A Critique of Marylin Agee's Two Rapture theory.
The following is a critique of Marilyn Agee's "Two Raptures" which can be found in it's entirety on her web site at: http://www.kiwi.net/~mjagee/2rapt.html. I usually don't even bother with false prophets unless they are teaching another gospel or distorting the message of salvation which Marilyn Agee does, as I will show below.
(False teacher/prophet quotes are in purple and indented, my
comments are in plain text and scripture is in teal. False teachers rarely use scripture. I have only included those portions I intend to comment on.)
"Some Christians expect the Rapture before the Tribulation. Others expect it at the end of the Tribulation just before the Wrath of God is poured out. The reason, as I see it after over 36 years of intense Bible study, is because there actually will be two Raptures. The first one is the Rapture of the Church, the second of the Tribulation saints."
Contrary to what Agee believes, the wrath of God does not begin at the end of the Great Tribulation but when Christ opens the first seal in Revelation 6, when the AntiChrist is revealed. At first, this appears as a good thing--he comes riding on a white horse (like a hero), with no bow (in peace) and begins to conquer the earth (apparently in peace). However this is still the beginning of judgment and relates back to when Scripture indicates those who endure the Tribulation will be deceived by the Antichrist during
"Paul stated re the Antichrist: The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with the work of Satan displayed in all kinds of counterfeit miracles, signs and wonders, and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved."
(1 Thessalonians 2:8-10)
"There are also two views concerning the Pre-Trib Rapture. Some think that every Christian will go in the Rapture. It is the Body of Christ, and they say not a finger will be left behind. Others think that it will be a partial Rapture and that it is possible for a believer to be left behind. I believe that the Philadelphian group of Revelation 3:7-13 will go in the first Rapture, and that the Laodicean group of Rev. 3:14-22 will be left behind at that time. However, they will be taken up with the Tribulation saints at the end of the shortened Tribulation."
Please notice that Agee has singled out the Philadelphian and Laodicean churches as signifying the 1st and 2nd Raptures. What about the other 5 churches? Does this mean there will be 7 Raptures? And if not, why not? Most of those in the Laodicean church were not even saved anyway, because as Jesus said:
"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth. You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked." (Revelation 3:15-17).
So, to say that the Laodicean church is those who die in the Great Tribulation as Martrys just doesn't seem to jell together--unless they repented, but there will be those in the other 5 churches who repent also. What of those?
"Those who think a partial Rapture is impossible cite Romans 8:1. It says, " THERE is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit." The Greek word translated " condemnation" is " katakrima," damnatory sentence, from " katakrino," to judge against, sentence, condemn, damn."
However, damnation is different from disciplinary chastening. Hebrews 12:6 says, " For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth." This is similar to Jesus' message to the Laodiceans. In Revelation 3:19, he said, " As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." In both cases, the word translated " chaste" is " paideuo," discipline, to teach by punishment.
However, to be chastened is not the same thing as being ejected from the Body of Christ because one is not quite perfect enough. All Christians are all chastened at one time or another. However, Paul told us in 1 Cor. 12 that the Body is ONE, but has many members and that "we were all baptised by one Spirit into ONE Body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free . . ." (vs 13).
Paul also states that one part is no less a part of the Body than any other part in verse 15/16. He reaffirms that there is only ONE body in verse 20, " As it is, there are many parts, but ONE body" and that the weaker or less honorable members of the Body are just as much a part of the body as the stronger/more honorable members.
And then Paul PLAINLY states, " But God has combined the members of the body, and has given greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be NO DIVISION in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other" (vs 25), and also " if one part suffers, every part suffers with it;" (vs 26). So, either one is a member of the Body of Christ or one is not. And if one is not then they aren't even believers to begin with.
Also the Rapture is known as our "Blessed Hope" (Titus 2:13). What kind of hope is there if we. as believers, unknowingly might not qualify for the Rapture?
"In Jesus' message to the Laodiceans, he is addressing the "church" (Rev. 3:14,22). These people are believers. They have to be in Christ before they can be spewed out of his mouth. Verses 15 and 16 say, I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth"
Agee has just preached anit-eternal salvation by saying they were believers and Christ spewed them out. As we will see by a comment at the bottom of this article, she preaches eternal salvation. And then in her salvation message from another article she again preaches anti-salvation again. So something doesn't quite jell here. God is not the author of confusion.
