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Author Topic: False teaching of the Pre-trib rapture revealed
barrykind
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The Seven Lies of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture

By

Roger Jimenez

November 2007



1. The lie that Christians will not go through the tribulation.



The pre-tribulation rapture teaches that Christians will not go through the tribulation. However, it is very clear from scripture that the “Son of man” does not come to gather together his elect until after the tribulation.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”
-Matthew 24: 29-31


Who are the elect? We can see how the word "elect" is used in other verses:

“Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.”

-Romans 8:33

“Paul, a servant of God, and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;”
-Titus 1:1

It is clear from the context of Matthew 24 and from other verses in the Bible that the elect are God’s chosen people (Christians). It is also clear that Matthew 24:29-31 is referring to the rapture. Therefore if the rapture does not happen until after the tribulation, Christians will go through the tribulation.



2. The lie that the tribulation is the wrath of God on this world.



The reason the pre-tribulation rapture teaches that Christians will not go through the tribulation is that it teaches a false definition of the word “tribulation." It teaches that “the tribulation” is when God pours out his wrath on the unsaved world. However, that is not what the Bible teaches. The Bible uses the word tribulation 22 different times. For sake of time we cannot look at all 22 times it appears but let’s look at a few examples of when the word is used:

“Yet hath he not root in himself, but endureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.”
-Matthew 13:21

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”
-Romans 8:35

“Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.”


-2 Corinthians 1:4

“I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.”

-Revelation 1:9

Tribulation could not mean the wrath of God on the un-saved because in most of the verses that the word is used it is God’s people going through the tribulation. Tribulation is the state of being persecuted or afflicted. So, when you are persecuted you are in tribulation. Christians will go through the tribulation because the tribulation of the end-times is not the wrath of God on the world but the persecution of Satan and the Antichrist on believers.



“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:

Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give **** in those days!

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
-Matthew 24:15-22



The Bible says that the elect will go through the tribulation; we already mentioned that the elect are saved believers.

When tribulation or persecution is being inflicted, it is generally done to a specific person or group of people. Even when the Bible speaks of God casting people into tribulation it is to a specific group of people.

“Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.”

-Revelation 2:20-22

When God pours out his wrath it will not be the “tribulation” because it will not be directed at any specific person or group; it will be poured out on the entire world. A group of people will be spared from his wrath and those are the believers. However, his wrath will not be directed at anyone in particular but rather at the whole world.

“And I heard a great voice out of the temple saying to the seven angels, Go your ways, and pour out the vials of the wrath of God upon the earth.”
-Revelation 16:1

In the book of Luke, Jesus says that the day God pours out his wrath on this world will be as it was in the days of Noah. Sin will abound, and God’s people will be spared, but he will punish the whole world!

“And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.

They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.”
-Luke 17:26-27

Christians will not be on the earth when God pours out his wrath because the Bible says:

“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,” -1Thessalonians 5:9

The wrath of God does not come until after the rapture, and the rapture does not come until after the tribulation.



“Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;

But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all.

Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”

-Luke 17:28-30

Just like in the same day that Lot came out of Sodom the city was destroyed. That is how it will be in the day that the Lord Jesus Christ is revealed as soon as he takes the Christians out of the world he will begin to pour out his wrath.



3. The lie of the imminent return of Jesus Christ.



The pre-tribulation rapture teaches that the return of Christ is imminent, meaning it can happen at any moment. It says that there is nothing that needs to happen in order for Jesus Christ to return. Scripture proves that his imminent return is simply not true. The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ cannot happen until first there come a falling away, and second the “man of sin, the son of perdition” (the Antichrist) be revealed.



“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.”

-2 Thessalonians 2:1-4



So, what is “the day of Christ”? The Bible says:



“Who shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

-1 Corinthians 1:8

The day of Christ is in the “end” and on that day we will be blameless.



“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:”

-Philippians 1:6



In the day of Christ, God will be done performing the work he has begun in us. So when will all this be?



“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”

- 1 John 3:2



The day that the Lord Jesus Christ returns is the same day that we will be like him. Then the work of sanctification that God is performing in us will be done. Therefore the day of Christ is the day that Jesus Christ returns. According to 2 Thessalonians, the day of Christ cannot come until two things happen first: a great falling away and the man of sin being revealed. This means that the day of Christ (i.e. the day that the Lord Jesus Christ returns) is not imminent.



4. The lie that there is no sign of the return of Jesus Christ.



Jesus was asked two questions by his disciples about the end times. The first question was, “when shall these things be?” and the second question was, “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” The Lord Jesus Christ answered both of these questions, which is why we have the Olivet Discourse.



Jesus’ answer to the first question: “when shall these things be?”



“And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.”

-Matthew 24:4

Notice that the Bible says that Jesus answered their question. The pre-tribulation rapture says that there are no signs, and that we cannot know when these things will be, but since Jesus answered their questions we obviously can know these things.



“For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

And ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.”

-Matthew 24:5-6



Jesus said when you hear many saying that they are the Christ, and when there are rumors of wars, the end is still not yet!



“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

All these are the beginning of sorrows.”

-Matthew 24:7-8



When there are many famines and pestilences and earthquakes, and when nature begins to do strange things, then you are at the beginning of the end.


“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”

-Matthew 24:9-14



When you begin to be persecuted and the gospel is preached in all the world, then you will know you are at the end. The very next thing that will happen is the revealing of the Anti-Christ.

Jesus just answered their first question. He told them it will not be when there are false Christs and rumors of wars. It will not be when there are famines and natural disasters. He told them the end will come when you are being persecuted and the Antichrist is revealed. He did not give them a date but he did tell them when these things will be.



Jesus’ answer to the second question: “what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”



“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains:

Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give **** in those days!

But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.”

-Matthew 24:15-21

When you see the Antichrist, that is when the great tribulation will begin. Notice the rapture has not yet happened, so Christians will be living through this tribulation, which is the persecution of the believers by Satan and the Antichrist.

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

-Matthew 24:29-31



After the tribulation the Sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of heaven shall be shaken. This will be our sign that the Lord Jesus Christ is coming. Luke gives us the same description.



“And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.

And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.”

-Luke 21:25-28



Luke says that when you see these signs, look up, and lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh. Jesus just answered their second question and told them what the signs of his coming will be.

After he was done answering their questions Jesus begins to teach them a parable:

“And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees;

When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand.

So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.”

-Luke 21:29-31

We are able to look at the signs of the weather and see when the seasons are changing and a new season is coming. So we can also look for the signs that he has told us of, and we can know that the time is near that he will be coming. Also, in regard to knowing the time of his coming Jesus said:



“But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.”

-Matthew 24:36



This is true; we do not know exactly what day, and we especially do not know what hour of the day he is coming back. We can see the signs of his coming and prepare for his appearing.



“But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.

For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.

Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.”

-1 Thessalonians 5:1-6



The pre-tribulation rapture teaches that the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ is going to come on us with no announcement - that he will come as a thief in the night. Paul said that the day should not overtake us as a thief, but we are to watch and be sober! What are we watching for? The signs that Jesus told us to watch for!



5. The lie of the secret return of Jesus Christ.



The pre-tribulation rapture teaches that one day we will all be taken out of this world and those who will be left behind will wonder what happened to the rest of us. Did UFO’s take them? Where did they all go? This is the secret return of Christ and this is not taught in the Bible.

“But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,

And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.

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.”

-Mark 13:24-27



“Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.”

-Revelation 1:7



“Behold, I show you a mystery; 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.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”

-1 Corinthians 15:51-54



The Bible makes it clear that when Jesus comes back to rapture the believers, the world will take notice. They will notice the sun and moon being darkened; they will notice the stars falling and the heavens being shaken. They will hear the last trump. Even more the Bible says that all kindreds of the earth will see him coming in the clouds with their own eyes! No, those who are left behind will not be scratching their heads wondering where we went. They will know exactly what happened, and they will wail because they will know that now after the tribulation which they inflicted on the Christians of the world, the wrath of God will be poured out upon them.



6. The lie of the Holy Spirit being taken out of the world.



“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” -2 Thessalonians 2:7



The pre-tribulation rapture uses 2 Thessalonians 2:7 to teach that the Holy Spirit is what is keeping the Anti-Christ from coming. It teaches that when the Holy Spirit is removed out of the world, we will be taken up (because God has promised never to leave us nor forsake us.) However there are some problems with this argument. There are a few reasons as to why this passage is not talking about the Holy Spirit:

(1) If you believe that the Holy Spirit is removed from the world at the rapture, but you also believe that people are still getting saved after the rapture (which the pre-tribulation rapture does teach), then you believe that people can get saved without the Holy Spirit.



“Now he which establisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;

Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.”

-2 Corinthians 1:21-22



(2) The Holy Spirit is part of the Godhead. What people fail to realize is that just as much as God the Father is God, and just as much as the Lord Jesus Christ is God, the Holy Spirit of God is God! Now, God is omnipresent, so how can you remove God?



“For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” -1 John 5:7



(3) The pre-tribulation rapture says that 2 Thessalonians 2:7 is referring to the rapture because when the Holy Spirit leaves the earth, then Christians will also leave the earth. However, every time the rapture is mentioned in the Bible there is a reference made to the sun, the moon, and the stars, or to the clouds. The passage of 2 Thessalonians 2:7 and its context does not make a reference to any of these things.



(4) The best reason as to why this verse is not talking about the Holy Spirit is because verse 7 says, “he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.” You cannot refer to someone as “he” without first mentioning who the “he” is. A pronoun must have an antecedent. The antecedent is a noun to which the pronoun is referring. In the context of this verse, the Holy Spirit is not mentioned. The Holy Spirit is not mentioned in the book of 2 Thessalonians anywhere before 2 Thessaluians 2:7. Therefore the Holy Spirit cannot be the antecedent of "he." The truth is that those who teach the pre-tribulation rapture have taken this verse out of context and twisted it to prove their ridiculous teaching.



So who is the “he” mentioned in verse 7?



Well the only person mentioned that “he” could be talking about is the Antichrist.



“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Here we have the antecedent)

Who (referring to the Antichrist) opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he (referring to the Antichrist) as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he (referring to the Antichrist) is God.

Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?

And now ye know what withholdeth that he (referring to the Antichrist) might be revealed in his time.

For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he (referring to the man of sin) who now letteth will let, until he (referring to the man of sin) be taken out of the way.

And then shall that Wicked (referring to the Antichrist) be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:”

-2 Thessalonians 2:3-8

Now that we know that verse 7 is referring to the "man of sin," we need to know a few things about the "man of sin" before we can understand what verse 7 is talking about.



Let’s look at a few things about the "man of sin:"



(1) The Bible says he was wounded as it were to death and his deadly wound was healed.



“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (This is the Antichrist)

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, (This is the Devil) and his seat, and great authority.

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.”

-Revelation 13:1-3



(2) The Bible says he ascended out of the bottomless pit.



“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.” -Revelation 11:7



(3) The Bible says that he “was, and is not”



“The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”

-Revelation 17:8-11



What does “is not” mean? Let’s look at examples of other times the words “is not” are used in the Bible.



“And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.”

-Genesis 42:36



“The rich man shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered: he openeth his eyes, and he is not.

- Job 27:19



“In Ramah was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.”

-Matthew 2:18



The words “is not” are used in the scripture to describe someone who is dead.



What we have learned is that the Anti-Christ was healed from a deadly wound, he came out of the bottomless pit (which is hell), and he is described as “is not” which means he is dead.



So, let’s go back to 2 Thessalonians 2:7:



“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work (this means Satan has power and influence over the man of sin) only he who now letteth will let, (The man of sin,the Antichrist, is being used by Satan but he is still a hindrance in the way) until he be taken out of the way. (Referring to when the Antichrist receives his deadly wound and dies) And then shall that Wicked be revealed, (Satan has full control of this mans body and he ascends out of the bottomless pit) whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:

-2 Thessalonians 2:7 -8



7. The result of the lie of the Pre-tribulation Rapture.



The Devil and the Anti-Christ would like nothing more than for people to be confused about the events of the end times. When Independent Fundamental Baptists agree with the doctrines of sinful books and movies like “Left Behind” and heretics like Tim Lahaye, they are doing a great disservice to the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. Even worse, they are furthering the cause of the Antichrist. Christians will be looking for the rapture instead of the Antichrist and will not be ready for the things to come. We need to understand that the next prophetic event to take place is worldwide persecution of Christians. If Christians cannot live for God now, how will they live for God during great persecution (the tribulation). The Bible says:



“If thou hast run with the footmen, and they have wearied thee, then how canst thou contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein thou trustedst, they wearied thee, then how wilt thou do in the swelling of Jordan?”

- Jeremiah 12:5



Many churches believe that we do not have much time because Jesus Christ could return at any moment. For this reason they get sucked into the mentality of getting people saved at any cost. We must understand what the Bible says about the things to come. Then we will not only get people saved, we will also prepare ourselves spiritually. We would strengthen our families and churches in separation from the world and holiness. Instead we have independent Baptist churches getting people saved, but they are as worldly and liberal as any mega-church down the street! They are trying to save as many people as possible, even if it means having lower standards or not preaching all of the counsel of God in order not to offend or turn anyone away. However, if they have not already, they will soon stop giving the gospel and will only be concerned about keeping and entertaining people in their services. The pews may be filled, but they are liberal and spiritually dead. We must get the lost world saved, but we must also grow in grace and prepare ourselves for what could happen in the very near future.

The pre-tribulation rapture lets you believe you can live a perfect little life, buy all your fun toys, and wear all the stylish clothes. It allows you to believe that you can go on exciting vacations and have as much fun as you can imagine. Then one day with no warning you will be taken up into the presence of God almighty. The truth is, we might suffer more than we would like for the cause of our Lord Jesus Christ. We must be ready for what the Bible says will happen in the end times. Jesus said to watch! However if you believe that we cannot watch or that we have nothing to watch for, then you have believed the LIE of the pre-tribulation rapture.



“And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.”

-Mark 13:37

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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WildB
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More shadow boxing....

Where does this post put forth Christ?

Give it up Barry.

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That is all.....

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Caretaker
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http://revelationalive.net/materials/papers/post-trib-rapture/

The Biblical Impossibility of the Post-Tribulation Rapture


This paper examines seven reasons why the post-tribulation Rapture is Biblically impossible
Conclusion:

The post-tribulation Rapture position, while well-meaning, contradicts Scripture in a number of ways and must be laid aside by born-again Christians who desire to in­ter­pret Bible prophecy accurately. The post-tribulation Rapture position (1) con­tradicts Christ’s revelation to John that the 144,000 Jewish “first fruits” of God’s Tribulation har­vest will be called to salvation before the earth is harmed; (2) fails to provide for persons to be left on earth in a flesh and blood bodies to repopulate Christ’s Millennial Kingdom; (3) rejects Christ’s unequivocal promise to keep born-again believers from “the hour of testing, which is to come upon the whole earth” (the Tribulation period); (4) fails to har­mo­nize with Paul’s teaching that born-again Christians are not destined for wrath (the Tribulation period); (5) rejects Christ’s straightforward teaching on the unan­nounced, unexpected, any-moment nature of the Rapture; (6) fails to harmonize with Daniel’s Seventy Weeks prophecy; and (7) fails to harmonize with the Parable of the Ten Vir­gins.

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A Servant of Christ,
Drew

1 Tim. 3:
16: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..

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barrykind
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The Origin Of The Pretribulational Rapture Theory,
by Ed F. Sanders

1. Origins

There have been many articles, essays, and books written about the origin of the pretrib rapture teaching. The most prevalent theories among scholars are:

1. that the doctrine began within the Irviningite sect in England in the early 1800's (see article by George Ladd, article by Art Katterjohn)

2. that it originated in the Plymouth Brethren movement from the teachings of John Nelson Darby in the early 1800's.

3. that it originated with a Mr. Tweedy, who passed it on to Darby and the Plymouth Bretren

4. that it originated with aberrant Catholic theologians (Jesuit priests) Ribera and Emmanuel Lucanza, see article by J.P. Eby)

5. that it originated with a Baptist minister named Morgan Edwards in 1788(1).

6. The doctrine started in the early church with a writer called Pseudo-Ephraim. (The author of this work is unknown (hence, 'pseudo'), its conclusions uncertain, and the date written is in question. Of all the 'theories' this is the least credible(2)).

One thing is clear from the available historical documents: Darby, called the 'father of dispensationalism', was responsible for the widespread dissemination of the new and novel pretrib doctrine beginning around 1830 through his ministry in the Plymouth Brethern movement.

The doctrine soon spread to America and was widely popularized by the Scofield Reference Bible.

In my mind the final word on the origin of the pretrib teaching cannot be known with 100% certainty based on the documents available. I think that the best explanation is summarized by Timothy P. Weber (Memphis Theological Seminary) who wrote:

“The pretribulation rapture......historians are still trying to determine how or where Darby got it. . . . Possibly, we may have to settle for Darby’s own explanation. He claimed that the doctrine virtually jumped out of the pages of Scripture once he accepted and consistently maintained the distinction between Israel and the church”. (Timothy P. Weber, Living In The Shadow Of The Second Coming: American Premillennialism 1875-1982. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983, pp. 21-22).

John Nelson Darby commenting on 2 Thess. 2:1-2 in 1850:

"It is this passage which, twenty years ago, made me understand the rapture of the saints before--perhaps a considerable time before -- the day of the Lord, that is, before the judgment of the living."(3)

So, according to Darby he held a different view until 1830 when he came to understand the pretrib rapture doctrine. Until further documentation turns up it seems then most likely that John Nelson Darby originated the pretrib teaching and was responsible for its wide distribution in the years that followed.

2. Quotes from early Plymouth Brethren: (contemporary with Darby)

Under The First Appearances of Secret Rapture Teaching, page 45 of B. W. Newton and Dr. S. P. Tregelles – Teachers of the Faith and the Future – 2nd Edition 1969, The Sovereign Grace Advent Testimony, London – George H. Fromow says, "Dr. S. P. Tregelles has recorded for us the origin of this teaching in his book The Hope of Christ's Coming, How is is Taught in Scripture and Why? (page 35 of the fifth edition).

"Dr. Tregelles further wrote: 'When the theory of a secret coming of Christ was first brought forward (about the year 1832), it was adopted with eagerness; it suited certain preconceived opinions, and it was accepted by some at that which harmonized contraditory thoughts, whether such thoughts, or any of them, rested on the sure warrant of God; written Word".

There follows the quotation given above by Mr. Kelly.

Mr. Fromow goes on to opine, "If the exact terms used by Dr. Tregelles are noted, allowance can be made, that suggestions of a 'secret coming' were put forth a few years earlier, some say at the first Albury conference in 1826; but the precise date does not alter the fact that it was a novel doctrine".

3. More Quotes regarding the origin of the pretrib rapture theory:

Charles C. Ryrie: a dispensational theologian writes: "The distinction between Israel and the Church leads to the belief that the Church will be taken from the earth before the beginning of the tribulation (which in one major sense concerns Israel)." (Charles C. Ryrie, Dispensationalism Today, pp. 158-160). (That seems to fit with the theory that Darby originated the teaching based on his dispensational hermeneutic. Ed.)

John Walvoord: thinks the pretrib rapture theory originated from Darby's understanding of ecclesiology: "any careful student of Darby soon discovers that he did not get his eschatological views from men, but rather from his doctrine of the church as the body of Christ, a concept no one claims was revealed supernaturally to Irving or Macdonald. Darby's views undoubtedly were gradually formed, but they were theologically and biblically based rather than derived from Irving's pre-Pentecostal group". (Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation, p. 47.)

F. F. Bruce: well known Plymouth Brethren historian and theologian says "Where did he [Darby] get it? The reviewer’s answer would be that it was in the air in the 1820s and 1830s among eager students of unfulfilled prophecy". (Book Review of The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin in The Evangelical Quarterly, (Vol. XLVII, No. 1).

Alexander Reese: "About 1830 a new school arose within the fold of Premillennialism that sought to overthrow what, since the Apostolic Age, have been considered by all premillennialist as established results, and to institute in their place a series of doctrines that had never been heard of before. The school I refer to is that of ‘The Brethren’ or ‘Plymouth Brethren,’ founded by J. N. Darby.” (Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ, page 18)

Harry Ironside(4): In 1908 Ironside claimed Darby had rediscovered the apostolic teaching lost to the church: “Until brought to the fore through the writings and preaching and teaching of a distinguished ex-clergyman, Mr J. N. Darby, in the early part of the last century, it is scarcely to be found in a single book or sermon through a period of sixteen hundred years”. (Harry Ironside, The Mysteries Of God, 1908).

Robert Cameron: “Now, be it remembered, that prior to that date, no hint of any approach to such belief can be found in any Christian literature from Polycarp down.... Surely, a doctrine that finds no exponent or advocate in the whole history and literature of Christendom, for eighteen hundred years after the founding of the Church - a doctrine that was never taught by a Father or Doctor of the Church in the past - that has no standard Commentator or Professor of the Greek language in any Theological School until the middle of the Nineteenth century, to give it approval, and that is without a friend, even to mention its name amongst the orthodox teachers or the heretical sects of Christendom - such a fatherless and motherless doctrine, when it rises to the front, demanding universal acceptance, ought to undergo careful scrutiny before it is admitted and tabulated as part of ‘the faith once for all delivered unto the saints.” (Robert Cameron, Scriptural Truth About The Lord’s Return, page 72-73).

E. R. Sandeen: "Darby introduced into discussion at Powerscourt (1833) the ideas of a secret rapture of the church and of a parenthesis in prophetic fulfillment between the sixty-ninth and seventieth weeks of Daniel. These two concepts constituted the basic tenets of the system of theology since referred to as dispensationalism" (E.R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism 1800-1930, University of Chicago Press, 1970)

A. W. Tozer: “Here is a doctrine that was not known or taught until the beginning of this century and it is already causing splits in churches.”

Philip Mauro: "The entire system of "dispensational teaching’ is modernistic in the strictest sense; for it first came into existence within the memory of persons now living; and was altogether unknown even in their younger days.

It is more recent than Darwinism. A system of doctrine that contradicts what has been held and taught by every Christian expositor and every minister of Christ from the very beginning of the Christian era—suddenly made its appearance in the later part of the nineteenth century".”

Edmund Shackleton: All who held the premillennial Coming of Christ were, till about sixty years ago, of one mind on the subject. About that time a new view was promulgated that the Coming of Christ was not one event, but that it was divided into stages, in fact, that Christ comes twice from heaven to earth, but the first time only as far as the air. This first descent, it is said, will be for the purpose of removing the Church from the world, and will occur before the Great Tribulation under Antichrist. This they call "The coming for His saints" or "Secret Rapture." The second part of the Coming is said to take place when Christ appears in glory and destroys the Antichrist. This they call "The coming with His saints."

Apart from the test of the Word, which is the only final one, there are certain reasons why this doctrine should be viewed with suspicion. It appears to be little more than sixty years old; and it seems highly improbable that if scriptural it could have escaped the scrutiny of the many devoted Bible students whose writings have been preserved to us from the past.

More especially in the writings of the early Christian fathers would we expect to find some notice of this doctrine, if it had been taught by the Apostles; but those who have their works declare that they betray no knowledge of a theory that the Church would escape the Tribulation under Antichrist, or that there would be any "coming" except that spoken of in Matthew 24, as occurring in manifest glory "after the Tribulation."

This is all the more significant, because these writers bestowed much attention upon the subject of the Antichrist and the Great Tribulation. Augustine, referring to Daniel 7, wrote: "But he who reads this passage even half asleep cannot fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church." (Edmund Shackleton, Will the Church Escape the Great Tribulation? pp. 31, 32, cited by Alexander Reese, The Approaching Advent of Christ, p. 231.)

4. Implications.

Sometimes overlooked are the implications of the pretrib rapture recent origins. In my book Outline Studies On The Rapture Question (1973) I wrote "Search the pages of Church history and literature, and you will not find one mention of the Lord coming before the Tribulation until after 1800. No one has ever cited any literature, writings, or quotes to the contrary!

The implications of this truth are serious. If the Pre-Tribulation doctrine were true, it would mean that it was hidden from the church for 19 centuries. Not one of the brilliant theologians or Bible teachers before the 1800's were able to find a Pretrib rapture and coming of the Lord on the pages of Holy Scripture--an incredulous improbability to say the least!".

(1). Some scholars like John L. Bray promote the theory that the pretrib teaching originated with a Baptist minister named Morgan Edwards in 1788. A close analysis of his writing Millennium, Last-Novelities clearly does not outline end-time events as found in the teachings of Darby, Scofield, Walvoord, etc. See the analysis by Tim Warner in his article on Morgan Edwards.

(2) For more information on the pre-Darby pretrib theories see my friend Dave MacPherson's article Deceiving And Being Deceived.

(3) Cited by Wm Kelly in The Rapture of the Saints: Who Suggested It, Or Rather On What Scripture? The Bible Treasury, New Series, vol. 4, p. 314-318.

(4) Harry Ironside (1876-1951) was an ardent pretrib dispensationalist, prolific writer, and former pastor of Moody Memorial Church.

(5) This was written in 1973 before the various claims of a pre-Darby pretrib rapture were widely known. But even if Morgan Edwards or one of the Jesuit priests taught the pretrib rapture theory before 1800 it would mean that the doctrine was hidden from the Church for more than 1600+ years!

--------------------
The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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barrykind
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'CORRIE TEN BOOM AND THE RAPTURE'.
- (This is from a letter Corrie wrote in 1974)

"The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers.

Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from Heaven to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will change.

My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room.

We may have been the Lord's only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, "In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate.

Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" for I have found where it is written that Jesus said,

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things:
and I will be His God,
and he shall be My son."

This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.

Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick.
"Yes, the Lord will heal me,", Betsy said with confidence.
She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.

It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy's death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.

In China, the Christians were told, "Don't worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured." Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly,

"We have failed.
We should have made the people strong for persecution,
rather than telling them Jesus would come first.
Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution,
how to stand when the tribulation comes,
– to stand and not faint."

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it.
We are next.

Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus' sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, "Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation." Then I write it down and learn it by heart.

When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, "Nothing could be any worse than today." But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy.

"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye;
for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you;
on their part evil is spoken of,
but on your part He is glorified."
(I Peter 3:14)

I found myself saying, "Hallelujah!
Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!"

In America, the churches sing, "Let the congregation escape tribulation", but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.

Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered.

The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking, "Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?"

The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I told them a story out of my childhood.

"When I was a little girl, " I said, "I went to my father and said,
"Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ."
"Tell me," said Father,
"When you take a train trip to Amsterdam,
when do I give you the money for the ticket?
Three weeks before?"

"No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train."

"That is right," my father said, "and so it is with God's strength.
Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.
He will supply all you need – just in time…"

My African friends were nodding and smiling.
Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing,

" In the sweet, by and by,
we shall meet on that beautiful shore."

Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed.
I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago.

But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life.

How can we get ready for the persecution?

First we need to feed on the Word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.

Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History,
but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive
and sitting at the right hand of God.

We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.

In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other.
But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting.
The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian's life.

Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also.
But then I read the Bible and I am glad.

When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down.

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him", (Job 13:15)

for I know that to all who overcome,
He shall give the crown of life.
Hallelujah!"

- Corrie Ten Boom - 1974

--------------------
The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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Betty Louise
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Thousand and Thousands of Christians have died around the world that have never suffered tribulation. Yet thousands and thousand have suffered and died for their faith. One does not cancel out the other. Truth is the Bible makes it clear that The Seven Year Tribulation will be something this world has never faced. The difference between those who have died in the past for their faith, is they died because of satan.
The Tribulation will not be the wrath of the satan on the world but the wrath of God on the anti-Christ and those who rejected Christ. God will call His children home before the tribulation. Your beliefs does not change the Word of God.

Your cult beliefs are not shared by most of us here. You will not change our mind nor will we change yours. So you might as well give up.

I am looking for the Blessed Hope and you and no one else can steal that from me
betty

--------------------
Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by barrykind:
'CORRIE TEN BOOM AND THE RAPTURE'.
- (This is from a letter Corrie wrote in 1974)

"The world is deathly ill. It is dying. The Great Physician has already signed the death certificate. Yet there is still a great work for Christians to do. They are to be streams of living water, channels of mercy to those who are still in the world. It is possible for them to do this because they are overcomers.

Christians are ambassadors for Christ. They are representatives from Heaven to this dying world. And because of our presence here, things will change.

My sister, Betsy, and I were in the Nazi concentration camp at Ravensbruck because we committed the crime of loving Jews. Seven hundred of us from Holland, France, Russia, Poland and Belgium were herded into a room built for two hundred. As far as I knew, Betsy and I were the only two representatives of Heaven in that room.

We may have been the Lord's only representatives in that place of hatred, yet because of our presence there, things changed. Jesus said, "In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world." We too, are to be overcomers – bringing the light of Jesus into a world filled with darkness and hate.

Sometimes I get frightened as I read the Bible, and as I look in this world and see all of the tribulation and persecution promised by the Bible coming true. Now I can tell you, though, if you too are afraid, that I have just read the last pages. I can now come to shouting "Hallelujah! Hallelujah!" for I have found where it is written that Jesus said,

"He that overcometh shall inherit all things:
and I will be His God,
and he shall be My son."

This is the future and hope of this world. Not that the world will survive – but that we shall be overcomers in the midst of a dying world.

Betsy and I, in the concentration camp, prayed that God would heal Betsy who was so weak and sick.
"Yes, the Lord will heal me,", Betsy said with confidence.
She died the next day and I could not understand it. They laid her thin body on the concrete floor along with all the other corpses of the women who died that day.

It was hard for me to understand, to believe that God had a purpose for all that. Yet because of Betsy's death, today I am traveling all over the world telling people about Jesus.

There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.

In China, the Christians were told, "Don't worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured." Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly,

"We have failed.
We should have made the people strong for persecution,
rather than telling them Jesus would come first.
Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution,
how to stand when the tribulation comes,
– to stand and not faint."

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it.
We are next.

Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus' sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, "Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation." Then I write it down and learn it by heart.

When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, "Nothing could be any worse than today." But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy.

"If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye;
for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you;
on their part evil is spoken of,
but on your part He is glorified."
(I Peter 3:14)

I found myself saying, "Hallelujah!
Because I am suffering, Jesus is glorified!"

In America, the churches sing, "Let the congregation escape tribulation", but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.

Several years ago I was in Africa in a nation where a new government had come into power. The first night I was there some of the Christians were commanded to come to the police station to register. When they arrived they were arrested and that same night they were executed. The next day the same thing happened with other Christians. The third day it was the same. All the Christians in the district were being systematically murdered.

The fourth day I was to speak in a little church. The people came, but they were filled with fear and tension. All during the service they were looking at each other, their eyes asking, "Will this one I am sitting beside be the next one killed? Will I be the next one?"

The room was hot and stuffy with insects that came through the screenless windows and swirled around the naked bulbs over the bare wooden benches. I told them a story out of my childhood.

"When I was a little girl, " I said, "I went to my father and said,
"Daddy, I am afraid that I will never be strong enough to be a martyr for Jesus Christ."
"Tell me," said Father,
"When you take a train trip to Amsterdam,
when do I give you the money for the ticket?
Three weeks before?"

"No, Daddy, you give me the money for the ticket just before we get on the train."

"That is right," my father said, "and so it is with God's strength.
Our Father in Heaven knows when you will need the strength to be a martyr for Jesus Christ.
He will supply all you need – just in time…"

My African friends were nodding and smiling.
Suddenly a spirit of joy descended upon that church and the people began singing,

" In the sweet, by and by,
we shall meet on that beautiful shore."

Later that week, half the congregation of that church was executed.
I heard later that the other half was killed some months ago.

But I must tell you something. I was so happy that the Lord used me to encourage these people, for unlike many of their leaders, I had the word of God. I had been to the Bible and discovered that Jesus said He had not only overcome the world, but to all those who remained faithful to the end, He would give a crown of life.

How can we get ready for the persecution?

First we need to feed on the Word of God, digest it, make it a part of our being. This will mean disciplined Bible study each day as we not only memorize long passages of scripture, but put the principles to work in our lives.

Next we need to develop a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Not just the Jesus of yesterday, the Jesus of History,
but the life-changing Jesus of today who is still alive
and sitting at the right hand of God.

We must be filled with the Holy Spirit. This is no optional command of the Bible, it is absolutely necessary. Those earthly disciples could never have stood up under the persecution of the Jews and Romans had they not waited for Pentecost. Each of us needs our own personal Pentecost, the baptism of the Holy Spirit. We will never be able to stand in the tribulation without it.

In the coming persecution we must be ready to help each other and encourage each other.
But we must not wait until the tribulation comes before starting.
The fruit of the Spirit should be the dominant force of every Christian's life.

Many are fearful of the coming tribulation, they want to run. I, too, am a little bit afraid when I think that after all my eighty years, including the horrible Nazi concentration camp, that I might have to go through the tribulation also.
But then I read the Bible and I am glad.

When I am weak, then I shall be strong, the Bible says. Betsy and I were prisoners for the Lord, we were so weak, but we got power because the Holy Spirit was on us. That mighty inner strengthening of the Holy Spirit helped us through. No, you will not be strong in yourself when the tribulation comes. Rather, you will be strong in the power of Him who will not forsake you. For seventy-six years I have known the Lord Jesus and not once has He ever left me, or let me down.

"Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him", (Job 13:15)

for I know that to all who overcome,
He shall give the crown of life.
Hallelujah!"

- Corrie Ten Boom - 1974

.

She is wrong. But I can understand her thinking thru the things she went thru.

--------------------
That is all.....

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barrykind
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Rev 2

10Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

--------------------
The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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Carol Swenson
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First, we need to look at what each view teaches. Pre-tribulation-rapture is taught in most mainline Christian churches in the U.S., as well as protestant churches in Europe and Asia. It teaches that the rapture of the Church will occur before the 7-year Tribulation Age. The post-tribulation-rapture theory teaches that the rapture of the believers will happen after the 7-year Tribulation judgment age. It is taught by the Catholic cult and other Eastern Orthodox church cults, as well as some ancient protestant churches like Presbyterian and Baptist churches. However, they will not tell you that there won’t be anyone left on this earth to rapture, because most of the people will be dead.


http://armageddonapocalypse.wordpress.com/2010/04/23/why-the-satanic-plan-post-tribulation-rapture-theory-is-a-deception-from-hell/

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Thunderz7
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Most of the false doctrine in Christanity springs forth from the "mainline denominations".
Just because someone doesn't agree with your every doctrine doesn't make they a member of a cult!

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Carol Swenson
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We cannot possibly just have a personal opinion about the matter, we have to KNOW what God has said in His Word. There are NOT three ways of interpreting when the Rapture will take place, God is NOT a God who makes confusing and contradictory statements. He has plainly revealed for all to see that the Rapture will take place BEFORE the Tribulation, this is pre-millennial, fundamental doctrine. Here are just a few reasons why this must be. People are rather confused today, they listen to this or that preacher or author, and do not understand the clear teaching of the Word of God.

Let us look carefully at Scripture then, I do not stand on my own understanding here, not at all, I am a person who grew up with fundamental Christians who taught prophesy, and they were sound, old-fashioned Bible-preachers. Now close to sixty years of age, I can remember back to forty five years ago when the majority of preachers taught us the glorious Pre-Tribulation message of hope.

1. The Rapture cannot happen Mid-Trib., because the Church Age finishes BEFORE God takes up the Jews again in the Time of Jacob's Trouble, which is the Tribulation, Daniel 12:1, Jeremiah 30:7; Matt.24:21. God will not take up the Jews and deal with them in judgment until the Church has gone! The Church Age finishes with the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and those who are alive at that time will also be caught away. (1Thess 4:17,18). We could hardly "comfort" one another with those words if we were going to face unspeakable woes in the Tribulation, "Wherefore comfort one another with these words."

2. God tells us that "scoffers" will come who say, where is the promise of His (Christ's) Coming? II Peter 3:3,4. These "scoffers" are those who deny that Christ's Coming is imminent, or about to happen any time! These verses about "scoffers" can certainly be applied to the Mid-Trib. and Post-Trib. believers, who do not believe that Christ could come at any time, but are looking to the Tribulation as being the thing which will happen next to the Church. We are not to be "scoffers" as they have become!

3. The Mid-Trib. confusion is utterly refuted by the verse in I Thess. 5:9: "For God hath not appointed us to WRATH..." This word is repeated a number of times in the book of Revelation, it is the word "orge" which is the terrible anger of God against the rebels of the world. God will never take His Church through His Wrath, we are His own children. His Wrath is happening all through the Tribulation period, not just the last three and a half years. (See Revelation chapters 6 through to 20).

4. The Post-Trib belief., that the Rapture will not happen until the end of the Trib., is utterly refuted by I Thess.5:9 and Revelation 3:10. God has promised He will keep His children from "the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwelleth upon the earth."

5. The Tribulation is God declaring WAR on the earth dwellers. The first thing a country does when it declares WAR is to take its ambassadors out and close up the embassy. GOD has His ambassadors of heaven here on earth, that is, all the born-again ones who make up the real church, as soon as He declares WAR God removes those ambassadors, we are those ambassadors. (II Cor.5:20; Rev.6:15-17).

6. The Second Coming of Christ comes in two stages. He comes to the air or atmosphere of the earth, and calls His Bride the Church home to Himself, this is the RAPTURE. The Tribulation happens, then the REVELATION of Christ happens for ALL the world to see, the Second Coming in glory and might. People sometimes get these two confused, and merge them into one, and so think the Revelation is the Rapture.

7. Some teachers claim there will be a partial Rapture, with only the "spiritual" members of the Body of Christ going. This false theory is refuted by one little word in I Cor.15:51, where Paul says that "we shall ALL be changed" at the Trump of God. Part of the Body CANNOT be left whilst the other part is taken, it is ONE BODY. Also we are ALL saved by GRACE, not works at all, neither will we be Raptured because of works, which are as filthy rags in God's sight! It is ALL of GRACE!

8. The trumpet of the angel in the middle of the Tribulation is NOT the same as the Trump of God which summons the Church in the Rapture. We can see this clearly if we read both accounts:

The angel's trumpet in Revelation 11 is sounded in heaven, and is heard in heaven, it is blown by the angel. The Trump of God in I Thess.4 is sounded in the air and is heard on earth, it is the voice of God which is like a mighty Trumpet. The angel's trumpet in Revelation 11 brings great Tribulation on the earth, but the Trump of God which proclaims the Rapture is vastly different. It is a call to all believers to WORSHIP, and brings glory for the Church, not judgment and terror for the earth! The Trump of God declares to the heavenly angels that they should prepare to BATTLE, because the Bride of Christ is going to be taken through the very atmosphere where Satan still holds sway, and he and his hordes will do anything to stop the Church's departure.

There are teachers who confuse the Bible's teaching on II Thess.2:7. This passage declares: "For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who NOW LETTETH will let, until he be taken OUT OF THE WAY."

There are those who misunderstand this statement, which sound scholars have shown is the Holy Spirit. Comments recently from the Texe Marrs organization, on audio tape, have said that the Rapture cannot happen before the Tribulation because there are multitudes saved in the Trib. If the Holy Spirit is taken out of the earth BEFORE the Tribulation, "he who letteth", then how could anyone be convicted of sin and judgment by the Holy Spirit in the Trib. and thus be saved? This preacher then imagined that this is proof that the Rapture must happen at the end of the Tribulation, and the Church must suffer through the Trib.

The above ideas are not at all Scriptural in reality! We must always remember that the Holy Spirit is GOD, the Third Person of the Trinity. As God, the Holy Spirit is Omnipresent, that is He is always everywhere, and always has been. We live and move and have our being in the Holy Spirit of God, as the book of Acts shows, Acts 17:27,28. Read the first chapters of Genesis, the Holy Spirit is the LIFE, the Creator, the ever-present One, who is GOD, "the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."(Gen.:1:2 etc). If the Holy Spirit was entirely removed at any period of history, everything living would die, for He is LIFE! The Holy Spirit could NEVER be entirely removed from the earth, all creation would died immediately if He was removed absolutely! What is removed at the Rapture is the Holy Spirit IN THE CHURCH, for the Church is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon the Prophets and Priests of the Lord, but He never remained forever, as He does in the New Testament. ALL believers have the Holy Spirit resident within, and HE will never leave us, John 14:16. When the Church is Raptured, the Omnipresent Holy Spirit, of course, is everywhere on the earth as He always is, and will convict of sin when necessary. But the Holy Spirit in the CHURCH is the "he who letteth" of II Thess.2:7, and when the Church goes, the resident Spirit will go too!

THE CHURCH IS THE BRIDE OF CHRIST. We, the Bride of Christ, have a glorious future ahead of us, and great undeserved honor in Christ Jesus our Saviour, Lord and Bridegroom.

In Numbers 10:1-3 we read:

"And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying, Make thee two trumpets of silver...that thou mayest use them for the calling of the assembly....and when they shall blow with them, all the assembly shall assemble themselves to thee at the door of the tabernacle...."

This is a type of the Trump of God sounded at the Rapture.

In regard to the Rapture, where there is sounded just ONE Trump of God, Numbers 10:4 is highly significant: "if they blow but with ONE Trumpet, then the princes, (THE PRINCES!) which are the heads of the thousands of Israel, shall gather themselves unto thee."

At the Rapture of the Church only ONE trumpet is sounded, in God's sight we ALL, each and every one, occupy a place of utmost importance in Christ, for we are all "head princes" in God's sight! This is why there is but ONE TRUMPET call.

How should we live until then, seeing we have such a high calling in Christ? (Ephesians 4:1-3). Titus 2:11-13 tells us:

"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men. Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

http://www.despatch.cth.com.au/Articles_D/Rapture_Howard.htm

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Carol Swenson
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quote:
Originally posted by Thunderz7:
Most of the false doctrine in Christanity springs forth from the "mainline denominations".
Just because someone doesn't agree with your every doctrine doesn't make they a member of a cult!

I know Thunderz7. But you have to admit that there really are some major cults (The Jehovah's Witnesses, Christian Scientists, Mormons,) teaching a post tribulation rapture/resurrection-second coming-marriage of the Lamb-Armageddon-Bema-Great White Throne judgment-all rolled into one kind of cacophony. I'm sure I left something out. Did I leave something out there?
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barrykind
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2 Thessalonians 2
1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?



3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

--------------------
The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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barrykind
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Matt 13:

36Then Jesus sent the multitude away, and went into the house: and his disciples came unto him, saying, Declare unto us the parable of the tares of the field.

37He answered and said unto them, He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man;

38The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;

39The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.

40As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in the end of this world.

41The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity;

42And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

43Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.



Tares First?

Wheat next

--------------------
The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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Caretaker
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I see from the Word that Christ returns for His Bride and those without the Holy Spirit are left behind as the Bride is taken.

I see from the Word a multitude in Glory, a glorious wedding prior to the Return of Christ.

It is Nation Israel who is the focus of the Tribulation, as judgment is poured-out.

The eschatology of the old church fathers is flawed in their replacement of Israel by the Church in their prophetic understanding.


John Wesley's Commentary on Rev. 12:

12:1 And a great sign was seen in heaven - Not only by St. John, but many heavenly spectators represented in the vision. A sign means something that has an uncommon appearance, and from which we infer that some unusual thing will follow. A woman - The emblem of the church of Christ, as she is originally of Israel, though built and enlarged on all sides by the addition of heathen converts; and as she will hereafter appear, when all her "natural branches are again "grafted in." She is at present on earth; and yet, with regard to her union with Christ, may be said to be in heaven, Ephesians 2:6. Accordingly, she is described as both assaulted and defended in heaven, verses 4, 7. Revelation 12:4,7 Clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars - These figurative expressions must he so interpreted as to preserve a due proportion between them. So, in Joseph's dream, the sun betokened his father; the moon, his mother; the stars, their children. There may be some such resemblance here; and as the prophecy points out the "power over all nations," perhaps the sun may betoken the Christian world; the moon, the Mahometans, who also carry the moon in their ensigns; and the crown of twelve stars, the twelve tribes of Israel; which are smaller than the sun and moon. The whole of this chapter answers the state of the church from the ninth century to this time.

http://bible.crosswalk.co...i?book=re&chapter=012

Rev. 12:
1: And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars:
2: And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
3: And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.
4: And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
5: And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne.

It was NOT from the Church that the man-child was born. However in Wesley's day Nation Israel did not exist and he in his eschatology replaces Israel with the Church, as did the majority of the early theologians.

There are 77 references to Israel in the NT and none of them refer to the Church. Try replacing the words, "the Church," where Israel is mentioned and the passage is rendered unreadable and silly, e.g., Rom. 10:1, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved." If you put "the Church" where Israel is mentioned, then it is redundant. The Church is the body of saved believers, so how could Paul's prayer be for the Church to be saved?

Is it going to get rough in the last days for Believers?

YES!!!!!


Is the Lord going to catch-up His Bride prior to His return?

YES!!!!!!


Matt. 25:
5: While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
6: And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
7: Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
8: And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
9: But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
10: And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
11: Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
12: But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
13: Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

John 14:
1: Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.
2: In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
3: And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

1 Thess. 14:
14: For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
15: For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17: 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.
18: Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Place your faith and trust in Christ alone for your salvation.

Place your faith and trust in His Word for your understanding.

--------------------
A Servant of Christ,
Drew

1 Tim. 3:
16: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..

http://www.smilieland.com/graphics/israel02.gif

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Caretaker
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http://gracethrufaith.com/ikvot/defending-the-pre-trib-rapture-again/

Could a believer, sitting alone on the proverbial desert isle with nothing but a Bible and with no pre-conceived ideas, conclude that there's a pre-trib Rapture just from reading about it, or could he only be led into this position by first hearing someone teach him about it?

Well, From Isaiah 13:9-13 and Amos 5:18-20, he would have learned that God is going to judge the Earth for it's sins in a terrible time called the Day of the Lord when He'll pour out His wrath on mankind.

Reading Matt. 24:21-22 would have told him that this time of judgment would be so bad that if the Lord didn't put a stop to it no one would survive. But the Lord will put a stop to it by returning in power and glory. Since he would know that the Lord hasn't returned yet, he would know that God's wrath is still in the future.

When he got to 1 Thes. 1:9-10 he would see a pretty clear statement. Jesus rescues us from the coming wrath. In the "who, what, where, when, and why" methodology of the investigative reporter he would have the Who, (Jesus) the what, (rescues us) and the when (the time of the coming wrath). Reading on he would come to 1 Thes. 4:15:17 and get the where (from Earth to the clouds) and in 1 Thes. 5:9 the why (because we're not appointed to wrath).

From there he would logically conclude that since we'll be rescued around the time of the coming wrath and since we're not appointed to wrath, our rescue has to precede it. He could also answer another of the investigative reporter's questions in 1 Thes. 4:15:17 and that's how it would happen. The Lord himself will come down from Heaven into our atmosphere and suddenly snatch us away from Earth to join Him there. In chapter 5 he would learn that he would never know the exact timing of this event but only that it would precede the coming wrath.

Of course there are many more passages I could reference but I think I've made my point and answered the question. In fact I'll go one step further. I believe that since our hypothetical reader has no one to persuade him differently, he would assume that what he's reading is to be taken literally. And if that's the case, then the pre-trib position is the only conclusion he could logically come to, because every other position requires a moderate to massive re-interpretation of Scripture.

I contend that left alone to work this out with only the Holy Spirit as his guide he would expect to be raptured before the wrath of God begins in Rev. 6. You see, God didn't write the Bible to confuse us, but to inform us. It's mankind that's gotten everything all mixed up. If you give the Holy Spirit a clear minded student, uncontaminated by man's opinions and prejudices, He would bring that person to the understanding of the rapture that's most consistent with a literal interpretation of Scripture. And that requires a pre-trib rapture.

There are other sound theological reasons why the Church will be raptured before the End Times judgments begin. One is that the Lord seems to keep Israel and the Church separate, never dealing with both at the same time (Acts 15: 13-18) If the primary purpose of Daniel's 70th week is to finish fulfilling the six promises to Israel in Daniel 9:24, then the Church has to disappear.

Another is that the Church was purified at the cross at which time all the punishment due us was born by the Lord Himself. From that time forward the Church is considered by God to be as righteous as He is (2 Cor 5:17 & 21) The idea that the Church needs to undergo some discipline to become worthy to dwell with God is unscriptural and denies the Lord's completed work on the cross.

And third, the stated purpose of the Great Tribulation is twofold, to purify Israel and completely destroy the unbelieving nations. (Jeremiah 30:1-11) The Church isn't destined for either of these outcomes.

There are also several subtle clues that on their own can't be used to support the pre-trib position, but which underscore the validity of the clear passages I've just cited. Take for instance the fact that Enoch, who bears a great similarity to the Church, disappeared before the Great Flood, that the angels couldn't destroy Sodom and Gomorrah until Lot and his family were clear, and that Daniel was missing from the story of the fiery furnace, a model of the Great Tribulation.

When the Lord described His coming in Luke 17:26-29 He said that it would be both like the days of Noah (some will be preserved through the accompanying judgments) and the days of Lot (some will taken away before them). And what about the promise He made to the Church in Philadelphia that he would keep us out of the "hour" of trial coming on the whole world. (Rev. 3:10) Is that the same as the "hour" of Babylon's destruction in Rev. 18?

--------------------
A Servant of Christ,
Drew

1 Tim. 3:
16: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..

http://www.smilieland.com/graphics/israel02.gif

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barrykind
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There is no "Pre- Tribulation Rapture"! You have been deceived! Learn the truth and prepare yourself for what is to come. Christian, will you heed this truth or be as the lost and turn a deaf ear?

RAPTURE TIMING IS IMPORTANT!

This study comes from Tackling the Tough Topics. The site is no longer online but credit is given to them.

NOTE: All emphasis throughout this newsletter, unless otherwise noted, is by the editor of Examining the Tough Issues (ETI). Some issues of my ETI newsletters and my �Tackling the Tough Topics (TTT) newsletters can be seen on the following Internet web sites: , www.calltodecision.com , and www.libertytothecaptives.net . All Bible verses are taken from the Authorized King James Version.

The following abbreviations will be used throughout the text:
Pre-Trib = The Pre-Tribulation (Rapture)
Post-Trib = The Post-Tribulation (Rapture)
Pre-Trib�ers = Individuals who believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
Post-Trib�ers = Individuals who believe in a Post-Tribulation Rapture.

I. INTRODUCTION

Is it really important what position Christians hold on the timing of the �Rapture�? Some Christians think that the timing of the �Rapture is doctrinally unimportant. Other Christians believe that the Rapture �timing issue� is extremely important.

For those unfamiliar with the �Rapture debate�, the Pre-Trib�ers believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to rapture His church OFF OF planet Earth BEFORE the �Great Tribulation� begins. Post-Trib�ers believe that �the Church� is here on planet Earth DURING the �Great Tribulation�, and will be facing the Antichrist and his murderous hordes. The Post-Trib�ers believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return at the END of the Great Tribulation.

The writer of this newsletter USED to believe in the Pre-Trib view. It is certainly the view that sells the most prophecy books. In fact, the Pre-Trib Rapture has been a fantastically big �cash cow� for a number of well-known prophecy writers.

It is important to note here that this editor believes that �the Antichrist� (in the form of a particular religious system) was revealed centuries ago, but that subject shall, God willing, be the topic of a separate ETI newsletter in the future. ((And �NO! I do not believe in the �Preterist View�, or that �the Antichrist� was Emperor Nero or any other particular single �nasty guy� in history.)) And though it is my strong belief that �the Antichrist� has already been revealed (which I believe can be strongly backed up with both Scriptural and historical evidence), I still believe that �the Church� will go through the entire tribulation period (i.e., the �Great Tribulation�). [note: Liberty To The Captives does not believe "that wicked" has been revealed yet.]Numerous Christians � including the best Bible scholars � held this belief that �the Church� would go through the �Great Tribulation� (i.e., the �Post-Trib� view) for many centuries until �Dispensationalism� hit the streets back in the 1800s! ((More on the subject of �Dispensationalism� will follow later.))


II. INDIVIDUAL VIEWS ON THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

I personally do NOT know of, nor have heard of, any individuals who held the Post-Trib view for many years, and then subsequently CHANGED to the Pre-Trib view after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer. NOR have I read about any Post-Trib�ers doing that. However, I personally do know a fair number of individuals who had held the Pre-Trib view for many years, and then who later SWITCHED to the Post-Trib view after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer.

Examples of some men who SWITCHED from the Pre-Trib Rapture view to the Post-Trib Rapture view after heavy-duty Bible study on that prophetic topic, and/or after much prayer, and in at least one case, after a long fast, include:

1) G. Campbell Morgan, who was considered by some of his time as the greatest Christian scholar of his era, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for many years. After subsequent deep study of the Holy Bible to discern the timing of the �Rapture�, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib. He felt so badly about having previously taught the Pre-Trib view, and about having written a book supporting the Pre-Trib view, that he purchased the plates to the book and destroyed them!

2) Pastor Dwight Kinman, author of the outstanding book The World�s Last Dictator, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for almost 40 years. After carefully searching the Scriptures to discern the timing of the �Rapture�, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib (and began to publicly teach Post-Trib). His above-mentioned book promotes the Post-Trib Rapture view.
3) Jim Spillman (author, pastor, evangelist, and Bible scholar), who at one time pastored a very large church in California, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for many years. After going into his prayer closet for several days, where he studied ONLY the Holy Bible in order to discern the timing of the �Rapture�, he came to the conclusion that the Holy Bible clearly teaches the Post-Trib view. He then had the COURAGE to go before his large congregation and ADMIT to them that he had been teaching them FALSE doctrine (i.e., the Pre-Trib view) for all those previous years! ((That takes a lot of GUTS!))

4) Pastor Butch Paugh (author, and host of �Call to Decision� broadcast; and a good friend of mine) had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for years. Yet it was Bible study that convinced him that the Pre-Trib view is FALSE doctrine. He now teaches the Post-Trib view over the �airwaves�, as well as to his local congregation. ((His excellent Internet web site is: www.calltodecision.com . Pastor Butch Paugh has several audiocassette tape sets dealing with the �rapture� issue that are available through his ministry. You can call toll-free 800-777-4403 for information, and to order those items.))

5) Pastor David Lankford (author and broadcast host) also had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for many years. As the back cover of his excellent book, The Second Coming: A Second Look, states: �After weeks of fasting and prayer and diligent study of Scripture, Pastor Lankford�s long-held beliefs about The Second Coming were changed.� Pastor Lankford�s book, along with a two-audiocassette tape set on the topic of the Second Coming, can be obtained for $20 postpaid by calling phone number 704-263-1945, or by making check or money order in that amount payable to �The Voice of Evangelism� and mailing it to: The Voice of Evangelism // P.O. Box 669 // Alexis, NC 28006.

6) James Lloyd [warning] (author, publisher of two periodicals, and broadcast host of �The Apocalypse Chronicles�) also had believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture view for years. Study of the Holy Bible convinced James that the Post-Trib view was the correct one! James has written an excellent book, The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism, which deals with the Bible verses supporting the Post-Trib view, and with dishonesty on the part of a number of Pre-Trib writers! [note] His book can be obtained for $5 postpaid by making check or money order payable to �Christian Media�, and mailing it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530. Christian Media also offers a number of Dave MacPherson�s books that examine the relatively recent origins (i.e., the 1830s) of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine. For information, call Christian Media at phone number: 541-899-8888, or write to the above address.

((IMPORTANT NOTE: The �Pre-Trib Rapture� is but one piece � although a critical one � of a larger �prophetic pie� that many have termed �Dispensationalism�. Dispensationalism is a theory of Bible interpretation which holds to the notion that God deals with man in distinct periods of time, or ages. According to John Nelson Darby, we are now in the �Church Age' which will culminate in a Pretribulation Rapture.

Here are a few other good books that REFUTE the Pre-Trib Rapture view:

((NOTE: You may have to check the Internet or visit a good library to track down some of these books.))

(1) The Rapture Book by Dr. James McKeever (Omega Publications);

(2) I WANT To Be Left Behind by Pastor Ron Poch (Available through Proclaim Liberty Ministries; $12 postpaid: To order it via credit card, please call toll-free 888-820-2126);

(3) First the Antichrist by Dr. Robert H. Gundry


And while we are talking about good books, here is an excellent book that exposes a number of unbiblical teachings in the �Left Behind� series of books (a series of books that promote the Pre-Trib Rapture view):

God�s Wrath on Left Behind: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the Left Behind Series by Lisa Ruby; 216-page paperback; 2002; ISBN 0-9721264-0-6; $14 postpaid (for mail orders): This book can be obtained by making a check or money order payable to �Liberty to the Captives Publications� and mailing it to: Lisa Ruby // 224 Reservoir Road // North Attleboro, MA 02760-2839. ((Please check out her outstanding Internet web site at www.libertytothecaptives.net .))

Interestingly, many famous Christian men in the past believed in and taught the Post-Trib Rapture view [i.e., that the �Church� would be going THROUGH the Tribulation period]. ((NOTE: Many folks refer to this end-time tribulation period as the �Great Tribulation�.)) The long list of these famous men includes such names as Charles H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim�s Progress), John Calvin, Charles Finney, John Knox, Martin Luther, and George Whitefield.

