Number one target now is the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. In fact it is being removed from certain "Christian" church statements and is destined to become non-existent in their literature. As with what has been changed already, it will have a domino effect. We teach Pre- Tribulation Rapture and plan to continue bringing it up to keep readers walking in the Lord's blessed hope. Because of that we are targeted. One such encounter with a surfer on Internet was powerful and convincing. It is easy to convince lay people with documentation from other wellknowns. Seeds of remain in one's mind which later hook up with other heresies and the truth is washed away.
There are others whom we regard as important teachers like Dr. Walter Martin, who believe [believed] in a Post-Tribulation Rapture. My first recourse after an episode like that is additional Bible study. But then something else happened which I didn't expect. A powerful testimony came from another ministry which reinforced what the Bible had to say and all doubts were chased away. The Holy Spirit has the capability of inspiring others to write about a subject matter which is important to someone on their mailing list at a critical time. Only if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit can we provide exactly what needs to happen for another person at a specific time. The Pre-Trib concept was replaced with the "The Rapture Theory" which some woman concocted which is an outright lie. This month discussion will prove that it is Scriptura, but you have to know your Scriptures. Their ammunition is very convincing.
Their teaching does not point to any Rapture and that is what they want to accomplish. The article addressed and mutilated many points which hold up what the writer called "The Rapture Theory". It made me realize how important these newsletters are. If you are not reading them you are risking because the devil is like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. He never lets up trying to bring confusion, doubt and deterioration to our faith. He is so subtle that reinforcement of the truth is a must daily and that is not enough. It takes God watching over us and making sure that the Holy Spirit inspires a Christian ministry to write about the subject that is under attack.
Strong ministers of the Gospel need to be helping us stand against the viles of the devil. Thank God for those who are risking their all for us and bring forth their letters month by month, without pay in many cases. We love them for it and are humbled by it. It is the Holy Spirit's mechanism to keep us marching till the trump of God calls us up into the clouds to meet with our Lord in the air.
The Rapture is a mystery, a hidden truth in the Bible because it is meant for believers. It is the blessed hope, which man cannot discover with his intellect, but through the revelation of God at a given time (Ephesians 3:5). There are other mysteries revealed in the New Testament, and they take time to discover. "Behold, I shew 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. (1 Corinthians 15:51-52)
The following verse is given as a reference to the last trump, what trumpet is that? "And the LORD shall be seen
over them, and his arrow shall go forth as the lightning: and the Lord GOD shall blow the trumpet, and shall go with whirlwinds of the south." (Zechariah 9:14) It is the Lord's trumpet, not angel's trumpets. Another reference is: "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 24:21) When the Jews are gathered in Matthew 24:31 ".. His angels come with great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather the elect [Jews are the elect, Gentiles are the called] from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other."
John, in referring to the Resurrection, adds that we will hear the voice of Jesus and note when: he states "now is" if that is not imminent I don't know what is. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." (John 5:25) Another reference: "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 4:16) Notice here again, this is the trump of God, not the angel's trumpet.
"It is very important to note that at this resurrection/ Rapture, the apostle speaks of "we." He makes it clear that what he has to say here only applies to those who belong to Jesus and subsequently to the church of the believers (compare 1st Thessalonians 4:13-18), "we," not "the others." "The others" will remain dead until the day of judgment and then will be condemned (Revelation 20:11-15). This "we" means a pre-Resurrection/ Rapture out of the remainder of the dead to eternal life which will take place at least 1,000 years before the second resurrection at the judgment seat. (Luke 14:14, Matthew 17:9). What the article did not address is the Day of the Lord. It is considered to be a thousand years which includes the tribulation. The Day of Christ happens simultaneously which represents the Rapture.
We are going to attempt to prove it with Scripture. The Day of the Lord is not just one day somewhere in the tribulation. 2 Peter 3:10 proves it because the Scripture describes the end of the thousand year millennium, yet talks about coming like a thief in the night. How could that possibly be like a thief in the night when the thousand years have passed? The Apostle Peter describes what he means:
"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: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: [referring to the flood in which Noah and his family, eight in total, were saved by baptism, because Noah had obeyed God and built the ark. They were able to pass safely "through" the waters (seen in the Greek word dia ) in the same way, the term "baptism" should be understood as the visible representation of deliverance through Christ, just as the ark represented deliverance from the water of the Flood.
When a person accepts Christ, he is saved; when the believer is baptized, he is identified with the One who has delivered him (i.e., Jesus Christ)] The Scripture continues: "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.
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. 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. 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. (2 Peter 3:5-10)
If we take what it says in this Scripture literally and use a day as one day, it would omit the tribulation altogether and that is why some teach that there is no tribulation. Here is the reason why we have to apply the formula of one day being a thousand years in God's expression. The Day of the Lord doesn't fit this description in total.