Also we have no proof that these people in the Church of Laodicea are all believers. Christ is calling them to repentance (to turn from sin to God/Christ) and He welcomes those who overcome. According to 1 John 4:5 the overcomer is "only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God," and Christ welcomes the overcomer in all of the 7 churches. So not alllll of the Laodicean church are doomed to be spit out in the first place. As we will see below this poses a problem for Agee's theory.
"These are behind a closed door, but they are still promised the chance to sit with Jesus in his throne."
Only if they repent (verse 19, which she didn't include in the quote below.)
"He tells them, Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne (Rev. 3:20, 21)."
It is ONLY those who repent who get to enter the door, and those who repent are members of the Body of Christ, which we saw above is ONE unit and will not be divided.
"Therefore, it looks like the lukewarm church will be left behind in the first Rapture and then be taken to Heaven with the Tribulation saints at the second Rapture."
The scripture above doesn't say anything about the Rapture, and as I just showed above the text doesn't say that all of the lukewarm church fail to repent either. Agee is putting words into the text without scriptural support.
"The Open Door: The situation is different for the Philadelphian church. Addressing them, Jesus said, 'I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door' (Rev. 3:8). This open door is a symbol of the Rapture. As the fourth chapter of Revelation begins, 'behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard...as a trumpet...said, Come up hither.'"
"Two Doors: Indicating more than one Rapture in the parable of the fig tree, Jesus said 'So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things (Israel grafted into her old rootstock and growing), know that it is near, even at the doors.' "
The fig tree scripture Agee is apparently referring to is Matt. 24:32,33 which I agree applies to Israel. However the next scripture she alluded to, regarding Israel being grafted into her old rootstock, occurs in Romans 11 and says the branches representing Israel "were broken off because of unbelief" (Rom 11:20) and will be grafted back on again ---- when? When they believe, "if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in . . ." (vs 23).
Has Israel believed in Christ yet? No. And it doesn't happen until some time during the Trib. So, these two scriptures that Agee alluded to aren't talking about the same thing as she claims. And notice again, that she didn't leave a reference so you could see for yourself.
"Since 'doors' is plural, two Raptures fit right in."
It may "fit right in" (like a square peg in a round hole) but, as I will show below, this scripture is not speaking about the Rapture. Also, please notice Agee has gone from Rev. 3:10, to Matt. 24:32,33 to Romans 11 and back to Matt. 24:33 and gave us only one scripture reference.
It would seem to imply that all her comments derive from the one verse, which isn't true. Also regarding the plural use of the word "doors," not all translations use the plural form of the word "door" so even that is debatable.
"Days of Noah Versus Days of Lot: There are at least two days of the Son of man. In Luke 17:22, Jesus mentioned "one of the days of the Son of man" to his disciples."
Now, this is really stretching it. The phrase, "the days of the Son of Man" is referring to the Tribulation, and Agee is trying to make it sound like it is talking about the Rapture, which it isn't because Jesus never taught his Disciples about the Rapture.
The disciples didn't even believe he would have to die and be resurrected. No one was at the tomb except the women that followed him (Mark 15:40-41). The disciples were looking for a conquering hero to resuce Israel from domination by the Romans, so when he died on the cross they were disillusioned and they ran away in fear--excpet for John (John 19:26).
"Two differences stand out when you examine the days of Noah and Lot in Matthew 24:37-42 and Luke 17:26-37. Marriage is mentioned in the days of Noah but not in the days of Lot. No fire falls in the days of Noah, but it falls that same day in the days of Lot. These types represent two different Raptures, one Pre-Trib and the other Pre-Wrath."
Again, Agee has not proven anything by this comment, and especially that these scriptures are speaking about the Rapture at all. We are not expected to find perfect similarity between the two situations--we are to only see that life is proceeding as usual.
The message in both scriptures is that these people were not expecting JUDGMENT until it happened. This by itself should exclude this talking about the Rapture because the rapture is our "Blessed Hope" and these scriptures are talking about judgment.