Equally as interesting, NONE of these following great Christian men ever made any reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture: John Wycliffe, John Wesley, or Charles Wesley.

Equally as interesting, there seem to be NO records of the great pastors of the American Revolution (such as Jonas Clark, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg, James Caldwell, etc.) making ANY reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture.

Most interestingly, NONE of the following ever made mention in the Holy Bible to any Pre-Tribulation (or even Mid-Tribulation/Pre-Wrath) evacuation of Christians BEFORE the Antichrist appears: The Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, and the Apostle John! Doesn�t it seem strange that there is NOT one SINGLE verse of Scripture that states something like the following hypothetical �statements�?

(1) �Verily, immediately prior to the start of the seven-year period of the �Great Tribulation�, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., �raptured�] off of Planet Earth.�

(2) �Verily, seven years before the Revelation of Jesus Christ [the supposed 2nd part of His supposed two-stage 2nd Coming], the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., �raptured�] off of Planet Earth.�

(3) �Verily, three and one half years into the �Great Tribulation�, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., �raptured�] off of Planet Earth � just prior to the beginning of God�s Wrath!�

No, there is NOT EVEN ONE SUCH BIBLE VERSE � or one Bible verse even closely resembling those statements in the Holy Bible!

Interestingly, John F. Walvoord, a big guru of the Pre-Trib Rapture movement and author of books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture view, admitted that there was NOT ONE SINGLE Bible verse that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture!


III. THE HISTORICAL RECORD

Some of the historical record (i.e., many of the great Christian men of the past who NEVER mentioned a Pre-Trib Rapture) has already been covered in several paragraphs earlier in this newsletter. It seems that the Pre-Trib Rapture view did not really seem to catch on anywhere until the 1830s. It seems to have originated in England, and then made its way over to the USA. Until that time, the prevailing view among Christians in the USA was the Post-Trib Rapture view. Dave MacPherson, in his book, The Incredible Cover-Up, traces the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine back to the British Isles, where we find such characters as a Scottish lassie named Margaret MacDonald, Edward Irving, and John Darby. ((Dave MacPherson does a great job of showing the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine. His above-mentioned book may still be available through Christian Media. To order materials from Christian Media, see earlier information in this newsletter.))

This British �invention� of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine was later popularized in the USA by the Scofield Study Bible. It is not within the scope (i.e., limited space) of this newsletter to really get into the historical side of the Rapture debate. If the reader wishes to do more investigation into the history of the Pre-Trib doctrine, contact Christian Media for information on the three Dave MacPherson books that they have carried in the past. Also, there seems to have been some Jesuit involvement in at least some of these doctrines that we find within �Dispensationalism� � please read End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World by Steve Wohlberg to trace the trail of this �theological virus�. ((You can call toll-free 866-862-6334 to order this book via credit card; or, you can visit their Internet web site at www.endtimeinsights.com . Editor of ETI most highly recommends this outstanding 220-page paperback book!))


IV. THE BIBLICAL RECORD

Obviously, the Holy Bible is by far the most critical record � for God�s Holy Word MUST ALWAYS BE the standard by which we measure all things! We�ve already mentioned that Pre-Trib Rapture guru John Walvoord has stated that there is NO SINGLE Scripture verse in the Bible that by itself teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture view.

It was the daily studies of the Holy Bible (reading through the entire Bible each year) that convinced the writer of this newsletter that the Holy Bible clearly does NOT teach the Pre-Trib Rapture. Here are some of the verses of Holy Scripture that really spoke to my heart:

1) I Thessalonians 4:15-17 (:) [The Apostle Paul writes]: �For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall NOT prevent [i.e., precede] them which are asleep. (Verse 16): For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise FIRST: (Verse 17): 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.�

Do the above verses really need any explanation? Aren�t they perfectly clear? The Holy Bible is saying that those Christians still alive at our Lord�s [Second] Coming do NOT PRECEDE the �dead in Christ�, who are raised [i.e., resurrected] FIRST! And it is only THEN [i.e., after the �dead in Christ� are resurrected] that those Christians �still living� are caught up �to meet the Lord in the air�! Since the Holy Bible teaches only TWO resurrections [i.e., one for the �just� and one for the �unjust�]; and since the Bible clearly teaches that the resurrection of the just is the FIRST RESURRECTION (see Revelation 20:4-6); and since the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said four times that he would raise up Christians on the �LAST DAY� (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54) � well then, how can anyone say that there is some �special group� of Christians that are getting �air evacuated� off of planet Earth BEFORE the first resurrection? And just HOW MANY �LAST DAYS� are there? Is there a �LAST DAY� BEFORE the �Great Tribulation� begins? Is there a �LAST DAY� 3 and � years into the �Great Tribulation� just prior to God�s Wrath falling on a sinful world?

Again, it is certainly worth repeating: the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said four times that he would raise up Christians on the �LAST DAY� (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54)!

It might also be interesting to note here, that when a great person in Biblical times in the Middle East area approached a city, then a large entourage of folks from that city would come out to meet that great person at some distance from the city. They would all THEN turn RIGHT AROUND and escort the great person into their city. Doesn�t that sound just like what we read in I Thessalonians 4:16, 17?

Indeed, this first Bible passage listed here in Section IV (i.e., I Thessalonians 4:15-17) ought, one would think, be enough to �sink� the �Pre-Trib Rapture ship�. After all, those Christians remaining alive at the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ CANNOT precede those Christians �which are asleep�.

2) II Thessalonians 2:1-4 (:) [The Apostle Paul writes]: �Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, (Verse 2): That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand [i.e., near in time; not distant]. (Verse 3): Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [i.e., the day of Christ] shall not come, EXCEPT there come a falling away [Greek: apostasia] FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Verse 4): Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.�

((NOTE: Webster�s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines the term �at hand� thusly: �near; either present or within reach, or not far distant�. This outstanding dictionary then lists as an example �the day of Christ is at hand� from the above Bible passage, stating that �at hand� in this context means �near in time; not distant�.))

Well, just about everybody agrees that this �man of sin � the son of perdition� is the Antichrist. This �day [of Christ]� (that Paul is talking about in verse 3) is shown in verse 1 to be the �coming of our Lord Jesus Christ�, and �our gathering together to Him�. The plain teaching of verse 3 is that NONE of those events take place until there first occurs both a �falling away� [i.e., apostasy] and the revealing of �that man of sin � the son of perdition�! And so, if one subscribes to the theory that �the Antichrist� is a FUTURE �Mr. Nasty-to-the- extreme� person who is to come on the scene in the very �end times�, then the above passage would clearly refute the idea that �the Church� is �air evacuated� prior to this �Mr. Nasty� person being revealed.

At least one Pre-Trib Rapture writer has tried to �explain away� the words �first, and� in verse 3 above, saying that they don�t really mean what they say. At least one Pre-Trib writer has tried to say that the �falling away� [Greek: apostasia] is really the �Pre-Trib Rapture� (such TWISTING of Scripture and the meaning of both Greek and English words, sadly, occurs far too often amongst Pre-Trib authors). The Greek word �apostasia� is used in such contexts as a �falling away� from, for example, the �truth� � NEVER in the context of �falling away from the earth up to heaven�. ((NOTE: Webster�s New World Dictionary defines the word �apostasy� as �an abandoning of what one believed in, as a faith, political party, principles, etc.�))

The clear meaning of verse 3 is that Christ�s return to gather up His saints cannot occur UNTIL AFTER �the Antichrist� has been revealed. Yet the Pre-Trib writers maintain that the Church is evacuated out BEFORE �the Antichrist� is revealed!

And just in case any Pre-Trib advocates are now saying, �The poor writer of this newsletter just doesn�t understand that Christ�s Second Coming is in TWO phases: the �Rapture� and the �Revelation�, with the �Rapture� coming BEFORE the tribulation, and the �Revelation� coming AFTER the tribulation.� Well, let�s address such an argument now:

Let me ask the Pre-Trib�ers who advocate a �TWO-phased� Second Coming of Christ this: �Was Christ�s First Coming in TWO phases?� The answer is �No!� There are absolutely no Scripture verses to be found that support the idea of a �two-phased� Second Coming of Jesus Christ! As Jesus Christ left this earth after His resurrection, as He was ascending up to heaven, His watching disciples were told: ��This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in LIKE MANNER AS ye have seen Him go into heaven.� (See Acts 1:11) Well, did Jesus Christ have a �TWO-phased� departure from earth into heaven after His �first coming�? Did He go up part of the way, turn around and come back down, and then go back up all the way on a �SECOND� departure? NO! Jesus Christ simply ascended up (in ONE phase) into heaven! And the Bible says He is coming back in LIKE MANNER!

((IMPORTANT NOTE: I personally do not think that the Scripture passage listed in Section IV, 2 (i.e., II Thessalonians 2:1-4) is really critical to the timing of the Rapture. I listed it only because the �Pre-Trib�ers� base their �air evacuation� timelines as occurring prior to a FUTURE single �Mr. Nasty Antichrist� person appearing in the end times, holding a pig under his arm, and entering into a �rebuilt Jewish Temple� to sacrifice that pig. The fact of the matter is that Paul wrote II Thessalonians 2:1-4 to specifically warn folks NOT to allow themselves to become deceived about Christ�s second coming being �right around the corner� (i.e., imminent), or as Webster�s 1828 Dictionary puts it: �near in time; not distant�. Again, I think the key Bible passage dealing with the timing of the �rapture� is I Thessalonians 4:15-17. The �key� to understanding the timing of the �rapture� is an understanding of the �resurrection�. Editor of ETI highly recommends that everyone look up all occurrences of the word �resurrection� in a good Concordance, and then carefully read all Bible verses/passages containing that important term.))

3) John 17:15, 20 (:) ((Note: the following are �red letter� words quoted directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ in a prayer to His Heavenly Father)) (Verse 15): �I pray NOT that Thou shouldest take them [i.e., His disciples] OUT OF the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
�(Verse 20): Neither pray I for these [i.e., His disciples] ALONE, but for them ALSO which shall believe on Me through their word;�

The Lord Jesus Christ in verse 20 indicates that He is praying this prayer for ALL future believers as well as for His original disciples! Please note that it is the Son of God who is praying to His Father asking Him NOT to evacuate His followers OUT OF the world. And in verse 20 He adds that His prayer is ALSO for FUTURE believers!

Note the two words �keep from� in verse 15 above. These two words appear in this form only twice in the entire New Testament: here in John 17:15, and in Revelation/Apocalypse 3:10. And isn�t it interesting that the Pre-Trib�ers TRY to use Revelation/Apocalypse 3:10 to �prove� a Pre-Trib Rapture? Revelation/Apocalypse 3:10 reads: �Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will KEEP thee FROM the hour of temptation, which shall come upon ALL the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.� It is also quite interesting that the Pre-Trib�ers NEVER mention the �one other� use of the Greek for �keep from� that appears in John 17:15, where Jesus Christ prays NOT to have believers removed from planet Earth! Wow! It certainly appears that John 17:15 has the Son of God praying AGAINST the Pre-Trib Rapture!

And it is certainly worth mentioning here that this is where much of the Pre-Trib argument falls apart, because Pre-Trib�ers WRONGLY ASSUME that God MUST take Christians in the �end times� OUT OF the world in order to keep them safe during the �Great Tribulation�. ((The Pre-Trib position, sadly, is built solely on assumptions, and NOT on solid Scriptural ground!)) Anyway, such an ASSUMPTION �assumes� that God is NOT able to keep Christians safe here on planet Earth DURING [i.e., in the MIDST OF] the �Great Tribulation� period. Yet the Bible is full of examples where God kept His children safe IN THE MIDST OF tribulation. In fact, that seems indeed to be a great theme of the Holy Bible, i.e., �preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation�. Here are just a few examples:

a.) When God�s judgments fell on the Egyptians during the time of the Hebrews� captivity in Egypt, God did NOT �air evacuate� the Hebrews OUT OF Egypt (or OFF OF planet Earth). No! While God�s judgments were falling on the Egyptians in all those areas where they resided, God preserved His children in Goshen IN THE MIDST OF those horrible judgments! ((And isn�t it most interesting that God�s �judgments and plagues� that fell on the Egyptians in the book of Exodus sure look very similar to God�s �judgments and plagues� that we see falling on the Earth�s inhabitants in the book of Revelation/Apocalypse?)) And could not this great and Almighty God, who preserved the Hebrew children IN THE MIDST OF those horrible plagues that befell the Egyptians, ALSO preserve His children ON planet Earth DURING the �Great Tribulation�?

b.) When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (their Hebrew names, respectively, are Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) in the book of Daniel, Chapter 3, ran afoul of King Nebuchadnezzar [i.e., the three young men disobeyed the king to his face!], did God �air evacuate� them OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? When the king had these three young Jewish men tossed into the fiery furnace, did God �air evacuate� them OUT OF the furnace in order to save them? NO! God preserved them IN THE MIDST OF the fiery furnace!

c.) When Daniel (see Chapter 6 in the book of Daniel) was tossed in the lions� den for disobeying the king�s command, did God �air evacuate� Daniel OFF OF planet Earth in order to save him? NO! God preserved Daniel IN THE MIDST OF the lions� den! ((Can�t we see a beautiful picture and pattern developing here of an all-powerful God who delights in delivering His children who STAND AGAINST tyranny and injustice � even when they are in horrible situations of danger, persecution, and tribulation?))

d.) What about Rahab in the book of Joshua, Chapter 6, who had lied to her government�s officials to protect the Hebrew spies? When the Hebrew soldiers destroyed the city of Jericho where Rahab resided, did God �air evacuate� Rahab and her family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! God preserved Rahab and her family IN THE MIDST OF the destruction of the city!

e.) What lesson can we learn from Noah? When God brought His judgment through a great flood upon the inhabitants of the Earth, did He �air evacuate� Noah and his family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! Noah and his family did NOT go AIRBORNE, but rather they were SEABORNE! God preserved Noah and his family IN THE MIDST OF horrible judgment [i.e., the great flood He brought upon the whole Earth] without taking them off of the planet!

The above examples remind me of a beautiful Scripture verse:

�When thou passest THROUGH the waters, I [i.e., the Lord God Almighty] will be with thee; and THROUGH the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest THROUGH the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.� (Isaiah 43:2)

Again, preservation IN THE MIDST OF danger, persecution, and tribulation is a general theme that we can see in the Bible � and NOT �aerial evacuation� OFF OF planet Earth to avoid danger, persecution, and tribulation. Of course, we must all keep in mind that there are times when Almighty God chooses not to deliver His servants, such as Stephen, who was stoned. Additionally, after Judas Iscariot perished, all of the apostles except John were murdered!

4) Mark 13:24-27 (:) [The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: �But in those days, AFTER that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, (Verse 25): And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (Verse 26): And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (Verse 27): 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.�

If the Christians who were �raptured� BEFORE the start of the �Great Tribulation� (as the Pre-Trib�ers ASSUME) were ALREADY gathered to the Lord, did they get LOST, so that the Lord has to send His angels out to gather them a SECOND time, along with those �poor saps� who got saved �after the rapture� and had to go through the �Great Tribulation�? Again, if there is only ONE �gathering together�, and we Christians who are alive at Christ�s return CANNOT PRECEDE those who are raised in the �resurrection of the just� which occurs at the END of the �Great Tribulation�, it sure looks like the above Scripture verses are placing the �gathering together� of Christians AFTER the �Great Tribulation�!

5) Matthew 13:24-30; 37-42 (:) �Another parable put He [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: (Verse 25): But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. (Verse 26): But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. (Verse 27): So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, �Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?� (Verse 28): He said unto them, �An enemy hath done this.� The servants said unto him, �Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?� (Verse 29): But he said, �Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. (Verse: 30) Let both grow together UNTIL THE HARVEST: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.�� ((A few verses later the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ ask Him to explain the above parable.))
��(Verse 37): He [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] answered and said unto them, �He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; (Verse 38): The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; (Verse 39): The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (Verse 40): As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; SO shall it be in the end of this world. (Verse 41): The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Verse 42): And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.��
This parable of the Lord Jesus Christ clearly shows that the �tares� are the �bad guys� � and they are the ones who are gathered up FIRST at the �harvest� that occurs at the end of the world! Here we have the Lord Jesus Christ preaching just the OPPOSITE of the Pre-Trib�ers, who say that the �good guys� are the ones gathered up FIRST in the alleged Pre-Trib Rapture.
6) Luke 17:34-37 (:) �I [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. (Verse 35): Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse 36): Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse 37): And they answered and said unto Him, �Where, Lord?� And He said unto them, �Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.�� (Compare Matthew 24:28.)
Many Pre-Trib writers often use verses 34 through 36 of Luke 17 (or, Matthew 24:40, 41) as a �proof text� for the Pre-Trib Rapture! But they conveniently IGNORE Luke 17:37, where the Lord Jesus Christ tells His disciples that these people who are �taken away� have eagles gathering around their bodies! That sure sounds like those who were taken away were NOT �raptured� ((an ASSUMPTION made by Pre-Trib�ers)), but rather these individuals were taken away in judgment and KILLED. ((Why else would eagles be gathering around their bodies?)) Please remember that in Matthew 13:30, 39-42 that the Lord Jesus Christ said that the �tares� (i.e., the �bad guys�) are gathered first (Matthew 13:30) and burned! No wonder James Lloyd [warning] subtitled his one book, �Dishonesty in Dispensationalism�!
7) Luke 17:26-30 (:) [The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: �And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Verse 27): They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (Verse 28): Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; (Verse 29): But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (Verse 30): Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.�
Here we have the Lord Jesus Christ comparing His Second Coming to time of the flood in Noah�s day, and to the time of Lot when fire rained down on Sodom. Well, in Noah�s day the flood came and �took away� the �bad guys�. Additionally, as we pointed out earlier, Noah and his family were not �air evacuated� off of planet Earth BEFORE the flood. Also, on the VERY SAME day that Lot went out of Sodom, the fire rained down on that city. Interestingly, Lot also was NOT �air evacuated� off of planet Earth BEFORE Sodom was destroyed! Thus neither Noah nor Lot can serve as �examples� of Pre-Tribulation-type deliverance. Both were preserved IN THE MIDST of judgment!
8) Matthew 24:26-33 (:) [The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: �Wherefore if they shall say unto you, �Behold, He is in the desert�; go not forth: �Behold, He is in the secret chambers�; believe it not. (Verse 27): For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Verse 28): For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Verse 29): Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (Verse 30): And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Verse 31): And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Verse 32): Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh [i.e., near]: (Verse 33): So likewise ye, when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.� (Matthew 24:26-33)
The Lord Jesus Christ is talking about His Second Coming. He mentions such things as �after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken.� Well, how can any believers see ALL these signs if they�ve been �raptured� OUT BEFORE the �Great Tribulation�? (Pre-Trib�ers will say that those believers who see these signs must be the �Christians who get saved during the Great Tribulation� � but nowhere in Scripture does it say that! Here is yet another ASSUMPTION on the part of the Pre-Trib�ers.)
And while we�re on the subject of these many �Christians who get saved during the Great Tribulation� (according to Pre-Trib�ers), HOW is it that so many people can �get saved� during the �Great Tribulation� when the Holy Spirit and the �Church� have been taken out (according to the Pre-Trib�ers)?
9) Mark 13:20 (:) [The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: �And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect�s sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the days.�
Almost all Bible scholars agree that here we have the Lord Jesus Christ talking about the �Great Tribulation� period. Well, if the �elect� (i.e., believers) have been �raptured� out BEFORE the �Great Tribulation�, then why does God have to shorten �those days� for their sakes? ((Oh, yes, the Pre-Trib�ers will say that the �elect� here must be those �who are saved during the Great Tribulation�. Again, another ASSUMPTION made by the Pre-Trib�ers for which we find absolutely no Scriptural backing!))
10) Revelation/Apocalypse 13:4-7 (:) �And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, �Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?� (Verse 5): And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (Verse 6): And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (Verse 7): And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.�
Most Bible prophecy scholars agree that the �him� and �he� in verses 5, 6, and 7 refer to the Antichrist. In verse 7 we see that he [the Antichrist, according to most Bible scholars] was given [power] �to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them�. Most Bible scholars also believe that these events are taking place DURING the �Great Tribulation�. Well, if believers have been raptured out BEFORE the �Great Tribulation�, then what �saints� is the Antichrist making war upon? Of course, the Pre-Trib�ers ASSUME that these �saints� must be individuals who have been saved DURING the �Great Tribulation�, after believers had been taken out in the Pre-Trib Rapture. But the Bible does NOT say this! Again, it is yet another very dangerous ASSUMPTION, because if this assumption, and the many other assumptions the Pre-Trib�ers make (some of which have been noted in this newsletter) are WRONG, then a lot of Christians may be very surprised (and shocked) to find out that they are the ones with whom the Antichrist is making war, and that they are here on planet Earth DURING the �Great Tribulation�!
And while we are here in the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse, let�s address an argument that the Pre-Trib�ers put forth, i.e., that from Revelation 3:22 through Revelation 22:16 the word �church� does not appear, thus the �church� must have been �raptured� out, and is not on planet Earth during the �Great Tribulation�. Well, using such �logic�, the word �synagogue� is not mentioned either in those same verses, so there must not be any Jews being saved either during the �Great Tribulation� (no 144,000 Jewish �Billy Grahams� as some Pre-Trib�ers speculate). And if there are folks �getting saved� during the �Great Tribulation� (as Pre-Trib�ers have so written about), why wouldn�t they have the title �the church� as have believers of any other period since Christ�s time here on Earth? Pre-Trib �logic� defies normal logic!

11) Revelation/Apocalypse 20:4-6 (:) �And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were BEHEADED for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Verse 5): But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION. (Verse 6): Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.�
Nearly all Bible scholars agree that there has never been a time when large numbers of Christians were BEHEADED, and that this occurs during the �Great Tribulation�. Again, if the �church� has been �air evacuated� off of planet Earth, then who are these folks getting beheaded for �the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God�? Well, again, the Pre-Trib�ers ASSUME that �those being beheaded� must be people who are �saved during the Great Tribulation�. But again, the Bible does NOT state such a thing anywhere, and such ASSUMPTIONS may prove quite dangerous to those who embrace them!
12) Revelation/Apocalypse 7:9, 13 and 14 (:) (Verse 9): �After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of ALL nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; �(Verse 13): And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? (Verse 14): And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.�
Here we see very large numbers of people of ALL nations who have come out of �great tribulation�. So again we must ask this question: �HOW are large numbers of people getting saved out of �great tribulation� if the �church� and the Holy Spirit of God have been previously removed (as the Pre-Trib�ers ASSUME)?�

V. SOME VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
It is here that I would like to ask some questions that Pre-Trib�ers never seem to ask themselves � because I have never seen them addressed in their writings.
Why would believers be taken off the planet in the so-called Pre-Trib Rapture so that they would not have to face the horrors of the �Great Tribulation� period, when so many other Christians have faced HORRIBLE persecution and tribulation throughout Church history? The horrors of the monstrous Inquisition come to mind. The horrible persecution of the Scottish Covenanters comes to mind. The horrible persecution of the French Huguenots comes to mind. The horrible persecution of Christians by several of the Roman emperors comes to mind. Why in blazes would there be a �special class� of Christians at the end of the age that gets spared horrible persecution?
Yes, I know the arguments of the Pre-Trib�ers:
1. �God would not allow His bride (the Church) to go through the tribulation period to get bloodied.�
2. �God has not appointed us to wrath, so we don�t have to go through the great tribulation period.�
The Pre-Trib�ers apply such good things to themselves � i.e., they won�t go through the �Great Tribulation� because they haven�t been �appointed to wrath�, and because they are the �bride of Christ�. But somehow these same Pre-Trib�ers believe that those individuals who get saved DURING the �Great Tribulation� under much more stressful and demanding conditions (and horrors) than many of these �air evacuated� Christians ever had to face, well, those �saved-during-the-Great-Tribulation� believers do NOT get to be spared from �God�s wrath�, and they are NOT evidently as much a part of �Christ�s bride� as those who are �raptured� in the end time! What is wrong with this picture? Of course, I Thessalonians 5:9 lets us know that God has not appointed ANY believers (including those who go through the �Great Tribulation�) to (His) wrath, but rather �to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ�. The Pre-Trib�ers surely are getting the �Antichrist�s wrath� MIXED UP with �God�s wrath� during the �Great Tribulation�, and ASSUME they won�t be facing the �Antichrist�s wrath� during that period � you know, that nasty stuff is for those �OTHER� Christians who are saved during the �Great Tribulation� (according to the Pre-Trib�ers). Again, HOW IN BLAZES can this group of Pre-Trib�ers think that they are going to get a massive break from horrible persecution and evil during the �Great Tribulation� when MILLIONS of Christians in other eras faced the most horrible persecution, and quite likely MILLIONS of Christians will be martyred by the Antichrist in the future? I personally cannot figure out this Pre-Trib �logic� � but I do think the Pre-Trib Rapture is �illogical ESCAPISM to the maximum degree�, thrown in with a lot of ignorance of key Bible verses � along with some fantastic twisting of other Bible verses!

This tremendous quotation from Steve Wohlberg�s book, End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World, is quite revealing. Steve Wohlberg states: �Could it be that the idea of escaping tribulation is really only catering to our lukewarm American tendencies? We like comfort; hate to go through trials; and can hardly bear it when our TV-dinner lifestyle is threatened. Yet historically, God�s people have gone through intense suffering. All the disciples of Jesus [Christ], except John, were brutally murdered. Thousands of early Christians were torn to shreds by wild dogs inside the Coliseum. Millions of others were horribly tortured by the Inquisition and burnt to ashes during the Dark Ages. �Believers in Russia and [Red] China have suffered terribly under communism, and yet American Christians say, �God wouldn�t allow us to go through the tribulation!��


VI. BAD FRUIT

I have heard Pre-Trib�ers say that the �imminent� [i.e., �at any moment�] return of the Lord Jesus Christ makes them serve the Lord more fervently. That may be true for a number of Pre-Trib�ers � I know one pastor who is really fighting tyranny who believes in the Pre-Trib Rapture.

However, a whole bunch of Pre-Trib�ers I know [i.e., those with whom I have come into close contact] use the Pre-Trib Rapture as an excuse to sit back, and they do nothing to fight the wicked tyranny we see today. I�ve heard: �Why should I care about the evil movement towards one-world government, etc., that we see today � don�t you know, I�m going to be out of here in the �rapture� BEFORE things really get bad.� I�ve heard that, and similar statements, from many Pre-Trib�ers who are just sitting around, NOT opposing evil or tyranny, waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ to �air evacuate� them out BEFORE things really get �hairy� [i.e., dangerous]. Another statement I�ve heard is this: �Don�t resist the New World Order, because, don�t you know, it�s all been prophesied.� Such thinking on the part of many Pre-Trib�ers is sickening!

VII. SUMMARY

1. As Pre-Trib scholar John Walvood says, there is NO SINGLE verse of Scripture that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture.

2. Pre-Trib�ers FORCE ASSUMPTIONS on many key Bible verses � especially ASSUMING that all references to �saints� and the �elect� being persecuted and martyred during the �Great Tribulation� must refer to �those individuals saved� AFTER the Pre-Trib Rapture has occurred. ((Again, how are all these folks getting �saved� during the �Great Tribulation� if the �Church� and the �restrainer� (i.e., the Holy Spirit according to Pre-Trib�ers) have been removed?))

3. We are NOT able to find one instance in the New Testament where the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, or the Apostle John, make a statement to the effect that �the church is going to be evacuated off the planet BEFORE the Great Tribulation period begins�. Isn�t that a bit strange if the Pre-Trib Rapture view is the correct one?

4. Despite taking a couple of texts OUT OF CONTEXT from a few early church fathers� writings, the Pre-Trib�ers really CANNOT find any predominant, popular teaching that supports a Pre-Trib Rapture in any era of Church history before the 1830s.

5. Many great heroes of the Christian faith, such as John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, George Whitefield, etc., were all solid Post-Trib believers!

6. The Pre-Trib Rapture view is a very big �cash cow� for Pre-Trib writers. Yet, surprisingly, there are some Pre-Trib writers who will admit that the Pre-Trib view is still a minority view. How can that be, you may ask, since so many prophecy books favor the �Pre-Trib� Rapture view? That is because so many of the major �Christian� publishing houses are, for the most part, CONTROLLED by �liberal� �Christians�. Post-Trib writers often find it extremely hard to get their books published by these publishing houses, because, Pre-Trib �sells�. ((Could that be because the Pre-Trib Rapture view appeals to an �escapist� mentality? It�s that �I sure don�t want to be here when the Antichrist takes over� mentality! The Pre-Trib Rapture view appeals to our �flesh� � after all, who wants to face persecution?)) Also, Dr. Robert Gundry says that most of the professors [at Bible colleges] that he knows hold to the Post-Trib Rapture view. He adds that some of the professors and students at colleges and institutions of the Pre-Trib Rapture persuasion hold the Post-Trib view, but cannot say so publicly for fear of losing their positions or not being allowed to graduate!

7. Despite the fact that the Pre-Trib�ers dislike Dave MacPherson, and call him names, yet they have NOT been able to disprove his well-documented findings that show that the Pre-Trib Rapture�s origins (as far as any widespread teaching) date back to the 1830s � and not earlier than that era! Nor have the Pre-Trib�ers been able to disprove MacPherson�s findings that the vast majority of the early church fathers believed that the church would go THROUGH the �Great Tribulation� � and lots of tribulation along the way to the �Great Tribulation�.

8. The Pre-Trib teaching seems to have originated in the British Isles in the 1830s. ((The Jesuits may have been doing a little �Dispensational creativity� in that arena many years prior to that time.)) This Pre-Trib theory was �transported� to America a little bit later, and was popularized by the Scofield Study Bible.

9. To believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture, one must IGNORE several key Bible verses that speak directly against a Pre-Trib Rapture, such as John 17:15 where the Lord Jesus Christ prays that the Father NOT take believers OUT OF the world � and I Thessalonians 4:16, 17 which says that the Christians living at the time of Christ�s return are not caught up UNTIL AFTER the �dead in Christ� are raised �FIRST�!

10. Believing in the Pre-Trib Rapture, it seems to me, goes AGAINST the prevalent theme of the Bible dealing with tribulation and persecution. This prevalent theme is �preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation�. ((Please recall the accounts of Daniel in the lions� den, and of the three young Jews in the fiery furnace!))

11. To believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, you have to ASSUME that you will be amongst a very �select group� of Christians who will not have to suffer horrible things during the �Great Tribulation�. Your �select group� excludes the MILLIONS of Christians from the past who were NOT �air evacuated� from their tribulation and suffering, and the probable MILLIONS who become �saved� during the �Great Tribulation�, and who will suffer martyrdom!


12. The Pre-Trib Rapture view, for the most part, seems to produce very BAD FRUIT � i.e., it seems to have �neutralized� many Christians living today, causing them to sit back and NOT fight evil. ((And that�s, because, don�t you know, they won�t be here when things get really bad.)) Oh � might this �doctrine� have been designed to �neutralize� Christians?

VIII. FINAL THOUGHTS
Here is something for those who preach and/or teach the Pre-Trib Rapture to think about: Your promotion of this doctrine could cause some Christians who hear it to believe that they are in no danger from the Antichrist, or from the Antichrist system. How would you feel if you met these folks in heaven � folks who had not taken appropriate means to defend themselves and their families, and had to watch as murderous thugs raped, tortured, and murdered their family members in front of their very eyes � all because they thought they wouldn�t be here?
Additionally, isn�t it the �height of arrogance� to believe that only a relatively small, special group of Christians during the end times are spared horrible persecution and tribulation?

IX. CLOSING QUOTE
Let�s close with a great quote by Corrie ten Boom, a great Christian lady:
�I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In China the Christians were told, �Don�t worry, before the tribulation comes, you will be translated � raptured.� Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a bishop from China say, sadly, �We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first.�
Turning to me he said, �You still have time. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when tribulation comes � to stand and not faint.�
I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation�
Since I have gone already through prison for Jesus� sake, and since I met that bishop from China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think �Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.� Then I write it down and learn it by heart.�

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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The Harpazo of the Bride of Christ

Last Updated: 08/23/2010 21:55 |

This is a Bible Study of the catching away of the bride of Christ, the harpazo. In short, it is a supernatural event that comes directly after the resurrection of the dead in Christ in the near future. After their resurrection, those who are still alive and in Christ are changed in the blink of an eye and are given their immortal bodies. Then both the resurrected and the changed are caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. The resurrection of the dead is central to the Christian faith as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:12-24.
There are many different perspectives in the church regarding this topic from the denial of it to the belief that it can come at any second. Understanding of the Word of the Lord will not come by quoting one or two verses, but by building on a solid foundation of the Word, taking God for what He says and in context. It is also interspersed throughout the text of the Bible, here a little and there a little. Isaiah 28:9-13 I interpret the Bible with the Bible so that I leave as much of my own errors out of the equation and rather trust in the Word to define for me what must be understood. In this way, symbology is not randomly assigned from a 21st century English perspective, but from a Biblical perspective. The Bible was written by Hebrews for the Hebrews until the work of Christ on the cross brought that Truth to the Gentiles and all with ears to hear. This causes one to view the Bible from a more Hebrew perspective and define words from the Hebrew and Greek for deeper meaning as well as seeing a broader picture of God's plans for the future.

I would also like to say before beginning that I understand this is a very divisive subject for some and much passion is displayed regarding this teaching because of perceived deceptions we are warned about and concern for a falling away from God resulting from things not turning out as expected. As true believers, absolutely nothing can separate us from God. It shows an extreme selfishness and pride for one to turn from God because their perceptions of reality limited by their lack of knowledge not coming to pass as desired. Job was answered by God as to how little we know of the whole picture in Job 38-40. There is One Truth and history will unfold in one way, that which God has laid out for those that love Him to understand from His Word, the Holy Bible. Only He knows the end from the beginning and He has shared the future with us. That is the focus of this Bible study on the harpazo. I believe that if we all trust the Word of God we will be on the same page, speaking the same language as the words haven't changed nor what the words mean. Do not take my word for this or any other study presented. Rather search the scriptures daily to see whether these things are so. Acts 17:11

Lord, guide my study of Your Word and reveal to me through Your Holy Spirit those things You would have me understand. Give me a greater hunger for Your Word as I bring myself closer to you. Teach me your Truth from your Word as I submit to your plans and design. Amen.

What is the "harpazo?"

The term "rapture" is more commonly used than harpazo and is not found in the Bible. While you will not find that exact word through a word search, the meaning of the words that are written remains the same and conveys the same idea. The term "rapture" comes from the Latin verb rapiemur which means "to seize, snatch, carry away." This is the same meaning behind the Greek word that is found in the Bible, harpazo. It is found in the following scripture, which is the "harpazo" passage.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, 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 [G726 harpazo] 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.

So while the word rapture is technically not in the Bible, the idea behind that Latin word represents the same idea of being caught up together to meet the Lord in the air as stated in scripture. I have decided to move away from using the term rapture in exchange for sticking with the original Greek word spelled out in English as "shall be caught up."

1 Corinthians 15:51-53
Behold, I show you a mystery; 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

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That is all.....

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Who is the harpazo for?

The harpazo is the catching away of those who have a personal relationship with Yeshua the Christ, those who call themselves by His title/name, Christians. The catching away to meet the Lord in the air is our blessed hope to anyone who has accepted Christ as their savior. Titus 2:13 Sin is transgression of God's ways, His Law, and as a righteous God, He cannot exist with sin and we are therefore separated from Him. Yeshua died for all of our sins and rose again, offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for remission of all sins for those who accept Christ and follow His Commandments to love God and love each other to the end that we would be in God's presence with Him for eternity.

The kingdom parable of Matthew 25:1-13 explains this time in more detail and coincides with ancient Jewish wedding tradition. In this parable, only five of the ten virgins actually go to meet the bridegroom when He comes. The others are unprepared and without oil, which is the Holy Spirit. This oil gives them the fuel for the flame, which lights the path.

Psalm 119:103-105
How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth! Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every false way. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.

In the parable, only 50% of those who were virgins waiting for the bridegroom actually had oil, the wise virgins. The foolish virgins had the door to the marriage shut on them and the Lord says He doesn't know them. This sobering division of those who call Yeshua Lord reveals that a true Christian doesn't just accept Christ, they repent (change mind) and obey God's Word. Then they can have communion with the Lord and receive the Holy Spirit, the oil that we are anointed with which reveals the Word of God to us so that we are not in darkness! And the first comment the Lord makes after He says He knows them not?

Matthew 25:13
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

It is at His coming that we are removed, or harpazod, to meet Him in the air. It's interesting because there are many scriptures about Christ coming "like a thief in the night." When a thief comes, he takes something he deems valuable. If the Lord is coming like a thief, what is it that He finds valuable? His bride! And it is His bride that is going out to meet Him in the air as He steals them from the earth because we are not of this earth but chosen out of it. John 15:17-19 This will also fulfill the promised escape from the destruction of the day of the Lord as well. Luke 21:34-36

All we have to do to be a part of this group, is to believe that Yeshua is God in the flesh (1 John 4:1-3) who died and rose again (1 Corinthians 15:1-11) so that we could be forgiven our sins and be with Him forever. Our resurrection to eternal life is central to the belief of a Christian. (1 Corinthians 15:12-30) The harpazo is that point of resurrection for the Christian. The dead believers will be resurrected, part of the first resurrection. We must also remain obedient to God's Word. There is no condemnation for them in Christ, yet to remain in Christ we must be obedient and repent of our sins. John 14:21 Let us walk after the spirit and not the flesh. Romans 8:1-8

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That is all.....

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Why is there a harpazo?

The reason for the harpazo is to catch up the church, Christ's bride, (Ephesians 5:23) to the marriage that takes place while God's wrath is poured out on the children of disobedience. (Ephesians 5:1-20) This hints to the timing which will be covered in greater depth later.

I've come across many people who try to attach guilt regarding a Christian's desire to be harpazod while people go through the great tribulation on earth. I address that further here. I believe this view comes from a lack of understanding on what the harpazo is all about, the why. There is nothing unfair about it because the free gift of salvation and relationship with Christ is ours if we want it. We all have the choice to do our own things or listen to God through His Word, the Bible. He is coming for those who are watching and who take His Word seriously, loving Him with all their hearts and following His ways, which requires obedience to His Word. He has warned us to watch and that the destruction would come suddenly like a thief in the night. He is our Creator and Savior, able to keep us from eternal separation from God's love. Accepting Christ is not just about saying a prayer, but about obedience, living God's ways of love toward Him and each other.

Matthew 7:13-23
Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

I believe the above speaks to the importance of developing a personal relationship with Christ. How do we "know" someone? We must communicate with them, learning more about them with every encounter. God has given us His Word to understand history and the future, but He has also given us the Ruach Hakadosh (Holy Spirit), our Comforter who teaches us all things. John 14:15-29; John 15:14-27; John 16:4-11

One of those things learned through the Word of God revealed by the Holy Spirit is that the church is the bride of Christ. This is a special breed of people to God that live now by faith in Yeshua the Christ and His promises for them. They are not special because they're so good and religious, they are special because the Creator of the universe wants to become one in spirit with them as symbolized through the marriage of a man and woman. It is this bride that Yeshua is coming for, to take her to the marriage of the Lamb. Revelation 19:7,8

They aren't defined by belonging to a church, but their church is defined by belonging to Christ, members of His body whereas He is the head and directs the body. They give their lives over to His control, letting go of their own desires to submit to His will for their lives, trusting Him in all things. They will be the ones looking for Christ's return and they will be the ones taken in it unto salvation upon His sudden return. We are being taken out of this world before God's wrath is poured out on it because we are not appointed to wrath. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11

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WildB
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When does the harpazo happen? And can we know exactly when?

Quick Overview of What I believe

I believe the Lord is coming to take His church into the clouds (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18) at the same time changing us from mortal to immortal. (1 Corinthians 15:50-54) It will be fast and we will be taken away from this earth to New Jerusalem as best as I can read. (John 14:1-4) At some point prior to His return, we will be married to Christ. (Revelation 19:7,8) We will become one, us the body and He the head. (Ephesians 5:23) We will be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white, and then we will be gathered from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24:31) and follow Christ when He returns at the end of the 70th week. (Revelation 19:11-14) Prophecy will be fulfilled when every eye sees Him coming in great glory. (Revelation 1:1-8) Some will see Him from below, and His wife, the church, from behind when He destroys the gathered armies (Revelation 16:13,14) at Armageddon and takes the kingdoms (Revelation 11:15) to rule with a rod of iron (Revelation 19:15) for 1,000 years (Revelation 20:4-7)

However there are many different perspectives in the Christian community regarding the answer to this question. I have researched this topic myself extensively and I have documented what I have found in my research. I'm not asking anyone to agree with my perspective, but rather ask that you take the Word of God for what it says and then the answer will be revealed from the text itself.

Mark 13:30-37
Verily I say unto you, that this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done. Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning: Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.

Luke 21:34-36
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 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.

Revelation 3:3
Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

We are told to watch many more times in scripture:
Matthew 24:42 | Matthew 25:13 | Mark 13:33,34 | Luke 12:37-39 | Luke 21:36 | 1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 | Revelation 3:1-6 | Revelation 16:15

This tells us in that while we don't know exactly when, day or hour, God has not left us in the dark.

Amos 3:7
Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

harpazo can't come before...

So when does it happen according to scripture? We don't know the day or the hour, but this first passage tells us that the harpazo cannot come before two events happen.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except
there come a falling away first, and
that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The church of Thessalonica was concerned that the day of Christ was at hand, the day of the Lord. I'll get to that in a moment. Paul writes to alleviate their fears by telling them that that day would not come until two things had come to pass, the apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin at the abomination of desolation. According to Christ, Matthew 24:14-22, the abomination of desolation marks the beginning of the 3½ year reign of the antichrist and the 3½ year time of great tribulation. For a further defining of the timing according to scripture, this is "in the midst of" the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years God appointed to Israel. It is also the beginning of a 1290-day period of time.

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That is all.....

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WildB
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harpazo can't come before...

So when does it happen according to scripture? We don't know the day or the hour, but this first passage tells us that the harpazo cannot come before two events happen.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except
there come a falling away first, and
that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The church of Thessalonica was concerned that the day of Christ was at hand, the day of the Lord. I'll get to that in a moment. Paul writes to alleviate their fears by telling them that that day would not come until two things had come to pass, the apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin at the abomination of desolation. According to Christ, Matthew 24:14-22, the abomination of desolation marks the beginning of the 3½ year reign of the antichrist and the 3½ year time of great tribulation. For a further defining of the timing according to scripture, this is "in the midst of" the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years God appointed to Israel. It is also the beginning of a 1290-day period of time.

harpazo can't come after...

While the timing of the harpazo isn't found in relation to the great tribulation, it is found in relationship to God's wrath and according to the Bible, the harpazo will come before the day of the Lord. I'll get into the scriptures further down, but several promise that we will not be here for God's wrath. It is not for them that obey God, but for the children of disobedience. Ephesians 5:1-11

In a show of God's character towards them that love Him, in Genesis 18:17-33, God told Abraham what He was going to do with Sodom, which prompted Abraham's questioning about how many righteous would prevent God's destruction. He got to 10 before stopping. God would not destroy the cities with His wrath if there were 10 righteous in the cities. God's wrath is coming again and it will arrive suddenly as the world is living life as normal, planning for the future and unaware of the day the Son of man will be revealed.

Luke 17:26-37
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed. In that day, he which shall be upon the housetop, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away: and he that is in the field, let him likewise not return back. Remember Lot's wife. Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord? And he said unto them, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.

So according to this passage, the Son of man is revealed at a time of sudden destruction and the story of Lot is also connected to this explanation when the Son of man is revealed. Notice that Lot and his family, the only righteous in the city, were removed before the wrath came, just as Noah was placed above the destruction of the wrath of God's flood on the earth. So it shall be in the coming of the Son of man. Matthew 24:36-39 This all tells us that in order to be gathered to meet the Lord in the air as explained above in scripture, He must be here, and His coming is connected to the sudden destruction of the day of the Lord.

Now there are several different opinions as to when the catching away of the bride takes place in relationship to the great tribulation. If you have not read that study please do, even if you have studied this before. The full understanding of what is said regarding the great tribulation in scripture changes many aspects of how one interprets other scriptures. It is a precept that must be understood before other precepts are built from it. This short explanation of this perspective is called pre-wrath. For how this timing relates to your near future, read History, Our Future.

Of the following four main views, three of them center their timing on the 3½ year great tribulation. I list them here in order of timing where the pre-trib harpazo can happen at any moment to a post-trib harpazo where we as the bride of Christ will spend the whole time of the great tribulation here on earth. I will get into my perspectives using the Bible on each of these in the links below and why I hold the pre-wrath viewpoint.

Pre-Tribulation harpazo | There is actually only one scripture, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-4, that I believe eliminates this possibility and upon further study of the two divisions of the great tribulation, I believe there is only a minimum of 30 days difference between the
Mid-Tribulation harpazo | This view is the tribulation-focused perspective I hold, but prefer the pre-wrath term because that is clearly given as a timing element for our meeting the Lord in the air.
Pre-Wrath harpazo | After personal study this is the term I feel most accurately describes the timing of the harpazo of the bride to meet the Lord in the air.
Post-Tribulation harpazo | This view of harpazo timing has the most problems with it when viewing it in light of scripture. While many scriptures can be quoted for this view, there is also a lack of focus on certain other scriptures and a series of assumptions that are built upon to support this view. I believe as time goes on, this view's foundations will continue to be shaken in light of coming prophetic fulfillment.

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WildB
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After the harpazo

The answer to this question varies somewhat because of different views on timing of the harpazo. Of course this will be a biased opinion based on my beliefs from study, but it's what I read from the Word of God regarding Bible prophecy. Don't just trust what I have to say without searching the scriptures though.

The bride of Christ

Isaiah 26:19-21
Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead. Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast. For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

This shows our harpazo to heaven before the indignation comes on those who have rejected Christ to follow their own paths.

John 14:1-3
Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

We're going to be taken into New Jerusalem, the Father's house with many mansions, where we will wait a little while while God pours out His wrath on the inhabitants of the earth. It is also at this time that we will be taken to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb.

Revelation 19:5-8
And a voice came out of the throne, saying, Praise our God, all ye his servants, and ye that fear him, both small and great. And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth. Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

According to ancient Jewish wedding tradition, the marriage supper was about seven days after the marriage. This is when the groom presented His wife to the gathered guests. So we are being harpazod to prepare for the marriage of the Lamb in our Father's house with many mansions (our new home) while God's wrath is poured out on the children of disobedience. This is the shaking of the heavens. Isaiah 13:10-13 The following is an article written regarding what Christians should expect after the catching away.

The Meaning of the Judgment (Bema) Seat by J. Hampton Keathley, III , Th.M. touches on events after the catching away and the judgment seat of Christ.
The harpazo by Zola Levitt also goes into what the church goes through after the harpazo.


For those who have rejected Christ, they will remain on the earth during the remaining almost 3½ years of great tribulation during which God's wrath is poured out in the sequence of seven trumpets and seven bowls described in the book of Revelation. If you go through those Bible studies, you will get a good perspective on what is coming for those who reject Christ.

Ultimately during this time a spiritual battle will rage as Satan tries to take as many humans down with him in his final time of power on the earth before Christ's return in glory. The mark of the beast will be implemented, and anyone that takes the mark will have made their choice in whom they put their trust. The choices are men, or the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by barrykind:
2 Thessalonians 2
1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?



3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

More shadow taking lets get to the Substance.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as thatthe day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except

there come a falling away first, and

that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The church of Thessalonica was concerned that the day of Christ was at hand, the day of the Lord.

While the timing of the harpazo isn't found in relation to the great tribulation, it is found in relationship to God's wrath and according to the Bible, the harpazo will come before the day of the Lord(Christ). Paul writes to alleviate their fears by telling them that that day would not come until two things had come to pass, the apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin at the abomination of desolation. According to Christ, Matthew 24:14-22, the abomination of desolation marks the beginning of the 3½ year reign of the antichrist and the 3½ year time of great tribulation. For a further defining of the timing according to scripture, this is "in the midst of" the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years God appointed to Israel. It is also the beginning of a 1290-day period of time.

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That is all.....

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Eduardo Grequi
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Barry I respect your opinion on post trip rapture but remember your view is not the only one out there. For as many Christians there are, there are different views on the rapture etc.. Personally I will teach the rapture as the Lord leads and I do not plan to take away the hope from people with in the body of Christ. There is enough of that going on outside the body of Christ. Do not get so hung up on difference of views within Christianity as long as it doesn't take away from the diety of Christ and what he has done for us as appropiation for sins. Lets face it- the energy you use to teach a post trib view can be better used leading the lost. Christianity is being attacked and dissolved with in this country (news headline Obama takes out Creator from the preamble) and you worry about a point of view. Do not the bible says not waste time on refuting endless doctrines that eventually causes a more schism within the body of Christ. Talk about and preach Jesus. I believe in the rapture I lean more toward the pre-trib view. Stop calling something a lie when it is refuted as well in the bible. You will know when the rapture occur when it happens. Whether it happens pre or post trib it is up to the Father. Look and discern the signs around you and look to the Eastern sky for redemption draweth nigh!

Respect other believers for the difference of opinion. Be sure to know if the person has claimed Jesus as Lord and is baptised according to the very words of Christ if so he or she is family and not an apostate or lier.

Hebrews 12: 1-2

(Heb 12:1) Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

(Heb 12:2) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

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Carol Swenson
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The Marriage of the Bride of Christ

We should study very closely what the Bible says about Weddings and Marriage, because we are told that we will be wed to Christ – a great mystery.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
Eph 5:31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.
Eph 5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Just as the rapture is a mystery:

1Cor 15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

This study shows that the Bride of Christ will be presented as a chaste virgin to Christ at the pre tribulation rapture, before the seven year tribulation.

2Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

And we should pay attention to the wedding stories and examples in the Old Testament because they are parallels and similitudes and prophesies of the end time.

Hosea 12:10 I have also spoken by the prophets, and I have multiplied visions, and used similitudes, by the ministry of the prophets.
1Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
Romans 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

The doctrine of the pre tribulation rapture, and prophesy itself, is given for comfort and hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
2 Thessalonians 2:17 Comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work.
1 Cor 14:3 But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.
Titus 2:13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Particularly, we should also study parallels about the Feast of Trumpets, the new moon festival, to understand end time theology, because the Feast of Trumpets is also known as the Wedding of the Messiah.

[Col 2:16] Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days:
[Col 2:17] Which are a shadow of things to come; but the body is of Christ.

Yes, Christians should be married to Jesus, the one who is raised from the dead:

Romans 7:4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

So, let’s study the Wedding of the Messiah, and Weddings in the Bible, keeping in mind that Col 2:17 says that the Feast of Trumpets Wedding of the Messiah is a "shadow of things to come", a prophesy about the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. Also, according to 2 Cor 11:2, the Church and Bride of Christ shall be presented as a chaste virgin to Christ.

There are 18 topical headings, 16 of which contain a major comparison between Old Testament verses and New Testament verses along the theme of Christ being wed to the Church. They are not necessarily in exact order.

(1) The Bride is chosen.

Abraham sends his servant to choose a bride for Isaac:

Genesis 24
2 And Abraham said unto his eldest servant of his house, that ruled over all that he had, Put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh:
3 And I will make thee swear by the LORD, the God of heaven, and the God of the earth, that thou shalt not take a wife unto my son of the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I dwell:
4 But thou shalt go unto my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife unto my son Isaac.

(really it was the Lord that chose, as Abraham's servant prays to God:)

Genesis 24:12-21
14 And let it come to pass, that the damsel to whom I shall say, Let down thy pitcher, I pray thee, that I may drink; and she shall say, Drink, and I will give thy camels drink also: let the same be she that thou hast appointed for thy servant Isaac; and thereby shall I know that thou hast shewed kindness unto my master.
...
27 And he said, Blessed be the LORD God of my master Abraham, who hath not left destitute my master of his mercy and his truth: I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren.


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"It was of the LORD" that sent Samson to marry a Philistine woman:

Judges 14: 3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.
4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.


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God "chose" his people in the Old Testament
Deuteronomy 7:6 For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.


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God sends the Holy Spirit to choose us through conviction of sin, which causes us to acknowledge our need of a savior:

John 16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
John 16:8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

God's people are chosen:

Matthew 22:14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;

(2) A bride price (dowry) is established:

The purpose of the bride price is to compensate the family for raising the woman and losing the productive labor of the grown woman. In other words, she is purchased, bought, paid for, and is now owned by the husband.

Kings sent gifts to Abram for Sarah, because they were told she was his sister (she was his half sister); she was also his wife.

Genesis 12:16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.


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Jacob works for Laban, Rachel's father, as the bride price for Rachel.

Genesis 29:18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.

Jacob then serves a second seven years, because he was not given Rachel. This is the first period of trouble in Jacob's life, that lasts seven years. The second comes in his old age, when the seven years of famine force his family to move to Egypt where Joseph had been sold into slavery. The "time of Jacob's trouble" is a period of 7 years, and means tribulation.
Jeremiah 30:7 Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.


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The story of Hamor and Shechem and Dinah is a very interesting one. Not only does it speak strongly of the bride price, but there are other comparisons as well. The sons of Jacob force the circumcision on everyone, and go out to kill them, just as the Jews killed Christ and the early Christians, and the legalizers tried to force the circumcision on the Christians in the New Testament. Sechem, like Christ, ends up being killed for his beloved, Dinah.

Genesis 34:12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.
Genesis 34:26 "And they slew Hamor and Shechem his son ..."
Genesis 34:31 And they said, Should he deal with our sister as with an harlot?

Finally, the sons of Jacob said Dinah was made into a harlot, to excuse their actions. There is a very interesting parallel with this... Jesus preached:

Matthew 21:31 Whether of them twain did the will of his father? They say unto him, The first. Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.


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David, did not have money to give as a Dowry to Saul, so King Saul asked for something else...

1 Samuel 18:25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.

2 Samuel 3:14 And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines.


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The book of Ruth is a beautiful love story; of how Boaz is a kinsman redeemer (as Jesus is our redeemer) of Naiomi and Ruth's inheritance which had been sold. He buys back their land, and Ruth.

Ruth 4:10 Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day.


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Other Bride Price Examples:

1 Samuel 17:25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father's house free in Israel.

Joshua 15
16 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
17 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, the brother of Caleb, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.

Hosea 3
1 Then said the LORD unto me, Go yet, love a woman beloved of her friend, yet an adulteress, according to the love of the LORD toward the children of Israel, who look to other gods, and love flagons of wine.
2 So I bought her to me for fifteen pieces of silver, and for an homer of barley, and an half homer of barley:
3 And I said unto her, Thou shalt abide for me many days; thou shalt not play the harlot, and thou shalt not be for another man: so will I also be for thee.


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These examples show that the dowry or bride price is, indeed, a practice of God's people, and is found throughout the Bible: Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David & Saul, Ruth, Caleb, Hosea...
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Christ gave his life for his Bride to purchase and redeem and buy us.:

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Eph 5:25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

1 Peter 1:18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

1Cor 6:20 For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.

Matthew 13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.

Galatians 3:13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written,
Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

Galatians 4:5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Revelation 5:9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

(3) Consent:

Consent was important to Abraham, concerning getting a wife for Isaac.

Genesis 24:8 And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath: only bring not my son thither again.

Rebecca gave her consent to be the bride and go with Elizer, having not seen her husband Isaac.

Genesis 24:58 And they called Rebekah, and said unto her, Wilt thou go with this man? And she said, I will go.


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The people of Israel made a verbal acknowledgement to agree and consent to the law.

Exodus 24:3 And Moses came and told the people all the words of the LORD, and all the judgments: and all the people answered with one voice, and said, All the words which the LORD hath said will we do.

This is a choice, to be made continually.

Deuteronomy 30:19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.


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Christians, likewise, give consent, and agree to love Jesus to become his wife.
And likewise as Rebekah did not see her future husband Isaac as she was agreeing to be his wife, well over 99.99% of Christians consent without having seen the groom, and agree to be his bride.

1Peter 1:8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:

John 20:29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.

1Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.


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But, we actually give a verbal sign when we consent and agree to become the Bride of Christ. Everyone who hears the gospel, the invitation, (if they are appropriately moved to repentance and belief by the Holy Spirit) has the option to confess or deny Christ.

Matthew 10
32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Romans 10
6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)
7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)
8 But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


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Consent is an important part of the preaching ministry, if people are not willing to listen, we are told to move on, and we are not responsible any longer, as Abraham said, Gen 24:8 "And if the woman will not be willing to follow thee, then thou shalt be clear from this my oath".

Matthew 10:14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.

Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.

Luke 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

(4) Written document, A covenant:

The written contract states the bride price, the promises of the groom, and the rights of the bride, and for record keeping. For every bride and groom, there was a written record made of the marriage, and registered with the priests. In this way, they were able to trace the lineage of the Lord Jesus Christ through both the male and female sides of his family.