Jesus sat with his disciples on the mount of Olives and they asked him if there shall be a sign of His coming. His first words were: "take heed that no man deceive you." He begins to describe that which is going on this very day, today, where many come in His name and shall deceive many. Wars and rumors but its not time yet. The weather gets unbearable, hunger and disease are the beginning of sorrows. The four horses in the first part of the tribulation represent war, disease, depression which causes shortage of food setting people up to take the Mark from what they believe to be their Savior and is in reality the Antichrist.
Remember He is talking to His Apostles who are Jews only and He tells them that they will be delivered up and be killed and be hated, betrayed by one another. He was addressing Israel as a nation who will be hated by all nations. Still talking about Israel: "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." (Matthew 24:13) This is during the latter part of the tribulation. Antichrist proceeds to kill Israel because it refuses to accept the Mark. The 144,000 Jews are sealed. Jesus gives them a new heart and saves them, which has nothing to do with the church at that point. The church is long gone. The Jews lament about that today and it is one of the reasons they seem to want Christians to stay away from Israel. They understand it.
Next Jesus begins to describe mid tribulation when the Antichrist stands in the Temple in Jerusalem. Three and a half years after the beginning of this seven years (Daniel 12:11) is when this event occurs. He tells the Apostles that Israelis must flee to the mountains, where they will be hidden.. "for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." No one would be saved if He didn't shorten this time. False Christs and signs and wonders abound.. Jesus warns them not to believe these false
teachers. Jesus describes the tribulation here long before the end of the millennium, and after the Antichrist stands in the temple, Jesus makes His appearance to the people of Israel.
The Scripture refers to Daniel 7:11-14 which refers to the second coming when Jesus comes and takes dominion, which is not the end of the Millennium as some believe. Why? because the Antichrist would be in charge throughout the millennium.
"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion [is] an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom [that] which shall not be destroyed." Now this describes the second coming. Is that a snatching away and meeting in the clouds? No, He is coming with the saints. "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, (Jude 1:14) How could that be if they are going up at that time?
Also, how could this Scripture be correct if Jesus [God] did not apply a thousand years for a day? "Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." (Matthew 24:34) That generation is long gone and twenty years (a Scriptural generation) is gone since the Jews came back to Israel beginning with 1948.
Jesus goes on: "But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." (Matthew 24:36) Does that sound like a specific day at the end, the final day of the Millennium? No. At this point He has already described His appearance to the Jews. Still teaching the disciples about his return, the Day of the Lord, Jesus goes back in history and describes what was going on in Noah's days, they were like us eating, marrying, giving in marriage until the day that Noah entered the ark. Notice that Noah and his family were placed in a safe place before the flood. He was well secured floating way above with his family. This verse Matthew 24:38 is related to Genesis 6:3-5 and 7:5
"And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also [is] flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years [possible age man can attain in the flesh]. There were giants in the earth in those days [discussing Noah's days]; and also after that, when the sons of God [fallen angels/ spirits] came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare [children] to them, the same [became] mighty men which [were] of old, men of renown. And GOD saw that the wickedness of man [was] great in the earth, and [that] every imagination of the thoughts of his [man's] heart [was] only evil continually." (Genesis 6:3-5) Now if we look at this Scripture, could it have been during the millennium knowing what it's going to be like. The lion will be at peace with the lamb because Jesus is the ruler during these thousand years. Satan was chained and held captive till the end of the Millennium.
"And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him." (Genesis 7:5) When Jesus discusses the Rapture he talks about the strangeness of it. He will not appear to anyone but people will suddenly disappear. "Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two [women shall be] grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left." (Matthew 24:40,41) Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. (Matthew 24:42) He not only names two cases where people will disappear to show the peculiarity of the event but He states right here to watch from that point forward. It is clearly not the end of the millennium nor the tribulation.
One could say that is what happened when Noah suddenly disappeared to the people when they drowned. Considering what the Lord said in Genesis a little less than 6,000 years ago, "My Spirit shall not always strive with man," means that at some point in time He will decide to make His move. In Christ, God began to tell us just as He told Noah, personally, "get ready!" Everybody thought Noah was crazy building a large ship on dry ground. But he went ahead in spite of the ridicule.
Those who hear and understand Christ's teaching know that He could come at any time. In fact they were expecting Him from the time Jesus returned to heaven. The Rapture is not "A Rapture Theory," that some New Age guru dreamed up and some Christians ridicule. In verse Matthew 24:43,44 He explains the secrecy of the event, that Satan would take authority over the situation here on earth if he knew the time and day. That proves that Satan is very active when the Rapture occurs. Again Jesus admonishes his disciples, it will be at a time when we would least expect it to happen: "Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." (Matthew 24:44) If it were post tribulation, we could count the days and know and the same with the millennium. Since the "Day of the Lord" includes the day when the earth is destroyed completely and a new one is created and it includes Armageddon, and it includes the takeover of the temple in mid-trib and it includes the beginning of the tribulation, we can safely say that the Day of the Lord begins with the tribulation and ends at the end of the millennium.
