Pre-Tribulation Rapture

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“Surely the eyes of the LORD are on the sinful kingdom. I will destroy it from the face of the earth–yet I will not totally destroy the house of Jacob,” declares the LORD. “For I will give the command, and I will shake the house of Israel among all the nations as grain is shaken in a sieve, and not a pebble will reach the ground. All the sinners among my people will die by the sword, all those who say, ‘Disaster will not overtake or meet us.’ ” (Amos 9:8-10 NIV)

Reading Revelation invokes a promised blessing. We are doubly blessed if we take the prophecy to heart. The reason why is given: “Because the time is near.” (Rev. 1:3).

Past the middle of the book is a warning that needs to be taken to heart. It involves an evil figure who will dominate the landscape.

“He was given power to make war against the saints and to conquer them. And he was given authority over every tribe, people language and nation. All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast–all whose names have not been written in the book of life belonging to the Lamb that was slain from the creation of the world.

He who has an ear to hear, let him hear. If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity he will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword he will be killed. This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of the saints. (Rev. 13:7-10 NIV)

Here we have in the Word of God a book to which the Lord has attached blessings and curses (cf. Rev. 22:18-19). In it we are forewarned of an unparalleled disaster and time of distress for the saints. The problem is this: The Church is populated with Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) and Amillennialist teachers who make irrelevant the above prophecy. Many, if not most of the PTR promoters, tell their flock the rapture occurs at the beginning of Revelation 4. They say that in verse 1 a voice calls to John, “Come up here.” So that is it. That’s the rapture in the Bible’s last book. (TV Pastor and evangelist John Hagee is prominent among this group.)

In other words, Pastor Hagee’s flock is supposedly gone before the opening of the seven seals in Chapter 6 and assuredly absent when the antichrist rules in Chapter 13. Those following this Christian teacher–and others like him–have become convinced Christians will not be overtaken by disaster. They believe they will be in heaven wearing crowns after Chapter 4. Then who are “the saints” in 13:7? Who are “the saints” “killed with the sword” in Revelation 13:10?

Though Amillennialists often scoff at the PTR crowd, they are really in the same boat. Little attention is paid by this segment of Christianity to prophecy period. Though, infrequently, they may cherry-pick a verse from Revelation to buttress their teaching, they more or less erase all the warnings. How so? By declaring that Revelation is an allegory or symbolic. Millions of Christians under their influence have swallowed the lie that “Disaster will not meet us.”

What does God call his people who reject a literal judgment or a physical Coming of Christ? Through the prophet Amos, He calls them “sinners”. (See Amos 9:10 at top)

Of course, an Amillennialist could try to make “die by the sword” symbolic. A symbolic sword won’t hurt so much. For my Bible-believing PTR Christian brothers and sisters, I go to my knees. Please, please, question your false prophet teachers. Prepare for the day of disaster before you taste the blade.

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“A horrible and shocking thing has happened in the land: The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it that way. But what will you do in the end? (Jeremiah 5:30-31 NIV)

As if mesmerized, all present nod toward the pulpit. Are the spellbound part of a mass hypnosis? The words roll off the tongue of the preacher (priest), “Jesus can come at any moment?” “His Coming is imminent. No more signs are necessary.” “The Lord will come for his Church like a thief in the night.” “We will be taken up in the rapture and changed in the twinkling of an eye.” So it goes. The robots are successfully programmed.

The mantra is reinforced by Christian television and books–even Hollywood has gotten into the act (ex. “Left Behind”, 2014). We could recite the story-line in our sleep. This is what most know of prophecy about the end times. But there is a problem; none of it is accurate.

Produce one clear Scripture that supports Jesus’ return can be at any moment. Ask the Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) prophecy expert to cite a single verse, not just the required two or three Scripture witnesses, but one. There is none. So how did we come up with a doctrine that has no Biblical foundation? It doesn’t matter.

Teachers who repeat “No more signs are necessary” ignore the Lord’s prophetic “Olivet Discourse” (Matthew 24, Mark 13, Luke 21). Some, to their own peril, twist it until it doesn’t mean what it says. So what?

They also fail to consider Paul’s rebuke of the Thessalonian believers. He reminded them that the Lord cannot come in glory and the gathering of the saints cannot happen until (1) the rebellion occurs, and, (2) the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. (2 Thessalonians 2:3) It makes no difference.

Other passages confirm that signs are God’s way of readying his people for what comes next on the prophetic timetable. In Thessalonians 5, the phrases “the day of the Lord” and “like a thief in the night” catch our eye. When we see “like a thief in the night”, it is in the context of the disastrous consequences for the unsuspecting who sleep or remain in a trance (Matt. 24:43, 2 Peter 3:10, Revelation 3:3).

While people are saying “Peace and safety,” destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief. You are all sons of the light and sons of the day. We do not belong to the night or to the darkness. So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. (1 Thess. 5:3-6 NIV)


Of course, the Bible has no relevance to the mindless masses if it contradicts their Group-think creed.