Nehemiah 7:5 And my God put into mine heart to gather together the nobles, and the rulers, and the people, that they might be reckoned by genealogy. And I found a register of the genealogy of them which came up at the first, and found written therein,

Mal 2:14 Yet ye say, Wherefore? Because the LORD hath been witness between thee and the wife of thy youth, against whom thou hast dealt treacherously: yet is she thy companion, and the wife of thy covenant.


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A divorce required a document in writing as well:

Mark 10:4 And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.
Matthew 5:31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement:
Matthew 19:7 They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her
away?


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Our "new covenant" filled with promises is the written Word of God, the Bible, also called the "New Testament".

Hebrews 12:24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things that that of Abel.

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

(5) Drinking a glass of wine; a toast, and communion, seals the covenant.

The story of Hamor, mentioned earlier, mentions three times how they communed to establish the agreement of the bride price. They also communed with the men of their city to get them to agree to the terms of the marriage agreement.

Genesis 34:6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out unto Jacob to commune with him.
Genesis 34:8 And Hamor communed with them, saying, The soul of my son Shechem longeth for your daughter: I pray you give her him to wife.
Genesis 34:20 And Hamor and Shechem his son came unto the gate of their city, and communed with the men of their city, saying,


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David had a "communion" with the servants of King Saul, prior to marrying his daughter. At this communion, the bride price of 100 foreskins was established.

1 Samuel 18
20 And Michal Saul's daughter loved David: and they told Saul, and the thing pleased him.
21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.
22 And Saul commanded his servants, saying, Commune with David secretly, and say, Behold, the king hath delight in thee, and all his servants love thee: now therefore be the king's son in law.
23 And Saul's servants spake those words in the ears of David. And David said, Seemeth it to you a light thing to be a king's son in law, seeing that I am a poor man, and lightly esteemed?
24 And the servants of Saul told him, saying, On this manner spake David.
25 And Saul said, Thus shall ye say to David, The king desireth not any dowry, but an hundred foreskins of the Philistines, to be avenged of the king's enemies. But Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines.


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David also communed with Abagail before taking her as his wife.

1 Samuel 25
36 And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less or more, until the morning light.
37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38 And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.
39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.


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The word for communion is the Hebrew dabar, which means to speak, promise, say, talk, tell, commune, pronounce, utter, command.

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Exodus 25:22 And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the ark of the testimony, of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.
In Old Testament times, God would "commune" with the people through the ark of the covenant and the temple. In New Testament times, our bodies are the temple, and God "communes" with us directly. (See below, regarding the vail, and in Hebrews.)


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Luke 22:
16 For I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.
17 And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves:
18 For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come.
19 And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me.
20 Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you.

Mat 26:28 For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
Mat 26:29 But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.


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1 Corinthians 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
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Luke 24:35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
Acts 2:42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

Acts 2:46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their
meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

Acts 20:7 And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them,
ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.


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Genesis 14:18 And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God.

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Today, it is common at weddings to make many toasts with drinking of wine to signify agreement.

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Jesus turned water to wine at a wedding as his first miracle.

1 And the third day there was a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and the mother of Jesus was there:
2 And both Jesus was called, and his disciples, to the marriage.
3 And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine.
4 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece.
7 Jesus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim.
8 And he saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it.
9 When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom,
10 And saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now.
11 This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

The interesting thing about this wedding feast is that it took place on the third day.

[Hos 6:2] After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.

(6) Betrothal [espoused/engaged/promised]

The marriage is legally binding, but the bride and groom do not live together yet. I believe this is, legally, like the beginning moment of salvation (when we say "I DO"). Today in the U.S., we call the betrothal period the engagement period, when a couple is engaged or promised to one another; and the "I do's" are spoken at the ceremony after the engagement.

Leviticus 19:20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

Hosea 2:19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies.
20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.


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Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
Luke 2:5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.


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Confessing Christ is like saying "I DO", and Chrsit says it also, when we say it:

Mat 10:32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.

Romans 10
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.


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2Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.

(7) Ritual Cleansing bath / Baptism

Such a bath is called a mikvah, and consists of 5760 egg volumes of water.

Mikveh is the same word used for baptism.

To this day in conservative Judaism a bride cannot marry without a Mikveh.

Leviticus 15:18 The woman also with whom man shall lie with seed of copulation, they shall both bathe [07364 rachats] themselves in water, and be unclean until the even.


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This passage in Ezekiel describes several parts of the wedding: the covenant, the baptism, the "fine linen", the ornate clothing of royalty, the crown, and the presentation of the bride to the nations.

Ezekiel 16
8 Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy
nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord GOD, and thou becamest mine.
9 Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.
10 I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers' skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
11 I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
12 And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
13 Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey,
and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
14 And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord GOD.


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Acts 1:5 For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence.

Acts 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

We are cleansed by reading the Word of God, the Bible, by Jesus, who is the Word. John 1:1.

Ephesians 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Ephesians 5:27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

There is a rapture after a baptism in Acts:8:

38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away* Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea.

*[caught away = harpazo--the same word used in 1 Thess 4 for "caught up" or rapture]

(8) Gifts given to the Bride:

These gifts are presents for the bride, different from the bride price which is for the family.
Today in the U.S., this would be like the engagement ring, or wedding ring.

Eliser gives gifts of gold to Rebekah at the well.

Genesis 24:22 And it came to pass, as the camels had done drinking, that the man took a golden earring of half a shekel weight, and two bracelets for her hands of ten shekels weight of gold;

Eliser gives more gifts later to her family, which are the dowry.

Genesis 24:53 And the servant brought forth jewels of silver, and jewels of gold, and raiment, and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things.

Gifts are given in addition to the dowry. They are mentioned as two things in the story of Haman and Dinah.

Genesis 34:12 Ask me never so much dowry and gift, and I will give according as ye shall say unto me: but give me the damsel to wife.


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Gifts also given by God to the people in Old Testament times:

Numbers 18:6 And I, behold, I have taken your brethren the Levites from among the children of Israel: to you they are given as a gift for the LORD, to do the service of the tabernacle of the congregation.

And Gifts given to the people at Esther's wedding:

Esther 2:18 Then the king made a great feast unto all his princes and his servants, even Esther's feast; and he made a release to the provinces, and gave gifts, according to the state of the king.


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The Gifts to the bride of Christ are the spiritual gifts of the Holy Spirit.

John 14:
26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
27 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Luke 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Acts 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be
purchased with money.

Romans 5:
15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
17 For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

1 Corinthians 7:7 For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.

1 Corinthians 12:4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.

1 Corinthians 14:1 Follow after charity, and desire spiritual gifts, but rather that ye may prophesy.

1 Corinthians 14:12 Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church.

2 Corinthians 1
21 Now he which stablisheth us with you in Christ, and hath anointed us, is God;
22 Who hath also sealed us, and given the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

Ephesians 4
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with
whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

(9) The bridegroom departed, going back to his father's house to prepare the bridal chamber, or closet.

[02315] cheder (bedroom) or 02646 chuppah (closet)

Joel mentions this bridal chamber in the context that everyone should fast in repentance before the Day of the Lord. Even people who would otherwise be feasting, such as a bride and groom. During the 30 days leading up to the Feast of Trumpets is a time for such fasting. During the Feast of Trumpets, it is a time for feasting again.

Joel 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that **** the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.


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Psalm 19:5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber [chuppah], and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
02646 chuppah {khoop-paw'}
from 02645; TWOT - 710b; n f
AV - chamber 1, closet 1, defence 1; 3
1) chamber, room, canopy, closet 1a) canopy 1b) chamber 1c) divine protection (fig.)


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The purpose of the chamber is privacy, because that is where intimacy takes place.

Judges 15:1 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber [02315 cheder]. But her father would not suffer him to go in.

Judges 16:9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber [02315 cheder]. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.
Judges 16:12 Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber [02315 cheder]. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.

2 Samuel 13:10 And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, [02315 cheder] that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother.
11 And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister.

1 Kings 1:15 And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.


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More love in chambers from the Song of Solomon:

Song of Solomon 1:4 Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee.

Song of Solomon 3:4 It was but a little that I passed from them, but I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go, until I had brought him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that conceived me.


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It was understood to be the man's duty to go away to be with his father, build a house, or an addition on to the house, and prepare for the eventual wedding. Before he goes, though, he will make a statement to the bride, "I go to prepare a place for you; if I go, I will return again unto you."

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.


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As one can hide in a private chamber, so too, will those in the pre trib rapture be hid in heaven.

1 Kings 20:30 But the rest fled to Aphek, into the city; and there a wall fell upon twenty and seven thousand of the men that were left. And Benhadad fled, and came into the city, into an inner chamber.

1 Kings 22:25 And Micaiah said, Behold, thou shalt see in that day, when thou shalt go into an inner chamber to hide thyself.


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The temple had a secret and/or inner chamber.

2 Thessalonians 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

Matthew 24:26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

1 Chronicles 28:11 Then David gave to Solomon his son the pattern of the porch, and of the houses thereof, and of the treasuries thereof, and of the upper chambers thereof, and of the inner parlours thereof, and of the place of the mercy seat,

Hebrews 9:6 Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
Hebrews 9:7 But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:


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The temple and tabernacle are both a pattern & picture of heaven, God dwells in both.

Matt 23:
20 Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon.
21 And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein.
22 And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon.

Hebrews 9:23 It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these.
Hebrews 9:24 For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us:


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Hiding in the temple is also mentioned in scripture. From what I have just shown, it can be seen that this is a metaphor for being hid in heaven during the time of trouble, or tribulation.

Psalm 27:5 For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

Furthermore, this is a quote from Psalm 27, which is to be read every day for the 30 days leading up to the Feast of Trumpets, also known as the Wedding of the Messiah. Also, Psalm 27 contains other rapture parallels and language. Take a moment to read it and see for yourself.

Psalm 31:20 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a
pavilion from the strife of tongues.


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Understanding the purpose and symbolic meaning of the chambers, that they represent heaven, shows that these verses from Isaiah are talking about the pre tribulation rapture to heaven.

Isaiah 26
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Isaiah 27:1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked
serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.


(10) The bride was consecrated, set apart, and kept herself ready for the bridegroom to return, and wore a vail.

If the bride left the house while she was consecrated or betrothed, she would wear a veil so others would know she was betrothed. Rebekah wore a vail, and covered herself when she first came into the presence of Isaac. Our sins need to be "covered" by Jesus in order to stand in the presence of God.

Genesis 24:
64 And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she lighted off the camel.
65 For she had said unto the servant, What man is this that walketh in the field to meet us? And the servant had said, It is my master: therefore she took a vail, and covered herself.
66 And the servant told Isaac all things that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent, and took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her: and Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.


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The vail for Christians is Jesus.

Hebrews 10:20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Being "consecrated through the veil" of the flesh of Jesus, is like being covered with His blood.

1 John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

Revelation 1:5 And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood,


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Being covered by the blood of Jesus is also referred to in scripture as wearing a wedding garment--which contains the veil.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

[Mat 22:11] "But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment;
[Mat 22:12] and he said to him, `Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?' And he was speechless.
[Mat 22:13] Then the king said to the attendants, `Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.
[Mat 22:14] For many are called, but few are chosen."

Revelation 7:14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and
have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.

Rev. 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.
8 And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness of saints.

The "righteousness of saints" is none other than faith and belief in Jesus.

Romans 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Philippians 3:9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
Romans 10:6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)


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A veil also covered the "holy of holies" in the physical temple in Jerusalem, which was destroyed when Jesus was killed.

Exodus 26:33 And thou shalt hang up the vail under the taches, that thou mayest bring in thither within the vail the ark of the testimony: and the vail shall divide unto you between the holy place and the most holy.

Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.


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Moses wore a vail. That Christ becomes our vail is repeated.

2 Corinthians 3
13 And not as Moses, which put a vail over his face, that the children of Israel could not stedfastly look to the end of that which is abolished:
14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.
15 But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.
16 Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.
17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.


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Noah's ark, another picture of the temple and heaven, was also covered, not with a veil, but with pitch.

Genesis 6:14 Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch [03722] it within and without with pitch. [03724]

The meanings of both words for pitch contain many suggestions of Christ's sacrificial death, which covers our sins, and was the ransom sacrifice that cleanses us.

03722 kaphar {kaw-far'}
a primitive root; TWOT - 1023,1024,1025,1026; v
AV - atonement 71, purge 7, reconciliation 4, reconcile 3, forgive 3, purge away 2, pacify 2, atonement...made 2, merciful 2, cleansed 1, disannulled 1, appease 1, put off 1, pardon 1, pitch 1; 102
1) to cover, purge, make an atonement, make reconciliation, cover over with pitch 1a) (Qal) to coat or cover with pitch 1b) (Piel) 1b1) to cover over, pacify, propitiate 1b2) to cover over, atone for sin, make atonement for 1b3) to cover over, atone for sin and persons by legal rites 1c) (Pual) 1c1) to be covered over 1c2) to make atonement for 1d) (Hithpael) to be covered

03724 kopher {ko'-fer}
from 03722; TWOT - 1025b; n m
AV - ransom 8, satisfaction 2, bribe 2, camphire 2, pitch 1, sum of money 1, village 1; 17
1) price of a life, ransom, bribe 2) asphalt, pitch (as a covering) 3) the henna plant, name of a plant (henna?) 4) village


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The bride of Christ is the temple of God today, not the physical temple, or the ark.

1 Corinthians 6:19 What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.


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From my studies, I believe at the rapture, the sun will be darkened. It is interesting at one of the few mentions of "veil" in scripture to read:

Luke 23:45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

When is the veil removed in the marriage ceremony? Right as they become man and wife, joined with the kiss.

As Christ is our covering, our vail, the veil of the temple was rent as Christ died. Hebrews speaks in detail of the meaning of the vail being rent, in that now we need not a high priest to go behind the vail for us, but that Christ has become our hight priest.


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The word "consecrated" in Scripture is used 14 times in the KJV. Consecrated appears to mean to be set apart and made holy for the use of the Lord only. Most times, the word for "consecrated" is 04390 male' {maw-lay'} (15 times). Only once, the word for consecrated is "qodesh" which is usually translated as "holy" and also carries the meaning of "set apart".

Joshua 6:19 But all the silver, and gold, and vessels of brass and iron, are consecrated [06944 qodesh] unto the LORD: they shall come into the treasury of the LORD.

04390 male' {maw-lay'} or mala' (Esth. 7:5) {maw-law'}
a primitive root; TWOT - 1195; v
AV - fill 107, full 48, fulfil 28, consecrate 15, accomplish 7, replenish 7, wholly 6, set 6, expired 3, fully 2, gather 2, overflow 2, satisfy 2, misc 14; 249
1) to fill, be full 1a) (Qal) 1a1) to be full 1a1a) fulness, abundance (participle) 1a1b) to be full, be accomplished, be ended 1a2) to consecrate, fill the hand 1b) (Niphal) 1b1) to be filled, be armed, be satisfied 1b2) to be accomplished, be ended 1c) (Piel) 1c1) to fill 1c2) to satisfy 1c3) to fulfil, accomplish, complete 1c4) to confirm 1d) (Pual) to be filled 1e) (Hithpael) to mass themselves against

06944 qodesh {ko'-desh}
from 06942; TWOT - 1990a; n m
AV - holy 262, sanctuary 68, (holy, hallowed,...) things 52, most 44, holiness 30, dedicated 5, hallowed 3, consecrated 1, misc 3; 468
1) apartness, holiness, sacredness, separateness 1a) apartness, sacredness, holiness 1a1) of God 1a2) of places 1a3) of things 1b) set-apartness, separateness

The vail is a symbol of the consecration, being set apart. A betrothed woman wore the vail to show she was not available for marriage. This betrothal time period was also to make sure the virgin was not pregnant already.


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A virgin bride was set apart, as Christians are to be apart from the world.

John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
John 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

John 17:14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
John 17:15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

(John 17:15 is commonly used as an "anti pre trib" verse. Note the grammar. Jesus is praying for the second phrase, not praying for the first. Why? The second item is greater than the first, and includes it. The tribulation is evil, and those who are raptured will be kept from it as promised in Rev. 3:10. It is a serious mistake of grammer to conclude that Jesus is actively praying to keep us in the world during the tribulation--for that to be the case, the "not" would have to be placed after "shouldest" in the sentence.)

The point is that we are separated from the world, like a bride is set apart when she is betrothed and consecrated and wears the veil.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

[1Cor 5:8] Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
[1Cor 5:9] I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
[1Cor 5:10] Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.

This is a very interesting point made here in 1 Cor 5, in that for us to be truly separate we would have to leave the world entirely because the world is so completely wicked.


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The story of the ten virgins is a parable showing the importance of the bride keeping herself ready and prepared for the bridgroom.

[Mat 25:1] Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom.
[Mat 25:2] And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
[Mat 25:3] They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them:
[Mat 25:4] But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.
[Mat 25:5] While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
[Mat 25:6] And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
[Mat 25:7] Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.
[Mat 25:8] And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.
[Mat 25:9] But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.
[Mat 25:10] And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
[Mat 25:11] Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
[Mat 25:12] But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.
[Mat 25:13] Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

[Mark 13:34] For the Son of Man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
[Mark 13:35] Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
[Mark 13:36] Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
[Mark 13:37] And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.


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(11) The Bridegroom comes for his Bride.

The time of the bridegroom's return is related to the bridal chamber's construction. When the preparations on the bridal chamber were completed then it would be the proper time. But the groom's father would be the one to give permission. It was a common expression or saying, a Jewish idiom, that a man would say when his friends asked him when his marriage would be. He would reply, "of that day or hour no man knows, but my father only."

The unknown day also is a reference to the Feast of Trumpets, which comes with the observance of the new moon. Since the new moon has a cycle of 29.5 days, it is uncertain on whether it will be seen comes 29 or 30 days after the last new moon.

Further, since the Feast of Trumpets is also known as the "Wedding of the Messiah", this phrase is a rapture reference in three ways.

1. It refers to the time in the wedding when the groom would return to fetch his bride,
2. It refers to the Day of the Feast of Trumpets,
3. It refers to the "Wedding of the Messiah" on the Feast of Trumpets.

Matthew 24:36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.

Mark 13:32 But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
Mark 13:33 Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Note that two of these verses above include mention of the thief, and many of these verses say to watch. Note also that none of the verses say that no Christian during the end times will ever know, or that we will be in darkness regarding the coming... In fact, the exact opposite is implied by Rev 3:3, namely that if we watch, we should know the time and not be surpised by the thief! In Luke 12:39, it says if he had known, he would have watched! Those who believe that Jesus will return on the Feast of Trumpets will really purify themselves annually at that time each year, and re-dedicate their lives to the Lord each time that Fall Festival comes around.

1 John 3:3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.


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When the bridal chamber was finished, and the bridegroom's father gave permission, the bridegroom would go to fetch his bride, like a thief in the night. The trumpet would be blown to awaken and alert the bride, so she would be ready.

Some have asked, "sounds like a noisy theif?". Well, the trumpet was blown for several reasons in scripture.

1. To gather the people together. Numbers 10:2-4,7, Jeremiah 4:5, Jeremiah 6:1
2. To prepare the troops for battle. Ezekiel 7:14, 1 Corinthians 14:8, Numbers 10:9
3. To announce the reign of a new king. 1 Kings 1:34, 1 Kings 1:39, 2 Kings 9:13

All of these things are also taking place at the time of the pre tribulation rapture.

1. The people are gathered together. 2 Thessalonians 2:1, Matthew 24:31, Mark 13:27, as they are gathered together at the Feast of Trumpets, Nehemiah 8, Numbers 10.
2. God's angels make war on Satan and cast him out at this time. Rev 12:4,5, Identified as stars & moon darkening in Ezekiel. Ezek 32:7-10, Daniel 8:10, Matt 24:29, Joel 2:31, Rev 8:12, Isa 13:9-11.
3. Our Lord Jesus Christ begins reigning as king. (married people were also treated as king and queen for a day.) Zechariah 14:9, Rev 4,5, Dan 7.


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God's trumpet voice will also awaken people from the dead. This awaking trumpet blast is the "last trump" of the rapture. Awaken (resurrection) is a theme of the rapture trumpet. This "last trump" was well known to be speaking of the Feast of Trumpets, the first of the Fall Festivals of the Lord, the time and season of which was well known, one of the themes is to stay awake during Trumpets, also known as "the wedding of the messiah." After the rapture, sudden destruction falls on the world in the seven year tribulation.

What follows is a commentary on the meaning of how 1 Thess 5:1-11 demonstrates in several ways the pre tribulation rapture. This passage follows the key rapture passage in 1 Thess 4:

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1 Thessalonians 4:17 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. [caught up=HARPAZO=Rapture]
1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore comfort one another with these words.

The Feast of Trumpets is a seasonal festival, like all of the Feasts of the Lord, with a set time.

1 Thess 5:1 But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.

1 Thess 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1 Thess 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

The travail upon a woman (birth pangs) is a reference to the seven year tribulation; the time of Jacob's trouble, the "day of the Lord".

[Jer 30:6] Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, and all faces are turned into paleness?

[Jer 30:7] Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.

Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of sorrows. (KJV)
Matthew 24:8 All these are the beginning of birth pains. (NIV)

Isaiah 13: 6 Howl ye; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.
7 Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man's heart shall melt:
8 And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames.
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The day of the Lord is also known as darkness.

[Amos 5:18] Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.
[Amos 5:20] Shall not the day of the LORD be darkness, and not light? even very dark, and no brightness in it?

[John 8:12] Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

1 Thess 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.
1 Thess 5:5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness.
There are two clear meanings of "ye are not in darkness". The first is "you have knowledge". The second is "you will not enter tribulation".

"Children of the light" should know of the times and seasons of the Feast of Trumpets and know about the Wedding of the Messiah, so as to be able to be prepared at the coming of the Lord. Further they will not enter into the darkness of the Day of the Lord, not enter the darkness of the tribulation. These two meanings are the subject of the previous verses, so this duel meaning should be clear.

Some have read the phrase "that that day should overtake you as a thief", and said that this means that Jesus will come as a thief on unbelievers. This notion seems to ignore that the day will come upon everyone! One difference is that believers, through prophecy, should not be surprised by the thief, while unbelievers will be surprised. The other difference is that righteous and worthy believers will be in Heaven during the tribulation, so the "Day of the Lord", the darkness of the tribulation, will NOT overtake them or come upon them ever!

Those who would apply the "coming as a thief" to refer to Jesus coming with destruction on the unbelievers, from verses 2 & 3, seem to forget John 10:10, which says Jesus is NOT come to destroy, but to give life abundantly.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Our thief, who comes for us at the rapture, comes to give life.

We should always be ready, like a new bride, and not be caught off guard and find ourselves ashamed at the Lord’s coming.

1 John 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.


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1 Thess 5:6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.
1 Thess 5:7 For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.
1 Thess 5:8 But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

Being awakened is a theme in the ten virgins marriage parable. Matt 25:1-13

Mat 25:5 While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept.
Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.
Mat 25:7 Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.

Being awakened is a theme of the resurrection, which preceeds the rapture.

Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
Ephesians 5:14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light.

Once again, these verses stress a pre tribulation rapture.

1 Thess 5:9 For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1 Thess 5:10 Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
1 Thess 5:11 Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.


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The last trumpet awakening blast shout, cry, & "come up hither/go out to meet him" command is shown in parts, in all four of the following rapture verses:

Mat 25:6 And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.

1Cor 15:52 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.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout [command], with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.


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The awakening resurrection is also followed by entering the bridal chamber, which takes place after the bridegroom comes for his bride, followed by the tribulation.

Isaiah 26
16 LORD, in trouble have they visited thee, they poured out a prayer when thy chastening was upon them.
17 Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD.
18 We have been with child, we have been in pain, we have as it were brought forth wind; we have not wrought any deliverance in the earth; neither have the inhabitants of the world fallen.
19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast.
21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain.
Isaiah 27:1 In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.


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Earlier, I mentioned how the Feast of Trumpets was the wedding of the Messiah. Throughout this study, I have noted a few places how the wedding and rapture parallels include things that are referenced by the Feast of Trumpets. Here is one place in scripture where the Feast of Trumpets is directly connected to a marriage.
The Feast of Trumpets was celebrated at Joseph's wedding, which took place "when he went out over the land of Egypt" to gather food during the seven good years for the seven bad years, and to make the Feast of Trumpet (the only new moon festival) a statute and decree in Egypt.

[Pss 81:3] Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day.
[Pss 81:4] For it is a statute for Israel, an ordinance of the God of Jacob.
[Pss 81:5] He made it a decree in Joseph, when he went out over the land of Egypt. I hear a voice I had not known:

[Gen 41:45] And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphenath-paneah; and he gave him in marriage Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On. So Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.
[Gen 41:46] Joseph was thirty years old when he entered the service of Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went through all the land of Egypt.
[Gen 41:47] During the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth abundantly,

What is the voice in Pss 81:5? 1 Thessalonians 4:16 & Rev 4:1 mention a voice along with the trumpet.

It seems most unusual that in Genesis 41:45, two events are described in one verse, the marriage and the Feast of Trumpets decree becoming a law in all of Egypt as Joseph "went out over the land of Egypt". Imagine your own marriage being mentioned as little more than a footnote! Actually, this links the Feast of Trumpets to the marriage theme quite strongly.

The seven years of famine is what brings Jacob down into Egypt. Thus, this "seven years of trouble" is the second time period of trouble of seven years in Jacob's life. The other was the second seven years he had to work for his wife, Rachel. Once again, the marriage theme comes up. But these two periods of seven years of trouble in Jacob's life are a double witness that the "time of Jacob's trouble", which is a reference to the tribulation, means that the tribulation will last seven years.


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There are many places where a feast is connected to a marriage. The Feast of Trumpets is one of the annual Feasts of the Lord. Would the Lord have His marriage when it is NOT a feast day? Also, keep in mind, the Feast of Trumpets is commanded to be a joyous occasion.

Numbers 10:10 Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.

Nehemiah 8:
9 And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
10 Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our LORD: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
11 So the Levites stilled all the people, saying, Hold your peace, for the day is holy; neither be ye grieved.
12 And all the people went their way to eat, and to drink, and to send portions, and to make great mirth, because they had understood the words that were declared unto them.

Next, we will see a particularly interesting group marriage at an annual feast in Judges 21.

(12) Jesus comes for his Bride as a Thief

Judges 19-21: The dramatic conclusion to The Book of Judges is the theft of women, TWO mass kidnappings, the women are simply "taken", to be brides for the tribe of Benjamin.

In Judges 21,
1 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife.
2 And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till even before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore;
3 And said, O LORD God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel?
4 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.
5 And the children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the congregation unto the LORD? For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall surely be put to death.
6 And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day.
7 How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?
8 And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly.
9 For the people were numbered, and, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead there.
10 And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children.
11 And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man.
12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.
13 And the whole congregation sent some to speak to the children of Benjamin that were in the rock Rimmon, and to call peaceably unto them.
14 And Benjamin came again at that time; and they gave them wives which they had saved alive of the women of Jabeshgilead: and yet so they sufficed them not.
15 And the people repented them for Benjamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel.
16 Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin?
17 And they said, There must be an inheritance for them that be escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel.
18 Howbeit we may not give them wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.
19 Then they said, Behold, there is a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.
20 Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards;
21 And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.
22 And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.
23 And the children of Benjamin did so, and took [nasa] them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught [gazal]: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them.
24 And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance.
25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

05375 nasa' {naw-saw'} or nacah (Ps 4 : 6 [7]) {naw-saw'}
a primitive root; TWOT - 1421; v
AV - (bare, lift, etc...) up 219, bear 115, take 58, bare 34, carry 30,
(take, carry)..away 22, borne 22, armourbearer 18, forgive 16,
accept 12, exalt 8, regard 5, obtained 4, respect 3, misc 74; 654
1) to lift, bear up, carry, take
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to lift, lift up
1a2) to bear, carry, support, sustain, endure
1a3) to take, take away, carry off, forgive
1b) (Niphal)
1b1) to be lifted up, be exalted
1b2) to lift oneself up, rise up
1b3) to be borne, be carried
1b4) to be taken away, be carried off, be swept away
1c) (Piel)
1c1) to lift up, exalt, support, aid, assist
1c2) to desire, long (fig.)
1c3) to carry, bear continuously
1c4) to take, take away
1d) (Hithpael) to lift oneself up, exalt oneself
1e) (Hiphil)
1e1) to cause one to bear (iniquity)
1e2) to cause to bring, have brought

01497 gazal {gaw-zal'}
a primitive root; TWOT - 337; v
AV - spoil 8, take away 8, rob 4, pluck 3, caught 1, consume 1,
exercised 1, force 1, pluck off 1, torn 1, violence 1; 30
1) to tear away, seize, plunder, tear off, pull off, rob, take away by force
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to tear away, rob
1a2) to seize, plunder (with acc cognate)
1b) (Niphal)
1b1) to be robbed
1b2) to be taken away

Thus, the men all stole their wives (12,21,23), as a thieves lying in wait, but so that their tribe might have life and not be "cut off" and not be "destroyed" as a people, verses 6, 17.

We know that the Lord Jesus Christ returns for His Bride as a thief, and for the same purpose, not to destroy, but to give life.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

The parallel is very compelling.

1. All the women taken were celebrating a Feast of the Lord at the time.
2. It's a massive siezing of an entire people who were carried away.
3. The purpose is to bring life to a dying people.
4. Every man has his inheritance as a reward afterwards, as at the Judgment.
5. "every man did that which was right in his own eyes"... as today, Romans 14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.


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There is another Old Testament verse which is also very shocking, yet supports and does not condemn the mass "virgin abduction" of Judges 21. It is the law as set forth in Deuteronomy 22.

Deut 22
25 But if a man find a betrothed damsel in the field, and the man force her, and lie with her: then the man only that lay with her shall die.
26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death: for as when a man riseth against his neighbour, and slayeth him, even so is this matter:
27 For he found her in the field, and the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.
28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found;
29 Then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife; because he hath humbled her, he may not put her away all his days.

Exodus 22
15 But if the owner thereof be with it, he shall not make it good: if it be an hired thing, it came for his hire.
16 And if a man entice a maid that is not betrothed, and lie with her, he shall surely endow her to be his wife.
17 If her father utterly refuse to give her unto him, he shall pay money according to the dowry of virgins.

So the penalty for taking (rape or seduction) a virgin in the Old Testament is not death, but a fine, and a marriage which can never end in divorce.

The fine, of course, represents the bride price. Jesus' price was his life, which was sold also for shekels of silver, 30 not 50. The ratio of 3:5 is found in measurements of both Noah's ark and the ark of the covenant, both of which are pictures of heaven.

The "no divorce" provision "he may not put her away all his days", would represent the fact that at the rapture, the change is to immortality and incorruption. I do not agree with the doctrine of "once saved always saved", but I do agree with once raptured, always immortal and incorruptable.

1 Cor 15
51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 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.
53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

I am NOT saying that our Lord is a rapist, nor is he a thief. These are merely parables of similarity to the rapture to show that at the rapture Christians will be taken. Further, the strength of the comparisons can hardly be ignored, and it further elucidates that, indeed, Jesus will come for his bride as a thief to take her away at the rapture.

It sounds a lot like rape. (harapzo does have a violent/sudden connotation.) Interestingly enough, the word rape and rapture are from the same Latin root, rapere, and mean nearly identical things to harpazo, the word from which we get the word rapture. Remember, harpazo is Greek, Rapere is Latin, Rape & Rapture are English, and Deuteronomy was written in Hebrew.

from www.m-w.com
Main Entry: 2rape
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): raped; rap·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Latin rapere
Date: 14th century
1 a archaic : to seize and take away by force b : DESPOIL
2 : to commit rape on

726 harpazo {har-pad'-zo} (RAPTURE)
from a derivative of 138; TDNT - 1:472,80; v
AV - catch up 4, take by force 3, catch away 2, pluck 2,
catch 1, pull 1; 13
1) to seize, carry off by force
2) to seize on, claim for one's self eagerly
3) to snatch out or away

1Thess 4:17 Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up [726 harpazo] together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

There are several other words for rapture, that carry this "rapture/taken" theme, and are translated as "taken".

Paralambano (greek), from Matt 24 (one taken, the other left). Commonly also used to mean "arrested", as is harpazo.

Laqach (hebrew) used of Enoch's rapture and used in reference of taking wifes.

Genesis 5:24 And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took [laqach] him.
Genesis 6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took [laqach] them wives of all which they chose.
Genesis 11:29 And Abram and Nahor took [laqach] them wives: the name of Abram's wife was Sarai; and the name of Nahor's wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran, the father of Milcah, and the father of Iscah.
Genesis 12:19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken [laqach] her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.

03947 laqach {law-kakh'} a primitive root; TWOT - 1124; v
AV - take 747, receive 61, take away 51, fetch 31, bring 25, get 6, take out 6, carry away 5,
married 4, buy 3, misc 26; 965
1) to take, get, fetch, lay hold of, seize, receive, acquire, buy, bring, marry, take a wife, snatch, take away
1a8) to take, capture, seize
1b1) to be captured
1c4) to be taken away, be removed

The word used in Deut 22:

28 If a man find a damsel that is a virgin, which is not betrothed, and lay hold [taphas] on her, and lie with her, and they be found;

08610 taphas {taw-fas'}
a primitive root; TWOT - 2538; v
AV - take 27, taken 12, handle 8, hold 8, catch 4, surprised 2, misc 4;
65
1) to catch, handle, lay hold, take hold of, seize, wield
1a) (Qal)
1a1) to lay hold of, seize, arrest, catch
1a2) to grasp (in order to) wield, wield, use skilfully
1b) (Niphal) to be seized, be arrested, be caught, be taken, captured
1c) (Piel) to catch, grasp (with the hands)


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Jesus is coming back as at a wedding, and the phrase 'I come as a thief' fits the wedding, and the story from Judges, and the Law in Deuteronomy.
"I come as a thief" scriptures:

If we watch, we will not be surprised by Jesus coming as a thief, and if we watch, we will know in what hour/watch the thief/Jesus will come:

Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

Luke 12:39 And this know, that if the goodman of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.

The "Day of the Lord" begins with Jesus returning as a thief, to catch up his bride. Following this, sudden destruction falls on unbelievers, as in the gog/magog war which is the false Armageddon leading to the revealing of the Antichrist's coming with peace. Once again, we are not in darkness, so the day of our being stolen away by Christ (raptured) should not surprise us.

1 Thessalonians 5:2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.
1 Thessalonians 5:3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.
1 Thessalonians 5:4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.

Again, the Day of the Lord" begins with Jesus coming as a thief, with the rapture. At the rapture, we and our works are tried by fire at the bema judgment of works, see 1 Cor 3.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

Revelation 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.

Finally, this last verse in Rev. 16:15 is spoken during at a description of Armageddon. This is a beautiful reminder that Jesus is coming prior to the time when he comes to kill and destroy. Remember John 10:10.

John 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

Revelation 16:15 Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame.

Finally, this description and reiteration of this rapture message, in conjunction with Armageddon in Rev 16, is a reminder of the description of the false Armageddon of the gog/magog war in Ezekiel 38,39.


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There is another Old Testament example of where women were TAKEN as wives. This was for the Kings of Israel. It was prophesied beforehand, and fulfilled in practice. Jesus, of course is the King of Kings, who sits on the throne of David, and there were many wives for the king, few in number out of the whole kingdom.

1 Samuel 8
11 And he said, This will be the manner of the king that shall reign over you: He will take your sons, and appoint them for himself, for his chariots, and to be his horsemen; and some shall run before his chariots.
12 And he will appoint him captains over thousands, and captains over fifties; and will set them to ear his ground, and to reap his harvest, and to make his instruments of war, and instruments of his chariots.
13 And he will take [laqach] your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers.
14 And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants.
15 And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.
16 And he will take your menservants, and your maidservants, and your goodliest young men, and your asses, and put them to his work.

2 Samuel 5:13 And David took [laqach] him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.

1 Kings 1:1 Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.
2 Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.
3 So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel, and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.

1 Kings 11:3 And he [Solomon] had seven hundred wives, princesses, and three hundred concubines: and his wives turned away his heart.

(13) Going through the open door, crossing the threshold into the new house.

Going into the new house in heaven requires going through the open door.

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Today in the U.S., a strong wedding theme often shown in movies and TV shows is that the groom lifts up his bride to carry her across the threshhold, through the door of the house. This is also a strong theme of the rapture and Feast of Trumpets in scripture, going through the open door.

Revelation 3:8 I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.
Revelation 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Revelation 3:20 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.
Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Mat 25:10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Mat 25:11 Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us.
Mat 25:12 But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not.

Luke 13:
23 Then said one unto him, Lord, are there few that be saved? And he said unto them,
24 Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.
25 When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:
26 Then shall ye begin to say, We have eaten and drunk in thy presence, and thou hast taught in our streets.
27 But he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.
28 There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the kingdom of God, and you yourselves thrust out.
29 And they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, and shall sit down in the kingdom of God.
30 And, behold, there are last which shall be first, and there are first which shall be last.

The door to the temple (representing heaven) was open on the new moon festival of Trumpets:

Ezek 46:1 "Thus says the Lord GOD: The gate of the inner court that faces east shall be shut on the six working days; but on the sabbath day it shall be opened and on the day of the new moon it shall be opened.

Pss 118:19 Open to me the gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise the LORD:
Pss 118:20 This gate of the LORD, into which the righteous shall enter.

Isa 26:2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.

Isa 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew
of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Isa 26:20 Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the
indignation be overpast.
Isa 26:21 For, behold, the LORD cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her
blood, and shall no more cover her slain.

Jesus is the door.

John 10:7 Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.

There is no other name by which men might be saved.

Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Acts 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Acts 4:11 This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Acts 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Going through the "open door into heaven" takes us to being in those "many mansions in my father's house", that bridal chamber.

The "door to heaven" is also commonly known in popular culture (and many jokes) in America as the "pearly gates", which is from the description of New Jersualem, which is also described as the Bride of Christ.

Rev 21:2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her
husband.

Rev 21:9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying,
Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
Rev 21:10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending
out of heaven from God,
Rev 21:21 And the twelve gates were twelve pearls: every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass.


(14) The bridal week in the wedding chamber .

Again, these mansions in heaven, the prepared place, is the bridal chamber.

John 14:2 In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.
John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Today in the U.S., this is the honeymoon week where the bride and groom go away from everyone on vacation for the traditional week.


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The word week in Hebrew is shavuah. It means a "seven". It can mean seven days or seven years. An example of the Hebrew word shavuah for week meaning seven years can be found in Dan 9:24,27. From this we can see that the believers (bride) in the Messiah (bridegroom) will be with the Messiah in Heaven for His wedding while the earth will be experiencing the seven-year tribulation period.

(Bridal week) = (Tribulation week) Regardless of when the feast is in these verses (not at the end), the time of intimacy (the bride being with the bridegroom sealed away in the bridal chamber) begins at the start of the bridal week, and this is what we look forward to in the pre tribulation rapture. And if you read these accounts, you will see that the deception in the stories probably would not have happened if the feast were held at the end of the week.

Judges 14:1-18 ...And Samson made a feast there, as was customary for bridegrooms. ...If you can give me the answer within the seven days of the feast... She cried the whole seven days of the feast.

Genesis 29:22-28 So Laban brought together all the people of the place and gave a feast. ... Finish this daughter's bridal week


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There are many verses which show the tribulation lasts seven years, and this is not the topic of this page. However here are a few more examples of a period of seven days, which do show some parallel with the pre tribulation rapture.
Leviticus 12:2 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying, If a woman have conceived seed, and born a man child: then she shall be unclean seven days; according to the days of the separation for her infirmity shall she be unclean.

The "man child" is spoken of as symbolically representing the rapture of a nation at once in Rev 12 and Isa 66.

Rev 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his
throne.

Isaiah 66: 7 Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man child.
8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.

Another seven days, which supports the pre trib seven year prophetic plan: To annoint a new priest, the priest went into the tabernacle for seven days, and then emerged before the congregation as believers come out of heaven with Jesus in Rev 19. Believers are the kings and priests, and the tabernacle represents heaven. The purpose of the seven days and Daniel's 70 weeks is the same, Consecration (annoint) & Atonement (reconciliation). The "door" is highly figured here, as in the rapture in Rev. 4:1.

Lev 8:
33 And ye shall not go out of the door of the tabernacle of the congregation in seven days, until the days of your consecration be at an end: for seven days shall he consecrate you.
34 As he hath done this day, so the LORD hath commanded to do, to make an atonement for you.
35 Therefore shall ye abide at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation day and night seven days, and keep the charge of the LORD, that ye die not: for so I am commanded.

Daniel 9:24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

Revelation 19:14 And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.


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The 30 day time period before the Feast of Trumpets is a period of fasting and repentance. The actual Feast of Trumpet is a time to feast. During the bridal week is also a feast. Joel 2's account of the bride in her bridal closet is shown to emphasize the importance of fasting and repentance before the Day of the Lord. Even people who normally would be feasting such as a bride and groom when they leave their bridal chamber, should be fasting according to Joel.

Joel 2:15 Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
Joel 2:16 Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that **** the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.


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Ancient Jewish eschatology taught that a seven year "time of trouble" would come upon the earth before the coming of the Messiah. During that time of trouble, the righteous would be resurrected and would enter the wedding chamber where they would be protected from the time of trouble. Today that seven year period is referred to as the tribulation.

The "time of trouble" is known as "Jacob's trouble". There were two times of trouble in Jacob's life. The seven extra years he worked for his bride, and the seven years of famine that brought him into Egypt where Joseph set up the decree to observe the Feast of Trumpets.


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A day is for a year when considering a length of time of a judgment from a type; see Moses and Ezekiel.

[Num 14:34] After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise.

[Ezek 4:6] And when thou hast accomplished them, lie again on thy right side, and thou shalt bear the iniquity of the house of Judah forty days: I have appointed thee each day for a year.

The 40 days should remind us of Noah, the time it rained 40 days and nights in judgment on the whole earth. But the important point is that it is a Bible concept to have a year for a day in judgment. Even Noah was invited into the ark 7 days before the flood, as a shadow of the seven year tribulation.

Since the bridal week will see the judgment seat of Christ for believers in heaven, and the tribulation week will see the judgment poured out on the unbelieving world, we know the bridal week will be the seven years of Daniel’s week.


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The bride is kept in the wedding chamber as:
Rev 3:10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep [tereo] you from the hour of trial which is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell upon the earth.

From Strong’s:
5083 tereo
1) to attend to carefully, take care of
1a) to guard
1b) metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is
1c) to observe
1d) to reserve: to undergo something

Ephesians 5:29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church:

(15) Marriage supper / Wedding Feast

This is the time of the public announcement, and the time when guests are invited to the wedding. The marriage supper is part of the bridal week. The feast is a public gathering where the bride and groom exit the bridal chamber to the public gathering. It is a time when the bride are king and queen, and it is a time to show the beauty of the bride and bridegroom.

The book of Esther begins with an interesting occasion. King Mordechi holds a week long feast. At the end of the seven days he calls for Vashti, his wife, to show off her beauty.

Esther 1:5 And when these days were expired, the king made a feast unto all the people that were present in Shushan the palace, both unto great and small, seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace;
Esther 1:10 On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,
Esther 1:11 To bring Vashti the queen before the king with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.


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In Joel, the bride and bridegroom "go forth of his chamber" to a gathering, at a time of fasting. All throughout the Bible, a marriage is known as a time of feasting. That this is a fast called for, and the wedding description used, is a way to emphasize the importance of this particular fast. Even those normally feasting should be fasting, because the Day of the Lord is about to begin.

[Joel 2:15] Blow the trumpet in Zion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly:
[Joel 2:16] Gather the people, sanctify the congregation, assemble the elders, gather the children, and those that **** the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet.


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Psalm 19
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.
2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.
3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,
5 Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race.
6 His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof.

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Isaiah 61
2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.
11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.
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Isaiah 62:5 For as a young man marrieth a virgin, so shall thy sons marry thee: and as the bridegroom rejoiceth over the bride, so shall thy God rejoice over thee.

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[Luke 12:36] And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

[Rev 19:1] And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven [the raptured], saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:

[Rev 19:7] Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;
[Rev 19:8] it was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure"--for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
[Rev 19:9] And the angel said to me, "Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb." And he said to me, "These are true words of God."

[Rev 19:14] And the armies which were in heaven followed him [the raptured] upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

[Mat 24:29] Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
[Mat 24:30] And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.
[Mat 24:31] And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

[Zech 14:5] And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the LORD my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.

[Jud 1:14] And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,

[Rev 21:2] And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.

[Rev 21:9] And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
[Rev 21:10] And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

[Col 3:4] When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

(16) The slaughter at the marriage supper

Does it seem strange that the Lord Jesus Christ is smiting with a sword after his marriage week with his bride at the marriage supper? It really, really seemed strange to me... If the return of the Lord Jesus Christ is as a wedding (as it so frequently is depicted) then where is there an example for a groom going forth and exiting the wedding chamber with the bride, and slaughtering one's enemies? It just didn't seem to make sense with this part. This question bothered me for a long time. Then it hit me. There is an Old Testiment story describing a similar thing. Sampson's wedding; which was right at the end of his 7 day bridal week. Scriptures follow: compare Rev 19:14-21 with Judges 14:1-20

[Rev 19:14] And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.
[Rev 19:15] And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
[Rev 19:16] And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
[Rev 19:17] And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;
[Rev 19:18] That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
[Rev 19:19] And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
[Rev 19:20] And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
[Rev 19:21] And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

[Judg 14:1] And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the
Philistines.

[Judg 14:2] And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of
the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

[Judg 14:3] Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy
brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson
said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

[Judg 14:4] But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion
against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

[Judg 14:5] Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards
of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him.

[Judg 14:6] And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a
kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

[Judg 14:7] And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.

[Judg 14:8] And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and,
behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

[Judg 14:9] And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he
gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.

[Judg 14:10] So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the
young men to do.

[Judg 14:11] And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

[Judg 14:12] And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it
me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of
garments:

[Judg 14:13] But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments.
And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.

[Judg 14:14] And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth
sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.

[Judg 14:15] And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband,
that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to
take that we have? is it not so?

[Judg 14:16] And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou
hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I
have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee?

[Judg 14:17] And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the
seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her
people.

[Judg 14:18] And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is
sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? and he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my
heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.

[Judg 14:19] And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty
men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And
his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house.

[Judg 14:20] But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

(17) The bride and groom were seen as king and queen.

Song of Solomon 3:11 Go forth, O ye daughters of Zion, and behold king Solomon with the crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals, and in the day of the gladness of his heart.

Isaiah 61:10 I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

Jeremiah 2:32 Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? yet my people have forgotten me days without number.

The Feast of Trumpets is known not only as the wedding of the messiah, but also the coronation of the messiah. The trumpet is blown to announce the coronation of a king. And we will be kings and priests with the Lord Jesus Christ in heaven.

[1Kgs 1:34] And let Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him there king over Israel: and blow ye with the trumpet, and say, God save king Solomon.

[1Kgs 1:39] And Zadok the priest took an horn of oil out of the tabernacle, and anointed Solomon. And they blew the trumpet; and all the people said, God save king Solomon.

The coronation of the Lord Jesus Christ and his bride as kings happens in Rev. 4-5, after the rapture in Rev. 4:1.

Rev 4:2 And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

There are people in heaven at this time:

Rev. 5:3 And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.

Rev 5:10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.

[Rev 5:12] Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

[Dan 7:9] I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

(18) The Judgment Seat of Christ.

At the Feast of Trumpets / Wedding of the Messiah

The marriage parable shows how the bride and groom intimately know each other in the bridal chamber. When we get to heaven, all our works will be known and judged.

[Dan 7:10] A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

[2Cor 5:10] For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.

"the judgment seat" = bema in Greek

968 bema {bay'-ma}

from the base of 939;; n n
AV - judgment seat 10, throne 1, to set (one's) foot on + 4128 1; 12
1) a step, pace, the space which a foot covers, a foot-breath
2) a raised place mounted by steps
2a) a platform, tribune
2a1) of the official seat of a judge
2a2) of the judgment seat of Christ
2a3) Herod built a structure resembling a throne at Caesarea, from
which he viewed the games and made speeches to the people

[Rom 14:10] But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

[Neh 8:1] And all the people gathered themselves together as one man into the street that was before the water gate; and they spake unto Ezra the scribe to bring the book of the law of Moses, which the LORD had commanded to Israel.
[Neh 8:2] And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month. [Feast of Trumpets]
[Neh 8:3] And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.
[Neh 8:4] And Ezra the scribe stood upon a pulpit of wood [like a bema, judgment seat platform], which they had made for the purpose; and beside him stood Mattithiah, and Shema, and Anaiah, and Urijah, and Hilkiah, and Maaseiah, on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, and Mishael, and Malchiah, and Hashum, and Hashbadana, Zechariah, and Meshullam.
[Neh 8:5] And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people; (for he was above all the people;) and when he opened it, all the people stood up:

[1Cor 3:13] Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
[1Cor 3:14] If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
[1Cor 3:15] If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
[1Cor 3:16] Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?


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The wedding parable of Matt 22

[Mat 22:2] The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son,
[Mat 22:3] And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
[Mat 22:4] Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.
[Mat 22:5] But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise:
[Mat 22:6] And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them.
[Mat 22:7] But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
[Mat 22:8] Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy.
[Mat 22:9] Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.
[Mat 22:10] So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests.
[Mat 22:11] And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment:
[Mat 22:12] And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless.
[Mat 22:13] Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.
[Mat 22:14] For many are called, but few are chosen.


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There is definitely a fixed, appointed time for man’s time on earth to end, and for the Lord Jesus Christ to return.

[Job 7:1] Is there not an appointed time to man upon earth? are not his days also like the days of an hireling?
[Exod 21:2] If thou buy an Hebrew servant, six years he shall serve: and in the seventh he shall go out free for nothing.

[Pss 81:3] Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day.

[Dan 8:19] And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.

[Acts 17:26] And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

[Acts 1:7] He said to them, "It is not for you to know times or seasons which the Father has fixed by his own authority.

[Dan 12:9] And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
[Dan 12:10] Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

[Mark 13:23] But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

[Amos 3:7] Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

For further study, there are Feast of Trumpets stories in Leviticus 23, Numbers 10, Neh 8, 1 Sam 20, Psalm 47, Psalm 27, Psalm 81, Psalm 118

Further, I want to stress the importance of being ready, watchful, clean and holy before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ. The parable of Matt 25, the ten virgins suggest that the foolish will be caught unprepared. Revelation Chapters 2 and 3 suggest that much of the Church will not be spared the hour of trial that will come upon the whole earth, and will have to go through tribulation.

[Luke 21:36] 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.

Zeph 2:3 Seek ye the LORD, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the LORD's anger.

http://www.linkjesus.com/weddingstudy.htm

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by WildB:
quote:
Originally posted by barrykind:
2 Thessalonians 2
1Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,

2That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.

3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

4Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

5Remember ye not, that, when I was yet with you, I told you these things?



3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;


3Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

More shadow taking lets get to the Substance.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-4

Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as thatthe day of Christ is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except

there come a falling away first, and

that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

The church of Thessalonica was concerned that the day of Christ was at hand, the day of the Lord.

While the timing of the harpazo isn't found in relation to the great tribulation, it is found in relationship to God's wrath and according to the Bible, the harpazo will come before the day of the Lord(Christ). Paul writes to alleviate their fears by telling them that that day would not come until two things had come to pass, the apostasy and the revealing of the man of sin at the abomination of desolation. According to Christ, Matthew 24:14-22, the abomination of desolation marks the beginning of the 3½ year reign of the antichrist and the 3½ year time of great tribulation. For a further defining of the timing according to scripture, this is "in the midst of" the 70th week of Daniel, the last seven years God appointed to Israel. It is also the beginning of a 1290-day period of time.

The Day of the Lord has nothing to do with the Harpazo..

The falling away will happen after the Spirit is taken out of the way terminating the Age of Grace.

2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2 7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

--------------------
That is all.....

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barrykind
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Brother Bill states:

quote:
The Day of the Lord has nothing to do with the Harpazo..

The falling away will happen after the Spirit is taken out of the way terminating the Age of Grace.

2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2 7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,


My oh my, for one who talks much of those who do not study.....


Where have you been man??

DO a study and show yourself approvedsir:


barry

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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Betty Louise
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Barry,

You assume to much. You have no clue what kind of Studies, Bill has done on the end times. I have myself done 7 studies on the end times at 7 different Churches. Just because people do not agree with you doesn't mean they don't study.
betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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barrykind
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Betty states:


quote:
Barry,

You assume to much. You have no clue what kind of Studies, Bill has done on the end times. I have myself done 7 studies on the end times at 7 different Churches. Just because people do not agree with you doesn't mean they don't study.
betty

Do you know Bill personally Betty???


Do you know what kind of studies he has done?


seeing your from Houston, Tex and Bill is from Michigan

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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Betty Louise
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The difference between me and you, Barry as I do not assume to guess how much study Bill has. Nor do I attempt to judge him on how much study he has done.
I have known Bill on this board for many years and I see him as an intelligent man who likes to speak his mind. Bill knows the Word of God and is not a member of a cult who is trying to add legalism to the plan of salvation.
betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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barrykind
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Betty states:

quote:
The difference between me and you, Barry as I do not assume to guess how much study Bill has. Nor do I attempt to judge him on how much study he has done.
I have known Bill on this board for many years and I see him as an intelligent man who likes to speak his mind. Bill knows the Word of God and is not a member of a cult who is trying to add legalism to the plan of salvation.
betty

Thats well and good sister:

Evidently youve been on this board since 2008..less than 2 years.

Sister Judge righteous judgement.......\\

What we think is well and good, but in light of scripture it dont mean much..

Study the scriptures, do not just listen to what folks tell you ; search it OUT!

barry

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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Betty Louise
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I was actually on here for about ten years. I was TEXASGRANDMA but lost my password when my computer died. See, you are assuming again.
betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Betty Louise
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TEXASGRANDMA
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Icon 1 posted 22 July, 2004 12:11 AM

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Carol Swenson
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barrykind registered June 13, 2002

TEXASGRANDMA registered January 4, 2003

WildB registered March 1, 2004

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by barrykind:
Brother Bill states:

quote:
The Day of the Lord has nothing to do with the Harpazo..

The falling away will happen after the Spirit is taken out of the way terminating the Age of Grace.

2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2 7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,


My oh my, for one who talks much of those who do not study.....


Where have you been man??

DO a study and show yourself approvedsir:


barry

Careful Barry and please do tell all who you think
the He is in this verse and try not to let the Elizabethan tongue confuse you.

"he who now letteth will let"

and why when this "He" is no longer there that

the wicked Whom/Him can be revealed?

Stop promoting the shadow as the way.

AND PLEASE!

Do learn how to rightfully divide according to the mystery and dispensation of Grace committed to Paul by Christ.

PS with all your greatness you didn't even know of the word harpazo until I sprung it on you.

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That is all.....

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Betty Louise
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Thank You, Carol. My memory is not like what it used to be. I have senior moments.
Betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by barrykind:
Betty states:

quote:
The difference between me and you, Barry as I do not assume to guess how much study Bill has. Nor do I attempt to judge him on how much study he has done.
I have known Bill on this board for many years and I see him as an intelligent man who likes to speak his mind. Bill knows the Word of God and is not a member of a cult who is trying to add legalism to the plan of salvation.
betty

Thats well and good sister:

Evidently youve been on this board since 2008..less than 2 years.

Sister Judge righteous judgement.......\\

What we think is well and good, but in light of scripture it dont mean much..

Study the scriptures, do not just listen to what folks tell you ; search it OUT!

barry

I was wondering when you were going to throw out your board seniority as teacher qualification. You already thru out there your special relationship with David.

Your true colors are really starting to be clear to all.

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That is all.....

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Betty Louise
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Yep, Barry has been a thorn in my side for a mighty long time. Every couple of years he tries to turn the board into a Sabbath only board. Never works and is never going to work. But some people give stubborn a new name.
betty

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Luk 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

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Barry and I registered the same day. We all moved over from the old 711 Web Cafe, when David set this one up. It was Kindgo/Kathy who gave me the URL.

Seniority has little to do with having a solid grasp of God's Word. Betty has been a solid sister in Christ and a true blessing since she joined as Texas Grandma.

The pre-trib has a Biblical scriptural basis, as does the pre-wrath, as does the post-trib. The clear context of scripture supports the pre-trib, the removal of the Bride prior to the judgment falling upon Israel, that which is known as the time of Jacob's trouble.

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A Servant of Christ,
Drew

1 Tim. 3:
16: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh..

http://www.smilieland.com/graphics/israel02.gif

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barrykind
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Brother Drew states:

quote:
Barry and I registered the same day. We all moved over from the old 711 Web Cafe, when David set this one up. It was Kindgo/Kathy who gave me the URL.

Seniority has little to do with having a solid grasp of God's Word. Betty has been a solid sister in Christ and a true blessing since she joined as Texas Grandma.

The pre-trib has a Biblical scriptural basis, as does the pre-wrath, as does the post-trib. The clear context of scripture supports the pre-trib, the removal of the Bride prior to the judgment falling upon Israel, that which is known as the time of Jacob's trouble.

