by Paul until writing to Corinthians. His writing to Thessalonians BEFORE was about the ‘departure’ from these heavens, suddenly, on REAL fire by the ‘cloud’ of angelic GREAT BRIGHTNESS (of which another besides the two, which John of the then Eleven, saw with his ISRAELITE eyes, seeing the cloud, which SEPARATED him from MESSIAH, before arising from this footstool’s Mt. Oivet turf, and another which came to him on Patmos explaining his angelic saintly coming as “fellow” SERVANT of now fully perfected LAMB of G-d, now at F-ther’s right hand, hereafter, forevermore under orders of HIS F-ther). Awaiting resurrection IN THE FLESH is not same as INSTANTANIOUSLY “changed” as outlined in I Cor. 15 (and which cannot happen until having passed thru heavenly Paradise, and arrived at the portals of Heaven, AND are of those exampled 10 “only who then made themselves READY” for that midnight cry COME UP HITHER as now ready for the marriage supper of the Lamb ‘IN HEAVEN’). The false ‘doctrine’ of Balaam to the ISRAELITES was followed by many also of ISRAEL unto remaining as in ‘first Adam’, in sinful like mindedness, in his EARTHINESS only, of a marriage consummation on a footstool (INSTEAD BETWEEN man and G-d, the F-ther’s arrangement, EVEN for HIS uniquely begotten ONE SON’S REWARD FOR THOSE DAYS OF HIS TEMPORAL ONLY FLESH as ‘last Adam, the truly ‘raptured’ ONLY, who only will see HIM as HE ‘really is’, IN HEAVEN, never on any footstool

  13. I Thes 4 (translating Greek ‘copies’ found, especially vs. 13-18 of theme, context of entire Chapter) G-d sending ‘them’ (‘angelic cloud’ again of brightness) these who had come previously for to hide MESSIAH of Israel from HIS disciples, even before lifting HIM in HIS soul BODY off this footstool ‘of HIS’, in separation from HIS own temporal flesh, temporal bones, temporal flesh left beyind) for now to “lead them” who have ‘fallen asleep in Jesus’ also those still alive, out of this world in same separation of the soul “BODY” from the temporal outer tent (to be left behind to the flesh eating spiritual vultures of this footstool previously sent by G-d to this earth to try the faith of the lessor human beings in both anointing and their intellect). “THESE” of brightness sent to ASSIST as ‘greater’, even as ‘lord’ (superior over) unto each one of them whom they are sent for to “lead” in “assisting” the lessor human soul BODY ‘out from here’ (and away from those other angelic like, yet ‘flesh devouring’, spiritual beings, who are gathered around human carcasses left behind here, these heavens NOW on real fire ending all human soul life for THIS ‘footstool’.

  14. I have Dr. Keener for a class on the Historical Jesus here at Asbury Seminary. Brilliant man. His encyclopedic knowledge and command of the Greco-Roman and Jewish background of the NT is impressive!

  15. Why the Rapture of the Church Has To Happen Before the Seven Year Tribulation

    In this prophecy update, pastor J.D. Farag begins a series on why the rapture of the church must happen before the seven year tribulation, and that those believing in a pre-tribulation rapture will be met with increasing antagonism, ridicule and mocking, even from fellow Christians.

    Introduction http://youtu.be/_eDmfrxqen0?list=PLP3stQeKQzHJaNdc0yNf_TqCHhzqs4qgP

    Part 1 of 8

    Burning blessings of Jesus’ Beauty in your being and intimate blessings of affection from His holy heart.