The Day of the Lord and the Rapture happen simultaneously. There is no mention of people disappearing during the tribulation nor the millennium. Jesus literally comes like a thief in the night to snatch us out of here and drop the judgment on the world, because Satan still has authority over this planet received from Adam, and would try to prevent that from happening if he knew the time and day.
Here is the Scripture: "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." (Matthew 24:43; also check Luke 12:39) What does a thief do when he breaks into a house? He snatches something he wants and takes it with him. The Goodman is Satan and the house is the world. Here again could this be during the millennium when Jesus reigns? Or at Armageddon when Jesus takes control when he comes with the Saints?
Why did Paul give the same Scriptures to the Gentiles to whom he preached, of which the majority of the church will be made up of, Messianic Jews included. He added that same Matthew 24:43 reference that the day of the Lord comes as thief in the night (1 Thessalonians 5:1) in conjunction with the catching up, not mentioned by Jesus in his dialog with the Jews? Paul had the Holy Spirit. He was anointed by Jesus Himself in Acts 9:15, "But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:"
The Rapture includes anyone who wants to come to the wedding and who has repented and accepted Christ Jesus as their Savior and Redeemer 100%, accepted His righteousness in place of their own and started honoring that privilege by doing what Jesus expects, tell the good news to others. Realize that their righteousness is as filthy rags unacceptable to God no matter how many benevolent works they have performed or good deeds they have done, because of the blood spilled for the sins of the world by His only begotten Son which was pure, sinless, representing the gold we can't buy except from Him. It was God's blood that was spilled. No one can duplicate that. Thank God for that. Every knee shall bow to Christ Jesus Jehovah God, not the Antichrist. Jesus will see to that. We are helpless against Satan in our own flesh because of Adam and Eve.
Back to the Rapture which Paul taught: He said, don't you remain ignorant!! "But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [in graves], that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope [they are asleep even though they are living]. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him [God is doing the snatching up]. 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 [not the last trump]: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 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. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)
Because of this Scripture the saints can come back with Him at Armageddon, the Second Coming, which is ignored by post-tribbers. The Day of the Lord is considered to be judgment for Israel, how can it be both. (See: cf. Isaiah 2:12-24; Ezek. 13:5; Joel 1:15; 2:1,11; Zeph. 1:14; Zech. 13:1) From a note on page 1147 Zephania 1:7: The phrase "Day of the Lord" is one of the primary expressions in the OT that is relevant to eshatological events. It properly refers to any time the Lord openly intervenes in the affairs of men. This often can apply to two separate events in two different time periods. Zephaniah saw the fall of Jerusalem as "that time" which would occur very soon (v.12), and therefore used the terms such as "at hand" (v.7) and "near" (v.14). Yet, as is common in OT prophecy, this near intervention of God becomes merged in the prophet's vision as the "Day of the Lord," God's ultimate intervention in the affairs of His people. At that time, He will judge the whole earth (vv. 2, 3; 3:8), purge Israel (Zeph. 3:11-13); and then reestablish His people into their land (3:14-20). The apostate people of Israel and Judah had to be constantly reminded that the Day of the Lord would be a time of judgment, and for the ungodly, a time of utter darkness. (Amos 5:18-20; 1 Thess.5:2)
Here again Paul is talking about the Day of the Lord bringing sudden destruction in the middle of Peace. (Could that possibly be Armageddon?) "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 (this implies that we will escape). But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief." (1 Thessalonians 5:3,4) Paul tells us right here that we are not part of the darkness and confirms it with the following: "For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1 Thessalonians 5:9) How much plainer can Paul get.
My Bible states on page 1488 notes "In the NT the Day of the Lord is related to the Second Coming of Christ.. (1Cor.1:8; 5:5; Phil. 1:6, 10; 2:16 2Thess 2:2) "Both expressions, the "Day of the Lord" and the "Day of Christ", refer to time periods of judgment by Christ. The Day of the Lord will include the time of the Great Tribulation (cf. Rev. 6-20). It also refers to the liberation by Christ of His Church. Zechariah 14:1-4 explains that the events of the Second Advent are included in the program of the Day of the Lord. Thus, the Day of the Lord and the Day of Christ occur simultaneously. For the Church it is the Rapture; and for the unbelieving world, it is the beginning of judgment and the Tribulation.
"If the Day of the Lord began after the Second Advent, it could not come as a "thief in the night," unexpected and unheralded, since that particular advent is preceded by signs (1 Thess. 5:2; 2 Pet. 3:10). Consequently, the only way these events both could occur unexpectedly would be for them to begin immediately after the rapture of the Church. The Day of the Lord, therefore is an extended period of time when God begins to deal with Israel after the Rapture of the Church. It also continues through the Second Advent and the millennial age preceding the creation of the new heaven and new earth. simultaneously.(Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible, KJV, p.1488, edited by Dr.Spiros Zodhiates,Th.D. AMG Publishers, recommended by Dr. John Ankerberg)