The Coming Temple
This is what the LORD says:
“Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is close at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed… Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the LORD say, “The LORD will surely exclude me from his people.”
(Isaiah 56:1, 3a NIV)
In the midst of a series of prophecies about the last days, the Lord reveals his magnanimous heart through Isaiah. He is the God of Judah. That will never change, because He never changes. The Almighty declares his salvation is close at hand for the people of Judah, for those who keep God’s laws. But in the above prophecy there is a promise for the foreigner or alien in their midst.
For those married to a Pre-Tribulation Rapture (PTR) position, the rest of Isaiah 56 can make little sense. It speaks of those born outside of the tribe of Judah, non-Jews, coming back into the fold of the true Israelite.
“And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant–these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.” (Isaiah 56:6-7 NIV)
In a complete reversal of the ten tribes of Israel’s assimilation into the nations (the Diaspora), foreigners will come to Jerusalem’s temple in the last days to worship God in the manner prescribed through Moses. Without verbal gymnastics, PTR teaching cannot accommodate prophecies that reveal Israel’s re-unification under King Jesus (John 10:16, Acts 1:6). Passages such as Isaiah 56–or Zechariah 8:20-23 for that matter–are simply ignored. God’s Word clearly foretells a Ruth-like (see Ruth 1:16-18) conversion of foreigners into temple worshipers as well as Sabbath and holy day keepers. Sadly, many Christians have a problem believing Jews will be saved at all.
The principle of re-assimilation is omitted from PTR’s popular teaching. The “any moment rapture” philosophy preserves the wall of separation. The Word promises that through Christ the barrier between Gentile and Jew will be destroyed. Pagan-based traditions among the saints won’t be around much longer.
By taking the Church up in the rapture before enduring tribulation, Gentile saints are denied participation in the festal procession at the end of the age (Zechariah 9:9-10). Regarding the timing and purpose of the rapture, PTR dogma does not allow for a restoration or a re-gathering into the worship established for Israel. The Pre-Wrath Rapture position, when rightly understood, accommodates this future event in prophecy.
Follow the logic: If “saved Christians” are in heaven when the Tribulation begins, how could they make burnt offerings or sacrifice in the rebuilt Temple? Saints will be re-gathered as exiles (Isaiah 56:8). There will be One God worshiped in one way. There will be one set of holy laws. As God says, the coming temple will be a house of prayer for all nations.