  16. Just as a few ‘hearts’ went out (those not as ‘catholic minded’ as the majority seeking Biblical truth in eschatology post WWII) to those Jesus ‘revolutionaries’, as under CC Pastors Chuck Smith, Lonnie Frisbee, on the Book of Revelation, so also todays’ ‘revolutionaries’ again hearing from Professors, et al, about the Book of Revelation WITHOUT consideration there was at the time Old Testament ‘prophets’ were alive on this tiny ‘footstool’, BOTH an Israel and “Jerusalem already ‘in existence’, ABOVE”, at same time the one we can visit YET, here “BELOW”.
    Tribulation came to “ISRAEL here below” as prophesied, but Old Covenant Torah prophesies were always a ‘shadow’ of those things which ‘must come to pass’ IN THE JERUSALEM and ‘ISRAEL ABOVE’ afterwards the ‘catching away’ of ALL ‘human soul bodies’ by the ‘angels’ of the ‘parousia’ of Jesus Christ (even as exampled by a mighty Angel, BUT ‘FELLOW SERVANT’ of John, who in ending the Book said, for John to write down: “I am coming again soon”, the one whom John was NOT to bow down to worship, but did fall at his magnificent bronze ‘feet’, “REPERESENTIVE” AS “SENT” to show ‘things which are’ HERE BELOW, and ‘things which must come to pass soon’, WHICH BEGINNINGS from Ch. 4 to the end MUST come to pass IN THE JERUSALEM, AND THE ONES WHOM JESUS MADE REFERENCE AS BEING OF THE G-d of the LIVING, and NOT the G-d of the dead, those awaiting their own order of resurrection, even unto the ‘first resurrection saints’, as the great Apostle Paul claimed he ‘strove unto’ (not simply being amongst only the ‘general resurrection’ or ‘rest of the dead’, which lived not again, until the end of the ‘first’s thousand years’ FROM HERE BELOW, having been ‘caught away’ by the angels of Christ’s ‘parousia’, in the soul BODY, not to be instantaneously changed, but to await in their own assigned order of their personal resurrection IN THE FLESH, in appropriate awaiting “CHAMBERS”, O.T. described). Both, pre- modern, post- modern teachers of ‘revolutionaries’, baby boomers, in general, even now to their grandchildren of today and the others ‘out of darkness’ vessels being called unto HIS glorious light, mistake Paul when not seeing he believed, that he would NOT be leaving down here ‘bodiless’ (AND WAS SPEAKING he would FAR RATHER be ‘absent from the body of the hidden soul within’, in attendance of any gathering unto the Lord down here below in his present initial life to be lived IN THE FLESH, AND PRESENT WITH THE LORD especially in true worship from just his ‘also further hidden within spiritual BODY’ ONLY ! For this reason he was at time ‘beside himself’, not in his normal soul body awareness, while at other times (especially when he was in ‘charge’ of the ‘worshipful call to public gatherings’ UNTO THE LORD) he must be fully aware he was still down here in his hidden within soul BODY). We are not escorted from down here to our awaiting ‘chambers’ above except also in our soul BODY, and by the angels (even as Jesus was escorted by those bright angels described as a ‘cloud’ being so very many, who separated HIM in proof HE had ‘overcome’ this world HERE BELOW, even from HIS then ‘chosen ELEVEN’, WHO SAW THE CLOUD ARISE FROM HERE, WHILE HE REMAINED TOTALLY SEPARATED AND HIDDEN by these Angels of HIS ‘PAROUSIA’). Paul is quoted “we have right now, BOTH a natural living soul BODY and a (even further hidden within ‘spiritual BODY’) the latter being the only BODY which can be instantaneously changed into an eternal material NEW BODY of new ETERNAL BLOOD, eternal bones, eternal flesh (even as our Lord exists now as first BORN of many Brethren, even as “one NEW MAN”, NEVER BEFORE EXISTED, HIM BEING THE ‘FIRST’ AND TO SIT AT THE NOW ‘eternal mercy seating’ at HIS F-THER’S RIGHT HAND, NO LONGER with temporal, nor even very same likeness of same sinful, but temporal only flesh, blood, bones OF HIS OWN CROSS, whom the ‘catholic world’ worships, at same time ‘denying’ HIS “ONE NEW MAN” eternal statis, HIS F-ther’s will being HE remains at that NEW ETERNAL POST, while the ‘angels of HIS PAROUSIA’ COME TO ‘CATCH AWAY’ the soul BODIES of human beings from Adam (which house further hidden within the eternal ‘spiritual BODY’ which ONLY can become ‘instantaneously CHANGED’ INTO A BODY LIKE OUR ‘one NEW MAN’ we are to NOW WORSHIP, MAINTAINING THEREFORE AN EXCELLENT CONSCIENCE BEFORE THE F-THER IN HEAVEN while the harlotry of the ‘catholic world’ grows unto ever worshipping their own choice only, of a ‘jesus’ they have been introduced to, BUT by an ‘angel from heaven’, NOT at all connected with the true MESSIAH’S ‘parousia’ only, AND OF OUR CATCHING AWAY in ‘bodily SOUL’, hidden, until separated from this temporal only ‘tent’, of initial OUTER flesh, left behind here, IN THIS FOOTSTOOL here ‘BELOW’, and ‘copy’ of heavenly ‘patterns’ IN EXISTENCE “ABOVE” both before and after the ‘copy’ was ‘made’ by the Lord JESUS CHRIST even to be called ‘this Earth IS the Lord’s’ doing’, even all they which dwell in it ALSO)

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