Yes i think i said that in another thread and post...it does not matter about senority on this board as to what is truth or not.. i totally agree.

i see no consistant scripture that proves pre- trib, pre-wrath..Doctrine when scripture interprets scripture and all verses are taken into view.
i see plenty, plenty that shows we will be here during the tribulation. We cannot throw out the First "old" covenant..The Torah, The Prophets, etc. Everything that Paul taught was in light of the entire "WORD" of Yahweh.

The children of Israel in Goshen when the death of the first born came...if you did not have blood on your door posts thier first born died also...All the wrath poured on Egypt...The children of Israel were there...Noah..Wrath..They were there, all throughout the Bible shows examples of the Post Tribulation Catching away!

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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barrykind
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It is here that I would like to ask some questions that Pre-Trib’ers never seem to ask themselves – because I have never seen them addressed in their writings.

Why would believers be taken off the planet in the so-called Pre-Trib Rapture so that they would not have to face the horrors of the “Great Tribulation” period, when so many other Christians have faced HORRIBLE persecution and tribulation throughout Church history?

The horrors of the monstrous Inquisition come to mind. The horrible persecution of the Scottish Covenanters comes to mind.

The horrible persecution of the French Huguenots comes to mind.

The horrible persecution of Christians by several of the Roman emperors comes to mind. Why in blazes would there be a “special class” of Christians at the end of the age that gets spared horrible persecution?

Yes, I know the arguments of the Pre-Trib’ers:

1. “God would not allow His bride (the Church) to go through the tribulation period to get bloodied.”

2. “God has not appointed us to wrath, so we don’t have to go through the great tribulation period.”
The Pre-Trib’ers apply such good things to themselves – i.e., they won’t go through the “Great Tribulation” because they haven’t been “appointed to wrath”, and because they are the “bride of Christ”.

But somehow these same Pre-Trib’ers believe that those individuals who get saved DURING the “Great Tribulation” under much more stressful and demanding conditions (and horrors) than many of these “air evacuated” Christians ever had to face, well, those “saved-during-the-Great-Tribulation” believers do NOT get to be spared from “God’s wrath”, and they are NOT evidently as much a part of “Christ’s bride” as those who are “raptured” in the end time!

What is wrong with this picture? Of course, I Thessalonians 5:9 lets us know that God has not appointed ANY believers (including those who go through the “Great Tribulation”) to (His) wrath, but rather “to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”.

The Pre-Trib’ers surely are getting the “Antichrist’s wrath” MIXED UP with “God’s wrath” during the “Great Tribulation”, and ASSUME they won’t be facing the “Antichrist’s wrath” during that period – you know, that nasty stuff is for those “OTHER” Christians who are saved during the “Great Tribulation” (according to the Pre-Trib’ers).

Again, HOW IN BLAZES can this group of Pre-Trib’ers think that they are going to get a massive break from horrible persecution and evil during the “Great Tribulation” when MILLIONS of Christians in other eras faced the most horrible persecution, and quite likely MILLIONS of Christians will be martyred by the Antichrist in the future?

I personally cannot figure out this Pre-Trib “logic” – but I do think the Pre-Trib Rapture is “illogical ESCAPISM to the maximum degree”, thrown in with a lot of ignorance of key Bible verses – along with some fantastic twisting of other Bible verses!

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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barrykind
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All Bible verses are taken from the Authorized King James Version.

The following abbreviations will be used throughout the text:

“Pre-Trib” = The Pre-Tribulation (Rapture)
“Post-Trib” = The Post-Tribulation (Rapture)
“Pre-Trib’ers” = Individuals who believe in a Pre-Tribulation Rapture
“Post-Trib’ers” = Individuals who believe in a Post-Tribulation Rapture.

I. INTRODUCTION

Is it really important what position Christians hold on the timing of the “Rapture”? Some Christians think that the timing of the “Rapture” is doctrinally unimportant. Other Christians believe that the Rapture “timing issue” is extremely important.

For those unfamiliar with the “Rapture debate”, the Pre-Trib’ers believe that the Lord Jesus Christ is going to “rapture” His church OFF OF planet Earth BEFORE the “Great Tribulation” begins. Post-Trib’ers believe that “the Church” is here on planet Earth DURING the “Great Tribulation”, and will be facing the Antichrist and his murderous hordes. The Post-Trib’ers believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will return at the END of the “Great Tribulation”.

The writer of this newsletter USED to believe in the Pre-Trib view. It is certainly the view that sells the most prophecy books. In fact, the Pre-Trib Rapture has been a fantastically big “cash cow” for a number of well-known prophecy writers.

It is important to note here that this editor believes that “the Antichrist” (in the form of a particular religious system) was revealed centuries ago, but that subject shall, God willing, be the topic of a separate ETI newsletter in the future. ((And “NO!” – I do not believe in the “Preterist View”, or that “the Antichrist” was Emperor Nero or any other particular single “nasty guy” in history.)) And though it is my strong belief that “the Antichrist” has already been revealed (which I believe can be strongly backed up with both Scriptural and historical evidence), I still believe that “the Church” will go through the entire tribulation period (i.e., the “Great Tribulation”). [note: Liberty To The Captives does not believe "that wicked" has been revealed yet.]Numerous Christians – including the best Bible scholars – held this belief that “the Church” would go through the “Great Tribulation” (i.e., the “Post-Trib” view) for many centuries until “Dispensationalism” hit the streets back in the 1800s! ((More on the subject of “Dispensationalism” will follow later.))


II. INDIVIDUAL VIEWS ON THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE

I personally do NOT know of, nor have heard of, any individuals who held the Post-Trib view for many years, and then subsequently CHANGED to the Pre-Trib view after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer. NOR have I read about any Post-Trib’ers doing that. However, I personally do know a fair number of individuals who had held the Pre-Trib view for many years, and then who later SWITCHED to the Post-Trib view after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer.

Examples of some men who SWITCHED from the Pre-Trib Rapture view to the Post-Trib Rapture view after heavy-duty Bible study on that prophetic topic, and/or after much prayer, and in at least one case, after a long fast, include:

1) G. Campbell Morgan, who was considered by some of his time as the greatest Christian scholar of his era, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for many years. After subsequent deep study of the Holy Bible to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib. He felt so badly about having previously taught the Pre-Trib view, and about having written a book supporting the Pre-Trib view, that he purchased the plates to the book and destroyed them!

2) Pastor Dwight Kinman, author of the outstanding book The World’s Last Dictator, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for almost 40 years. After carefully searching the Scriptures to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib (and began to publicly teach Post-Trib). His above-mentioned book promotes the Post-Trib Rapture view.
3) Jim Spillman (author, pastor, evangelist, and Bible scholar), who at one time pastored a very large church in California, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for many years. After going into his prayer closet for several days, where he studied ONLY the Holy Bible in order to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he came to the conclusion that the Holy Bible clearly teaches the Post-Trib view. He then had the COURAGE to go before his large congregation and ADMIT to them that he had been teaching them FALSE doctrine (i.e., the Pre-Trib view) for all those previous years! ((That takes a lot of GUTS!))

4) Pastor Butch Paugh (author, and host of “Call to Decision” broadcast; and a good friend of mine) had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for years. Yet it was Bible study that convinced him that the Pre-Trib view is FALSE doctrine. He now teaches the Post-Trib view over the “airwaves”, as well as to his local congregation. ((His excellent Internet web site is: www.calltodecision.com . Pastor Butch Paugh has several audiocassette tape sets dealing with the “rapture” issue that are available through his ministry. You can call toll-free 800-777-4403 for information, and to order those items.))

5) Pastor David Lankford (author and broadcast host) also had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture view for many years. As the back cover of his excellent book, The Second Coming: A Second Look, states: “After weeks of fasting and prayer and diligent study of Scripture, Pastor Lankford’s long-held beliefs about The Second Coming were changed.” Pastor Lankford’s book, along with a two-audiocassette tape set on the topic of the Second Coming, can be obtained for $20 postpaid by calling phone number 704-263-1945, or by making check or money order in that amount payable to “The Voice of Evangelism” and mailing it to: The Voice of Evangelism // P.O. Box 669 // Alexis, NC 28006.

6) James Lloyd [warning] (author, publisher of two periodicals, and broadcast host of “The Apocalypse Chronicles”) also had believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture view for years. Study of the Holy Bible convinced James that the Post-Trib view was the correct one! James has written an excellent book, The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism, which deals with the Bible verses supporting the Post-Trib view, and with dishonesty on the part of a number of Pre-Trib writers! [note] His book can be obtained for $5 postpaid by making check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mailing it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530. Christian Media also offers a number of Dave MacPherson’s books that examine the relatively recent origins (i.e., the 1830s) of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine. For information, call Christian Media at phone number: 541-899-8888, or write to the above address.

((IMPORTANT NOTE: The “Pre-Trib Rapture” is but one piece – although a critical one – of a larger “prophetic pie” that many have termed “Dispensationalism”. Dispensationalism is a theory of Bible interpretation which holds to the notion that God deals with man in distinct periods of time, or ages. According to John Nelson Darby, we are now in the ‘Church Age' which will culminate in a Pretribulation Rapture.

Here are a few other good books that REFUTE the Pre-Trib Rapture view:

((NOTE: You may have to check the Internet or visit a good library to track down some of these books.))

(1) The Rapture Book by Dr. James McKeever (Omega Publications);

(2) I WANT To Be Left Behind by Pastor Ron Poch (Available through Proclaim Liberty Ministries; $12 postpaid: To order it via credit card, please call toll-free 888-820-2126);

(3) First the Antichrist by Dr. Robert H. Gundry


And while we are talking about good books, here is an excellent book that exposes a number of unbiblical teachings in the “Left Behind” series of books (a series of books that promote the Pre-Trib Rapture view):

God’s Wrath on Left Behind: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the Left Behind Series by Lisa Ruby; 216-page paperback; 2002; ISBN 0-9721264-0-6; $14 postpaid (for mail orders): This book can be obtained by making a check or money order payable to “Liberty to the Captives Publications” and mailing it to: Lisa Ruby // 224 Reservoir Road // North Attleboro, MA 02760-2839. ((Please check out her outstanding Internet web site at www.libertytothecaptives.net .))

Interestingly, many famous Christian men in the past believed in and taught the Post-Trib Rapture view [i.e., that the “Church” would be going THROUGH the Tribulation period]. ((NOTE: Many folks refer to this end-time tribulation period as the “Great Tribulation”.)) The long list of these famous men includes such names as Charles H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan (author of Pilgrim’s Progress), John Calvin, Charles Finney, John Knox, Martin Luther, and George Whitefield.

Equally as interesting, NONE of these following great Christian men ever made any reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture: John Wycliffe, John Wesley, or Charles Wesley.

Equally as interesting, there seem to be NO records of the great pastors of the American Revolution (such as Jonas Clark, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg, James Caldwell, etc.) making ANY reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture.

Most interestingly, NONE of the following ever made mention in the Holy Bible to any Pre-Tribulation (or even Mid-Tribulation/Pre-Wrath) evacuation of Christians BEFORE the Antichrist appears: The Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, and the Apostle John! Doesn’t it seem strange that there is NOT one SINGLE verse of Scripture that states something like the following hypothetical ‘statements’?

(1) “Verily, immediately prior to the start of the seven-year period of the ‘Great Tribulation’, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth.”

(2) “Verily, seven years before the Revelation of Jesus Christ [the supposed 2nd part of His supposed two-stage 2nd Coming], the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth.”

(3) “Verily, three and one half years into the ‘Great Tribulation’, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth – just prior to the beginning of God’s Wrath!”

No, there is NOT EVEN ONE SUCH BIBLE VERSE – or one Bible verse even closely resembling those statements in the Holy Bible!

Interestingly, John F. Walvoord, a big guru of the Pre-Trib Rapture movement and author of books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture view, admitted that there was NOT ONE SINGLE Bible verse that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture!


III. THE HISTORICAL RECORD

Some of the historical record (i.e., many of the great Christian men of the past who NEVER mentioned a Pre-Trib Rapture) has already been covered in several paragraphs earlier in this newsletter. It seems that the Pre-Trib Rapture view did not really seem to catch on anywhere until the 1830s. It seems to have originated in England, and then made its way over to the USA. Until that time, the prevailing view among Christians in the USA was the Post-Trib Rapture view. Dave MacPherson, in his book, The Incredible Cover-Up, traces the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine back to the British Isles, where we find such characters as a Scottish lassie named Margaret MacDonald, Edward Irving, and John Darby. ((Dave MacPherson does a great job of showing the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine. His above-mentioned book may still be available through Christian Media. To order materials from Christian Media, see earlier information in this newsletter.))

This British “invention” of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine was later popularized in the USA by the Scofield Study Bible. It is not within the scope (i.e., limited space) of this newsletter to really get into the historical side of the Rapture debate. If the reader wishes to do more investigation into the history of the Pre-Trib doctrine, contact Christian Media for information on the three Dave MacPherson books that they have carried in the past. Also, there seems to have been some Jesuit involvement in at least some of these doctrines that we find within “Dispensationalism” – please read End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World by Steve Wohlberg to trace the trail of this “theological virus”. ((You can call toll-free 866-862-6334 to order this book via credit card; or, you can visit their Internet web site at www.endtimeinsights.com . Editor of ETI most highly recommends this outstanding 220-page paperback book!))


IV. THE BIBLICAL RECORD

Obviously, the Holy Bible is by far the most critical record – for God’s Holy Word MUST ALWAYS BE the standard by which we measure all things! We’ve already mentioned that Pre-Trib Rapture guru John Walvoord has stated that there is NO SINGLE Scripture verse in the Bible that by itself teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture view.

It was the daily studies of the Holy Bible (reading through the entire Bible each year) that convinced the writer of this newsletter that the Holy Bible clearly does NOT teach the Pre-Trib Rapture. Here are some of the verses of Holy Scripture that really spoke to my heart:

1) I Thessalonians 4:15-17 (:) [The Apostle Paul writes]: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall NOT prevent [i.e., precede] them which are asleep. (Verse 16): For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise FIRST: (Verse 17): 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.”

Do the above verses really need any explanation? Aren’t they perfectly clear? The Holy Bible is saying that those Christians still alive at our Lord’s [Second] Coming do NOT PRECEDE the “dead in Christ”, who are raised [i.e., resurrected] FIRST! And it is only THEN [i.e., after the “dead in Christ” are resurrected] that those Christians “still living” are caught up “to meet the Lord in the air”! Since the Holy Bible teaches only TWO resurrections [i.e., one for the “just” and one for the “unjust”]; and since the Bible clearly teaches that the resurrection of the just is the FIRST RESURRECTION (see Revelation 20:4-6); and since the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said four times that he would raise up Christians on the “LAST DAY” (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54) – well then, how can anyone say that there is some “special group” of Christians that are getting “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE the first resurrection? And just HOW MANY “LAST DAYS” are there? Is there a “LAST DAY” BEFORE the “Great Tribulation” begins? Is there a “LAST DAY” 3 and ½ years into the “Great Tribulation” just prior to God’s Wrath falling on a sinful world?

Again, it is certainly worth repeating: the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said four times that he would raise up Christians on the “LAST DAY” (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54)!

It might also be interesting to note here, that when a great person in Biblical times in the Middle East area approached a city, then a large entourage of folks from that city would come out to meet that great person at some distance from the city. They would all THEN turn RIGHT AROUND and escort the great person into their city. Doesn’t that sound just like what we read in I Thessalonians 4:16, 17?

Indeed, this first Bible passage listed here in Section IV (i.e., I Thessalonians 4:15-17) ought, one would think, be enough to “sink” the “Pre-Trib Rapture ship”. After all, those Christians remaining alive at the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ CANNOT precede those Christians “which are asleep”.

2) II Thessalonians 2:1-4 (:) [The Apostle Paul writes]: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto Him, (Verse 2): That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand [i.e., near in time; not distant]. (Verse 3): Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [i.e., the day of Christ] shall not come, EXCEPT there come a falling away [Greek: apostasia] FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Verse 4): Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

((NOTE: Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines the term “at hand” thusly: “near; either present or within reach, or not far distant”. This outstanding dictionary then lists as an example “the day of Christ is at hand” from the above Bible passage, stating that “at hand” in this context means “near in time; not distant”.))

Well, just about everybody agrees that this “man of sin – the son of perdition” is the Antichrist. This “day [of Christ]” (that Paul is talking about in verse 3) is shown in verse 1 to be the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, and “our gathering together to Him”. The plain teaching of verse 3 is that NONE of those events take place until there first occurs both a “falling away” [i.e., apostasy] and the revealing of “that man of sin – the son of perdition”! And so, if one subscribes to the theory that “the Antichrist” is a FUTURE “Mr. Nasty-to-the- extreme” person who is to come on the scene in the very “end times”, then the above passage would clearly refute the idea that “the Church” is “air evacuated” prior to this “Mr. Nasty” person being revealed.

At least one Pre-Trib Rapture writer has tried to “explain away” the words “first, and” in verse 3 above, saying that they don’t really mean what they say. At least one Pre-Trib writer has tried to say that the “falling away” [Greek: apostasia] is really the “Pre-Trib Rapture” (such TWISTING of Scripture and the meaning of both Greek and English words, sadly, occurs far too often amongst Pre-Trib authors). The Greek word “apostasia” is used in such contexts as a “falling away” from, for example, the “truth” – NEVER in the context of “falling away from the earth up to heaven”. ((NOTE: Webster’s New World Dictionary defines the word “apostasy” as “an abandoning of what one believed in, as a faith, political party, principles, etc.”))

The clear meaning of verse 3 is that Christ’s return to gather up His saints cannot occur UNTIL AFTER “the Antichrist” has been revealed. Yet the Pre-Trib writers maintain that the Church is evacuated out BEFORE “the Antichrist” is revealed!

And just in case any Pre-Trib advocates are now saying, “The poor writer of this newsletter just doesn’t understand that Christ’s Second Coming is in TWO phases: the ‘Rapture’ and the ‘Revelation’, with the ‘Rapture’ coming BEFORE the tribulation, and the ‘Revelation’ coming AFTER the tribulation.” Well, let’s address such an argument now:

Let me ask the Pre-Trib’ers who advocate a “TWO-phased” Second Coming of Christ this: “Was Christ’s First Coming in TWO phases?” The answer is “No!” There are absolutely no Scripture verses to be found that support the idea of a “two-phased” Second Coming of Jesus Christ! As Jesus Christ left this earth after His resurrection, as He was ascending up to heaven, His watching disciples were told: “…This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in LIKE MANNER AS ye have seen Him go into heaven.” (See Acts 1:11) Well, did Jesus Christ have a “TWO-phased” departure from earth into heaven after His “first coming”? Did He go up part of the way, turn around and come back down, and then go back up all the way on a “SECOND” departure? NO! Jesus Christ simply ascended up (in ONE phase) into heaven! And the Bible says He is coming back in LIKE MANNER!

((IMPORTANT NOTE: I personally do not think that the Scripture passage listed in Section IV, 2 (i.e., II Thessalonians 2:1-4) is really critical to the timing of the Rapture. I listed it only because the “Pre-Trib’ers” base their “air evacuation” timelines as occurring prior to a FUTURE single “Mr. Nasty Antichrist” person appearing in the end times, holding a pig under his arm, and entering into a “rebuilt Jewish Temple” to sacrifice that pig. The fact of the matter is that Paul wrote II Thessalonians 2:1-4 to specifically warn folks NOT to allow themselves to become deceived about Christ’s second coming being “right around the corner” (i.e., imminent), or as Webster’s 1828 Dictionary puts it: “near in time; not distant”. Again, I think the key Bible passage dealing with the timing of the “rapture” is I Thessalonians 4:15-17. The “key” to understanding the timing of the “rapture” is an understanding of the “resurrection”. Editor of ETI highly recommends that everyone look up all occurrences of the word “resurrection” in a good Concordance, and then carefully read all Bible verses/passages containing that important term.))

3) John 17:15, 20 (:) ((Note: the following are “red letter” words quoted directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ in a prayer to His Heavenly Father)) (Verse 15): “I pray NOT that Thou shouldest take them [i.e., His disciples] OUT OF the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.
…(Verse 20): Neither pray I for these [i.e., His disciples] ALONE, but for them ALSO which shall believe on Me through their word;”

The Lord Jesus Christ in verse 20 indicates that He is praying this prayer for ALL future believers as well as for His original disciples! Please note that it is the Son of God who is praying to His Father asking Him NOT to evacuate His followers OUT OF the world. And in verse 20 He adds that His prayer is ALSO for FUTURE believers!

Note the two words “keep from” in verse 15 above. These two words appear in this form only twice in the entire New Testament: here in John 17:15, and in Revelation/Apocalypse 3:10. And isn’t it interesting that the Pre-Trib’ers TRY to use Revelation/Apocalypse 3:10 to “prove” a Pre-Trib Rapture? Revelation/Apocalypse 3:10 reads: “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will KEEP thee FROM the hour of temptation, which shall come upon ALL the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” It is also quite interesting that the Pre-Trib’ers NEVER mention the “one other” use of the Greek for “keep from” that appears in John 17:15, where Jesus Christ prays NOT to have believers removed from planet Earth! Wow! It certainly appears that John 17:15 has the Son of God praying AGAINST the Pre-Trib Rapture!

And it is certainly worth mentioning here that this is where much of the Pre-Trib argument falls apart, because Pre-Trib’ers WRONGLY ASSUME that God MUST take Christians in the “end times” OUT OF the world in order to keep them safe during the “Great Tribulation”. ((The Pre-Trib position, sadly, is built solely on assumptions, and NOT on solid Scriptural ground!)) Anyway, such an ASSUMPTION “assumes” that God is NOT able to keep Christians safe here on planet Earth DURING [i.e., in the MIDST OF] the “Great Tribulation” period. Yet the Bible is full of examples where God kept His children safe IN THE MIDST OF tribulation. In fact, that seems indeed to be a great theme of the Holy Bible, i.e., “preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation”. Here are just a few examples:

a.) When God’s judgments fell on the Egyptians during the time of the Hebrews’ captivity in Egypt, God did NOT “air evacuate” the Hebrews OUT OF Egypt (or OFF OF planet Earth). No! While God’s judgments were falling on the Egyptians in all those areas where they resided, God preserved His children in Goshen IN THE MIDST OF those horrible judgments! ((And isn’t it most interesting that God’s “judgments and plagues” that fell on the Egyptians in the book of Exodus sure look very similar to God’s “judgments and plagues” that we see falling on the Earth’s inhabitants in the book of Revelation/Apocalypse?)) And could not this great and Almighty God, who preserved the Hebrew children IN THE MIDST OF those horrible plagues that befell the Egyptians, ALSO preserve His children ON planet Earth DURING the “Great Tribulation”?

b.) When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego (their Hebrew names, respectively, are Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah) in the book of Daniel, Chapter 3, ran afoul of King Nebuchadnezzar [i.e., the three young men disobeyed the king to his face!], did God “air evacuate” them OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? When the king had these three young Jewish men tossed into the fiery furnace, did God “air evacuate” them OUT OF the furnace in order to save them? NO! God preserved them IN THE MIDST OF the fiery furnace!

c.) When Daniel (see Chapter 6 in the book of Daniel) was tossed in the lions’ den for disobeying the king’s command, did God “air evacuate” Daniel OFF OF planet Earth in order to save him? NO! God preserved Daniel IN THE MIDST OF the lions’ den! ((Can’t we see a beautiful picture and pattern developing here of an all-powerful God who delights in delivering His children who STAND AGAINST tyranny and injustice – even when they are in horrible situations of danger, persecution, and tribulation?))

d.) What about Rahab in the book of Joshua, Chapter 6, who had lied to her government’s officials to protect the Hebrew spies? When the Hebrew soldiers destroyed the city of Jericho where Rahab resided, did God “air evacuate” Rahab and her family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! God preserved Rahab and her family IN THE MIDST OF the destruction of the city!

e.) What lesson can we learn from Noah? When God brought His judgment through a great flood upon the inhabitants of the Earth, did He “air evacuate” Noah and his family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! Noah and his family did NOT go AIRBORNE, but rather they were SEABORNE! God preserved Noah and his family IN THE MIDST OF horrible judgment [i.e., the great flood He brought upon the whole Earth] without taking them off of the planet!

The above examples remind me of a beautiful Scripture verse:

“When thou passest THROUGH the waters, I [i.e., the Lord God Almighty] will be with thee; and THROUGH the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest THROUGH the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:2)

Again, preservation IN THE MIDST OF danger, persecution, and tribulation is a general theme that we can see in the Bible – and NOT “aerial evacuation” OFF OF planet Earth to avoid danger, persecution, and tribulation. Of course, we must all keep in mind that there are times when Almighty God chooses not to deliver His servants, such as Stephen, who was stoned. Additionally, after Judas Iscariot perished, all of the apostles except John were murdered!

4) Mark 13:24-27 (:) [The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “But in those days, AFTER that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, (Verse 25): And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (Verse 26): And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (Verse 27): 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.”

If the Christians who were “raptured” BEFORE the start of the “Great Tribulation” (as the Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME) were ALREADY gathered to the Lord, did they get LOST, so that the Lord has to send His angels out to gather them a SECOND time, along with those “poor saps” who got saved “after the rapture” and had to go through the “Great Tribulation”? Again, if there is only ONE “gathering together”, and we Christians who are alive at Christ’s return CANNOT PRECEDE those who are raised in the “resurrection of the just” which occurs at the END of the “Great Tribulation”, it sure looks like the above Scripture verses are placing the “gathering together” of Christians AFTER the “Great Tribulation”!

5) Matthew 13:24-30; 37-42 (:) “Another parable put He [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: (Verse 25): But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. (Verse 26): But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. (Verse 27): So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?’ (Verse 28): He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’ (Verse 29): But he said, ‘Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. (Verse: 30) Let both grow together UNTIL THE HARVEST: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.’” ((A few verses later the disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ ask Him to explain the above parable.))
“…(Verse 37): He [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] answered and said unto them, ‘He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; (Verse 38): The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; (Verse 39): The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (Verse 40): As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; SO shall it be in the end of this world. (Verse 41): The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Verse 42): And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’”
This parable of the Lord Jesus Christ clearly shows that the “tares” are the “bad guys” – and they are the ones who are gathered up FIRST at the “harvest” that occurs at the end of the world! Here we have the Lord Jesus Christ preaching just the OPPOSITE of the Pre-Trib’ers, who say that the “good guys” are the ones gathered up FIRST in the alleged Pre-Trib Rapture.
6) Luke 17:34-37 (:) “I [i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. (Verse 35): Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse 36): Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse 37): And they answered and said unto Him, ‘Where, Lord?’ And He said unto them, ‘Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together.’” (Compare Matthew 24:28.)
Many Pre-Trib writers often use verses 34 through 36 of Luke 17 (or, Matthew 24:40, 41) as a “proof text” for the Pre-Trib Rapture! But they conveniently IGNORE Luke 17:37, where the Lord Jesus Christ tells His disciples that these people who are “taken away” have eagles gathering around their bodies! That sure sounds like those who were taken away were NOT “raptured” ((an ASSUMPTION made by Pre-Trib’ers)), but rather these individuals were taken away in judgment and KILLED. ((Why else would eagles be gathering around their bodies?)) Please remember that in Matthew 13:30, 39-42 that the Lord Jesus Christ said that the “tares” (i.e., the “bad guys”) are gathered first (Matthew 13:30) and burned! No wonder James Lloyd [warning] subtitled his one book, “Dishonesty in Dispensationalism”!
7) Luke 17:26-30 (:) [The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Verse 27): They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (Verse 28): Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; (Verse 29): But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. (Verse 30): Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”
Here we have the Lord Jesus Christ comparing His Second Coming to time of the flood in Noah’s day, and to the time of Lot when fire rained down on Sodom. Well, in Noah’s day the flood came and “took away” the “bad guys”. Additionally, as we pointed out earlier, Noah and his family were not “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE the flood. Also, on the VERY SAME day that Lot went out of Sodom, the fire rained down on that city. Interestingly, Lot also was NOT “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE Sodom was destroyed! Thus neither Noah nor Lot can serve as “examples” of Pre-Tribulation-type deliverance. Both were preserved IN THE MIDST of judgment!
8) Matthew 24:26-33 (:) [The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, ‘Behold, He is in the desert’; go not forth: ‘Behold, He is in the secret chambers’; believe it not. (Verse 27): For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Verse 28): For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Verse 29): Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (Verse 30): And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Verse 31): And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Verse 32): Now learn a parable of the fig tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh [i.e., near]: (Verse 33): So likewise ye, when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” (Matthew 24:26-33)
The Lord Jesus Christ is talking about His Second Coming. He mentions such things as “after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken.” Well, how can any believers see ALL these signs if they’ve been “raptured” OUT BEFORE the “Great Tribulation”? (Pre-Trib’ers will say that those believers who see these signs must be the “Christians who get saved during the Great Tribulation” – but nowhere in Scripture does it say that! Here is yet another ASSUMPTION on the part of the Pre-Trib’ers.)
And while we’re on the subject of these many “Christians who get saved during the Great Tribulation” (according to Pre-Trib’ers), HOW is it that so many people can “get saved” during the “Great Tribulation” when the Holy Spirit and the “Church” have been taken out (according to the Pre-Trib’ers)?
9) Mark 13:20 (:) [The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the days.”
Almost all Bible scholars agree that here we have the Lord Jesus Christ talking about the “Great Tribulation” period. Well, if the “elect” (i.e., believers) have been “raptured” out BEFORE the “Great Tribulation”, then why does God have to shorten “those days” for their sakes? ((Oh, yes, the Pre-Trib’ers will say that the “elect” here must be those “who are saved during the Great Tribulation”. Again, another ASSUMPTION made by the Pre-Trib’ers for which we find absolutely no Scriptural backing!))
10) Revelation/Apocalypse 13:4-7 (:) “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ (Verse 5): And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (Verse 6): And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (Verse 7): And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
Most Bible prophecy scholars agree that the “him” and “he” in verses 5, 6, and 7 refer to the Antichrist. In verse 7 we see that he [the Antichrist, according to most Bible scholars] was given [power] “to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them”. Most Bible scholars also believe that these events are taking place DURING the “Great Tribulation”. Well, if believers have been raptured out BEFORE the “Great Tribulation”, then what “saints” is the Antichrist making war upon? Of course, the Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME that these “saints” must be individuals who have been saved DURING the “Great Tribulation”, after believers had been taken out in the Pre-Trib Rapture. But the Bible does NOT say this! Again, it is yet another very dangerous ASSUMPTION, because if this assumption, and the many other assumptions the Pre-Trib’ers make (some of which have been noted in this newsletter) are WRONG, then a lot of Christians may be very surprised (and shocked) to find out that they are the ones with whom the Antichrist is making war, and that they are here on planet Earth DURING the “Great Tribulation”!
And while we are here in the Book of Revelation/Apocalypse, let’s address an argument that the Pre-Trib’ers put forth, i.e., that from Revelation 3:22 through Revelation 22:16 the word “church” does not appear, thus the “church” must have been “raptured” out, and is not on planet Earth during the “Great Tribulation”. Well, using such “logic”, the word “synagogue” is not mentioned either in those same verses, so there must not be any Jews being saved either during the “Great Tribulation” (no 144,000 Jewish “Billy Grahams” as some Pre-Trib’ers speculate). And if there are folks “getting saved” during the “Great Tribulation” (as Pre-Trib’ers have so written about), why wouldn’t they have the title “the church” as have believers of any other period since Christ’s time here on Earth? Pre-Trib “logic” defies normal logic!

11) Revelation/Apocalypse 20:4-6 (:) “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were BEHEADED for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Verse 5): But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. THIS IS THE FIRST RESURRECTION. (Verse 6): Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”
Nearly all Bible scholars agree that there has never been a time when large numbers of Christians were BEHEADED, and that this occurs during the “Great Tribulation”. Again, if the “church” has been “air evacuated” off of planet Earth, then who are these folks getting beheaded for “the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God”? Well, again, the Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME that “those being beheaded” must be people who are “saved during the Great Tribulation”. But again, the Bible does NOT state such a thing anywhere, and such ASSUMPTIONS may prove quite dangerous to those who embrace them!
12) Revelation/Apocalypse 7:9, 13 and 14 (:) (Verse 9): “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of ALL nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; …(Verse 13): And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they? (Verse 14): And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
Here we see very large numbers of people of ALL nations who have come out of “great tribulation”. So again we must ask this question: “HOW are large numbers of people getting saved out of “great tribulation” if the “church” and the Holy Spirit of God have been previously removed (as the Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME)?”

V. SOME VERY IMPORTANT QUESTIONS
It is here that I would like to ask some questions that Pre-Trib’ers never seem to ask themselves – because I have never seen them addressed in their writings.
Why would believers be taken off the planet in the so-called Pre-Trib Rapture so that they would not have to face the horrors of the “Great Tribulation” period, when so many other Christians have faced HORRIBLE persecution and tribulation throughout Church history? The horrors of the monstrous Inquisition come to mind. The horrible persecution of the Scottish Covenanters comes to mind. The horrible persecution of the French Huguenots comes to mind. The horrible persecution of Christians by several of the Roman emperors comes to mind. Why in blazes would there be a “special class” of Christians at the end of the age that gets spared horrible persecution?
Yes, I know the arguments of the Pre-Trib’ers:
1. “God would not allow His bride (the Church) to go through the tribulation period to get bloodied.”
2. “God has not appointed us to wrath, so we don’t have to go through the great tribulation period.”
The Pre-Trib’ers apply such good things to themselves – i.e., they won’t go through the “Great Tribulation” because they haven’t been “appointed to wrath”, and because they are the “bride of Christ”. But somehow these same Pre-Trib’ers believe that those individuals who get saved DURING the “Great Tribulation” under much more stressful and demanding conditions (and horrors) than many of these “air evacuated” Christians ever had to face, well, those “saved-during-the-Great-Tribulation” believers do NOT get to be spared from “God’s wrath”, and they are NOT evidently as much a part of “Christ’s bride” as those who are “raptured” in the end time! What is wrong with this picture? Of course, I Thessalonians 5:9 lets us know that God has not appointed ANY believers (including those who go through the “Great Tribulation”) to (His) wrath, but rather “to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. The Pre-Trib’ers surely are getting the “Antichrist’s wrath” MIXED UP with “God’s wrath” during the “Great Tribulation”, and ASSUME they won’t be facing the “Antichrist’s wrath” during that period – you know, that nasty stuff is for those “OTHER” Christians who are saved during the “Great Tribulation” (according to the Pre-Trib’ers). Again, HOW IN BLAZES can this group of Pre-Trib’ers think that they are going to get a massive break from horrible persecution and evil during the “Great Tribulation” when MILLIONS of Christians in other eras faced the most horrible persecution, and quite likely MILLIONS of Christians will be martyred by the Antichrist in the future? I personally cannot figure out this Pre-Trib “logic” – but I do think the Pre-Trib Rapture is “illogical ESCAPISM to the maximum degree”, thrown in with a lot of ignorance of key Bible verses – along with some fantastic twisting of other Bible verses!

This tremendous quotation from Steve Wohlberg’s book, End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World, is quite revealing. Steve Wohlberg states: “Could it be that the idea of escaping tribulation is really only catering to our lukewarm American tendencies? We like comfort; hate to go through trials; and can hardly bear it when our TV-dinner lifestyle is threatened. Yet historically, God’s people have gone through intense suffering. All the disciples of Jesus [Christ], except John, were brutally murdered. Thousands of early Christians were torn to shreds by wild dogs inside the Coliseum. Millions of others were horribly tortured by the Inquisition and burnt to ashes during the Dark Ages. …Believers in Russia and [Red] China have suffered terribly under communism, and yet American Christians say, ‘God wouldn’t allow us to go through the tribulation!’”


VI. BAD FRUIT

I have heard Pre-Trib’ers say that the “imminent” [i.e., “at any moment”] return of the Lord Jesus Christ makes them serve the Lord more fervently. That may be true for a number of Pre-Trib’ers – I know one pastor who is really fighting tyranny who believes in the Pre-Trib Rapture.

However, a whole bunch of Pre-Trib’ers I know [i.e., those with whom I have come into close contact] use the Pre-Trib Rapture as an excuse to sit back, and they do nothing to fight the wicked tyranny we see today. I’ve heard: “Why should I care about the evil movement towards one-world government, etc., that we see today – don’t you know, I’m going to be out of here in the ‘rapture’ BEFORE things really get bad.” I’ve heard that, and similar statements, from many Pre-Trib’ers who are just sitting around, NOT opposing evil or tyranny, waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ to “air evacuate” them out BEFORE things really get “hairy” [i.e., dangerous]. Another statement I’ve heard is this: “Don’t resist the New World Order, because, don’t you know, it’s all been prophesied.” Such thinking on the part of many Pre-Trib’ers is sickening!

VII. SUMMARY

1. As Pre-Trib scholar John Walvood says, there is NO SINGLE verse of Scripture that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture.

2. Pre-Trib’ers FORCE ASSUMPTIONS on many key Bible verses – especially ASSUMING that all references to “saints” and the “elect” being persecuted and martyred during the “Great Tribulation” must refer to “those individuals saved” AFTER the Pre-Trib Rapture has occurred. ((Again, how are all these folks getting “saved” during the “Great Tribulation” if the “Church” and the “restrainer” (i.e., the Holy Spirit according to Pre-Trib’ers) have been removed?))

3. We are NOT able to find one instance in the New Testament where the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, or the Apostle John, make a statement to the effect that “the church is going to be evacuated off the planet BEFORE the Great Tribulation period begins”. Isn’t that a bit strange if the Pre-Trib Rapture view is the correct one?

4. Despite taking a couple of texts OUT OF CONTEXT from a few early church fathers’ writings, the Pre-Trib’ers really CANNOT find any predominant, popular teaching that supports a Pre-Trib Rapture in any era of Church history before the 1830s.

5. Many great heroes of the Christian faith, such as John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, George Whitefield, etc., were all solid Post-Trib believers!

6. The Pre-Trib Rapture view is a very big “cash cow” for Pre-Trib writers. Yet, surprisingly, there are some Pre-Trib writers who will admit that the Pre-Trib view is still a minority view. How can that be, you may ask, since so many prophecy books favor the “Pre-Trib” Rapture view? That is because so many of the major “Christian” publishing houses are, for the most part, CONTROLLED by “liberal” ‘Christians’. Post-Trib writers often find it extremely hard to get their books published by these publishing houses, because, Pre-Trib “sells”. ((Could that be because the Pre-Trib Rapture view appeals to an “escapist” mentality? It’s that “I sure don’t want to be here when the Antichrist takes over” mentality! The Pre-Trib Rapture view appeals to our “flesh” – after all, who wants to face persecution?)) Also, Dr. Robert Gundry says that most of the professors [at Bible colleges] that he knows hold to the Post-Trib Rapture view. He adds that some of the professors and students at colleges and institutions of the Pre-Trib Rapture persuasion hold the Post-Trib view, but cannot say so publicly for fear of losing their positions or not being allowed to graduate!

7. Despite the fact that the Pre-Trib’ers dislike Dave MacPherson, and call him names, yet they have NOT been able to disprove his well-documented findings that show that the Pre-Trib Rapture’s origins (as far as any widespread teaching) date back to the 1830s – and not earlier than that era! Nor have the Pre-Trib’ers been able to disprove MacPherson’s findings that the vast majority of the early church fathers believed that the church would go THROUGH the “Great Tribulation” – and lots of tribulation along the way to the “Great Tribulation”.

8. The Pre-Trib teaching seems to have originated in the British Isles in the 1830s. ((The Jesuits may have been doing a little “Dispensational creativity” in that arena many years prior to that time.)) This Pre-Trib theory was “transported” to America a little bit later, and was popularized by the Scofield Study Bible.

9. To believe in a Pre-Trib Rapture, one must IGNORE several key Bible verses that speak directly against a Pre-Trib Rapture, such as John 17:15 where the Lord Jesus Christ prays that the Father NOT take believers OUT OF the world – and I Thessalonians 4:16, 17 which says that the Christians living at the time of Christ’s return are not caught up UNTIL AFTER the “dead in Christ” are raised “FIRST”!

10. Believing in the Pre-Trib Rapture, it seems to me, goes AGAINST the prevalent theme of the Bible dealing with tribulation and persecution. This prevalent theme is “preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation”. ((Please recall the accounts of Daniel in the lions’ den, and of the three young Jews in the fiery furnace!))

11. To believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, you have to ASSUME that you will be amongst a very “select group” of Christians who will not have to suffer horrible things during the “Great Tribulation”. Your “select group” excludes the MILLIONS of Christians from the past who were NOT “air evacuated” from their tribulation and suffering, and the probable MILLIONS who become “saved” during the “Great Tribulation”, and who will suffer martyrdom!


12. The Pre-Trib Rapture view, for the most part, seems to produce very BAD FRUIT – i.e., it seems to have “neutralized” many Christians living today, causing them to sit back and NOT fight evil. ((And that’s, because, don’t you know, they won’t be here when things get really bad.)) Oh – might this “doctrine” have been designed to “neutralize” Christians?

VIII. FINAL THOUGHTS
Here is something for those who preach and/or teach the Pre-Trib Rapture to think about: Your promotion of this doctrine could cause some Christians who hear it to believe that they are in no danger from the Antichrist, or from the Antichrist system. How would you feel if you met these folks in heaven – folks who had not taken appropriate means to defend themselves and their families, and had to watch as murderous thugs raped, tortured, and murdered their family members in front of their very eyes – all because they thought they wouldn’t be here?
Additionally, isn’t it the “height of arrogance” to believe that only a relatively small, special group of Christians during the end times are spared horrible persecution and tribulation?

IX. CLOSING QUOTE
Let’s close with a great quote by Corrie ten Boom, a great Christian lady:
“I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In China the Christians were told, ‘Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes, you will be translated – raptured.’ Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a bishop from China say, sadly, ‘We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first.’
Turning to me he said, ‘You still have time. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when tribulation comes – to stand and not faint.’
I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation…
Since I have gone already through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met that bishop from China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think ‘Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.’ Then I write it down and learn it by heart.”

--------------------
The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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EXAMINING the TOUGH ISSUES

FACING CHRISTIANS TODAY!



Issue #8 // Originally published: February 24, 2003 // Editor: Darryl Eberhart
(Fifth Update – Massively Expanded Issue: through March 22, 2008)



“RAPTURE TIMING AND DISPENSATIONALISM”

(Originally published as: “Rapture Timing is Important!”)



VERY IMPORTANT COMMENT: If you read only one thing in this newsletter, then PLEASE read the Bible verses and passages in Section II. The sequence of events leading up to the “Rapture” of “end-time” Christians is clearly spelled out in the first four Bible passages listed in that section.



NOTE #1: All emphasis in this newsletter, unless otherwise noted, is by the editor of “Examining the Tough Issues (ETI)” and “Tackling the Tough Topics (TTT)” newsletters. All of my new, as well as updated, articles and newsletters are posted on these three websites: www.toughissues.org, www.pastorbutch.com, and www.gordoncomstock.com. (On the second website, please “click” on the “Tackling the Tough Topics” box in the left-hand column of their homepage. On the third website, at the top of their homepage, please “double click” on the “RESOURCES” box, and then “double click” on the “Tackling the Tough Topics” box. If you would like to print off copies of any of my newsletters and articles, then I would suggest that you print them off from the third website – since they should “print out” best from it.)



NOTE #2: All Bible verses quoted by this editor are taken from the Authorized King James Version (KJV). I have used “italics” for ALL the quotations that I have placed in this newsletter, including those from the Bible. When a KJV Bible verse is quoted in which “italics” were used in the original ONLY for those words supplied by the translators to clarify meanings, such words will still appear in “italics”; however, I have also placed such “KJV translator-supplied words” in BRACKETS, e.g., [the sins of]. Amplifying data that I personally am adding within or before the Bible verse will also be in BRACKETS; however, my amplifying data will NOT be in “italics”, and will be preceded by the abbreviation “Ed.” [for “editor”], e.g., [Ed.: i.e., Jesus Christ]. The reason: Sometimes in sending data electronically [e.g., via E-Mail], the “italics” is lost. In such a case, my added amplifying data [in brackets] could be distinguished from those original KJV italicized words [added by the translators to clarify meanings] by the “Ed.”



NOTE #3: The following abbreviations will be used throughout the text:



(1) “Pre-Trib” = The Pre-Tribulation (Rapture)

(2) “Post-Trib” = The Post-Tribulation (Rapture)

(3) “Pre-Trib’ers” = Individuals who believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture

(4) “Post-Trib’ers” = Individuals who believe in the Post-Tribulation Rapture.



NOTE #4: The “Pre-Trib Rapture” is but one piece of a larger “prophetic pie” called “Dispensationalism”. According to Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World” (2004; Page 129), Dispensationalism “is the theory that God deals with mankind in distinct periods or ages.” Wohlberg adds, “According to [Ed.: John Nelson] Darby, we’re now in the ‘Church Age’, which will conclude with the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture.” (More information on “Dispensationalism” is given in the “Definitions” section of this newsletter.)



ED. COMMENT added on September 30, 2007: I used to believe in the Pre-Tribulation (Pre-Trib) Rapture for many years. I had read a number of books supporting the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint by men like Hal Lindsay and John Walvoord. However, as I began my study through the entire Holy Bible, I discovered more and more Bible passages that clearly contradicted the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint! I also noticed that the teaching of the Pre-Trib Rapture had neutralized MANY Bible-believing Christians whom I had personally met. It “neutralized” them because they used it as an “excuse” for NOT fighting evil! Thus, I decided in 2003 that this was a “tough issue” that needed to be “examined” – even if doing so would disturb some folks’ comfort zones. After all, TRUTH is far more important than any of our “comfort zones”.



ED. COMMENT added on October 14, 2007: Some people will criticize me for being “divisive” because I have written about what they perceive to be a “minor” issue of doctrine – one that they would say is not a “salvation” issue. However, ALL doctrine is important – and if someone is teaching a doctrine that is contradicted by the Holy Bible (as I believe that the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine is), and which also neutralizes Christians, then I MUST expose that doctrine.



Ed. Comment added on December 6, 2007: If you believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, then I would ask that you please read this newsletter with an open mind. (Please keep in mind that at one time I too believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture.) Whatever the current prevailing view on any topic is, it may not be correct. Please remember that at one time most people thought that the world was flat! Most of us have, at one time or another, been victims of misinformation and disinformation. We must never forget that one key element of the Jesuit-led Counter-Reformation is to INFILTRATE Protestant and independent, Bible-believing circles in order to “sow” false doctrine and false ideas in order to NEUTRALIZE true Christianity! Please consider the following quotes from the book of Proverbs:



(1) “He that answereth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him.” (Proverbs 18:13)



(2) “[He that is] first in his own cause [seemeth] just [Ed.: i.e., right; correct; true]; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him.” (Proverbs 18:17)



(3) “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge…” (Proverbs 15:14 a.)



DEFINITIONS (Hopefully in alphabetical order):



NOTE #1: Please carefully read these “definitions” BEFORE reading the rest of this newsletter, since the “definitions” are critical to understanding (a.) the “players” who were involved in concocting and popularizing the Pre-Trib Rapture and, (b.) some of the “terms” that are used within the “dispensationalist camp”.



NOTE #2: I may not necessarily agree totally with every word of every “definition” given by some of the dictionaries and authors quoted within this section; however, what they have stated is given so that the reader of this newsletter can examine two or more “definitions” for some of the “key terms”.



NOTE #3: Bible prophecy is sometimes “layered” (i.e., it may have more than one application). Also, there are clearly “types” shown in the Bible (such as Moses being a “type” of Christ). Therefore, I may not necessarily agree with everything exactly as stated by some of these authors concerning their prophetic viewpoints as found within some of their definitions in this section. I would encourage the readers of this newsletter to prayerfully and carefully study through the entire Bible, and then form their own conclusions about Bible prophecy!



“Anti-” (Per “Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language”): “A preposition signifying ‘against’, ‘opposite’, ‘contrary’, or ‘IN PLACE OF’; used in many English words.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: One should carefully consider the particular meaning “in [the] place of” for the prefix “anti-” as concerns the term “anti-Christ” – i.e., one who sits “in [the] place of” Christ.



“Antichrist” (Per “VINE’S Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words”; 1985): “Antichrist [Greek: antichristos]…can mean either ‘against Christ’ or ‘instead of Christ’, or perhaps, combining the two, ‘one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ’…”



“Antichrist” (Per “Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language”): “A great adversary of Christ; the man of sin; described [in] I John 2:18; II Thessalonians [Chapter] 2; [and] Revelation [Chapter] 9. Protestants generally suppose this adversary to be the Papal power; and some divines [Ed.: i.e., clergymen] believe that, in a more general sense, the word extends to any persons who deny Christ or oppose the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.”



“Antichrist” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 89): “The word ‘antichrist’ literally means ‘opposed to’ or ‘IN THE PLACE OF’ Christ, and in its most subtle and diabolical manifestation it concerns something which [Ed.: or someone who] claims loyalty to Jesus [Christ] while really leading away from Him.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding three definitions: Leading Protestant Reformers (e.g., Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, etc.) agreed that the Roman Pontiff [i.e., the pope of Rome] was clearly identified in Scripture as the “Antichrist”. (Please see my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, which can be viewed on the three Internet websites listed at the beginning of this newsletter.)



“Daniel’s 70th Week” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 96): “Prophecy teachers in our generation definitely apply the day-for-a-year principle to the famous 70th week of Daniel 9:27, which says, ‘And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice…to cease’ (Daniel 9:27 KJV). Based on the day-year truth, this ‘one week’ is really seven years. …Many prophecy scholars today – following the lead of J.N. Darby – have decided to sever this 70th week [of Daniel 9:27] from the first 69 weeks (creating an almost 2000 year gap or parenthesis), slide it down to the end times, and call it ‘the seven years of tribulation’. We have already analyzed the problems with this view, and have proven [that] it was really Jesus Christ who brought an end to the Jewish sacrificial system through His death on the cross. Net conclusion: [Ed.: There is] no seven-year tribulation.” (See also “Seven-Year Period of Tribulation” in this section.)



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: Incredibly, Pre-Trib Rapture teachers and writers take this prophecy in Daniel 9:27, which points to Jesus Christ, and apply it to a “future Antichrist”! As Steve Wohlberg states on page 46 of his book “End Time DELUSIONS” (2004): “After exactly three and a half years of holy ministry, Jesus Christ died on the cross, ‘in the midst of the week [in the middle of the seven years].’ At the exact moment of His death, ‘the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…’ (Matthew 27:51) This act of God signified that all animal sacrifices at that moment ceased to be of value. Why? Because the Perfect Sacrifice had been offered!”



“Darby, John Nelson” (Per Dr. James M. Dunn, Baptist Joint Committee, Washington, D.C. – his quote is taken from page 35 of the book, “Forcing God’s Hand”, by Grace Halsell; Darby was the founder of the “Plymouth Brethren”:

“…Two men largely were responsible for giving a new interpretation to Scripture, called ‘Dispensationalism’. They said that saved Christians will be Raptured before the Tribulation.

John [Nelson] Darby [Ed.: 1800-1882], a former minister in the Church of England, became an ‘apostle and missionary’ for this dispensationalist belief. After traveling extensively in Europe, he began missionary journeys in the United States. He met with and influenced leaders of the New Bible and Prophecy Conference movement, which set the tone for the evangelical and fundamentalist movements in North America between 1875 and 1920.

Darby had direct contact with and considerable influence on such evangelical leaders as the Presbyterian James Brookes of Philadelphia; Dwight L. Moody of Chicago; the early evangelical author William E. Blackstone; as well as Cyrus Scofield, who published the ‘Scofield Reference Bible’.

Until the mid-1800s and the preaching of Darby and Scofield, no one, whether Catholic or Protestant, had dreamed of an end-time escapism.”



“Darby, John Nelson” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 127, 128): “John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)…[was] a brilliant lawyer, pastor, and theologian. …Darby’s contribution to the development of evangelical theology has been so great [that] he has been called ‘The Father of Modern Dispensationalism’. Yet John Nelson Darby, like [Ed.: Scottish Presbyterian minister] Edward Irving, not only became a champion for the pre-tribulation rapture idea…but also of a future antichrist who appears only after we [Ed.: Christians] disappear [Ed.: in the Pre-Trib Rapture]. Both teachings – a secret [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture and a future Mr. Ghastly [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist] – are now dispensational pillars.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author Dave Macpherson, Darby took his ideas for the “Pre-Trib Rapture” from Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, who had taken at least some of his ideas concerning the “Pre-Trib Rapture” from Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald.


“Dispensation” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[Ed.: A dispensation is] a time period or epoch, whereby people are judged according to their personal relationship with God.”



“Dispensationalism” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[Ed.: Dispensationalism is] a belief system that holds, among other things, that the signs of the Second Coming of Christ are clearly spelled out in Scripture and can be identified with current international events. This theology, less than 200 years old, was popularized by [Ed.: British evangelist] John [Nelson] Darby of England and in America by Cyrus Scofield, whose ‘Scofield Reference Bible’ explains that God has special interest in only two peoples: Jews, said to be on an ‘earthly’ track, and Christians on a ‘heavenly’ track.”



“Dispensationalism” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 128, 129): “Dispensationalism is the theory that God deals with mankind in distinct periods or ages. …[Ed.: These two teachings of] a secret [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture and a future Mr. Ghastly [Ed: i.e., the exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist] are now dispensational pillars.”


“Dispensationalism” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 23): “…He [Ed.: i.e., British evangelist John Nelson Darby] invented ‘dispensations’ – that is, intervals of time ordering God’s grand timetable for world events. From this expression came ‘Dispensationalism’, a particular system or school of thinking about the end-times reflecting Darby’s premise. According to Darby’s view, God has divided all of human history into seven distinct dispensations, or ages, and during each time God has dealt with people according to a different set of rules. Dispensationalism thus lays out a rigid master plan for all of history.”



“Dispensationalism” (Per James Lloyd, author of “The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 7): “Although the [Ed.: pre-tribulational] rapturist system teaches the error [that] the ‘Church’ will be ‘raptured’ before the tribulation, leaving the Jews to face the Antichrist in the last ‘dispensation’, the systemic error that is Dispensationalism is far broader than just the pre-tribulational rapture. At its most basic level, Dispensationalism divides the ages into contrived time periods, dubbed ‘dispensations’, in which God separates how He deals with Jews and Gentiles.”



“Dispensationalist” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[A dispensationalist is] one who adheres to the belief in seven epochs (dispensations) that must transpire to usher in the Second Coming of Christ.”



“Futurism” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 116): “Futurism is what [Ed.: Spanish JESUIT] Francisco Ribera [1537-1591] taught. In contrast to Preterism, Futurism usually sees the majority of Revelation’s prophecies (from Chapter 4 onward) as yet on the horizon. Concerning the Antichrist…Futurism generally applies the prophecies of ‘the little horn’, ‘the man of sin’, and ‘the beast’ to a single, yet-future Mr. Serpent [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist]…

As with Preterism, Futurism’s net result is that it also significantly wipes away ‘the beast’ [Ed.: i.e., the Antichrist] stain from the papacy.”



“Great Tribulation” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “‘Great Tribulation’ is a term found in Matthew 24:21 and in Revelation 2:22 and 7:14. Some writers of prophecy books refer to the end-times’ tribulation period, which occurs just prior to the Second Coming of Christ, as ‘the Great Tribulation’.”



“Irving, Edward” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 127): “…Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving (1792-1834)…pastored the large Chalcedonian Chapel in London [England] with over 1000 members. Cofounder of ‘The Society for the Investigation of Prophecy’, Irving eventually accepted the one-man antichrist idea of [John Henry] Newman [Ed.: who later became a Roman Catholic cardinal], Burgh, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and [Ed.: Spanish Jesuit Francisco] Ribera, yet he went a step further. Somewhere around 1830, Edward Irving began to teach the novel idea of a two-phase return of Christ, the first phase being ‘a secret rapture before the rise of antichrist’.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author Dave Macpherson, British evangelist John Nelson Darby took his Pre-Trib ideas from Edward Irving, who took some of his Pre-Trib ideas from Margaret Macdonald! Irving had earlier “supervised” the translation into English of Jesuit Emmanuel Lacunza’s book, “The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty”. This English translation of Lacunza’s book was published in 1827. Did Irving supervise the translation of Lacunza’s book into English knowing that Lacunza was a Jesuit?



“Jesuit Order” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “The Jesuit Order is a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, officially approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. The primary goals of this order are (1) to roll back the Protestant Reformation and the freedoms that it brought to many of the inhabitants of this planet; (2) to enhance the power and prestige of the Papacy (and its ‘White Pope’); and (3) to rule despotically over the governments of the world through the Papacy. The head of the Jesuit Order is the Jesuit Superior General – the ‘Black Pope’ – the real power behind the Papal throne. The Jesuit Order is infamous for fomenting revolutions and wars, assassinating heads of State, and subverting nations. I believe that it is almost impossible to understand European history and Church history without a good understanding of the Protestant Reformation and the Jesuit-led Counter-Reformation.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: I included the “Jesuit Order” in this “Definitions” section because the Jesuit Order not only choreographed brutal Inquisition of Bible-believing Christians, but also has infiltrated Protestant denominations and independent, Bible-believing groups, societies, associations, organizations, and institutes. This infiltration program (part of the Jesuit-led “Counter-Reformation”) has included: (1) putting undercover Jesuits and Jesuit “temporal coadjutors” in key positions in such groups, associations, etc. (e.g., John Henry Newman of the Oxford movement); and, (2) introducing theological “viruses” through Jesuit-concocted and/or supported doctrines. I believe that one can make a pretty good “case” that the Jesuits had at least a “major assist” on the development of certain aspects of “Dispensationalism”, such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and an “exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist” (the latter viewpoint conveniently taking the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy)!



