CG7 and LCG: There is No ‘Secret Rapture’

A shofar made from the horn of a Greater kudu

An animal horn trumpet.


In the latest issue of its The Bible Advocate, CG7-Denver has the following statements from its former president, Elder Calvin Burrell:

What about the secret rapture? We’re hearing a lot but aren’t sure what the Bible says on the subject.

As commonly heard, the secret rapture doctrine has enough truth about it to attract many earnest believers, yet enough error to merit some firm skepticism…

Rapture error #1. Christ will return twice in the future: once for the church, then, after some years and the tribulation is complete, again with the church. The Bible hardly supports this…

Rapture error #2. Christians will be spared from this age’s final testing. With few exceptions (Rev. 3:10, for example), the Bible does not teach that God removes the faithful from the presence of trouble. The version of final escapism, known as the Rapture, is mostly a firstworld and Western doctrine. Much of Christ’s church elsewhere exists in a state of near or severe tribulation, from which they have not received the same deliverance that American Christians are taught to expect when persecution comes to these shores. God’s saints may expect to go through the fire and the flood, not to always be snatched from them.

Rapture error #3. It will be a secret rapture. But the same text that speaks of the rapture (1 Thess. 4:15-17) also associates it with a loud noise: a shout, an archangel’s voice, and God’s trumpet. Surely the ears of all living creatures must hear this crescendo, just as every eye will see the Lord when He comes (Rev. 1:7). No secrets there.

And he is basically correct about that–though he probably should have stated that the Bible shows that the Philadelphia Christians are the ones that do not go through the ‘hour of trial’ per Revelation 3:10 and that the place of their protection is in the wilderness per Revelation 12:14-16.

In a commentary, LCG’s Wyatt Ciesielka had the following statements:

But what about the rapture…?…

Nowhere does Scripture teach a “secret rapture.” Christ will not secretly return to spirit away His servants into heaven before the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord. This completely contradicts numerous Scriptures, including Matthew 24:26-31. Notice 1 Corinthians 15:51-52 – both the dead and those alive will be raised incorruptible at the last trumpet! The “last trumpet” is after the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord – not before…

Must one enter into the Kingdom of God through the Great Tribulation? Is there another way?

Revelation 3:7-13 describes God’s faithful Church at the end of this age. These Christians earnestly strive to “imitate Jesus” in how they live and worship (1 Corinthians 11:1). They are not perfect, but they strive to “walk as He walked” (1 John 2:6). They practice love, and all the fruits of the Spirit. And there is something else unique about these Christians. They are zealous. They are doing something.

They understand the “key of David” which includes understanding proper godly church government and also what is prophesied for modern Israel (compare Revelation 3:7-8 to Isaiah 22:21-22). They are not distracted with the cares of this world. They are not distracted by church politics. They are focused.

These Christians are zealously doing the work of preaching the gospel (compare the “open door” in Revelation 3:8 with 2 Corinthians 2:12). Just like Jesus, their “food” is to proclaim the gospel message of the coming Kingdom of God (John 4:34)! They imitate Christ in this (1 Corinthians 11:1).

These zealous Philadelphian Christians receive God’s protection before the Great Tribulation! They are also counted worthy to marry Christ and become trusted pillars in His Kingdom (Revelation 3:12).

The end of this age is indeed fast approaching. Christ will return (John 14:3). At His return, who and where will we be?

Many misunderstand end time prophecy. In LCG, we try to show people what the Bible teaches.

For more details on several of the subjects in the commentary, please check out the following articles:

Is There A Secret Rapture for the Church? When and Where is the Church Protected? What does the Bible really teach? Who really is left behind?
There is a Place of Safety for the Philadelphians. Why it May Be Petra This article discusses a biblical ‘place of safety’ and includes quotes from the Bible and Herbert W. Armstrong on this subject–thus, there is a biblically supported alternative to the rapture theory.
The 18 Restored Truths: Do You Know What the First Changes the Tkach Administration Made? Some have said healing, others other subjects, but probably the first change had to do with eliminating being part of the Philadelphia era and teaching the truth about Sardis. This article documents what those changes were and compares the Tkach list of restored truths to Herbert W. Armstrong’s list of restored truths. It contains many quotes from Herbert W. Armstrong.
Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert W. Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work? Some say the Church should mainly feed the flock now as that is what Herbert W. Armstrong reportedly said. Is that what he said? Is that what the Bible says? What did Paul and Herbert W. Armstrong expect from evangelists?
Do You Believe God Used Herbert W. Armstrong to Raise Up the Philadelphia Era of the Church of God? Nearly everyone while in WCG used to believe this, most do not seem to anymore.
What is a True Philadelphian? Many claim to be part of the Philadelphia era of the Church, but is claiming enough? This article has biblical and historical evidence about who really are the Philadelphians.
Can the Great Tribulation Begin in 2012, 2013, or 2014? Can the Great Tribulation begin today? What happens before in the “beginning of sorrows”? What happens in the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord? When is the earliest that the Great Tribulation can begin? What is the Day of the Lord?
The Sardis Church Era was predominant circa 1600 A.D. to circa 1933 A.D. Discusses early history of the Seventh Day Baptists, Seventh-day Adventists, and COG-7th Day.
The Philadelphia Church Era was predominant circa 1933 A.D. to 1986 A.D. The old Radio Church of God and old Worldwide Church of God, now basically the Living Church of God.
The Laodicean Church Era has been predominant circa 1986 A.D. to present. These are non-Philadelphians who mainly descended from the old WCG.
There are Many COGs: Why Support the Living Church of God? This is an article for those who wish to more easily sort out the different COGs. It really should be a MUST READ for current and former WCG/GCI members or any interested in supporting the faithful church. It also explains a lot of what the COGs are all about.

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