Confusing Paul’s teaching on the rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 with his apostolic teaching on the general resurrection of the righteous in 1 Corinthians 15:42-58 has erroneously blended two events separated by a thousand years. The water has been muddied to create a false scenario (i.e. Jesus comes for the Church in the rapture and believers are changed in the twinkling of an eye).

Rapture is not resurrection, it is the rescue or the deliverance of the righteous.

Read your Bible. Ask yourself, “How can the general resurrection of the saints at the Judgment, taught in Revelation 20:11-15, precede the Millennium described earlier in Revelation 20:1-10? Does anyone care about the truth?

Prophets prophesying lies. Priests teaching by their own authority. People loving it that way. Question if this is you: What will you do in the end?

Snap out of it! Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead and Christ will shine on you.” (Ephesians 5:14b NIV)

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“Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.” (Ephesians 5:16)

Recently, family friend Carol, a retired professor, sat with my sister Marilyn and I. She described the available sources for uncovering our ancestors. This was interesting, but I realized I wasn’t there to learn about my great-great grand-uncle. God wanted me to receive an insight into prophecy.

When Carol, cautioned not to trust every leaf of information, I leaned forward. “I’ve found out the hard way people can enter wrong data,” she said. “I may practice due diligence, but that doesn’t mean everyone else does.” Her next statement startled me: “You have to develop critical thinking skills! Though a credible source may pass it on and many others accept it, it is possible that it’s not true.” Our mentor added, “Two things have served me well: I have a detective mentality plus I’m trained in history and geography.”

I was struck by the connection between ancestry and prophecy. “Critical thinking”, “due diligence”, “credible sources presenting false leads” are concepts I use to discover future events.

Most likely, we have a “doctrinal” family tree. It descends from our teachers. We may be Pre-millennial, viewing prophecy literally, because our tutor was a literalist. Perhaps our Amillennial pastor gave a convincing argument why Bible prophecy should be treated as allegory. In fact, we may have adopted their “Preterist” belief that all prophecy has been fulfilled.

Pre-Millennialism and Amillennialism cannot both be right. We must do our research. Trace your branch as far back as it will go. Regardless how esteemed our Christian mentors, only one position leads to the root of God’s Word. Amillennialism can be traced back to the notable St. Augustine. It stops with this 4th century theological giant who was sold on replacing Israel, the people, with the Church. Pre-Tribulation Rapturism’s branch (PTR) is very popular. This, despite historical evidence its leaf suddenly appears in the early 19th century. (See Lifesaver, #22, “Charge!”)

My branch is Pre-Wrath Rapture (PWR), an end-time doctrine expounded on by Van Kampen and Rosenthal. My detective work and knowledge of history and geography has removed doubts. PWR descended from the prophets and apostles. What does your research tell you?

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Question 7- What is your next book?

Answer 7- I am working on The Priests of God. Again, I am going to present a Biblical view of the true priesthood and attempt to bring what we know in line with the last days. It will expose more myths and reveal more exciting insights the Lord has given. I try to make each book rock solid, treasure filled and better written than the last one.

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Question 1: You seem to be saying that The Prophets of God is unique; that it is a fresh, new approach to truth. Is that possible? How do you back up that claim?

Answer 1: The proof is in the reading. I cannot speak for everything in print or on the internet but, personally, I do not know of anything like this book. The conclusions, insights and arguments I put out there for the reader did not come out of a book nor did I hear them from anyone. The Prophets of God is a product of my study of God’s Word, input from and discussions with other Bible students, interaction with historical and contemporary events and—most of all, I think—insights God has given me. After a time, when I began to see some things differently, I looked around and thought, “You know, I have not heard this from a human.” So, God impressed it on me to write what I discovered.

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Question 9: The Bible gives hope, indeed, but what is hopeful about experiencing the tribulation?

Answer 9: That is a good question and one that we need to thoroughly grasp. Viktor Frankl, the Nazi holocaust survivor who wrote, “In Search of Meaning,” gave good insight from his horrific experience. He said something like, “When we find meaning in our suffering, it is then no longer suffering.” Besides the testing of our love and loyalty to Christ, tests demonstrate that we are genuine and belong among the people of God. There is rich meaning to be found in tribulation. It refines us like gold. It allows us to participate in the sufferings of Christ. Tribulation takes away our love for this world; it allows us to do good deeds and express our love for our fellow man, even for our enemies.

   Peter wrote that we should not think of our suffering as though something strange was happening to us. Paul and the apostles taught the disciples outside of Lystra, where he was stoned and left for dead. Their message was in Acts 14:22, “We have to go through many tribulations to enter the kingdom of God.”