“Lacunza, Emmanuel” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Emmanuel Lacunza [1731-1801] was a Chilean JESUIT who wrote the four-volume book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’. Lacunza used the pseudonym of Rabbi Juan Josafat Ben Ezra for his book in order to deceive Protestants into thinking that it had been written by a Messianic [i.e., “Converted”] Jew, thus for a time concealing its JESUIT origins! Lacunza’s book provided at least some of the ingredients for the largely fictional prophetic concoction that is today called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture – a doctrine that is one of the pillars of ‘Dispensationalism’. Author and researcher Dave MacPherson admits that Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving may have been influenced on some details of futurist views by [Jesuit] Emmanuel Lacunza. MacPherson tells us that while ‘Lacunza saw a future tribulation and hinted that the [two] witnesses could represent at least part of the church, he didn’t see them raptured before the tribulation’. Manuscripts of Jesuit Lacunza’s book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’ were in circulation as early as the 1790s. The first complete Spanish edition of Emmanuel Lacunza’s book was published in London in 1816, and an English translation (supervised by Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving) was published in 1827.”



“‘Left Behind’ series” (Per Lisa Ruby, author of “GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Pages 1, 29, 61, 64, 94, 102, 133, 160, and 191):

“The ‘Left Behind’ series presents a false grace through ‘Christian’ characters that give in to ungodliness and worldly lusts that war against their souls. The storyline has the characters sinning to survive and rationalizing their service to sin because they are living during the tribulation.

…The ‘Left Behind’ series was written in such a way as to pervert major biblical truths, but because this is not easily seen, these perversions enter into the reader’s mind without him even realizing it.

…Even more disturbing is that the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors’ depiction of the happenings at the outset of the tribulation parallel what is actually planned [Ed.: emphasis in original] by the New World Order elitists. …There will be mass disappearances around the world that might be reported by the media as occurring simultaneously, but they will NOT occur because Jesus Christ has taken His people from the earth in a secret, pre-tribulation rapture that He NEVER promised. The horrific happenings [that] the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors portrayed as being caused by Jesus rapturing His people from the earth before the tribulation is WITHOUT any scriptural foundation. …The ‘Left Behind’ series sends the message that if you hear of mass disappearances [Ed.: during the “tribulation”] you should not suspect that any foul play occurred.

…The ‘Left Behind’ series presents many false teachings about the mark of the beast. [Ed. Note: You will need to read Lisa Ruby’s book for the details!]

…The ‘mark of the believer’ deception [i.e., cross-shaped smudge marks on their foreheads], repeated many times in the ‘Left Behind’ series, is one such teaching they can and will use against Christians during the tribulation if they can get away with it. …[The] visible ‘mark of the believer’ is not in the Bible.

…The [‘Left Behind’ series] authors have treated the sacred subject of sex in an unholy manner in the ‘Left Behind’ series.

…By the way, the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors want the reader to think [that] the president of the United States of America will go against the regime of the New World Order. This is totally inaccurate because the government of the United States of America is leading the world into the New World Order.

…The ‘Left Behind’ series gives the reader a false hope right out of the pit of hell, that you can serve sin today and then decide to serve Jesus when that Wicked is revealed.”



“‘Left Behind’ series” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 21): “In the last few years, the number-one promoter of the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture idea has been the New York Times best-selling ‘Left Behind’ series, coauthored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. A high-speed, 12-book sequence of novels about the end times, ‘Left Behind’ teaches that the return of Jesus Christ takes place in two distinct phases. First [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers], Jesus [Christ] comes ‘invisibly’ to remove His Church before a seven-year tribulation during which the rest of humanity must face the antichrist. This is [called] the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture. At the end of those seven years [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers], Jesus [Christ] will again return ‘visibly’ to deliver those who became Christians during the tribulation… This is the second coming. Thus [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers] it’s rapture first, then seven years with the antichrist, then the visible second coming of Jesus Christ.” (Emphasis is by author Steve Wohlberg.)


“‘Left Behind’ series” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page xi): “‘Left Behind’ theology is sheer fiction – indeed, a most dangerous fiction.”



“Lloyd, James” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “James Lloyd of ‘Christian Media’ is one of the champions in the fight to expose the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as a false, unbiblical doctrine. (Another such champion is author Dave MacPherson.) James Lloyd has authored the following books about Pre-Tribulation Rapturism: ‘The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism’, ‘Lying in Laodicea’, ‘The Reckoning’, and ‘Invisible Scripture’. He has also exposed the Pre-Trib Rapture on his radio broadcast and in printed articles.”



“Macdonald, Margaret” (Per Dave MacPherson, author of “The Rapture Plot”; 1995; Pages 2, 3, 6, 51 and 53):
“One person whose prophetic views greatly influenced [Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward] Irving and his friends was Miss Margaret Macdonald, a young lassie living in the small shipbuilding town of Port Glasgow in western Scotland.
…During springtime in 1830, an end-time vision [Ed. Note: of a two-stage Second Coming of Jesus Christ with a secret Pre-Trib Rapture] sprang into Margaret Macdonald’s mind. Privately, she sent handwritten copies of her Scripture-riddled revelation to some leading clergymen including Irving.

…As early as June 2, 1830, Edward Irving confessed in a private letter that the ‘substance of…Margaret Macdonald’s visions or revelations…carry to me a spiritual conviction and a spiritual reproof which I cannot express’.

…As early as the September 1830 issue of ‘The Morning Watch’, a writer using the pen name of ‘Fidus’ clearly expressed her [Ed.: i.e., Margaret Macdonald’s] novel idea – the earliest moment I’ve found anyone publicly teaching the pretrib rapturescape.

…What generally hasn’t been known about Margaret [Macdonald] is the extent to which she was open to the world of the ‘occult’.

…Although Margaret [Macdonald] wasn’t a rapture date-setter, she was an Antichrist-setter. On the same evening that found her arriving at her pretrib rapture construction, she predicted that 19th century socialist Robert Owen…would eventually become the Antichrist. But Owen failed to do his part and died in 1858!”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald was about 15 years old when, in the springtime of 1830, she got her “end-time vision” of a “two-stage” Second Coming of Jesus Christ.



“MacPherson, Dave” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Author Dave MacPherson is one of the champions in the fight to expose the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as a false, unbiblical doctrine of fairly recent origin (i.e., making its public debut in the early 1830s). (Another such champion is author James Lloyd.) Dave MacPherson has authored the following books about Pre-Tribulation Rapturism: ‘The Incredible Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories’, ‘The Rapture Plot’, and ‘The Three R’s: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery: Pretribulation Rapturism from 1830 to Hal Lindsey’. Dave MacPherson traveled to both England and Scotland to do much of his research on the ‘origins’ of Pre-Tribulation Rapturism.”



“Mid-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “The Mid-Tribulation Rapture is also called by some the ‘Pre-Wrath Rapture’ – and it teaches that Jesus Christ will ‘rapture’ His Church somewhere right in the middle of the alleged ‘seven-year tribulation period’ – and just PRIOR to God pouring out His wrath on the remaining inhabitants of planet Earth (during the last half of that alleged ‘seven-year tribulation period’). I suspect that this is the ‘rapture viewpoint’ with the fewest adherents.”


“Newman, John Henry” (Per David W. Daniels, author of “Did The Catholic Church Give Us The Bible?: The True History of God’s Words”; 2005; Pages 116 and 117): “A ‘Judas Iscariot’ was firmly planted in England. His name was John [Henry] Newman (1801-90). John was a deep ‘mole’ who served the Vatican by controlling the Tractarian society. John’s brainwashing tactics were so effective that they actually shifted the thinking of the English Protestants and drew them closer to [Ed.: Papal] Rome. [Ed.: Emphasis is in the original.] …Finally in 1845 he [Ed.: Newman] revealed the truth [Ed.: of his loyalty to Papal Rome]. With his disguise off Newman took almost 250 ministers and theologians, and near 625 professors, Parliament members, etc., to serve the ‘great ***** ’. Newman delivered England to [Ed.: Papal] Rome! Just one year after he dumped his Christian faith, John [Henry Newman] was made a [Roman Catholic] priest.”



“Newman, John Henry” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 127): “John Henry Newman (1801-1890) [was] a member of the Church of England and a leader of the famous Oxford movement (1833-1845). In 1850, Newman wrote his ‘Letter on Anglican Difficulties’ blatantly revealing that one of the goals of the [Ed.: Oxford] movement was to lead ‘the various English denominations and parties’ back to [Ed.: Papal] Rome. The ‘Oxford Tracts’ gave fresh weight to ‘anti-Protestant opinions’, gave ‘assistance [to] the laborers of the futurist school’, worked to ‘unprotestantize the Church of England’ and ‘set aside all application to the Roman Papacy of the fearful prophecies respecting Antichrist.’ After publishing his own pamphlet about a future Mr. Sinister [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist], Newman himself became a [Roman] Catholic, and later a highly honored cardinal…”



Ed. Comment to the preceding two definitions: Why are so many Roman Catholics, Jesuits, and a Roman Catholic sympathizer (who later became a Roman Catholic priest and cardinal) involved with some of the “futurist” elements of Dispensationalism, such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and/or an “exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist” (which effectively takes the SPOTLIGHT off of the Papacy as being the Antichrist)?



“Oxford movement” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “[Ed: The Oxford movement was] a High-Church, anti-liberal movement within the Church of England, begun at Oxford University in 1833: see TRACTARIANISM.” [Ed. NOTE: I have seen both “Oxford movement” and “Oxford Movement” in various books and dictionaries.]



“Oxford movement” (Per John W. Kennedy of India, author of “The Torch of the Testimony”; 1965; Pages 205-207):

“…Of these champions of the established Church a number were associated with Oxford [England], hence the name Oxford Movement which was given to their society. [Ed.: The movement was begun officially in 1833.] The most well known [Ed.: member of the Oxford movement] was John Henry Newman, later to become a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. …These men sought to establish the unbroken succession of the Church of England from the ancient [Roman] Catholic Church, and advertised their views in a series of papers which they called ‘Tracts for the Times’. From these [tracts] the name ‘Tractarians’ has been derived. They made much of the glorious tradition of the past, and held to a doctrine of Apostolic Succession whereby the authority of the apostles was transmitted to bishops down through the centuries by the laying on of hands. …Only those, they said, who are in the apostolic succession can validly administer the sacraments which are a means of saving grace. [Ed.: Of course, that is clearly 100% Roman Catholic doctrine!] The doctrine of transubstantiation was held, and there was a return to many Romish practices – truths, they believed, which the Reformers had wrongly repudiated.

…The Anglo-Catholic Tractarians gained a large following among the clergy.

…In 1839 [John Henry] Newman issued Tract XC [i.e., #90]. It roused tremendous controversy, and resulted in further tracts being forbidden. In Tract XC Newman dealt with the question of interpreting the thirty-nine articles which outlined the definitely Protestant faith of the Church of England. These, he said, could be conscientiously signed, but interpreted from the standpoint of the [Roman] Catholic Church, not interpreted only as their authors originally intended. The furious outcry which resulted charged the Tractarians with evasion and Jesuitry… A few years later, in 1845, [John Henry] Newman was formally received into the Roman Catholic Church. Some hundreds of clergymen and laymen followed him.

The departure of Newman and his followers did not mean the break up of the Anglo-Catholic party. It was seriously weakened, but, under the able leadership of Edward Pusey [Ed. Note: from which we get the term “Puseyism”] was, within a few years, stronger than it had ever been, and was continuing to grow. Up to the present day it has exercised a powerful influence in a large section of the Anglican Church, and has wrought almost unbelievable changes to restore ideas of the Middle Ages which great men like [Nicholas] Ridley and [Hugh] Latimer opposed to the point of giving their lives at the stake.”



Ed. Comments to the preceding two definitions:



(1) “The Oxford movement” was clearly controlled in the 1830s and in the 1840s by undercover Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic sympathizers within the Church of England. One of the leaders of “the Oxford movement” was John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who later left the movement to become a Roman Catholic priest – and still later, a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church! “The Oxford movement” was doing all it could in the 1830s and 1840s to push the Church of England back into the arms of the Papacy!



(2) Something for all of us to consider: Were there any links between this pro-Roman Catholic “Oxford movement” and either Edward Irving or John Nelson Darby, both of whom taught the Pre-Trib Rapture? Although the Oxford movement officially began in 1833, the Anglo-Catholic party had been working very hard within the Church of England PRIOR to that time to bring the Church of England back more in line with Roman Catholicism! Remember also that the Jesuits had been very active in England from the time of the late 1500s!



(3) Though there may not be any connection, I find it interesting that my copy of the “Scofield Study Bible” (whose notes strongly promote “Dispensationalism” and the “Pre-Trib Rapture”) was published by the “OXFORD University Press”. Geoffrey Thomas of “The Banner of Truth” tells us that the Oxford University Press is “no friend to gospel Christianity”, and that it paid Cyrus I. Scofield “enormous royalties” [for his work on the “Scofield Study Bible”].



(4) Please also see “Tractarianism” in this section.



“Post-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “The Post-Tribulation Rapture was the ‘rapture viewpoint’ held by the vast majority of Christian writers throughout Church history until at least the 1830s. This viewpoint places the true Church here on planet Earth DURING the end-times’ tribulation period when the Antichrist makes the final push to exterminate Bible-believing Christianity – and possibly even much (or, all) of nominal Christianity.”


“Pre-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 22):

“The [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] Rapture has its origins in the nineteenth century – beginning, according to one critic [Ed.: i.e., author Dave MacPherson], with a young girl’s vision. In 1830, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, fifteen-year-old Margaret MacDonald attended a healing service. There, she was said to have seen a vision of a two-stage return of Jesus Christ. The story of her vision was adopted and amplified by John Nelson Darby, a British evangelical preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren.

At the time, the belief that Jesus [Christ] will come back again was not new. Christians have always taught that Jesus [Christ] will return to earth and that believers should live in the urgent and hopeful anticipation of His second coming. This teaching is central to ancient Christian creeds and is taught by all churches. But Darby’s new teaching was the claim that Christ would return twice. The first return would be in secret, to ‘Rapture’ His church out of the world and up to heaven. Christ would return a second time after seven years of global tribulation to establish a Jerusalem-based kingdom on earth (which they call the ‘Glorious Appearing’, a phrase from Titus 2:13). For Darby and his sympathizers, the search was on for Bible verses to support this two-stage version of Christ’s return.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author and researcher Dave Macpherson, British evangelist John Nelson Darby took a lot of his Pre-Trib views from Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, who had taken a “large slice” of his Pre-Trib views (e.g., the two-stage [second] coming of Christ) from a Scottish lassie named Margaret Macdonald.



“Pre-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “There are enough JESUIT fingerprints on certain aspects of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine (e.g., a future seven-year tribulation period and an exclusively future, single antichrist) that possibly we should call it the ‘JESUIT-inspired-and-assisted-Pre-Tribulation Rapture’ – a doctrine that has deceived, blinded, and neutralized many Protestants and independent, Bible-believing Christians. (It has deceived and blinded many of them to the truth that the Papacy is the Antichrist; and it has neutralized many of them by keeping them from fighting evil because they think that they won’t be here during the ‘tribulation’.) Public ‘teaching’ of this doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture did not really ‘take off’ UNTIL the early 1830s. Later, it – and its ‘big daddy’, ‘Dispensationalism’ – were popularized in the USA by the ‘Scofield Reference Bible’ – and then still later by modern writers of books dealing with Bible prophecy. Steve Wohlberg gives us a good description of this doctrine on page 21 of his book, ‘End Time DELUSIONS’, (as he was describing the ‘Left Behind’ series): ‘[Ed.: The Pre-Trib Rapture teaches] that the return of Jesus Christ takes place in two distinct phases. First [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers], Jesus [Christ] comes ‘invisibly’ to remove His Church before a seven-year tribulation during which the rest of humanity must face the antichrist. This is [called] the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture. At the end of those seven years [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers], Jesus [Christ] will again return ‘visibly’ to deliver those who became Christians during the tribulation… This is the second coming. Thus [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers] it’s rapture first, then seven years with the antichrist, then the visible second coming of Jesus Christ’.” (Emphasis on the words “invisibly” and “visibly” is by Steve Wohlberg.)


“Pre-Wrath Rapture” (See Mid-Tribulation Rapture in this section.)



“Rapture” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006; meaning #3): “A carrying away or being carried away in body or spirit: now rare except in theological usage.” (Please see “Rapture, The” in this section.)


“Rapture” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 119): “A belief that Born Again Christians will be lifted up into heaven. Traditionally, Christians believed that, like the hero of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, they must endure suffering and hardships to reach heaven’s pearly gates. However, dispensationalists are taught that they need not suffer for one moment, that they will experience an instant [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture – thus escaping all various holocausts that precede the destruction of Planet Earth.”



“Rapture, The” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “In some Christian theologies, the bodily ascent into heaven just before Armageddon of those who are saved.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: The above “term” in Webster’s 2006 edition should have been labeled “The PRE-TRIBULATION Rapture”.



“Resurrection, The” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “Theological: 1. The rising of Jesus [Christ] from the dead after his death and burial. 2. The rising of all the dead at the Last Judgment.”


“Ribera, Francisco” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 114, 116):

“At the Council of Trent [Ed.: 1545-1563], papal leaders and JESUITS brainstormed about how to counteract Protestantism and bring defectors back to the mother church. Behind closed doors, they decided this was to be done, not only through the Inquisition and torture, but also through THEOLOGY. What kind of theology? Here’s the answer: By reinterpreting the prophecies about ‘the man of sin’, ‘the little horn’, and ‘the beast’!

Two very intelligent Spanish JESUITS rose to the challenge: Luis de Alcasar (1554-1613) of Seville and FRANCISCO RIBERA (1537-1591) of Salamanca. Their strategy was, in a nutshell, one of reapplication and diversion, yet they went in opposite directions. After reading the Bible by candlelight like Martin Luther did, [JESUIT Luis de] Alcasar decided to apply the Bible’s antichrist prophecies to the ancient past while [JESUIT Francisco] Ribera applied them to the distant future. ‘Smart move!’ was the response from [Papal] Rome. By reapplying these prophecies to the past and to the future instead of to the present, these two tricky JESUIT scholars sought to divert the prophetic finger light years away from the VATICAN. Their views quickly became official positions within the Roman [Catholic] Church – even though these two views contradicted each other!

Futurism is what [Spanish JESUIT] FRANCISCO RIBERA taught. In contrast to Preterism, Futurism usually sees the majority of Revelation’s prophecies (from Chapter 4 onward) as yet on the horizon. Concerning the Antichrist…Futurism generally applies the prophecies of ‘the little horn’, ‘the man of sin’, and ‘the beast’ to a single, yet-future Mr. Serpent…
As with Preterism, Futurism’s net result is that it also significantly wipes away ‘the beast’ [Ed.: i.e., the Antichrist] stain from the PAPACY.”



“Scofield, C. I.” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 23): “…Cyrus I. Scofield was a dubious character who embezzled money, served six months in jail for forgery even after his conversion to Christianity, and abandoned his wife and daughters, according to critics. Scofield hit the jackpot with his annotated ‘Scofield Reference Bible’, a version of the King James Bible in which he added dispensationalist headings and notes in the margin commenting on each prophetic passage in light of [John Nelson] Darby’s [dispensationalist] system. With sales in the millions, it became the version of the Bible through which Americans read their scriptures throughout much of the twentieth century. Scofield’s notes and headings were woven in with the biblical text itself, elevating Dispensationalism to a level of biblical authority that no previous writing had.”



“Scofield, C. I.” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Cyrus Ingerson (C.I.) Scofield was born in 1843, and he died in 1921. Scofield is best known in fundamentalist Christian circles for the ‘Scofield Study Bible’ (a.k.a. the ‘Scofield Reference Bible’), which was published by the Oxford University Press. Geoffrey Thomas of ‘The Banner of Truth’ tells us that the Oxford University Press is ‘no friend to gospel Christianity’, and that it paid Scofield ‘enormous royalties’. Some of the notes found in the Scofield Study Bible strongly promote ‘Dispensationalism’. Many ‘dispensationalists’ of the past – and many today – promote a dispensationalist doctrine called the ‘Pretribulation Rapture’. Author Joseph M. Canfield, in his book ‘The Incredible Scofield and His Book’ (1988), covers Scofield’s sordid history of abandoning his Roman Catholic wife (and then failing to support her and their children – which ultimately led to divorce), forgery, and his sudden resignation under a cloud as United States District Attorney for Kansas. Author Loraine Boettner, commenting on Canfield’s book, says: ‘This is one of the most powerful books that has ever been written against the dispensationalist system…because it shows how the book that had the most to do with promotion of that system, ‘The Scofield Reference Bible’, originated’.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding two definitions: Please read “The Incredible Scofield and His Book” (1988) by Joseph M. Canfield for “the rest of the story” on Cyrus I. Scofield. (Note: The publisher of this book is Ross House Books, Vallecito, California.)



“Scofield Reference Bible, The” (or, “Scofield Study Bible, The”) (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 129): “In 1909, [Cyrus Ingerson] Scofield published the first edition of his famous ‘Scofield Reference Bible’. In the early 1900s, this Bible became so popular in American Protestant Bible schools that literally millions of copies were printed. What made Scofield’s Bible so energizing was not so much the Scripture itself, but his footnotes. Yet those footnotes contained the [Ed.: Jesuit] ‘virus’. Anti-Reformation interpretations were inserted that pointed the finger away from papal Rome [Ed.: as the Antichrist of Scripture] and toward a future antichrist.”



“Seven-Year Period of Tribulation” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 40, 47): “The truth is, from Genesis to Revelation, there is no exact passage that specifically mentions a seven-year period of tribulation at all. …The entire ‘seven-year period of tribulation’ theory is an END TIME DELUSION, a massive mega-myth. It may even go down in history as the ‘greatest evangelical misinterpretation of all time’. …There is no text in the Bible which teaches a ‘seven-year tribulation’.” [Ed.: Some writers describe the end-times’ tribulation period as the “Great Tribulation”.] (See “Daniels 70th Week” in this section.)


“Temple of God, The” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 73 and 74): “The original Greek word [Ed.: that the Apostle] Paul used in II Thessalonians 2:4 for ‘temple’ is ‘naos’. …Did Paul use the same [Greek] word [Ed.: i.e., “naos”] anywhere else in his writings? Yes. In his letter to the early Corinthians, Paul wrote to ‘the church of God which is at Corinth’ (I Corinthians 1:2). Then he inquired, ‘Do you not know that you are the temple [naos] of God and that the spirit of God dwells in you?’ (I Corinthians 3:16) Here [the Apostle] Paul clearly applied the word ‘naos’ to the Christian Church – not a physical temple in Jerusalem. …In fact, in all of his writings, every time Paul used the word ‘naos’, he always applied [Ed.: emphasis is in original] it to the Christian Church and never to a rebuilt Israeli [Ed.: i.e., Jewish] temple!”



“Tractarianism” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “The principles of the Oxford movement, favoring a return to early [Ed.: Roman] Catholic doctrines in the Church of England: from the ninety ‘Tracts for the Times’, pamphlets issued at Oxford from 1833 to 1841.” (Please also see “Oxford movement” in this section.)



“Tribulation” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 119): “Generally understood [Ed.: especially by dispensationalists and those in the “Pre-Trib camp”] to be a seven-year period of great upheaval never before experienced on earth. Dispensationalists insist that God will punish the Jews in particular during this period because of their disbelief in Christ.” [Ed.: Some writers describe the end-times’ tribulation period as the “Great Tribulation”.]



OPENING QUOTATIONS:



“Most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across the TRUTH. Most jump up, brush themselves off, and hurry on about their business AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.” – Winston Churchill (1874-1965; British statesman and writer)



“Any story – or a particular side of a story – can sound pretty good and quite believable – and can even sound perfectly true, UNTIL someone else comes along and gives you the OTHER side (i.e., the REST) of the story.” – Darryl Eberhart (Editor of ETI & TTT newsletters; December 13, 2007)



“We are told to love one another as Christ has loved us. Pop psychology trivializes that command by equating it with a ‘positive’ attitude. Forgotten is the first duty of love: to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:15). Real love does not flatter or soothe when correction is needed but [rather] points out the error which is blinding and harming the loved one. Christ said, ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent’ (Revelation 3:19). Instead, the idea is now current that love excludes rebuke, ignores the truth, and seeks unity at any price. Only disaster can result.” – Dave Hunt (“A Woman Rides the Beast”; 1994; Page 403)



“…Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.” – Aristotle (384-322 B.C.; Greek philosopher)



I. INTRODUCTION


Is it really important what position Christians hold on the timing of the “Rapture”? Some folks think that the timing of the “Rapture” is doctrinally unimportant. Others believe that the Rapture “timing issue” is very important!



For those unfamiliar with the “Rapture debate”, Pre-Trib’ers believe that Jesus Christ will “rapture” His church OFF OF planet Earth BEFORE the start of the “end-times’ tribulation” [which they believe is 7 years long]. Post-Trib’ers believe that “the Church” is here on planet Earth DURING the “end-times’ tribulation”, and will be facing the Antichrist system and its murderous hordes. Post-Trib’ers also believe that Jesus Christ will return at the END of the “end-times’ tribulation” (referred to by some as “the Great Tribulation”). Many Post-Trib’ers do not subscribe to a 7-year timeframe for the “end-times’ tribulation”.



I USED to believe in the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint. That was, of course, BEFORE I began reading through the entire Holy Bible (KJV) from cover to cover each year! The Pre-Trib viewpoint is admittedly the prophetic viewpoint that sells the most prophecy books! In fact, the Pre-Trib Rapture has been a fantastically big “cash cow” for a number of well-known “prophecy writers”.



I also believe that “the Antichrist” (as a geopolitical-religious entity) was revealed centuries ago. And “NO!” – I do not believe in the “Preterist View”, nor do I believe that “the Antichrist” was Roman Emperor Nero or any other particular individual in history. I believe that “the [historical] Antichrist” is the Papacy, and that this assertion can be strongly backed up with both Scriptural and historical evidence! (Please read my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, which is posted on the three websites listed at the beginning of this newsletter.) I also believe that “the Church” will go through the entire end-times’ tribulation period (i.e., the “Post-Trib” prophetic viewpoint). And that is the prophetic viewpoint that most Bible scholars held for centuries! That is, of course, until the “Pre-Trib” Rapture, with Dispensationalism’s future 7-year end-times’ tribulation period and exclusively future, single, end-times’ Antichrist, began to be publicly taught in Great Britain in the 1830s! (Please review the term “Dispensationalism” in the “Definitions” section if you are unsure of its meaning.)



Some people will criticize me for writing on this “tough issue” – saying that I am being “divisive” at a critical time in the fight against the “New World Order”. Yet we are told in Jude 3 to “earnestly contend for the faith”. I do not believe we are given an “option” of which particular aspects of “the faith” we will “choose” to defend! Earnestly contending for the faith would certainly include the admonition given to Christians in Ephesians 5:11 to reprove “the unfruitful works of darkness” – which would certainly include FALSE doctrines masquerading as “truth” inside the “Church”! And if “Dispensationalism” and its popular “Pre-Trib Rapture” are indeed FALSE – and not supported by Scripture, but rather REFUTED by it, then they must be exposed! And if the “Pre-Trib Rapture” is causing some Christians to sit back, and to be lazy, apathetic, and complacent about fighting evil because “they [allegedly] won’t be here” during the “end-times’ tribulation”, then it absolutely needs to be exposed!



None of us was able to prearrange into which denomination or Christian fellowship we were born. We ALL should have the courage to examine any denominational or fundamentalist doctrine – no matter how old it may be or how precious and sweet-sounding it is to us – if someone tells us that Scripture does NOT support it – or that Scripture actually REFUTES it! It takes “guts” to admit that we have been “hoodwinked” by “false apostles” and/or Biblically-ignorant preachers – but that is something that we ALL must do if we find that the Holy Bible actually REFUTES any long-held, cherished doctrine of ours!



NOTE: This newsletter will NOT discuss “Preterism”. It also will not discuss the subject of “Premillennialism” versus “Postmillennialism”. Rather, it will deal primarily with the TIMING of the “Rapture”.



II. THE BIBLICAL RECORD



Obviously, the Holy Bible is the most critical record – for God’s Word must always be the standard by which we measure all things! John Walvoord, author of several books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture, has admitted that there is NO SINGLE Bible verse that by itself teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture!



It was my daily studies of the Holy Bible (reading through the entire Bible each year) that convinced me that the Holy Bible clearly does NOT teach the Pre-Trib Rapture. Here are some of the Bible passages that really spoke to my heart:



1) I Thessalonians 4:15-17: [Ed.: The Apostle Paul wrote]: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall NOT prevent [Ed.: i.e., precede] them which are asleep. (Verse 16): For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise FIRST: (Verse 17): 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.”



Do the above verses really need explanation? Aren’t they perfectly clear? The Holy Bible is saying that those Christians still alive at Jesus Christ’s [Second] Coming do NOT PRECEDE the “dead in Christ”, who are raised [i.e., resurrected] FIRST! And it is only THEN [i.e., after the “dead in Christ” are resurrected] that those Christians “still living” are caught up “to meet the Lord in the air”! Since the Holy Bible teaches only TWO resurrections [i.e., one for the “just” and one for the “unjust”]; and since the Bible clearly teaches that the resurrection of the just is the FIRST RESURRECTION (see Revelation 20:4-6); and since the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said four times that He would raise up Christians on the “LAST DAY” (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54) – well then, how can anyone say that there is some “special group” of Christians that are getting “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE the first resurrection? And just HOW MANY “LAST DAYS” are there? Is there a “LAST DAY” BEFORE the alleged “7-year tribulation” begins? Is there a “LAST DAY” 3½ years into the alleged “7-year tribulation”, just prior to God’s Wrath falling on a sinful world?



Again, it is worth repeating: The Lord Jesus Christ said four times that He would raise up Christians on the “LAST DAY” (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54)!



It might be interesting to note here, that as a great person in Biblical times (in the Middle East) approached a city, a large entourage of folks from that city would then come out to meet that great person at some distance from the city. They would all THEN turn RIGHT AROUND and escort that great person into their city. Doesn’t that sound just like what we read in I Thessalonians 4:16, 17?



I Thessalonians 4:15-17 alone should be enough to “sink” the “Pre-Trib Rapture ship”. After all, those Christians remaining alive at the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ CANNOT precede those Christians “which are asleep” (and who will be raised in the resurrection at the “last day”).



2) Matthew 24:26-33: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, ‘Behold, He is in the desert’; go not forth: ‘Behold, [He is] in the secret chambers’; believe [it] not. (Verse 27): For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Verse 28): For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Verse 29): Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (Verse 30): And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Verse 31): And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Verse 32): Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh [Ed.: i.e., near]: (Verse 33): So likewise ye, when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors.”



The Lord Jesus Christ is talking about His “Second Coming”. He mentions such things as “after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken.” To whom would this warning be given except to believers on planet Earth who would be susceptible to folks trying to trick them into believing that Christ had come before He had actually returned? And how can believers on Earth see all these signs if they’ve already been “raptured” OUT BEFORE the start of the alleged “7-year tribulation”? (Pre-Trib’ers might say that believers who see these signs must be the “Christians who get saved during the 7-year tribulation” – but nowhere in Scripture does it say that! Here is yet another ASSUMPTION on the part of the Pre-Trib’ers.)



And while we are on the subject of these many “Christians who get saved during the 7-year tribulation” (according to Pre-Trib’ers), HOW is it that so many people “get saved” during this “7-year tribulation” when the Holy Spirit and the “Church” have been “removed” from Earth (according to Pre-Trib’ers)?



3) Mark 13:24-27: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “But in those days, AFTER that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, (Verse 25): And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (Verse 26): And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (Verse 27): 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.”



If those Christians who were “raptured” before the start of the alleged “7-year end-times’ tribulation” (as Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME) were already gathered to the Lord, did they get LOST, so that the Lord has to send His angels out to gather them a second time? If there is only ONE “gathering together”, and we Christians who are alive at Christ’s return cannot PRECEDE those who are raised in the “resurrection of the just” (at the END of the “end-times’ tribulation”), it sure looks like the above Scripture passage is placing the “gathering together” of Christians AFTER the “end-times’ tribulation”!



4) Matthew 13:24-30; and 37-42: “Another parable put He [Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: (Verse 25): But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. (Verse 26): But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. (Verse 27): So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?’ (Verse 28): He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’ (Verse 29): But he said, ‘Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. (Verse: 30) Let both grow together UNTIL THE HARVEST: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.’” [Ed.: A few verses later His disciples ask Him to explain the above parable.] “…(Verse 37): He [Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] answered and said unto them, ‘He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; (Verse 38): The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; (Verse 39): The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (Verse 40): As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; SO shall it be in the end of this world. (Verse 41): The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Verse 42): And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’”



This parable of the Lord Jesus Christ clearly shows that the “tares” are the “bad guys” – and that the “bad guys” are the ones who are gathered up FIRST at the “harvest” that occurs at the end of the world! Here we have the Lord Jesus Christ teaching just the opposite of what Pre-Trib’ers say! (Pre-Trib’ers say that the “good guys” are gathered up FIRST in the alleged Pre-Trib Rapture.)



5) John 17:15, 20: [Ed. Note: The following are “red letter” words quoted directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ in a prayer to His Heavenly Father.]: (Verse 15): “I pray NOT that Thou shouldest take them [Ed.: i.e., His disciples] OUT OF the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

…(Verse 20): Neither pray I for these [Ed.: i.e., His original disciples] ALONE, but for them ALSO which shall believe on Me through their word;”



Jesus Christ in verse 20 says that He is praying this prayer for all future believers as well as for His original disciples! The Son of God is praying to His Father asking Him NOT to evacuate His followers OUT OF the world.



The two words “keep from” (in verse 15 above) appear in this form only twice in the entire New Testament: here in John 17:15, and in Revelation 3:10. And isn’t it interesting that the Pre-Trib’ers TRY to use Revelation 3:10 to “prove” the Pre-Trib Rapture? Revelation 3:10 reads: “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will KEEP thee FROM the hour of temptation, which shall come upon ALL the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” It is also quite interesting that the Pre-Trib’ers NEVER mention the “one other” use of the Greek for “keep from” that appears in John 17:15, where Jesus Christ prays NOT to have believers removed from planet Earth! Wow! It certainly appears that John 17:15 has the Son of God praying AGAINST the Pre-Trib Rapture!



And it is certainly worth mentioning here that this is where much of the Pre-Trib argument falls apart, because Pre-Trib’ers WRONGLY ASSUME that God MUST take those Christians living in the “end times” OUT OF the world in order to keep them safe during the “Tribulation”. (The Pre-Trib position, sadly, is built solely upon assumptions, and not upon any solid Scriptural ground!) Anyway, such an ASSUMPTION “assumes” that God is NOT able to keep any true Christians safe here on planet Earth DURING [i.e., in the MIDST of] the “tribulation” period. (Yes, some Christians will be beheaded!) Yet the Bible is full of examples where God kept His children safe IN THE MIDST OF tribulation. In fact, that seems indeed to be a great theme of the Holy Bible, i.e., “preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation”. Here are just a few examples:



(a.) When God’s judgments fell on the Egyptians during the time of the Hebrews’ captivity in Egypt, God did NOT “air evacuate” the Hebrews OUT OF Egypt (or OFF OF planet Earth). No! While God’s judgments were falling on the Egyptians in those areas where they resided, God preserved His children in Goshen IN THE MIDST OF those horrible judgments! (Isn’t it interesting that God’s “judgments and plagues” that fell on the Egyptians in the book of Exodus look very similar to God’s “judgments and plagues” that we see falling on the Earth’s inhabitants in the book of Revelation?) And could not this great and Almighty God, who preserved the Hebrew children IN THE MIDST OF those horrible plagues that befell the Egyptians, ALSO preserve His obedient children ON planet Earth DURING the “end-times’ tribulation”?



(b.) When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the book of Daniel, Chapter 3, ran afoul of King Nebuchadnezzar [i.e., the three young men disobeyed the king to his face!], did God “air evacuate” them OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? When the king had these three young Jewish men tossed into the fiery furnace, did God “air evacuate” them OUT OF the furnace in order to save them? NO! God preserved them IN THE MIDST OF the fiery furnace!



(c.) When Daniel was tossed in the lions’ den for disobeying the king’s command (see Chapter 6 in the book of Daniel), did God “air evacuate” Daniel OFF OF planet Earth in order to save him? NO! God preserved Daniel IN THE MIDST OF the lions’ den! (Can’t we see a beautiful picture and pattern developing here of an all-powerful God who delights in delivering His obedient children who STAND AGAINST tyranny and injustice – even when they are IN THE MIDST OF horrible situations of danger, persecution, and tribulation?)



(d.) What about Rahab in the book of Joshua, Chapter 6, who had lied to her government’s officials to protect the Hebrew spies? When the Hebrew soldiers destroyed the city of Jericho where Rahab resided, did God “air evacuate” Rahab and her family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! God preserved Rahab and her family IN THE MIDST OF the destruction of the city!



(e.) What lesson can we learn from Noah? When God brought His judgment through a great flood upon the inhabitants of the Earth, did He “air evacuate” Noah and his family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! Noah and his family did NOT go airborne, but rather they were seaborne! God preserved Noah and his family IN THE MIDST OF horrible judgment [i.e., the great flood that He brought upon the whole Earth] without taking them off of the planet!



The above examples remind me of a beautiful Bible verse: “When thou passest THROUGH the waters, I [Ed.: i.e., the Lord God Almighty] [will be] with thee; and THROUGH the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest THROUGH the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:2)



Again, preservation IN THE MIDST OF danger, persecution, and tribulation is a great theme that we can clearly see in the Bible – and NOT “aerial evacuation” OFF OF planet Earth to avoid danger, persecution, and tribulation. We must keep in mind that there are times when Almighty God chooses not to deliver His servants, such as Stephen, who was stoned to death. Additionally, after Judas Iscariot perished, all of the apostles except John were murdered!



6) Luke 17:34-37: “I [Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] tell you, in that night there shall be two [men] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. (Verse 35): Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse 36): Two [men] shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse 37): And they answered and said unto Him, ‘Where, Lord?’ And He said unto them, ‘Wheresoever the body [is], thither will the eagles be gathered together.’” (Compare Matthew 24:28.)



Some Pre-Trib writers use Luke 17:34-36 (or, Matthew 24:40, 41) as an alleged “proof text” for the Pre-Trib Rapture! But they IGNORE Luke 17:37, where the Lord Jesus Christ tells His disciples that these people, who are “taken away”, have eagles gathering around their bodies! That sounds like those who were taken away were NOT “raptured” (an ASSUMPTION made by Pre-Trib’ers), but rather that these individuals were taken away in judgment and killed. (Why else would eagles be gathering around their bodies?) Please remember that in Matthew 13:30 and 39-42 that Jesus Christ said that the “tares” (i.e., the “bad guys”) are gathered FIRST (Matthew 13:30) and then burned!



7) Luke 17:26-30: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Verse 27): They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (Verse 28): Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; (Verse 29): But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all. (Verse 30): Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”



The Lord Jesus Christ is comparing His “Second Coming” to the time of the flood in Noah’s day, and also to the time of Lot (when fire rained down on Sodom). In Noah’s day the flood came and “took away” the “bad guys”. And, as was pointed out earlier, Noah and his family were not “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE the flood. Also, on the very same day that Lot went out of Sodom, fire rained down upon that city. And again, it was the “bad guys” who were “removed” in that judgment of Almighty GOD! Interestingly, Lot also was NOT “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE Sodom was destroyed! Thus neither Noah nor Lot can serve as “examples” of Pre-Tribulation-Rapture-type deliverance. Both were preserved IN THE MIDST of God’s judgment on evildoers, who were “removed” by God’s judgment!



8) Mark 13:20: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the days.”



I believe that most Bible scholars would agree that here we find the Lord Jesus Christ talking about the “Tribulation”. If the “elect” (i.e., believers) have been “raptured” out BEFORE the “Tribulation”, then why does God have to shorten “those days” for their sakes? (The Pre-Trib’ers might say that the “elect” here must be those “who are saved during the 7-year tribulation”. This is another ASSUMPTION made by Pre-Trib’ers with no Scriptural backing!)



9) Revelation 13:4-7: “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who [is] like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ (Verse 5): And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. (Verse 6): And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (Verse 7): And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”



Most Bible scholars agree that the “him” and “he” found in verses 5, 6, and 7 refer to the Antichrist. In verse 7 we see that he [the Antichrist, according to most Bible scholars] was given [power] “to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them”. Many Bible scholars believe that these events are taking place during the end-times’ “Tribulation”. Well, if believers have been raptured out before the end-times’ “Tribulation”, then upon which “saints” is the Antichrist making war? Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME that these “saints” must be those persons who are saved during the “7-year tribulation”, after the Pre-Trib believers had been “air evacuated” in their Pre-Trib Rapture. But the Bible does NOT say this! Again, it is another dangerous ASSUMPTION, because if this assumption, and the many other assumptions the Pre-Trib’ers make (some of which have been noted in this newsletter) are WRONG, then many Christians may be quite shocked to find that they are the ones upon whom the Antichrist is making war, and that they are here on planet Earth DURING the end-times’ “Tribulation”! (The historical Antichrist – the Papacy – has long waged war on God’s saints!)



And while we are here in the book of Revelation, let us address an argument that Pre-Trib’ers put forth, i.e., that from Revelation 3:22 through Revelation 22:16 the word “church” does not appear, thus the “church” must have been “raptured” out, and is not on planet Earth during the “end-times’ 7-year tribulation” (per Pre-Trib’ers). Well, using such “logic”, the word “synagogue” is not mentioned either in those same verses, so there must not be any Jews being saved either during the “Tribulation” (i.e., no 144,000 Jewish “Billy Grahams” as some Pre-Trib’ers speculate). If folks are “getting saved” during the “Tribulation”, then why wouldn’t they have the same title of “the church” as have believers of any other period since Christ’s time here on Earth?



10) Revelation 20:4-6: “And I [Ed.: i.e., the Apostle John] saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were BEHEADED for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Verse 5): But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. THIS [IS] THE FIRST RESURRECTION. (Verse 6): Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”



Nearly all Bible scholars agree that there has never been a time when large numbers of Christians were BEHEADED, and that this occurs during the “end-times’ Tribulation”. Again, if the “church” has been “air evacuated” off of planet Earth, then who are these folks getting beheaded for “the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God”? Well, again, Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME that “those being beheaded” must be people who are “saved during the end-times’ tribulation”. But again, the Bible does NOT state such a thing anywhere, and such ASSUMPTIONS may prove quite dangerous to those who embrace them!



11) Revelation 7:9, 13 and 14: (Verse 9): “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of ALL nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; …(Verse 13): And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?’ (Verse 14): And I said unto him, ‘Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’.”



Here we see large numbers of people of ALL nations who have come out of “great tribulation”. Again we ask: “HOW were large numbers of people getting saved during ‘great tribulation’ if the ‘church’ and the Holy Spirit of God had been previously removed [as Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME and ALLEGE]?”



12) II Thessalonians 2:1-4: [Ed.: The Apostle Paul wrote]: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto Him, (Verse 2): That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand [Ed.: i.e., near in time; not distant]. (Verse 3): Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day [Ed.: i.e., the day of Christ] shall not come], EXCEPT there come a falling away [Ed.: Greek: apostasia] FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Verse 4): Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”



NOTE: Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines the term “at hand” thusly: “near; either present or within reach, or not far distant”. It then lists as an example “the day of Christ is at hand” from the above Bible passage, stating that “at hand” in this context means “near in time; not distant”.



IMPORTANT NOTE: I am listing the above Bible passage only because it refutes the Pre-Trib’ers’ own “air evacuation” Rapture timing (i.e., as occurring prior to THEIR exclusively future, single, “Mr. Nasty Antichrist” appearing in the end times, with a pig under his arm, who enters into a “rebuilt Jewish Temple” to sacrifice that pig). I believe that the Antichrist has clearly been identified in Holy Scripture as the Papacy. This does NOT mean that I do not believe that there will be an “end time” leader of the Antichrist system, for there surely must be. However, I believe that this “end-time” leader will either be the top man in the Jesuit-controlled Vatican, or a titular sovereign that this end-time leader will put forward as his “front man”. (Please see my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, on website www.toughissues.org.)



Paul wrote II Thessalonians 2:1-4 to specifically warn folks NOT to allow themselves to become deceived about Christ’s second coming being “right around the corner” (i.e., imminent), or as Webster’s 1828 Dictionary puts it: “near in time; not distant”. Again, I believe that the key Bible passage dealing with the timing of the “rapture” is I Thessalonians 4:15-17. Indeed, the “key” to understanding the timing of the “rapture” is an understanding of the “resurrection”. I highly recommend that the reader of this newsletter check all occurrences of the word “resurrection” in a good concordance, and then carefully read all the Bible verses and passages that contain this important word.



Most folks agree this “man of sin – the son of perdition” is the Antichrist. This “day [of Christ]” (that the Apostle Paul is talking about in verse 3) is shown in verse 1 to be the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, and “our gathering together to Him”. The plain teaching of verse 3 is that NONE of those events take place until there first occurs both a “falling away” [i.e., an APOSTASY] and the revealing of “that man of sin – the son of perdition”! And so, IF one does subscribe to the Pre-Trib theory that “the Antichrist” is an exclusively future, “Mr. Nasty-to-the-extreme” individual who is to come on the scene in the very “end times”, then the above passage would clearly refute the idea that “the Church” is “air evacuated” prior to this “Mr. Nasty” person being revealed.



At least one Pre-Trib Rapture writer has tried to “explain away” the words “first, and” in verse 3 above, saying that they don’t really mean what they say. At least one Pre-Trib writer has tried to say that the “falling away” [Greek: apostasia] is really the “Pre-Trib Rapture” (such twisting of both Scripture and the meanings of Greek and English words, sadly, occurs far too often among Pre-Trib authors). The Greek word “apostasia” is used in such contexts as a “falling away” from, for example, the “truth” – never in the context of “falling away from the earth up to heaven”. (NOTE: Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (1974) defines the word “apostasy” as “an abandoning of what one believed in, as a faith, political party, principles, etc.”)



The clear meaning of verse 3 is that Christ’s return to gather His saints cannot occur until AFTER “the Antichrist” has been revealed. Yet Pre-Trib writers state that the Church is evacuated out before THEIR exclusively future, single, “Mr. Nasty Antichrist” person is revealed!



By now some Pre-Trib’ers may be saying, “The poor writer of this newsletter just doesn’t understand that Christ’s Second Coming is in TWO phases: the ‘Rapture’ and the ‘Revelation’, with the ‘Rapture’ coming BEFORE the tribulation, and the ‘Revelation’ coming AFTER the tribulation.” Well, let’s address such an argument now: Let me ask Pre-Trib’ers who advocate a “two-phased” Second Coming of Christ this: “Was Christ’s First Coming in TWO phases?” The answer is “No!” And there are absolutely no Scripture verses to be found that support the idea of a “two-phased” Second Coming of Jesus Christ! As Jesus Christ left this earth after His resurrection, and as He was ascending up to heaven, His watching disciples were told: “…This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in LIKE MANNER AS ye have seen Him go into heaven.” (See Acts 1:11) Well, did Jesus Christ have a “TWO-phased” departure from earth into heaven after His “first coming”? Did He go up part of the way, turn around and come back down, and then go back up all the way on a “SECOND” departure? NO! Jesus Christ simply ascended up (in ONE phase) into heaven! And the Bible says that He is coming back in LIKE MANNER!



III. THE HISTORICAL RECORD



Actually, the historical record of some of the “futurist” elements found in “Dispensationalism”, a system of Biblical interpretation that has been used to mightily promote both the Pre-Trib Rapture and the “exclusively future” antichrist, goes all the way back to the Counter-Reformation movement launched by the JESUITS around the time of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). (Note: The Counter-Reformation was launched to first slow down, and then eventually to destroy, the Protestant Reformation – and the “fruit” that it had produced.)



Since the top Protestant Reformers had all identified “Papal Rome” – and more specifically, the Papacy – as the Antichrist found in the pages of Holy Scripture, the Jesuits had to find a way to take the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy. Steve Wohlberg, on page 114 of his book, “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”, tells us:



“At the Council of Trent [Ed.: 1545-1563], papal leaders and JESUITS brainstormed about how to counteract Protestantism and bring defectors back to the mother church. Behind closed doors, they decided this was to be done, not only through the Inquisition and torture, but also through THEOLOGY. What kind of theology? Here’s the answer: By reinterpreting the prophecies about ‘the man of sin’, ‘the little horn’, and ‘the beast’!

Two very intelligent Spanish JESUITS rose to the challenge: Luis de Alcasar (1554-1613) of Seville and Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) of Salamanca. Their strategy was, in a nutshell, one of reapplication and diversion, yet they went in opposite directions. After reading the Bible by candlelight like Martin Luther did, [Jesuit Luis de] Alcasar decided to apply the Bible’s antichrist prophecies to the ancient past while [Jesuit Francisco] Ribera applied them to the distant future. ‘Smart move!’ was the response from [Papal] Rome. By reapplying these prophecies to the past and to the future instead of to the present, these two tricky JESUIT scholars sought to divert the prophetic finger light years away from the Vatican. Their views quickly became official positions within the Roman [Catholic] Church – even though these two views contradicted each other!”



Isn’t it interesting that we find a “JESUIT” hand involved in concocting at least some of the “futurist” elements found in Dispensationalism and its Pre-Trib Rapture? First we find the “hand” of Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera. And then we find the “hand” of Chilean Jesuit Emmanuel Lacunza. As stated in the “Definitions” section under the term “Lacunza, Emmanuel”:

“Emmanuel Lacunza was a Chilean JESUIT who wrote the four-volume book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’. He was born in 1731, and he died in 1801. Lacunza had used the pseudonym of Rabbi Juan Josafat Ben Ezra for his book in order to deceive Protestants into thinking that it had been written by a Messianic [i.e., “Converted”] Jew, thus for a time concealing its JESUIT origins! Lacunza’s book provided at least some of the ingredients for the largely fictional prophetic concoction that is today called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture – a doctrine that is one of the pillars of ‘Dispensationalism’.” Please remember that Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving “supervised” the translation of Jesuit Lacunza’s book into English!



It is also worth repeating in this section a paragraph from the “Definitions” section concerning the history of the Pre-Trib Rapture:

“The [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture has its origins in the nineteenth century – beginning, according to one critic [Ed.: i.e., author Dave MacPherson], with a young girl’s vision. In 1830, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, fifteen-year-old Margaret MacDonald attended a healing service. There, she was said to have seen a vision of a two-stage return of Jesus Christ. The story of her vision was adopted and amplified by John Nelson Darby, a British evangelical preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren.” – Barbara R. Rossing (“The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 22)



It seems that the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint did not really catch on anywhere until at least the 1830s. It seems to have made its “official debut” in England, and then made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA with the help of John Nelson Darby. Until that time, the prevailing prophetic viewpoint among Christians in the USA was the Post-Trib Rapture view. Dave MacPherson, in his book, “The Incredible Cover-Up”, traces the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine back to the British Isles, where we find such characters as a Scottish lassie named Margaret MacDonald, Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, and John Nelson Darby. Dave MacPherson does a great job of showing the “British” origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine; however, certain “futurist” elements used in Dispensationalism and Pre-Trib actually go back slightly farther in history, to Jesuits Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza.



This British “creation” of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine was later popularized in the USA by the “Scofield Study Bible”. It is not within the scope (i.e., limited space) of this newsletter to go more deeply into the historical side of the “Rapture debate”. If the reader wishes to do more research on the history of the Pre-Trib Rapture, then contact “Christian Media” at 1-541-899-8888 for information on the Dave MacPherson books that they offer through their ministry. It is important to keep in mind that Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera helped to promote the “futurist” view of the “exclusively future, end-time, single antichrist” in order to take the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy, which had been fingered as the “Antichrist” seen in Scripture by the Protestant Reformers!



(The “notes” in the Scofield Study Bible strongly promote “dispensational” viewpoints, including the Pre-Trib Rapture. Scofield’s notes were largely responsible for some of these new “futuristic” prophetic viewpoints (portions of which were developed by several Roman Catholic Jesuits), along with the Pre-Trib Rapture, “taking off” here in the USA! The 314-page hardback book, “The Incredible Scofield and His Book” by Joseph M. Canfield, reveals much about both Cyrus I. Scofield and his dispensational belief system. As author Loraine Boettner states concerning this book: “This is one of the most powerful books that has ever been written against the dispensational system.”)



IV. SOME MORE RELEVANT QUOTATIONS:



“The [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] Rapture has become embedded in American Christian culture today, but the idea of the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] Rapture is less than two hundred years old.” – Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 21)



“…NO passage anywhere in the New Testament explicitly puts before the tribulation a single one of the constituent elements: coming of Christ, resurrection, translation, gathering, catching up, and reception of saints.

…Yet the New Testament does tell us explicitly that Christ will come again after the tribulation, that saints will rise from the dead after the tribulation, and that the elect will be gathered after the tribulation – and [the Apostle] Paul uses their being gathered synonymously with their being caught up (compare 1 Thess. 4:16-17 with 2 Thess. 2:1) and puts the translation of some together with the resurrection of others (1 Cor. 15:15-52).” – [Dr. Robert] “Bob” Gundry (“First the Antichrist”; 1997; Pages 72, 73)



“The Lord Jesus Christ did NOT say [that] He would return twice; He said [that] He would return IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation. (See Matthew 24:29)” – Lisa Ruby (“GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Page 62)



“…I am compelled to warn all Christians trusting in the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] rapture of the foolishness of such a course.” – James Lloyd (“The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism”; 1999; Page 3)



“Furthermore, many, many Christians simply don’t want to be told [Ed: emphasis in original] that they might be forced to endure ‘The Great Tribulation’ described in The Bible” – James Lloyd (“The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism”; 1999; Page 3)



“I’ve been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In China the Christians were told, ‘Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes, you will be translated – raptured.’ Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a bishop from China say, sadly, ‘We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first.’

Turning to me he said, ‘You still have time. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when tribulation comes – to stand and not faint.’
I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation…

Since I have gone already through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met that bishop from China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think ‘Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.’ Then I write it down and learn it by heart.” – Corrie ten Boom (a wonderful Christian lady)



“…The leaders of the underground church [Ed.: in Red China] said they didn’t want American missionaries to come and preach the ‘foolish doctrine of the rapture’.” – Brother Andrew (author of “God’s Smuggler”; missionary to Red China and Russia; quote taken from page 35 of the book, “I WANT To Be Left Behind”, by Pastor Ron Poch)



“…Until the mid-1800s and the preaching of [John Nelson] Darby and [Cyrus I.] Scofield, no one, whether Catholic or Protestant, had dreamed of an end-time escapism.

Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Impe and other dispensationalists appeal to those who long for a certitude that they need not suffer one hour, not one moment of a long period of hardships.” – Dr. James M. Dunn (Baptist Joint Committee, Washington, D.C. – quote taken from page 35 of the book, “Forcing God’s Hand”, by Grace Halsell)



“In what may very well be the greatest tragedy of the last two centuries, the dispensational theorists have seized the reins of leadership in the ‘Church’, and as they have consolidated their power, they have widely programmed millions of church attendees into believing in something called the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] ‘rapture’.” – James Lloyd (“The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 1)



“Modern pre-tribbers who claim [that] the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] doctrine was taught throughout the last two millennia make a mockery of massive historical data and basic scholarship.” – James Lloyd (“The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 22)



“Sadly, the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine has become the great evangelical escape clause for the avoidance of the end times.” – Steve Wohlberg (“End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 36)



“…To believe a false teaching such as ‘an any moment rapture’ is to belittle the sacrifice by those who have given their all.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 36)



V. INDIVIDUAL VIEWS ON THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE


I personally do NOT KNOW of, nor have heard of, any individuals who held the Post-Trib viewpoint for many years, and then subsequently CHANGED to the Pre-Trib viewpoint after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer. NOR have I READ about any Post-Trib’ers doing that. However, I personally do know a fair number of individuals who had held the Pre-Trib viewpoint for many years, and then who later SWITCHED to the Post-Trib viewpoint after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer.



Examples of some men (who SWITCHED from the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint to the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint after heavy-duty Bible study on that prophetic topic, and/or after much prayer, and in at least one case, after a long fast) include (names are listed, hopefully, in alphabetical order):



(1) Pastor Dwight Kinman, author of the excellent book “The World’s Last Dictator”, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for almost 40 years. After carefully searching the Scriptures to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib (and began to publicly teach Post-Trib). His above-mentioned book promotes the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint.