But there are more clues to be found. Please notice that ALL who were left behind, in both stories were destroyed. This would leave no one to qualify for Agee's 2nd Rapture. And also notice in verse 30 this occurs when the Son of Man is revealed. Also, Christ is not revealed to the world at the Rapture--only at the 2nd coming.
Also, Jesus had not explained the Rapture to his disciples so this is not what they would be thinking about. And there is one more reason: those who are taken, end up as carion for the vultures (verse 37), which again indicates this is judgment, not the Rapture.
"Also, since marriage is mentioned in the days of Noah, it seems that the Bride of Christ will be taken to Heaven first, then the rest of the Body of Christ will be caught up just before the Wrath of God is poured out at the end of the shortened Tribulation.
That scripture does not say they are taken to heaven either — they are taken to judgment. As I explained above, the Body of Christ is a unit. Either you are in the Body of Christ or you're not.
"Since the first Rapture is as the days of Noah, we should easily make the connection that the first Rapture is only for the Bride of Christ. Everyone that went into the Ark was married. Even the animals went in two by two."
Is she implying that the animals were married? How about those animals that were taken in by sevens? Here would be more proof that there must be seven raptures if she would want to take it that far, but let's not encourage her.
"First Trump Versus Last Trump: The Jews recognize that there are two trumps."
There are a lot more than two trumps. There were a series of trumpets blown daily during the exodus and at many other times. In fact Scripture mentions about 62 trumpet blowings.
There was a trumpet blown at the giving of the Law on Mt. Sanai (Ex 19:16,19). There is a last trumpet blown in Rev 11:15-18, and another in Joel 2:1. There are also trumpets blown at the Feast of Trumpets (Num. 29:1) and also on Yom Kippur (Lev 25:9) and also to announce the year of Jubilee (Lev 25:9-10), during the battle of Jericho (Joshua 6:4-10) and many other events.
So unless Paul indicates which trumpet he is referring to we can't just choose one out of thin air and especially not the one that John wrote about several decades later in the Book of Revelation.
"They call the trumpet blast at Sinai (Ex. 19:16) the 'Left Horn' or 'the First Trump' of God's redemption. This refers to the two horns of the ram caught in the thicket that Abraham sacrificed on Mt. Moriah after Isaac was bound. They connect the 'Right Horn,' or 'Last Trump,' to the Feast of Trumpets."
Two separate gatherings. Some who teach that there is only one Rapture do not stop to think that if there is a 'last trump,' there has to be a first trump. Neither do they see that at the first trumpet call, THE LORD HIMSELF GATHERS THE SAINTS; and at the last trumpet call, HE SENDS HIS ANGELS TO GATHER THE SAINTS. Therefore, they must be two separate gatherings. We have to rightly divide the word of truth (II Tim. 2:15).
We certainly do have to rightly divide the Word of Truth, but this isn't it. Please notice Agee (again) didn't give the reference for the two scriptures she alluded to above, but it appears she is referring to 1 Thess 4:17 and Matt 24:31.
Paul says Jesus does the gathering in the 1 Thess verse and Jesus says the angels do the gathering in the Matt 24 verse. Agee is mixing apples and oranges here because Paul is talking about the Rapture of the Church and Jesus is talking about gathering those "elect" who survived the Trib and it does not say he is taking them TO heaven.
And if you will read other accounts of Jesus' coming, he comes TO the earth and stays there at the Judgment--he does not return to heaven right away (See Zech 14 and Rev. 19). It is only during the Rapture that he returns to Heaven with his Bride.
"In Nu. 10:2, Israel was to 'Make thee TWO TRUMPETS of silver...that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly, and for the journeying of the camps. And when they shall blow with them, ALL the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. And if they blow but with ONE trumpet, then the princes, which are heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee.' "
Please notice the above scripture says, "Thou mayest use THEM for calling the assembly" and then it says what it means if they only blow ONE of them. In other words, they are to blow both of them together when assembling the people. The NIV and NAS versions say, "And when both are blown . . ."
