VFTB 228: Doug Stauffer – More Questions About Pre-Trib

doug_stauffer_2BLESSED HOPE or wishful thinking?  Dr. Doug Stauffer answers more questions about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, especially regarding the Day of Christ and the Day of the Lord, chapter 24 of the gospel of Matthew, and chapter 5 of 1 Thessalonians.

Here is the article Derek mentioned comparing the Day of Christ to the Day of the Lord.

Please join Derek and Sharon Gilbert Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM Central Time (UTC -6) for the Gilbert House Fellowship, our live online Bible study webcast. Log on to www.GilbertHouse.org for more details.

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Download a smaller, lower-fidelity version of the mp3 of this show by clicking here.



  1. I’m sure Doug is a nice enough guy and everything, but listening to him is honestly very frustrating. It’s hard to describe just how much he continually misrepresents other viewd such as pre-wrath, because he is constantly filtering them through the gammut of pre-Trib assumptions and interpretations. In other words, no, pre-wrath is not really the same as mid-Trib.

  2. So it was interesting to hear him again. Also he doubles down on the race riot rhetoric, which again, is so un-tenable it colors his eschatological interpretation, which is flawed in many other ways as a whole.

    He mentioned inner city drugs and if you want money just have another baby etc. Such a simplistic understanding of the political and economic situation behind the whole condition is also disturbing, and proves a lack of understanding of events in our current society let alone future events.

    Christians shouldn’t be dividers, they should be working towards unity. It’s this kind of uneducated rhetoric that creates wedges between people. It really is because a person lives in an isolated part of the world they are allowed to create beliefs that have little basis in reality.

    1. Author

      Paul: With all due respect, you may be reading into Doug’s comments things that aren’t there. We spent less than five minutes of a 75-minute program on that particular topic, so he didn’t exactly spend a great deal of time expounding on the issue of social unrest.

      Again: His point was simply that criticizing pre-trib believers because they think they’ll get out of here before things get rough is a straw man argument.

  3. Praise the Lord!!! Over the last few years Dr. Don Samdahl has become a friend of mine and over the last week or so after some of the comments etc I was thinking about trying to post his website. I was thinking of his study the Day of Christ vs the Day of the Lord, but he has many articles which I believe are wonderful. His 1st and 2nd Thessalonians are in response to a gentleman that tries to refute the Pre-Trib Rapture. He has many articles: Jesus vs Paul, Why Paul, Follow Paul, The Gospel and The Gospel of the Kingdom. Derek, Thank you so much for posting his web-site. He might be open to a debate? Keep Looking Up, Jimmy

  4. Derek, In my excitement to thank you for posting Dr Samdahl’s Website, I looked at your written material before I listened to the program, and I made my post about Dr Samdahl, and at the end I stated that he might be available for a debate? Well over the last year I tried one time to get a debate for him, but the gentleman refused to debate. I can listen to all points, but I am totally Pre-Trib. I have over the last several months started moving to the camp that I can go either way on this issue? I enjoy it, but truthfully not many people’s opinion is changed? Thanks, Jimmy

  5. I don’t do facebook, sorry! I love Doug’s teaching on this subject, the day of Christ and the day of the Lord. I disagree with one little thing about the immoral believer in 1 Corinthians. Doug stated that Paul handed this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh. Then Doug said in his comments that prayed for the man’s death. I think that is wrong. I think the “destruction of the flesh” is the “fleshly” nature. In 2 Corinthians 2:4-11 we see Paul telling the Corinthians to forgive and comfort a certain man who had caused much grief. I believe “that man” is the immoral brother from 1 Corinthians. If I am right then this man was obviously handed over to Satan in order to bring him into repentance and it appears it did bring him into repentance. I don’t think 2 Corinthians letter is talking about someone else as the first letter to them mentioned this particular man.

    Blessings to you all, Doug, and Derek, and Sharon. Love you! Love your work and am following you. I am glad Tom Horn picked you all for the work at SkyWatch!!!

  6. Doug Stauffer’s position is that the phrase ‘the Day of Christ’ (found in 2 Thess 2:1-5, KJV) is a code-name for the Pretrib Rapture event, which is followed by a reward celebration in heaven for Christians.

    This is wrong from a textual standpoint i.e. best manuscript evidence. Also wrong from a contextual standpoint (it ignores the Day of the Lord theme i.e. continuity with 1 Thess 5). But setting those more important arguments aside: his view (above) is fatal to pretribulationism. Addressing that point only (for now):

    Does ‘Before’ Mean ‘After’?:
    EVEN IF Doug Stauffer’s ‘Day of Christ = Rapture and heavenly rewards’ interpretation of 2 Thess 2:1-5 KJV is correct (it’s not), that still means the church will experience the great doctrinal apostasy AND witness the revelation of the man of sin BEFORE the Day of Christ.

