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Edition 311: May 11th 2016
The logic of the pre-tribulation rapture:
The logic of the pre-tribulation rapture:
Today there are very few churches worldwide teaching on end times and even fewer teaching on the rapture. It is the greatest story never told! And the result is – the sheep are blind, vulnerable and totally worldly.
Those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture (pre-tribbers) and those who believe in a post tribulation rapture (post- tribbers) will always be at each other’s throats and always for the same reasons.
There is one huge, big separating and dividing issue and it’s consistent. It is the belief in dispensations. If you reject the existence of dispensations you can quite easily prove a post-tribulation rapture. If you believe in dispensations, you can’t.
This is not a salvation issue, so at the end of the day you should be able to walk with a post tribber, but it is a very important issue not to be avoided.
I want to assure you that my motivation in this edition, is not to prove myself right and others wrong. It is not to prove a pre-tribulation rapture position. It is first and foremost to seek, know and honour my Lord and Saviour and His word.
The logic of dispensations:
The word “dispensation” simply means different divisions in time where God worked in new or different ways with man. That does not mean that God changes, just that He changes in the ways and methods he works.
I have written numerous editions on the subject which you can find in the “Editions by subject” index on the right.
Post tribbers have a certain blind spot in their theological thinking. They just can’t see it. Maybe they know it all and just won’t see it, because it brings their post-trib position, to which they are enslaved and attached, crashing down.
Dispensations are clearly in the Bible, a number of times and are clearly evident in history and reality. So how can you say dispensations don’t exist? They’re plain logical and in the Bible.
Here are some verses dealing with dispensations where the original word for “dispensation”, “Oikonmia” is used:
Hebrews 1:1 “God, who at various times (dispensations) in different ways spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, has in the last days spoken to us by His Son...”
Ephesians 1:10 “That in the dispensation of the fullness of times, He might gather together in one all things in Messiah...”
Ephesian 3:2 “Have you heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which was given to me for you.”
The last trumpet blast of the Feast of Trumpets marks the end of the church age. It is the last trump of the church age and the mark of the start of the next dispensation, the seven-year tribulation period. Many, many things change in the way God deals with man in this dispensation called the tribulation.
The dispensation deniers claim that the Old Covenant runs right into the new without any changes and that there is no dispensation of the church age and therefore no pre-tribulation rapture for the church.
There will be much more on this in the next edition. I will share with you some incredible revelations and truths about major messages contained within the Feasts, especially the Feast of Trumpets.
So now, the post tribbers deny the existence of dispensations. If you do that, how do you explain the verses above (and there are others)? Simply, they can’t. If you deny dispensations you have to claim that we are still under the law, which they do. You then have to deny the fullness of the church age and the age of grace, which they do, or explain it away.
Pure logic defeats their entire argument. So many things don’t add up or fit together in their no-dispensation view.
I have yet to find one single post-trib argument that is valid. Some are convincing at face value, but when you look more deeply into their position, you see the problems.
Some of the post-trib claims are pure lies. The worst is the lie that dispensations and the pre-trib rapture are modern doctrines. It’s an absolute all out lie – look it up – it’s been refuted a million times!
Many of the post –trib rapture claims and positions disappear in the light of dispensations.
Some logical arguments for a pre-tribulation rapture: (There are many more.)
●The Bible says that the “gates of hell will not prevail against the church.” (Matthew 16:17). Yet in the tribulation we see that the “saints” are delivered into Satan’s hands to be slaughtered.
Revelation 13:7 “It was granted to him (Satan) to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe tongue and nation.”
The “saints” in this verse above, can’t be the church, because the “gates of hell will not prevail against the church”. The “saints” here are the tribulation saints, which are those who are saved in the tribulation, both Jews and Gentiles.
They are a different company to the born-again church, with specific promises given them.
Many post-tribbers mock us pre-tribbers saying that we are just escapists, wanting to escape terrible times.
Luke 21:36 “Watch therefore, and pray that always you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass (the tribulation) and to stand before the Son of Man.”
Okay, so now we have the great escape in the Bible! If you had the slightest idea of what the tribulation will be like, you would be thankful that God has provided the way of escape!
Wrath and punishment:
Every one of the verses in the Old and New Covenants dealing with the wrath of God in the tribulation also imply furious punishment in the extreme. In fact, so severe and extreme that we can’t even imagine the horror of what’s coming.
The Bible says that it will be a time like never was, nor ever shall be again!