Also verse 5 and 6 indicate there is not only one blowing of the trumpet but a blowing that indicates it's time for the East camp to set out and another for the South camp. And let's not forget that there are the camps to the West and North also, so there are at least 2 more trumpet blasts besides these. Therefore this is not proof of the last trump at the Rapture.
I'm not sure what Agee means by the 12 princes but I believe they represent the 12 tribes of Isreal.
"When the 'last trump' of I Cor. 15:51,2 sounds, 'ALL shall be changed.' At this second Rapture, Christ will be in Heaven. That Feast of Trumpets is Coronation Day, when Christ gets his golden crown, also the day the Marriage of the Lamb and the Judgment Seat of Christ take place."
Please notice how swifly Agee snuck in the Feast of Trumpets into this discussion without any scriptural reference to support it.
"Therefore he sends 'HIS ANGELS, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth (Rapture II) to the uttermost part of heaven' (those who were taken to Heaven in Rapture I) (Mark 13:27). They are gathered before the judge to receive their rewards."
That scripture does not say they are taken TO heaven but gathered FROM one end of heaven to the other. The word Heaven has 3 different meanings--it can mean our upper atmosphere, our solar system or the abode of God. If we cannot determine which is meant by the context then we shouldn't be adding words to scripture unless we can find a verse that specifically says so.
"The two scriptures, I Thess. 4:16-18 and I Cor. 15:51,52, refer to the two Raptures. "
If there were going to be two separate Raptures, Paul would have surely told us because he wrote both those scriptures.
"The first trump, similar to the first trumpet that sounded on Pentecost at Sinai, is mentioned in I Thessalonians 4:16-18 and Revelation 4:1: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither."
Agee has no proof this is the same trumpet. It is pure conjecture.
"For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. "
"The last trump is mentioned in I Corinthians 15:51,52: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."
These two verses are talking about the same event--the ONE Rapture.
The last trump is mentioned in I Corinthians 15:51,52: "Different Ranks: According to I Corinthians 15:22,23, those 'in Christ shall all be made alive, But every man in his own order (tagmati, rank).' We realize that there are Church saints and Tribulation saints, each made alive in his own rank".
The word "man" does not occur in the text. It is therefore saying, "everyone" in their own order. This passage is talking about first fruits (which Agee neglected to mention), i.e., Christ rises first at his resurrection and then the Rapture of those in Christ. It is not sorting out two different raptures because as we saw above the Body of Christ is one unit, not two.
"By the end of the shortened Tribulation, ALL Christians will appear in Heaven."
NOT! There will be believing survivors after the Tribulation who stay on the earth. See the Sheep and Goat Judgment in Matt. 25.
"Two groups will be gathered there. The Church saints who were taken to Heaven in the first Rapture will be gathered from Heaven."
How can saints be taken TO Heaven and gathered FROM heaven at the same time and then appear in Heaven???
"Those who are going in the second Rapture will be gathered from Earth. Mark 13:24-27 shows that this gathering is just before the Wrath of God is poured out. It says, . . . "
NOT! These are the survivors of the Trib and they do not go to heaven. They stay on the earth through the millennium.
"And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven."
As was discussed above, this is when Christ gathers the elect after the Trib. This is not the church.
"The Two Raptures in the Book of Revelation: Both Raptures are depicted in the last book of the Bible. The first is seen in the 'Come up hither' of Rev. 4:1. The heavenly scene right after the Rapture is described in Rev. 5. The great multitude who are part of the second Rapture are described in Rev. 7:14,15:"
"These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore are they before the throne of God.
These cannot just include the 144,000 Jews, for this is 'a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations' (Rev. 7:9). Obviously, the 144,000 can be numbered."
"Sandwiched between these two references to Raptures in the Bible is Revelation 6, which depicts the Tribulation. This chapter starts with the Beast riding forth on a white horse at the beginning of the Tribulation and ends with 'the great day of his (the Lamb's) wrath is come.' The Day of God's Wrath is at the end of the shortened Tribulation. The sixth seal is broken, then Rapture II takes place just before the seventh seal releases the seven trumpet judgments."
