75 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2002
This is both an essential study and an excellent read on a subject which has attracted much controversy and disagreement.
Some time ago I read another book with an identical approach to that of this writer which was entitled "The Pre-Wrath Rapture Of The Church" by Marvyn Rosenthal.
In my review on the latter book at that time, I stated that this distinctive, particular interpretation of Scripture in relation to the Rapture & what the Bible identifies as `The Day of the Lord', clarified a number of Scriptural issues which were causing me some difficulties in my own understanding of the sequence of events pertaining to the end times and the Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
The approach also adopted by Robert Van Kampen in this study further clarifies matters for me personally.
I can see where other Bible experts are coming from in relation to their understandings of the Rapture being either pre-Tribulation, mid-Tribulation or even post-Tribulation, but if I had to hold to only one understanding of Scripture then it would be the one excellently documented here by Robert Van Kampen.
I personally feel that the revelations in this book are so significant that they should not be ignored by any student of the Bible, even if such hold to differing views.
Most strongly of all, I feel that the matters covered in this excellent work are of such importance that they should only be dealt with & discussed within an attitude of love, sensitivity and compassion, that does not cause any dissension, conflict or bitterness amongst Believers. The latter can only cause strife and play into the hands of the Enemy from the very outset.
Essentially this is a study that covers the seven year Tribulation period of the end times and how significant chronological events play their part.
Thoroughly dealt with are matters pertaining to whether or not the Church will be Raptured before, during, or after this period, together with the revealing of the Antichrist and the Satanic persecution/tribulation which the latter will direct upon those remaining during his temporary rule.
Equally if not more significant is the part played by the Wrath of God, which the writer clearly shows through specific Scriptural references, the Church will definitely avoid via the Rapture.
If there is the slightest possibility that Christian Believers may have to endure even the slightest period of the coming Tribulation, then it is surely absolute folly to "bury one's head in the sand" & avoid studying just what this might entail.
Throughout his extensive reference to the Bible, the writer strictly adheres to the principle of a `face-value' hermeneutic' of understanding Scripture through it's most natural, normal, customary sense, letting Scripture interpret Scripture & allowing Scripture itself to determine the meaning of the comparative language being used by the Biblical writers.
At all times using every reference in it's correct and entire context, both in it's immediate application and in relation to other Scriptural passages.
The author maintains that the First Coming of Jesus Christ can be interpreted correctly through Scripture by using these principles and is adamant that the Second Coming of Christ and the Rapture can equally be similarly understood.
I am no expert on Scripture and I would not dare condemn or criticise the learned interpretations of any such expert with slightly differing opinions, but I do feel most strongly that this book should be studied by all and it's interpretation carefully considered. This book has certainly removed much personal confusion and misunderstandings that some Biblical passages have held for me.
A highly recommended book which will certainly hold your attention from the first page to the end.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I recently wrote a review of Tim LaHaye's book "Rapture Under Attack" in which I expressed my uncertainty about the scriptural validity of the pretribulation timing of the rapture. Some helpful Amazon-ers who read that review pointed me to Robert van Kampen's book "The Rapture Question Answered."
Before I picked up this book, though, I read some reviews of it and learned that its basic premise was to place the timing of the rapture after the sixth seal of Revelation, but before the "wrath of God." Without knowing any more detail than this, I began a renewed study and analysis of Revelation, Daniel, the Thessalonian epistles and the Olivet discourse to see if this interpretation could be valid. I mean, it wasn't pretrib, it wasn't posttrib, or even traditional midtrib. This was a completely different take on the subject... but it all seemed to fit. All of the "difficult" passages that I couldn't reconcile before suddenly began to drop neatly into place. I began to realize that I may have found the answer I had been looking for about the timing of the rapture!
THEN I ordered this book and read it, and to my profound pleasure, I found that it not only validated my own conclusions, but explained them at a level of detail and thoroughness that is to be expected from any exegete who wants to be taken seriously. Robert van Kampen definitely rises to the occasion in "The Rapture Question Answered", and needs to be given real consideration even by the most devoted adherents to the pretrib position. The compelling scripture-based analysis presented in this book simply cannot be dismissed out-of-hand by critics as a "false teaching," which, unfortunately and disturbingly, is all too common of a reaction from many who purport to be serious bible scholars.
