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Edition 127: July 15th 2012
Refuting the post-tribulation rapture position:
News events and commentary:
My comment begins with ***
►I’m currently very busy working until the early hours every day on a number of new publications for your benefit. You’ll be hearing about them soon.
●Iran’s supreme spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei tells Iran to “prepare for the end of days” He told national press outlets that the Islamic messiah is coming and we must prepare for war. He said this is “Iman Mahdi’s era.” They believe Israel must be destroyed before their messiah comes.
●Iran threatens Israel with new long-range missile system that it claims can penetrate Israel’s “Iron Dome” defence system.
●Egypt gets tough new laws controlling the press...editors begin rebellion.
●Egypt bolsters bilateral ties with Iran. ***Could this be the start of the formation of the “King of the South?”
●Large numbers of German Muslims becoming jihadis!
►Syria: We are witnessing tragic events in Syria. But this is all a lot more significant than most believe. We could be on the verge of the prophesied war in Isaiah 17, which sees the destruction of Damascus.
This war is also described in Amos 1:3-4
There’s no doubt that we’re in the formation stage of this war. We need to watch for Israel’s involvement. This war will take place before the much larger war involving Iran. That will be the war of Gog and Magog in Ezekiel 38 and 39.
Refuting the post tribulation rapture position:
This is a hugely controversial subject, but we need to look at it objectively.
There’s been a long-lasting, on-going debate between those believing in the pre-tribulation rapture of the church, and those who believe in a post-tribulation rapture.
There are other views, which are very weak and not worth considering.
Those that believe in a post-tribulation rapture are often people bound in legalism or a return to the keeping of the law in a legalistic manner.
Those that believe in a pre-tribulation rapture are almost exclusively those that understand the era of grace.
Of course the law has its place as regular readers know, but that’s all another story.
Let me say right up front, that I have no gripe with the post-trib crowd. I can and do walk happily with both. It is not an issue for separation. Unfortunately many in the post-trib camp don’t share that view and are completely hostile, especially some of the Jezebels bound in legalism!
All in all God’s spirit must be your umpire but don’t forget pure logic as well.
The post tribulation rapture position is also called the grand U-turn, for obvious reasons. The graphic above illustrates that. The pre tribulation rapture position necessitates some time in heaven before the Second Advent, for the marriage feast, rewards and more.
At the Second Advent our Lord returns to the Mount of Olives in the same manner as he left which was a slow ascent. At the pre tribulation rapture we are caught up, not come down! We are caught up in a “moment a twinkling of an eye” (Atomo is the original word, which means the shortest division of time possible)
According to the Bible the rapture will occur in a blinding flash. This is not the description of the Second Advent at all.
The two can’t be the same event by any stretch of the imagination!
Some of the post tribulation rapture arguments:
Some of the main arguments are the following:
●They deny the existence and operation of dispensations.
●They deny any difference between Israel and the church.
●They claim that the pre-tribulation rapture teaching is a modern invention.
●They claim that the pre-tribulation position is escapism.
●They claim that we will all go through the tribulation but be protected somehow.
●They claim that the rapture and Second Advent are one and the same thing.
●They deny or ignore a great many portions of scripture and word meanings.
Let’s have a look at these points:
Post-tribulationism is based on a denial of dispensations in the Bible.
The original word translated, “dispensation” in the Bible is the word from which “economy” is derived. It’s used nine times in the New Testament.
Here are three uses:
Ephesians 1:10 “In the dispensation of the fullness of time, He might gather together in one all things in Christ...”
Ephesians 3:2 “If indeed you have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God...”
Hebrews 1:1 “God who at various times (lit= dispensations) and in different ways spoke in times past.”
The existence of dispensations doesn’t mean God has changed as claimed. It simply means God has worked in different ways with man in different times.
Here is a clear graphic:
The dispensation deniers must also deny all differences between the church and Israel and the rapture and the Second Advent.
They must also deny the doctrine of imminence because the Second Advent occurs exactly 2520 days after the start of the tribulation. (That is seven years in the Hebrew 360-day measure)
They must deny the fact that numerous signs occur just before the Second Advent, making its time clearly known and imminence wrong.
The post-tribulationist must apply huge sections of scripture relating to God’s plan for Israel, to the church.
The difference between the Jew and the church:
There’s an undeniable clear difference between the Jew and the church in the Revelation, in the epistles and in the tribulation period.