(2) Pastor David W. Lankford (author and broadcast host) also had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. As the back cover of his excellent book, “The Second Coming: A Second Look”, states: “After weeks of fasting and prayer and diligent study of Scripture, Pastor Lankford’s long-held beliefs about The Second Coming were changed.”



(3) James Lloyd (author; publisher of two periodicals; broadcast host of “The Apocalypse Chronicles”) had believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for years. Study of the Bible convinced James that the Post-Trib viewpoint was the correct one! James has written four books dealing with the topic of Pre-Trib Rapturism! His website is www.ChristianMediaNetwork.com.



(4) G. Campbell Morgan, who was considered by some of his time as the greatest Christian scholar of his era, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. After in-depth study of the Holy Bible to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib. He felt so badly about having previously taught the Pre-Trib viewpoint, and about having written a book supporting Pre-Trib, that he purchased the plates to the book and destroyed them!



(5) Pastor Butch Paugh (author; and host of the “Call to Decision” broadcast) had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for years. Yet it was Bible study that convinced him that the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint is a FALSE doctrine. He now teaches the Post-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint over the “airwaves”, as well as to his two local congregations in West Virginia. His excellent Internet website is: www.calltodecision.com (the shorter title: www.pastorbutch.com). Pastor Butch Paugh has produced several audiocassette tape sets that deal with the “rapture” timing issue, and they are currently available through his ministry. You can call his ministry toll-free at 1-800-777-4403 for information on how to order those items via credit card.



(6) Pastor Ron Poch (author of the book “I WANT To Be Left Behind”) once believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, because that is what he had been taught at Bible College! He had the courage to admit that he had been wrong to believe the Pre-Trib Rapture, and that his teachers had been wrong to teach it!



(7) Jim Spillman (author, pastor, evangelist, and Bible scholar), who at one time pastored a very large church in California, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. After going into his prayer closet for several days, where he studied ONLY the Holy Bible in order to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he came to the conclusion that the Holy Bible clearly teaches the Post-Trib viewpoint. He then had the courage to go before his large congregation and ADMIT to them that he had been teaching them FALSE doctrine (i.e., the Pre-Trib viewpoint) for all those previous years! (That takes a lot of GUTS!)



Although I’ve already mentioned a number of books that REFUTE the Pre-Trib Rapture, this would be a good place to list all the books (which I personally possess) that provide good, sound arguments AGAINST the Pre-Tribulation Rapture prophetic viewpoint. (My recommendation of these books does not necessarily mean that I agree with everything that is written in each of them. I will try to list the books alphabetically by title.)



NOTE: You may have to do a search on the Internet or visit a good library to find some of these books. Some of them can be purchased at larger bookstore chains. Some of them are out of print, and may no longer be available, and/or prices may have changed. (Order information is provided only if I have such in my records.)



(1) “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World” by Steve Wohlberg; 2004; 220-page paperback book; Publisher: Treasure House; $18.45 postage paid. (To order this book via credit card, please call toll-free 1-800-78-BIBLE.)



(2) “First the Antichrist” by Dr. Robert H. (“Bob”) Gundry; 1997; 200-page paperback book; Publisher: Baker Books. (This book is currently out of print. I would suggest that you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)



(3) “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth” by Grace Halsell; 1999; 132-page paperback book; Publisher: Crossroads International Publishing, Washington, D.C.



(4) “Invisible Scripture” by James Lloyd; 2006; 27-page paperback book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(5) “I WANT To Be Left Behind” by Pastor Ron Poch; 2002; 130-page paperback book; Publisher: Proclaim Liberty Ministries; $12 postage paid: To order a copy via credit card, please call toll-free 1-888-820-2126.



(6) “Lying in Laodicea: Rapturism Unmasked” by James Lloyd; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(7) “The Incredible Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories” by Dave MacPherson; 1975; 166-page paperback book (1980 & 1991) published by Omega Publications, Medford, Oregon. (This book is currently out of print. I would suggest that you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)



(8) “The Rapture Book: Victory in the End Times” by Dr. James McKeever; 1987; 225-page paperback book; Publisher: Omega Publications, Medford, Oregon. (This book is probably out of print. Search the Internet for used copies.)



(9) “The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism” by James Lloyd; 1999; 66-page book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(10) “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation” by Barbara R. Rossing; 2004; 222-page paperback book; Publisher: Basic Books. (I purchased my copy at a local Barnes & Noble bookstore.)



(11) “The Rapture Plot” by Dave MacPherson; 1994; 290-page paperback book; my edition was published in 1995 by MILLENNIUM III PUBLISHERS. (A newer, 300-page edition of this book is available through Christian Media for $22.25 postage paid. Make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.)



(12) “The Reckoning” by James Lloyd; 2007; 45-page paperback book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(13) “The Second Coming: A Second Look” by Pastor David W. Lankford; 1996; 95-page paperback book; Publisher: Wolf Publishing: Pastor Lankford’s book, along with a two-audiocassette tape set on the topic of the Second Coming, was available several years ago for $20 postage paid by calling phone number 704-263-1945, or by making check or money order in that amount payable to “The Voice of Evangelism”, and mailing it to: The Voice of Evangelism // P.O. Box 669 // Alexis, NC 28006. (NOTE: The price may have changed; I suggest that you call to find out the current price if you are interested in this book and tape set.)



(14) “The Three R’s: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery: Pretribulation Rapturism from 1830 to Hal Lindsey” by Dave MacPherson; 1998; 149-page paperback book; Publisher: P.O.S.T., Inc.; $15 postage paid. Please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(15) “The World’s Last Dictator” by Dwight L. Kinman; Second Edition: 1995; 322-page paperback book; Publisher: Solid Rock Books, Inc., Woodburn, Oregon. (This book is probably out of print. I would suggest you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)



And while we are talking about good books, here is an excellent book that exposes a number of the unscriptural teachings in the “Left Behind” series (a series of books and tapes that promote the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint):



“GOD’S WRATH on Left Behind: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the Left Behind Series” by Lisa Ruby; 216-page paperback; 2002; ISBN 0-9721264-0-6: Months ago she was giving her book away – you simply had to pay shipping and handling: For information on how to order this book, please visit her Internet website: www.libertytothecaptives.net.



Interestingly, many famous Christian men in the past believed in and taught Post-Trib [that is, that the “Church” goes through the Tribulation period], including Charles H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan (author of “Pilgrim’s Progress”), John Calvin, Charles Finney, John Knox, Martin Luther, and George Whitefield.



Interestingly, NONE of these following learned Christians ever made any reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture: John Wycliffe, or John or Charles Wesley.



Interestingly, there seem to be NO records of the great pastors of the American Revolution (such as Jonas Clark, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg, James Caldwell, etc.) ever making ANY reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture.



Most interestingly, NONE of the following ever made ANY mention in the Holy Bible to the Pre-Trib evacuation of Christians BEFORE the alleged “future 7-year tribulation” and appearance of the end-time antichrist: (1) the Lord Jesus Christ, (2) the Apostle Paul, (3) the Apostle Peter, and (4) the Apostle John! Nor did they make ANY mention of the Mid-Trib/Pre-Wrath Rapture! Doesn’t it seem strange that there is NOT ONE SINGLE verse of Scripture that declares something like the following HYPOTHETICAL “statements”?



(1) “Verily, immediately prior to the start of the seven-year period of the ‘Great Tribulation’, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth.”



(2) “Verily, seven years before the Revelation of Jesus Christ [the alleged 2nd part of His alleged two-stage 2nd Coming], the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth.”



(3) “Verily, three and one half years into the ‘Great Tribulation’, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth – just prior to the beginning of God’s Wrath!”



No, there is NOT EVEN ONE such Bible verse, or even one verse that closely resembles those hypothetical statements, to be found in the Holy Bible!



Interestingly, John F. Walvoord, a leader in the Pre-Trib Rapture movement and author of a number of books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, admitted that there was NOT ONE SINGLE Bible verse that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture!



VI. A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION


I would like to ask a question here that Pre-Trib’ers never seem to ask themselves – because I have never seen it addressed in their writings.



Why would any end-time believers in Jesus Christ be taken off the planet in the alleged Pre-Trib Rapture (so that they would not have to face the horrors that occur during the “end-times’ tribulation”), when so many other Christians have faced horrible persecution and tribulation throughout Church history? The horrors of Papal Rome’s monstrous Inquisition come to mind. The horrible persecution of the Scottish Covenanters comes to mind. The horrible persecution of the Albigenses, Waldenses, and French Huguenots by Papal Rome comes to mind. The horrible persecution of early Christians by several of the Roman emperors comes to mind. Why in blazes would there be a “special class” of Christians in the “end times” that is exempt from horrible persecution?



Yes, I do know the arguments of the Pre-Trib’ers:

1. “God would not allow His bride (the Church) to go through the horrible end-times’ tribulation period, where ‘she’ would be bloodied.”

2. “God has not appointed us to wrath, so we Christians living in the ‘end times’ will NOT have to go through the end-times’ tribulation period.”



The Pre-Trib’ers apply such good things only to themselves – i.e., they won’t have to go through the “end-times’ tribulation” because they haven’t been “appointed to wrath”, and because they are the “bride of Christ”. However, these same Pre-Trib’ers believe that those people who get saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” (under more stressful conditions than many of those “air evacuated” Christians ever had to face) – well, those “saved-during-the-end-times’-tribulation” believers do NOT get to be spared from “God’s wrath”, because they are evidently NOT as much a part of “Christ’s bride” as those Christians who were “raptured” prior to the start of the “end-times’ tribulation”! What is wrong with this “picture”? I Thessalonians 5:9 lets us know that God has not appointed any believers (including those who go through the “end-times’ tribulation”) to [His] wrath, but rather “to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. The Pre-Trib’ers surely are getting the “Antichrist’s wrath” MIXED UP with “God’s wrath” during the “end-times’ tribulation”, and ASSUME they won’t be facing the “Antichrist’s wrath” during that period. All that “nasty stuff” is reserved for those “other” Christians who get saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” (according to the Pre-Trib’ers). Again, HOW IN BLAZES can this group of Pre-Trib’ers think that they are going to get a massive “break” from horrible persecution and evil during the “end-times’ tribulation” when MILLIONS of Christians in other centuries faced the most horrible persecution, and quite likely MILLIONS of Christians will be martyred by the Antichrist system in the future? I personally cannot figure out this Pre-Trib “logic” – but I do think that the Pre-Trib Rapture is “illogical ESCAPISM to the maximum degree”, thrown in with a lot of ignorance of key Bible verses – along with some fantastic twisting and “torturing” of other Bible verses!



The following quotation from Steve Wohlberg’s book, “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”, is quite revealing. Steve Wohlberg states: “Could it be that the idea of escaping tribulation is really only catering to our lukewarm American tendencies? We like comfort; hate to go through trials; and can hardly bear it when our TV-dinner lifestyle is threatened. Yet historically, God’s people have gone through intense suffering. All the disciples of Jesus [Christ], except John, were brutally murdered. Thousands of early Christians were torn to shreds by wild dogs inside the Coliseum. Millions of others were horribly tortured by the Inquisition and burnt to ashes during the Dark Ages. …Believers in Russia and [Red] China have suffered terribly under communism, and yet American Christians say, ‘God wouldn’t allow us to go through the tribulation!’”



VII. BAD FRUIT


I have heard Pre-Trib’ers say that the “imminent” [i.e., “at any moment”] return of the Lord Jesus Christ makes them serve the Lord more fervently. That may be true for some Pre-Trib’ers, as I do personally know one Pre-Trib Rapture pastor who is really fighting hard against corruption and tyranny.



However, many of the Pre-Trib’ers (whom I personally know) use the Pre-Trib Rapture as an excuse to sit back, and to do absolutely nothing to fight against corruption and tyranny. I’ve heard: “Why should I care about the evil movement towards one-world government, etc., that we see today – don’t you know, I’m going to be out of here in the ‘rapture’ BEFORE things really get bad.” I’ve heard that, and similar statements, from many Pre-Trib’ers who are just sitting around, NOT opposing corruption and tyranny, waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ to “air evacuate” them out BEFORE things get really “hairy” [i.e., dangerous]. Another statement I’ve heard is this: “Don’t resist the New World Order, because, don’t you know, it’s all been prophesied.” Such thinking on the part of many Pre-Trib’ers does not “square” with numerous Biblical admonitions to expose evil and to fight against it! (For example, please see Ephesians 5:11.)



VIII. SUMMARY


1. As Pre-Trib writer and leader John Walvoord admits, there is NO SINGLE verse of Scripture that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture.



2. Pre-Trib’ers FORCE ASSUMPTIONS on many key Bible verses – especially assuming that all references to “saints” and to the “elect” (who are being persecuted and martyred during the “end-times’ tribulation”) must refer to “those individuals who are saved” AFTER the Pre-Trib Rapture has taken place. (Again, how are all these folks getting saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” if the “Church” and the “restrainer” [i.e., the Holy Spirit according to Pre-Trib’ers] have been removed?)



3. We are NOT able to find one single instance in the New Testament where the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, or the Apostle John made any statement to the effect that “the church is to be evacuated off of planet Earth seven years PRIOR to the beginning of the end-times’ tribulation period”. Isn’t that a bit strange if the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint is the correct one?



4. Despite taking several texts OUT OF CONTEXT from a few early church fathers’ writings, the Pre-Trib’ers really CANNOT find any predominant, popular teaching that supports the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint in any era of Church history prior to the 1830s.



5. Many learned men of the Christian faith, such as John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, George Whitefield, etc., were all solid Post-Trib believers!



6. The Pre-Trib Rapture is a very big “cash cow” for Pre-Trib writers. Yet, there are some Pre-Trib’ers who will admit that the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint is still a minority viewpoint among Bible scholars. How can that be, you may ask, since so many prophecy books favor the “Pre-Trib” viewpoint? That is because so many of the major “Christian” publishing houses are, for the most part, CONTROLLED by “liberal Christians”. Post-Trib writers often find it extremely hard to get their books published by these publishing houses, because Pre-Trib “sells”. (Could that be because the Pre-Trib Rapture appeals to an “escapist” mentality? It’s that mentality of “I sure don’t want to be here when the Antichrist takes over!” The Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint appeals to our “flesh” – after all, who wants to face persecution?) Also, Dr. Robert “Bob” Gundry says that most of the professors [at Bible colleges] that he knows hold the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint. He adds that even some of the professors at Bible colleges of the “Pre-Trib Rapture persuasion” hold the Post-Trib viewpoint, but cannot say so publicly for fear of losing their positions! Students who openly advocate Post-Trib at these “Pre-Trib Bible colleges” might not be allowed to graduate!



7. Despite the fact that many Pre-Trib’ers dislike author Dave MacPherson, they have NOT been able to disprove his well-documented findings that show that the Pre-Trib Rapture’s origins (as far as any public teaching) date back to the 1830s – and not earlier than that era! Nor have the Pre-Trib’ers been able to disprove MacPherson’s findings that the vast majority of the early church fathers taught that the church would go THROUGH the “end-times’ tribulation” – and lots of tribulation along the way to the “end-times’ tribulation”.



8. Public teaching of the Pre-Trib Rapture originated in the British Isles during the 1830s. (The Jesuits did some “futurist creativity” in the prophetic arena many years prior to that time.) The Pre-Trib “theory” was then “transported” to America a little bit later, and was popularized by the “Scofield Study Bible”.



9. To believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, one must ignore several key Bible verses that speak directly against the Pre-Trib Rapture, such as John 17:15 where the Lord Jesus Christ Himself prays that the Father NOT take believers OUT OF the world – and I Thessalonians 4:16, 17 (which says that the Christians living at the time of Jesus Christ’s return are not caught up UNTIL AFTER the “dead in Christ” are raised “FIRST”)!



10. Believing in the Pre-Trib Rapture, it seems to me, goes AGAINST the prevalent theme of those portions of the Bible that deal with tribulation and persecution. That prevalent theme is “preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation”. (Please recall the accounts of Daniel in the lions’ den, and of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace!)



11. To believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, you have to ASSUME that you will be among a very “select group” of Christians who will not have to suffer horrible things during the “end-times’ tribulation”. Your “select group” excludes those MILLIONS of Christians from past centuries who were NOT “air evacuated” out of their tribulation and suffering, and the many individuals who get “saved” (i.e., are “born again”) during the “end-times’ tribulation”, and who will suffer martyrdom!



12. The Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, for the most part, seems to produce very BAD FRUIT – that is, it seems to have “neutralized” many Christians living today, causing them to sit back and to NOT fight evil. (And that’s, because, don’t you know, they won’t be here when things get really bad.) Could this “doctrine” have been specifically designed to “neutralize” Christians?



IX. FINAL THOUGHTS:


The Scripture verses alone that I have placed in this newsletter ought to be sufficient to show any individual with an “open mind” that the Pre-Trib Rapture is NOT taught in the Holy Bible.



The historical record that I have presented in this newsletter ought to raise some serious questions among those who preach and teach the Pre-Trib Rapture that there is something seriously wrong here. The Jesuit Order has for years tried to undermine the Protestant Reformation, with the ultimate goal of DESTROYING it. They have used a number of “tools” to accomplish their goal – and two of their best “tools” have been:



(1) INFILTRATION of Protestant, independent Baptist, and independent fundamentalist schools, seminaries, societies, associations, organizations, and fellowships; and,



(2) AUTHORING and INSERTING portions of “futurist” doctrines (such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and an “exclusively future ‘Mr. Nasty’ Antichrist”), via the Pre-Trib Rapture, into Protestant, independent Baptist, and independent fundamentalist “circles” that NEUTRALIZE many Bible-believing Christians, causing them to feel “warm, fuzzy, safe, and secure” when, in fact, they are in great danger, and therefore ought to be fighting evil! (Please see Ephesians 5:11, Psalm 94:16, and Ezekiel 22:30, 31.)



Let me ask you pastors and preachers, who have been teaching and preaching the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint to your “flocks”, a couple of very “tough” questions:



(1)“How does it make you feel to know that you have been deceived by some Jesuits, such as Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza, into believing a lot of ‘futurist’ doctrine found within ‘Dispensationalism’, to include a ‘future seven-year tribulation period’ and an ‘exclusively future single Antichrist’ (that wonderfully succeeded in taking the ‘SPOTLIGHT’ off of the Papacy as the historical Antichrist found on the pages of Holy Scripture) – beliefs that are pillars of Dispensationalism and its Pre-Trib Rapture?”



(2) “What are you going to do now that you know the TRUTH?”



Here is something else for those who teach or preach the Pre-Trib Rapture to think about: Your promotion of this doctrine could cause some Christians (who are taught it) to believe that they are in no danger from an Antichrist system that will be targeting Protestants and independent, Bible-believing Christians for DESTRUCTION. How would you feel if you met these folks in heaven – folks who had not taken appropriate measures to defend themselves and their families, and had to watch as murderous thugs raped, tortured, and murdered their family members in front of their very eyes – all because they thought they “wouldn’t be here” when that end-time tribulation occurs – based upon what you taught?



Throughout almost 2000 years of Christian history, MILLIONS of Christians have suffered through horrible persecution and tribulation! MILLIONS of these same Christians were martyred for their steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, and for their refusal to deny their true King! MILLIONS of these Christians were also martyred because they refused to bow to Papal Rome and her false claims of total authority over all Christians in the world! TWO QUESTIONS: (1) Is it not the “height of arrogance” for you believers in the Pre-Trib Rapture to think that you will be part of a relatively small, “special class” of Christians (i.e., those who are living during the “end times”) who alone of all generations of Christians are to be spared horrible persecution and tribulation? (2) What makes YOU so special and so much more worthy to be “protected” than earlier generations of Christians?



One more “final thought”: I would like to repeat a portion of author Lisa Ruby’s comments concerning the “Left Behind” series (which appeared earlier in the “Definitions” section of this newsletter), along with a few comments:

“…Even more disturbing is that the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors’ depiction of the happenings at the outset of the tribulation parallel what is actually planned [Ed.: emphasis in original] by the New World Order elitists. …There will be mass disappearances around the world that might be reported by the media as occurring simultaneously, but they will NOT occur because Jesus Christ has taken His people from the earth in a secret, pre-tribulation rapture that He NEVER promised. The horrific happenings [that] the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors portrayed as being caused by Jesus rapturing His people from the earth before the tribulation is WITHOUT any scriptural foundation. …The ‘Left Behind’ series sends the message that if you hear of mass disappearances [Ed.: during the “tribulation”] you should not suspect that any foul play occurred.” (From Lisa Ruby’s book “GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Pages 61 and 64)



My comments concerning the above quotation:



(1) Could it just be that the “Left Behind” series of books and movies – along with a multitude of other books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture – have “programmed” MILLIONS of Americans to sit back and not be concerned when the “enforcers” of the Jesuit-controlled, tyrannical, “one-world government” begin causing the “disappearances” of thousands upon thousands of Bible-believing Christians and patriots (who had showed signs of opposing their one-world government and one-world religion)? Will many of these “programmed” Americans ASSUME that the mass “disappearances” are due to the Pre-Trib Rapture? Will some of these “programmed” Americans ASSUME that they have missed the Pre-Trib Rapture, and then fall into great despair?



(2) Many of these Pre-Trib-Rapture-“programmed” Americans currently are totally unprepared for those end-time events that will be orchestrated by the Antichrist system of one-world government and one-world religion!



P.S. (Added on September 28, 2007): The Pre-Trib Rapture is a prominent feature of “Dispensationalism” – which became popular in America in the mid 1800s. One of the books most responsible for the advancement of Dispensationalism in America was the “Scofield Reference Bible” (a.k.a. the “Scofield Study Bible”), whose notes were prepared by Cyrus I. Scofield. If you would like to learn more about the life of Cyrus I. Scofield, and about his famous “Study Bible”, then please get a copy of the book, “The Incredible Scofield and His Book”, by Joseph M. Canfield (1988; Ross House Books, Vallecito, California). Dr. Loraine Boettner describes this book as “one of the most powerful books that has ever been written against the dispensational system.” Boettner also states concerning Canfield’s book: “…If dispensationalists would read it carefully, perhaps half of them would turn from that system.” (You should be able to do a “google-style” search on the Internet to find a copy of this book.)



P.P.S. (Added on February 23, 2008): Some people, especially those who are ignorant of “Church” history and European history, will scoff at the idea that the Jesuits could have had anything to do with certain “futurist” elements in the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine. In my definition of the “Jesuit Order”, I stated that one of the Jesuits’ primary goals was “to roll back the Protestant Reformation”. In order to accomplish this objective, the Jesuits decided to use several key “tools”:



(1) Attempt to gain control of the political leadership of Protestant countries (e.g., through such means as “regime change”, bribery, extortion, placing their lackeys in key positions within the government, etc. – i.e., ruling the country from “behind the scenes”) – or by assassinating the head of State and replacing him or her with someone loyal to the Papacy);



(2) Attempt to violently overthrow the governments of some of these Protestant countries (e.g., through fomenting revolution and/or by actually invading the targeted country with military forces loyal to the Papacy);



NOTE: A good example of #2 was the attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Spanish Armada had wanted to land Spanish troops on British soil, and these troops were to be assisted by armed Roman Catholics in the British Isles in overthrowing the government – and in the process placing England once again under Papal control! In fact, Pope Sixtus V [pope: 1585-90] promised Spanish King Philip II that the Papacy would provide financial support for this invasion. (If you doubt this, then please read the book “Jesuit Plots from Elizabethan to Modern Times” by Albert Close. This 194-page paperback book is only $8.95 postage paid. To order a copy, please make check or postal money order payable to “The Conversion Center”, and mail it to: The Conversion Center // P.O. Box 265 // Carthage, NC 28327-0265.)



(3) Attempt to gain control of the religious leadership of Protestant countries (e.g., through such means as bribery, extortion, placing their lackeys in key positions within Protestant churches, seminaries, religious societies and associations, etc.)



NOTE: A good example of this Jesuit INFILTRATION of religious associations and societies was the Oxford movement. Begun officially in 1833, the Oxford movement, led by John Henry Newman (who later became a Roman Catholic cardinal), issued 90 pamphlets/tracts that were intended to draw the Anglican Church much closer to Papal Rome’s doctrines. (The ultimate goal was to make Roman Catholicism once again the State religion in England.)



(4) Attempt to INSERT theological “viruses” (designed to neutralize true Christianity) into the doctrines of Protestant denominations and independent Bible-believing groups by having their undercover agents (i.e., “moles”) suggest various doctrinal views, such as in the realm of Bible prophecy.



NOTE: Some examples of #4 occurred in the realm of the exclusively “futurist” view of prophecy, where two Jesuits (i.e., Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza) and a papal undercover agent (i.e., John Henry Newman) helped provide certain key elements in the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine (e.g., a “future 7-year tribulation period” and a “single, exclusively future, end-time Antichrist” that took the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy). Please consider the following quote by Pastor Ron Poch, taken from pages 121 and 122 of his book, “I WANT To Be Left Behind”, concerning numerous Reformers and scholars who subscribed to the “historicist” [or, historical] view of Bible prophecy:



“This [Ed.: historicist or historical] view [Ed.: of Bible prophecy] postulates that the Book of Revelation predicts events occurring from the 1st century up to our present day. This view, according to many theologians and reformers of the past, offers a freedom in the interpretation of the text in applying the prophecies to actual historical events that have taken place from the 1st century. The historical position [Ed.: of Bible prophecy] looks at Church history from the time of John the revelator to the culmination of all prophetic events, some even yet future.

It is very important to note that many reformers, men of God, teachers and Bible translators and scholars taught this [Ed.: historicist or historical] position concerning Bible prophecy. Many of the men on the following list did not agree on certain doctrinal beliefs, but they were all in general agreement concerning the interpretation of Daniel’s seventy weeks identifying the beast system as religious papal Rome and the ‘man of sin’ being none other than the Roman popes who had taken the name Vicar of Christ.

Here’s a partial list of those who subscribed to the ‘historicist view’ of [Bible] prophecy:

[1.] John Wycliffe, 1329-1383 – English ‘Morning star of the Reformation’

[2.] John Knox, 1514-1572 – Scottish Presbyterian reformer

[3.] William Tyndale, 1494-1536 – English reformer, translator, martyr

[4.] John Calvin, 1509-1564 – French reformer and theologian

[5.] Martin Luther, 1483-1546 – German theologian and reformer

[6.] Ulrich Zwingli, 1484-1531 – Swiss reformer

[7.] Philip Melanchthon, 1497-1560 – [Ed.: German Protestant Reformer] Composed the Augustine confession

[8.] Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727 – English scientist and Bible scholar

[9.] John Huss, 1373-1415 – Bohemian reformer [Ed.: and martyr – he was burned as a heretic]

[10.] John Foxe, 1516-1587 – English author of ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’

[11.] Charles Wesley, 1708-1788 – English hymn writer [Ed.: and clergyman]

[12.] John Wesley, 1703-1791 – [Ed.: English clergyman and evangelist]; Founder of Methodism

[13.] Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758 – American theologian

[14.] George Whitfield, 1714-1770 – English evangelist

[15.] Charles Finney, 1792-1875 – American evangelist

[16.] Charles H. Spurgeon, 1834-1892 – English Baptist pastor

[17.] Adam Clarke, 1762-1832 – Methodist theologian

[18.] Matthew Henry, 1662-1714 – Welch Bible scholar

[19.] John Bunyan, 1628-1688 – [Ed.: English writer and preacher]; Puritan author of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’

[20.] Hudson Taylor, 1832-1905 – English founder of China Inland Mission

[21.] F.B. Meyer, 1847-1929 – English Baptist preacher

Reading the names of these notable God-fearing men should cause us to search out why they believed this [Ed.: historicist] prophetic viewpoint. We cannot casually dismiss their approach to [Bible] prophecy while embracing the position of Reformed theology that they propounded, which has stood the test of time.”



NOTE: If you would like to learn more about the Jesuit Order, then please order the book “The Secret History of the Jesuits” by Edmond Paris. This 206-page paperback book is only $11.35 postage paid. To order a copy by credit card, call “Chick Publications” at 1-909-987-0771. Also, you can visit the following websites (hopefully listed alphabetically) that have a lot of information on various topics concerning the “Vatican-Papacy-Jesuit-Knights of Malta Cabal” and/or concerning the doctrines, practices, and history of the Roman Catholic Church:



www.arcticbeacon.com (Greg Szymanski of the “Investigative Journal”): This website has numerous articles about Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order, including articles that deal with recent lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church. Greg Szymanski is a journalist who worked in Rome, and who has carefully researched the operations of the Vatican. Many of the articles on this website were written by him. Various resources dealing with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order are available through this website.



www.bereanbeacon.org (Richard Bennett, author of “Catholicism East of Eden”): This website has articles and DVDs dealing with Roman Catholicism, to include an outstanding DVD entitled “The Inquisition” (that deals with the Roman Catholic Church’s torture and mass murder of Bible-believing Christians). Books are also available through this website on a wide range of topics dealing with Roman Catholic doctrine and practices – including two books containing the testimonies of former Roman Catholic priests and nuns.



www.chick.com (“Chick Publications”): This website offers many great resources that deal with the topic of Roman Catholicism, including several outstanding books (e.g., “The Secret History of the Jesuits” by Edmond Paris).



www.ChristianMediaNetwork.com (James Lloyd of “Christian Media”): This website will give you details on James Lloyd’s excellent book dealing with “Mary worship”, entitled “The Queen of Heaven”. (It will also give you information on how to obtain numerous resources that refute the “Pre-Trib Rapture”. Please “click on” the “catalog” marker on his homepage.)



www.ctwilcox.com (C.T. Wilcox, professional actor and author of “The Transformation of the Republic”): This website has a number of articles dealing with Papal Rome and her Jesuit Order. The 345-page paperback book, “The Transformation of the Republic” (2005), by C.T. Wilcox, can be ordered on this website. (This book deals with Papal Rome’s involvement in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the manhunt for arch conspirator John Harrison Surratt, and the trials of the conspirators in the aftermath of the assassination.)



www.gordoncomstock.com (“Gordon Comstock”): This website contains many articles and podcasts dealing with Papal Rome and her Jesuit Order, as well as recommended resources for additional research.



www.SpirituallySmart.com (Thomas Richards): This website contains numerous articles and videos dealing with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order. It also contains many photographs showing Papal Rome’s great power and influence in the world.



www.toughissues.org (Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT newsletters): This website contains numerous articles dealing with Papal Rome’s bloody history, the sinister activities of the Jesuit Order, and various Roman Catholic doctrines and practices (such as “mandatory celibacy for priests”, papal infallibility, auricular confession to an authorized priest, etc.).



www.vaticanassassins.org (Eric Jon Phelps, author of “Vatican Assassins”): This website contains many articles on the Jesuit Order. You can order Phelps’ “Vatican Assassins” CD-ROM on this website. Eric Jon Phelps is the preeminent researcher in America today on the Jesuit Order and the Knights of Malta religious-military order (both of which are controlled by the Jesuit Superior General).



www.vaticandesignexposed.com (John Daniel, author of “The Grand Design Exposed”): Information on how to order John Daniel’s 411-page paperback book, “The Grand Design Exposed”, can be found on this website. (This book provides important information on how the Jesuit Order took over both British and French Freemasonry, as well as showing Jesuit and other Roman Catholic involvement in fomenting and directing the French Revolution of 1789-1799.)



www.vyzygoth.com (“Vyzygoth”): This website contains some articles and recorded broadcasts that deal with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order.



CLOSING QUOTES:



“…Many of the Chinese Christians did not expect to have to give their lives during the ‘great purge’ by the Communist [Ed.: Chinese] insurgency. He [Ed.: i.e., Brother Andrew] said [that] while being tortured those [Ed.: Chinese Christian] saints were crying for the ‘rapture’ during their martyrdom. …What makes us better than those Chinese Christians? Don’t you think [that] they felt like they were going through ‘the great tribulation’?” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 35)



“We may not be asked or required to die a martyr’s death, but to believe a false teaching such as ‘an any moment rapture’ is to belittle the sacrifice by those who have given their all. Read ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’ or ‘Jesus Freaks’ by DC Talk and ‘Voice of the Martyrs’ [that can be] found at your local Christian bookstore.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 36)



“If we continue believing in a wrong doctrine, we will effectively erect a stronghold in our mind that cannot be penetrated by truth.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 9)



CLOSING BIBLE VERSE:



“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers, or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (Psalm 96:16)

--------------------
The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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EXAMINING the TOUGH ISSUES

FACING CHRISTIANS TODAY!



Issue #8 // Originally published: February 24, 2003 // Editor: Darryl Eberhart
(Fifth Update – Massively Expanded Issue: through March 22, 2008)



“RAPTURE TIMING AND DISPENSATIONALISM”

(Originally published as: “Rapture Timing is Important!”)



VERY IMPORTANT COMMENT: If you read only one thing in this newsletter, then PLEASE read the Bible verses and passages in Section II. The sequence of events leading up to the “Rapture” of “end-time” Christians is clearly spelled out in the first four Bible passages listed in that section.



NOTE #1: All emphasis in this newsletter, unless otherwise noted, is by the editor of “Examining the Tough Issues (ETI)” and “Tackling the Tough Topics (TTT)” newsletters. All of my new, as well as updated, articles and newsletters are posted on these three websites: www.toughissues.org, www.pastorbutch.com, and www.gordoncomstock.com. (On the second website, please “click” on the “Tackling the Tough Topics” box in the left-hand column of their homepage. On the third website, at the top of their homepage, please “double click” on the “RESOURCES” box, and then “double click” on the “Tackling the Tough Topics” box. If you would like to print off copies of any of my newsletters and articles, then I would suggest that you print them off from the third website – since they should “print out” best from it.)



NOTE #2: All Bible verses quoted by this editor are taken from the Authorized King James Version (KJV). I have used “italics” for ALL the quotations that I have placed in this newsletter, including those from the Bible. When a KJV Bible verse is quoted in which “italics” were used in the original ONLY for those words supplied by the translators to clarify meanings, such words will still appear in “italics”; however, I have also placed such “KJV translator-supplied words” in BRACKETS, e.g., [the sins of]. Amplifying data that I personally am adding within or before the Bible verse will also be in BRACKETS; however, my amplifying data will NOT be in “italics”, and will be preceded by the abbreviation “Ed.” [for “editor”], e.g., [Ed.: i.e., Jesus Christ]. The reason: Sometimes in sending data electronically [e.g., via E-Mail], the “italics” is lost. In such a case, my added amplifying data [in brackets] could be distinguished from those original KJV italicized words [added by the translators to clarify meanings] by the “Ed.”



NOTE #3: The following abbreviations will be used throughout the text:



(1) “Pre-Trib” = The Pre-Tribulation (Rapture)

(2) “Post-Trib” = The Post-Tribulation (Rapture)

(3) “Pre-Trib’ers” = Individuals who believe in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture

(4) “Post-Trib’ers” = Individuals who believe in the Post-Tribulation Rapture.



NOTE #4: The “Pre-Trib Rapture” is but one piece of a larger “prophetic pie” called “Dispensationalism”. According to Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World” (2004; Page 129), Dispensationalism “is the theory that God deals with mankind in distinct periods or ages.” Wohlberg adds, “According to [Ed.: John Nelson] Darby, we’re now in the ‘Church Age’, which will conclude with the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture.” (More information on “Dispensationalism” is given in the “Definitions” section of this newsletter.)



ED. COMMENT added on September 30, 2007: I used to believe in the Pre-Tribulation (Pre-Trib) Rapture for many years. I had read a number of books supporting the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint by men like Hal Lindsay and John Walvoord. However, as I began my study through the entire Holy Bible, I discovered more and more Bible passages that clearly contradicted the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint! I also noticed that the teaching of the Pre-Trib Rapture had neutralized MANY Bible-believing Christians whom I had personally met. It “neutralized” them because they used it as an “excuse” for NOT fighting evil! Thus, I decided in 2003 that this was a “tough issue” that needed to be “examined” – even if doing so would disturb some folks’ comfort zones. After all, TRUTH is far more important than any of our “comfort zones”.



ED. COMMENT added on October 14, 2007: Some people will criticize me for being “divisive” because I have written about what they perceive to be a “minor” issue of doctrine – one that they would say is not a “salvation” issue. However, ALL doctrine is important – and if someone is teaching a doctrine that is contradicted by the Holy Bible (as I believe that the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine is), and which also neutralizes Christians, then I MUST expose that doctrine.



Ed. Comment added on December 6, 2007: If you believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, then I would ask that you please read this newsletter with an open mind. (Please keep in mind that at one time I too believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture.) Whatever the current prevailing view on any topic is, it may not be correct. Please remember that at one time most people thought that the world was flat! Most of us have, at one time or another, been victims of misinformation and disinformation. We must never forget that one key element of the Jesuit-led Counter-Reformation is to INFILTRATE Protestant and independent, Bible-believing circles in order to “sow” false doctrine and false ideas in order to NEUTRALIZE true Christianity! Please consider the following quotes from the book of Proverbs:



(1) “He that answereth a matter before he heareth [it], it [is] folly and shame unto him.” (Proverbs 18:13)



(2) “[He that is] first in his own cause [seemeth] just [Ed.: i.e., right; correct; true]; but his neighbor cometh and searcheth him.” (Proverbs 18:17)



(3) “The heart of him that hath understanding seeketh knowledge…” (Proverbs 15:14 a.)



DEFINITIONS (Hopefully in alphabetical order):



NOTE #1: Please carefully read these “definitions” BEFORE reading the rest of this newsletter, since the “definitions” are critical to understanding (a.) the “players” who were involved in concocting and popularizing the Pre-Trib Rapture and, (b.) some of the “terms” that are used within the “dispensationalist camp”.



NOTE #2: I may not necessarily agree totally with every word of every “definition” given by some of the dictionaries and authors quoted within this section; however, what they have stated is given so that the reader of this newsletter can examine two or more “definitions” for some of the “key terms”.



NOTE #3: Bible prophecy is sometimes “layered” (i.e., it may have more than one application). Also, there are clearly “types” shown in the Bible (such as Moses being a “type” of Christ). Therefore, I may not necessarily agree with everything exactly as stated by some of these authors concerning their prophetic viewpoints as found within some of their definitions in this section. I would encourage the readers of this newsletter to prayerfully and carefully study through the entire Bible, and then form their own conclusions about Bible prophecy!



“Anti-” (Per “Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language”): “A preposition signifying ‘against’, ‘opposite’, ‘contrary’, or ‘IN PLACE OF’; used in many English words.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: One should carefully consider the particular meaning “in [the] place of” for the prefix “anti-” as concerns the term “anti-Christ” – i.e., one who sits “in [the] place of” Christ.



“Antichrist” (Per “VINE’S Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words”; 1985): “Antichrist [Greek: antichristos]…can mean either ‘against Christ’ or ‘instead of Christ’, or perhaps, combining the two, ‘one who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ’…”



“Antichrist” (Per “Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language”): “A great adversary of Christ; the man of sin; described [in] I John 2:18; II Thessalonians [Chapter] 2; [and] Revelation [Chapter] 9. Protestants generally suppose this adversary to be the Papal power; and some divines [Ed.: i.e., clergymen] believe that, in a more general sense, the word extends to any persons who deny Christ or oppose the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.”



“Antichrist” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 89): “The word ‘antichrist’ literally means ‘opposed to’ or ‘IN THE PLACE OF’ Christ, and in its most subtle and diabolical manifestation it concerns something which [Ed.: or someone who] claims loyalty to Jesus [Christ] while really leading away from Him.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding three definitions: Leading Protestant Reformers (e.g., Martin Luther, John Calvin, John Knox, etc.) agreed that the Roman Pontiff [i.e., the pope of Rome] was clearly identified in Scripture as the “Antichrist”. (Please see my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, which can be viewed on the three Internet websites listed at the beginning of this newsletter.)



“Daniel’s 70th Week” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 96): “Prophecy teachers in our generation definitely apply the day-for-a-year principle to the famous 70th week of Daniel 9:27, which says, ‘And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice…to cease’ (Daniel 9:27 KJV). Based on the day-year truth, this ‘one week’ is really seven years. …Many prophecy scholars today – following the lead of J.N. Darby – have decided to sever this 70th week [of Daniel 9:27] from the first 69 weeks (creating an almost 2000 year gap or parenthesis), slide it down to the end times, and call it ‘the seven years of tribulation’. We have already analyzed the problems with this view, and have proven [that] it was really Jesus Christ who brought an end to the Jewish sacrificial system through His death on the cross. Net conclusion: [Ed.: There is] no seven-year tribulation.” (See also “Seven-Year Period of Tribulation” in this section.)



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: Incredibly, Pre-Trib Rapture teachers and writers take this prophecy in Daniel 9:27, which points to Jesus Christ, and apply it to a “future Antichrist”! As Steve Wohlberg states on page 46 of his book “End Time DELUSIONS” (2004): “After exactly three and a half years of holy ministry, Jesus Christ died on the cross, ‘in the midst of the week [in the middle of the seven years].’ At the exact moment of His death, ‘the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom…’ (Matthew 27:51) This act of God signified that all animal sacrifices at that moment ceased to be of value. Why? Because the Perfect Sacrifice had been offered!”



“Darby, John Nelson” (Per Dr. James M. Dunn, Baptist Joint Committee, Washington, D.C. – his quote is taken from page 35 of the book, “Forcing God’s Hand”, by Grace Halsell; Darby was the founder of the “Plymouth Brethren”:

“…Two men largely were responsible for giving a new interpretation to Scripture, called ‘Dispensationalism’. They said that saved Christians will be Raptured before the Tribulation.

John [Nelson] Darby [Ed.: 1800-1882], a former minister in the Church of England, became an ‘apostle and missionary’ for this dispensationalist belief. After traveling extensively in Europe, he began missionary journeys in the United States. He met with and influenced leaders of the New Bible and Prophecy Conference movement, which set the tone for the evangelical and fundamentalist movements in North America between 1875 and 1920.

Darby had direct contact with and considerable influence on such evangelical leaders as the Presbyterian James Brookes of Philadelphia; Dwight L. Moody of Chicago; the early evangelical author William E. Blackstone; as well as Cyrus Scofield, who published the ‘Scofield Reference Bible’.

Until the mid-1800s and the preaching of Darby and Scofield, no one, whether Catholic or Protestant, had dreamed of an end-time escapism.”



“Darby, John Nelson” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 127, 128): “John Nelson Darby (1800-1882)…[was] a brilliant lawyer, pastor, and theologian. …Darby’s contribution to the development of evangelical theology has been so great [that] he has been called ‘The Father of Modern Dispensationalism’. Yet John Nelson Darby, like [Ed.: Scottish Presbyterian minister] Edward Irving, not only became a champion for the pre-tribulation rapture idea…but also of a future antichrist who appears only after we [Ed.: Christians] disappear [Ed.: in the Pre-Trib Rapture]. Both teachings – a secret [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture and a future Mr. Ghastly [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist] – are now dispensational pillars.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author Dave Macpherson, Darby took his ideas for the “Pre-Trib Rapture” from Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, who had taken at least some of his ideas concerning the “Pre-Trib Rapture” from Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald.


“Dispensation” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[Ed.: A dispensation is] a time period or epoch, whereby people are judged according to their personal relationship with God.”



“Dispensationalism” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[Ed.: Dispensationalism is] a belief system that holds, among other things, that the signs of the Second Coming of Christ are clearly spelled out in Scripture and can be identified with current international events. This theology, less than 200 years old, was popularized by [Ed.: British evangelist] John [Nelson] Darby of England and in America by Cyrus Scofield, whose ‘Scofield Reference Bible’ explains that God has special interest in only two peoples: Jews, said to be on an ‘earthly’ track, and Christians on a ‘heavenly’ track.”



“Dispensationalism” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 128, 129): “Dispensationalism is the theory that God deals with mankind in distinct periods or ages. …[Ed.: These two teachings of] a secret [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture and a future Mr. Ghastly [Ed: i.e., the exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist] are now dispensational pillars.”


“Dispensationalism” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 23): “…He [Ed.: i.e., British evangelist John Nelson Darby] invented ‘dispensations’ – that is, intervals of time ordering God’s grand timetable for world events. From this expression came ‘Dispensationalism’, a particular system or school of thinking about the end-times reflecting Darby’s premise. According to Darby’s view, God has divided all of human history into seven distinct dispensations, or ages, and during each time God has dealt with people according to a different set of rules. Dispensationalism thus lays out a rigid master plan for all of history.”



“Dispensationalism” (Per James Lloyd, author of “The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 7): “Although the [Ed.: pre-tribulational] rapturist system teaches the error [that] the ‘Church’ will be ‘raptured’ before the tribulation, leaving the Jews to face the Antichrist in the last ‘dispensation’, the systemic error that is Dispensationalism is far broader than just the pre-tribulational rapture. At its most basic level, Dispensationalism divides the ages into contrived time periods, dubbed ‘dispensations’, in which God separates how He deals with Jews and Gentiles.”



“Dispensationalist” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 118): “[A dispensationalist is] one who adheres to the belief in seven epochs (dispensations) that must transpire to usher in the Second Coming of Christ.”



“Futurism” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 116): “Futurism is what [Ed.: Spanish JESUIT] Francisco Ribera [1537-1591] taught. In contrast to Preterism, Futurism usually sees the majority of Revelation’s prophecies (from Chapter 4 onward) as yet on the horizon. Concerning the Antichrist…Futurism generally applies the prophecies of ‘the little horn’, ‘the man of sin’, and ‘the beast’ to a single, yet-future Mr. Serpent [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist]…

As with Preterism, Futurism’s net result is that it also significantly wipes away ‘the beast’ [Ed.: i.e., the Antichrist] stain from the papacy.”



“Great Tribulation” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “‘Great Tribulation’ is a term found in Matthew 24:21 and in Revelation 2:22 and 7:14. Some writers of prophecy books refer to the end-times’ tribulation period, which occurs just prior to the Second Coming of Christ, as ‘the Great Tribulation’.”



“Irving, Edward” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 127): “…Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving (1792-1834)…pastored the large Chalcedonian Chapel in London [England] with over 1000 members. Cofounder of ‘The Society for the Investigation of Prophecy’, Irving eventually accepted the one-man antichrist idea of [John Henry] Newman [Ed.: who later became a Roman Catholic cardinal], Burgh, Todd, Maitland, Bellarmine, and [Ed.: Spanish Jesuit Francisco] Ribera, yet he went a step further. Somewhere around 1830, Edward Irving began to teach the novel idea of a two-phase return of Christ, the first phase being ‘a secret rapture before the rise of antichrist’.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author Dave Macpherson, British evangelist John Nelson Darby took his Pre-Trib ideas from Edward Irving, who took some of his Pre-Trib ideas from Margaret Macdonald! Irving had earlier “supervised” the translation into English of Jesuit Emmanuel Lacunza’s book, “The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty”. This English translation of Lacunza’s book was published in 1827. Did Irving supervise the translation of Lacunza’s book into English knowing that Lacunza was a Jesuit?



“Jesuit Order” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “The Jesuit Order is a religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, officially approved by Pope Paul III in 1540. The primary goals of this order are (1) to roll back the Protestant Reformation and the freedoms that it brought to many of the inhabitants of this planet; (2) to enhance the power and prestige of the Papacy (and its ‘White Pope’); and (3) to rule despotically over the governments of the world through the Papacy. The head of the Jesuit Order is the Jesuit Superior General – the ‘Black Pope’ – the real power behind the Papal throne. The Jesuit Order is infamous for fomenting revolutions and wars, assassinating heads of State, and subverting nations. I believe that it is almost impossible to understand European history and Church history without a good understanding of the Protestant Reformation and the Jesuit-led Counter-Reformation.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: I included the “Jesuit Order” in this “Definitions” section because the Jesuit Order not only choreographed brutal Inquisition of Bible-believing Christians, but also has infiltrated Protestant denominations and independent, Bible-believing groups, societies, associations, organizations, and institutes. This infiltration program (part of the Jesuit-led “Counter-Reformation”) has included: (1) putting undercover Jesuits and Jesuit “temporal coadjutors” in key positions in such groups, associations, etc. (e.g., John Henry Newman of the Oxford movement); and, (2) introducing theological “viruses” through Jesuit-concocted and/or supported doctrines. I believe that one can make a pretty good “case” that the Jesuits had at least a “major assist” on the development of certain aspects of “Dispensationalism”, such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and an “exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist” (the latter viewpoint conveniently taking the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy)!



“Lacunza, Emmanuel” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Emmanuel Lacunza [1731-1801] was a Chilean JESUIT who wrote the four-volume book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’. Lacunza used the pseudonym of Rabbi Juan Josafat Ben Ezra for his book in order to deceive Protestants into thinking that it had been written by a Messianic [i.e., “Converted”] Jew, thus for a time concealing its JESUIT origins! Lacunza’s book provided at least some of the ingredients for the largely fictional prophetic concoction that is today called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture – a doctrine that is one of the pillars of ‘Dispensationalism’. Author and researcher Dave MacPherson admits that Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving may have been influenced on some details of futurist views by [Jesuit] Emmanuel Lacunza. MacPherson tells us that while ‘Lacunza saw a future tribulation and hinted that the [two] witnesses could represent at least part of the church, he didn’t see them raptured before the tribulation’. Manuscripts of Jesuit Lacunza’s book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’ were in circulation as early as the 1790s. The first complete Spanish edition of Emmanuel Lacunza’s book was published in London in 1816, and an English translation (supervised by Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving) was published in 1827.”



“‘Left Behind’ series” (Per Lisa Ruby, author of “GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Pages 1, 29, 61, 64, 94, 102, 133, 160, and 191):

“The ‘Left Behind’ series presents a false grace through ‘Christian’ characters that give in to ungodliness and worldly lusts that war against their souls. The storyline has the characters sinning to survive and rationalizing their service to sin because they are living during the tribulation.

…The ‘Left Behind’ series was written in such a way as to pervert major biblical truths, but because this is not easily seen, these perversions enter into the reader’s mind without him even realizing it.

…Even more disturbing is that the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors’ depiction of the happenings at the outset of the tribulation parallel what is actually planned [Ed.: emphasis in original] by the New World Order elitists. …There will be mass disappearances around the world that might be reported by the media as occurring simultaneously, but they will NOT occur because Jesus Christ has taken His people from the earth in a secret, pre-tribulation rapture that He NEVER promised. The horrific happenings [that] the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors portrayed as being caused by Jesus rapturing His people from the earth before the tribulation is WITHOUT any scriptural foundation. …The ‘Left Behind’ series sends the message that if you hear of mass disappearances [Ed.: during the “tribulation”] you should not suspect that any foul play occurred.

…The ‘Left Behind’ series presents many false teachings about the mark of the beast. [Ed. Note: You will need to read Lisa Ruby’s book for the details!]

…The ‘mark of the believer’ deception [i.e., cross-shaped smudge marks on their foreheads], repeated many times in the ‘Left Behind’ series, is one such teaching they can and will use against Christians during the tribulation if they can get away with it. …[The] visible ‘mark of the believer’ is not in the Bible.

…The [‘Left Behind’ series] authors have treated the sacred subject of sex in an unholy manner in the ‘Left Behind’ series.

…By the way, the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors want the reader to think [that] the president of the United States of America will go against the regime of the New World Order. This is totally inaccurate because the government of the United States of America is leading the world into the New World Order.

…The ‘Left Behind’ series gives the reader a false hope right out of the pit of hell, that you can serve sin today and then decide to serve Jesus when that Wicked is revealed.”



“‘Left Behind’ series” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 21): “In the last few years, the number-one promoter of the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture idea has been the New York Times best-selling ‘Left Behind’ series, coauthored by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. A high-speed, 12-book sequence of novels about the end times, ‘Left Behind’ teaches that the return of Jesus Christ takes place in two distinct phases. First [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers], Jesus [Christ] comes ‘invisibly’ to remove His Church before a seven-year tribulation during which the rest of humanity must face the antichrist. This is [called] the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture. At the end of those seven years [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers], Jesus [Christ] will again return ‘visibly’ to deliver those who became Christians during the tribulation… This is the second coming. Thus [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers] it’s rapture first, then seven years with the antichrist, then the visible second coming of Jesus Christ.” (Emphasis is by author Steve Wohlberg.)


“‘Left Behind’ series” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page xi): “‘Left Behind’ theology is sheer fiction – indeed, a most dangerous fiction.”



“Lloyd, James” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “James Lloyd of ‘Christian Media’ is one of the champions in the fight to expose the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as a false, unbiblical doctrine. (Another such champion is author Dave MacPherson.) James Lloyd has authored the following books about Pre-Tribulation Rapturism: ‘The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism’, ‘Lying in Laodicea’, ‘The Reckoning’, and ‘Invisible Scripture’. He has also exposed the Pre-Trib Rapture on his radio broadcast and in printed articles.”



“Macdonald, Margaret” (Per Dave MacPherson, author of “The Rapture Plot”; 1995; Pages 2, 3, 6, 51 and 53):
“One person whose prophetic views greatly influenced [Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward] Irving and his friends was Miss Margaret Macdonald, a young lassie living in the small shipbuilding town of Port Glasgow in western Scotland.
…During springtime in 1830, an end-time vision [Ed. Note: of a two-stage Second Coming of Jesus Christ with a secret Pre-Trib Rapture] sprang into Margaret Macdonald’s mind. Privately, she sent handwritten copies of her Scripture-riddled revelation to some leading clergymen including Irving.

…As early as June 2, 1830, Edward Irving confessed in a private letter that the ‘substance of…Margaret Macdonald’s visions or revelations…carry to me a spiritual conviction and a spiritual reproof which I cannot express’.

…As early as the September 1830 issue of ‘The Morning Watch’, a writer using the pen name of ‘Fidus’ clearly expressed her [Ed.: i.e., Margaret Macdonald’s] novel idea – the earliest moment I’ve found anyone publicly teaching the pretrib rapturescape.

…What generally hasn’t been known about Margaret [Macdonald] is the extent to which she was open to the world of the ‘occult’.

…Although Margaret [Macdonald] wasn’t a rapture date-setter, she was an Antichrist-setter. On the same evening that found her arriving at her pretrib rapture construction, she predicted that 19th century socialist Robert Owen…would eventually become the Antichrist. But Owen failed to do his part and died in 1858!”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald was about 15 years old when, in the springtime of 1830, she got her “end-time vision” of a “two-stage” Second Coming of Jesus Christ.



“MacPherson, Dave” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Author Dave MacPherson is one of the champions in the fight to expose the Pre-Tribulation Rapture as a false, unbiblical doctrine of fairly recent origin (i.e., making its public debut in the early 1830s). (Another such champion is author James Lloyd.) Dave MacPherson has authored the following books about Pre-Tribulation Rapturism: ‘The Incredible Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories’, ‘The Rapture Plot’, and ‘The Three R’s: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery: Pretribulation Rapturism from 1830 to Hal Lindsey’. Dave MacPherson traveled to both England and Scotland to do much of his research on the ‘origins’ of Pre-Tribulation Rapturism.”



“Mid-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “The Mid-Tribulation Rapture is also called by some the ‘Pre-Wrath Rapture’ – and it teaches that Jesus Christ will ‘rapture’ His Church somewhere right in the middle of the alleged ‘seven-year tribulation period’ – and just PRIOR to God pouring out His wrath on the remaining inhabitants of planet Earth (during the last half of that alleged ‘seven-year tribulation period’). I suspect that this is the ‘rapture viewpoint’ with the fewest adherents.”


“Newman, John Henry” (Per David W. Daniels, author of “Did The Catholic Church Give Us The Bible?: The True History of God’s Words”; 2005; Pages 116 and 117): “A ‘Judas Iscariot’ was firmly planted in England. His name was John [Henry] Newman (1801-90). John was a deep ‘mole’ who served the Vatican by controlling the Tractarian society. John’s brainwashing tactics were so effective that they actually shifted the thinking of the English Protestants and drew them closer to [Ed.: Papal] Rome. [Ed.: Emphasis is in the original.] …Finally in 1845 he [Ed.: Newman] revealed the truth [Ed.: of his loyalty to Papal Rome]. With his disguise off Newman took almost 250 ministers and theologians, and near 625 professors, Parliament members, etc., to serve the ‘great ***** ’. Newman delivered England to [Ed.: Papal] Rome! Just one year after he dumped his Christian faith, John [Henry Newman] was made a [Roman Catholic] priest.”



“Newman, John Henry” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 127): “John Henry Newman (1801-1890) [was] a member of the Church of England and a leader of the famous Oxford movement (1833-1845). In 1850, Newman wrote his ‘Letter on Anglican Difficulties’ blatantly revealing that one of the goals of the [Ed.: Oxford] movement was to lead ‘the various English denominations and parties’ back to [Ed.: Papal] Rome. The ‘Oxford Tracts’ gave fresh weight to ‘anti-Protestant opinions’, gave ‘assistance [to] the laborers of the futurist school’, worked to ‘unprotestantize the Church of England’ and ‘set aside all application to the Roman Papacy of the fearful prophecies respecting Antichrist.’ After publishing his own pamphlet about a future Mr. Sinister [Ed.: i.e., the exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist], Newman himself became a [Roman] Catholic, and later a highly honored cardinal…”



Ed. Comment to the preceding two definitions: Why are so many Roman Catholics, Jesuits, and a Roman Catholic sympathizer (who later became a Roman Catholic priest and cardinal) involved with some of the “futurist” elements of Dispensationalism, such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and/or an “exclusively future, end-time, single Antichrist” (which effectively takes the SPOTLIGHT off of the Papacy as being the Antichrist)?