One of the fundamental misconceptions that Mr. van Kampen clears up is that the entire tribulation period is NOT the "wrath of God." Rather, the "wrath of God" only begins after the seal judgments, and only after the severe persecution which arises under the "wrath of Satan." Another fallacy of the pretrib position is debunked, namely, that the church will escape all of the tribulation. Additionally, van Kampen shows conclusively that the doctrine of "imminency" is the classical pretrib sense lacks scriptural foundation. Although the author occasionally takes pretribbers to task for some of their inconsistencies and logical lapses, he does it without adopting the condescending and antagonistic tone that was so evident in "Rapture Under Attack."
This book is a must-read for every serious student of eschatology, even those who may disagree with its conclusions. If nothing else, it will force proponents of competing views to take a second look at the scriptural and analytical bases for their conclusions. I also recommend this book for every Christian who wants to have a clearer view of what scripture teaches on the timing of the rapture. Most of us have received a steady diet of pretrib throughout our Christian experience, but for me at least, that ended when I read this book. I now have little doubt that the pre-wrath position is by far the most convincing both scripturally and intellectually.
51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
on January 2, 2000
I have been raised in a God fearing, God loving, bible teaching church. In this church I have been taught the theory of a pre-tribulation rapture. This doctrine was pleasing to me as a Christian, as the idea of having to deal with the tribulation of the world was a thought I cherished not. Thankfully, my church also taught me not to accept the teachings of man on face value, but to check them against scripture. As I am not a student of theology or the end times I am, at times, confused by the different end time theories and the scriptures that are taken out of context and/or twisted to validate those theories. I am blessed and thankful that Mr. Van Kampen is a man who follows God's Word and not mans theories. The Rapture Question is answered PLAIN & SIMPLE through the Word of God. It's all there in black and white for every man to see, USING SCRIPTURE TO TEST SCRIPTURE! We simply need to read it for ourselves without the influence of any other teachings. Mr. Van Kamp does not offer 'his' theories or doctrinal values, but simply let's God's Word speak for itself. This book not only changed my view on the rapture, but significantly changed my postion on the importance of being about my Fathers, Great Comission. I highly recommend this book to anyone desiring to know his Lord's will for his life and the lives around him.
22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2001
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
When trying to put together a puzzle, I have often been confused by thinking that a group of pieces belonged in one section of the picutre rather than the correct one. I would struggle for hours until I realized that the group of pieces was in the wrong part of the puzzle. Oftentimes, fixing that little group would lead to a rapid solving of the remainder of the puzzle.
This has been the case with my understanding of the rapture of the church. Since becoming a Christian, I had always been taught, by some very great men of God, that the rapture would come before the last seven years of the current age. I would worry about those who were "left behind," but felt that the tribulation period held no consequence for me.
In trying to explain the pre-trib position to others, I often found myself struggling with certain portions of scripture that just did not seem to fit into the puzzle. It led me to read countless numbers of books on prophecy, many of which only served to make the puzzle seem more complicated.
A few months ago, I read The Rapture Question Answered: Plain and Simple. In a matter of the few hours it took to read this book, the proverbial light went on, and the puzzle was solved. The rapture does not belong at the beginning of a seven-year tribulation!
While there is definitely a period of 7 years, as described by Daniel, there are actually three phases to it: 1)The beginning of sorrows; 2)The Great Tribulation; and 3)The Wrath of God. The Rapture (or better, "Gathering") of the elect FOLLOWS the Great Tribulation, but PRECEDES the Wrath of God. Matthew 24, I Thessalonians 4, and Revelation 6-7 all describe the SAME thing, namely, the Rapture.
One must read this book with an open mind, and a willingness to let the Holy Spirit teach the truth of the Word of God. One who does will never be deceived by a false doctrine (the Pretribulational Rapture) that tells us to ignore portions of Scripture in order to justify a position. In reading this book, the light will come on, the confusion will clear, and a clear understanding of a plain and simple truth will emerge.