The Bible maintains the distinction throughout. In Christ (saved) there is “neither Jew nor Gentile”. Outside of Christ, the Jews are never likened to Gentiles. They’re forever set apart.
There’s a huge difference between the character and nature of the tribulation period and the church era.
The church indwelt by the Holy Spirit is not found anywhere in any of the portions of scripture dealing with the tribulation period (all of it). Yes many people get saved in the tribulation, but these are the “tribulation saints”
We find only and exclusively the saved Jews performing the work of evangelism in the tribulation period!
All of the book of Revelation dealing with the tribulation deals exclusively with the Jews.
Pre-tribulationism is not a modern invention:
The idea that the pre-tribulation rapture is a modern teaching came about in 1830. A new school of interpretation came about seeking to overthrow the teaching of the apostles. The Plymouth Brethren and John Darby spearheaded this view.
It is this view that is modern, not pre-tribulationsim and imminence!
This view is one of the worst collections of lies I’ve seen. Unfortunately many people have blindly accepted the lies without checking them out and the then propagate the lies.
The early church lived in the hope of the imminent return of our Lord. That is clear in many scriptures.
The doctrine of imminence is taught in the scriptures in such passages as: John 14:2-3, 1 Corinthians 1:7, Philippians 3:20-21, 1 Thessalonians 1:9-10, 4:16-17, 5:5-9, Titus 2:13, James 5:8-9, Revelation 3:10, 22:17-22.
Of course Pre-tribulationism is escapism, but read on!
If the post trib crowd (or anyone for that matter) had any idea what the tribulation will really be like they would wish, hope and pray to escape it!
Some two thirds of the world’s population will die. Many tribulation believers will be murdered by beheading. Many will die after a massive asteroid strikes the earth. Many will die in war, starvation, pestilences and the like. It will be a time unprecedented on this planet.
Obviously those who believe in the post tribulation rapture have never studied, or are in ignorance of the tribulation period...all of it!
There’s a crazy argument out there used by most in the post tribulation rapture position that we will all go through the tribulation period, but somehow, we’ll be protected through it.
They say that the church will go through the tribulation but not the “wrath of God,” which is normally believed to be the second half of the tribulation.
Those who hold to this view have not even thought this through.
Revelation 6:17 “For the great day of His wrath has come and who is able to stand.”
Revelation 12:12 “Therefore rejoice O heavens and you who dwell in them, woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea, for the devil has come down to you having great wrath, because he knows that his time is short.”
By the way, who are those “who dwell in heaven” while the wrath of Satan is on the go on earth? It can only be the church.
Revelation 12:17 “And the dragon was enraged with the woman (who gave birth to the Lord =Israel) and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 13:7 “and it was grated to him (Satan) to make war with the saints and to overcome them and authority was given to him over every nation tribe and tongue.”
Revelation 20:4 “...And I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshipped the beast or his image, nor received the mark of the beast...”
Daniel 7:25 “He (antichrist) shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time times and half a time (2nd half of the tribulation period)
In the above verses we see clearly that believers in the tribulation period won’t be spared from the wrath and troubles of the time!
The believers of the tribulation period are those who get saved in this seven year period. They’re not the church.
The believers in the tribulation will be the very subject of satanic attack.
Now consider the following few verses:
Nahum 1:2 “He reserves His wrath for His enemies.”
1 Thessalonians 5:9 “For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Revelation 3:10 “Because you have kept My word to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test them that that dwell on the earth.”
These verses must apply to the church.
Some churches will go through all of the tribulation:
Many churches will go through all of the tribulation, but not all churches.
The messages to the seven churches in the opening chapters of the Revelation are profound indeed. These letters are God’s own assessment of His church!
The seven letters were written to seven historic churches in the region that is today called Turkey. The letters also have a present day message.
The letters have a profound prophetic message as well. They plot the course of church history.
It’s widely held that the letter to the church at Thyatira refers to the Catholic and other orthodox churches.
Revelation 2:22 “Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds.
In the original text the term “great tribulation” has the definite article in front of it. It is not talking about general tribulation but the great tribulation.
Now here we have the message to the church at Philadelphia.
Revelation 3:10 “Because you kept My word to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world to test those who dwell on the earth.”
The term “hour of trial” is a reference to the seven year tribulation period. The term “keep you from,” in the original language means to be “kept clean out away from.”
So, here are two verses of scripture, one promising some churches that they will be cast into the great tribulation and the other, promising this church that it will be kept clean out of the tribulation.