“Oxford movement” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “[Ed: The Oxford movement was] a High-Church, anti-liberal movement within the Church of England, begun at Oxford University in 1833: see TRACTARIANISM.” [Ed. NOTE: I have seen both “Oxford movement” and “Oxford Movement” in various books and dictionaries.]



“Oxford movement” (Per John W. Kennedy of India, author of “The Torch of the Testimony”; 1965; Pages 205-207):

“…Of these champions of the established Church a number were associated with Oxford [England], hence the name Oxford Movement which was given to their society. [Ed.: The movement was begun officially in 1833.] The most well known [Ed.: member of the Oxford movement] was John Henry Newman, later to become a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church. …These men sought to establish the unbroken succession of the Church of England from the ancient [Roman] Catholic Church, and advertised their views in a series of papers which they called ‘Tracts for the Times’. From these [tracts] the name ‘Tractarians’ has been derived. They made much of the glorious tradition of the past, and held to a doctrine of Apostolic Succession whereby the authority of the apostles was transmitted to bishops down through the centuries by the laying on of hands. …Only those, they said, who are in the apostolic succession can validly administer the sacraments which are a means of saving grace. [Ed.: Of course, that is clearly 100% Roman Catholic doctrine!] The doctrine of transubstantiation was held, and there was a return to many Romish practices – truths, they believed, which the Reformers had wrongly repudiated.

…The Anglo-Catholic Tractarians gained a large following among the clergy.

…In 1839 [John Henry] Newman issued Tract XC [i.e., #90]. It roused tremendous controversy, and resulted in further tracts being forbidden. In Tract XC Newman dealt with the question of interpreting the thirty-nine articles which outlined the definitely Protestant faith of the Church of England. These, he said, could be conscientiously signed, but interpreted from the standpoint of the [Roman] Catholic Church, not interpreted only as their authors originally intended. The furious outcry which resulted charged the Tractarians with evasion and Jesuitry… A few years later, in 1845, [John Henry] Newman was formally received into the Roman Catholic Church. Some hundreds of clergymen and laymen followed him.

The departure of Newman and his followers did not mean the break up of the Anglo-Catholic party. It was seriously weakened, but, under the able leadership of Edward Pusey [Ed. Note: from which we get the term “Puseyism”] was, within a few years, stronger than it had ever been, and was continuing to grow. Up to the present day it has exercised a powerful influence in a large section of the Anglican Church, and has wrought almost unbelievable changes to restore ideas of the Middle Ages which great men like [Nicholas] Ridley and [Hugh] Latimer opposed to the point of giving their lives at the stake.”



Ed. Comments to the preceding two definitions:



(1) “The Oxford movement” was clearly controlled in the 1830s and in the 1840s by undercover Roman Catholics and Roman Catholic sympathizers within the Church of England. One of the leaders of “the Oxford movement” was John Henry Newman (1801-1890), who later left the movement to become a Roman Catholic priest – and still later, a cardinal in the Roman Catholic Church! “The Oxford movement” was doing all it could in the 1830s and 1840s to push the Church of England back into the arms of the Papacy!



(2) Something for all of us to consider: Were there any links between this pro-Roman Catholic “Oxford movement” and either Edward Irving or John Nelson Darby, both of whom taught the Pre-Trib Rapture? Although the Oxford movement officially began in 1833, the Anglo-Catholic party had been working very hard within the Church of England PRIOR to that time to bring the Church of England back more in line with Roman Catholicism! Remember also that the Jesuits had been very active in England from the time of the late 1500s!



(3) Though there may not be any connection, I find it interesting that my copy of the “Scofield Study Bible” (whose notes strongly promote “Dispensationalism” and the “Pre-Trib Rapture”) was published by the “OXFORD University Press”. Geoffrey Thomas of “The Banner of Truth” tells us that the Oxford University Press is “no friend to gospel Christianity”, and that it paid Cyrus I. Scofield “enormous royalties” [for his work on the “Scofield Study Bible”].



(4) Please also see “Tractarianism” in this section.



“Post-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “The Post-Tribulation Rapture was the ‘rapture viewpoint’ held by the vast majority of Christian writers throughout Church history until at least the 1830s. This viewpoint places the true Church here on planet Earth DURING the end-times’ tribulation period when the Antichrist makes the final push to exterminate Bible-believing Christianity – and possibly even much (or, all) of nominal Christianity.”


“Pre-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 22):

“The [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] Rapture has its origins in the nineteenth century – beginning, according to one critic [Ed.: i.e., author Dave MacPherson], with a young girl’s vision. In 1830, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, fifteen-year-old Margaret MacDonald attended a healing service. There, she was said to have seen a vision of a two-stage return of Jesus Christ. The story of her vision was adopted and amplified by John Nelson Darby, a British evangelical preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren.

At the time, the belief that Jesus [Christ] will come back again was not new. Christians have always taught that Jesus [Christ] will return to earth and that believers should live in the urgent and hopeful anticipation of His second coming. This teaching is central to ancient Christian creeds and is taught by all churches. But Darby’s new teaching was the claim that Christ would return twice. The first return would be in secret, to ‘Rapture’ His church out of the world and up to heaven. Christ would return a second time after seven years of global tribulation to establish a Jerusalem-based kingdom on earth (which they call the ‘Glorious Appearing’, a phrase from Titus 2:13). For Darby and his sympathizers, the search was on for Bible verses to support this two-stage version of Christ’s return.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: According to author and researcher Dave Macpherson, British evangelist John Nelson Darby took a lot of his Pre-Trib views from Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, who had taken a “large slice” of his Pre-Trib views (e.g., the two-stage [second] coming of Christ) from a Scottish lassie named Margaret Macdonald.



“Pre-Tribulation Rapture” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “There are enough JESUIT fingerprints on certain aspects of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine (e.g., a future seven-year tribulation period and an exclusively future, single antichrist) that possibly we should call it the ‘JESUIT-inspired-and-assisted-Pre-Tribulation Rapture’ – a doctrine that has deceived, blinded, and neutralized many Protestants and independent, Bible-believing Christians. (It has deceived and blinded many of them to the truth that the Papacy is the Antichrist; and it has neutralized many of them by keeping them from fighting evil because they think that they won’t be here during the ‘tribulation’.) Public ‘teaching’ of this doctrine of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture did not really ‘take off’ UNTIL the early 1830s. Later, it – and its ‘big daddy’, ‘Dispensationalism’ – were popularized in the USA by the ‘Scofield Reference Bible’ – and then still later by modern writers of books dealing with Bible prophecy. Steve Wohlberg gives us a good description of this doctrine on page 21 of his book, ‘End Time DELUSIONS’, (as he was describing the ‘Left Behind’ series): ‘[Ed.: The Pre-Trib Rapture teaches] that the return of Jesus Christ takes place in two distinct phases. First [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers], Jesus [Christ] comes ‘invisibly’ to remove His Church before a seven-year tribulation during which the rest of humanity must face the antichrist. This is [called] the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] rapture. At the end of those seven years [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers], Jesus [Christ] will again return ‘visibly’ to deliver those who became Christians during the tribulation… This is the second coming. Thus [Ed.: according to “Left Behind” and Pre-Trib’ers] it’s rapture first, then seven years with the antichrist, then the visible second coming of Jesus Christ’.” (Emphasis on the words “invisibly” and “visibly” is by Steve Wohlberg.)


“Pre-Wrath Rapture” (See Mid-Tribulation Rapture in this section.)



“Rapture” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006; meaning #3): “A carrying away or being carried away in body or spirit: now rare except in theological usage.” (Please see “Rapture, The” in this section.)


“Rapture” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 119): “A belief that Born Again Christians will be lifted up into heaven. Traditionally, Christians believed that, like the hero of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’, they must endure suffering and hardships to reach heaven’s pearly gates. However, dispensationalists are taught that they need not suffer for one moment, that they will experience an instant [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture – thus escaping all various holocausts that precede the destruction of Planet Earth.”



“Rapture, The” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “In some Christian theologies, the bodily ascent into heaven just before Armageddon of those who are saved.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding definition: The above “term” in Webster’s 2006 edition should have been labeled “The PRE-TRIBULATION Rapture”.



“Resurrection, The” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “Theological: 1. The rising of Jesus [Christ] from the dead after his death and burial. 2. The rising of all the dead at the Last Judgment.”


“Ribera, Francisco” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 114, 116):

“At the Council of Trent [Ed.: 1545-1563], papal leaders and JESUITS brainstormed about how to counteract Protestantism and bring defectors back to the mother church. Behind closed doors, they decided this was to be done, not only through the Inquisition and torture, but also through THEOLOGY. What kind of theology? Here’s the answer: By reinterpreting the prophecies about ‘the man of sin’, ‘the little horn’, and ‘the beast’!

Two very intelligent Spanish JESUITS rose to the challenge: Luis de Alcasar (1554-1613) of Seville and FRANCISCO RIBERA (1537-1591) of Salamanca. Their strategy was, in a nutshell, one of reapplication and diversion, yet they went in opposite directions. After reading the Bible by candlelight like Martin Luther did, [JESUIT Luis de] Alcasar decided to apply the Bible’s antichrist prophecies to the ancient past while [JESUIT Francisco] Ribera applied them to the distant future. ‘Smart move!’ was the response from [Papal] Rome. By reapplying these prophecies to the past and to the future instead of to the present, these two tricky JESUIT scholars sought to divert the prophetic finger light years away from the VATICAN. Their views quickly became official positions within the Roman [Catholic] Church – even though these two views contradicted each other!

Futurism is what [Spanish JESUIT] FRANCISCO RIBERA taught. In contrast to Preterism, Futurism usually sees the majority of Revelation’s prophecies (from Chapter 4 onward) as yet on the horizon. Concerning the Antichrist…Futurism generally applies the prophecies of ‘the little horn’, ‘the man of sin’, and ‘the beast’ to a single, yet-future Mr. Serpent…
As with Preterism, Futurism’s net result is that it also significantly wipes away ‘the beast’ [Ed.: i.e., the Antichrist] stain from the PAPACY.”



“Scofield, C. I.” (Per Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 23): “…Cyrus I. Scofield was a dubious character who embezzled money, served six months in jail for forgery even after his conversion to Christianity, and abandoned his wife and daughters, according to critics. Scofield hit the jackpot with his annotated ‘Scofield Reference Bible’, a version of the King James Bible in which he added dispensationalist headings and notes in the margin commenting on each prophetic passage in light of [John Nelson] Darby’s [dispensationalist] system. With sales in the millions, it became the version of the Bible through which Americans read their scriptures throughout much of the twentieth century. Scofield’s notes and headings were woven in with the biblical text itself, elevating Dispensationalism to a level of biblical authority that no previous writing had.”



“Scofield, C. I.” (Per Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT): “Cyrus Ingerson (C.I.) Scofield was born in 1843, and he died in 1921. Scofield is best known in fundamentalist Christian circles for the ‘Scofield Study Bible’ (a.k.a. the ‘Scofield Reference Bible’), which was published by the Oxford University Press. Geoffrey Thomas of ‘The Banner of Truth’ tells us that the Oxford University Press is ‘no friend to gospel Christianity’, and that it paid Scofield ‘enormous royalties’. Some of the notes found in the Scofield Study Bible strongly promote ‘Dispensationalism’. Many ‘dispensationalists’ of the past – and many today – promote a dispensationalist doctrine called the ‘Pretribulation Rapture’. Author Joseph M. Canfield, in his book ‘The Incredible Scofield and His Book’ (1988), covers Scofield’s sordid history of abandoning his Roman Catholic wife (and then failing to support her and their children – which ultimately led to divorce), forgery, and his sudden resignation under a cloud as United States District Attorney for Kansas. Author Loraine Boettner, commenting on Canfield’s book, says: ‘This is one of the most powerful books that has ever been written against the dispensationalist system…because it shows how the book that had the most to do with promotion of that system, ‘The Scofield Reference Bible’, originated’.”



Ed. Comment to the preceding two definitions: Please read “The Incredible Scofield and His Book” (1988) by Joseph M. Canfield for “the rest of the story” on Cyrus I. Scofield. (Note: The publisher of this book is Ross House Books, Vallecito, California.)



“Scofield Reference Bible, The” (or, “Scofield Study Bible, The”) (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 129): “In 1909, [Cyrus Ingerson] Scofield published the first edition of his famous ‘Scofield Reference Bible’. In the early 1900s, this Bible became so popular in American Protestant Bible schools that literally millions of copies were printed. What made Scofield’s Bible so energizing was not so much the Scripture itself, but his footnotes. Yet those footnotes contained the [Ed.: Jesuit] ‘virus’. Anti-Reformation interpretations were inserted that pointed the finger away from papal Rome [Ed.: as the Antichrist of Scripture] and toward a future antichrist.”



“Seven-Year Period of Tribulation” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 40, 47): “The truth is, from Genesis to Revelation, there is no exact passage that specifically mentions a seven-year period of tribulation at all. …The entire ‘seven-year period of tribulation’ theory is an END TIME DELUSION, a massive mega-myth. It may even go down in history as the ‘greatest evangelical misinterpretation of all time’. …There is no text in the Bible which teaches a ‘seven-year tribulation’.” [Ed.: Some writers describe the end-times’ tribulation period as the “Great Tribulation”.] (See “Daniels 70th Week” in this section.)


“Temple of God, The” (Per Steve Wohlberg, author of “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Pages 73 and 74): “The original Greek word [Ed.: that the Apostle] Paul used in II Thessalonians 2:4 for ‘temple’ is ‘naos’. …Did Paul use the same [Greek] word [Ed.: i.e., “naos”] anywhere else in his writings? Yes. In his letter to the early Corinthians, Paul wrote to ‘the church of God which is at Corinth’ (I Corinthians 1:2). Then he inquired, ‘Do you not know that you are the temple [naos] of God and that the spirit of God dwells in you?’ (I Corinthians 3:16) Here [the Apostle] Paul clearly applied the word ‘naos’ to the Christian Church – not a physical temple in Jerusalem. …In fact, in all of his writings, every time Paul used the word ‘naos’, he always applied [Ed.: emphasis is in original] it to the Christian Church and never to a rebuilt Israeli [Ed.: i.e., Jewish] temple!”



“Tractarianism” (Per “Webster’s New World College Dictionary, Fourth Edition”; 2006): “The principles of the Oxford movement, favoring a return to early [Ed.: Roman] Catholic doctrines in the Church of England: from the ninety ‘Tracts for the Times’, pamphlets issued at Oxford from 1833 to 1841.” (Please also see “Oxford movement” in this section.)



“Tribulation” (Per Grace Halsell, author of “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth”; 1999; Page 119): “Generally understood [Ed.: especially by dispensationalists and those in the “Pre-Trib camp”] to be a seven-year period of great upheaval never before experienced on earth. Dispensationalists insist that God will punish the Jews in particular during this period because of their disbelief in Christ.” [Ed.: Some writers describe the end-times’ tribulation period as the “Great Tribulation”.]



OPENING QUOTATIONS:



“Most people, sometime in their lives, stumble across the TRUTH. Most jump up, brush themselves off, and hurry on about their business AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED.” – Winston Churchill (1874-1965; British statesman and writer)



“Any story – or a particular side of a story – can sound pretty good and quite believable – and can even sound perfectly true, UNTIL someone else comes along and gives you the OTHER side (i.e., the REST) of the story.” – Darryl Eberhart (Editor of ETI & TTT newsletters; December 13, 2007)



“We are told to love one another as Christ has loved us. Pop psychology trivializes that command by equating it with a ‘positive’ attitude. Forgotten is the first duty of love: to speak the truth (Ephesians 4:15). Real love does not flatter or soothe when correction is needed but [rather] points out the error which is blinding and harming the loved one. Christ said, ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous, therefore, and repent’ (Revelation 3:19). Instead, the idea is now current that love excludes rebuke, ignores the truth, and seeks unity at any price. Only disaster can result.” – Dave Hunt (“A Woman Rides the Beast”; 1994; Page 403)



“…Piety requires us to honor truth above our friends.” – Aristotle (384-322 B.C.; Greek philosopher)



I. INTRODUCTION


Is it really important what position Christians hold on the timing of the “Rapture”? Some folks think that the timing of the “Rapture” is doctrinally unimportant. Others believe that the Rapture “timing issue” is very important!



For those unfamiliar with the “Rapture debate”, Pre-Trib’ers believe that Jesus Christ will “rapture” His church OFF OF planet Earth BEFORE the start of the “end-times’ tribulation” [which they believe is 7 years long]. Post-Trib’ers believe that “the Church” is here on planet Earth DURING the “end-times’ tribulation”, and will be facing the Antichrist system and its murderous hordes. Post-Trib’ers also believe that Jesus Christ will return at the END of the “end-times’ tribulation” (referred to by some as “the Great Tribulation”). Many Post-Trib’ers do not subscribe to a 7-year timeframe for the “end-times’ tribulation”.



I USED to believe in the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint. That was, of course, BEFORE I began reading through the entire Holy Bible (KJV) from cover to cover each year! The Pre-Trib viewpoint is admittedly the prophetic viewpoint that sells the most prophecy books! In fact, the Pre-Trib Rapture has been a fantastically big “cash cow” for a number of well-known “prophecy writers”.



I also believe that “the Antichrist” (as a geopolitical-religious entity) was revealed centuries ago. And “NO!” – I do not believe in the “Preterist View”, nor do I believe that “the Antichrist” was Roman Emperor Nero or any other particular individual in history. I believe that “the [historical] Antichrist” is the Papacy, and that this assertion can be strongly backed up with both Scriptural and historical evidence! (Please read my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, which is posted on the three websites listed at the beginning of this newsletter.) I also believe that “the Church” will go through the entire end-times’ tribulation period (i.e., the “Post-Trib” prophetic viewpoint). And that is the prophetic viewpoint that most Bible scholars held for centuries! That is, of course, until the “Pre-Trib” Rapture, with Dispensationalism’s future 7-year end-times’ tribulation period and exclusively future, single, end-times’ Antichrist, began to be publicly taught in Great Britain in the 1830s! (Please review the term “Dispensationalism” in the “Definitions” section if you are unsure of its meaning.)



Some people will criticize me for writing on this “tough issue” – saying that I am being “divisive” at a critical time in the fight against the “New World Order”. Yet we are told in Jude 3 to “earnestly contend for the faith”. I do not believe we are given an “option” of which particular aspects of “the faith” we will “choose” to defend! Earnestly contending for the faith would certainly include the admonition given to Christians in Ephesians 5:11 to reprove “the unfruitful works of darkness” – which would certainly include FALSE doctrines masquerading as “truth” inside the “Church”! And if “Dispensationalism” and its popular “Pre-Trib Rapture” are indeed FALSE – and not supported by Scripture, but rather REFUTED by it, then they must be exposed! And if the “Pre-Trib Rapture” is causing some Christians to sit back, and to be lazy, apathetic, and complacent about fighting evil because “they [allegedly] won’t be here” during the “end-times’ tribulation”, then it absolutely needs to be exposed!



None of us was able to prearrange into which denomination or Christian fellowship we were born. We ALL should have the courage to examine any denominational or fundamentalist doctrine – no matter how old it may be or how precious and sweet-sounding it is to us – if someone tells us that Scripture does NOT support it – or that Scripture actually REFUTES it! It takes “guts” to admit that we have been “hoodwinked” by “false apostles” and/or Biblically-ignorant preachers – but that is something that we ALL must do if we find that the Holy Bible actually REFUTES any long-held, cherished doctrine of ours!



NOTE: This newsletter will NOT discuss “Preterism”. It also will not discuss the subject of “Premillennialism” versus “Postmillennialism”. Rather, it will deal primarily with the TIMING of the “Rapture”.



II. THE BIBLICAL RECORD



Obviously, the Holy Bible is the most critical record – for God’s Word must always be the standard by which we measure all things! John Walvoord, author of several books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture, has admitted that there is NO SINGLE Bible verse that by itself teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture!



It was my daily studies of the Holy Bible (reading through the entire Bible each year) that convinced me that the Holy Bible clearly does NOT teach the Pre-Trib Rapture. Here are some of the Bible passages that really spoke to my heart:



1) I Thessalonians 4:15-17: [Ed.: The Apostle Paul wrote]: “For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive [and] remain unto the coming of the Lord shall NOT prevent [Ed.: i.e., precede] them which are asleep. (Verse 16): For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise FIRST: (Verse 17): 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.”



Do the above verses really need explanation? Aren’t they perfectly clear? The Holy Bible is saying that those Christians still alive at Jesus Christ’s [Second] Coming do NOT PRECEDE the “dead in Christ”, who are raised [i.e., resurrected] FIRST! And it is only THEN [i.e., after the “dead in Christ” are resurrected] that those Christians “still living” are caught up “to meet the Lord in the air”! Since the Holy Bible teaches only TWO resurrections [i.e., one for the “just” and one for the “unjust”]; and since the Bible clearly teaches that the resurrection of the just is the FIRST RESURRECTION (see Revelation 20:4-6); and since the Lord Jesus Christ Himself said four times that He would raise up Christians on the “LAST DAY” (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54) – well then, how can anyone say that there is some “special group” of Christians that are getting “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE the first resurrection? And just HOW MANY “LAST DAYS” are there? Is there a “LAST DAY” BEFORE the alleged “7-year tribulation” begins? Is there a “LAST DAY” 3½ years into the alleged “7-year tribulation”, just prior to God’s Wrath falling on a sinful world?



Again, it is worth repeating: The Lord Jesus Christ said four times that He would raise up Christians on the “LAST DAY” (see John 6:39, 40, 44, and 54)!



It might be interesting to note here, that as a great person in Biblical times (in the Middle East) approached a city, a large entourage of folks from that city would then come out to meet that great person at some distance from the city. They would all THEN turn RIGHT AROUND and escort that great person into their city. Doesn’t that sound just like what we read in I Thessalonians 4:16, 17?



I Thessalonians 4:15-17 alone should be enough to “sink” the “Pre-Trib Rapture ship”. After all, those Christians remaining alive at the 2nd Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ CANNOT precede those Christians “which are asleep” (and who will be raised in the resurrection at the “last day”).



2) Matthew 24:26-33: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “Wherefore if they shall say unto you, ‘Behold, He is in the desert’; go not forth: ‘Behold, [He is] in the secret chambers’; believe [it] not. (Verse 27): For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. (Verse 28): For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together. (Verse 29): Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: (Verse 30): And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. (Verse 31): And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. (Verse 32): Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer [is] nigh [Ed.: i.e., near]: (Verse 33): So likewise ye, when ye shall see ALL these things, know that it is near, [even] at the doors.”



The Lord Jesus Christ is talking about His “Second Coming”. He mentions such things as “after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heaven shall be shaken.” To whom would this warning be given except to believers on planet Earth who would be susceptible to folks trying to trick them into believing that Christ had come before He had actually returned? And how can believers on Earth see all these signs if they’ve already been “raptured” OUT BEFORE the start of the alleged “7-year tribulation”? (Pre-Trib’ers might say that believers who see these signs must be the “Christians who get saved during the 7-year tribulation” – but nowhere in Scripture does it say that! Here is yet another ASSUMPTION on the part of the Pre-Trib’ers.)



And while we are on the subject of these many “Christians who get saved during the 7-year tribulation” (according to Pre-Trib’ers), HOW is it that so many people “get saved” during this “7-year tribulation” when the Holy Spirit and the “Church” have been “removed” from Earth (according to Pre-Trib’ers)?



3) Mark 13:24-27: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “But in those days, AFTER that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, (Verse 25): And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. (Verse 26): And THEN shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. (Verse 27): 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.”



If those Christians who were “raptured” before the start of the alleged “7-year end-times’ tribulation” (as Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME) were already gathered to the Lord, did they get LOST, so that the Lord has to send His angels out to gather them a second time? If there is only ONE “gathering together”, and we Christians who are alive at Christ’s return cannot PRECEDE those who are raised in the “resurrection of the just” (at the END of the “end-times’ tribulation”), it sure looks like the above Scripture passage is placing the “gathering together” of Christians AFTER the “end-times’ tribulation”!



4) Matthew 13:24-30; and 37-42: “Another parable put He [Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: (Verse 25): But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. (Verse 26): But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. (Verse 27): So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, ‘Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? From whence then hath it tares?’ (Verse 28): He said unto them, ‘An enemy hath done this.’ The servants said unto him, ‘Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?’ (Verse 29): But he said, ‘Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. (Verse: 30) Let both grow together UNTIL THE HARVEST: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together FIRST the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.’” [Ed.: A few verses later His disciples ask Him to explain the above parable.] “…(Verse 37): He [Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] answered and said unto them, ‘He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man; (Verse 38): The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked [one]; (Verse 39): The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels. (Verse 40): As therefore the tares are gathered and burned in the fire; SO shall it be in the end of this world. (Verse 41): The Son of man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; (Verse 42): And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.’”



This parable of the Lord Jesus Christ clearly shows that the “tares” are the “bad guys” – and that the “bad guys” are the ones who are gathered up FIRST at the “harvest” that occurs at the end of the world! Here we have the Lord Jesus Christ teaching just the opposite of what Pre-Trib’ers say! (Pre-Trib’ers say that the “good guys” are gathered up FIRST in the alleged Pre-Trib Rapture.)



5) John 17:15, 20: [Ed. Note: The following are “red letter” words quoted directly from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ in a prayer to His Heavenly Father.]: (Verse 15): “I pray NOT that Thou shouldest take them [Ed.: i.e., His disciples] OUT OF the world, but that Thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

…(Verse 20): Neither pray I for these [Ed.: i.e., His original disciples] ALONE, but for them ALSO which shall believe on Me through their word;”



Jesus Christ in verse 20 says that He is praying this prayer for all future believers as well as for His original disciples! The Son of God is praying to His Father asking Him NOT to evacuate His followers OUT OF the world.



The two words “keep from” (in verse 15 above) appear in this form only twice in the entire New Testament: here in John 17:15, and in Revelation 3:10. And isn’t it interesting that the Pre-Trib’ers TRY to use Revelation 3:10 to “prove” the Pre-Trib Rapture? Revelation 3:10 reads: “Because thou hast kept the word of My patience, I also will KEEP thee FROM the hour of temptation, which shall come upon ALL the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” It is also quite interesting that the Pre-Trib’ers NEVER mention the “one other” use of the Greek for “keep from” that appears in John 17:15, where Jesus Christ prays NOT to have believers removed from planet Earth! Wow! It certainly appears that John 17:15 has the Son of God praying AGAINST the Pre-Trib Rapture!



And it is certainly worth mentioning here that this is where much of the Pre-Trib argument falls apart, because Pre-Trib’ers WRONGLY ASSUME that God MUST take those Christians living in the “end times” OUT OF the world in order to keep them safe during the “Tribulation”. (The Pre-Trib position, sadly, is built solely upon assumptions, and not upon any solid Scriptural ground!) Anyway, such an ASSUMPTION “assumes” that God is NOT able to keep any true Christians safe here on planet Earth DURING [i.e., in the MIDST of] the “tribulation” period. (Yes, some Christians will be beheaded!) Yet the Bible is full of examples where God kept His children safe IN THE MIDST OF tribulation. In fact, that seems indeed to be a great theme of the Holy Bible, i.e., “preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation”. Here are just a few examples:



(a.) When God’s judgments fell on the Egyptians during the time of the Hebrews’ captivity in Egypt, God did NOT “air evacuate” the Hebrews OUT OF Egypt (or OFF OF planet Earth). No! While God’s judgments were falling on the Egyptians in those areas where they resided, God preserved His children in Goshen IN THE MIDST OF those horrible judgments! (Isn’t it interesting that God’s “judgments and plagues” that fell on the Egyptians in the book of Exodus look very similar to God’s “judgments and plagues” that we see falling on the Earth’s inhabitants in the book of Revelation?) And could not this great and Almighty God, who preserved the Hebrew children IN THE MIDST OF those horrible plagues that befell the Egyptians, ALSO preserve His obedient children ON planet Earth DURING the “end-times’ tribulation”?



(b.) When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the book of Daniel, Chapter 3, ran afoul of King Nebuchadnezzar [i.e., the three young men disobeyed the king to his face!], did God “air evacuate” them OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? When the king had these three young Jewish men tossed into the fiery furnace, did God “air evacuate” them OUT OF the furnace in order to save them? NO! God preserved them IN THE MIDST OF the fiery furnace!



(c.) When Daniel was tossed in the lions’ den for disobeying the king’s command (see Chapter 6 in the book of Daniel), did God “air evacuate” Daniel OFF OF planet Earth in order to save him? NO! God preserved Daniel IN THE MIDST OF the lions’ den! (Can’t we see a beautiful picture and pattern developing here of an all-powerful God who delights in delivering His obedient children who STAND AGAINST tyranny and injustice – even when they are IN THE MIDST OF horrible situations of danger, persecution, and tribulation?)



(d.) What about Rahab in the book of Joshua, Chapter 6, who had lied to her government’s officials to protect the Hebrew spies? When the Hebrew soldiers destroyed the city of Jericho where Rahab resided, did God “air evacuate” Rahab and her family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! God preserved Rahab and her family IN THE MIDST OF the destruction of the city!



(e.) What lesson can we learn from Noah? When God brought His judgment through a great flood upon the inhabitants of the Earth, did He “air evacuate” Noah and his family OFF OF planet Earth in order to save them? NO! Noah and his family did NOT go airborne, but rather they were seaborne! God preserved Noah and his family IN THE MIDST OF horrible judgment [i.e., the great flood that He brought upon the whole Earth] without taking them off of the planet!



The above examples remind me of a beautiful Bible verse: “When thou passest THROUGH the waters, I [Ed.: i.e., the Lord God Almighty] [will be] with thee; and THROUGH the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest THROUGH the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” (Isaiah 43:2)



Again, preservation IN THE MIDST OF danger, persecution, and tribulation is a great theme that we can clearly see in the Bible – and NOT “aerial evacuation” OFF OF planet Earth to avoid danger, persecution, and tribulation. We must keep in mind that there are times when Almighty God chooses not to deliver His servants, such as Stephen, who was stoned to death. Additionally, after Judas Iscariot perished, all of the apostles except John were murdered!



6) Luke 17:34-37: “I [Ed.: i.e., the Lord Jesus Christ] tell you, in that night there shall be two [men] in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. (Verse 35): Two [women] shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse 36): Two [men] shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. (Verse 37): And they answered and said unto Him, ‘Where, Lord?’ And He said unto them, ‘Wheresoever the body [is], thither will the eagles be gathered together.’” (Compare Matthew 24:28.)



Some Pre-Trib writers use Luke 17:34-36 (or, Matthew 24:40, 41) as an alleged “proof text” for the Pre-Trib Rapture! But they IGNORE Luke 17:37, where the Lord Jesus Christ tells His disciples that these people, who are “taken away”, have eagles gathering around their bodies! That sounds like those who were taken away were NOT “raptured” (an ASSUMPTION made by Pre-Trib’ers), but rather that these individuals were taken away in judgment and killed. (Why else would eagles be gathering around their bodies?) Please remember that in Matthew 13:30 and 39-42 that Jesus Christ said that the “tares” (i.e., the “bad guys”) are gathered FIRST (Matthew 13:30) and then burned!



7) Luke 17:26-30: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. (Verse 27): They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. (Verse 28): Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; (Verse 29): But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed [them] all. (Verse 30): Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.”



The Lord Jesus Christ is comparing His “Second Coming” to the time of the flood in Noah’s day, and also to the time of Lot (when fire rained down on Sodom). In Noah’s day the flood came and “took away” the “bad guys”. And, as was pointed out earlier, Noah and his family were not “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE the flood. Also, on the very same day that Lot went out of Sodom, fire rained down upon that city. And again, it was the “bad guys” who were “removed” in that judgment of Almighty GOD! Interestingly, Lot also was NOT “air evacuated” off of planet Earth BEFORE Sodom was destroyed! Thus neither Noah nor Lot can serve as “examples” of Pre-Tribulation-Rapture-type deliverance. Both were preserved IN THE MIDST of God’s judgment on evildoers, who were “removed” by God’s judgment!



8) Mark 13:20: [Ed.: The Lord Jesus Christ is speaking]: “And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect’s sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the days.”



I believe that most Bible scholars would agree that here we find the Lord Jesus Christ talking about the “Tribulation”. If the “elect” (i.e., believers) have been “raptured” out BEFORE the “Tribulation”, then why does God have to shorten “those days” for their sakes? (The Pre-Trib’ers might say that the “elect” here must be those “who are saved during the 7-year tribulation”. This is another ASSUMPTION made by Pre-Trib’ers with no Scriptural backing!)



9) Revelation 13:4-7: “And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who [is] like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’ (Verse 5): And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months. (Verse 6): And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, and His tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (Verse 7): And it was given unto him to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”



Most Bible scholars agree that the “him” and “he” found in verses 5, 6, and 7 refer to the Antichrist. In verse 7 we see that he [the Antichrist, according to most Bible scholars] was given [power] “to make war with the SAINTS, and to overcome them”. Many Bible scholars believe that these events are taking place during the end-times’ “Tribulation”. Well, if believers have been raptured out before the end-times’ “Tribulation”, then upon which “saints” is the Antichrist making war? Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME that these “saints” must be those persons who are saved during the “7-year tribulation”, after the Pre-Trib believers had been “air evacuated” in their Pre-Trib Rapture. But the Bible does NOT say this! Again, it is another dangerous ASSUMPTION, because if this assumption, and the many other assumptions the Pre-Trib’ers make (some of which have been noted in this newsletter) are WRONG, then many Christians may be quite shocked to find that they are the ones upon whom the Antichrist is making war, and that they are here on planet Earth DURING the end-times’ “Tribulation”! (The historical Antichrist – the Papacy – has long waged war on God’s saints!)



And while we are here in the book of Revelation, let us address an argument that Pre-Trib’ers put forth, i.e., that from Revelation 3:22 through Revelation 22:16 the word “church” does not appear, thus the “church” must have been “raptured” out, and is not on planet Earth during the “end-times’ 7-year tribulation” (per Pre-Trib’ers). Well, using such “logic”, the word “synagogue” is not mentioned either in those same verses, so there must not be any Jews being saved either during the “Tribulation” (i.e., no 144,000 Jewish “Billy Grahams” as some Pre-Trib’ers speculate). If folks are “getting saved” during the “Tribulation”, then why wouldn’t they have the same title of “the church” as have believers of any other period since Christ’s time here on Earth?



10) Revelation 20:4-6: “And I [Ed.: i.e., the Apostle John] saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and [I saw] the souls of them that were BEHEADED for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received [his] mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. (Verse 5): But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. THIS [IS] THE FIRST RESURRECTION. (Verse 6): Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the FIRST RESURRECTION: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years.”



Nearly all Bible scholars agree that there has never been a time when large numbers of Christians were BEHEADED, and that this occurs during the “end-times’ Tribulation”. Again, if the “church” has been “air evacuated” off of planet Earth, then who are these folks getting beheaded for “the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God”? Well, again, Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME that “those being beheaded” must be people who are “saved during the end-times’ tribulation”. But again, the Bible does NOT state such a thing anywhere, and such ASSUMPTIONS may prove quite dangerous to those who embrace them!



11) Revelation 7:9, 13 and 14: (Verse 9): “After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of ALL nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; …(Verse 13): And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? And whence came they?’ (Verse 14): And I said unto him, ‘Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said to me, ‘These are they which came out of GREAT TRIBULATION, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb’.”



Here we see large numbers of people of ALL nations who have come out of “great tribulation”. Again we ask: “HOW were large numbers of people getting saved during ‘great tribulation’ if the ‘church’ and the Holy Spirit of God had been previously removed [as Pre-Trib’ers ASSUME and ALLEGE]?”



12) II Thessalonians 2:1-4: [Ed.: The Apostle Paul wrote]: “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and [by] our gathering together unto Him, (Verse 2): That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand [Ed.: i.e., near in time; not distant]. (Verse 3): Let no man deceive you by any means: for [that day [Ed.: i.e., the day of Christ] shall not come], EXCEPT there come a falling away [Ed.: Greek: apostasia] FIRST, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; (Verse 4): Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”



NOTE: Webster’s 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language defines the term “at hand” thusly: “near; either present or within reach, or not far distant”. It then lists as an example “the day of Christ is at hand” from the above Bible passage, stating that “at hand” in this context means “near in time; not distant”.



IMPORTANT NOTE: I am listing the above Bible passage only because it refutes the Pre-Trib’ers’ own “air evacuation” Rapture timing (i.e., as occurring prior to THEIR exclusively future, single, “Mr. Nasty Antichrist” appearing in the end times, with a pig under his arm, who enters into a “rebuilt Jewish Temple” to sacrifice that pig). I believe that the Antichrist has clearly been identified in Holy Scripture as the Papacy. This does NOT mean that I do not believe that there will be an “end time” leader of the Antichrist system, for there surely must be. However, I believe that this “end-time” leader will either be the top man in the Jesuit-controlled Vatican, or a titular sovereign that this end-time leader will put forward as his “front man”. (Please see my newsletter, “The Real Antichrist”, on website www.toughissues.org.)



Paul wrote II Thessalonians 2:1-4 to specifically warn folks NOT to allow themselves to become deceived about Christ’s second coming being “right around the corner” (i.e., imminent), or as Webster’s 1828 Dictionary puts it: “near in time; not distant”. Again, I believe that the key Bible passage dealing with the timing of the “rapture” is I Thessalonians 4:15-17. Indeed, the “key” to understanding the timing of the “rapture” is an understanding of the “resurrection”. I highly recommend that the reader of this newsletter check all occurrences of the word “resurrection” in a good concordance, and then carefully read all the Bible verses and passages that contain this important word.



Most folks agree this “man of sin – the son of perdition” is the Antichrist. This “day [of Christ]” (that the Apostle Paul is talking about in verse 3) is shown in verse 1 to be the “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ”, and “our gathering together to Him”. The plain teaching of verse 3 is that NONE of those events take place until there first occurs both a “falling away” [i.e., an APOSTASY] and the revealing of “that man of sin – the son of perdition”! And so, IF one does subscribe to the Pre-Trib theory that “the Antichrist” is an exclusively future, “Mr. Nasty-to-the-extreme” individual who is to come on the scene in the very “end times”, then the above passage would clearly refute the idea that “the Church” is “air evacuated” prior to this “Mr. Nasty” person being revealed.



At least one Pre-Trib Rapture writer has tried to “explain away” the words “first, and” in verse 3 above, saying that they don’t really mean what they say. At least one Pre-Trib writer has tried to say that the “falling away” [Greek: apostasia] is really the “Pre-Trib Rapture” (such twisting of both Scripture and the meanings of Greek and English words, sadly, occurs far too often among Pre-Trib authors). The Greek word “apostasia” is used in such contexts as a “falling away” from, for example, the “truth” – never in the context of “falling away from the earth up to heaven”. (NOTE: Webster’s New World Dictionary, Second College Edition (1974) defines the word “apostasy” as “an abandoning of what one believed in, as a faith, political party, principles, etc.”)



The clear meaning of verse 3 is that Christ’s return to gather His saints cannot occur until AFTER “the Antichrist” has been revealed. Yet Pre-Trib writers state that the Church is evacuated out before THEIR exclusively future, single, “Mr. Nasty Antichrist” person is revealed!



By now some Pre-Trib’ers may be saying, “The poor writer of this newsletter just doesn’t understand that Christ’s Second Coming is in TWO phases: the ‘Rapture’ and the ‘Revelation’, with the ‘Rapture’ coming BEFORE the tribulation, and the ‘Revelation’ coming AFTER the tribulation.” Well, let’s address such an argument now: Let me ask Pre-Trib’ers who advocate a “two-phased” Second Coming of Christ this: “Was Christ’s First Coming in TWO phases?” The answer is “No!” And there are absolutely no Scripture verses to be found that support the idea of a “two-phased” Second Coming of Jesus Christ! As Jesus Christ left this earth after His resurrection, and as He was ascending up to heaven, His watching disciples were told: “…This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in LIKE MANNER AS ye have seen Him go into heaven.” (See Acts 1:11) Well, did Jesus Christ have a “TWO-phased” departure from earth into heaven after His “first coming”? Did He go up part of the way, turn around and come back down, and then go back up all the way on a “SECOND” departure? NO! Jesus Christ simply ascended up (in ONE phase) into heaven! And the Bible says that He is coming back in LIKE MANNER!



III. THE HISTORICAL RECORD



Actually, the historical record of some of the “futurist” elements found in “Dispensationalism”, a system of Biblical interpretation that has been used to mightily promote both the Pre-Trib Rapture and the “exclusively future” antichrist, goes all the way back to the Counter-Reformation movement launched by the JESUITS around the time of the Council of Trent (1545-1563). (Note: The Counter-Reformation was launched to first slow down, and then eventually to destroy, the Protestant Reformation – and the “fruit” that it had produced.)



Since the top Protestant Reformers had all identified “Papal Rome” – and more specifically, the Papacy – as the Antichrist found in the pages of Holy Scripture, the Jesuits had to find a way to take the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy. Steve Wohlberg, on page 114 of his book, “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”, tells us:



“At the Council of Trent [Ed.: 1545-1563], papal leaders and JESUITS brainstormed about how to counteract Protestantism and bring defectors back to the mother church. Behind closed doors, they decided this was to be done, not only through the Inquisition and torture, but also through THEOLOGY. What kind of theology? Here’s the answer: By reinterpreting the prophecies about ‘the man of sin’, ‘the little horn’, and ‘the beast’!

Two very intelligent Spanish JESUITS rose to the challenge: Luis de Alcasar (1554-1613) of Seville and Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) of Salamanca. Their strategy was, in a nutshell, one of reapplication and diversion, yet they went in opposite directions. After reading the Bible by candlelight like Martin Luther did, [Jesuit Luis de] Alcasar decided to apply the Bible’s antichrist prophecies to the ancient past while [Jesuit Francisco] Ribera applied them to the distant future. ‘Smart move!’ was the response from [Papal] Rome. By reapplying these prophecies to the past and to the future instead of to the present, these two tricky JESUIT scholars sought to divert the prophetic finger light years away from the Vatican. Their views quickly became official positions within the Roman [Catholic] Church – even though these two views contradicted each other!”



Isn’t it interesting that we find a “JESUIT” hand involved in concocting at least some of the “futurist” elements found in Dispensationalism and its Pre-Trib Rapture? First we find the “hand” of Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera. And then we find the “hand” of Chilean Jesuit Emmanuel Lacunza. As stated in the “Definitions” section under the term “Lacunza, Emmanuel”:

“Emmanuel Lacunza was a Chilean JESUIT who wrote the four-volume book ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty’. He was born in 1731, and he died in 1801. Lacunza had used the pseudonym of Rabbi Juan Josafat Ben Ezra for his book in order to deceive Protestants into thinking that it had been written by a Messianic [i.e., “Converted”] Jew, thus for a time concealing its JESUIT origins! Lacunza’s book provided at least some of the ingredients for the largely fictional prophetic concoction that is today called the Pre-Tribulation Rapture – a doctrine that is one of the pillars of ‘Dispensationalism’.” Please remember that Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving “supervised” the translation of Jesuit Lacunza’s book into English!



It is also worth repeating in this section a paragraph from the “Definitions” section concerning the history of the Pre-Trib Rapture:

“The [Ed.: Pre-Trib] Rapture has its origins in the nineteenth century – beginning, according to one critic [Ed.: i.e., author Dave MacPherson], with a young girl’s vision. In 1830, in Port Glasgow, Scotland, fifteen-year-old Margaret MacDonald attended a healing service. There, she was said to have seen a vision of a two-stage return of Jesus Christ. The story of her vision was adopted and amplified by John Nelson Darby, a British evangelical preacher and founder of the Plymouth Brethren.” – Barbara R. Rossing (“The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 22)



It seems that the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint did not really catch on anywhere until at least the 1830s. It seems to have made its “official debut” in England, and then made its way across the Atlantic Ocean to the USA with the help of John Nelson Darby. Until that time, the prevailing prophetic viewpoint among Christians in the USA was the Post-Trib Rapture view. Dave MacPherson, in his book, “The Incredible Cover-Up”, traces the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine back to the British Isles, where we find such characters as a Scottish lassie named Margaret MacDonald, Scottish Presbyterian minister Edward Irving, and John Nelson Darby. Dave MacPherson does a great job of showing the “British” origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine; however, certain “futurist” elements used in Dispensationalism and Pre-Trib actually go back slightly farther in history, to Jesuits Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza.



This British “creation” of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine was later popularized in the USA by the “Scofield Study Bible”. It is not within the scope (i.e., limited space) of this newsletter to go more deeply into the historical side of the “Rapture debate”. If the reader wishes to do more research on the history of the Pre-Trib Rapture, then contact “Christian Media” at 1-541-899-8888 for information on the Dave MacPherson books that they offer through their ministry. It is important to keep in mind that Spanish Jesuit Francisco Ribera helped to promote the “futurist” view of the “exclusively future, end-time, single antichrist” in order to take the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy, which had been fingered as the “Antichrist” seen in Scripture by the Protestant Reformers!



(The “notes” in the Scofield Study Bible strongly promote “dispensational” viewpoints, including the Pre-Trib Rapture. Scofield’s notes were largely responsible for some of these new “futuristic” prophetic viewpoints (portions of which were developed by several Roman Catholic Jesuits), along with the Pre-Trib Rapture, “taking off” here in the USA! The 314-page hardback book, “The Incredible Scofield and His Book” by Joseph M. Canfield, reveals much about both Cyrus I. Scofield and his dispensational belief system. As author Loraine Boettner states concerning this book: “This is one of the most powerful books that has ever been written against the dispensational system.”)



IV. SOME MORE RELEVANT QUOTATIONS:



“The [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] Rapture has become embedded in American Christian culture today, but the idea of the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] Rapture is less than two hundred years old.” – Barbara R. Rossing, author of “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation”; 2004; Page 21)



“…NO passage anywhere in the New Testament explicitly puts before the tribulation a single one of the constituent elements: coming of Christ, resurrection, translation, gathering, catching up, and reception of saints.

…Yet the New Testament does tell us explicitly that Christ will come again after the tribulation, that saints will rise from the dead after the tribulation, and that the elect will be gathered after the tribulation – and [the Apostle] Paul uses their being gathered synonymously with their being caught up (compare 1 Thess. 4:16-17 with 2 Thess. 2:1) and puts the translation of some together with the resurrection of others (1 Cor. 15:15-52).” – [Dr. Robert] “Bob” Gundry (“First the Antichrist”; 1997; Pages 72, 73)



“The Lord Jesus Christ did NOT say [that] He would return twice; He said [that] He would return IMMEDIATELY AFTER the tribulation. (See Matthew 24:29)” – Lisa Ruby (“GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Page 62)



“…I am compelled to warn all Christians trusting in the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] rapture of the foolishness of such a course.” – James Lloyd (“The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism”; 1999; Page 3)



“Furthermore, many, many Christians simply don’t want to be told [Ed: emphasis in original] that they might be forced to endure ‘The Great Tribulation’ described in The Bible” – James Lloyd (“The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism”; 1999; Page 3)



“I’ve been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution. In China the Christians were told, ‘Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes, you will be translated – raptured.’ Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a bishop from China say, sadly, ‘We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution rather than telling them Jesus would come first.’

Turning to me he said, ‘You still have time. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when tribulation comes – to stand and not faint.’
I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation…

Since I have gone already through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met that bishop from China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think ‘Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.’ Then I write it down and learn it by heart.” – Corrie ten Boom (a wonderful Christian lady)



“…The leaders of the underground church [Ed.: in Red China] said they didn’t want American missionaries to come and preach the ‘foolish doctrine of the rapture’.” – Brother Andrew (author of “God’s Smuggler”; missionary to Red China and Russia; quote taken from page 35 of the book, “I WANT To Be Left Behind”, by Pastor Ron Poch)



“…Until the mid-1800s and the preaching of [John Nelson] Darby and [Cyrus I.] Scofield, no one, whether Catholic or Protestant, had dreamed of an end-time escapism.

Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Jack Van Impe and other dispensationalists appeal to those who long for a certitude that they need not suffer one hour, not one moment of a long period of hardships.” – Dr. James M. Dunn (Baptist Joint Committee, Washington, D.C. – quote taken from page 35 of the book, “Forcing God’s Hand”, by Grace Halsell)



“In what may very well be the greatest tragedy of the last two centuries, the dispensational theorists have seized the reins of leadership in the ‘Church’, and as they have consolidated their power, they have widely programmed millions of church attendees into believing in something called the [Ed.: Pre-Tribulation] ‘rapture’.” – James Lloyd (“The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 1)



“Modern pre-tribbers who claim [that] the [Ed.: Pre-Trib] doctrine was taught throughout the last two millennia make a mockery of massive historical data and basic scholarship.” – James Lloyd (“The Reckoning”; 2007; Page 22)



“Sadly, the pre-tribulation rapture doctrine has become the great evangelical escape clause for the avoidance of the end times.” – Steve Wohlberg (“End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”; 2004; Page 36)



“…To believe a false teaching such as ‘an any moment rapture’ is to belittle the sacrifice by those who have given their all.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 36)



V. INDIVIDUAL VIEWS ON THE TIMING OF THE RAPTURE


I personally do NOT KNOW of, nor have heard of, any individuals who held the Post-Trib viewpoint for many years, and then subsequently CHANGED to the Pre-Trib viewpoint after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer. NOR have I READ about any Post-Trib’ers doing that. However, I personally do know a fair number of individuals who had held the Pre-Trib viewpoint for many years, and then who later SWITCHED to the Post-Trib viewpoint after much Bible study of that topic and/or after much prayer.



Examples of some men (who SWITCHED from the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint to the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint after heavy-duty Bible study on that prophetic topic, and/or after much prayer, and in at least one case, after a long fast) include (names are listed, hopefully, in alphabetical order):



(1) Pastor Dwight Kinman, author of the excellent book “The World’s Last Dictator”, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for almost 40 years. After carefully searching the Scriptures to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib (and began to publicly teach Post-Trib). His above-mentioned book promotes the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint.



(2) Pastor David W. Lankford (author and broadcast host) also had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. As the back cover of his excellent book, “The Second Coming: A Second Look”, states: “After weeks of fasting and prayer and diligent study of Scripture, Pastor Lankford’s long-held beliefs about The Second Coming were changed.”



(3) James Lloyd (author; publisher of two periodicals; broadcast host of “The Apocalypse Chronicles”) had believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for years. Study of the Bible convinced James that the Post-Trib viewpoint was the correct one! James has written four books dealing with the topic of Pre-Trib Rapturism! His website is www.ChristianMediaNetwork.com.



(4) G. Campbell Morgan, who was considered by some of his time as the greatest Christian scholar of his era, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. After in-depth study of the Holy Bible to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he CHANGED his view to Post-Trib. He felt so badly about having previously taught the Pre-Trib viewpoint, and about having written a book supporting Pre-Trib, that he purchased the plates to the book and destroyed them!



(5) Pastor Butch Paugh (author; and host of the “Call to Decision” broadcast) had believed in and had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for years. Yet it was Bible study that convinced him that the Pre-Trib prophetic viewpoint is a FALSE doctrine. He now teaches the Post-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint over the “airwaves”, as well as to his two local congregations in West Virginia. His excellent Internet website is: www.calltodecision.com (the shorter title: www.pastorbutch.com). Pastor Butch Paugh has produced several audiocassette tape sets that deal with the “rapture” timing issue, and they are currently available through his ministry. You can call his ministry toll-free at 1-800-777-4403 for information on how to order those items via credit card.



(6) Pastor Ron Poch (author of the book “I WANT To Be Left Behind”) once believed in the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, because that is what he had been taught at Bible College! He had the courage to admit that he had been wrong to believe the Pre-Trib Rapture, and that his teachers had been wrong to teach it!



(7) Jim Spillman (author, pastor, evangelist, and Bible scholar), who at one time pastored a very large church in California, had taught the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint for many years. After going into his prayer closet for several days, where he studied ONLY the Holy Bible in order to discern the timing of the “Rapture”, he came to the conclusion that the Holy Bible clearly teaches the Post-Trib viewpoint. He then had the courage to go before his large congregation and ADMIT to them that he had been teaching them FALSE doctrine (i.e., the Pre-Trib viewpoint) for all those previous years! (That takes a lot of GUTS!)



Although I’ve already mentioned a number of books that REFUTE the Pre-Trib Rapture, this would be a good place to list all the books (which I personally possess) that provide good, sound arguments AGAINST the Pre-Tribulation Rapture prophetic viewpoint. (My recommendation of these books does not necessarily mean that I agree with everything that is written in each of them. I will try to list the books alphabetically by title.)



NOTE: You may have to do a search on the Internet or visit a good library to find some of these books. Some of them can be purchased at larger bookstore chains. Some of them are out of print, and may no longer be available, and/or prices may have changed. (Order information is provided only if I have such in my records.)



(1) “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World” by Steve Wohlberg; 2004; 220-page paperback book; Publisher: Treasure House; $18.45 postage paid. (To order this book via credit card, please call toll-free 1-800-78-BIBLE.)



(2) “First the Antichrist” by Dr. Robert H. (“Bob”) Gundry; 1997; 200-page paperback book; Publisher: Baker Books. (This book is currently out of print. I would suggest that you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)



(3) “Forcing God’s Hand: Why Millions Pray for a Quick Rapture – And Destruction of Planet Earth” by Grace Halsell; 1999; 132-page paperback book; Publisher: Crossroads International Publishing, Washington, D.C.



(4) “Invisible Scripture” by James Lloyd; 2006; 27-page paperback book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(5) “I WANT To Be Left Behind” by Pastor Ron Poch; 2002; 130-page paperback book; Publisher: Proclaim Liberty Ministries; $12 postage paid: To order a copy via credit card, please call toll-free 1-888-820-2126.



(6) “Lying in Laodicea: Rapturism Unmasked” by James Lloyd; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(7) “The Incredible Cover-Up: Exposing the Origins of Rapture Theories” by Dave MacPherson; 1975; 166-page paperback book (1980 & 1991) published by Omega Publications, Medford, Oregon. (This book is currently out of print. I would suggest that you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)



(8) “The Rapture Book: Victory in the End Times” by Dr. James McKeever; 1987; 225-page paperback book; Publisher: Omega Publications, Medford, Oregon. (This book is probably out of print. Search the Internet for used copies.)



(9) “The Rapture Cult: Dishonesty in Dispensationalism” by James Lloyd; 1999; 66-page book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(10) “The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation” by Barbara R. Rossing; 2004; 222-page paperback book; Publisher: Basic Books. (I purchased my copy at a local Barnes & Noble bookstore.)



(11) “The Rapture Plot” by Dave MacPherson; 1994; 290-page paperback book; my edition was published in 1995 by MILLENNIUM III PUBLISHERS. (A newer, 300-page edition of this book is available through Christian Media for $22.25 postage paid. Make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.)



(12) “The Reckoning” by James Lloyd; 2007; 45-page paperback book; Publisher: Christian Media; $7 postage paid: To obtain a copy, please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(13) “The Second Coming: A Second Look” by Pastor David W. Lankford; 1996; 95-page paperback book; Publisher: Wolf Publishing: Pastor Lankford’s book, along with a two-audiocassette tape set on the topic of the Second Coming, was available several years ago for $20 postage paid by calling phone number 704-263-1945, or by making check or money order in that amount payable to “The Voice of Evangelism”, and mailing it to: The Voice of Evangelism // P.O. Box 669 // Alexis, NC 28006. (NOTE: The price may have changed; I suggest that you call to find out the current price if you are interested in this book and tape set.)



(14) “The Three R’s: Rapture, Revisionism, Robbery: Pretribulation Rapturism from 1830 to Hal Lindsey” by Dave MacPherson; 1998; 149-page paperback book; Publisher: P.O.S.T., Inc.; $15 postage paid. Please make check or money order payable to “Christian Media”, and mail it to: Christian Media // P.O. Box 448 // Jacksonville, OR 97530.



(15) “The World’s Last Dictator” by Dwight L. Kinman; Second Edition: 1995; 322-page paperback book; Publisher: Solid Rock Books, Inc., Woodburn, Oregon. (This book is probably out of print. I would suggest you do a search on the Internet for used copies.)



And while we are talking about good books, here is an excellent book that exposes a number of the unscriptural teachings in the “Left Behind” series (a series of books and tapes that promote the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint):



“GOD’S WRATH on Left Behind: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the Left Behind Series” by Lisa Ruby; 216-page paperback; 2002; ISBN 0-9721264-0-6: Months ago she was giving her book away – you simply had to pay shipping and handling: For information on how to order this book, please visit her Internet website: www.libertytothecaptives.net.