    These countdown events are restated by Paul so that his readers would not be shaken or deceived again. These specific, identifiable events would “be revealed” (2 Thess 2:3,6,8) so that Christians would know when the DOL was coming. [If they weren’t even going to BE there, what’s the point of arming them with this information? Extra theology credits at some pretrib party in heaven?]

    We can play games with NT phrases like Day of Christ, Day of Christ Jesus, Day of Jesus Christ, Day of God.. but these aren’t meant to be little windows for us to import our traditions. An inductive word study on these phrases, and their noun-name combinations shows they refer to the same end-time program associated with the parousia (Christ’s 2nd coming). Fifty years ago people did that (following Scofield) thinking they saw hard distinctions between the phrases, “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven” in the gospel narratives. Scholarship showed the distinction didn’t hold up exegetically. That old chestnut has gone the way of hyper-dispensationalism, ‘2 New Covenants’ etc.

    The Day of the Lord is an 800 lb gorilla motif in both Thessalonian letters. Its OT use informed the NT writers who didn’t hesitate to add Christological characterization to it. This just in: Christ IS the Lord, and Christ IS God. The Day of the Lord is Christ’s. The stronger textual reading (DOL), the Old Testament background and Thessalonian context locks in the meaning of 2 Thess 2.

    But even if we ignore all that: the Church still faces the Antichrist according to Doug Stauffer’s own treatment of 2 Thess 2, because ‘before’ does not mean ‘after’.

  7. long time listener first time comment. concerning the continued “distinction” Christian and Jew, my response is this Romans 11 and Ephesians 2. If you accept YHVH and his covenant through Jesus (the only way) you get cultivated into the olive tree that is the Commonwealth of Israel. By implication you cannot be a “Gentile believer”. So even if Jesus was preaching to Jews who were Christians BTW, they were going to spread the gospel to Gentiles who would eventually be grafted into the tree and become Hebrew (or Ivrim “cross overs”). God choose Israel for WHAT THEY WERE TO DO (a. keep the word for eventual global distribution b. Bringing the second Adam and c. Establishing the Messianic kingdom which will involve the Commonwealth, not for WHO THEY ARE i.e Semitic. That’s just my two cents.

  8. The Biblical (prewrath) rapture happens on the very SAME DAY that the Day of the Lord arrives, pouring out God’s wrath and blind-siding wicked earth-dwellers ‘like a thief’. The leading edge of the DOL storm overtakes Christians, but not “like a thief”, as they’ve been forewarned. Christians don’t incur God’s wrath, they are evacuated first by the rapture. The rapture happens at the leading edge of the DOL wrath-storm, which itself is *preceded by many signs!

    There are simply two sides to the DOL coin. In the New Testament, the phrases ‘Day of the Lord’ and ‘the Day of Christ’ are related. Sometimes they herald good news, sometimes bad. This has caused some to wrongly conclude that they are completely different, separate things: like heaven and hell. ‘The Day of Christ (happy, happy) is just for Christians. The Day of the Lord (ruh-roh) comes ‘way later’ and is for the wicked.’, some argue.

    The ‘Day of the Lord’ and the ‘Day of Christ’ are the same program, just worded differently. They just have different effects, depending upon the spiritual condition of their recipients. Analogy: the Christian gospel is great news to believers, but a stumbling block to unbelievers. Not two messages(!): just opposite effects.

    There is no exegetical support for the assertion that the ‘Day of Christ’ _equals_ the judgment seat (‘bema’) of Christ for Christian rewards in heaven (2 Cor 5:10). This is special pleading; eisegesis. The burden of proof lies with those who insist on this conflation. There is no explicit evidence in the NT, and broadcasting a list of verses rapidly doesn’t make it so.

    The notion that some Christians in 2 Thess had stopped working because they thought they’d missed the Rapture party is silly on the face of it. They weren’t in shock because there were driverless donkey carts clogging up rush hour, with empty drivers’ clothing strewn everywhere, a flood of missing persons reports etc. No, they thought they were experiencing God’s (DOL) wrath, from which they’d been promised exemption! 1 Thess 1:10; 5:9.
    —> Paul isn’t the only NT writer to re-phrase the OT term: Day of the Lord. Peter does it too cf. 2 Peter 3:10-12. There, Peter refers to the endtime DOL in vs 10, and re-characterizes it as the ‘Day of God’ in vs. 12. This is Day of God phrase is found nowhere else in scripture. No need to import pet doctrine here: the context makes it clear. It’s a distinction without a difference! Both DOL and DOG purge creation with judgment & wrath, making way for a righteously re-made creation.