NOT! The wrath of God starts with the first seal, which is opened by Christ. (Rev. 6 see above)
"The Righteous Are Taken Away From the Evil to Come: Both the Old Testament and the New Testament agree that the righteous are taken away before the evil to come, i.e., the Tribulation. Isaiah 57:1,2 says, merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil to come. He shall enter into peace: they shall rest in their beds, each one walking in his uprightness."
This is more likely referring to when the Jews are hidden in Petra after mid trib. This was writen to the Isralites and they were never taught about a Rapture.
"Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man (Luke 21:36)."
I disagree that this scripture is applying to the Rapture. If you move back a few verses you will see that this passage is talking about Judgment--not the Rapture/our Blessed Hope, "for it (that day that comes on them like a trap) will come upon all those who dwell on the face of the whole earth." Verse 27 indicates this is when "the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory." This is not depicting the Rapture but judgment. The world does not see Christ at the Rapture, they only notice believers have disappeared.
"Paul also said, 'I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus' (Philippians 3:14). The high calling here is the first Rapture, the prize that can be worked for. Salvation is a free gift. Rewards can be worked for, and we should strive to win the prize of participating in the first Rapture."
Paul says the prize is the resurrection from the Dead, i.e., the Rapture (see vs 11).
"I am hoping for the first Rapture on Pentecost, 2000 and the second on the Feast of Trumpets, 2007."
And as you can see this prediction failed along with a multitude of others, which means she's not only a false teacher but also a false prophet.
I checked Agee's "Rapture and Salvation" article, which is on the same website as the article above, to see what she believes re salvation. Here is what she says:
"First, you must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. 'Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved' (Acts 4:12). To be certain about your salvation, pray and tell him you accept him as your own personal Saviour. Be sure you are saved. Then to stay ready to go in the Rapture, make sure that there is no unconfessed sin erecting a barrier between you and our Holy God as you walk through the rest of your days. Use I John 1:9 as soon as you sin to get back in fellowship. That scripture says, 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.' If you are sinless, you are wearing a white wedding garment and will be chosen as part of the Bride of Christ. Don't get left behind when the Rapture takes place. According to Revelation 7:14, the Tribulation saints will have to wash their robes in the blood of Christ before they can be admitted into Heaven."
Agee also gives John 3:16 and other scriptures that clearly portray the gospel message. HOWEVER, as you can see from what she says above about missing out on the Rapture/Bride of Christ if one forgets to confess a sin, that person is no longer in the Body of Christ, and needs to stay in a state of perpetual sinlessness in order to be considered righteous enough for the rapture. This is a Faith plus Works Gospel, which according to Paul is no gospel at all (Gal 1:6,7).
Paul continues his discourse on the true Gospel in the rest of the book of Galations:
"Consider Abraham: 'He believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.' Understand then, that those who believe are Children of Abraham." (Gal 3:6)
Please notice it doesn't say Abraham believed and repented over and over again and then was declared righteous. Abraham was instead declared righteous even before he was circumcised.
All who rely on observing the law (sacrifices) are under a curse, for it is written: 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law (sacrifices).' Clearly no one is justified before God by the law (sacrifices), because the righteous will live by faith". (Gal. 3:10-11)
How many times did Christ die for our sins? Once (Rom 6:10). For SURE we Christians need to continually repent but a TRUE believer has the Holy Spirit residing in them and He will not let them stay in sin. A TRUE believer is already declared a member of the Body of Christ at the moment they believe, and Christ has promised to never let go of one of his own that the Father has given him (John 10:28). We don't get booted out of the Body for a minor infraction and then have to be reinstated, over and over again or miss out on the Body of Christ/Rapture. This is sacrificing Christ all over again. It is also a revolving door Gospel.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son." (John 3: 16-18)
Please notice that believers are NOT condemned and have eternal life.
And the final clincher:
"If we have been united with him in his death, we will CERTAINLY also be united with him in his resurrection." (Rom 6:5).
We are warned about those who will lead us astray from the true Gospel:
"For certain men (and women) whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men (and women), who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. " (Jude 1-4)
Marilyn Agee is not only a false teacher but a false prophet teaching a false gospel as well. Don't listen to her.
© August 25, 2000, updated 10-17-20
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