It’s interesting that the Catholic Church and other orthodox churches reject the pre-tribulation rapture position. They’re quite right about that...for themselves!!
Some important scriptures and word meanings:
This is of major importance and there is much ignorance on the subject. If you have any doubt or confusion on the pre / post debate you must understand what follows.
Here is the one of the magnificent key verses:
2 Thessalonians 2:3-7 “Concerning our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you not to be soon shaken by letter as if from us that the though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means, for that day will not come unless the falling away (apostasy) has come first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition...and now you know what is restraining that he may be revealed in his own time...He who restrains will do so until He has been taken out of the way and then the lawless one will be revealed.”
The general view is that the word “apostasy” in this verse above simply means the “falling away from the faith.” But hang on a minute let’s dig!
In the year 1611 the Catholic Church came up with the translation of this word as “falling away.” Before this the Bibles used the word “departure”
If it is “departure” it changes things rather dramatically. The departure could mean “rapture”.
The original word used is a compound of two words: “Apo” and “Stasis”. ‘Apo’ means to “move away from” and ‘Stasis’ means “standing or state.” According to Strong’s Concordance this word means “departure”. But when it has the definite article in front of it, as it does here, it adds extra insight. The definite article means “the departure” and not a general departure. In other words “the” departure is a reference to a particular event.
This would be like a bunch of people getting on a train. The departure takes place and they’re gone. You can’t use the definite article for a more general departure or falling away of the church from the faith. The train leaves at a particular point in time.
The original words used here, are also used as a verb, meaning that the departure is referring to a spatial issue... in time and space.
Now, on top of that, we must keep things in context. What is the context of this “departure”?
The context of the departure is found in the same portion of scripture. It is “our being gathered to Him” (1 Thessalonians 4:1) It is not a falling away from the faith.
The context is explained by the erroneous belief held by some back then, that the rapture had already taken place. The early believers back then were shocked by a letter that appeared to be from Paul, saying that the Day of the Lord had already passed. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-2)
So the context is not the falling away of the church from the faith, but when does the rapture take place! Why, when dealing with a fraudulent letter saying that the rapture has already happened, would Paul suddenly be taking about the falling away of the church?
So now we have the original words meaning THE departure or a change of state and the context being the rapture!
Of course there will be a falling away of the church, but other verses teach that. It’s not right to use this one.
Who is the “restrainer” who must be “taken out of the way” who is holding back the revealing of antichrist? (2Thessalonians 2:6-8)
Again we must dig into original words used to find the liberating answers.
The term “out of the way” literally means; “clean out away from” or “out from the midst of” Most who have looked into these words and their meanings (including myself) teach that this is the true born-again church of the living God. Some teach that it’s the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit is omnipresent, so it will not be the Holy Spirit. But it will result in the Holy Spirit returning to the way He operated in Old Testament times. It will result in a different type of operation of the Holy Spirit during the tribulation period.
This lines up perfectly with the sound teaching of dispensations.
So now we have the meaning: “taken clean out away from”
What has to happen before the tribulation can begin and the antichrist be revealed?
The departure clean out away from, and into another state must occur to the church first. That’s when the revealing of the antichrist takes place.
● In the Bible we do have examples of believers being raptured or removed from judgement on the earth.
Noah and his family were lifted above the judgement waters.
Lot was removed from the fiery judgment on Sodom.
The Exodus saw the children of Israel protected as they entered the Promised Land and and the judgement fell on the pursuing Egyptians.
● Who is it that returns with our Lord to the earth at the Second Advent? These same individuals have just participated in the Lambs supper in heaven. It’s not angles.
● Why is that only Jews, including the 144,000 are seen involved in evangelism in the tribulation period? Why is it that church is not seen anywhere in the tribulation period?
●The tribulation is called “The time of Jacob’s trouble” Jacob is consistently a name used for the Jews and not the church.
In closing let me again stress that post tribulationsim is not an issue for division. We can all walk happily together (until the rapture!)
If the ‘post’ crowd are wrong so be it; if the ‘pre’ crowd are wrong; so be it, but isn’t it thrilling digging into these things?
1 Thessalonians 5:1-10 “But concerning the times and seasons (dispensations) brethren, you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night, for when they say “peace and safety” then sudden destruction comes upon them...For God has not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
“God has not appointed us to wrath but to obtain salvation. The original word used here is “Sodzo,” which means safety!
There is no safety in the tribulation period!
Here’s a painting Benjamin West tilled “Death on a Pale horse.”
Shalom and grow in grace!