    —> There’s a great footnote at the end of the article, ‘The Day of Christ’ linked at the top of this VFTB page. This link [ http://doctrine.org/the-day-of-christ/ ] was cited for support by Doug Stauffer. Scroll to the page bottom and read footnote #2 about the errant ‘Day of Christ’ KJV reading of 2 Thess 2. This article _rightly_ takes the inferior DOC reading right off the table, in any discussion of 2 Thess 2. It says original text reads: Day of the Lord (just like 1 Thess 5:2).

    —–> The eschatological Day of the Lord (DOL) is a judgment theme found throughout the Bible, with deep roots in the Hebrew scriptures. The DOL contains God’s wrath, directed against the wicked on Earth. It’s not the same as the red dragon’s wrath, implemented by his Beast/False Prophet proxies cf. Rev 12 & 13. Satan’s wrath, applied through proxies, is directed at Christians & a Jewish remnant. These distinctions are Biblical, not artificial. In WW2, the wrath of Hitler was not the same as the wrath of the Allies.

    *[Events preceding the DOL (and by extension, the rapture) include the arrival of Elijah (Malachi), great celestial disturbances followed by darkness (Joel 2; Matt 24), great doctrinal apostasy/deception, the revelation of the Antichrist (2 Thess 2) & his Great Tribulation against the elect (Matt 24; Rev 7:14) to name a few.]

    1. Author

      One clarification: I cited the article, not Doug, because it offers a quick on the differences between the Day of Christ and the Day of the Lord.

  9. Final remarks about Doug Stauffer’s latest pretrib arguments:

    ‘THE Great Tribulation’
    The Church is guaranteed day-to-day tribulation. This is not the eschatological (end time) Great Tribulation, which starts with the Antichrist’s abomination of desolation Matt 24:21, and ends when Antichrist’s persecution is cut short by the rapture. The 70th week is not shortened; Satan’s wrath against the elect (who don’t take the mark) is shortened by their evacuation. If it weren’t ended (by the rapture) there ‘would be no flesh saved’; it’s gonna be that bad, pilgrims.

    Stauffer confuses listeners when he makes statements about ‘the Great Tribulation’ lacking the definite article in scripture, as though that means the entire 70th week of Daniel IS the “Tribulation”. As though such constructions (in Greek) lend a vagueness of meaning to the phrase. [JW’s do something similar to John 1:1c]. Mr. Stauffer cites Rev 7:13, 14(!) to support the claim that the entire 70th week of Daniel is ‘the tribulation’. But Rev 7:14 has ‘double’ definite articles (EVEN IN the KJV’s underlying Textus Receptus), and reads literally: “..these are the ones who have come out of THE Tribulation THE Great”. It is misleading to imply that only MoDeRN TRaNSLatIONs include the defin. article. You non-sticklers for grammar: please skip the next two paragraphs:

    The phrase, Great Tribulation (Thlipsis Megalae) doesn’t grammatically require the def. article to mean something concrete & identifiable, as a definite, future time of unprecedented persecution. Sometimes the def. article is omitted (Matt 24:21) to stress the unprecedented nature of the Great Tribulation. Sometimes the article is included (Rev 7:14) to identify the Great Tribulation as THAT holocaust which took the lives of those martyrs.

    The varying contexts which nest the phrase ‘Great Tribulation’ are what settle these matters. There’s nothing in these terms themselves (or their ‘divine punctuation’) that equates that epoch with OTHER epochs in the Bible (e.g. DOL, Time of Jacob’s Trouble, Daniel’s 70th week, Noah’s Flood etc). D-Day Normandy was not the battle in Okinawa, just because they both happened in WW2.
    Other Red Herrings:

    Daniel’s 70th week (70th_W) Demands “Christians Outta the Pool FIRST!” or Does It..?