Interestingly, many famous Christian men in the past believed in and taught Post-Trib [that is, that the “Church” goes through the Tribulation period], including Charles H. Spurgeon, John Bunyan (author of “Pilgrim’s Progress”), John Calvin, Charles Finney, John Knox, Martin Luther, and George Whitefield.



Interestingly, NONE of these following learned Christians ever made any reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture: John Wycliffe, or John or Charles Wesley.



Interestingly, there seem to be NO records of the great pastors of the American Revolution (such as Jonas Clark, John Peter Gabriel Muhlenburg, James Caldwell, etc.) ever making ANY reference to the Pre-Trib Rapture.



Most interestingly, NONE of the following ever made ANY mention in the Holy Bible to the Pre-Trib evacuation of Christians BEFORE the alleged “future 7-year tribulation” and appearance of the end-time antichrist: (1) the Lord Jesus Christ, (2) the Apostle Paul, (3) the Apostle Peter, and (4) the Apostle John! Nor did they make ANY mention of the Mid-Trib/Pre-Wrath Rapture! Doesn’t it seem strange that there is NOT ONE SINGLE verse of Scripture that declares something like the following HYPOTHETICAL “statements”?



(1) “Verily, immediately prior to the start of the seven-year period of the ‘Great Tribulation’, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth.”



(2) “Verily, seven years before the Revelation of Jesus Christ [the alleged 2nd part of His alleged two-stage 2nd Coming], the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth.”



(3) “Verily, three and one half years into the ‘Great Tribulation’, the end-time Christians will be miraculously air evacuated [i.e., “raptured”] off of Planet Earth – just prior to the beginning of God’s Wrath!”



No, there is NOT EVEN ONE such Bible verse, or even one verse that closely resembles those hypothetical statements, to be found in the Holy Bible!



Interestingly, John F. Walvoord, a leader in the Pre-Trib Rapture movement and author of a number of books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, admitted that there was NOT ONE SINGLE Bible verse that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture!



VI. A VERY IMPORTANT QUESTION


I would like to ask a question here that Pre-Trib’ers never seem to ask themselves – because I have never seen it addressed in their writings.



Why would any end-time believers in Jesus Christ be taken off the planet in the alleged Pre-Trib Rapture (so that they would not have to face the horrors that occur during the “end-times’ tribulation”), when so many other Christians have faced horrible persecution and tribulation throughout Church history? The horrors of Papal Rome’s monstrous Inquisition come to mind. The horrible persecution of the Scottish Covenanters comes to mind. The horrible persecution of the Albigenses, Waldenses, and French Huguenots by Papal Rome comes to mind. The horrible persecution of early Christians by several of the Roman emperors comes to mind. Why in blazes would there be a “special class” of Christians in the “end times” that is exempt from horrible persecution?



Yes, I do know the arguments of the Pre-Trib’ers:

1. “God would not allow His bride (the Church) to go through the horrible end-times’ tribulation period, where ‘she’ would be bloodied.”

2. “God has not appointed us to wrath, so we Christians living in the ‘end times’ will NOT have to go through the end-times’ tribulation period.”



The Pre-Trib’ers apply such good things only to themselves – i.e., they won’t have to go through the “end-times’ tribulation” because they haven’t been “appointed to wrath”, and because they are the “bride of Christ”. However, these same Pre-Trib’ers believe that those people who get saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” (under more stressful conditions than many of those “air evacuated” Christians ever had to face) – well, those “saved-during-the-end-times’-tribulation” believers do NOT get to be spared from “God’s wrath”, because they are evidently NOT as much a part of “Christ’s bride” as those Christians who were “raptured” prior to the start of the “end-times’ tribulation”! What is wrong with this “picture”? I Thessalonians 5:9 lets us know that God has not appointed any believers (including those who go through the “end-times’ tribulation”) to [His] wrath, but rather “to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ”. The Pre-Trib’ers surely are getting the “Antichrist’s wrath” MIXED UP with “God’s wrath” during the “end-times’ tribulation”, and ASSUME they won’t be facing the “Antichrist’s wrath” during that period. All that “nasty stuff” is reserved for those “other” Christians who get saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” (according to the Pre-Trib’ers). Again, HOW IN BLAZES can this group of Pre-Trib’ers think that they are going to get a massive “break” from horrible persecution and evil during the “end-times’ tribulation” when MILLIONS of Christians in other centuries faced the most horrible persecution, and quite likely MILLIONS of Christians will be martyred by the Antichrist system in the future? I personally cannot figure out this Pre-Trib “logic” – but I do think that the Pre-Trib Rapture is “illogical ESCAPISM to the maximum degree”, thrown in with a lot of ignorance of key Bible verses – along with some fantastic twisting and “torturing” of other Bible verses!



The following quotation from Steve Wohlberg’s book, “End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World”, is quite revealing. Steve Wohlberg states: “Could it be that the idea of escaping tribulation is really only catering to our lukewarm American tendencies? We like comfort; hate to go through trials; and can hardly bear it when our TV-dinner lifestyle is threatened. Yet historically, God’s people have gone through intense suffering. All the disciples of Jesus [Christ], except John, were brutally murdered. Thousands of early Christians were torn to shreds by wild dogs inside the Coliseum. Millions of others were horribly tortured by the Inquisition and burnt to ashes during the Dark Ages. …Believers in Russia and [Red] China have suffered terribly under communism, and yet American Christians say, ‘God wouldn’t allow us to go through the tribulation!’”



VII. BAD FRUIT


I have heard Pre-Trib’ers say that the “imminent” [i.e., “at any moment”] return of the Lord Jesus Christ makes them serve the Lord more fervently. That may be true for some Pre-Trib’ers, as I do personally know one Pre-Trib Rapture pastor who is really fighting hard against corruption and tyranny.



However, many of the Pre-Trib’ers (whom I personally know) use the Pre-Trib Rapture as an excuse to sit back, and to do absolutely nothing to fight against corruption and tyranny. I’ve heard: “Why should I care about the evil movement towards one-world government, etc., that we see today – don’t you know, I’m going to be out of here in the ‘rapture’ BEFORE things really get bad.” I’ve heard that, and similar statements, from many Pre-Trib’ers who are just sitting around, NOT opposing corruption and tyranny, waiting for the Lord Jesus Christ to “air evacuate” them out BEFORE things get really “hairy” [i.e., dangerous]. Another statement I’ve heard is this: “Don’t resist the New World Order, because, don’t you know, it’s all been prophesied.” Such thinking on the part of many Pre-Trib’ers does not “square” with numerous Biblical admonitions to expose evil and to fight against it! (For example, please see Ephesians 5:11.)



VIII. SUMMARY


1. As Pre-Trib writer and leader John Walvoord admits, there is NO SINGLE verse of Scripture that by itself clearly teaches the Pre-Trib Rapture.



2. Pre-Trib’ers FORCE ASSUMPTIONS on many key Bible verses – especially assuming that all references to “saints” and to the “elect” (who are being persecuted and martyred during the “end-times’ tribulation”) must refer to “those individuals who are saved” AFTER the Pre-Trib Rapture has taken place. (Again, how are all these folks getting saved during the “end-times’ tribulation” if the “Church” and the “restrainer” [i.e., the Holy Spirit according to Pre-Trib’ers] have been removed?)



3. We are NOT able to find one single instance in the New Testament where the Lord Jesus Christ, the Apostle Paul, the Apostle Peter, or the Apostle John made any statement to the effect that “the church is to be evacuated off of planet Earth seven years PRIOR to the beginning of the end-times’ tribulation period”. Isn’t that a bit strange if the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint is the correct one?



4. Despite taking several texts OUT OF CONTEXT from a few early church fathers’ writings, the Pre-Trib’ers really CANNOT find any predominant, popular teaching that supports the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint in any era of Church history prior to the 1830s.



5. Many learned men of the Christian faith, such as John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, Charles Finney, John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther, George Whitefield, etc., were all solid Post-Trib believers!



6. The Pre-Trib Rapture is a very big “cash cow” for Pre-Trib writers. Yet, there are some Pre-Trib’ers who will admit that the Pre-Trib Rapture prophetic viewpoint is still a minority viewpoint among Bible scholars. How can that be, you may ask, since so many prophecy books favor the “Pre-Trib” viewpoint? That is because so many of the major “Christian” publishing houses are, for the most part, CONTROLLED by “liberal Christians”. Post-Trib writers often find it extremely hard to get their books published by these publishing houses, because Pre-Trib “sells”. (Could that be because the Pre-Trib Rapture appeals to an “escapist” mentality? It’s that mentality of “I sure don’t want to be here when the Antichrist takes over!” The Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint appeals to our “flesh” – after all, who wants to face persecution?) Also, Dr. Robert “Bob” Gundry says that most of the professors [at Bible colleges] that he knows hold the Post-Trib Rapture viewpoint. He adds that even some of the professors at Bible colleges of the “Pre-Trib Rapture persuasion” hold the Post-Trib viewpoint, but cannot say so publicly for fear of losing their positions! Students who openly advocate Post-Trib at these “Pre-Trib Bible colleges” might not be allowed to graduate!



7. Despite the fact that many Pre-Trib’ers dislike author Dave MacPherson, they have NOT been able to disprove his well-documented findings that show that the Pre-Trib Rapture’s origins (as far as any public teaching) date back to the 1830s – and not earlier than that era! Nor have the Pre-Trib’ers been able to disprove MacPherson’s findings that the vast majority of the early church fathers taught that the church would go THROUGH the “end-times’ tribulation” – and lots of tribulation along the way to the “end-times’ tribulation”.



8. Public teaching of the Pre-Trib Rapture originated in the British Isles during the 1830s. (The Jesuits did some “futurist creativity” in the prophetic arena many years prior to that time.) The Pre-Trib “theory” was then “transported” to America a little bit later, and was popularized by the “Scofield Study Bible”.



9. To believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, one must ignore several key Bible verses that speak directly against the Pre-Trib Rapture, such as John 17:15 where the Lord Jesus Christ Himself prays that the Father NOT take believers OUT OF the world – and I Thessalonians 4:16, 17 (which says that the Christians living at the time of Jesus Christ’s return are not caught up UNTIL AFTER the “dead in Christ” are raised “FIRST”)!



10. Believing in the Pre-Trib Rapture, it seems to me, goes AGAINST the prevalent theme of those portions of the Bible that deal with tribulation and persecution. That prevalent theme is “preservation IN THE MIDST OF tribulation”. (Please recall the accounts of Daniel in the lions’ den, and of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego in the fiery furnace!)



11. To believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture, you have to ASSUME that you will be among a very “select group” of Christians who will not have to suffer horrible things during the “end-times’ tribulation”. Your “select group” excludes those MILLIONS of Christians from past centuries who were NOT “air evacuated” out of their tribulation and suffering, and the many individuals who get “saved” (i.e., are “born again”) during the “end-times’ tribulation”, and who will suffer martyrdom!



12. The Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint, for the most part, seems to produce very BAD FRUIT – that is, it seems to have “neutralized” many Christians living today, causing them to sit back and to NOT fight evil. (And that’s, because, don’t you know, they won’t be here when things get really bad.) Could this “doctrine” have been specifically designed to “neutralize” Christians?



IX. FINAL THOUGHTS:


The Scripture verses alone that I have placed in this newsletter ought to be sufficient to show any individual with an “open mind” that the Pre-Trib Rapture is NOT taught in the Holy Bible.



The historical record that I have presented in this newsletter ought to raise some serious questions among those who preach and teach the Pre-Trib Rapture that there is something seriously wrong here. The Jesuit Order has for years tried to undermine the Protestant Reformation, with the ultimate goal of DESTROYING it. They have used a number of “tools” to accomplish their goal – and two of their best “tools” have been:



(1) INFILTRATION of Protestant, independent Baptist, and independent fundamentalist schools, seminaries, societies, associations, organizations, and fellowships; and,



(2) AUTHORING and INSERTING portions of “futurist” doctrines (such as a “future seven-year tribulation period” and an “exclusively future ‘Mr. Nasty’ Antichrist”), via the Pre-Trib Rapture, into Protestant, independent Baptist, and independent fundamentalist “circles” that NEUTRALIZE many Bible-believing Christians, causing them to feel “warm, fuzzy, safe, and secure” when, in fact, they are in great danger, and therefore ought to be fighting evil! (Please see Ephesians 5:11, Psalm 94:16, and Ezekiel 22:30, 31.)



Let me ask you pastors and preachers, who have been teaching and preaching the Pre-Trib Rapture viewpoint to your “flocks”, a couple of very “tough” questions:



(1)“How does it make you feel to know that you have been deceived by some Jesuits, such as Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza, into believing a lot of ‘futurist’ doctrine found within ‘Dispensationalism’, to include a ‘future seven-year tribulation period’ and an ‘exclusively future single Antichrist’ (that wonderfully succeeded in taking the ‘SPOTLIGHT’ off of the Papacy as the historical Antichrist found on the pages of Holy Scripture) – beliefs that are pillars of Dispensationalism and its Pre-Trib Rapture?”



(2) “What are you going to do now that you know the TRUTH?”



Here is something else for those who teach or preach the Pre-Trib Rapture to think about: Your promotion of this doctrine could cause some Christians (who are taught it) to believe that they are in no danger from an Antichrist system that will be targeting Protestants and independent, Bible-believing Christians for DESTRUCTION. How would you feel if you met these folks in heaven – folks who had not taken appropriate measures to defend themselves and their families, and had to watch as murderous thugs raped, tortured, and murdered their family members in front of their very eyes – all because they thought they “wouldn’t be here” when that end-time tribulation occurs – based upon what you taught?



Throughout almost 2000 years of Christian history, MILLIONS of Christians have suffered through horrible persecution and tribulation! MILLIONS of these same Christians were martyred for their steadfast faith in Jesus Christ, and for their refusal to deny their true King! MILLIONS of these Christians were also martyred because they refused to bow to Papal Rome and her false claims of total authority over all Christians in the world! TWO QUESTIONS: (1) Is it not the “height of arrogance” for you believers in the Pre-Trib Rapture to think that you will be part of a relatively small, “special class” of Christians (i.e., those who are living during the “end times”) who alone of all generations of Christians are to be spared horrible persecution and tribulation? (2) What makes YOU so special and so much more worthy to be “protected” than earlier generations of Christians?



One more “final thought”: I would like to repeat a portion of author Lisa Ruby’s comments concerning the “Left Behind” series (which appeared earlier in the “Definitions” section of this newsletter), along with a few comments:

“…Even more disturbing is that the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors’ depiction of the happenings at the outset of the tribulation parallel what is actually planned [Ed.: emphasis in original] by the New World Order elitists. …There will be mass disappearances around the world that might be reported by the media as occurring simultaneously, but they will NOT occur because Jesus Christ has taken His people from the earth in a secret, pre-tribulation rapture that He NEVER promised. The horrific happenings [that] the [‘Left Behind’ series] authors portrayed as being caused by Jesus rapturing His people from the earth before the tribulation is WITHOUT any scriptural foundation. …The ‘Left Behind’ series sends the message that if you hear of mass disappearances [Ed.: during the “tribulation”] you should not suspect that any foul play occurred.” (From Lisa Ruby’s book “GOD’S WRATH on ‘Left Behind’: Exposing the Antichrist Agenda of the ‘Left Behind’ Series”; 2002; Pages 61 and 64)



My comments concerning the above quotation:



(1) Could it just be that the “Left Behind” series of books and movies – along with a multitude of other books promoting the Pre-Trib Rapture – have “programmed” MILLIONS of Americans to sit back and not be concerned when the “enforcers” of the Jesuit-controlled, tyrannical, “one-world government” begin causing the “disappearances” of thousands upon thousands of Bible-believing Christians and patriots (who had showed signs of opposing their one-world government and one-world religion)? Will many of these “programmed” Americans ASSUME that the mass “disappearances” are due to the Pre-Trib Rapture? Will some of these “programmed” Americans ASSUME that they have missed the Pre-Trib Rapture, and then fall into great despair?



(2) Many of these Pre-Trib-Rapture-“programmed” Americans currently are totally unprepared for those end-time events that will be orchestrated by the Antichrist system of one-world government and one-world religion!



P.S. (Added on September 28, 2007): The Pre-Trib Rapture is a prominent feature of “Dispensationalism” – which became popular in America in the mid 1800s. One of the books most responsible for the advancement of Dispensationalism in America was the “Scofield Reference Bible” (a.k.a. the “Scofield Study Bible”), whose notes were prepared by Cyrus I. Scofield. If you would like to learn more about the life of Cyrus I. Scofield, and about his famous “Study Bible”, then please get a copy of the book, “The Incredible Scofield and His Book”, by Joseph M. Canfield (1988; Ross House Books, Vallecito, California). Dr. Loraine Boettner describes this book as “one of the most powerful books that has ever been written against the dispensational system.” Boettner also states concerning Canfield’s book: “…If dispensationalists would read it carefully, perhaps half of them would turn from that system.” (You should be able to do a “google-style” search on the Internet to find a copy of this book.)



P.P.S. (Added on February 23, 2008): Some people, especially those who are ignorant of “Church” history and European history, will scoff at the idea that the Jesuits could have had anything to do with certain “futurist” elements in the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine. In my definition of the “Jesuit Order”, I stated that one of the Jesuits’ primary goals was “to roll back the Protestant Reformation”. In order to accomplish this objective, the Jesuits decided to use several key “tools”:



(1) Attempt to gain control of the political leadership of Protestant countries (e.g., through such means as “regime change”, bribery, extortion, placing their lackeys in key positions within the government, etc. – i.e., ruling the country from “behind the scenes”) – or by assassinating the head of State and replacing him or her with someone loyal to the Papacy);



(2) Attempt to violently overthrow the governments of some of these Protestant countries (e.g., through fomenting revolution and/or by actually invading the targeted country with military forces loyal to the Papacy);



NOTE: A good example of #2 was the attempted invasion of England by the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Spanish Armada had wanted to land Spanish troops on British soil, and these troops were to be assisted by armed Roman Catholics in the British Isles in overthrowing the government – and in the process placing England once again under Papal control! In fact, Pope Sixtus V [pope: 1585-90] promised Spanish King Philip II that the Papacy would provide financial support for this invasion. (If you doubt this, then please read the book “Jesuit Plots from Elizabethan to Modern Times” by Albert Close. This 194-page paperback book is only $8.95 postage paid. To order a copy, please make check or postal money order payable to “The Conversion Center”, and mail it to: The Conversion Center // P.O. Box 265 // Carthage, NC 28327-0265.)



(3) Attempt to gain control of the religious leadership of Protestant countries (e.g., through such means as bribery, extortion, placing their lackeys in key positions within Protestant churches, seminaries, religious societies and associations, etc.)



NOTE: A good example of this Jesuit INFILTRATION of religious associations and societies was the Oxford movement. Begun officially in 1833, the Oxford movement, led by John Henry Newman (who later became a Roman Catholic cardinal), issued 90 pamphlets/tracts that were intended to draw the Anglican Church much closer to Papal Rome’s doctrines. (The ultimate goal was to make Roman Catholicism once again the State religion in England.)



(4) Attempt to INSERT theological “viruses” (designed to neutralize true Christianity) into the doctrines of Protestant denominations and independent Bible-believing groups by having their undercover agents (i.e., “moles”) suggest various doctrinal views, such as in the realm of Bible prophecy.



NOTE: Some examples of #4 occurred in the realm of the exclusively “futurist” view of prophecy, where two Jesuits (i.e., Francisco Ribera and Emmanuel Lacunza) and a papal undercover agent (i.e., John Henry Newman) helped provide certain key elements in the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine (e.g., a “future 7-year tribulation period” and a “single, exclusively future, end-time Antichrist” that took the “SPOTLIGHT” off of the Papacy). Please consider the following quote by Pastor Ron Poch, taken from pages 121 and 122 of his book, “I WANT To Be Left Behind”, concerning numerous Reformers and scholars who subscribed to the “historicist” [or, historical] view of Bible prophecy:



“This [Ed.: historicist or historical] view [Ed.: of Bible prophecy] postulates that the Book of Revelation predicts events occurring from the 1st century up to our present day. This view, according to many theologians and reformers of the past, offers a freedom in the interpretation of the text in applying the prophecies to actual historical events that have taken place from the 1st century. The historical position [Ed.: of Bible prophecy] looks at Church history from the time of John the revelator to the culmination of all prophetic events, some even yet future.

It is very important to note that many reformers, men of God, teachers and Bible translators and scholars taught this [Ed.: historicist or historical] position concerning Bible prophecy. Many of the men on the following list did not agree on certain doctrinal beliefs, but they were all in general agreement concerning the interpretation of Daniel’s seventy weeks identifying the beast system as religious papal Rome and the ‘man of sin’ being none other than the Roman popes who had taken the name Vicar of Christ.

Here’s a partial list of those who subscribed to the ‘historicist view’ of [Bible] prophecy:

[1.] John Wycliffe, 1329-1383 – English ‘Morning star of the Reformation’

[2.] John Knox, 1514-1572 – Scottish Presbyterian reformer

[3.] William Tyndale, 1494-1536 – English reformer, translator, martyr

[4.] John Calvin, 1509-1564 – French reformer and theologian

[5.] Martin Luther, 1483-1546 – German theologian and reformer

[6.] Ulrich Zwingli, 1484-1531 – Swiss reformer

[7.] Philip Melanchthon, 1497-1560 – [Ed.: German Protestant Reformer] Composed the Augustine confession

[8.] Sir Isaac Newton, 1642-1727 – English scientist and Bible scholar

[9.] John Huss, 1373-1415 – Bohemian reformer [Ed.: and martyr – he was burned as a heretic]

[10.] John Foxe, 1516-1587 – English author of ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’

[11.] Charles Wesley, 1708-1788 – English hymn writer [Ed.: and clergyman]

[12.] John Wesley, 1703-1791 – [Ed.: English clergyman and evangelist]; Founder of Methodism

[13.] Jonathan Edwards, 1703-1758 – American theologian

[14.] George Whitfield, 1714-1770 – English evangelist

[15.] Charles Finney, 1792-1875 – American evangelist

[16.] Charles H. Spurgeon, 1834-1892 – English Baptist pastor

[17.] Adam Clarke, 1762-1832 – Methodist theologian

[18.] Matthew Henry, 1662-1714 – Welch Bible scholar

[19.] John Bunyan, 1628-1688 – [Ed.: English writer and preacher]; Puritan author of ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’

[20.] Hudson Taylor, 1832-1905 – English founder of China Inland Mission

[21.] F.B. Meyer, 1847-1929 – English Baptist preacher

Reading the names of these notable God-fearing men should cause us to search out why they believed this [Ed.: historicist] prophetic viewpoint. We cannot casually dismiss their approach to [Bible] prophecy while embracing the position of Reformed theology that they propounded, which has stood the test of time.”



NOTE: If you would like to learn more about the Jesuit Order, then please order the book “The Secret History of the Jesuits” by Edmond Paris. This 206-page paperback book is only $11.35 postage paid. To order a copy by credit card, call “Chick Publications” at 1-909-987-0771. Also, you can visit the following websites (hopefully listed alphabetically) that have a lot of information on various topics concerning the “Vatican-Papacy-Jesuit-Knights of Malta Cabal” and/or concerning the doctrines, practices, and history of the Roman Catholic Church:



www.arcticbeacon.com (Greg Szymanski of the “Investigative Journal”): This website has numerous articles about Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order, including articles that deal with recent lawsuits against the Roman Catholic Church. Greg Szymanski is a journalist who worked in Rome, and who has carefully researched the operations of the Vatican. Many of the articles on this website were written by him. Various resources dealing with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order are available through this website.



www.bereanbeacon.org (Richard Bennett, author of “Catholicism East of Eden”): This website has articles and DVDs dealing with Roman Catholicism, to include an outstanding DVD entitled “The Inquisition” (that deals with the Roman Catholic Church’s torture and mass murder of Bible-believing Christians). Books are also available through this website on a wide range of topics dealing with Roman Catholic doctrine and practices – including two books containing the testimonies of former Roman Catholic priests and nuns.



www.chick.com (“Chick Publications”): This website offers many great resources that deal with the topic of Roman Catholicism, including several outstanding books (e.g., “The Secret History of the Jesuits” by Edmond Paris).



www.ChristianMediaNetwork.com (James Lloyd of “Christian Media”): This website will give you details on James Lloyd’s excellent book dealing with “Mary worship”, entitled “The Queen of Heaven”. (It will also give you information on how to obtain numerous resources that refute the “Pre-Trib Rapture”. Please “click on” the “catalog” marker on his homepage.)



www.ctwilcox.com (C.T. Wilcox, professional actor and author of “The Transformation of the Republic”): This website has a number of articles dealing with Papal Rome and her Jesuit Order. The 345-page paperback book, “The Transformation of the Republic” (2005), by C.T. Wilcox, can be ordered on this website. (This book deals with Papal Rome’s involvement in the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the manhunt for arch conspirator John Harrison Surratt, and the trials of the conspirators in the aftermath of the assassination.)



www.gordoncomstock.com (“Gordon Comstock”): This website contains many articles and podcasts dealing with Papal Rome and her Jesuit Order, as well as recommended resources for additional research.



www.SpirituallySmart.com (Thomas Richards): This website contains numerous articles and videos dealing with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order. It also contains many photographs showing Papal Rome’s great power and influence in the world.



www.toughissues.org (Darryl Eberhart, Editor of ETI & TTT newsletters): This website contains numerous articles dealing with Papal Rome’s bloody history, the sinister activities of the Jesuit Order, and various Roman Catholic doctrines and practices (such as “mandatory celibacy for priests”, papal infallibility, auricular confession to an authorized priest, etc.).



www.vaticanassassins.org (Eric Jon Phelps, author of “Vatican Assassins”): This website contains many articles on the Jesuit Order. You can order Phelps’ “Vatican Assassins” CD-ROM on this website. Eric Jon Phelps is the preeminent researcher in America today on the Jesuit Order and the Knights of Malta religious-military order (both of which are controlled by the Jesuit Superior General).



www.vaticandesignexposed.com (John Daniel, author of “The Grand Design Exposed”): Information on how to order John Daniel’s 411-page paperback book, “The Grand Design Exposed”, can be found on this website. (This book provides important information on how the Jesuit Order took over both British and French Freemasonry, as well as showing Jesuit and other Roman Catholic involvement in fomenting and directing the French Revolution of 1789-1799.)



www.vyzygoth.com (“Vyzygoth”): This website contains some articles and recorded broadcasts that deal with Papal Rome and the Jesuit Order.



CLOSING QUOTES:



“…Many of the Chinese Christians did not expect to have to give their lives during the ‘great purge’ by the Communist [Ed.: Chinese] insurgency. He [Ed.: i.e., Brother Andrew] said [that] while being tortured those [Ed.: Chinese Christian] saints were crying for the ‘rapture’ during their martyrdom. …What makes us better than those Chinese Christians? Don’t you think [that] they felt like they were going through ‘the great tribulation’?” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 35)



“We may not be asked or required to die a martyr’s death, but to believe a false teaching such as ‘an any moment rapture’ is to belittle the sacrifice by those who have given their all. Read ‘Foxe’s Book of Martyrs’ or ‘Jesus Freaks’ by DC Talk and ‘Voice of the Martyrs’ [that can be] found at your local Christian bookstore.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 36)



“If we continue believing in a wrong doctrine, we will effectively erect a stronghold in our mind that cannot be penetrated by truth.” – Pastor Ron Poch (“I WANT To Be Left Behind”; 2002; Page 9)



CLOSING BIBLE VERSE:



“Who will rise up for me against the evildoers, or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?” (Psalm 96:16)

--------------------
The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

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WildB
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Originally posted by WildB:
The Harpazo of the Bride of Christ

Last Updated: 08/23/2010 21:55 |

This is a Bible Study of the catching away of the bride of Christ, the harpazo. In short, it is a supernatural event that comes directly after the resurrection of the dead in Christ in the near future. After their resurrection, those who are still alive and in Christ are changed in the blink of an eye and are given their immortal bodies. Then both the resurrected and the changed are caught up together to meet the Lord in the air. The resurrection of the dead is central to the Christian faith as Paul explains in 1 Corinthians 15:12-24.
There are many different perspectives in the church regarding this topic from the denial of it to the belief that it can come at any second. Understanding of the Word of the Lord will not come by quoting one or two verses, but by building on a solid foundation of the Word, taking God for what He says and in context. It is also interspersed throughout the text of the Bible, here a little and there a little. Isaiah 28:9-13 I interpret the Bible with the Bible so that I leave as much of my own errors out of the equation and rather trust in the Word to define for me what must be understood. In this way, symbology is not randomly assigned from a 21st century English perspective, but from a Biblical perspective. The Bible was written by Hebrews for the Hebrews until the work of Christ on the cross brought that Truth to the Gentiles and all with ears to hear. This causes one to view the Bible from a more Hebrew perspective and define words from the Hebrew and Greek for deeper meaning as well as seeing a broader picture of God's plans for the future.

I would also like to say before beginning that I understand this is a very divisive subject for some and much passion is displayed regarding this teaching because of perceived deceptions we are warned about and concern for a falling away from God resulting from things not turning out as expected. As true believers, absolutely nothing can separate us from God. It shows an extreme selfishness and pride for one to turn from God because their perceptions of reality limited by their lack of knowledge not coming to pass as desired. Job was answered by God as to how little we know of the whole picture in Job 38-40. There is One Truth and history will unfold in one way, that which God has laid out for those that love Him to understand from His Word, the Holy Bible. Only He knows the end from the beginning and He has shared the future with us. That is the focus of this Bible study on the harpazo. I believe that if we all trust the Word of God we will be on the same page, speaking the same language as the words haven't changed nor what the words mean. Do not take my word for this or any other study presented. Rather search the scriptures daily to see whether these things are so. Acts 17:11

Lord, guide my study of Your Word and reveal to me through Your Holy Spirit those things You would have me understand. Give me a greater hunger for Your Word as I bring myself closer to you. Teach me your Truth from your Word as I submit to your plans and design. Amen.

What is the "harpazo?"

The term "rapture" is more commonly used than harpazo and is not found in the Bible. While you will not find that exact word through a word search, the meaning of the words that are written remains the same and conveys the same idea. The term "rapture" comes from the Latin verb rapiemur which means "to seize, snatch, carry away." This is the same meaning behind the Greek word that is found in the Bible, harpazo. It is found in the following scripture, which is the "harpazo" passage.

1 Thessalonians 4:15-18
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, 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 [G726 harpazo] 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.

So while the word rapture is technically not in the Bible, the idea behind that Latin word represents the same idea of being caught up together to meet the Lord in the air as stated in scripture. I have decided to move away from using the term rapture in exchange for sticking with the original Greek word spelled out in English as "shall be caught up."

1 Corinthians 15:51-53
Behold, I show you a mystery; 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. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

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WildB
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quote:
Originally posted by WildB:
quote:
Originally posted by barrykind:
Brother Bill states:

quote:
The Day of the Lord has nothing to do with the Harpazo..

The falling away will happen after the Spirit is taken out of the way terminating the Age of Grace.

2 Thessalonians, Chapter 2 7: For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

8: And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming:
9: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,


My oh my, for one who talks much of those who do not study.....


Where have you been man??

DO a study and show yourself approvedsir:


barry

Careful Barry and please do tell all who you think
the He is in this verse and try not to let the Elizabethan tongue confuse you.

"he who now letteth will let"

and why when this "He" is no longer there that

the wicked Whom/Him can be revealed?

Stop promoting the shadow as the way.

AND PLEASE!

Do learn how to rightfully divide according to the mystery and dispensation of Grace committed to Paul by Christ.


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Carol Swenson
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barrykind

quote:
Why would believers be taken off the planet in the so-called Pre-Trib Rapture so that they would not have to face the horrors of the “Great Tribulation” period, when so many other Christians have faced HORRIBLE persecution and tribulation throughout Church history?

Facing tribulations, as our Lord Jesus Christ said we would, is NOT the same as THE Tribulation. Those seven years will be worse than anything the world has ever seen.

How many of your Christian friends have been martyred for their faith? Is it horribly unfair that we were born in America where we have been allowed to practice our faith without persecution while people in other parts of the world were not so fortunate? Then how does it logically follow that we MUST go through the tribulation because others have suffered? The rapture and the tribulation may not even happen during our lifetimes. Then what? Will you be doomed barry because you didn't suffer enough?

We are not saved by trials and tribulations, but by Christ.

God's Purpose for the Tribulation

This excerpt taken from an article written by Dr. Thomas Ice at the Pre-Trib Research Center.

A common statement made by some is as follows: "I believe that the church will go through the tribulation because the Bible says that we will suffer for our faith." The problem with such a statement is that while it may appear to have the veneer of biblical correctness, at core it betrays a lack of understanding of God's purpose for the tribulation. Certainly the Bible teaches that all through out the church age Believers will suffer persecution. This is taught by such passages as John 16:33b, "In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." And in 2 Timothy 3:12 "Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." The question is will the church experience the trials of the tribulation? I have found that when a person is knowledgeable of what the Bible says is God's purpose for the tribulation, or any issue for that matter, then a very high percentage of those people will come to believe that the church will be taken in the rapture before the tribulation. What is God's purpose for the tribulation?

Start Of The Tribulation

First, we need to know that the tribulation in Bible prophecy is the period of time that begins with the signing of a covenant between Israel and the antichrist and ends seven years later at the second coming of Jesus Christ. The most extensive biblical comments on the tribulation are found in the writings of John, specifically in Revelation 6-19. In these chapters, John provides a detailed exposition of the tribulation days. Daniel's "70 weeks," prophesied in Daniel 9:24-27 are the framework within which the tribulation or the 70th week occurs. The seven-year period of Daniel's 70th week provides the time span with which a whole host of descriptives are associated. Some of those descriptive terms include: tribulation, great tribulation, day of the Lord, day of wrath, day of distress, day of trouble, time of Jacob's trouble, day of darkness and gloom, and wrath of the Lamb.

Judgment Nature Of The Tribulation

Second, God's basic purpose for the tribulation is that it be a time of judgment, while at the same time, He will hold forth the gospel of grace. This will precede Christ's glorious 1,000 year reign from David's throne in Jerusalem. Judgment, or God's wrath, is needed to put down the rebellion of mankind in preparation for Christ's reign of peace upon earth during the millennium.

The Goals Of The Tribulation

Third, while a number of goals for the tribulation could be given, there are a least three specific major purposes. Dr. Arnold Fruchtenbaum lists them as follows:

Gentile Judgment

Before the Lord can personally rule on earth in the Person of Jesus Christ He must first judge the world in order to prepare it for His righteous rule. Dr. Fruchtenbaum says that the first purpose for the tribulation is,

To make an end of wickedness and wicked ones (Isaiah 13:9; 24:19-20)-The first purpose for the tribulation is seen to be a punishment in history upon the whole world for its sins against God, in a way similar to that of the global flood in Noah's days (Matthew 24:37-39).[1]

Deuteronomy 30:7 tells us that God will "inflict all these curses on your enemies and on those who hate you, who persecuted you." This will take place during the tribulation and will be retribution to the nations for how they have treated the Jews during the last 2,000 years. This purpose does not encompass the church.

World-Wide Evangelism

The seven-year tribulation will be a time of phenomenal evangelistic outreach. It will be a time unlike any previous period of history. Dr. Fruchtenbaum explains:

To bring about a world-wide revival-This purpose is given and fulfilled in Revelation 7:1-17. During the first half of the tribulation, God will evangelize the world by the means of the 144,000 Jews and thus fulfill the prophecy found in Matthew 24:14.[2]

In addition to the 144,000 Jewish evangelists, there will be normal evangelism taking place like we see today. Further, the Two Witnesses will provide an evangelistic witness to Israel. Finally, at the mid-point of the tribulation Revelation 14 tells us that God Himself will use angels to preach the gospel and warn "earth dwellers" not to take the mark of the beast-666.

The three angelic announcements are as follows: First, an angel will preach "an eternal gospel . . . to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people" (Revelation 14:6). Second, the next angel will make the following pronouncement: "Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality" (Revelation 14:8). Finally, the last angelic proclamation will specifically warn every person on earth not to take the mark of the beast, since doing so will result in their eternal punishment in the Lake of Fire. "If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives a mark on his forehead or upon his hand . . . he will be tormented with fire and brimstone . . . forever and ever" (Revelation 14:9-11). This tribulation purpose also does not include the church.

Conversion of Israel

One of the most glorious and important purposes of the tribulation will be the conversion of Israel. Dr. Fruchtenbaum tell us,

To break the power of the holy people-Israel-Finally, the tribulation will be a time in which God, through evil agencies, prepares Israel for her conversion and acknowledgment that Jesus is their Messiah, resulting in the second coming of Christ.[3]

The Bible teaches us that God will use the tribulation to bring His elect people to faith in Jesus as their Messiah. When we put together the biblical information it appears that God will accomplish this goal in the following way: First, the Lord will return Israel to the land before the tribulation, the time of God's wrath. "I shall bring you out from the peoples and gather you from the lands where you are scattered, with a mighty hand and with an outstretched arm and with wrath poured out (Ezekiel 20:34). The regathering before the tribulation is what our Lord has been doing since 1948 with the modern state of Israel.

Once the tribulation begins He "shall make you pass under the rod, and I shall bring you into the bond of the covenant; and I shall purge from you the rebels and those who transgress against Me; I shall bring them out of the land where they sojourn, but they will not enter the land of Israel. Thus you will know that I am the Lord" (Ezekiel 20:37-38). This tells us that the unbelieving Jews ("the rebels") will be removed during the tribulation.

In an interesting passage that speaks of "My Associate," which is an obvious prophetic reference to Jesus The Messiah (Zechariah 13:7-9), Zechariah gives us a numeric ratio that will be purged. "And it will come about in all the land," Declares the Lord, "That two parts in it will be cut off and perish; But the third will be left in it. And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, And I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' And they will say, 'The Lord is my God.'" (Zechariah 13:8-9) Therefore, we learn that two-thirds of Israel will be purged through the fire of the tribulation, leaving the one-third elect who will be converted to Jesus as their Messiah. Thus, "all Israel will be saved; just as it is written, 'The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins'" (Romans 11:26-27). What a glorious day that will be! Israel will be converted to Jesus as their Messiah resulting in the second coming, which will in turn give rise the millennial reign of Christ. The church is no where to be found in these tribulational activities.

Conclusion

While many people think the tribulation will involve the church, the Bible does not provide support for such a notion. Instead, Scripture informs us of at least a three-fold purpose for the coming tribulation, none of which involves the church. The New Testament teaches that the church will be taken at the rapture to be with the Lord before the tribulation begins, because God has not destined His bride for His wrath (Romans 5:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:10; 5:9; Revelation 3:10). Other groups of redeemed individuals will go through the tribulation, but not Christ's bride, the church.

http://www.biblesitesonline.com/areyouready/tribpurpose.htm

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barrykind
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Leaving Behind the Doctrine of the Pre-tribulational "Rapture"

Modern day dispensationalism, with its belief in two peoples of God (the Church and the modern secular nation-state of Israel) and a pretribulational rapture may be extremely popular amongst conservative Protestants today, but historically it was never a considered eschatological position in any major branch of Christianity. Indeed, there is little if any evidence that it was ever articulated before 1830 when it was popularized by John Darby and later by C.I. Scofield (who not only wrote the Scofield Reference Bible, but was also a convicted criminal who deserted his first wife and children after he was saved). Many Evangelicals and fundamentalists are shocked to even learn that there are different points of view regarding the End-Times in regards to the rapture of the church.

The word rapture is never used in the Scriptures, but dispensationalists claim that the concept is indeed found abundantly throughout its pages. Fair enough, since the same is true of the doctrine of the Trinity, which is indeed implicit from a variety of Scriptural verses (Mark 12: 35-37; Matthew 28:19, John 1:1, John 20:28; Acts 5: 3-4; Colossians 1:15-20, 2:9; Philippians 2:5-11; Revelation 22:13, etc, etc). Indeed, contrary to the claims of Jehovahs Witnesses, Unitarians, Muslims, and the like, there is a great deal of Scriptural evidence to flesh out the doctrine of the Trinity. Certainly then, the doctrine of the rapture, should offer similarly compelling evidence since it is such an important doctrine to so many conservative Protestants. Indeed, many pretribulationists consider their position to be so airtight that they label any dissenter of the rapture doctrine as a false teacher. Well then, lets examine the evidence.

There are several passages that rapture proponents point towards to prove their case and unfortunately for them, the text is not saying what they want it to say. A favorite passage is found in Matthew 24:37-41 which reads:

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in those days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a mill, one will be taken and the other left (NIV).

The key here is verses 40 and 41which talk about people being taken away. Here is clear cut proof of the Messiah coming at an unexpected time to take away believers up to heaven before the tribulation period, right? Well, not if context means anything. Here Jesus is comparing his future coming to the time of the Flood. Notice in verse 39, right before the supposed rapture imagery, who is taken away in the Noah example? Those who were taken away were the evil people who were destroyed by the flood, the same people who were not waiting for the Flood or listening to Noah. Next, Jesus compares it to His future coming and uses this same imagery of people being taken away. Does “taken” mean one thing in verse 39 and a totally different thing in verse 40? That makes no sense, especially if we are considering that Jesus is making an analogy, which by their nature compare similarities. Rather than seeing those taken at the time of Christ’s coming as people being zipped up to heaven in a pretribulational rapture, the context of this passage suggests those who are taken away are those who are not prepared for Christs coming and are being taken to judgment.

Perhaps the verse for the believers in a pretribulational rapture is I Thessalonians 4:13-18. It reads as follows:

Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who have fallen asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lords own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words (NIV).

According to those who believe in the secret rapture, this verse is a clear cut proof that Jesus is going to take believers out of the earth before the tribulation period. But where exactly does this passage say that? Grab a Bible and read the surrounding context of the passage. Where is there any discussion about a tribulation or removing believers secretly before an interval of judgment for everybody Left Behind? If anything vv 16-17 in this passage indicate that this coming of the Lord will be a visible event. Nothing in this passage even says anything about believers being zipped up into heaven for seven years. Verse 16 indicates that Christ is coming down from heaven, and that believers would meet Christ in the air. The concept in antiquity of the honored guests greeting the king midway as he was traveling to the banquet and the guests escorting him the rest of the way would have been well understood by the original audience. The same concept and Greek terminology can be found in a letter from Cicero in 49B.C. in which he speaks of the welcoming of Julius Caesar (with the same language found later towards Caesar Augustus) as he toured Italy [1].

Furthermore, the air was considered to be the realm of demons and if Ephesians 2:2 and Colossians 2:15 are any parallel; the stress here would be on Christ breaking their power. This takes place as Christ is returning to earth, which is also described as happening in a visible, not invisible manner elsewhere in Scripture (Acts 1:11). There is no hint that Christ is returning back to heaven after secretly taking believers from the earth before a seven-year tribulation period (The length of a seven year tribulation is only based on one verse, Daniel 9:27, which incorrectly posits a massive 2,000+ year gap between the 26th and 27th verse. This forces verse 27 to be talking about something different than verse 26, even though the context and grammar of the passage does not allow this).

Pretribulationists claim that this isn’t a reference to the Second Coming, but distinguish this being Christ coming for His saints, and the real Second Coming where Christ comes with His saints. However, this two stage end-times return of Jesus is not present in this passage or anywhere else in the NT corpus.
Note that 2 Thessalonians was written to correct the excessive excitement and speculation amongst the original audience, who upon reading 1 Thessalonians were teaching that the return of Christ had already occurred. Paul writes that before Christ’s coming, certain events needed to happen, namely “the rebellion” and the arrival of “the man of lawlessness,” assuming these to be future events from our vantage points in 2006. Most importantly in the beginning of this passage, Paul links the gathering of the believers with the Second Coming, not a prior secret “rapture”:

“Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers, not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by some prophecy, report or letter supposed to have come from us saying that the day of the Lord has already come” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2).

In I Corinthians 15, the apostle Paul takes up a lengthy discussion about the resurrection of the dead and the resurrection body. Many see the “rapture” in vv.51-52 where Christians will be transformed “in the twinkling of an eye.” However, the passage nowhere states directly or indirectly that this is referring to believers removed before a tribulation period. The rapture can only be found in this text if it is assumed and inserted there. The context is talking about the resurrection of believers that would happen at the time of the general bodily resurrection of believers. In this verse, like several others, pretribulationists must insist that a secret rapture is in question and not the general Second Coming/resurrection of the saints.

The book of Revelation also says nothing about a two-stage return of Jesus. The passages usually thought to do so will now be examined.

Revelation 3:10 is perhaps my favorite pretribulational rapture proof text. It is in a section of Revelation (Chapters 2-3) where Christ addresses seven historical churches of the first century where he admonishes and encourages each church. This particular passage in addressed to the church of Philadelphia. The verse reads as follows:

Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth (NIV).

Many dispensationalists have a very peculiar way of interpreting Revelation 2 and 3. According to many the seven churches may or may not have been real historical churches, but the primary thrust of the passage is supposedly giving a prophetic picture of the church throughout the ages. In this interpretive scheme, the early church of the first century is the church in Ephesus and gets progressively worse until today, where we are now living in or are on the verge of living in the age of the lukewarm church of Laodecia. Various dispensational sources will give you their estimate of what time period correlates to which of the seven churches in Revelation.). The only problem with all this is that it is terribly subjective and is based mainly and seeing the church through a Western lens. For instance, there are plenty of churches in persecuted lands today that are not Laodicean churches, just as there were plenty of churches in early Christendom that could be said to have reflected any of the seven churches. I don’t think I would consider the thriving persecuted church today in China as lukewarm. Nor would I consider many Spirit-led Western churches to be classified as such. It is best to instead see these as seven historical churches of the 1st century that can find application or correlation with many congregations throughout the current church age.

Remember, Revelation was written either in the mid 60s or mid 90s and must be relevant to the people it was addressed to. Revelation is addressed to these seven churches (Rev. 1:4) and is going to be written at least in part about issues that will immediately concern them. Revelation should not be wrenched from its historical context and be seen as a solely futuristic document that only concerns 20th and 21st century Christians. So while there has been great application in chapters 2 and 3 for the Church throughout the ages (and these chapters make great preaching material today), it is a mistake to say that these chapters are primarily referential to various normative stages in church history.

If such is the case, how then could Revelation 3:10 be talking about a pretribulational rapture since we are already past that stage in church history (if we believe that chapters 2 and 3 are primarily revealing progressive stages of church history)? If we are now in the Laodecian era, then apparently a bunch of us missed the rapture! It rather makes more sense to view 3:10 in light of the historical circumstances of that day and the hour of trouble that the church was going to face under imperial Roman persecution. Even if 3:10 is speaking secondarily beyond the immediate historical circumstances and hinting towards final end-times events, which is possible, there still is no warrant to see this passage referring to a secret invisible rapture.

There is nothing said in this passage about secretly removing Christians from the earth, rather it stresses Gods protection of believers from His judgments on the ungodly. This should be distinguished, however, from the persecution inflicted upon the righteous by the unfaithful (Revelation 2:10, 7:14). Regarding Revelation and tribulation there is a “great tribulation” described in 7:14 that is probably referring to the full number of Christians (or Christian martyrs) throughout history enduring through the tribulation period. But even if this passage is solely regulated to a period of time in the future, notice that the multitude comes out of the “great tribulation,” they do not escape it. There is nothing in this text here to suggest that the saints escape the great tribulation. According to New Testament scholar Craig Keener, “They have endured the dramatic end-time Tribulation and proved faithful to death.”

Revelation 4:1 forms a new unit in Revelation and is also seen as a pivotal verse to believers in a pretribulational rapture. To some, this is supposedly John’s own personal rapture described in this new section of Revelation where John goes up to heaven and gets a tour before the next section begins (the next section starting in chapter 6 which begins a section supposedly referring to exclusively distant future judgments during the tribulation period according to dispensationalists). John sets a pattern for our own rapture, or at least supposedly so.

A close reading of the text, however, does not agree with the above interpretation. The John who is writing this book is functioning as a prophet and the style of this literature is apocalyptic, meaning the imagery is highly symbolic in many respects (all apocalyptic literature involves the use symbolism and the use of bizarre and even frightening imagery to convey to readers the unfolding of generally unknown matters). What John sees here cannot be said to be a literal description of the inhabitants of heaven as he is clearly also borrowing from Old Testament imagery and applying it accordingly. Compare the differences between John’s vision in chapter four and Ezekiel in Ezekiel 1. After John is told to come up here (to heaven) we are told that he is in the Spirit and once he is in the Spirit, he begins his heavenly vision. Therefore, a physical ascent up to heaven is probably not what is being talked about here, but rather an ecstatic vision in apocalyptic language which then sets up for the succeeding imagery in chapters five and six.

(Far from being liberal with the text, it is instead simply a matter of interpreting this particular genre of literature as it is meant to be interpreted. Many interpreters of Revelation think they are being faithful to the Biblical text by interpreting apocalyptic symbols in a literal fashion, and see any elements of non-literal interpretation as watering down Gods word. But when the language is as metaphorical and symbolic as we have in Revelation, what is often meant to be conveyed is not literal images. The figurative language, however, is used to convey very real and literal messages! Besides, dispensationalists are hardly literal with their interpretations unless they really want to argue that the antichrist is a scarlet monster with seven heads and seven horns, that Satan is really a big red dragon with seven heads and ten horns, that Satan has a literal tail that is going to literally fling a third of the stars in space down to earth, that Jesus is going to have a literal sword come form out his mouth, etc, etc.)

The idea that John experiences his own rapture which sets the stage for a later Christian rapture is necessary for the next argument. It is argued that since the word church is not used again in Revelation until 22:16, the church will not be present on earth during the judgments described in chapters 6 onward. This assumes several things: (1) John is only describing events in the far distant future which have nothing to do with his contemporaries to whom he is writing, or to Christians throughout the general church age (2) That John’s rapture in 4:1 sets the stage for the Church’s own rapture before these future judgments begin (or, if 4:1 was not a description of Johns rapture as some dispensationalists admit, it is still presupposed that the church is raptured before the judgments begin), and (3) all references to the saints (i.e. Christians) in chapters five through nineteen are only a reference to Tribulation Saints who convert to Christianity after the church has been raptured during the tribulation period.

To assume that the saints mentioned throughout the middle of Revelation (see 6:9, all of chapter 7, the saints of chapter 14, etc) are only people who have converted after the rapture is just a faulty presupposition coupled with circular reasoning. The thinking goes, “Well, of course those saints only converted after the rapture happened because we know the rapture happens before the tribulation.” Based on what? If it’s the above Biblical evidence, then there is no reason to assume that these are just converted “Tribulation Saints” and that prior to this tribulation period all true Christians were removed from the earth. So while the word Church isn’t used in the middle of Revelation, it really makes no difference, because the saints who make up the church are clearly present all throughout Revelation. The only way to conclude that earlier Christians were raptured away before the judgments and persecutions is to make grand assumptions from very flimsy evidence and circular reasoning.

Other reasons trotted out in support of a secret rapture before the real Second Coming are just as questionable. I’ve heard arguments like, “Just like God protected His faithful in the past, He will do so in the future.” Noah is usually the prime example used. Well, its true that in earlier Scriptures that God doesn’t rain down His punishment on the righteous as he does with the unrighteous (such as the unfaithful people during Noah’s day, Sodom and Gomorrah, etc), also keep in mind that the Church has never been given a pass from human persecution and martyrdom. In fact, the Church has always been a martyr Church. All one needs to do is read the Book of Acts and know a little bit about Church history. Why should we assume a future generation will be any different? Rather, the Left Behind theology appears more to be unwarranted escapism from the realities set before the Church to endure hardship.

There is much more that can be said about problems with an invisible rapture of the Church before a visible coming of Jesus. I’ll explore some other practical logical absurdities in the near future. But dispensationalism’s excesses span beyond just the rapture. There are many problems with their overall misunderstanding of prophecy, both in the Old and New Testaments, their belief in two separate programs for the Church and Israel, and even some of their strange ideas of performing animal sacrifices in a rebuilt temple during Christ’s millennial reign (have they read the book of Hebrews?!). Also, their overall beliefs on these issues affect their political beliefs in the present day which lead to some dispensationalists basically opposing any sort of peace for the Middle East, lest the rapture be delayed. This is very troublesome and needs to be refuted. Not only that, it does not agree with Jesus command to be peacemakers and good stewards of the earth.

None of this suggests that dispensationalists on a whole are bad people. Many of my Christian friends are dispensationalists and are very good people and good Christians; I just think they are wrong on these end-times issues. Rather than dispensationalists and non-dispensationalists declaring each other anathema, all sides in this eschatological debate should continue arguing and airing their views. It has great implications for the Christian’s theology and even political beliefs. More importantly, denominations should not be making the issue of the rapture a central tenet of their theology, especially pretribulationalists who are resting their case on such little evidence.

Finally, rather than thinking of ways to ignore the world, Christians of all stripes should continue thinking of how to have maximum impact while they are here. Even those like myself who are in the non-dispensational wing of premillennialism (historical premillennialism) need to beware of escapist or abandonment type thinking in our relationship to the world. The ultimate goal of Scripture is not an escape from all that is material, ala Gnosticism, but rather a recreation of the heavens and earth (Revelation 21).

Christians do need to be prepared at all times to meet their maker, either because of physical death or the Second Coming, which will come like a thief in the night. But believers would be better served if they put down their elaborate multi-colored prophecy charts and took Christ’s words seriously that no man knows the day or the hour. As long as any of us are here on earth, we have responsibilities and a life in the here and now before us.

We ought then to make the best of it.

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

Posts: 3529 | From: Orange, Texas | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
barrykind
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The False Pre-Tribulation Doctrine teaches you NOT to believe what Jesus himself taught!


(John 8:51 KJV) Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep my saying, he shall never see death.

(Matthew 13:24-30 KJV) Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: {25} But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. {26} But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. {27} So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? {28} He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? {29} But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. {30} Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

(Matthew 24:29-31 KJV) Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: {30} And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. {31} And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

(Luke 17:26-30 KJV) And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. {27} They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all. {28} Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; {29} But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. {30} Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.

(John 17:15 KJV) I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.

(John 17:20 KJV) Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

(Mark 8:38 KJV) Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.

The False Pre-Trib Doctrine does not teach what the Bible really says ! Jesus has to remain with Father God until the restitution of all things or the Day of the Lord.


(Psalms 110:1 KJV) A Psalm of David. The LORD said unto my Lord, Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.

(Acts 3:19-21 KJV) Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord; {20} And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: {21} Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.

(Proverbs 2:21-22 KJV) For the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it. {22} But the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the transgressors shall be rooted out of it.

(Proverbs 10:30 KJV) The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.

The False Pre-Tribulation Doctrine can cause you to fall because you will not have been taught to have the strong faith you will need to overcome what is coming upon our world.


(Mark 13:11-27 KJV) But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. {12} Now the brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son; and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. {13} And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. {14} But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains: {15} And let him that is on the housetop not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take any thing out of his house: {16} And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment. {17} But woe to them that are with child, and to them that give **** in those days! {18} And pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. {19} For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. {20} And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days. {21} And then if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ; or, lo, he is there; believe him not: {22} For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. {23} But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things. {24} But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, {25} And the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. {26} And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. {27} 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.

(2 Thessalonians 2:1-4 KJV) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, {2} That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. {3} Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; {4} Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

You can't fall away unless you have already been a part of something! The man of Sin, the Anti-christ, must be revealed before Jesus returns!


(2 Peter 3:3-14 KJV) Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, {4} And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. {5} For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: {6} Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: {7} But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. {8} But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. {9} The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. {10} But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. {11} Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, {12} Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? {13} Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. {14} Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

The Lord has given us plenty of time to repent and accept Him. The day He returns will not be a quiet secret "rapture" !


Are you going to believe what Jesus and the Bible says or are you going to follow after the False Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching?



(John 12:48 KJV) He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.
How serious is believing in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Doctrine?



(Revelation 1:1-3 KJV) The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John: {2} Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. {3} Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

The word 'prophecy' means from the Greek language:

4394. propheteia, prof-ay-ti'-ah; from G4396 ("prophecy"); prediction (scriptural or other):--prophecy, prophesying.

It is the same word that is used in the last of the Book of Revelation.

(Revelation 22:18-21 KJV) For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: {19} And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. {20} He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. {21} The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

When the book of Revelation was circulated in the early church, it was seen as a separate book from the rest of the writings and was not in the form as we see it now combined with the rest of the written word. When it speaks of the "words of prophecy of this book", it is speaking of the Book of Revelation alone. Of course it would not be pleasing to God to 'add to' or 'take away' from any part of the Bible, but in this case, it could cause your name to be taken out of the book of life, and to have the plagues in the book of Revelation to be added unto you, and you could not enter into the holy city or receive any of the blessings that God has provided for his children. This is how serious it is to believe the false Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine!
We plead with you to pray about what you believe and ask God to remove any preconceived man-made teachings from your mind as you re-read His word so that God can reveal His truth to you.
Jesus is coming back. Are you ready?

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The HEART of the issue is truly the issue of the HEART!
John 3:3;Mark 8:34-38;James 1:27

Posts: 3529 | From: Orange, Texas | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator



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