24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2000
The Rapture Question Answered Plain And Simple is a great place to start for your endtimes studies. This work focuses on the rapture question alone, whereas an earlier work - "The Sign" was a much broader study in eschatology. Using a face-value hermeneutic (allowing scripture to interpret scripture) Van Kampen shows how the chronology of endtime events is clearly revealed in key prophetic passages. He shows how the placement of the rapture within the sequence of endtime events can be determined, and how all related prophetic accounts are in total agreement. The material is distilled into easily digestible study units and is a pleasure to read. An even easier read is Van Kampen's "The Prewrath Rapture Position Explained Plain And Simple" which is a 93 page excerpt from this book. You should also read "The Sign" by the same author, and "The Prewrath Rapture Of The Church" by Marvin Rosenthal. Together, they will give you a comprehensive understanding of endtimes theology.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on February 28, 2006
I'm going to be frank and to the point.....as you can see by the so-many-different-views on this subject, it will remain a mystery on when actually the Lord will come for His Church. Insulting Mr. Van Kampen is something that I would think is beyond a Christian to do...however, the devil speaks through alot of so-called believers. I have read the book and tried to disprove it. I wound up being a believer in the pre-wrath position. I have had several e-mail debates with the likes of Hal Lindsey and other "pre-trib" teachers and they could never answer the hard questions. I will pose one here: Why the warning to the Church in 2 Thess 2:1? Why warn someone about the coming of the antichrist if we are not going to be here? Also, Christ will not come until the antichrist is reveiled and sets up his kingdom first. Once the antichrist has given the world it's "peace", destruction will come upon THEM suddenly - like a thief in the night. We are not sons of darkness. people really need to read AND study the Bible instead of simply believing in someones teaching thinking that it's true. The devil has been lying from the beginning. Do you think that he has NOT infiltrated the Church? Do you think that he wants you to know the truth about the Rapture?? I'll give you a thought....what if someone comes to Earth claiming that he is the Messiah and brings peace to Isreal? (remember the Jews are still waiting for the Messiah) What if this someone proclaims himself to be God and the Jews blindly follow?? You see, if the Rapture does not happen "pre-trib" as most teach, there will be mass confusion in the Church. "Where's Jesus" will be uttered by many as the world proclaims "where is this Jesus and His coming???" Don't be fooled. We will be here. Jesus will be delayed, like the groom was. He will come for us, we are instructed to be patient and endure - until the Coming of the Lord. In conclusion, buy the book. It will open your eyes if you are willing.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on May 6, 2002
As a believer for over eight years and having attended one of the most popular pre-trib churches in California, I never could quite come to believe in the pre-trib rapture because it contradicted Scripture in so many ways. I tried reading everything I could get my hands on concerning this theory but no matter who wrote it, how Godly they were, how learned or influential they might be, I always felt something was wrong.
Robert Van Kampen has written an extremely well thought out and lucid explanation of where the rapture needs to be in order to fulfill and harmonize with ALL the Scriptures in the Bible. While sometimes a bit confrontational to the pre-trib camp, this book refutes the pre-trib doctrine in language that is easy to understand, even when he delves into the Greek. Even if you are a dyed-in-the-wool dispensationalist and firmly believe the pre-trib rapture is the only reasonable explanation, please at least read this book with an open mind and challenge yourself to really examine what you believe.
Those of you who read this book and consider it accurate and put the issue to bed, you really need to check out all the different rapture and millenial viewpoints in addition to this one. Arnold Fructenbaum has put forth a refutation of this pre-wrath view as well so check the Ariel Ministries home page for more information. Read as much as you can on the subject of prophecy and make up your own mind.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 17, 1999
I have had this book for more than a year before I actually read it, and regret that I have not read it earlier. Van Kampen does not present one of the three "major" views such as the Pre, Mid and Post-Tribulation Rapture position but a postion of which I have not heard of before, called the Pre-Wrath position. Van Kampen keeps the attention of the reader and systematically builds up to an excellent climax in his short review on the first chapters of Revelation proving his view which he had already explained from Non-Revelation passages. His view does not only have the right Theological feel, but is also extremely logical. His book made End Time prophecy in general more understable and definitely birth the desire for that study in the heart of the reader. I highly recommend this book to all Christians. The view he presents is gaining all the more popularity and is nothing new to the church, some of the early church fathers shared the same line of thought. Although I am still going to go into a further in depth study of other positions, this book definitely left a lasting impression on my Escatological beliefs.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on June 2, 1998
Reading this book was the best thing that I could have done, to clear up the mess of confusion that the Pre-Tribulational rapture theory has caused in my head. I had always been taught that Jesus was coming back prior to the tribulation period, so I never looked into Revelation, I took what I had been taught as gospel. It wasn't, this book has opened my eyes to the truth of scripture. I have entered into an indepth study of Revelation and other end times passages in scripture. I not only found that his points hit the mark, but I can find no passage in scripture to conflict with his conclusion. In fact, after reading some writings from the early church fathers, Ireneus as an example, I found that they agreed totally with this conclusion. Not only was this true, but some of the major theologians of modern times taught it, Charles Spurgeon for example.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 24, 1999
I have held to the widely taught pre-trib rapture position for nearly 20 years. Robert Van Kampen has written a very straight forward book on this incredibly important subject. If you want to have the question of the rapture answered once and for all, with irrefutable scripture references then you have got to get your hands on this book. I guarantee you that you will never again have a question on what is the correct view for the timing of the rapture as it relates to the tribulation.