    Daniel’s 70th_W involves a final countdown to ‘bring in everlasting righteousness’ (Dan 9). It does not follow that the physical removal of the Church is required first, for God to accomplish His 70th_W purposes, stated in Dan 9:24-27f. Daniel’s 70th_W is a GENTILE program, putting Gentiles in power and domination over wayward, apostate Israel: for 70 weeks (490 years of captivity and dispersion). No, God has not cast off Israel for good. They continue under judicial blindness until the fulness of the Gentiles is complete (Romans 11). But the Pretrib claim that Daniel’s 70th_W is for Israel ONLY. Pretrib says THEREFORE the Church must be OFF the planet BEFORE the 70th_W STARTS. But there’s no scripture to support the claim, and there’s nothing inherent in the goals of the 70th_W to logically demand the removal of the Church first. Pretrib needs it removed(!), but that begs the question. God deals with another prophetic group (Gentile nations) during 70th_W, and invites an elect subset (sheep vs. goats) to enter the Kingdom after the 2nd Coming (Matt 25:31-46). How comes it these elect sheep didn’t have to be removed from the earth first, for God to ‘deal with Israel’? [Did God remove Israel from planet Earth just before Pentecost, so He could start ‘dealing with the body of Christ Church?’] Some of these oft-repeated, hard claims are just silly and fall under their own weight.

    The aptly named, ‘Time of Jacob’s trouble’ (Jer 30 et al) deals with the DOL’s purifying aspect towards the end of the 70th_W. The Time of Jacob’s trouble is to refine an apostate, wayward Israel and purge out a faithful remnant. There is nothing in Bible that *equates* the Time of Jacob’s Trouble with Daniel’s 70th week, or the Great Tribulation per se. WW2 included the Battle of the Bulge, but they were not the same thing.
    ‘There’s No Church In the Book of Daniel, So There’s No Church Allowed in the 70th Week!!’

    There’s no Church in Nebachadnezzar’s great metal statue dream (Daniel 2), either. Yet it lays out the final domino succession of Gentile powers from Babylon to the 2nd coming. The Church has already existed for 1900+ years during that timeline: how can that be? Does this mean Israel can’t exist during that time on Earth, because its not depicted by the metals? Same silly non-sequitirs of reason.. i.e. the unspoken demand that every prophecy must exhaustively identify ALL God’s elect.. or else they can’t exist on earth at that time!
    ‘Those Who Claim the Church Enters the Great Tribulation Hijack ‘The Woman’ of Revelation 12 From Israel! Replacement Heresy!’

    No need to conflate. The Woman of Rev 12 is genetic Israel. The faithful Church is on Earth too, being slaughtered (Rev 6:9-11) until their number is complete.

    The only “wrath” the Church is promised exemption from is the final, Day of the Lord wrath: God’s wrath upon the wicked. The church is no more promised exemption from Antichrist’s wrath, than they were from that of Nero & Caligula.

    Classic Pretrib Rapturism (i.e. with its sidekick: Imminence) cultivates an Escapist mentality because it instructs Christians to ignore all the warning signs given to us by the Apostle Paul and the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. Don’t just ignore, don’t even look for signs. Signs are for those Left Behind. This mentality is passed off as being spiritual. No need to watch current events in the mideast. No need to learn about the NWO, or watch for any buy/sell, global control grid. ‘If these things foreshadowed Christ’s 2nd coming then they’d be ‘signs’. Since Pretrib rejects anything as a sign, pay no attention to your surroundings! Just go to church: plop, pray and pay. Submit your kids for mandatory vaccinations, too: Romans 13′ This is like Christian parents in Poland telling their kids not to watch or prepare. ‘Hitler wouldn’t invade us. We’re Poland, not Germany.’ Highly irresponsible, to say the least. More importantly: pretrib is a phantom doctrine i.e. unbiblical. I’m done! Thanks, Mr. Derek. Lord bless.

  10. I have a question for Dr.Stauffer,
    I noticed that he makes the difference between the Kingdom of Heaven (a physical realm) and the Kingdom of God (a spiritual realm). Well, in Matt.13:11 Jesus speaks of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; while in Mark 4:11 he speaks of the same parable, about the mystery of the kingdom of God. So, in the same parables Jesus speaks of two different kingdoms, which seems like a discrepancy, it seems the kingdom of heaven and of God are the same…? How would Dr.Stauffer explain this issue??? Thanks.

  11. WHO is YOUR APOSTLE is it APOSTLE PAUL are JOHN who wrote 1 JOHN ? In 1 JOHN 2 : 27 KJV clearly tells YOU that you don’t need A MAN to TEACH you. YET APOSTLE PAUL SHOWS YOU A MAN Apt to TEACH. It’s completely different the JOHN .. if you Teach rightly diving the Word of TRUTH .. u should have seen this .. APOSTLE PAUL SAYS GRACE .. JOHN SAYS ANOiNTiNG to different

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