Wrath and punishment in the tribulation period are poured out on Satan, his demons, his world and his people, which are those not saved by the blood of the cross of Calvary.
Wrath and punishment has in fact been accomplished and dealt with for the believer. It all fell upon our undeserving Messiah of glory on the cross. He paid the price of all sin, evil and wickedness. He took the wrath of God upon Himself.
We as believers are given the free gift of His righteousness as our sins are forever destroyed and removed by the power of the cross.
But without the work of the cross and the shed blood of Messiah, you are legally guilty, condemned and due to fall under the wrath of God.
The entire tribulation period sees wrath being poured out in ever increasing proportions. The second half, the wrath of God, sees the full intensity of it, but the first half is referred to as the “wrath of the Lamb.” Bear in mind that the wrath of Satan and the supernatural wrath of nature run throughout the seven years.
Part of the reason for the pre-trib rapture is to separate the righteous from the unrighteous so that God can pour His wrath and indignation on the unsaved.
Note in the verses below that the wrath of God is upon the wicked. Legally, it cannot ever be upon the saved, who have already paid the price, in Messiah by His substitutionary transaction.
Isaiah 13:9 “Behold the Day of the Lord comes, cruel, with both wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and He will destroy its sinners from it.”
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 Yeshua the Messiah.”
John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Romans 1:18 “The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.
Ephesians 5:6 “The wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.”
Note in the verses above who the tribulation is for. It is for and upon: sinners, His enemies, unbelievers, the ungodly and the disobedient.
Not one verse says or implies that God’s wrath and punishment is upon His own people, the believers.
● “No one knows the time”:
Like a stuck record many take the verse saying “No one knows the day or hour” and say, “You see, the Bible says no one knows the time.” Take note of the following verse:
Matthew 24:33-34 “So you also, when you see all these things, know that it is near at the very doors. Assuredly, I say to you, this generation will by no means pass away till all these things are fulfilled.”
The above verse maintains that you need to see with spiritual eyes. The word “know” is in the imperative tense and is actually a command and could be written; “I command you to know when it is near.”
Yes there is a verse saying “no one knows the time”. (Acts 1:7) But here our Lord is speaking privately with His disciples about the end, and He says to them personally that it is not given to them to know the time, back then. That’s got nothing to do with the general statements of our Lord to all believers about the end-times and knowing the time and season. (Matthew 16:3)
Our Lord condemned His people the Jews, for not knowing the time of their visitation (by the Lord Himself at the first coming).
Luke19:44 “Jerusalem was destroyed because they didn’t know the time of their visitation.”
It’s inconceivable and illogical to believe that now, for the second Coming, we are banned from knowing the time! 1 Thessalonians 5:4 “You brethren are not in darkness, so that this day should overtake you as a thief.”
►If we can’t know the time, how do you explain the following verses?
Titus 2:13 “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Yeshua the Messiah.”
Hebrews 9:28 “Messiah was offered once to bear the sins of many. To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin for salvation.”
Hebrews 10:25 “Exhort one another...even more as you see the day approaching.”
1 Thessalonians 5:4 “You are not in darkness so that this day should overtake you as a thief, therefore let us not sleep but watch.”
Matthew 16:3 “Hypocrites, you can discern the face of the sky, but can’t discern the signs of the times.”
Matthew 24:33 “When you see all these things, know that it is very near even at the door...therefore be ready.”
Matthew 25:13 “...Watch therefore.”
1 Peter 4:7 “The end of all things is at hand, be serious and watchful.”
John 16:13 “He shall show you things to come.”
Jeremiah 33:3 “Call on Me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.”
Amos 3:7 “Surely the Lord God does nothing unless He reveals His secret to His servants the prophets.”
Matthew 24:36 (Amp) “Of that exact day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Church minister, reading this, why do you ignore these verses above? Why are you silent on this subject? Read the verses above again. How can you ignore them? You can only do so if you are a blind guide!
The argument of silence or absence:
Critics of the pre-trib rapture always say that our argument that the church is absent in all the Revelation chapters speaking of the tribulation on the earth, is a weak argument. They say that the tribulation saints (those who are saved in the tribulation), are in fact all believers, the church, Jew and Gentile in the tribulation and not just those who are saved during the tribulation.
Firstly, the Bible does use the term “saints” for both the church and the trib-saints, and saved Jews, so we need to go by context.
Secondly, what about Daniel’s seventieth week (of years), which is the seven-year tribulation? The first 69 weeks of that incredible prophecy is exclusively for the Jews. (“My people”)The seventieth week is distinctly, in character with, and part of the 69 weeks. The church is not seen or referred to in any part of the sixty nine or the seventieth week.