  I could go on and on. Largely, because of the PTR influence we have not connected with members of our Christian family who suffer in our day. We often fail to see reality. We live in denial. The signs are unmistakable. The U.S. and the West will soon experience a persecution of all those who claim Jesus as their Savior like we cannot imagine.

   We desperately need to develop a “theology of suffering” because the Scriptural teaching is rich on this subject. We need the mind of God about it because we are soon going to face it. Pre-tribulationalism is escapism. It is a place for those to go and listen to what their itching ears want to hear.

   I have to add that what gives suffering meaning and therefore makes it something to embrace rather than avoid is that it is the way to honor and please God and gain eternal life. It is not simply talking the talk; it is walking the walk the saints have long trod.

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Question 8: So what you are saying then, is that those supporting the Pre-Tribulation Rapture look for scriptures to support their view, rather than searching the scriptures for what is actually there?

Answer 8: Yes, you nailed it! That’s what not only Pre-tribbers do but other Christian ideologues do on a host of pet subjects. That’s how we get the cult spin-off groups.

   I have made it a point to tell my students, that if you start out with a wrong assumption, you cannot come to a correct conclusion. That’s where this is at. I saw this repeatedly in the writings or statements of Pre-Tribbers. They begin at the wrong starting place and go from there with cleverly crafted scenarios. Sincere students, those who are teachable, are susceptible because they trust teachers who love the Lord and sound knowledgeable about Scripture. Prophecy is still future so we think, “Who are we to say; they could be right.” If we would be more like the Bereans and listen intently to what our teachers give us from the Bible, then go back and examine it critically for ourselves to see if it is true, we would not have the differences we have in the church.

   I was surprised by how easy this book was to write. Coming up with Biblical arguments that dismantled PTR suppositions or starting points was not difficult. It helps that I did not just destroy. I had something valid to replace the false. Truth always gives hope.

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Question 7: So you are saying that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture view is a lie?

Anwers 7: As far as what it is, I concluded that Pre-tribulationalism is a failed ideology. PTR ideology is an extension of Dispensationalism—a theology that explains for them in a simple way God’s working throughout history and into the future. It is easy to understand and easy to teach. In regard to prophecy, it happens to be false.

  To support Dispensationalism, a Pre-tribulational story-line had to be created from the Scriptures. For reasons, it caught hold among the Biblically-minded and what was a theory is now dogma in a lot of places. Ideologues make everything fit into their way of looking at things. They believe whatever because that is the prism they choose to look at everything through.

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Question 5: Why do you think Biblical prophecy is not taught, or not accurately taught in Christian circles today?

Answer 5: It started to become obvious—at least from my perspective—that dark forces were at work. I want to be careful here. I’m not suggesting that my fellow pastors and Christian leaders are doing the work of devils and demons intentionally, any more than Simon Peter was when he rebuked Jesus in Matthew 16:22. Peter did rebuke the Lord when he prophesied his future suffering, crucifixion and resurrection. This man Simon heard only the persecution part of Jesus’ prophecy and told the Lord this cannot be, it can never happen to you. That’s what Peter said, one of Jesus’ closest disciples.

   In 16:23 Jesus rebuked him in return and called him “Satan”. “Get behind me Satan! You are an obstacle to me. You do not have in mind the thoughts of God but the thoughts of men.” That is followed by pretty clear teaching on how his disciples must carry their own cross if they want to follow him, etc.

     I saw a parallel. It is not about our motivations or even our love for Christ. Peter’s heart or motivation was not at issue. It is about being used by the devil in the way that Simon tried to change prophecy. Peter wanted to take Christ’s suffering and his cross from our Lord’s mission. Today Pre-Trib teachers want to take suffering and the cross—which is explicitly taught by Jesus, Paul, Peter and Scripture in general—from our mission. I know these are strong words but I began to see the Pre-Trib position as a clever deception of the enemy and an obstacle put in our path by men to keep God’s people from fulfilling their destiny.

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Question 4: Didn’t you state in your book that you were once a Pre-tribber?

Answer 4: I believed it in the way a child believes in Santa Claus or that the moon is made out of green cheese. I believed it because those in authority whom I respected, loved and admired told me that Jesus was coming again, and it could be today! They gave me a couple Bible verses to hang this belief on, sort of as evidence, and others were saying the same thing. So there you have it, case closed, PTR had to be right because all the radio preachers I loved to listen to were in agreement!

   I believed it but other than a couple of trite sayings and those verses, I couldn’t defend it or teach it with confidence. The topic confused me so I basically didn’t want any part of explaining it as a pastor, this was the way it is and don’t ask questions.

   This is where I think most pastors of conservative churches are stuck. They dutifully repeat what they are told. They don’t want trouble from the powers that be in and out of their church and they don’t want to know anything that contradicts what they’ve been taught either. It is sort of like parents who watch what is said to their kids about Santa. They become very angry if someone tells them there’s no Santa Claus. People can be very protective about things that are not true.

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