●So, we see the church missing in the seventieth week of Daniel (the tribulation), ●and the church missing in the Revelation chapters dealing with the tribulation! The one confirms the other. If you are going to argue that the church is on earth in the Revelation chapters, you must be consistent and argue that the church is also in Daniel’s seventy weeks. And that’s an impossible argument!
●Then on top of this we do see the church in heaven in a number of Revelation verses, while the tribulation is on the go on the earth.
There is no church evident in the prophecy of Daniel’s seventieth week. There is no church evident in the tribulation verses of the Revelation and there is a church evident in the Revelation verses of heaven. What’s the logical conclusion?
Revelation 19:1-9 “After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honour and power to our Lord our God...The twenty four elders, (seen earlier in the Revelation as well – in heaven!) and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God...Praise our God all you His servants and those who fear Him...and I heard the voice of a great multitude saying Alleluia...Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready...and to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints...Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.
Revelation 19:11-14 “THEN I saw heaven opened and behold a white horse. And He who sat on him was called Faithful and True and in righteousness He judges and makes war....and the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.”
The term “white linen clean and white” is never used for angels or the unsaved. It is only a reference to the true born- again, blood-washed saints of the Most High God.
The original word used here in the Revelation for “clean” is Strong’s G2513 meaning, “clean, pure, free from sin and guilt, blameless, innocent! This is what the work of the cross does for true believers.
Jude 1:14 “Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints.’”
The above verse is a parallel to the Revelation verses above.
So, here we see the church in heaven and returning from heaven with our Lord at the end of the tribulation. Logic says that you can’t have the church being slaughtered on the earth and in heaven at the same time!
Luke 12:35-36 “Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when He will return from the wedding, that when He comes and knocks they may open to Him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the Master, when He comes, will find watching.
I wonder what wedding our Lord is returning from here?
There are a number of other verses showing the church in heaven while the tribulation is on the go on the earth.
Some try to prove their post-trib position by saying that the Revelation is not in chronological order. They are wrong! It is in order. The term “and then” appears dozens of times.
Perhaps the single most important, clear and logical verse referring to a pre-tribulation rapture is the following verse from the letter to the Philadelphian church:
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 those who dwell on the earth.”
The term “keep you from” means to be kept clean out away from. It contains within its meaning a clear separation. It does not mean, “Protected through.” Besides, as we have seen, the saints in the tribulation are not protected.
The restrainer and the apostasy:
The antagonists and attackers of the pre-tribulation rapture use many arguments that actually don’t hold water. One of them is that the restrainer is not the church or the Holy Spirit or the church indwelt by the Holy Spirit. They claim that the restrainer, who is to be removed at the start of the tribulation, is the archangel Michael.
They claim that it must be Michael, because his job is to protect Israel.
As the tribulation begins, when the restrainer is removed, the whole world and not just Israel will fall into the worst times it has ever known. Yes, the central focus will be Israel, but the whole world also experiences the tribulation. The job of Michael was never to hold back evil on the whole world.
2 Thessalonians 2:2-8 is the discourse on the “falling away” and the revealing of the antichrist as the restrainer is removed. This “falling away” is also referred to as the “great apostasy.”
The term “falling away” is not a reference to the apostasy of the church, although a certain section of the church is falling rapidly into apostasy. It would be better translated “the departure” and is in fact a powerful reference to a pre-tribulation rapture!
Logic says that this restrainer is in fact the true church indwelt by the Holy Spirit and the “apostasy” or “falling away” is in fact the great departure or rapture of the true church.
When you put all the pieces together, the picture becomes clear and quite logical. There is too much to explain away if you are in the post trib camp.
Here is a wonderful Old Covenant verse that you can apply to the rapture.
Psalm 90:10-12 “The days of our lives are seventy years; and if by reason of strength, they are eighty years, yet their boast is only labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off and then we fly away. Who knows the power of Your anger? For as is the fear of You, so is your wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we gain a heart of wisdom.”
I took this picture drifting down the river Ogooue, Gabon on my way to the hospital founded by Albert Schweitzer in the 1800s near Lambarene. The hospital is still run by his granddaughter. This area is 90% tropical rain forest, inhabited by Pygmies, Pygmy elephants, gorillas and all sorts of living things.
If you would like to see some more pictures of this amazing place click HERE
Shalom and grow in grace!